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How Photoroom helps Michelle Franchini create stunning mixed-media collages using AI

Sonia Acosta
Sonia AcostaMay 30, 2024
How Photoroom helps Michelle Franchini create stunning mixed-media collages using AI

The challenge: Michelle Franchini, a full-time estate agent with a passion for the arts, struggled to maintain her artistic pursuits and often felt inhibited by the limitations of traditional collage materials

Our solution: Photoroom gave Michelle an AI photo editor that integrated seamlessly into her creative process for analog collage art. This allowed her to digitally remove image backgrounds, mimicking traditional collage techniques and enabling her to start creating immediately whenever and wherever inspiration struck.

Results: Michelle's use of Photoroom transformed her artistic process, allowing her to produce more complex and refined works. Her integration of digital tools with traditional techniques has made her art more accessible and versatile, leading to increased recognition and success.

For over two decades, Michelle Franchini has carved out a successful career as a full-time estate agent in Portsmouth, England. Yet her passion for the arts has always been lurking in the shadows, just waiting for the right moment to take center stage. After attending art college in her teens, Michelle’s plan was to become a fine artist. But as it goes, life didn’t quite turn out that way and she ended up abandoning her artwork for decades, dabbling only on rare occasions. Then—five years ago—inspired during a transformational visit to a friend’s art studio, she discovered analog collage art and everything changed.

“It was an epiphany moment for me. I had finally found the media that I was really, really happy with. One that I could use to express myself with clear abandon.”

From that day forward, Michelle wanted to do collage art all the time. Soon, she found herself producing three to four pieces a week—each bigger and more elaborate than the last. Initially, she created the pieces purely for her own enjoyment, but eventually, as interest in her unique style started gaining traction, she began selling her artwork and even taking commissions. 

Since starting her journey, Michelle has grown a substantial audience on Instagram where she often shares her artwork, promotes her local collage art workshops, and updates her followers on her artistic adventures. 

Today, in addition to analog, Michelle also works in digital and AI—a progression largely influenced by Photoroom.

Going digital with Photoroom: A new canvas for creativity

“A few years ago, I was trying to sell something online when I came across Photoroom on Google. And quickly, I realized that by removing a background from an image, I could mimic the process of cutting one out of a magazine for my collage art, without the commitment.” - Michelle Franchini, Collage Artist

With Photoroom as her trusted partner in creativity, Michelle was off to the races creating anywhere and everywhere inspiration hit. She would take photos of whatever image or photograph she found that she wanted to use in her next analog collage, upload them into Photoroom, and start removing layers. She’d play around with the image until she had a clear idea of how all the different layers (sometimes as many as 30 or 40!) were going to work in her analog piece, and then she was ready to take scissors to paper.

Essentially, Photoroom became Michelle’s always-there brainstorm studio. In fact, during a recent commission, Michelle says Photoroom saved her what would have been almost a third of her fee by allowing her to see how all the elements of the piece would fit together before printing anything. What was once a happy accident has become a crucial part of Michelle’s process as a collage artist.

“I use Photoroom on a daily basis. I wouldn’t really know how to operate as well as I do without it. It’s my go-to. There’s no boundaries to it. And it’s not just an application for removing backgrounds. God, no. That’s just the tip of the iceberg.” - Michelle Franchini, Collage Artist

Michelle says she feels fortunate to experience Photoroom as it continues to develop and is excited to see how upcoming updates and new features will play a role in her ever-evolving process. Right now, her favorite features are curved text, the ability to lock an image in place, and saving frequently used images into her “Favorites” so she can easily pull them whenever she needs them. 

The road to endless possibilities: Using AI in art

Most recently, Michelle has found herself delving into AI and using it to push the boundaries of what she could create with her imagination, rather than being beholden to whatever existing images she could find in magazines and posters or online. And what she discovered was life-changing.

By writing text prompts for what she could see in her head, Michelle could create the exact image she was looking for. Then, if she really liked the image, she would go and get it and all its different elements printed to create her analog collage. 

"Now I’ve got these three elements (analog, digital, and AI) coming together where I am in total control of the final image and I’ve created every part of those layers. I am no longer reliant on just being able to source material which would always have a huge impact on the final image." - Michelle Franchini, Collage Artist

With AI Images now live on the Photoroom app (and coming to the Web very soon!), Michelle is ditching her previous AI image generation app and is excited to do even more right inside Photoroom.

Photoroom for artists: Michelle’s message 

“Imagine being able to have your studio with you 24/7, so whenever you’re inspired and see something that makes you want to create, you can do it. That, to me, is creative freedom. And if there was ever a tool for it, it's Photoroom.” - Michelle Franchini, Collage Artist

Learn more about how artists of all kinds can use AI tools like Photoroom to boost their work and processes, including specific tools and examples.

Follow @mcollageart on Instagram to see some of Michelle’s latest work and more on her artistic journey.

Sonia Acosta
Sonia AcostaWriter, content strategist, and brand marketer. Here, I write about Photoroom's positive impact and explore creative ways to celebrate each other.