Out in the real world, we all have hobbies and interests in addition to the work we may be most known for. Here at Renderosity, our vendors have their own stories to tell. Things they do away from their products... special projects, awards, citations, or things of interest that most may not know about.
In an effort to better introduce our vendors to the rest of the community, we've asked them to tell us more about themselves, and share their stories. Rather than a straightforward interview, these are their stories, in their own words.
This week, we find out all about artist and vendor, Susan Justice, better known to the community as Sveva.
A little back history... I grew up partly in a small town on the side of a mountain in New Hampshire, but moved to Clearwater, Florida when I was about 11. I spent most days in the woods, hunting frogs and lizards, or in my tree fort dreaming about unicorns and fairies. To me, everything was magical. I spent all day in the creek or the lake, catching butterflies or fire flies. Life was good as a child, happy memories. Once we moved, I spent many days at the beach, growing up with my friends, fishing, and drawing. I found that I loved to draw, mostly fantasy characters from movies, cartoon characters, etc.
It wasn’t until I was in my early 20’s that I went to college for a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts. I loved art school, and for 2 years I studied drawing, painting, sculpture, design, pottery, even creative writing, etc. I was the only person to get an A in my drawing 1 class, and the only person to NEVER miss a day. I found a calling in art, but I wasn’t sure what it was, and after two years towards my degree I wanted out. I knew I wanted to do something with art, but at that moment I felt I didn’t need any more schooling for it. I had gotten out of it what I wanted, I started to disagree with professors, I had big ideas, sometimes my work would require an installation in the class. I needed to branch out and see what I could come up with on my own, not to mention I had a 3 year old at the time and it was getting hard to keep up with my school work.
I left school and I continued to work at an art gallery. I learned to create wire and beaded jewelry, I learned new methods of painting, and I started teaching myself photography. At our art gallery openings for artists I was sometimes even the entertainment, as I can also play the flute, tenor sax, and I am still learning guitar. I met a lot of artists from all over the Tampa Bay area, artists of all different mediums: painters, sculptors, jewelry makers, design, you name it. It was an amazing time for me, and I enjoyed every minute.
Eventually, I left the gallery to manage a small art sales company, and we did really well for a while. I later moved to South Carolina to pursue other dreams, leaving behind family, friends, job, everything but my daughter. We took a chance here, which was somewhere around 12 years ago. I have been involved in the art business for over 15 years, and many aspects of it. Shortly after my move, I found that I truly loved digital art & video games.
I started with photos, manipulating photos, painting over photos, and learning all I could about Photoshop. I invested in a Wacom tablet, I would paint all night, even when I was pregnant with my first son. I would stay up all night creating, or lost in Photoshop, or reading tutorials. I am a very determined soul, and I will learn all I can about anything I am interested in, which usually has something to do with getting creative! I tried many 3D programs as a starting point for painting, most of my work is a combination of many techniques.
I started uploading my work to an online gallery, deviantART, almost 10 years ago. At deviantART I was awarded seniorship, the Deviousness Award, and I spent 2 years as a gallery moderator helping to oversee the digital art galleries. I was noticed by magazines, I was interviewed by ImagineFX a couple of times, and appeared in a 2 page spread. It is an amazing feeling to be noticed and successful in your field! I was included in many publications, I created book covers, CD covers, magazine covers, and more. Possibly one of my most cherished contracts (which was several years ago) was between myself, my artwork entitled “Madame Butterfly” & Hasbro™ & Milton Bradly™ in a 2 year puzzle contract. Being published by such a large corporation for the masses was just a thrill to me, and I adore the puzzle I still have printed by Hasbro™ on my shelf. I also recently licensed out an older work for another magazine cover.
Eventually, I discovered I wanted to work more for myself. I found Renderosity, and I started off selling products very slowly. In the meantime, I was still licensing out artworks for covers. I signed a contract with my art agent, Art Licensing, who still to this day handles all of my paintings & artworks, selling them to larger companies, etc. for distribution on many tangible products. This part of my work has slowed considerably since I took up being a vendor at Renderosity, but I still enjoy painting, it is just more difficult to find the time these days as a full-scale painting may take me upwards of 50 hours to complete.
Since becoming very involved with being a vendor at Renderosity, I have dedicated almost all of my time to my creation of products for my store. I continue to try to learn all that I can, from teaching myself to texture clothing, to 3D modeling, writing tutorials, making resources, graphics, anything I can. During all of the time I have spent on Renderosity, I have realized that this is my greatest passion (aside from my beautiful children) – selling at Renderosity is where I belong and is my absolute love as far as the art business goes. I enjoy creating for others, I love to see customers use my work, I enjoy the friends I have made and the people I meet. I can bring my love of fairies and all things fantasy to life and allow others to enjoy it as well. It is truly amazing and I love my “job.”
As well as being a full-time Top Seller at Renderosity, I am first a full-time mother & wife. I have 3 beautiful kids, ages 2, 8, and 18. My daughter is newly engaged, and as many of you may know, she recently gave birth to my grandson, who was stillborn at birth. It was, and still is, the most difficult thing our family has ever endured, losing a child has changed us forever. Thank you for all the support many of you have shown throughout this difficult time in our lives. We will always remember the sweet angel we have, Sebastian Justice Adams. May God hold him in his arms, he was too precious for this earth. I have a guardian angel looking over me always now.
My middle son is diagnosed Autistic with ADHD & Tourette’s syndrome/OCD. It can be very hard to work at my desk on a daily basis, but I usually get it all done! I have several outstanding partners (Propschick, lilflame, Jonnte, and Wolfie, to name a few). I enjoy almost every minute of my job, and if I am not working or not with the kids I am either learning something new, or playing video games. I cannot tell you the countless hours I have spent learning to model, reading about one thing or another, practicing skills, all to make my work better and better to bring forth the best products and art that I possibly can, while looking after my kids. It is and can be a great struggle, but I do the best that I can and I have a wonderful loving husband who is also my best friend, who supports me and what I do 110%. Learning is the greatest tool I have, and I will continue to learn and grow as an artist and vendor. When you have a dream, let nothing stand in your way.
In the little spare time that I do get, after the kids are finally in bed, I enjoy video games like WoW, Skyrim, Portal, etc. At the moment we are playing Diablo 3 & Elder Scrolls Online. I love to be a comedian, I keep my husband laughing (and I don’t even mean to most of the time). I keep my friend Laura laughing, as I practice little stand-up acts on her – my family is a great topic for jokes – and if you cannot laugh at yourself and your life then what can you laugh at? Our family also takes several small vacations during the year to grandma’s house either in Colorado, or Florida. Someday I would love to travel more, and buy a boat. We enjoy fishing when we can in the Gulf of Mexico (on the west coast of Florida). I am also slowly teaching myself photography, I love to capture the looks on people’s faces, and the emotion you can get from a simple portrait. I love macro photography, flowers, bugs, etc. seeing into the tiny world that most never notice. Again, it is all magic to me.
Maybe sometimes I have my head in the clouds, but I think my imagination is huge, my love of life is big, and I will keep on going, creating, living, laughing, doing what I love, and loving what I do. People ask me where do you get your ideas? Everywhere. Inspiration is everywhere, from a little bug on a flower, to your kids, a movie you see, a passage in a book, your own dreams and visions, it is everywhere. My family & my art is my life.Thanks for reading.
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