Each month the Renderosity community votes on The Renderosity Artist Of The Month [AOM] ... January's AOM is Angelica Sellers [KatandNamon]!
We congratulate Angelica for an outstanding collection of works in the 2D Gallery!
Who is 'KatandNamon' and how did you come by that username?
First, let me say thank you to the Renderosity community. You voted me in as AOM and this is an incredible honor, considering the outstanding work of all the nominees. I never expected even a nomination, let alone this result! It made the new year a fantastic one for me already, no matter what else might happen until next December. Big thank you also to my creative team, my online friends and blog visitors for their support and love. Last but not least - big thanks to ArtisticMindsInc, which was the first licensing place who gave me a chance to sell my work.
My name is Angelica, my artist alias is KatNKDA and related to NKDigitalArt (NK - Namon & Kat). I choose the username KatandNamon to include a very special person in all things I do. Namon is my soul mate, love of my life and best friend. The way he supports what I am doing, sharing my weird life, taking care of our online business and giving me the freedom and environment to work whenever I want to, keeping all daily stuff away from me - he is simply the wind beneath my wings. Without his love, support and understanding when it comes to my 'obsession' I wouldn't be able to work the way I do, sometimes up to 16 hours and more a day.
How long have you been working with computer graphics?
I first had an Internet connection in 1999, and after I got adjusted to it, I admired all the beautiful web layouts, which nowadays are so much more impressive and refined. But back then it was a mystery to me, how people could draw and paint with a mouse (no one was talking about pen and tablet in those old days, lol) and have results, which are so amazing. I wanted to know more, wanted to learn, joined many groups and communities, made friends and found help to point me in the right direction. In 2002 I received Photoshop as a birthday gift. In many months and even years to come, I learned to use it and also other graphics programs, like Paint Shop Pro and Gimp. It was fun, but I still couldn't paint or draw a straight line with the help of a mouse. Things changed as I had my first graphics tablet and finally a pen back in my hand. This was what I knew! This was familiar and I could get my brain to forget about the computer and just imagine a sheet of paper or canvas.
Do you have any traditional art experience?
Yes, I do. I loved to draw and paint as long as I can remember: acrylics, water colors, crayons, markers - you name it. Also crafting collages and working 'mixed media',which meant my parents were desperate about the mess I left behind and tried to restrict me to one room. If I didn't obey, the painting utensils were gone for a month (I always found ways to 'do it again.' For example, taking charcoal out of my grannies oven spot and using those on all kinds of surfaces to see how it looked, lol). With one word - my family wished nothing more than for me to stop!
As it came to my education, any attempt to go in the direction art was out of the question. I studied a few semesters in marketing, had many different jobs and was a good daughter, mother and wife. In my early 40's I probably got into the so-called 'midlife crisis.' I turned my life around, broke some bridges, left Europe, decided to live in the United States and pursue an art-related career and I knew nothing will stop me once I make that first step and break free.
Five long years of work, practicing, studying and sacrificing all that could distract me from my goal followed. I found a part time job in a kitchen, washing dishes and doing what no one else wanted to do, lol. This job wasn't bad. While I was washing dishes I let my imagination run wild with new ideas, daydreaming at work you could say. Coming home from work, my hands were not steady enough to draw, mostly sore and I was too tired to pursue my art work. Then I fell ill, lost the kitchen job and had nothing left at all. At my wits end, I sold my watch and it was just enough money to make it through 2 more weeks and I had a little time on my hands to work. This was the point where NKDigitalArt was born and I started selling elements for web design (what I still do, now these products are called 'scrap kits'). I learned to work for a dead line, since NKDA is membership based and a certain amount of elements have to be delivered every week. Additionally, I worked on paintings and drawings, like the ones in the Renderosity gallery.
What are you currently working on?
I am constantly working on new design elements, also on drawings and paintings. I try to fill my store with interesting products and also to release on a regular basis to ArtisticMindsInc, who is licensing parts of my art. I plan to work on a calendar project and a cat series in 2010, and I am always open for custom projects as well. I hope for lots of new opportunities in the year 2010 and I am willing to do what it takes to achieve a progress in my work and carrier.
What software/equipment do you use and why?
My computer is just a common one, nothing fancy about it: 2 gig workspace, 1.6 gig dual processor and a no name graphic tablet (which I plan to replace with a better one soon). I don't see a real need for high tech equipment, even if I would love to have it, lol. My favorite software is still Photoshop, but also Corel Painter (perfect for sketching) and Adobe Illustrator for design elements. Why Photoshop? Because I love the fine tuning of brushes in Photoshop, and it also works best with a tablet, even with a simple one. Corel Painter is another software I like, especially for sketches.
