Today’s featured artist is Artist Anne Terkelsen:
My name is Anne and I’m from Denmark, but have resided in the UK for almost 15 years now. I love digital painting, riding motorbikes, singing and I have a BA (Hons) degree in animation.
I have been drawing for as long as I can remember and I’ve always loved creating characters. As a kid I used to make up my own friends and draw them and they were just as important and real to me as my actual real, friends… yes I did have real friends too 😉
I was very much a pencil person for a very long time, because I’m a bit of a control freak. I just didn’t get on with traditional paint. To me it was too messy and unpredictable. With a sharpened pencil the line you draw stays where it’s put, it doesn’t go running down the page or turn into a different colour as it dries. I have always been in awe of people who could tame the wet paints in all their variety. It just drove me bonkers. So I drew with my arsenal of pencils sharpened to a needle point, creating tonal drawings and shades of lead grey, imagining the colours in my head. Until one day, courtesy of my brother, I came across digital artist Linda Bergkvist who worked in Photoshop with a Wacom tablet. Her work blew my mind and instilled an urge in me to learn how to achieve what she had. Her talent has been fuelling my digital painting passion ever since.
Although I’m not a professional artist from an income point of view, I do use my creative skills at work, as I am currently the Production Manager on the animation course I graduated from. One of my main endeavours being to pass on my burning passion for the digital painting medium on to the animation students 🙂
The excitement of creating characters and writing stories about them has always been a major part of my life. Inspiration is everywhere, every day – films, books, faces in the street.
I recently read an article on www.cartoonbrew.com about six lessons that animator Chuck Jones learned from Tex Avery. The very first line in lesson number one was ‘You must love what you caricature’. I know he was talking about animating characters, but it struck a chord with me in relation to my own art. Every character I make up is essentially a caricature, an exaggerated version of the real life people they were inspired by. That’s why we love a good fictional story, because it’s full of creations that come across as more exciting and special than what we experience on a normal day. When you design, create, draw, paint, write, you’re creating a world and characters that look and behave and have exactly the kinds of amazing lives you want them to have – because you’re the one making it all up. And I just find that super exciting and I love it.
So, when on occasion, someone asks what the motivation behind the paintings and the stories are I always say ‘love’. I don’t care if that sounds cliché or soppy, because it’s true. It all comes from love. I fall in love with every character I create. That’s how I explain it to people. When inspiration hits and that new painting takes off it’s like being head over heels in love. That’s why I sit up until 2 am painting even though I have to go to work in the morning. That’s how it’s always been for me. And I have been super lucky to have been surrounded by extremely lovely people who have been wonderfully supportive.
Digital painting is huge in the animation, film and gaming industry. We’re living in a digital world now. It can be difficult however, when it comes to being an artist creating personal works outside those areas. There does tend to be a devaluation of digital work from a fine art point of view. Because the original is a digital file rather than a canvas it’s somehow worth less. Also, the digital medium is a very accessible one and the art world is flooded with digital artists of varying ability putting their efforts up for sale, often at extremely low prices, making it difficult to justify why you might want to charge more for your particular piece.
However, there are extremely talented digital artists out there who do make a living from selling their art as independent artists and that is really encouraging.
The digital medium allows you to make any number of custom brushes to help you achieve the look you’re after. The programmes themselves come with a huge variety of brush presets that emulate all sorts of traditional materials – chalks, charcoal, water colour, oil paint as well as texture brushes to help you render any kind of surface you could possibly want. For me, the important thing is that Photoshop is a tool, just like a traditional brush or a pencil, to help me become a better artist. Because I love the process of traditional painting, but using a digital medium, I tend to avoid all the fancy brush presets. Probably about 98 percent of my paintings are made with a hard round brush with ragged edges – called ‘the ragged hard round brush’. It comes from one of digital artist Martha Dahlig’s brush collections which she released with a set of tutorials in ImageFXmagazine. That brush was a revelation to me, it enabled me to get the smooth blend of soft edged brush but with added texture giving me the look of traditional brush strokes. Perfect for the look I try to achieve. I can’t recommend it enough.
Another incredibly inspiring thing is music. I always listen to music when painting. Finding music that matches the mood of the picture you’re painting helps you to stay in that mind-set and focuses the emotions that you’re trying express.
I have only just started selling my work on-line. My main art blog Frustration Inkorporated is only two years old and starting it was one of the artistically scariest moments of my life. Opening a web shop even more so 😉
If you’d like to get in touch, please do 🙂
Now go do art! 😀
Thank you Artist Anne Terkelsen for your interview!
Thank you to all you readers for dropping by 🙂
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