Several websites such as Pixabay and Pexels offer royalty-free stock images that you can download and use for your own projects. Of course, it is highly appreciated when you offer the artist a donation and/or include a reference to the artist in your creation. Sometimes a free account is needed to be able to download the image. For a large version of the image, a premium account is needed. But the smaller image sizes usually have a good enough quality to be used in your design projects. The Art-filter effects tend to be most amazing when you use images with clear colors and shapes. For this example, an image of a turtle (found on Pixabay) was used, downloaded in the dimensions 1280 x 960. The image is often saved in your downloads folder.
Many websites offer the opportunity to upload an image, and process it online with editing options and artistic effects. The most impressive results are showcased below. But these websites have many more available effects that deserve your attention. Be warned, this can keep you busy for hours and hours.
To make some final adjustments you can use a simple image editor such as Preview on Mac or Paint on Windows. It allows you to crop a certain part of the image, or rotate the image. Also, you can adjust the brightness and color of the image. It could be wise to first duplicate of the image, and then make your adjustments. This way you can always come back to your previous versions. In Preview, select tools → adjust color to make changes, and make the image appear exactly the way you like it.
A limitation these online editors and artistic filters have, is that some processed images will have a white background. This will cause problems when you want to integrate your images on a background with a different color, or if you want to use shadow effects. In that case, you’d be better off learning how to create similar effects with more professional software that will allow you to have a transparent background. Hopefully this Digital Creativity Snippet has inspired you to start creating awesome images with artistic effects!