Join date: May 3, 2021
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Most digital artists start through photography. The desire to make one’s photographs the best that they can be often leads to Lightroom and Photoshop. I have never been a photographer though. I have never even owned a camera other than my iPhone. My professional career before I retired was as an Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner specializing in Neuropsychiatry. So how the heck did I find my way to digital art?

From the time that I was a child I loved art. I colored with crayons, then drew pictures and eventually started painting. Over the years I dabbled in most of the traditional art mediums. Although I have no formal art training I have consistently studied, observed and experimented with art.

Then in the 1980’s Apple came out with their first computer. I saw an ad for a Macintosh which showed that you could draw pictures on it with a mouse and I knew that I had to try it. I remember drawing my first picture in MacPaint on my boxy looking Macintosh using a mouse that was shaped like a bar of soap. I laugh now because my drawing was so primitive but I was hooked.

Adobe Photoshop was rolled out in 1990. I recall loading it on to my Macintosh from the floppy disks that came in the software box. I also had the first version of what is now Corel Painter but back then it was made for the Mac by Fractal Design. In one of the early versions the floppy disks were actually packaged in a paint can rather than a box! Around 2001 I got my first art tablet which was a Wacom Intuos 2. I can’t deny it, I am a techie art geek. So of course digital art is the perfect form of art for me.

Over the years computers, art tablets, and art software have dramatically improved and become increasingly complex. I have endeavored to keep up with the technology and today I work on a high-end iMac running the latest operating system. I paint using a Wacom 24 Cintiq Pro. This has been an absolute game changer in terms of having complete control in making my art. My primary software consists of the current versions of Photoshop, Corel Painter, and Rebelle Watercolor. Occasionally, I also work on an iPad Pro with the Procreate app as well as a variety of other art apps.

In retirement I was finally able to start seriously studying how to make digital art. Over the past ten years I have watched countless tutorials and taken numerous online courses on making digital art. I create art every day. Although I currently use photography and collage in my digital art, my main focus is digital painting. My art style tends toward both photorealistic and abstract painting heavily influenced by graphic design principles.

I mention all of this because it explains how I evolved into the person I am today. I’m not a commercial artist. I don't show my work in galleries. I don't submit it for publication. I seek no commissions. I purposefully choose not to sell my artwork. I make art because I have a driving passion to do so. Digital art fulfills me. It allows me endless opportunity for experimentation and creativity. I especially enjoy sharing my art painting process and knowledge with other digital artists and I delight in looking at their outstanding work and learning from them how they approach their compositions. I have met and become friends with many digital artists from all over the world. I have written several tutorials on various aspects of digital painting which have been published online.

I am passionate about seeing digital art become universally accepted as a legitimate art form that is on equal footing with the more traditional art forms. I hope that I can help in this effort.


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Jill Johnson
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