Tag: art

There are gifts we get in our lives that we aren’t aware are gifts at all. Small moments of wonder that go unnoticed for years, and then one day when we stop and connect the dots, we see how that one thing changed our world. This holiday season I’ve teamed up with HP and the new Spectre x360 to share how one unexpected gift changed my world and now it’s my turn to give back…

When I first began my life as an artist, my family gifted me my first set of paints as a little girl. Just a simple set of colors and a paintbrush helped me open my eyes and look at the world a little bit differently. I began searching for things to paint obsessively, which in turn made me rethink the most ordinary things. Twisting and turning the ordinary into something new and impossible with my imagination. Over time, that set of paints would continue to influence and inspire my life and eventually become my career. Looking back it’s easy to see, but in the moment I had no idea it would lead me here. It was something that already existed inside of me, but that one gift gave me the chance to discover what was within.

What I love most about art is that the mentality of it is to open your eyes and find the unexpected wonder in your life – to look at the world through your own lens. To find the beauty, the darkness, or whatever you are searching for and to tell that story through your medium of choice. I have always felt a strong connection to working with my hands… through paint and drawing and sculpture. I love the motion of working with my hands!

I’ve been thinking a lot about the beginnings of my creativity these days. I feel a shift coming on, and I think it’s important to look back and see where it all began. Even as a kid, your intuition knows so much more about what your art can become – much sooner than you’ll ever figure it out yourself.

Things have changed A LOT since I was finger painting in 1985. To be honest, I mostly resisted digital drawing a few years back because I love the ‘paint to paper’ feeling so much – but over the years I’ve played with it here and there and have grown to love it for different reasons. I realized it’s not there to replace paper, it has it’s own separate purpose. Lately, I’ve been playing with the HP Spectre x360, and love it. First off, the battery life is insane… in the best way. Secondly, I love that drawing is built into the device 100% with the Ink Workspace. You can draw on any image, your desktop, a blank canvas, create animations, etc etc etc! It brings you back to that fresh creative feeling like when you’re a kid… there are so many things to play with! These are the gifts and tools that reopen your imagination! Never be afraid to play.

Before I drew dancers… I danced! (Image of me and my mom below)

I’m partnering with HP to give back to the creative community, especially those with disadvantages. I’ve put together a workshop using the Spectre x360 at the Children’s Museum of the Arts in New York City for children with physical disabilities to help open their imaginations to out of this world possibilities! I was so impressed to learn these children already had experience with animation, so we’re going to create a short animated gif together and I can’t wait to share what their imaginations come up with! I’m creating some backdrops for them on the Spectre x360 to use behind their animated gifs, and we’ll photograph and gif images on the device as well. I feel like modern technology is such an incredible gift these days… opening a whole world for someone with one small device, just like my paint set did for me. I truly believe that life is how you think and look at it in the good and bad moments. Art has helped me see that and made so many things possible in my life. I hope to help give others the gift of seeing things differently… just like someone did for me.

#ReinventGiving

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Last year, I came across this video which I found to be incredibly inspiring (I’ve watched it a million times) . Not only because it features the work of Glen Keane, but because it displayed how real an artist’s work can be and exist within their mind. The act of imagining is pretty incredible in itself. I imagine many of the things I create in my mind to be real. To be able to visualize those imaginations on paper so that they can be seen by others is a powerful tool. But, to be able to physically portray those ideas within a 3D environment takes them to another level.

Explore my VR creations here.

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This past January, Google’s Data Arts Team invited me to San Francisco to immerse myself into a virtual world where I could create art within a three dimensional space. I spent a full day with the Google team, playing with Tiltbrush for the very first time. Stepping into a giant room covered in black drapes, I was handed the headset which was attached to a long black cord. Once I had the headset on, it was like I was in another world straight away. I had stepped into a dark and serene desert landscape, surrounded by 360º of distant mountains and a subtle starry night’s sky as I looked up over my head. It was a super relaxing virtual space. Everything felt calm, and very similar to how I feel when I paint late at night.

 

 

Once I had stepped into the VR world, I was handed two plastic controllers. I could see nothing around me in the real world, I was completely inside the virtual world. Once I had the plastic controllers placed in my hands, two virtual controllers appeared within my hands in the desert. There was a color palette and brush palette in my left hand, and a selector and brush tool in my right hand. They briefly explained how everything worked before I went into the virtual world, but from there they wanted me to fully experience what it’s like to figure out how to use a new tool. I think it took about 2 minutes to figure it all out. It felt more natural than I ever would have thought. I immediately began experimenting with the different brushes, line weights, opacities, and other tools. Instantly hooked!

 

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Over the next few hours, I began timed drawing exercises. 30 min sketches, 20 minute sketches, 10 minute sketches, etc. Within the VR world, my mind completely forgot about the real world around me. A scary but fascinating situation. The only thing snapping me out of the creation of my art were the occasional moments when I was tangled in the VR cording. At the end of each drawing, I would take the headset off to take a quick break or to let one of the team members go in and experience my drawing. It was the weirdest feeling to step out of the virtual world. My artwork felt very real… like I could reach out and pick it up. Each brushstroke appeared to be a three-dimensional form. As soon as I was out and back in the real world it felt as if I had lost something that was just right in front of me. Very surreal. I couldn’t wait to go back in.

I also found TiltBrush to be a challenge. It made me rethink my work completely. Of course, drawing in 2D is a completely different experience than 3D. Drawing a gown on a figure meant creating brush strokes all the way around the woman, so it appeared on all sides as you walked around her. It felt a bit like I was relearning to draw… in a sculptural way.

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I loved how physical Tiltbrush made the drawing process. Often, I’m stuck sitting at my drawing table all day when I’m working. In VR, to draw a star in the sky, I had to reach high in the air and physically create that star with my body. It was never something I really thought about while I was using it… it felt natural and intuitive. Unsurprisingly, by the end of 8 hours, I was incredibly exhausted when I came back to reality.

 

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To be able to fill a world around me with my work and imagination was an incredible experience. The future should be fun…

Explore my artwork and the work of 5 other artists. Experience it from every angle!

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As an artist, I’m constantly thinking about my color palette and how I can reinvent it as my work progresses. I’m most often inspired by color in ways that reflect emotions and moods. A painting’s color palette can completely alter what someone sees and feels when they look at it. HP’s Spectre has inspired me to use my color palette and lines in a much more minimal way. There’s something so incredibly stunning and calm about it’s lines and color palette.
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I’m obsessed with finding ways to use metallics to convey a sense of luxurious calm. A moonlit sky conveyed with midnight neutrals combined with the beauty of a twinkling night of sparkling metallic’s and whites to signify it’s stars. This color palette creates a sense of quiet. A calm, beautiful, night’s sky.

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I’ve also begun to think carefully about each line and brushstroke… is each and every line necessary to convey the image? To reinvent something I see through minimal line and color. I’ve become obsessed with minimizing my lines down to the bare minimum. It’s fascinating that often a single line can say so much, isn’t it? Striking and to the point… yet still contains that sense of mysterious luxury.

A Shadow Dancer created with one single line…

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Or a single copper-colored gown with a few simple brush strokes…
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Check out the making of HP’s minimal beauty here. How will you make every line, and every color count as they have? How will you reinvent your obsession?
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