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My Switch Experience from Traditional to Digital Art - from Canvas to Photoshop


I don't consider myself to be ancient, but I guess in some ways I am. I was educated as an artist way before digital art was even a thing. I was trained using traditional medium - brushes, canvases, paper, paint. So my transition to digital art takes on a 'classical' take. I still approach my art thinking as a traditional artist - how I would normally tackle a new art piece in the traditional way, but using photoshop instead. I actually LOVE this approach and my finished pieces look and feel like they were created on an easel using paint!

Sometimes, I feel like people think of digital art as 'cheating' which is true when people use computer apps and programs to make their art for them. I hate this stigma. True artists create their digital art using traditional methods. I have traded my wooden paint brushes for a stylus and my stretched canvas to a screen, but the process of creating is exactly the same and I love how working digitally allows for additional flexibility, like the ability to create different backgrounds and glazing takes on a whole different meaning (digital artists, you know what I mean!).


Creating my art digitally also makes me braver as an artist - I can copy my art and then experiment away with a different technique without fear of ruining my whole piece if the experiment doesn't work.

Creating Digital art is not easy, however, believe me, and I still have SO much to learn. If you only knew the hours and hours I have spent learning about a silly Photoshop feature, or creating or modifying a brush, or searching YouTube to see how I can undo a goof-up, you would think that I should have just hung my hat and resumed my traditional methods. If you follow me, however, you will soon understand just how determined I am in so many ways, and that stumbling blocks will only encourage me to soldier on. The amazing feeling of accomplishment is unreal when I master a new technique - and persistence definitely pays off, as my muscle memory really allows me to build on my learned knowledge.


So, how have I learned to become a digital artist? Well, these artists don't know me from Adam, but unbeknownst to them, they have inspired me and have literally changed my life and my way of thinking! Firstly, I saw this video from Jess Bertram that opened my eyes to the world of digital art: xxx when I first saw this, I had no idea that I could create art in this way! I was simply floored and so impressed and motivated. Jess is a wonderful illustrator of children's books and my style is different from hers, but I was immediately hooked and she is an amazing person. THEN I found my mentor (who again has no idea that he is my mentor) Aaron Blaise. He was an animator for Disney and now has dedicated his life to helping artists learn the current world of art in so many ways. He is in one word amazing! I have learned SO much from his tutorials on how to create digital art and he has literally changed my life. Like me, Aaron also started as a traditional artist, so I completely relate to his thought process when he works digitally.


By the way, the reason I just recently found digital art is because I was immersed in another all-consuming business for eight years and now that I have moved on from that, I am finally able to get back into what I love the most - to create art and to help make the world a bit of a brighter place.


Please join my email list if you would like to follow along with my journey and I will share techniques I have learned using Photoshop. Let me know in the comments section below what questions you have as I would love to address them in future blog posts. I will also be showing you how I create my custom pet portraits, step by step and will show you the technical aspects of Photoshop so you will become comfortable with the platform.

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