It’s hard to believe that over one month ago I had the honor of meeting with 11 highly regarded digital artists in both San Francisco and Los Angeles… it feels like yesterday! It was all part of Corel’s “About the Artist” event, which brought these incredible artists together to discuss their work, share their insights and get inspired. I think it’s the positive energy, drive, inspiration and passion they have that makes it so memorable.
I was completely awestruck by the event. I was able to meet people who helped pioneer the digital art movement. I witnessed some of the most incredible art I’ve ever seen, in person, and met the creators no less! And best of all it was incredibly fun because it was a group of upbeat, positive, fun-loving people that really enjoy their lives—both as individuals and artists.
When I initially joined the Corel Painter team in late February, I immediately reached out to the established community of Painter Masters. Among the replies was an offer from Corel Painter Master Jeremy Sutton to help organize and host a meeting of digital artists in the west coast region.
We graciously accepted, and by early summer plans were in place to hold not one, but two sessions where digital artists got to talk about themselves—hence the title of the conferences—”About the Artist”. The best thing about how these plans evolved is that both events took place in artist studios…again, thanks to help from Jeremy, both his studio in San Francisco (July 12th) and renowned artist Bettie Grace Miner’s studio in Los Angeles (July 14th) were made available to have a comfortable, open and inspirational venue to talk about art.
What we aimed for content-wise was a conference where artists talk about what motivates them, what inspires them, what matters today, and what matters tomorrow. We wanted to have a session where there was an opportunity for them to share how they go through their entire artistic process—from inspiration, through creation, and towards conclusion where they share and reflect upon what they create.
Each artist was offered to present in any way they wanted to—a slideshow, video, demonstration—whatever was most comfortable. We wanted to ensure the content would be as enlightening to the guest artists as it was to the Corel Painter team.
To complete the day, we also created presentations about the Painter 12.2 release (which nicely coincided just before the first conference on July 10th) and the vision for Painter moving forward. We also had catered lunches, and lots of snacks and time to share with each other informally.
As it turns out, the conference was a huge success—the event exceeded everyone’s expectations. Each artist shared aspects of their background, their artistic process, and key pieces of their work. We heard about what inspires and motivates them and in some cases even witnessed them creating art live! There was live portraiture, detailed art demonstrations, rich history of digital painting—even singing, dancing and laughter!
As they talked about each body of work, they shared how they relfect upon what they’ve created, how they publish and achieve success—and move forward to the next challenge, pushing themselves to new levels of excellence.
What we found as the two days progressed is that not only did artists learn from each other, but that they were also inspired by each other—be it a simple tip for doing something faster or a completely new process that others haven’t seen. Everyone was incredibly open-minded and receptive to new ideas and ways of doing things. No wonder these artists are so successful! Best of all we found they really enjoyed hearing about the latest from Painter (a few were using older versions and upgraded after seeing the new improvements) and hearing about the vision for Painter moving forward. Our hopes that the artists would find the event valuable were completely realized!
Many people made this event possible…so special thanks go out to Jeremy Sutton, Peggy Gyulai and Bettie Grace Miner for being such fantastic hosts. And also many thanks to Caroline Sauve, a colleague from the Corel Painter Development team who joined me for the trip, providing additional support and excellent presentations on Painter 12.2; all those from Corel who helped coordinate travel logistical and legal requirements, and of course our sponsors from Corel—Nick Davies, Rus Miller and Andy Church.