Syd Baker

When did you first become interested in art?

Ever since I can remember; my parents, brother, and sister were all artistic in some fashion, and we had a wood shop as well as a ceramic studio to use. There were art classes as we got older, lots of ways to express ourselves beyond painting and drawing.

What style of art do you use most?

Drawing, I like cartoons; computer, realistic science fiction and fantasy.

Water Arch - Copying from this site is illegal

Has your style changed from when you first began as an artist?

Oh yes, maturing and practice can refine any craft if one keeps at it. Plus changes in technology added so much to my style.

What medium do you use?

Drawings are done in ink or pencil, scanned and color in Photoshop. 3D art is all done on computer, usually using at least 2 or 3 apps to create the elements, sometimes two computers at once.

What made you choose that medium?

I was a bit slow to realize the potential of computer art, but once someone forced me to try, I was hooked. That was Aldus Freehand, back in 1990.

Jemma's Spell - Copying from this site is illegal

Do your ideas come from life or imagination?

I’d say imagination, but I also think even my extreme imagination is influenced by reality, so you will see a blending in my work.

How do you choose your images and colours?

That depends on what area of my work you refer to. The Deeping Bosk series, my current long running series, uses magical and non-magical characters, and is literally turning into an actual story. I suppose in the most general terms, landscapes have always been a passion of mine, so that will usually be a basis for most images.

Do you work in a studio?

My work space is in one room of my house I call Studio, handy that I don’t require a messy area for my digital art. That doesn’t include the small wood shop in the basement which is the bird house making area, a hobby.

Who is your favourite artist?

How does one choose only one? Probably the most influential over a long time would be Da Vinci, the ultimate craftsman, painter, sculptor, engineer, dreamer, inventor, the best example of Renaissance Man.

Jemma's Landing Escort - Copying from this site is illegal

What is your favourite piece of work by yourself?

All included are favorites, probably Adventure is top, it always reminds me of imaginings and daydreams of my youth.

How much time (on average) does it take to complete a work?

Best answer is rounded off, less than a week if I’m not pulled away, plus rendering 3D artwork varies considerably, between hours and days just waiting to see. And often you have to render, adjust, render again, adjust, etc.

How well do you take criticism?

I worked as a professional artist in a corporate environment for 18 years. I wouldn’t have lasted a day if I couldn’t take criticism, especially of the insane variety. My feelings can still be hurt, of course, like anyone.

Jemma's Flowers - Copying from this site is illegal

What do you do to overcome a ‘block’?

Good question. I try to shift media, at the same time, just immerse myself in other people’s art – an art museum, or online galleries, or just try something spontaneous, try a new application like Groboto or Flame Painter.

How do you know something is ‘finished’? Is it easy to walk away?

Yes, especially if it’s a pre-formed idea, an abstract image is probably the hardest to decide.

Crossroads - Copying from this site is illegal

Have you had exhibits in galleries?

Not since the 70’s, local galleries were not interested, and mailing paintings and entrance fees were too hard to afford. Now I use online and print-on-demand galleries.

Have you any exhibits in galleries planned for the future?

No, I cannot afford to print and frame my work, nor have I had any offers.

What are you currently working on?

Writing! I have been convinced by someone that the story of The Deeping Bosk, in particular the main character Jemma, is worthy of an actual story, based on three of the images seen here. Rather than try to put the pictures together as a story, I am writing the “prequel”, where did she come from, who is she, how did she get here, what is her magic about, and more..

City - Copying from this site is illegal

What are your plans for the future?

Losing one’s career is a serious life changing problem, and it’s been two years since I’ve had steady work. That’s a goal right there. Creating a selling place for my unique bird houses is next, art-wise, writing the story, and then tweaking it, adding a few illustrations and trying to sell the idea.

What was the best advice given to you as an artist?

Practice. No kid wants to hear that of course. Also, drawing is basic to all art, keep at it, never stop drawing.

What advice would you give new artists?

Same as above. Find what you love, then do it. Learn how to accept criticism with grace, follow your heart.

Blue Bungalo - Copying from this site is illegal

Have you done any courses to help you?

I still dip into internet tutorials in general, but mostly I can say I am self taught, sitting there with the instruction manual. The corporate job had some instructional opportunities which I took full advantage of.

What do you do to market your work?

I am terrible at marketing. Just the online galleries, a little Facebook posting, I can’t seem to get aggressive about it.

Do you use social networking in your day to day life?

I’d say no, just a trickle of comments on Facebook, I should be able to get more involved at 1st Angel eventually.

Adventure - Copying from this site is illegal

Are you available for work (commissions)?

I’d say no to that. I will be setting up shop as a bird house maker, but not quite yet.

Have you got hobbies?

Oh, the bird houses used to qualify, until I put them in an art show recently, started selling them, and was convinced by popular demand to go into business, being unemployed and all.

Where are you based?

Kansas City, on the Kansas side. (Not the same as Kansas City Kansas. I know, it’s complicated…)

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