Gina Pitkanen, Heart of a Raven, Eye of an Artist!

Interview by Dee-Marie - Contributing Columnist

Gina Pitkanen, better known on Renderosity as Ravnheart, is an award-winning artist and an incredible photographer. Her 2D and 3D images have graced the pages of such prestigious publications as 3D World Magazine. Gina's attention to detail and her intrinsic creative nature has consistently made her a top vendor in the Renderosity MarketPlace. All this, and her enduring love story to fellow artist, vendor, and husband, ToxicAngel...makes Gina (Ravnheart) Pitkanen someone you have to know!

Dee Marie: Your images in the art gallery have garnered a large following within our community. When and how did you first discover Renderosity?

Gina Pitkanen (Ravnheart): I came to Renderosity after a friend saw my graphic work and thought I might like the artwork on Renderosity. This was back in 2002, and when there was still the "Renderosity Art Gallery Top 20."

I looked at the Top 20 and was blown away with what was being done with Poser. I had just started working with Poser at the time. Seeing the quality work that was being produced made me want to learn all I could about it, and add my own style to my Poser images.

DM: Your Poser art gallery postings are amazing, and congratulations on consistently being in the top echelons of the Renderosity MarketPlace vendors. When did you become a Renderosity vendor, and what was your first product?

GP: Thank you (embarrassed laughter). I became a vendor not long after I joined Renderosity...they kind of went hand-in-hand. I started working with Poser and I had bought the Gladiator Armor for Victoria, and I loved it. Yet, I wanted to try some different styles and textures with it. I created three different textures and used them in my artwork. I got such a great response from them, I thought I would offer them for sale on the Renderosity MarketPlace, and at least pay for my hobby. It soon became much more than that (louder laughter).

DM: With your eye for detail, it is easy to see why your MarketPlace products quickly became such a huge hit. To date, what has been your biggest selling item on Renderosity's MarketPlace?

GP: I think the biggest selling item I have, are the Heavenly Hair sets that I created with ToxicAngel. I realized that one of the main problems most people had with their art was creating hair. So I got with Toxic and we came up with the Heavenly Hair packs. We are planning to do some more soon...look for something a bit different than what we have done. 

Heavenly Hair 1- 4 by Ravnheart and ToxicAngel

DM: Your heavenly hair sets are my favorites. When did you first join creative forces in the marketplace with ToxicAngel (Janne Pitkanen), and what brought about the initial collaboration?

GP: Well the story of myself and ToxicAngel is a great one. ToxicAngel's art gallery was pretty much the top artist on Renderosity at the time. When I first discovered the Renderosity art galleries, I saw ToxicAngel's artwork all over the Top 20. He was the main reason for me to try to learn this great tool.

After I had been doing textures for a bit, he contacted me about my work, and we became fast friends. Later I had an image that I was having some issues with, and I sent it to him. When it came back to me, I was blown away with how he worked his magic on it.

We continued to do artwork and then later we started doing products. After about two years, I came to visit him in Finland. We ended up getting married and we will be celebrating our 5th wedding-anniversary this month (gentle laughter). 

© Gina Pitkanen (Ravnheart)

DM: Thank you for sharing your love story with us, it is very inspirational. Besides finding a fellow artist to collaborate with you, what other advice can you give members of our Renderosity community who may also want to sell their cyber-wares on Renderosity?

GP: The most important advice I can give, is when you create products, do what you love to do. That is, if you like fantasy then do fantasy, if you like Sci-Fi, then do Sci-Fi. Also, don't rush the creative process, or you may have a product that you are never happy with.

Before starting, get an idea of what you want to do. Though this may change as you are working, it's good to have an idea on what direction you wish your creation to go. That way you don't waste time and you don't get frustrated. 

Forgotten Tombs by Ravnheart

DM: Excellent advice. On the non-creative front...has the fluctuation of the US economy affected your Renderosity online storefront?

GP: Yes, sadly it has really hurt my income quite a bit. I now live in Finland, and use Euros, so my pay has been hit pretty hard recently.

DM: While browsing through your art gallery and MarketPlace storefront, I noticed that Adobe Photoshop plays a big part of your creative process, which version do you currently use?

GP: I use Photoshop CS. In my 3D work, all my post-work is done in Photoshop. All of my 2D work is created completely in Photoshop. I like my 2D work much better than my 3D work now though.

DM: Besides Photoshop, what other software is in your artistic arsenal?

GP: I mainly use Poser Pro, and Photoshop CS right now. I have Painter X and Vue as well, but I don't use them as much.

DM: I've always wanted to ask you, what is the story behind your Renderosity username, Ravnheart?

GP: Well, I am part Cherokee and have a great love for Ravens, so it's more that I have the heart of a Raven than having a black heart.

DM: I can't let you go without asking you about your winning image in Renderosity's 6th annual Holiday Contest. What was the inspiration behind your whimsical image of Santa? 

Christmas in January
© Gina Pitkanen (Ravnheart)

GP: Well, the image started out as a portrait of a friend. I had started by painting his face and eyes, and then, I looked up and saw him as Santa. So, I added the white beard and hair and then giggled to myself. That was the time the contest was going on. It was just one of those things that just comes together at the right time. Now if I can just get the artist of the month. (followed by playful laughter and twinkling eyes)

We invite you to visit the following links, featuring artwork and products by Gina Pitkanen (Ravnheart):

All supporting images are copyright.
Images cannot be copied, printed, or reproduced in any manner,
without written permission from Gina (Ravnheart) Pitkanen.

Get to know industry leaders and professionals
as they sit down and talk candidly with
Contributing Columnist, Dee-Marie.

November 24, 2008

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