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DrTaJ Tim Johnson

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Tim Johnson has always had a fascination for historical and fantasy imagery, reading Tolkien and Asimov, and at one stage making sculptures ranging from garden gnomes to a full size replica of a knight. But, he says "I had never seriously sat and sketched art for arts sake" - until 11 September 2001. "I can remember waking up to the news reports on TV and thinking it was a film. After a few hours I thought 'Its getting a bit boring now'..." Tim wasn't comprehending what was happening, because unknown to him at that point, he had suffered a stroke. "I had lost the use of my left hand side, my speech and suffered from dysphasia (difficulties in using or understanding language)." To aid his recovery and to get his hand back under control he began copying images from story books for his daughter. "Two illustrators caught my imagination at this time, one being Victor Ambrus and the other Ian Miller. I tried to copy Miller's style with pen and ink, knowing that one mistake meant I had to start again really pushed me to improve." Soon, he began experimenting with digital art to speed up the illustration process, dabbling with PaintShop Pro and then Poser. As he became more confident with the digital process other software followed, though all his work is planned out on paper first. "I often resort to watercolour sketches to get down the essentials before starting work on the computer," he says. "My most valued piece of hardware is my graphics tablet." Now Tim is a full time illustrator with a varied client base of book publishers, ranging from fantasy to erotica and historical novels. He also posts regularly on Renderosity and other on-line galleries. "Fantasy is where my heart is," he enthuses. "Whatever the subject matter the fantastic is never far away." ImagineFX August 2006

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