Adobe Creative Cloud

Aspirational Demo: Kyle Lambert Tells Us a Fairy Tale In Just One Image

This month, we’re thinking about images that tell stories, so we gave movie poster artist Kyle Lambert an epic challenge: invent an entire fairy tale world and build it out of Adobe Stock. Then, we checked in with him about the process behind his amazing composition, “Once Upon a Time.”

Getting Inspired

Kyle started by thinking about the magic and fantasy at the heart of children’s stories, and from there, he began to sketch out the themes. “I liked the idea of a ballerina-like princess character at the center of the story, so I sketched a levitating figure in the center of the composition,” says Kyle. “Then I began thinking about the world that the girl would be exploring and started to think of interesting story points such as pirates and an evil horseman.”

Putting the Pieces Together

Kyle doesn’t often use stock images, so one of his goals for this project was to figure out (and then show the world), how an artist can combine lots of stock assets to build something completely new.

“I started by searching for images that most closely resembled the ideas in my drawing. However, on many occasions I found amazing images that were better or added something new to my original concept, so I allowed the piece to keep evolving. For example, my original idea was to include a pirate ship on the right hand side of the piece. After searching for relevant images, I added a crocodile, volcano, and a temple island.”

For Kyle, the most satisfying part of this project was finding and combining the images to create his floating princess. He first had to search for a set of photos that could fit together in just the right way to create an anatomically correct figure in a pose something like his original idea. Once he landed on a series of images of the same model, he had the foundation for his character. From there, he added in elements from a photo of an elegant ballerina.

The final, detail-packed composition is built from 50 stock images in 335 layers. “The key to staying organized on a project like this,” explains Kyle, “is to label everything clearly and use layer groups to hide elements that you are not currently working on.”

Building Something Completely New From Stock

For artists creating a complicated composition with stock, Kyle’s advice is to start out with a clear idea of what you want to find. Otherwise, the options can be overwhelming. But keep an open mind once you start searching, since you might stumble on a new, useful possibility you hadn’t considered when you first imagined the piece.

Kyle also gave us his thoughts on getting started using Adobe Stock: “There were a lot of features that helped me get familiar with a different workflow. I found it very useful to create a series of libraries on the Adobe Stock website to organize all of the photos that I was considering using. This allowed me to browse and collect possibilities for each element and review the best options all together. I also liked how easy it was to download small previews of the images I had found to make sure they would work in the art.”

Find Out More About Telling Digital Stories

For more on Kyle, read about his work on movie posters, and his artist spotlight. And if you’d like some extra inspiration for storytelling in the digital world, get tips from Adobe’s experts and find out how short filmmakers build a narrative in just a few seconds or minutes. And don’t miss our curated gallery of Adobe Stock images that tell stories.

2017 Visual Trends, Inspiration

Join the discussion

  • By SkinAlley - 9:56 PM on October 2, 2017  

    We would definitely hire Kyle do some work for us. Kudos to him