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The Dark Arts

i can feel the flames on my skin

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~ banners ~


























~ chapter images ~




8UrjiRr.png   i5D7iku.png



~ signatures ~













~ picspams/aesthetics ~













~ bigger things ~









~ awards ~



best at aesthetics | lola.



TDA's Next Big Artist and Best Junior Artist | starbuck.


5T4M7cQ.png  1728887273_SeniorArtistJan2019.png.65e45fafe8671e7dc1dab43dbaf35c1b.png 

starbuck | miss atomic bomb


  592315352_FeaturedArtistNov2018.png.755f1a24f3ae2bf1860493530865c20c.png  2057887391_JuniorArtistOct2018.png.fa0bf80822fb981e9b6296f976208416.png

both by miss atomic bomb



~ credits ~




Edited by down-in-flames
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Taylor!! Welcome to the graphic side of TDA :)


I think you're off to a great start, considering how recently you started graphicing and i'm sure you'll fly up the ranks :loves:


My favourite graphics are your first signature and the complicated-themed banners!!! :loves: :queen:

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yay welcome to the dark side, taylor! this is a lovely start to your gallery - I love your texture use and the vibrant colours, and it's so nice to see you experimenting with different fonts already!


can't wait to see what else you come up with. :hug:

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Hello, fellow MA! :D


honestly I'm astounded that you only started with graphics a few weeks ago, it took me about two years to get anywhere near your level!!


I love the 'Force of Nature' banner, the colouring and lighting is great and I love the lightening strikes!! I also love how bright and bold your colours are.


I'm sure you'll be a lighter shade of blue soon!!!


Zoe xx

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kris - thank you!! you're partially to blame for my presence here :silly:


nim - hi!! lol i think bright colors are definitely my graphic-ing aesthetic. and tbh it's fun to actually use the 10 million fonts i have downloaded on my computer for once :D


zoe - :hiwave: hi zoe! i luckily had a little background in the actual controls of photoshop, so it's just been a matter of actually applying them to actual graphics. definitely still learning though! i think that banner is my fave thing in my gallery as well :silly:

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congrats on the promo taylor! you absolutely deserve it, just look at this gallery!!! I think my favorite thing about it is just how COLORFUL the whole thing is. My absolute favorite piece is your 'what like it's hard' ci -- your use of negative space and how you have the models situated is phenomenal!!


congrats again on the promo, can't see what more you come up with : D

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Taaaaylor! :glomp:


Congrats on the promo!!! I've seen you working so hard and it's astounding to see how much you've improved! <3


I'm so in awe of your use of colours and textures, it's so pretty! Your banners in particular are super excellent -- +homewrecker is especially wonderful (THE TEXT!!!!!) and I have a soft spot for +revival, too, because it lowkey inspired one of my graphics. :P Bah your use of text all over your gallery is really, really REALLY good -- you're branching out so much and it works SO well!!!!!


Gosh I don't even know what to say, it's just!!! aaaah!!!! I love the composition and text on +this, it's so simple but also so effective! I also love October's new stories header. ^_^ Gosh, Taylor, you're so good! You're really going places. <3

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sammi - thank you, and congrats on your promo as well! (i'm literally about to go write that in your gallery as well, so just pretend i'm not repeating myself multiple times, lol) and yes, i do love making colorful graphics apparently :silly:


emma - hellooooooooo! eep, thank you for all of the compliments :blush: i really love textures and bright colors (clearly) and tbh text is the one thing i came into this whole graphicing thing with a pretty good sense of already, so i'm glad it's working out!!

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Hi Taylor!!

On repetition:

On the continuous banner set, I think you did a nice job of switching it up! On some of your others, not so much. I’d recommend having your gallery open as you work on graphics. Look at what the last two banners had, and promise to do at least one new thing every banner you make that day. Flipping your canvas halfway through composition can also help! I tend to compose the same way, but if I switch it up it helps me see where I’m unbalanced or repeating areas. Another area is that a lot of your text is super big! Try to have some graphics where text dominates, and some where you make it smaller. Just because it’s the ‘main text’ doesn’t mean it has to be the main focus.

You do have some variety, so don’t panic! Just try a few different things and compare to previous graphics every time you’re making something new. Your chapter images have so much more diversity compared to the banners or signatures. For signatures, I’d recommend making a few where the model is big and you can’t see the whole face+busy just for something different.

On focal point:

I think the main issue with focal point is that you seem to be afraid to put anything over text (except for a few) and that can really help focus a graphic. Having your text interact with the rest of your graphics will help there. You also could put text over your people. In i can't tell whether you want me to look way up in the corner or if you want me to be looking at her. An alternative location would be to have it +here i can't tell whether you want me to look way up in the corner or if you want me to be looking at her. An alternative location would be to have it +here. Her chin is already pointing downwards, so it follows the natural path to the text if it was on her shoulder instead.

Think about where you want the viewer to look, and make everything around that. It's okay to have the focal point be off center but you don't want to have too many things fighting for competition. I really like +this tutorial for focal point.

Your best would probably be these: #1 #2 #3
And the weakest would be these: 1 2 3



I hope this was helpful, I really love your halloween themed graphics, I think they're so cute! Let me know if you need any clarification on anything!

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Hiya Taylor!


Wow what a lovely gallery you have! And can I just say that I love that you not only have an animated banner, but also so many icons too!


And +this has to be my absolute favourite from your gallery. The composition and people placement is so great :D


Keep up the wonderful work - can't wait to see what more you come up with!



