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Mobile Photography – Popular App Distressed FX Gets Major Update and The Story Behind It

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I am so proud of mobile artist Cheryl Tarrant, Distressed FX is her original idea, an iOS photo editing app that adds texture and atmosphere to pictures, giving them a dream-like quality. Popular on Instagram, with over 90,000 tagged photos, users have found it simple to turn any photo into a work of art.

With well over a million users, it has reached #1 in the App Store charts in 24 countries, and the #1 Photo and Video app in in 43 countries

Tarrant, who lives in the countryside in Tennessee, USA along with her many pets (including peacocks and chickens!), is a texture artist who has made a living selling her painterly textures to fellow digital artists. This exploded once she decided to create an app, enabling many more people to create art using only their mobile phone.

A casual online conversation with a friend resulted in a simple-to-use app that people of all ages and genders love to use. Developer Steve Liddell, who lives in the UK, said, “I wanted to keep the app true to Cheryl’s artistic vision. It really is her work shining through rather than the technology – and that’s what makes it unique in the App Store.”

Neither Tarrant nor Liddell expected Distressed FX to be as popular as it is and have a good working relationship despite never meeting, only corresponding online.

“My business was born out of slight desperation. I moved from the West Coast to the hills of Tennessee. Making such a move was a huge risk for me personally. I had previous graphic design experience and the move into textures was quite simple and felt natural, and going on to create a business selling those textures simply followed”, explains Tarrant. Cubicle jobs meant a certain little death for me. I have a hard time with monotony and being strapped down to a desk. Through fine art and, eventually, the app, I was able to have purpose with a sense of freedom. The creation of the Distressed FX app turned out to be the universe handing me a chance to maintain my autonomy, while having a sense of purpose and making a living.

There is freedom and creativity in the app. You can be sitting in a boring doctor’s office and, within seconds, make art: creating painterly images from ordinary photos. I like the idea of leaving our creative footprints in the world, and with the app, it’s possible for those of us who don’t consider ourselves to be creative, to feel and be creative, she said.

The website distressedfx.com has many more examples of photos produced by users, including a gallery at www.distressedfx.com/usergallery which is regularly updated, and features images that use the hashtag #distressedfx on Instagram.

The much anticipated update V2.0 will be launched March 24, 2017, please go here.

Demonstration Video (without sound)

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By Joanne Carter

Joanne Carter, creator of the world’s most popular mobile photography and art website— TheAppWhisperer.com— TheAppWhisperer platform has been a pivotal cyberspace for mobile artists of all abilities to learn about, to explore, to celebrate and to share mobile artworks. Joanne’s compassion, inclusivity, and humility are hallmarks in all that she does, and is particularly evident in the platform she has built. In her words, “We all have the potential to remove ourselves from the centre of any circle and to expand a sphere of compassion outward; to include everyone interested in mobile art, ensuring every artist is within reach”, she has said.
Promotion of mobile artists and the art form as a primary medium in today’s art world, has become her life’s focus. She has presented lectures bolstering mobile artists and their art from as far away as the Museum of Art in Seoul, South Korea to closer to her home in the UK at Focus on Imaging. Her experience as a jurist for mobile art competitions includes: Portugal, Canada, US, S Korea, UK and Italy. And her travels pioneering the breadth of mobile art includes key events in: Frankfurt, Naples, Amalfi Coast, Paris, Brazil, London.
Pioneering the world’s first mobile art online gallery - TheAppWhispererPrintSales.com has extended her reach even further, shipping from London, UK to clients in the US, Europe and The Far East to a global group of collectors looking for exclusive art to hang in their homes and offices. The online gallery specialises in prints for discerning collectors of unique, previously unseen signed limited edition art.
Her journey towards becoming The App Whisperer, includes (but is not limited to) working for a paparazzi photo agency for several years and as a deputy editor for a photo print magazine. Her own freelance photographic journalistic work is also widely acclaimed. She has been published extensively both within the UK and the US in national and international titles. These include The Times, The Sunday Times, The Guardian, Popular Photography & Imaging, dpreview, NikonPro, Which? and more recently with the BBC as a Contributor, Columnist at Vogue Italia and Contributing Editor at LensCulture. Her professional photography has also been widely exhibited throughout Europe, including Italy, Portugal and the UK.
She is currently writing several books, all related to mobile art and is always open to requests for new commissions for either writing or photography projects or a combination of both. Please contact her at: joanne@theappwhisperer.com

1 reply on “Mobile Photography – Popular App Distressed FX Gets Major Update and The Story Behind It”

Wow!! Some much needed changes for a great app and some surprises for us!! A great app made even better!! Thanks for the heads up!

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