Every now and then, I receive an email with several interview questions from a student or another inquiring mind, and in most cases, I don’t have enough time to answer each one fully before the assignment is due, so I usually point these lovely people to the press section of my website. To make it easier, I’ve created a Frequently Asked Questions page to put the most common questions and answers in one place to make it easier. This is also a place where I’ll update with other interesting questions that people may also be interested in my answers as well.
Did you go to school for art, and if so, where?
I went to Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, Georgia from 2004 through 2009, right after high school. I received my Bachelors of Fine Arts in spring of 2009, and my concentration was in drawing and painting, though for a year or so, I double majored in photography before dropping it because I didn’t want to be in school two extra years.
What media do you work in?
As of 2011, almost exclusively in watercolor and occasionally colored pencils. The paper I work with is Arches Hot Press 300 gsm watercolor paper. Prior to 2011, much of my work was a combination of watercolor, gouache, ink, tea and film photography. That work is not on my website, as I don’t work in that manner any longer, but if you are curious as to what it looked like, you can find a whole slew of older work at my deviantART page. I discontinued that combination because it became too expensive to continue as well as for the lack of equipment and space. As for the near future, I will be integrating digital work into my portfolio.
What inspires you?
Everything. That’s the easy answer! It’s really hard to say, because I really can’t cite any specific thing. I’ve always just loved the simple act of creation. Getting half-formed ideas and images out from my head, onto paper, and into fully fleshed things has always been a fascinating experience and one I will never get tired of. So that’s really it – I’m both motivated and inspired by creating. It’s really what fuels the work. Other than that, words are a big factor. I keep a notebook with pages full of words (most of them get used as titles that inspire the mood of the painting). I think titles are important. It’s the one defining, factoral element in my work that gives a legitimate clue as to my intentions with the piece.
How long have you been working as an artist?
I suppose I can date it at early 2008. That was the year I began exploring my personal style, became aware of the market that my art would fit into, and taking my career seriously. I still had a year and a half to go until my graduation at KSU, so I had to work in personal work with school work (and in most cases, managed to make them count as both). I also began exhibiting as an artist that year with several galleries and showing my work off online, garnering attention from various places. I sold my first legitimate work that year, began selling prints, had my first illustration commission, and found that I had a natural affinity for marketing and networking.
What techniques do you use to get your texture? Do you use masking fluid?
The techniques I use are basic watercolor tricks: wet-on-wet, using salt, rubbing alcohol, and paper towels, and the occasional use of masking fluid. I’m often asked if I use masking fluid for those detailed lines of hair, and my answer is no. It gets too messy if I try to be that precise with the masking fluid, so I carefully paint around those areas. I’ll use the masking fluid in some other cases in which it would actually save me time. Plus, it smells like butt.
Why do you work in watercolor?
I love its fluidity, how every layer changes the color, the simplicity (all you need is water and paint!), and how NOT messy it is! Watercolor is a very intuitive medium for me to paint with, and I appreciate that it dries quickly, so that every mark counts. I don’t have the luxury of going back to a spot and redoing it like you would with oils or acrylics, either. There really isn’t an “undo” button with watercolor.
More coming soon!