Throughout 2020 I was continually reading about the nation’s growing obsession with jigsaw puzzles. People just couldn’t get hold of jigsaws quickly enough to help them get through lockdown. I soon realised that I could easily convert some of my photographic images into suitable puzzle designs.
I was assured by friends that the puzzles must contain 1000 pieces, as puzzlers like a challenge! Having found a UK based jigsaw production company, my next job was to decide which images to use from my bank of photographs. I needed to get the balance right; an image that was true to my photographic style but that was sufficiently demanding …without being totally impossible!
I settled on three different images to create three very distinct jigsaw puzzles. Firstly an image of Venice, for those like myself, who love this magical floating city, secondly a truly colourful abstract which I knew would be fun for colour lovers and finally a botanical image based on home grown tulips.
Creating a Jigsaw Puzzle
I thought that it might be fun to share my jigsaw puzzle design process. Every year I plant new tulips to accompany some of my older bulbs. The weather conditions last spring could not have been more perfect, and I was spoilt for choice. I chose some variegated pink tulips to photograph and laid them in a group against my light pad. Tulip petals are not particularly translucent, but with a little backlighting some lovely details became visible. I used a tripod and my macro lens to capture my subject matter accurately.
As I wanted a striking image for my jigsaw puzzle, I changed the white background to black in Photoshop. Next, I needed to add some wildlife to my design and I found some old images which I had taken of butterflies inside the butterfly tent at the Natural History Museum. I combined these exotic green and blue butterflies with one local Northumbrian species; a Red Admiral, to scatter amongst my tulips.
I was slightly concerned that having too much of a black background might be unnecessarily tricky for my potential puzzlers, so I introduced some subtle colour splatter effects to help delineate the different areas of the puzzle. And voilà, there was my puzzle design completed!
My limited edition puzzles have gone down really well and have provided hours of enjoyment for many. They fit through a letterbox and come packaged with A3 coloured guides. I have received numerous messages from very proud puzzlers showing me their finished results and I have loved the fact that people have passed on their puzzles, once completed, to friends and family to enjoy.
The beauty of a jigsaw puzzle is that there is no ‘sell by date’, so they can be appreciated for years to come. They are a wonderful ‘digital detox’ and a healthy escape from the daily news. There can be little that is more satisfying than placing that last piece of the puzzle in its correct place!
and if you are looking for a beautiful botanical card to accompany the jigsaw puzzle, look no further than the wide selection available at http://www.originaliart.com/cards.html