What is it that you like best about working in 2D?
I like the fact, that it is still my pen and me - not so much the machine or software. Even if I would lose the computer, I still would be able to work, one way or the other. By now I prefer to work digitally though, to have an 'undo' button is immensely helpful and it keeps my hands clean, lol.
What do you think your best piece of work is and why?
This is a question I cannot answer. I am at the beginning and the best piece of work is always the next one I create. With every piece, I learn, practice and try to achieve a progress in what I do. I am very critical about my art: I find 'mistakes' in every single piece, and mostly after it is posted. There are two images which are dear to me, because they are about two important 'events' in my life: my 'turning point' as I left home, and my relationship with art itself.
One is 'Rose Red,' which is about my struggle with art. While the main figure pictures myself, the environment, background and mood is about art. The mansion in the corner, fogged, almost surrealistic - this is where the ideas are, the inspiration, the 'source' of a new piece. It reaches out to me, entangles my daily life, sometimes my every thought and won't turn loose before I sit down and bring it onto my digital canvas.
Who, or what, inspires you, and how do you get your ideas?
I am inspired by music, novels, history and sometimes movies, but rather seldom. Music carries me away. I listen to it while I work, then a song gets me and draws me closer, a scene appears in my mind and I try to bring it to life with my little computer. I am very inspired by animals, especially cats, who are my companions since I was 5 and never left my life completely. All cats you see in my gallery had a special place in my heart and life, and sadly, all but one (Pete) have left me.
Another source of inspiration is my faith in Jesus Christ, as a born again Christian. I actually pray over every project and always find guidance or 'divine intervention' in the process of creating the new piece.
How has this online community (Renderosity) enhanced your work, relationships, and learning?
Renderosity sure made an impact on my work and learning. As I first learned about the community, I was amazed what can be done in 3D. I had to get that Poser and try for myself. As I found out that I loved most of all the post work on the Poser figure, and the 3D part was rather hard for me to accomplish, I took a break from Renderosity. I knew I had to work a lot harder, practice a lot more, put more time in it, before I dare post a thing again. What was absolutely amazing - I received encouraging comments on my 'work,' even if I thought it was the most ugliest piece I ever made. The community is such a caring one, and it is very unique in the scene. In 2008, I entered the holiday contest with 'The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe,' which is a mixture of image manipulation and digital painting. The community voted me in at 2nd Place and this was the most exciting day I ever had related to art (until yesterday)! In all the excitement I must have forgotton to even post this image in my gallery back then, so here it is again.
The first step to digital painting, you could say. This event was an answer to my questions and ended my search for a medium. I knew then, I would pursue 2D art. It is what I can do best and where my heart is. Thanks to the whole community for their support, comments and open arms, as I was ready to come back in 2009.
Do you have any parting comments, or advice for other artists?
It all depends on how serious you are with your art. If you want to make a profession out of it, here are some guidelines that helped me:
Never give up, no matter who tells you to get a normal life. Family can be helpful, but don't expect them to be. They might not understand why you do what you do, might not even give you recognition for your work, rather wanting you to get a 'real job.' This happens to many artists, and the best answer to it is success.
Art is a jealous lover and distraction will make her turn away from you. To win her favor again, you have to put a lot of extra practice in. If you want to be a professional artist, take it serious, even if you are the only one who does.
Take every constructive criticism and turn it into practice. Be open for it, and don't get upset, but see criticism as challenge. Come to Renderosity to get encouragment if needed, keep your self-esteem at all costs.
Be disciplined and practice every day, whenever you get the chance. Keep your hand muscles smooth, train your eyes, and open your mind for imagination. In other words - do the job, don't think 'I will draw this banana today or tomorrow' - sit down and do it, right away. Get in contact with other artists, seek their opinion, study hard, and practice some more.
Be prepared for a long and stoney road. Success does not come easy and many fantastic artists are out there. You also have to be a business-minded person, if you want to work professionally: good marketing is very important. Other than that, have fun with what you do. Personal style comes with enough practice.
Angelica aka KatNKDA aka KatAndNamon
We invite you to have a further look at KatandNamon's Renderosity Gallery!
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Artist of the Month is highlighting a talented Renderosity artist that has been nominated by mods and admins, and voted by the community. Recognition is given to this member for their collection of works for that year.
Since we only select one AOM per month, it is not about their works for that particular month. Instead, it is about highlighting a talented artist's works for that year, and they are recognized during that month.
To learn more about Renderosity's Artist Of The Month [AOM] award, and to view our past AOM's, please visit the AOM page, which can also be found on the sidebar under Highlights.