Art Dept Interview
As the winner of the Digital category in the 2000 International Art Contest, being selected by such a diverse group of artists from all around the world, how do
It's very exciting. While the primary reason I submit entries to contests and exhibitions is to create more exposure for my work, it would be a lie to say I do not care about winning. Being selected by fellow artists makes it even more rewarding and this year's group was very talented. I was honoured to be a part of it and appreciate the acknowledgement.
Please describe your current works and any plans for forthcoming exhibits.
At this point I have several ideas started but have been very busy with my work in digital imaging and retouching, so it will probably be at least a month before I have one of the projects completed. As for future exhibitions there is the International Digital Art Awards, which is to be both an online and physical exhibition, which will apparently be published in Digital Art and Design magazine in Australia. My work is also being reviewed for publication this spring in The American Muse fine arts magazine.
If any, in what ways have you seen changes in attitudes towards "art"?
I think digital is stirring things up in the world of art and is introducing some new concerns and possibilities. I have seen great things happening in Australia, Canada for example while there remains a lot of
skepticism in many parts of the world. It has not always been easy to find places that will display digital art but I feel the questions and concerns will eventually be moved aside through better understanding of Digital Art.
Do you think that the fine artist will survive as technology replaces our skills?
Absolutely. I think digital art will take its place beside, and in combination with, the other art forms, but not replace them. The technology makes art accessible and more practical for a new crop of artists looking to stretch out just as artists did with new styles and movements in the past.
What advice could you give to those embarking upon a career as an artist?
Be thick skinned so to speak. It is easy to be discouraged when trying to create their own style and there are a lot of very talented artists trying to make themselves known. Without believing in your ability completely, it is difficult to stay the course.
Why did you enter the Art Dept contest and what decided your selection for entry?
I entered because it allowed me to display my work. I feel that if enough people have the opportunity to see my work it will open new possibilities and allow me the time and means to progress. The artwork I chose was one I had just finished prior to entering and it seemed appropriate.
Is there anything about being an artist that you do not like?
It becomes more and more apparent just how much a business art is and the things about art I love often take a back seat to the business of art. At times I have protested the notion and tried to cling to the idea of "Art is the only thing" but I have come to realize that there is a lot more to it and it cannot find acceptance if it cannot be seen.
Would you sell your most favourite artwork, or keep it?
It would probably depend on the piece and the circumstances. I get a lot out of creating my work and I put a lot of myself into what I do, but there is a part of each piece that remains with me whether it is sold or not. So it isn't unthinkable that I would sell my favourite or that I would want to keep it.
How important was education and training to you?
It depends on what you consider education and training. In the formal sense I had good teachers who taught me important lessons in grade school and high school but I did not go to college or a university for art. I did put a lot of time into my own research and self-training, which has been very important in expressing my own ideas.
Is there anything in your art career that you would have changed?
It is hard to tell just how much my experiences have influenced my work or the extent of its connection with viewers so it would be to difficult to say.
If you were invited overseas to exhibit your works, where would you like that to be?
Everywhere. I have found something to enjoy about everywhere I have visited. I paint primarily from memory and thoughts so new places and experiences are important to me. I've heard of great things happening in Australia and Canada with digital art so they would be likely choices. I have always wanted to visit Italy and Switzerland as well because of my family's origins.
Are you looking forward to entering the contest for next year?
Yes. Every opportunity to show my work is appreciated and the fact that I was acknowledged this year makes me look forward to it even more.
Do you recommend use of the Internet for an artist's publicity?
The Internet is where I began to promote my work and is still where I do the majority of my promotion. I feel that I do need to pursue other sources but it has been a great place to start.
Would you change anything about how the contest is organised?
I'm happy with it. I think it would be impossible to come up with a solution to make everyone happy but the current system seems very fair to me.
How can the Internet be made better for working artists?
There are a lot of places offering an opportunity to build web pages that contain small print, which allows them to use your work without your permission. I would like to see more places that look to promote rather than exploit the arts.