Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Don't Make Me Over

For Sammie

My newest cap.  This is a return for Sammie who sent me a wonderful cap recently.  I had forgotten that I had made Sammie a cross dressing cap earlier, and it went over well.  I figured I would follow in the same vein.

Sammie is one of the artists at the Haven that makes a lot of great caps.  Her and Shauna Marie write many caps back and forth to each other.  Sometimes they involve Nate and Shauna, other times Tom (Shauna's male persona) and Samantha, while others involve both Samantha and Shauna.  They are always sweet and loving, so I wanted to do something in that vein.  But Sammie also has "Being given a makeover and then being put into a situation with lots of people I know" as part of her preferences.  That is how I made her first cap.  So specifically I wanted to capture some of that sweet back and forth from Sammie and Shauna, while still getting the makeover with people she knew.

I started looking for images, and was just not finding what I wanted.  Sammie has a strong preference for Redheads (as do I!), but I wanted a photo of a redhead getting a makeover.  There are plenty of photos like that, but none spoke to me.   So I dropped the redhead bit and quickly came across this image. It was from some sort of makeup artist's site.  That got me thinking about a secret cross dresser living with a makeup artists.  What fun would that be!! Getting to use their professorial equipment whenever the roommate was gone, and the frustration of seeing great makeovers but not being able to replicate that.

So now I had the image, and the basics of a plot.  Looking over the image I figured Sammie here had just gotten a professional makeover (don't know how yet), and was looking over her shoulder at Tom walking back in unexpectedly.  I liked the situations that would set up.  So now I needed to figure out an angle on how she got the makeover.  It couldn't be from Tom, as I wanted the 'surprise' of him returning.  I started writing about how Tom's assistant came over and saw the half dressed 'model' and just started giving her a makeover.  The 'reality' of that just didn't jive with me.

So I kept tweaking and tweaking.  Then I remembered one of my favorite makeover scenes from a story.  It was from "The Office: Swimming in the Pool" where the hero (you get to name the hero as its an interactive story at Locked In Lace).  If you know the scene I'm talking about, you can see that I took quite a bit from it.  I had to alter the beginning just a bit to get a group of eager students to work on Sammie, and I really relished the idea of them doing it fast, not giving Sammie a chance to react to much.

From that point I wrote most of the story here.  I opened up Photoshop to start the layout, and low and behold I had written enough for 2 caps.  I looked around for other images of this model (it turns out she is an actress in Glee), but none could be used early in the cap.  So I decided to split the cap, and have the first half have no images.  Naturally when I made it up, it just looked plain.  Plain awful.  So I figured since we were talking about a makeover, I could add in some generic images of makeup equipment.  I had already decided on the dark background (I loved the pink over black!), so finding an image that I could cut out and not have a glowing white edge was a pain.  I came across the image of the fingernail polish and lipstick... it was almost perfect.  Almost because it was green lipstick and polish in blue bottles.  With a little manipulation in photoshop I got it to be close to pink.

But there still was to much blank space.  So I kept looking.  Let me tell you, I must have looked at every damned picture of makeup brushes on the internet.  Sadly not a single one worked (and I tried MANY of them).   The same goes for mascara, powdered blush, foundation.... I even tried some eyelash curlers.  But nothing worked.  Well thank God for the random odd image that you weren't searching for.  For some odd reason the search term "Golden Camel Hair Makeup Brush Black Background" brought out the simple lipstick kiss graphic.  I wasn't about to complain, as it helped enhance the mood of the cap.  A simple recolor was all it needed.  And it turned out to fit both caps.

Once all these were in place, and the text wrapped around them nicely I was almost done.  I say almost because of the odd space below the photo.  I really liked the photo stretching side to side, and that low in the composition, so I wasn't about to change it.  But it just left that gaping hole. I thought about grabbing another cosmetic pic, but after about 45 minutes of searching and not finding anything acceptable, I didn't have much hope.

So I started playing with taking the last line "...guy's you did an amazing job..." and moving it to the bottom.  It didn't work unless I moved the entire last paragraph down there, and that much didn't fit.   So I started playing with a new final line.  And then it hit me... I hadn't really touched on Sammie and Tom getting together.....

The last line just wrote itself!

1 comment:

  1. I really enjoyed this cap. It is a bit of a thrill to image oneself getting all dressed up in front of complete strangers that know your secret. The picture and story work well together but that should not come as a surprise since it was made by you. I particularly liked the idea that things were being done to him without his consent since he was to keep quiet the whole time. The loss of control aspect of it is intoxicating.