Welcome to Issue 35!
This month we have a focus on getting value for your art; considering the tools that are low cost or free to use to create digital art as well as interviewing digital artists to see how they sell and make an exchange of value for promoting their art creations on-line.
Artists in particular are likely to be ‘skint’, as we say in the UK. But thankfully we live in a Golden Age of free and low-cost software:—
“In 2018 the big news was Autodesk’s freeing of their leading 2D ‘sketch and paint’ software SketchBook Pro. This is now completely free on the desktop, in perpetuity. Autodesk’s generous move was likely a response to the excellence of Krita 4.0, their free open-source competitor. Krita robustly cured the sluggish brush-engine that had dogged version 3, while adding a raft of must-have features — including vector export, a Dark mode and storyboard/comics production support, all wrapped in an enjoyably friendly Photoshop-like interface. Krita is now even a competitor to Corel Painter and Adobe Illustrator. The overcomplex Clip Studio (Manga Studio) and the simplistic Comic Life will also have to watch their toes, over the next few years, as Krita’s new comics tools develop further…. ”
(Subscribe for free to read the rest of the editorial giving a summary of 2018’s tools and resources creating Digital Art on a budget)
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We re-visit Chris to find out how he’s faring and hear about his new book.
VUE | PHOTOSHOP
“It’s important to not be intimidated by your own grand ideas. Sometimes they can be demanding and you might think that it’s something you don’t have the skills for. You should at least try and realize that idea. Don’t throw it away because it seems too complicated.”
Drew makes comic-books with DAZ Studio and sells them online. We hear how he makes and promotes his work.
DAZ STUDIO | COMICS
“Doing a comic means I need much more mileage from my backdrop sets, so I almost always have to edit, tinker, combine and rework. Luckily, vendors have started embracing construction sets and modular products that let the user build what they need.”
GENE RAZ von EDLER
We interview German wallpaper specialist Gene Raz von Edler about how he sells his beautiful 4K and HD digital wallpapers.
VUE | PHOTOSHOP
“… as a [DeviantArt] Community Volunteer I feature Daily Deviations to the whole community in a joint feature with my teammates; I also take care of the Wallpaper Gallery and as a voice of the community, I help with everything that is in my power.”
Also in Digital Art Live….
- OUR LIVE WEBINARS!
- 2018’s BEST GRAPHIC NOVELS
- BACK ISSUES INDEX
- MY STUDIO
- 3D REVIEW : LOVECRAFT
Part Interview text with CHRIS HECKER
DAL: Chris, welcome back to Digital Art Live magazine. Looking back over our previous issues, I’m surprised to find we haven’t interviewed you yet in the new run. I had to go back to our older title 3D Art Direct in which you were the lead interview in #38/39, June 2014). That was the first issue in which our new design values were ‘plugged in’, and you certainly made it special.
CH: Isn’t it insane how quick time runs by? The world certainly did change quite a bit since then.
DAL: How have things changed for you since 2014, as an artist? What were your most pleasing successes during the intervening years?
CH: I just recently made 3rd place with one of my artworks, in a contest held by CG Trader. That was totally unexpected and a great surprise. Especially because of the prizes! I now have the opportunity to gain some experience with a screen tablet [pen monitor?]. I also managed to strike a nice deal with Stardock for their Galactic Civilization game series. For the third game I was able to contribute a series of images. That was a lot of work but also fun. I tried out a couple of new techniques, to become more efficient. Aside of that I’m still very happy to see my work appear in magazines, books and all that. Maybe as a cover or something else. This will always feel special. I at least hope this feeling never goes away. For me it’s still unbelievable to see my work printed or published somewhere.
DAL: Well, we’re pleased to say you have the front cover for this issue. So that’s another cover for the portfolio.
DAL: How have you promoted your art and print sales over those years? What have you found to be most effective methods for promotion?
CH: The best promotion is to create some great artwork and to put yourself and your work out there. The competition is insane, and it will become harder and harder to make yourself a name in the field of digital art.
DAL: Yes, the world’s population of young people is booming. There will soon be about twice as many super-talented people in the world as there were in 1960. And all assisted by algorithms and software and the Internet, too. But that also a lot more people to sell to…
CH: As well as the competition angle, it’s also about the personal time issue. I’m freelancing and have the ability to take care of my social media presence. Not as much as I want to, but good enough. You need to feed your audience and keep them interested. The best way to go is through social media. If you also have a mainstream job and a family to take care of, it’s hard to take care of everything ‘social media’ and deliver a constant flow of new content.
DAL: True. Taking of great new content… or not… what’s the latest news on the Luminarium? As you’re a member of that illustrious group, could you give us an overview of their past activities in the last few years, and future exciting plans?
CH: Luminarium is on an indefinite hiatus right now. A lot of the member artists have moved on and don’t have the necessary time to contribute anymore. Which is totally fine but also a little sad. Things change.
DAL: Yes, I thought it might be something like that.
CH: However! Some members of Luminarium and a second artgroup called Cosmosys have come together to form a new group called Aurora. Projectaurora.art is our site and we’ve had two exhibits so far. Some cool and inspiring stuff in there. Go check it out! We’re currently preparing a
DAL: Great news, thanks. That’s the thing about the Internet. Turn your back on it for a year and whoomf… it’s reconfigured itself when you get back. Talking of constant change… software… has your secondary toolset changed since 2014, in terms of the plugins and additional software you use for your work? For instance, are you still using World Machine with Vue?
CH: I would say World Machine has gotten even more important over the past years. World Machine in combo with Geoglyph 2 — very powerful. These two will probably play a role in the future too. But now I’m also looking into GAEA. That’s a landscape tool by Quadspinner, the guys who created Geoglyph. It’s powerful enough to almost replace World Machine, at least in my eyes. But I also think that World Machine will always be a great tool to fall back on, if some special situations come up.