When did you first become interested in art?
I have been interested in art for as long as I can remember. My first box of crayons comes to mind! I still remember that box and all those colors. I have almost always had something that I was working on or learning to do. For me it is as much about the process itself as the actual result, if I end up liking the result that is a bonus!
What style of art do you use most?
Style? I have had many comments and suggestions regarding my style, I have even been told people love it, which is a thrill for me, but I have no idea what to call it. I have been told it is a style uniquely my own so perhaps one day I will decide what to call it.
Has your style changed from when you first began as an artist?
I don’t know about my style, it probably has, but what I want to express with my art definitely has. Right now I am very much into work that combines fantasy and reality with color and minimal design to create pieces that convey a sense of well being. Each piece I create is a mini vacation for my mind and it is that feeling I wish to share.
What medium do you use?
I call my medium computer. Camera and paint, very simple. Some of my work is totally photographic and more and more of it is becoming digital paint. Occasionally I like to work on a piece that is a combination of both. I love this medium!
What made you choose that medium?
One day while I was on the computer my son pointed to it and said ‘why don’t you make art on that?’ The idea had never occurred to me! So with encouragement from both my sons I began the tedious process of learning to use the computer in a new way. Many times I almost quit, it was very frustrating in the beginning. Deleting things accidentally, a computer crash that lost most of my work and my inclination to not save a copy were some hurdles I have had to overcome.
Do your ideas come from life or imagination?
They definitely come from both. I really can’t imagine how I would separate the two. I like to look at how things might be, not necessarily how they are. To inject a feeling of fantasy into a piece that slightly alters reality but keeps it believable.
How do you choose your images and colours?
Most of my painted images started with a tiny pencil sketch of an idea. Something will pop into my head and I will scribble it down. I play around with it and how I want the color to work in it until I feel I am ready to begin the final piece. Sometimes a piece starts with nothing more than a color, I might just want to work with blue, so I will start with that.
Do you work in a studio?
No, with a computer as my medium I have been working at my desk, and of coarse out in the world with my camera. My space is the typical mess of paper and sketches and wires and bits of this and that.
Who is your favourite artist?
If I have to name one favorite it has to be Vincent Van Gogh. But there is so much great art in the world today and I love so much of it! Every time I see a piece I love by another artist, I have a new favorite!
What is your favourite piece of work by yourself?
My favorite piece is always the one I finished last. There are others that are sentimental for me, Night Blooming Flowers is special as it is one of the first in this new style.
How much time (on average) does it take to complete a work?
Photograph or painting? If I know what I want from a piece and have worked out the entire thing on paper perhaps a day to complete. I don’t always work from paper and that can go either way. As is everything in life it is hard to predict.
How well do you take criticism?
As long as the criticism is not too harsh I take it well. I try to use it as a way of looking at my work with new eyes. I think it has helped me grow as an artist and so I am appreciative of it.
What do you do to overcome a ‘block’?
An age old question! I try not to think about it. It is something that every artist has to deal with so I try to embrace it and do something else. I don’t ever let myself think it could be permanent. Sometimes I could even use a block to get other things done.
How do you know something is ‘finished’? Is it easy to walk away?
Always a difficult question! Most of the time a piece just feels finished. But because much of my work is very minimalistic I am never completely sure. The possibility is always there that I might go back to a piece to add, change or remove something, sometimes the entire piece, long after I call it finished. I like to walk away from a piece and then check it again, always thinking I might have missed something.
Have you had exhibits in galleries?
No I am new to this digital field and have only begun to put together a portfolio of my work.
What are you currently working on?
Right now I am enjoying my landscapes, trying for more beautiful and serene. And I have started to want to think of more interesting titles, my titles need help!
What are your plans for the future?
I haven’t really looked to far into the future of my art. I hope to continue enjoying what I have been doing and to continue to grow and develop as an artist. . Oh and definitely do more photography.
What was the best advice given to you as an artist?
Watch the pixels, no one wants to see them, very good advice for a digital artist!
What advice would you give new artists?
I am a new in this field so the only advice I know is create what you love.
Have you done any courses to help you?
What has helped me most in this new medium is computer training.
What do you do to market your work?
I haven’t been doing much to try to market my work, other than working to build a portfolio and creating an online gallery. All of my finished work can be seen at valarie.artistwebsites.com
I have created a Facebook Page that I will be working on more in the future. https://www.facebook.com/ValArieArt
Are you available for work (commissions)?
Absolutely! I would love to do commissioned work in this new medium.
Have you got hobbies?
Besides my painting and photography, I love to read and do craft type projects and sometimes I love to cook.
I am based in the USA
© 2013, Isabella Francesca Abigail Shores. All rights reserved.