Born an Artist?


I’ve been creating art ever since I can remember. At age four, I remember sitting on my grandmother’s floor drawing, cutting and coloring clothing for my paper dolls. Along with patience, which I’ve yet to conquer, Gram taught me to sew, crochet and make braided rugs from fabric scraps. Through the years, I’ve taken every sort of art class you can imagine; drawing, acrylic & watercolor painting, pottery, mixed media, wax resist fabric dying and the list goes on…



While art has always been my passion, I did not pursue it as a career until my mid-forties (which is the only age reference you will hear from me :) , when I decided to go back to college for digital & graphic design. This is where things started to come together for me as an artist. For the first time, I felt comfortable calling myself “an artist”. As a graphic designer, I learned not only traditional art concepts, like composition and color theory, but also the whole array of software and tech savvy that comes with digital designing. While I don’t profess to be an IT guru, I will say that I’ve learned enough, over the past 10 years, to allow me to create and produce digital art that I really love.



For many years, I shied away from photography. In the days of film, when my kids were little, I took many really bad photos of my kids, with blurry faces and tops of heads cut off. I’m not kidding when I say, I was a terrible photographer! Thanks to the digital era, I was able to practice to my heart’s content (no film processing needed), and I actually decided to try my hand at learning how to use a decent DSLR camera. Flash forward five years…after many classes and much practice, I am thrilled to add photography to ever-growing list of creative skills.



As a traditional and digital artist, I am aware of the stigma that sometimes is attached to digital art. Many people do not see the value of art created from a computer. It’s true that digital art can be a dime a dozen if mass-produced. But this can also be true when selling prints of traditional paintings. I am not trying to bring digital art into the same arena as traditional art. My argument is not that digital art and traditional art are both created equally, but rather that they are both uniquely important to the art world and both should be valued and enjoyed for what they are…unique, passionate, thoughtful, skilled, artistic creations. Many of the skills I learned as a traditional artist, are the same skills I use when creating digital art, with the addition of photography and computer skills. The main difference is the tools. As a painter, I would use my imagination, paper, paint and brush. As a digital artist, I use my camera, my computer, my Wacom tablet and my art pen…OH, and also my imagination! Imagine that! :)



I hope that my words here are taken as a means of explanation and not to invite argument.

We can argue the value of any art form ‘til the cows come home…because art is subjective by its nature. My hope is this; if you are on the fence about the quality and value of art that is produced by means of computer software, I challenge you to take a Photoshop or Corel Painter course. And talk to any digital artist, who is a creative by nature. Ask them about their art. What inspires them to create and how do they make it happen. I guarantee you the conversation will leave you with a renewed perspective and greater valuation of art in the digital world.



As for me, my passion for creating, no matter the form, will never end. It’s who I am and what I love. Yes, it will change over time because that’s what artists do. We’re always stretching the boundaries and looking for new ways to express ourselves. I do hope you are up for the ride!