Each month the Renderosity community votes on the Renderosity Artist Of The Month [AOM] ... May's AOM is beesknees!
Who is 'beesknees' and how did you come to use this name?
I am Kim Baker, full-time airline employee, part-time fractal artist and a good ol' Texas gal.
I have a hard time coming up with witty or cool screen names, so when I heard the term " the bees knees" years ago, I thought it a wonderful tongue-in-cheek name...I don't really think I'm "all that," most of the time I'm just wingin' it :)
How long have you been working in digital art?
I started with Photoshop about 6 years ago, but the learning curve was a bit much for me, so what do I do? I move on to Ultra Fractal, which has an even bigger learning curve :). I've been working with UF now for about 5 years.
What are you currently working on?
I am currently working on a few images that uses several of the Ducky/Talis formulas available in UF. I am infinitely fascinated with the shapes created with these formulas and I'm experimenting with various transforms (mapping) to further change the base shapes. There is nothing I am ready to post just yet, but I will soon.
Aside from UltraFractal, what else is in your digital toolset? Have you used other Fractal programs?
I will still occasionally open up Fractal Explorer, mostly to work the Talis formulas. I like the challenge of creating a one-layer image that is evocative or interesting. I really dislike the gradient editor in FE though and it's one of the reasons I moved on to UF, that and being able to use layers.
I have also tried Apophysis, but like UF, it is one of those I would have to take some classes to really get a good grasp of the program and I just haven't found the time to do it.
What is it about Fractal art that you enjoy most?
Unlike a lot of artists, I don't usually go into UF with a set idea of what I want to create. What I like the most about fractals is the exploration, the sense of discovery, the sense of wonder, if you will, what the changing of a decimal point, or the rotation of the gradient, or the zoom into a specific spot can produce. I love that "oooh" moment when I find an interesting area, and then I get excited about how I will build on that. I have spent weeks, sometimes months, exploring a formula to see what secrets I can find. It's very easy to get lost in this infinite world.
Are there any tips or tricks you would be willing to share with others using UltraFractal?
UF can be a complicated, daunting program to use, so the best tip I can give to anyone feeling frustrated on how to use it is buy Janet Parke's 3 UF e-books. These courses were invaluable and I would not be anywhere the artist I am now without them. Also, ask questions of the fractal community, most of us are more than willing to help.
What do you think your best piece of work is and why?
Seriously...that's like asking me to choose a favorite child, but I'll try. Actually, I have two:
"Mirage" - I love this one because I was just starting to explore the Talis formulas in Fractal Explorer and I found this spot. I really fought with the gradient on this one, it took me days to get it right. The gradient editor is not the most user-friendly and I was very happy when I was able get the softness I was looking for. I am also partial to the strong vertical composition in this one. I like that the textures aren't overwhelming. It also has the painted look I was striving for. To me, it is the perfect mix of shape, color, texture and composition.
"Cobar" - This was created shortly after finishing Janet's online UF classes and I hadn't quite started exploring the more abstract fractals I lean toward now. This is a work that I felt like I "got" the concepts taught in Janet's course. Everything fell together easily: the shapes, the masking, the colors and textures. It's also one of the first ones that I made a conscious effort to work on lighting and shadow. I thought many of my previous works looked a little "flat," so I really wanted to see if I could create a more interesting image with subtle lighting layers (I think used about 4 lighting and 3 shadow layers). I think it really pops. It's one of the first one's I felt I had created something special.
Do you have any traditional art experience?
Other than some high school art classes, no. I did henna art for a few years. I am mostly self taught.
Who, or what, inspires you?
The one person whose work inspired me to buy UltraFractal is Janet Parke. Her painterly, beautiful fractal works intrigued me right from the start. I am also inspired by Gustav Klimt's patterns and H.G. Giger's darkness. Nature and textiles are also of inspiration.
How has this online community (Renderosity) enhanced your work, relationships, and learning?
I can't say enough of how wonderful the online community has been over the years. I have met some really special and generous artists here on Rendo and have been given invaluable help when I asked for it.
Do you have any parting comments, or advice for other artists?
I would just like to say how surprised and humbled I am to be selected this month. Thank you very much for the recognition.
We invite you to have a further look at beesknees' 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.