Once upon a time, before the age of Photoshop and Illustrator, photographs were taken on film and developed in a darkroom, designs drawn on a sketch pad and the whole mess came together taped to some editors art board. There is and always will be a conflict between tradition and innovation. I can imagine how hard it must have been for the inventor of the pen to convince a population of quill users how wonderful and useful this strange new, unproven, device would be.
My first formal training was in High School, about 25 years ago. I took Art, Drafting and Photography. This was a natural choice since I had been sketching and painting almost obsessively for as long as I can remember. My teachers, both masters and freelance professionals in their fields, took an interest in me and I was soon stumbling along after them as an assistant from fashion shoot to Designers studios. For the next three years I followed my mentors on every job and assignment I could.
From the master photographer I learned how to take photographs on a variety of manual film cameras. Trained to develop those images in a dark room and perform techniques like dodging and burning and masking, old school. My mentor explained every philosophy and technique he could, often referencing detailed outdated methods we ourselves never used.
From the artist and designer I learned to appreciate Da Vinci, Van Gogh and Warhol while painting signs, creating P.O.P. displays and designing “Wine of the Month” circulars. Schooled in pre-press paste up board layouts and photo plate printing while I painted with pallet, brush and canvas.
Today I shoot on an Olympus D.S.L.R., manual mode with all the bells and whistles turned off in RAW format. The photographs are processed in my computer darkroom with only the slightest tone or exposure adjustment, and saved in the proper format and manner for its intended use. My illustrations sketched out on paper, scanned and redrawn in illustrator creating the sharp clean lines needed for the commercial market. I still sketch on paper, paint with brush and canvas and airbrush creations on a variety of mediums.
Creation and the Creative Process should be about respecting and appreciating the classics, those who have traveled before us. Explore and embrace the new, find the style of expression that fits the Artist that you are. Develop your own methods in the mediums that suit you. Find your place and grow!