Vaporwave: I tried

After watching a video on the brief history of vaporwave, I followed the step-by-step Vaporarts 101: Visual Aesthetics Photoshop Tutorial. I really don’t know if I was on the right track or not, but this was my end result.


According to Aesthetic Wiki: Vaporwave, “imagery associated with vaporwave includes glitch art, Renaissance sculptures, ’90s web design, outmoded computer renderings and classic cyberpunk aesthetics. Use of Japanese characters and other non western writing systems is also prominent.” I don’t know how to add music, so I just worked on the art portion.

I started out with a simple image of an individual I photographed last year. 11168004_10153194592160609_3124054003572767573_n

I cut out the background in Photoshop then followed the video tutorial in duplicating layers and creating a symmetrical image of this guy seemingly processing information with his hand on his forehead. I remember at the time of the photo, he was actually studying and I considered creating something around the theme of “knowledge is power,” which is exactly what the Japanese characters on the image state (I used Google Translate.) I searched Google for some PNG images of books and personal electronics, some of the ways in which people get information. I added some low poly computer renderings of birds flying out of the books’ pages up to his ears, symbolizing pigeons that were once used as messengers, sources of information. There’s also an image of the earth and dollar signs which could symbolize power. We’ve got the 1990s Windows Start button as well as a random Renaissance sculpture. I then overlayed the image with two types of VHS screens in Photoshop…

The first (turned vertically) gave me that dark to light gradient.

The second gave the more visible horizontal discoloration.

After putting the image together by following the tutorial, I downloaded the Glitch! app on my Android phone, transferred the image there, then played with various glitches before ending with this one.


2 thoughts on “Vaporwave: I tried”

  1. Hey this is great! Thanks for really going into detail about your process. I think you should keep working at these. It’s a very adaptable aesthetic to your interests and I’d love to see you make it your own.

  2. Excellent work on this! As Michael mentioned, thank you for sharing your process! This piece is your contrast to the exercise so please make more!

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