Artist Feature - ForestHymn

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Monthly Artist Feature with :iconwhitehorsestudio:


Periodically we would like to feature one of the many gifted Christian artists in christians.  This month we are featuring digital artist WhiteHorseStudio.  Her gallery is loaded with Biblical themes and gorgeous animals, all for the goal of sharing Jesus through art.  May her work "be a catalyst for other young people to give their best and their all to God, Who is worthy of it".







BEFORE WE START, WE WOULD LIKE TO THANK YOU FOR TAKING THE TIME TO DO THIS INTERVIEW! IT IS A GREAT PLEASURE. FIRST WE WOULD LIKE TO ASK, HOW DID YOU GET STARTED AS AN ARTIST AND WHY DID YOU COME TO LOVE DIGITAL ART?


Thank you in return, it is a pleasure to participate!
I guess art goes back to before I was born. My family has had other artists in it, including my mother. Back in our home in Venezuela, my mother noticed I drew constantly since I could hold a pencil. Seeing the interest, she bought art supplies: sketchbooks, color pencils, and markers- these were her gifts to me. She encouraged me, and I drew almost every day. Once we moved to the United States, computers became a necessity in our lives. I used Microsoft Paint, but it was very hard to control with a mouse, and had a pixelated appearance. Later on in life, after making a decision for Christ, I came across DeviantArt, Wacom tablets, and Photoshop. It was a revelation! Digital art offers incredible freedom, and aside from the up-front cost of buying Photoshop, it is afterward free to continue using (That is, previous versions like Photoshop CS4 - CS6. The newer “CC” versions require a monthly subscription.) It is like having a workshop with never-ending art supplies at your disposal! It also took time to learn it, but it was worth it!  



WHEN DID YOU BECOME A CHRISTIAN? HOW DID IT HAPPEN?


This would be a long story to tell! :phew: I’ll try to keep it short. I was born in a Christian home, my parents are Adventist, and they taught my brother and me about God since we were little. I always believed He existed. Unfortunately, I did not have a personal relationship with Him when I was younger. During my high school years, God began to call me in different ways. One of the biggest turning points that I remember was coming across a local Baptist TV channel. They were showing a program by Answers In Genesis, about dinosaurs. It really woke me up, and I got excited about God. This program answered many questions that had been in the back of my mind. Following, I began to study the Bible, and discovered why we believed the way we did. God became real in my own life. Following this search, I decided to leave behind a lot of things. I was obsessed with video-games - from The Legend of Zelda series, to Super Smash Bros, and other adventure games. At the time, I also used art to invent fantasy stories, and portray video-game characters. The hardest call from God to me, was to leave all of this behind, in exchange for Him. This is a story in itself :). After this decision was finally reached, He started leading me in producing art for Him.

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WHAT IS YOUR DAILY ROUTINE LIKE? DO YOU HAVE ANY HOBBIES?


My daily routine is very straightforward. The most important activity of the day is to begin by spending time communing with God, by reading the Bible, and talking with Him. If I miss out on that, the whole day will go downhill (His peace and guidance seem to go missing, or weaken. I guess this is because I’ve forgotten to keep Him in my thoughts). After that, comes everything else. Since I became a freelance artist, the goal of the day is to advance as much as possible in the artwork I’m making for clients. For exercise, I go on bicycle rides around the block. As a hobby, I enjoy nature photography, although that is a rare opportunity due to time constraints!

PLEASE TELL US A QUIRKY FACT ABOUT YOURSELF.


Maybe the quirkiest thing is that- I have a curiosity in botany and turtles. I have an aquarium the size of a bathtub in my room, with driftwood I dragged out of Lake Michigan, and plants growing in it. There are glass jars by my window, with terrestrial and aquatic mosses growing in them. Soon, I will also be taking care of a small type of aquatic turtle, of the species “clemmys guttata.” I guess this is all kind of silly, but it helps me to relax. Taking care of something else is a good change to sitting all day drawing! :heart: Sleepy Turtle by TheAnnelid

WHERE DO YOU LOOK FOR INSPIRATION?


My biggest inspiration originates in the Bible :). The main themes that surface throughout the Bible are fascinating to think about. They are truly, mind-boggling. Ideas can come from meditating on these main themes, or also by listening to online sermons. Some sources of inspiration for me are listening to sermons on AudioVerse.org, and also audio books like The Desire of Ages - which has been a book that has inspired some of the greatest changes in my life.



WHAT TOOLS DO YOU USE?


Pencil, pen, and paper for sketches or pen drawings, and a Wacom Cintiq tablet for use along with Photoshop CS5 and Corel Painter 11.

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PLEASE DESCRIBE YOUR TYPICAL WORKFLOW AND CREATIVE PROCESS.


After an idea has been “birthed” by a source of inspiration, the next step is turning it into a sketch. The idea may end as just a sketch. But if it is a particularly promising idea, it is very likely to be further developed at some point in the future. The most enjoyable part of the creative process is the freedom you have to make any scene. When this is connected with the Bible, the ideas are practically endless. The challenge is to sift through them, and once you pick one- “take one bite at a time.” There are countless ideas, but you can only make one at a time. The challenge is to stay focused on that one, and make it the best you can.



YOU SEEM TO HAVE A SPECIAL CONNECTION WITH ANIMALS. WOULD YOU LIKE TO ELABORATE ON THAT?


