My Life in Digital Art

I have been creating digital art since way back in 1993. During my time living in the USA I got a basic grounding in computers and desktop publishing at The Art Institute of Seattle. In those days their were no consumer digital cameras, so we used film cameras and then scanned the images into the computers for editing . My first digital software program was Coreldraw 3, which was fundamentally a vector graphic program that also had photo paint on it, a basic version of something like photoshop.  While at the Institute i also used Photoshop 2 a little but was never able to afford a personal copy . Unlike most digital creatives at that time I did not use a Apple Mac and stayed a PC user till 2008, this once again was more to do with money than it was any great allegiance to Microsoft.

While the internet has been around for many years, it was not till the early 90’s that everyday mortals with little computer knowledge could really start using it. I started surfing the net in late 93 with America Online (AOL), I found it captivating but very very slow. While i was at the beginning of surfing for the Masses, I wouldn’t create my own website for my work until 1998. From 93 to 97 I played with digital art on and off but still created most of my work using conventional media like acrylics and pastels.

In 97/early 98  technology finally became affordable enough for me to create 100% digitally.  My true digital path started when I got my first Digital Camera a Olympus Camedia C-420L. It’s amazing to look back at what got me so excited then, a simple fixed lens camera with a maximum image size of  640 x 480 pixels. While the quality of the picture may seem almost laughable now this for me at the time was cutting edge technology. It was obvious that digital was the future and i never used a film camera again. It makes me smile how adamant film photographers where in those days that digital would never catch on, I have always believed it foolish to bet against technology.

The Olympus C-420L with an example of the ‘quality’ of image we got back then.

As Equally important to me as the camera purchase, was finally getting my own copy of Adobe photoshop 4, now the fun could really begin.   My main subject matter for the next 8 years was robots, vampires and the  female form. My website was reviewed in a new UK magazine Digital Photo it was less than complementary with a throw away comment like ‘this guy should get out more’. That was the point I realised that the mainstream media would never get me or what i do.  I realised i needed another piece of software and i soon discovered metacreations Poser which pushed me nearer my goal. This software program was truly unique at the time creating 3d women and men.  While they were far from realistic looking they did give me full posing ability and zero copyright problems.

The 3d bug had taken hold and for a while i left my camera on the shelf. Next I needed to create worlds for my women to live in, So i started using Bryce and then later Vue Esprit which were 3d terrain builders. Then I had to start building weapons and robots for my femme fatales, for this i use Maxons cinema 4d a professional but not outlandishly priced 3d modeling software….. My time with 3d was short lived just a couple of years and i often wish I had kept on the path of 3D but the real life beckoned .
A model had seen my 3d vampire pictures and wanted to know If i could turn her digitally into a vampire, I said I didn’t see why not. Soon I was standing in a studio for the first time shooting a real person (It’s a funny old world :-)) with my latest digital camera which i think was a Minolta Dimage. Thankfully She liked the results and before I new it I was being approached by other models via word of mouth to do similar stuff.

In late 2012 I changed my life completely including changing my name. I decided that my work had become as confusing as the world I was living in. So I decided to strip out everything in my work that added to the universal hum. I became if you like a bit of a digital Minimalist, I really began to enjoy the creative process again.   First to go was colour, as a lover of nature my work had always been very colourful but in truth we all see colour and perceive it in different ways and in different tones. Next went detail, the brain is an amazing tool, it requires far less information than we think to understand a situation. One of the challenges is to see just how much detail and form one can leave out and still convey a message or emotion.  I use Adobe Illustrator  and Adobe Photoshop for all my current work, oh yes and cheetah3d to build basic models that I then turn into 2d images.

Tentacle Tuesday it’s a thing didn’t you know.

This is all just the tip of the iceberg of my life in art but for now as Forest Gump would say ‘That’s all I’ve got to say about that’