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phew i'm terrible at responding to things on a timely basis, my apologies


dayna - thank you so much for all of your feedback!! even though i'm literally just responding to this now, i've definitely been trying to incorporate some of these tips into my graphic-making! esp the part about letting text and people overlap because i'm SO bad at that (i blame all the PR/marketing classes i took at uni where they were super opposed to distracting from the branding/text in any way, lol) - but it definitely has helped me with focal point!


shona  - hi!! thank you!! and yay i love that you love that twitter header - making it almost drove me out of my mind but i'm glad it turned out alright in the end! thanks for stopping by :loves:

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Taaaaaaaylor!!! Okay so first of all I can't belive I haven't commented on your gallery yet! I was so sure I had done. 


It seems so obvious to say but you really have come such a long way since you started. I've seen all of your graphics around HPFT (obviously lol, you are the official Gryffindor signature maker afterall 😋) but you really are incredible these days! 


My favourites have got to be the new "satisfied" banner, the colouring is wonderful and it's just so damn pretty, the "starlight" banner because oh my gosh 😍😍 I'm just so in awe of your skills there! And of obviously the Yaxley signature because it's not only beautifully done but I've also adored it since you made it for me 💜 

I can't wait to see what you've got lined up for us next! 


Deni xx

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deni -  hiiiiiiiii ❤️ thanks for stopping by! banners will forever be my favourite thing to make (and probably my strongest graphic type, imo) and i've just discovered the wonder that is 700x150 banners and they're so. fun.  i'm glad you like them, as well as that yaxley signature - it's legit one of the oldest things in my gallery because it's one of the few older graphics that i don't completely hate now. (also i love that i'm calling something i made in november "old," lmao)

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Hi Taylor. I'm here with your critique.

Lets start by working on your acknowledged weak points.


Image quality

Your image quality for the people is actually quite good. If you want to boost the image quality of stock or people then you need to be looking for HQ images. There a few things that can affect the quality of images. One can be colouring layers and the other can be sharpening and topaz filtering. Make sure that your images are not being effected by any of these things and the quality of your images should improve.


Repetative Comp

The best way to avoid repetative comp is to experiment and get out of your confort zone. Remember the definition of composition is how well everything works together within your graphic. When you go through the graphic making process then ask yourself some questions. Does everything in the base work together? Am I using the same type of stock over and over? Will the people I have chosen work on the base? Does the text work well and does it fit the mood of the graphic? If you ask yourself these questions then it should help you break away from reptative composition. Slowly you will break away from your comfort zone and find new and creative ways to put things together. +here is a tutorial you may find useful.


Chapter Images

I can see with your CI's that you have a habit of only using two models and large text, which goes back to your repetative comp issue. It also goes hand in hand with the slight issue of a focal point. +here is a good tutorial on focal point which may help you out. As I always explain to people focal point is the one point where you eye is draw to when you first look at the graphic. For example, my eye when looking at +this is torn between the large model and the large text. Since they are almost the same size they are competing for the focal point. Think of chapter images like a blend but on a smaller scale. I'd suggest practising placement of text within your graphics especially your chapter images. There might be some useful tips within +this tutorial. Try making the text smaller so it gives your larger model more of a focal point. Another tip would be to use fonts to fit the mood of the graphic, same thing goes for the colour of the text too. If you have a bright happy CI like +this one then the font used should be blocky and bold such as sans serif fonts but instead serif fonts like times new roman were used and they are normally used for dark and sad graphics. If you look through +starbuck's gallery then for the majority of their graphics they use cursive fonts as their graphics always have a dark concept. Whereas if you look at +justonemorefic's gallery you can see all there bright colourful graphics have blod fonts. With your chapter images I'd suggest experimenting a little. Maybe instead of stock use only textures, try a new placement of text, try adding more people into the graphic. A tip to help this is look through other artists galleries (Grad artists upwards) and gain inspiration from them. If you see a placement or font you like then use it as inspiration when you make new graphics.


Mini Challenge - Make a CI with three people on, be creative with text (using a new font etc) and it's placement, the mood must be dark and you can only use textures


Skin Colour

I've noticed that due to some of your colouring layers the skin of the models look unnatural and purple, for example +this, +this, +this, +this, +this and +this. The biggest rule in graphic making is to keep the skin tones as natural as possible. You can enchance the yellow tones or red tones but any other colour and the people can start to look alien like. Try to not let your colouring layers affect the skin tone too much. You might find +this tutorial within +this section helpful.


Base backgrounds

I feel like from the backgrounds of your banners are slightly chaotic, or well they seem that way because the textures used on top of them are washing out all of the stock used in your backgrounds. +here the texture and the filtering are masking the castle and train. +here the background looks super grainy. You need to find a balance between stock and textures as well as visibility.



A little tip for text as some of it is not visible on some of your graphics. Dark background = light coloured text. Light background = dark coloured text. Sometimes visibility is down to the font used. So if you follow the light and dark rule then you should be okay as well as being careful over the font you selected. As I said earlier the font really does show off the mood of the graphic so choose wisely.


Moving forward

You have a good promising gallery and I'd love to see you experiement more whether that be with new fonts, using new stock, trying to be more creative, trying more colourings. Just try and break free from your comfort zone. Don't be afraid to be daring and try something new. I cannot wait to see new graphics from you.


These are the weaker graphics I think you could remove from your gallery: +here, +here, +here, +here, +here.


I apologise that this is a long critique. If you have any questions then feel free to PM me.



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Hey Taylor - just dropping by to gush a little :loves:


I'm so so impressed by your use of animations - they create such a dynamic effect - everything really comes alive. I absolutely LOVE your space-ship blend!! I also adore your banners for upave my path and satisfied - they're amazing, but tbh, everything here is incredible :ohmy:

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