Artist of the month Diane555

This months artist of the the month is Diane555. Her art is on Istockphoto.com. Her work can be seen at her Portfolio page. Everyone should check out her illustrations. I was impressed by the diversity and the amount of work she has created. She was very kind to answer my questions so we could all be inspired by her art. The biggest question people new to glass etching ask is “where do I find designs?” So if you are an artist or simply a home owner looking for the perfect design, please check out this months artist of the month.

Do you prefer to create on canvas or on computer?
I work both in traditional methods and with my computer. Some things have a more organic ‘feel’ to them if I sketch them out on paper first. I also continue to work on paper, canvas, create collages and with textiles.

Do you have a favorite kind of computer?
Although I used a pc for many years, I switched to a Mac two years ago and it has been the best choice for me as it seems to handle some of my very large detail oriented vectors with ease where my pc would have frozen and crashed.

How did you come to vector art?
My brother gave me Illustrator 8.0 back in the 90s because he wanted me to learn digital art. I was almost immediately hooked on the gradient mesh tool! I still love using it today.

How do you vectorize your art?
Much of work work is started with a hand draw sketch using my own photos for reference (when needed). I then redraw the entire thing in Illustrator. I don’t use the auto-trace option unless I am making a texture because the lines aren’t clean enough. I think you need to draw them from scratch to get nice line-work. I try to work with lots of layers and sensible groups so that editing is a bit easier for buyers.

Do you create art for vector or is it other art you have created from other mediums?
I do both actually but more often my vectors are created as vectors. Sometimes I come across an old watercolor or marker drawing that would make a great vector but more often I collect source materials and references that fit something I want to make in vector. For instance, my sparrows and cherry blossoms series was all created for vector.

Do you draw on the computer?
I do. I have a large wacom tablet that I have learned to use. Two years ago I was still drawing entirely with a mouse so it can be done but I can’t imagine using anything but my tablet these days.

What computer program do you use?
Adobe Illustrator CS3 for drawing. Adobe Photoshop for cleaning up and/or creating source materials for textures.

Where do you get your design ideas?
Everywhere around me actually. I try to be aware of advertising and popular items in stores. My main inspiration really some from the things that matter to me. I care about the environment, I love birds and nature. For many years I worked in Horticulture so that is probably where the love of nature came from.

Did you get formal art training?
Where.
No, I have had very little art training. I was working full time before I was twenty so I never went to college, although I think that I might have learned some things faster had I gone to art school. In recent years I have taken advantage of the ever-growing list of online training that is available. So many artists are willing to share their amazing knowledge with others.

You have a very large body of work. Has it taken a long time to create?
Although I joined iStock in 2006, most of my portfolio was created in the last 2.5 years. It does take time to create vectors but I make art for a living now so I am very committed and very self-disiplined. I am lucky to do what I love every day so it isn’t hard to find motivation.

You have a very diverse portfolio. How do you create such diverse themes?
I am interested in everything. I think even everyday objects are fascinating in it’s unique shape and form. I try to pay attention to what’s happening around me and in the world and draw ideas from those things. I have books filled with ideas that I can never find time to draw. So many artists talk about having ‘artists block”. I can’t even imagine it.

Could you tell us a little about where you live in Canada?
I live in a small city in South Western Ontario that is surrounded by rich farmland.

Do you have any pets?
Yes, just one cat at this time but I have had many pets in the past.

What are you passionate about?
People, nature, wildlife and the environment.

What do you want to be remembered for professionally?
That’s a tough one. I hope that I am remembered for being unique in somehow. I love diversity and hope that shows in my artwork.

What advice would you give a young art student?
Never say you can’t do something, try everything and most of all believe in yourself regardless of what anyone says.

Where do you think art will go in the next decade?
For many years people didn’t consider digital art and ‘real’ artwork. That has changed. Maybe we will see more blending of the two.

Do you spend a lot of time cleaning up lines in vector files?
No. I don’t use auto-trace unless it’s for a texture so and I want those to be rough. Because I draw from scratch using the pencil, brush or pen tool I can control the line quality.

What do you like most about your profession?
What I love about my profession is that I do what I love every day. I wake up every day looking forward to new challenges.

What do you like least?
Sometimes there are too many projects that need completing in a single day but I try to remind myself how blessed I am to have problems like this.

How do you envision your art touching peoples lives?
I hope that some of it makes people think about our environment or growing something wonderful in their yard. But I’d be really happy just to know that it makes someone smile.

How has sites like istock changed the way you work?
iStock has given me the freedom to spend more time making art and leave the marketing and agent work to those more qualified.

Has technology made a big difference in your art?
The internet has made it possible for artists like myself to work for clients all over the world so our opportunities are only as limited as we make them.

Is there a artist or person that has inspired you or your art?
Please explain?
I have been inspired by so many over the years but Claude Monet, Édouard Manet and Robert Bateman have remained some of my favorites.

Do you have a hobby or is it your art?
I enjoy sewing, woodworking (when I can find the time), baking bread, all kinds of artwork and gardening.

How is most of your art used?
Much of my artwork is used in advertisements and in items for resale such as T-shirts, greeting cards and wall decals.

How would you like to see your art used?
I am happy to see my artwork used in almost any fashion but it’s always fun to see it in a surprising way such as on a book cover.

Have I asked too many questions?
haha yes, I do believe you have!

Is there any thing you would like to say to the world?
I am very thankful to those who have used my artwork in their own unique way.

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