Meeting with artists in Real Life: Chris Griffin

14 05 2009

My husband and I drove down to Louisiana to visit family, and I saw that his itinerary passed by Columbus, Ohio. “Hey! That is where Chris lives”, I told him, “let me email her and try to meet!” So we did 🙂

Image copyrighted to Melissa Findley

Image copyrighted to Melissa Findley

I have been knowing Cris (aka Quickreaver) from when I first started my online activity, about little more than 3 years ago, and I was immediately impressed by her incredible skills, how beautifully she paints skin, her humility and will to help others. Through the years I’ve grown to respect and admire Chris even more than that first impression, mainly because of her unique character. She is very down to earth and always has the right words to calm the tempest even in the most heated internet dramas, keeping her comments objective and open minded.

I was so happy to finally meet her. In the eyes of my mind she is this beautiful and tall red-headed woman (Avatars imprinting, see?), and after meeting this beautiful, small and amiable woman, she still is a vampire queen in my mind, tall and red-headed. We had a short and fun time together, we talked about all the big American issues, as gay marriage, politics, religion, abortion and whatnots… I think the only topic we did not talk about was vaccination and autism… I guess it was not such a big issue then 😉  Of course we also talk about art too, digital, traditional and the wonderful environment of traditional galleries.

It was great to meet Cris, it was great to put a voice and some more reality in the little slot of my brain that stored Cris’ information. I enjoyed our meeting very much and I really am hoping that we can go to Illuxcon together next year.

Keep motivated! Short term goals.

4 05 2009

My husband and I are both Ph.D.’s in biology, so we know a lot about long term goals and long term commitment. However, those 5-6 years goals were very well defined in our life and made it easy to focus: I need to pass this test, I need and A in this class, I need to learn this technique, I need to have this experiment done by next month, I need to defend the thesis in April. Now we have both graduated and we were talking about the lack of directionality that comes with the freedom of just going to work. He confessed to me that he needs short term goals to feel that he is going somewhere.

I agree. I am the same. While I am happy not to have to stress out about thesis deadlines, in art I set some short term

Coyrighted image. All rights belong to Constanza Ehrenhaus.

Copyrighted image. All rights belong to Constanza Ehrenhaus.

goals to achieve what I want and get myself motivated. I find that saying “I need to improve composition” is not enough for me to really focus on studying composition. Now saying “My next image will have a focal point following the rule of thirds” makes it easier for me to get it done.

I also find that I can keep myself more motivated to finish a piece when I have a deadline. Challenges and competitions are really good for that. Often times I take part in challenges that I know I have no chance of winning, just because knowing that I have to have the image done for a certain date will not allow me to get side tracked. And as much as I like to draw to myself, I think I get the better results with those kind of works in which I am a little restricted by topic and I have to push myself to get the work done on time.

For example, take the image above. This image was created for a contest on Addictive Hobby called Monsters and Nightmares. My objectives for this piece were to work on folds, improve storytelling and not having the main character dead center in the canvas. I think that it came up pretty good and it gave my art a push in the right direction.

Now I am working on a commissioned piece. My objectives are to work with the rule of thirds, improve values (Thank you Karyn!) and work out perspective with a full background. For my next piece values and a nice character design will be involved.

What keeps you motivated and how do you set up your goals? If you have any tips that you would like to share, I listen.

Just do what you love to do

1 05 2009

From this month on I will be working as a columnist for Ellen Million Graphics e-Zine. I will be doing interviews to artists.

I started doing interviews last year, I was already familiar with a some artists that I respect a lot and Mel had given me a subscription to DA (just because she is so awesome that she gives gifts) and I thought to myself that there was so much that I didn’t know about her. I knew that she was a great person but I wanted to know more about her. I am usually not a person that asks, I am very much of the style “If you want to tell me you can tell me anything you want and I will listen, but I will not ask”, I guess because I am afraid of asking too much or offending people. I was thinking about all this and then it hit me that I also wanted more people to know about her and the way to promote her could be with an interview. And so she was my first interview.

I loved it so much that then I interviewed Jenny Dolfen, and how delighted I was when Henning Ludvigsen said yes! Henning allowing me to be nosy about him, his life, his art!  I then interviewed the wonderful Chris Griffin, and then I stopped for some time because I was overwhelmed with work. By then I already was getting a lot of good feedback, especially for the little excerpts that other artists were giving me about the people I was interviewing. I thought that it could be fun to actually have an outside view (being a scientist and all that), a different perspective, not from me, nor from the artist. And that was a hit.

I finally got myself motivated again and interviewed Inge Vandormael, and when I asked a question about prints to Ellen she asked me if I wanted to work for her zine. Imagine my joy! I was so glad to be considered to work for someone I respect so much! And this is fun people! Interviewing these people is fun!

So since they needed an interview for April they will publish the one I did to Chris, and after that I will be introducing a new artist each month. I am wrapping up my next interview and planning the one after that. So stay tuned, subscribe to EMG zine, or wait a month to read the interviews in my blog  😉

This goes to show, people, that if you do what you love, you put love and effort into it, and you have fun, you are in the right track to advance in that path. Keep working on your loved hobbies, you might be surprised about what life brings to you because of that.