How the Photoshop Wars Began

What started as a fun challenge, transformed into an artistic and creative exercise.

Owning your own business you realize quickly that you are doing everything besides design. Virginia and I were so enthralled in our business that we started talking about how it would be fun if we participated in a weekly Photoshop challenge. Each person would pick 3 stock images for the other person, and based on those images we had to make a composition.


Being who we are, of course we picked the weirdest images for one another. The weirder the picture, the better! We eventually got our husbands in on it to help judge and pick which image was the best that week. Soon it became “Who could make the other person laugh.” Let me tell you, we made some random shit.

Left: Virginia Right: Jess

But even though it was random, it was a great creative exercise for us. It proved to be a good mental break from our client work. We were designing for ourselves—there were was no such thing as a wrong answer and anything was possible. Nothing was considered a bad design when it came to this challenge.

Eventually we decided to make this a serious thing. Rather than picking funny stock images for one another, we now use nicer photos and base each week’s challenge around a theme. Creating art that doesn’t make us laugh out loud, but work that is worthy to share and put up.

Part of being a designer is that you are required to design for others, and sometimes it’s good to take a break from that. Remember in art school, when you used to design projects that you wanted to make? Design projects based on things you were passionate about? Why can’t we still do that? Who says we can’t? Whether its for an entire weekend or for 5 minutes, it’s important to do something creative for yourself. That time allows one to evolve their style, discover new techniques and explore new areas of inspiration. 

So next time you find time to binge on Netflix, instead of doing that take a few minutes pick up a pen and notebook or open up Photoshop and start something. You don’t have to finish it, just start it. You never know where that’s going to take you.

Jessica Cruz
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