Over the past three years, I have transitioned to using digital tools for art and design.
Perhaps that's a bit over the top to say it like that because, in the past, I mostly did art with a
No. 2 pencil and loose-leaf paper—more than I can remember. You know, doodle as time passes
you by. A massive tech upgrade was to use charcoal sticks or a Prismacolor soft black pencil. I am still
amazed at what was possible with only those tools. I occasionally dabble with watercolors, acrylics, or give
ole Bob Ross' oils a go; ever watchful for happy accidents.
Now I mostly play in the light of glowing pixels under glass on an iPad with a pretend Pencil while the
Procreate app follows my every move. Together the four of us create collage artworks with public domain images.
Free-to-use public domain images are available from many sources, such as Unsplash, Pexels, Pixabay,
and creative commons on Google Images. Sometimes I shoot photos of sketches from old journals to
digitize and reuse those old faded doodles on paper.
Recently, I have taken up the challenge of using Rebelle, as it is way more painterly than Procreate. However,
I am still learning what is possible. And the NanoPixel feature alone is worth the price—almost
like raster to almost vector (google search time, enjoy that rabbit hole).
Despite the worry of many professional artists, and maybe they should be, I have dabbled with AI art.
It is a cool way to get interesting backgrounds for artwork, as all you do is type an English description,
and art is generated.
Beginning in March 2021, I started uploading digital collage artworks to Fine Art America (FAA).
FAA's website is old-school interwebs, but it works, and many more
artists are posting than I thought. For about $25 per year, I can upload all the images I
want to, and their display and presentation are ok, not great, but ok. FAA is reliable, too, in
terms of uptime and is available worldwide. So even if most of my action
is just folk browsing, that's cool, like a free art gallery.
An aside: FAA keeps track of visitors
and their location (a place name), so I got curious about what places in the world are
viewing my art—I keep a list of unique places, and so far, there have
been over 300 in the U.S. and over 100 outside the U.S. While some of those
places are probably bots harvesting images for our soon to be A.I.
overlords, I still think it's cool to know that folk in so many different
places have gazed at my stuff—an odd telepathy via imagery.
Silly, I know, but still cool.
A few artworks have been redesigned as book covers; again cool, see the link below.
Eighty of those digital collage artworks became a tarot deck. I am attempting
to write a book of stories based on the images on those cards.
Both are called Taropian Songs.