Dana Perino: Alright @FiveFanPhotoshops, you have incited a lot of intrigue on social media about who you are and how you do what you do. I’m going to ask you a few questions to give readers on danaperino.com the inside scoop. Here we go…
DP: When did you first become a fan of The Five on Fox News?
@FF: I had fallen away from politics after the '08 election, much like how I don't watch any sports shows after my favorite team loses, so I was a year late to The Five. The first episode I ever saw was the 4th of July special in 2012, where you went all out with a BBQ, wing eating competition, bean bag toss, and of course the dunk tank. I was hooked from that day forward. I loved the dynamic, and how you're able to balance providing insight with bringing a bit of fun to the news of the day. The Five kept me interested through the aftermath of that year's election, and I haven't missed an episode since. Though I still think there were some shenanigans going on with the dunk tank, that throw did not hit the target, haha. It made for good TV though.
DP: OKAY yes it did hit the target!!
DP: When did you post your first photoshop of Jasper on Twitter? How did you get the idea to do it?
@FF: It was August 30th, 2012 - the final night of the Republican National Convention, where a big "mystery speaker" was set to talk. The Five kicked it around the table for who they thought it should be, and you said the republican who would really bring down the house was... Jasper! Greg groaned, and asked how you knew he was a republican, "I told him so." The image of Jasper speaking on stage at the RNC immediately starts forming in my mind, so I opened Photoshop and started putting it together. Placing Jasper behind the lectern, changing the signs in the crowd to read "Jasper!", switching out the teleprompters for tennis balls, and adding Greg protesting that he should have been the speaker. It was a lot of fun to make.
DP: You are a self-taught photoshop artist. How did you teach yourself how to use it, and what prompted your interest in learning how to photoshop?
@FF: I started using Photoshop when I was around 16 as just a fun thing to play around with. It can be a bit overwhelming when you first use a program like that, thinking you'll never understand what all these tools and options do, but little by little you get the hang of it. Eventually I started doing graphic design, creating websites, and working with bands to promote their albums using online banners and printable flyers. Things that their fans could help spread around, real grassroots type of promotion – all done through Photoshop. There's always something new to learn or get better at, something I try to do every day.
DP: Now let’s talk about the book. Did you ever expect that one tweet in 2012 could lead to a book gallery of your images?
@FF: I remember thinking "This is going to be in a great book 4 years from now." Haha, no. This has been an amazing experience, that I'm still not quite sure has actually happened. It's been such an honor to have the opportunity to contribute to this book, which is a much needed respite during this crazy election, filled with great stories - often funny, sometimes heartbreaking, and poignant. I couldn't be prouder to be a part of it.
DP: How did you get your inspiration for the Jasper photos in the book?
@FF: There's a mix of new and old photoshops here. Ones I've created over the past 4 years on Twitter are usually inspired by something said on The Five, or some event in entertainment or sports. Some of my favorites to do are the movie poster parodies, I think the Jaws one in particular turned out really well. You happened to have the perfect photo of Jasper playing with the snow in Central Park, that I was able to use to re-create that iconic poster.
DP: How long does it take you to create the photoshopped images?
@FF: Each one is different, depending on how much needs to be done. It can be anywhere from 30 minutes to a couple hours, or even spread over a couple days. For the book I spent a lot of time redoing the old photoshops, because I would often rush to get them up on Twitter while a comment it's based on was still fresh. A few hours in Twitter time can feel like a week in terms of relevance. So it was fun to come back to those old ones with fresh eyes, and be able to improve upon them.
DP: It’s crazy to imagine that we never would have become friends if not for Twitter. It shows how social media can bring people together in positive ways. How do you think social media has changed the way people communicate?
@FF: It really has broken down so many barriers, you can connect and become friends with people across the country or the globe through Twitter and Facebook. Just to pick a random example: a sort of shy, introvert type person can become friends with a former White House Press Secretary to the President of the United States, and work together on a book. It's amazing, and there's plenty more, completely random, examples out there as well.