Names you should know: =Celairen
This Rising Stars series will highlight some artists who are developing good, strong photomanipulation skills and deserve your attention. Each of these artists shines in a unique way. This week, I am focusing on a fantastic up-and-coming Dark/Fantasy artist. =Celairen has been on deviantART for 5 years and has shown dedication to developing her skills as well as becoming an involved and active part of the photomanipulation community. I hope you enjoy the brief interview and feature and take a moment to check out her really cool and eclectic gallery.
Program of choice: Photoshop
How did you get into photomanipulation?
I did not know at first what photomanipulation is. At first I thought that everything would be painted, and have admired the artist for it. That's about four years ago. I wanted to do something like this, too, but I used to do just portraits and still lifes, painted with charcoal or pencil. It was only when I found out that the brilliant realism that some had comes through the photos that were used. And from that moment I was very interested to learn. Than I try, read tutorials and be so inspired by some of the great photomanipulation artists of dA.
If you click through the photomanipulation galleries, you will see that a lot of the art has the same themes. Where can manipulators find inspiration for new and unique things to create?
When I look for inspiration, I think back to the fairy tales I've heard or read as a child. There are so many fairy tales from different countries and even today they are again more popular than ever, if you only look at the many movie adaptations. Or I am dealing with biblical or mythological themes. Of course, this is done very often. Especially Greek and Norse mythology is widely used. A professor of mine once said in art is nothing more new. We dealing with old things, but we give things a new character and add to the tradition a new perspective. So look to your background, look to other artists and try to do something old, what is new.
How do you see your own portfolio? (How would you describe your art?)
I really do not a very homogeneous art. Each image is again completely different. Both in terms of technique and the theme and mood. I can not do for example a series of arts with similar themes and colors, because I am every time thrilled again to try something completely new. The only connection are angels and the genre choice. I am moving always in the field of fantasy and science fiction and I'm very fascinated by the surreal art.
You've come a long way and have really developed into a skillful manipulator. What has been the most frustrating part, and how did you overcome it?
The most frustrating part was the beginning. I had no idea how I could use Photoshop to built the results I wanted. Until I got to know the different tools and really understood how to achieve some effects, it took a long time. To this day I learn something new almost every day about Photoshop. The breakthrough to be really able to do what I wanted to, comes actually by the tablet. Before, I had actually hardly drawn, and must now get straight again. But only with the mouse I felt limited, because I always understand myself as a painter, although I still can not paint as much as I would like to. This did not mean a tablet is the only solution. I know artists who are gorgeous only with the mouse, but it's hardly easier and better for your shoulders.
What helped you most as you worked your way up and gained more experience?
At first I hardly knew someone on deviantART. However Sean (*AshenSorrow) and Sandra (*Villenueve) helped me a lot. But the person who has really important for me was Wolfgang (*peroni68). He has an incredible view and sees all of my mistakes. Without him I would never have come this far. I am very grateful that I can ask him to a new design or picture, because I know he will tell me honestly and fairly and what he thinks. Besides him it was imperative for me to work with others and to ask so many stupid questions about techniques and compositions. I think you only can be better, when you are curious about things and have this strong wish to get better and better.
Show me one piece of your work that you think is fantastic but doesn't have enough recognition. What do you think is great about it?
This work was supported by the 'Games of Thrones' series and the character Daenerys. She was at first an innocent girl that was married to a horse lord and then suddenly become mistress to an army of horsemen. After that is changing its character. I used once again a new technique to create the flair of an Old Master for the model. I have long worked with the airbrush tool and the smudge to get a painted impression. And I like different things in this picture as the above described effect, the dragon that wraps around a sword as on old shields, and the combination of a small but menacing dragon as well as the seemingly innocent woman that wears war paint.
Finally, what do we need to be doing as a photomanipulation community to continue to grow and evolve?
We are on the right way. I think we should all try to work together even more and trying to make Photomanipulation better known, by creating unique works. It is also important to note that our community could not exist without the stockholders. I think this means for us that we respect their work by giving them the credit they deserve. Because, at least for me, a large part of working is for finding good stocks, and I am more than grateful if anyone has done exactly what I had in mind.
Thank you, =Celairen!!