It began since I was a child; I learned to draw by watching the Animal Planet channel, back when it was more educational. By watching nature documentaries, and then drawing the wildlife, I grew up having a deep appreciation for nature, and especially for animals. There’s a lot we can learn from nature. Even though it is now blighted by the curse of sin, and death exists, there are still messages of hope and lessons to be learned in nature. I guess I’m also an animal lover : ) and imagine heaven will be full of them! Finally, God is the Master Artist, and you can see a profound love and care by watching the little details in the design of every living creature.

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DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONAL EXPERIENCE AS A FREELANCE ARTIST.


To be honest, I just began this year, so there is still a lot to learn! :D Jumping into freelance has been a bit of a frightening experience. Even though I graduated to be an illustrator, I sort of stopped short of taking my work seriously. But you have to have faith in God, and in the opportunities He gives you. Something tells me that all I need to do is work hard, dream big for Him, and attempt to reach those goals. All the results can be left with God. I wish I had some wisdom to give to another person thinking of freelance, but from what I’ve heard from other people’s experience, it’s about being passionate about what you do. As a Christian artist, that means being sure God is calling you to do this- then giving your full strength to reach the goals. It is very important to keep in mind, that whatever you do, it needs to have God’s honor and glory as its core purpose!

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ARE THERE ANY SPECIAL PROJECTS YOU ARE CURRENTLY WORKING ON?


Yes! Apart from a current client project, for the past 2 years I’ve been working on a large project titled “Eternal Redemption.” It is about the whole story of salvation: from the fall of Lucifer, to the work of Christ on earth, to the re-creation of the planet. It will consist of 30 pieces. It’s in progress right now, but still needs a lot of refinement before it is completed. The plan is to work in sections, and publish it on DeviantArt, one painting at a time! I'm excited about this project! :excited:



WHAT IS THE BEST THING ABOUT BEING A CHRISTIAN ARTIST AND WHAT IS THE WORST?


Wow... there are a lot of good things, but the best would have to be that when you make Christian artwork, you’re thinking about God, and studying His Word. :reading: The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 3:18, that by beholding the glory of the Lord, we are transformed into the same image! When you study the life of Christ, your faith is strengthened, and you know He is guiding your thoughts and work! You become a “worker” in His “vineyard.” There can’t be a greater honor than for you to give over what you have to Him!

The worst… hmm… I can’t see a worst!... There is a conflict that begins, though, when you turn over your work to Jesus. Satan is a real enemy Jesus warned us of, and when you work for Jesus, you will make yourself a target for his attacks. He’s an incredibly intelligent being, who will seek your downfall. He’ll try one thing to destroy your faith, if that doesn’t work, he’ll try another. I’ve had this experience in my life, where, just when I decided to make a project for God, there seemed to be an attack on different fronts going on. The worst I’ve experienced has been during the Eternal Redemption project, where I would get some really pointed nightmares, where… demons would try to terrify me within the dream. But I think, all of these attacks are just really pathetic last resorts for the enemy. If you hold on to Jesus, none of them will work. You can know that, if you’re making the enemy really angry, then you must be doing something good! But you must always work in the strength of Jesus, because we are nothing without Him.

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IN CLOSING, PLEASE TELL US 3 TIPS THAT ARE CRUCIAL FOR A CHRISTIAN ARTIST.


1)  If you feel called to give your artwork over to God, you need to study the life of Christ. He is the center of it all- from Genesis to Revelation, the whole Bible points to Him. He is every promise of the Bible, put into One Person, and the only way to salvation. “Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you” (James 4:8). Spend time studying His life, His Word- the Bible, and He will then fill you up. Once you are “filled up” with Him, then you can go and “fill up” others with Him.

2) :painter: by Bad-Blood If you have the desire to draw and paint in you- you have the hardware. All you need to do is practice, practice, and practice again! Learn from nature, and learn from reference. Experienced artists can draw from memory, only because they spent years learning from reference. Don’t be scared of using references! Eventually, your brain will start to develop a “3-dimensinal” visual library. This will only happen if you have used references for many years! Don’t give up!!!

It also helps to have an instructor help you progress- I’ve progressed further in my artwork, and am learning more, thanks to these tutorial videos by Feng Zhu, from the FZD School of Design. He works for movie and video-game companies- but the techniques he teaches can be used for anything: :bulletorange: www.youtube.com/user/FZDSCHOOL…

3) Start now! If you like making art, don’t wait until a future time to do something for Jesus. Now is the time! Use your art, at whatever level it is at. Grow and cultivate it by studying references, sketching, and learning from tutorials! Push yourself! Not for your own glory, not so that everyone “likes you.” You are of infinite worth to Jesus! Art does not define your worth - Jesus is enough! When you learn, do so only to exalt God’s honor and glory!

Finally, don’t compare your work among Christian artists. There’s a saying in Spanish that says: “In the land of the blind, the crippled is king.” Don’t fall into this trap. Compare your work to the quality standards of the movie and video-game world. I’m not referring to the themes the world likes- I mean the quality of the artwork made. We are trying to reach the world with the message of Jesus- not with their methods, but with excellence. Give your best to represent Jesus! If you think your best is small- give it anyways! But always strive to learn more, to capture the attention of this world, and once they're looking your way, point them to Jesus!






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levite's avatar
Another, outstanding Christian artist!!  Well deserved ForestHymn -- I agree with the rest, refreshing and TRULY inspirational.