Digital Art, Cameras and Software – My Quick Personal History

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 Photoshop2 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.

It wasn’t till 97/early 98 that technology 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.

 attachment-52ff5ec3e4b0aca487c800e0
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 the female form from 3d fantasy figures to real life Glamour and erotica photography. At first i would create fantasy females from fashion pictures I found on  royalty free picture discs. I would crudely modify and extract these and then placed them in scenes i had taken with my camera.  This was not very satisfactory as the models where seldom in the right poses or very glamourous. I wanted to create 3d fantasy warriors like the ones i had so admired growing up in comics, what i was creating was rather poor but it was all a learning curve. 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 main stream 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 where 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 world beckoned again.
aricHead2
Just some of my work from over the past 21 years

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 topless model (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. At the time I could not think of a greater job a man could have than being a glamour photographer. So I taught myself studio lighting and became a full time glamour photographer.  I worked with many top and aspiring models and for a while (5 years) its was great but in the end the novelty worn off.

attachment-52ff5f03e4b01bd45db50a9d

Once I gave up Glamour my life took another change, I went on a spiritual search for the meaning of life, As you do.  On my journey I got into creating complex full colour Visionary Art which both I and others used for meditation and contemplation. I sold my work up and down the UK at mind body and soul shows giving talks and doing interviews. I met some very wonderful people, as well as some real charlatans who preyed on the lost and the needy.  After 6 years I called off my Spiritual search having discovered what I needed to know about myself and my view of the universe.

promoPC
Just a few examples of my work on my Zazzle site click image to view more
In late 2012 I changed my life completely, I drew a line in the sand of my and legally changed  my name, my approach to life and more importantly my art.  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, for the first time in years i really began to enjoy the creative process again, I love the Visionary work but i never felt I had much personal control over the out come of them .
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.
This is all just the tip of the iceberg of my life in art but for now as Forest Gump would say ‘Thats all I’ve got to say about that’

SaveSave