Ideas, Trends, and Thoughts

My Restoration Process: How I Digitally Restore Each Piece and Prepare It For Sale

Sebastian Certik aesthetic behind the scenes image restoration

My Restoration Process: How I Digitally Restore Each Piece and Prepare It For Sale

Last week, I showed you a YouTube video that demonstrated the process of non-digital poster restoration. This was not done using any kind of computer technology, which essentially means that it was done directly on the artifact itself. While such a process is definitely not for the faint of heart, what I do is also highly specialized and requires an understanding of the process and software involved. Not just anyone can do this, so with that in mind, I decided to follow up by showing you how I restore the art prints that I sell here. This is a basic...

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Video Review: Restoring a Faded WWI Poster

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Video Review: Restoring a Faded WWI Poster

I've discussed the topic of digital restoration many times, and I have quite a few videos showcasing how I do it, but what about non-digital restoration? What does the process look like when it is done directly on the artifact itself without the aid of low-risk intermediary technology like Photoshop? It is these questions that made the above video, featuring the restoration of a faded WWI poster by James Montgomery Flagg, so fascinating to watch, mainly because it comes from a completely different perspective than mine. Here are a few highlights from the video that I found especially intriguing: Red...

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The Story of the 1920 Election, as Told by Contemporary Graphics

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The Story of the 1920 Election, as Told by Contemporary Graphics

After a long night of nervously watching the polls, I almost bailed out on writing a blog post this week, but since the current election is on everyone's mind, most likely including yours, I ultimately couldn't resist looking back one-hundred years at another election in the hopes of promoting a thoughtful discussion of our history as well as where we are headed. As someone who has always held a deep fascination with graphic art, I've always understood the impact that graphics can have in such an event, and more to the point, what they echo back to us long after...

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The Vintage Art Aesthetic: What's Not to Like?

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The Vintage Art Aesthetic: What's Not to Like?

This week I have been working very hard on some major updates to the site, and although I've had help (thank God,) it's left me too drained to do a whole lot else. So this next blog entry is really all about a topic I know like the back of my own hand. Not too much of a challenge to write, but I hope reading it will be just as stimulating to you as reading the other articles I've written here so far. All I want to do here is to further explore a topic I've touched on many times....

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The Art of Life Magazine: a History, Pt. 2 (1914-1936)

Sebastian Certik

The Art of Life Magazine: a History, Pt. 2 (1914-1936)

The year 1914 found the world in a very tenuous and tense situation. On June 28 of that year, Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria was assassinated in Sarajevo, Bosnia, Herzegovina, leading to a chain of events that culminated in a declaration of war. On August 4, war was declared. As all this was going on, Charles Dana Gibson and John Ames Mitchell observed in horror. Mitchell had studied at the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts, whereas Gibson, who by this time rose to fame since his humble beginning in 1886, had also been in Paris for a while, where he...

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