How I Photoshop-ed Myself Into A Fiery Jack-O-Lantern: The Power Of YouTube Tutorials


Creative people – whenever you find yourself in the cold grasp of a creativity drought, look to the tutorial oasis readily available on YouTube.

This last week I did just that.

I usually browse YouTube for tutorials on a regular basis, both on channels I subscribe to as well as other ones that I just happen to come across. The tutorial above met my click-worthy requirements: 1) cool thumbnail 2) keywords in the title – ‘beginner’ ‘tutorial’ and ‘anything.’

I originally watched this tutorial many weeks ago. At which time I said to myself, “This is cool. I’m gonna do this with a picture that I really want to ‘set on fire.’ Then a few nights ago as my girlfriend and I were playing around with my GH2 and Nokton, she took the following photo:


Immediately after, she said, “Eww…” Understandably so!

She followed by saying it’s scary and looks nothing like me. That’s when the figurative light bulb above my head exploded.

It’s Halloween season. I’ve been thinking about my next facebook page banner. I have a gang of tutorials I ‘liked’ on YouTube, of which this fire one would be PERFECT!

After 5 – 7 hours later, voila.

I must say, YouTube has been absolutely essential to my growth not only as a filmmaker but as a creative person all-together. Watching others tackle ideas new to you, utilising 24/7 access to this vault of knowledge, asking detailed questions to experienced people in far away places… so good. So so good.

As long as you don’t read the comments of course.

Online tutorials, YouTube or elsewhere, I honestly feel provide any disciplined person a platform to learn almost anything. I am but one of these kinds of students in the massive ever-growing online university.


  • take the same tutorial (input)
  • add your individual flavour (unique to you)
  • create something original (output)
  • release back into the community (growth)
  • repeat process (sustainability)

Here are a few other variations I achieved simply by selecting different Channels.

trickortreat8small trickortreat9small


The idea to make myself a flaming jack-o-lantern only came to me after a couple hours of playing around in photoshop. Whatever plan I had – if any – at the onset of this project was no more than, “I’m gonna follow this tutorial and turn this picture of myself into a flaming head.” That’s really all there was to it. I strongly believe allowing yourself room to be spontaneous is essential to cultivating creativity. Within freestyle find structure. Within structure allow freestyle.



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