Marilyn Monroe was many things. She was an actress, a sexual icon, a film producer and a legend, but before all of that she was a pinup model named Norma Jeane.
It was a lucky break. While working at a munitions factory during WWII, she was selected for a photoshoot of women workers when the photographer referred her to a modeling agency. She was a hit. Her beauty and charisma landed her pinups on 33 magazine covers by the end of 1946, Hollywood took notice, and the rest is history.
Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring. – Marilyn Monroe
Still, Marilyn never lost her pinup instincts, turning every flashing bulb into a chance to captivate a crowd. Even as we mark her 90th birthday today we remain under her spell, so to celebrate, we’re honoring Marilyn Monroe with the art form that launched her stardom.
Here are seven tips on how to create vintage-style pinup posters with PicsArt.
1. Tweak Your Palette
Photo effects can really help you find an old school palette and land you right in the middle of the pinup era. Any effect with Vintage and Retro in the name is an obvious choice, but Light Cross and Cross Process also work great to give your image that dated feeling.
2. Time-Warp Before Color Photography
The classic pinups were often hand-drawn since photos were still black and white. Use the Comic Effect to get that same look, and crank up the saturation with the Adjust Tool to really get the artificial feel of paint. Still, editing tricks can only do so much if you’re wearing a huge sports logo and thumbing through a smartphone. Dress in period clothes and embrace that WWII glam!
3. Hide and Peek
Weave your text behind your models to make every shot look like a magazine cover. To do this, open a blank drawing and delete the white background layer. Go to the Editor to add the text and save. Add the text image to your pinup image using the Add Photo Tool, and erase the bits that you want to disappear behind your model. Also, if you’re going to be on the cover, you might as well go bold and show some skin.
4. Illustrated Backgrounds
Since the classic pinups were illustrated, so were the backgrounds. Usually, that meant a single color with a shadow and some accents to spotlight the models. PicsArt’s Drawing Tool has you covered. Cut out your model with the Free Crop Tool and import him or her into the top layer of your drawing space. Then, freely paint over your background in lower layers. You can also import the original shot in a middle layer, lower its opacity, and use it as a guide to trace the shadow.
5. Use Swanky Lingo
If you’re going to hop into a time-machine, don’t forget the lingo! Say things like swell, gal, ain’t that a kick, don’t have a cow, what’s your tale nightingale, swingin’, daddy-o, fathead and flim-flammer. If you’re really lost, just look through the titles of old Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin songs.
6. Find a Font That Swings
It goes without saying that you should use old-school fonts, but don’t be afraid to mix them up. There are numerous free font packages that have some great options, like Text Art 3. Different styles and sizes can be used to emphasize certain words, which can give your pinup a much louder central message.
7. Creative Composition
Think about how everything works together. Leave parts of your background unpainted if that works better, coordinate colors, and maybe even reduce the opacity of your background if you have a cool texture that you want to come through. Every decision you make should be about getting the whole of your pinup right.
Now that you know how it’s done, it’s time to go out there and make em’ swoon. Wish Marilyn a very happy 90th birthday with the art form that landed her in Hollywood. Create a classic pinup and share it on PicsArt photo editor with #PinUp!