May 2008 Artist of the Month - Deagol


Each month the Renderosity community votes on The Renderosity Artist Of The Month [AOM] ... May's AOM is Deagol [Keith Mackay]!

We congratulate Deagol for an outstanding collection of works in the Fractal Gallery!

This is cool. Thanks for nominating me and voting me in.

Who is "Deagol"?

I am a 49 year old Engineer. I have 1 wife, 2 adult children and I love being a grandpa to 1 granddaughter. I have a golden retriever tearing up my back yard.

How long have you been rendering/doing computer graphics?

I can’t remember exactly when I learned about fractal art. It must have been somewhere around 1996 or so because Windows 95 had been just released when I got my first computer: a smoking fast Pentium 60 with 16 MB of RAM. Someone at work told me about Fractint and I occasionally played with that for a couple of years, then I downloaded Ultrafractal.

I played with UF for a couple of years as well. All sorts of lights went on when I joined the UF mailing list. That’s where I really learned how to use UF.

Mark Townsend released Apophysis in conjunction with the Ultrafractal 3 release. Apophysis had me hooked for years, but only as long as it worked with UF.

With UF 3 came layer masking and, as I recall, Paul DeCelle was using that to make flame compositions. I noticed all of the plant-like shapes that Apophysis was making, so I decided to make a potted plant.

Apophysis was also good at making feathers, so I made a bird.

During that time I had a reef aquarium set up in my living room, so I decide to make a coral reef.

Planet TIA

Do you have traditional art experience?

I like photography, and a few years ago I played with astrophotography.

What are you currently working on?

My garden and some calendar images, after my day job.

Hummingbird 3

What software/equipment do you use and why?

I use Ultrafractal, Photoshop and Apophysis. Ultrafractal, because I think that it is the best fractal tool available, and Photoshop, because every image needs to be enhanced.

I have built several of my own computers. It’s time to build a new one.

Flowers 15
What do you think your best piece of work is and why?

I have no idea. It seems that whatever I was obsessed with at the time was my favorite work, but after stepping away from whatever I was doing for a time, my preferences change.

I was obsessed with flame compositions for a while. I like Hummingbird 3 the most out of those.

Triangle Inequality Average is still an obsession and one of my favorites is Planet TIA.

I spent well over a year working a series of flower images. I put the most effort into Flowers 15.

I like photography, so importing photos into fractals has been fun to do. Hibiscuuuus is a recent one of those.

My most recent favorite is Rainbow Garden.


Why do you enjoy working with Fractals?

I am not working on fractals nearly as much as I used to, but when I do I get lost in the process of exploration and creation. It’s like going to a good movie or on a hike.

Who/what inspires you?

My favorite “real” artists are Van Gogh and Monet.

I am inspired by a long list of fractal artists so I will not list them all, but I will say that Rick Spix [Rykk] has consistently provided lots of inspiration and encouragement over the years. Recently, I had the privilege of being invited into his home and I got so see the amazing canvas prints hanging on his wall. Judging from the beautiful house that he designed, I am convinced that he is an artist through and through.

As far as the “what” goes, I am inspired by mountain meadows on a summer day or a pristine beach at sunset.

How has this online community (Renderosity) enhanced your work, relationships, and learning?

Years ago, while I was active here, I made a lot of friends whose friendship I still value today.

At that time I was involved in discussions and debate in the forum. I was trying to understand what fractal art was and where I fit in it. I have become much less concerned about that lately.

I believe that the Renderosity Fractal Gallery has the best fractal art that any community site has to offer.

Parting Comments / Advice to other Artists?

Learn your craft. Fractals are fun and easy to make. Fractal art (whatever that is) takes some effort.

A few years ago, I was involved in a discussion about comments and how some people, like me, become obsessed with getting them. When that happens, your motivation to create turns from what you like to what you think that others might like. There needs to be a tipped balance between the two extremes, with more weight on what you like. The main thing is to enjoy what you are doing. That’s when creativity kicks in and art is made.

I think that it is important to get digital art into the mainstream by printing it and getting it out there where people can see it hanging next to traditional art. The Internet will not work for that. Get involved with local fairs or arts festivals. Digital art needs more “real” exposure.


Please have a further look at Deagol's Renderosity Gallery! 

Be sure to visit the Fractal Gallery, and also pay a visit to the Fractal Forum!

 All supporting images are copyright, and cannot be
copied, printed, or reproduced in any manner without written permission from the artist.

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 2008 page, which can also be found on the sidebar under Highlights.

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