Love the Barenaked Ladies!!!! :-) Their first hit inspired this tune in my head. A million hours would be more desirable to me than a million dollars! Well I guess one would allow the other if I think about it lol!
The point is that I have the urge to learn and create all kinds of things with Photoshop. I have recently been exposed to the value of Smart Objects, to preserve the integrity of my pixels and final output file, as well as I am on a royal texture creation kick! I considered buying some textured backgrounds, after spending some time on my own trying to learn by trial and error, how to create them. However that is just Not fun! It became frustrating because I spent a lot of time trying to learn and was not happy with anything I ended up with. I also had Photoshop crash as I was saving a file and lost 2 hours of work - 2x! Lack of time gives me anxiety! I only have so many hours in a week that I can devote to creating and artwork related things. If I did not need to sleep, that'd solve it lol! If I could just take a leave of absence, and stay home for 3 months, become proficient (ish) then just go from there with my free time, that'd work lol! Not happening I'm afraid.
I discovered a couple really simple yet great tutorials for grunge and backgrounds! I was able to work with them and go beyond them, applying my own experimentation and impulses as well as some trial and error, to come up with a couple abstract backgrounds I liked. I now see the potential! Probably a bad thing, hence the reason for the "song" in my head lol! What I liked about this person's tutorials is that it showed how simple and logical these little tools and application of them in what is perhaps not "in the box" usage in Photoshop, can be used creatively to produce some really amazing things! Something as simple as grungy lines! Who'd have thought it would be so simple!
The other thing is that I have learned, thanks to my husband, is what a Smart Object is in Photoshop and Why it is rather important to work on Smart Objects as opposed to just my image file in regular Layers. Smart Objects size up and down, accept filters, manipulations, blending changes, adjustments, etc. without compromising or destroying the integrity of your image and pixels, like Vectors in a way. There are also different things you can do with Smart Object layers as opposed to regular layers, and you get a better finished result that also subsequently produces a better printing potential for your designs and photo manipulations.
I have the links to the tutorials as well as 2 samples of my results applied to Zazzle products after I saved and uploaded them.
LEGITTUTORIALS - Grunge lines background
LEGITTUTORIALS - Backgrounds and wallpaper
The tutorials are older, but I still feel they are a very very good beginning point for understanding what potentially can be done with Photoshop to create your own backgrounds, abstract or grunge backgrounds, etc. I am so thrilled I found them.
Here is another website below with a lot of what appears to be some really interesting background creating tutorials. I have yet to try any of these (time!!!!) but will get to one or 2 that I know I could benefit from knowing how to do. I do see the above tutorial for grunge lines in these ones too so not sure if it is the same person but just an updated tutorial site, or a link collecting site.
HongKiat.com - 40 Cool Abstract and Background Tutorials
Another thing that I realize is, I can use many of my images, such as grasses, textures from nature, etc. as a beginning point for abstract texture backgrounds. Ohhhhh so many ideas, so little time lol!!!!
My Version of the grunge lines background from Legittutorials
My Version of the techno background from Legittutorials