I bet many of you know at least one or two pieces from miskis's gallery.
Read on to to learn more about Carolyn and her beautiful artwork.
Tell us a bit about yourself. Who is miskis ?
Me, well my given name is Carolyn, (which I've never been very fond of). 'miskis' is actually a version of my long term online nick. 'kismet' but when I signed up for DA it was already taken and now..well miskis kinda stuck. Of the two I really prefer to be called Carolyn.
I am the youngest daughter of a single mother who is an amazing person. I am a self taught, freelance artist, mother of three beautiful children and wife to a wonderful, supportive husband. I use Adobe Photo shop, dabble in DAZ and Apophysis, and hope to in the near future expand to a more eclectic range of programs. I do commissions for everything from gift art to graphics for webpages and logos, but art for me really is fun, not work. Most of my art is inspired by books I have read, or stories I have heard. Written and spoken words create images in my mind, visions of other worlds and what if's., magical creatures and places. If I can take a viewer there, to that world., or make them feel something., anything., then to me, I have succeeded in making 'art'.
Your gallery is packed with beautiful photo manipulations. How did you get started in the world of digital art ?
Haha, Actually I discovered digital art in, I think, 1999 in a visual based chat program. People were represented by little 102 x116 pixel icon images that they would personalize with 'painting' and name tags... some where so very cool looking I just had to learn how to do that!! You can see some examples of them in my gallery The Little People The first graphic program I had was PSP..umm V4 maybe 5. Then a few months later my friend (and now husband) said " Try this." and gave me Adobe Photo shop 5, it was love.
Besides photo manipulation, do you enjoy creating any other form of art ?
Oh yes. My artistic interests are ever growing and expanding and though most of my digital artwork is a mix of photo manipulation and digital painting I also have a love of Black & White and Nature Photography, though I am far from a photographer, I do catch a lucky shot now and then. I write, bead, make sad attempts at drawing lol, I love messy arts like clay & plaster, I just made a sculpted bannana slug out of clay with my daughter for a school project, it was way fun. My son just got a set of wood carving tools so we are planning walking sticks and staff carving in the near future. Though admittedly since discovering digital art I have severely neglected the more traditional arts.
When you get started on a new piece, what is your working process like ? Do you start with a specific idea in mind ?
That's a really hard question as there is no set formula with me. Sometimes I know what I'm making, I have a set idea in my head. Other times I have a vague idea..like..ok..I want to make something with wings, and just go with it from there, and still other times when I just start, go with the flow and let the piece just evolve. I think my favorite pieces have come from just having a vague idea of what I want to do and let it just become. When I have a really set vision of what I want a piece to look like I usually just end up frustrated and annoyed trying to make it match exactly what I see in my head and it looses the enjoyment factor.
A requirement to create quality photomanips is a good stock source. Do you have favorite sources you use ? What are qualities you look for in stock?
Well thats a rock and a hard place. DA has some great stock providers and some, shall we say, not so great. *trying to be polite* Stock.XCHNG is a favorite stocking grounds, their search system makes it nice and easy if you know what you're looking for. Of course there is always my personal stash. Honestly if I had more resources right now, (or the money to pay for private, exclusive stock.) I would avoid other peoples 'free'stock all together. There is just so much hassle with rights, rules, permission, ect. ect. I look for stock that is not used in every other piece you see, though it's kind of fun to see what others see in the same piece of stock. Quality! I know it's not 'art' defined, but badly blurred, pixelated, 200x300px images are not useful people, don't bother uploading them! Size, bigger is better, 100dpi at the least, but please, please do not upsource if you're stuck at 72dpi! Pixelation is not your friend. And for me personally, for a focal point I wont even glance at anything under about1500 pixels, though for other parts it really depends what it will be used for. Like a key that will, in the overall image, be a very minor part a 500x500 image, if it's good quality, can and will be used.Creativity, pose, dress, I'm a sucker for hand positioning, strange as that may seem.Where and how the hands are have inspired pieces!
Your series inspired by the "Incarnations of Immortality" is a personal favorite of mine. Can you tell us a bit about it ?
It's love! When I was about 12yo my mother walked into my room, tossed a book on my bed, and said "You might like this." The book was 'On a Pale Horse' by Piers Anthony and indeed I liked it, loved it as a matter of fact. He followed it up with a series of books about the powers that be incarnated. IE: On a Pale Horse = Death, Thanatos Bearing an Hourglass = Time, Chronos With a Tangled Skein = Fate, Clothos, Lachesis & Atropos Wielding a Red Sword = War, Mars Being a Green Mother = Mother Nature, Gaia For Love of Evil = Evil, Satan, Beelzebub, ect. And Eternity = Good, 'God'. I own and have read and re~read the series many times and never tire of it.
When the art group I belong to Neosynthesis opted for Myth as the theme for our 17th art pack release I was hyped to begin with, just my genre'!! I started on the piece Beelzebub and had the thought 'Hey, what a wonderful way to not only portray the myths, but pay tribute to one of my favorite writers!' there began the journey into 6 of the seven incarnation. The pieces are really my version of his vision of the myths.War/Mars was the hardest for me to do, I still am not happy with it. It was one I had a very firm vision of what I wanted and it totally did not come out how I had planned. Due to personal issues at the time, I never finished "Good" and only did one aspect of Fate, I keep telling myself I will go back and finish when inspiration hits.
Clothos went on to not only received a DD here at DA, but is featured in the digital art book
Expose' 4 from Ballistic Publishing , and has the honor of winning the Masters Award for Fantasy, which I personally still can't believe! It is also wonderful because it holds a lot of personal meaning to me as well. Life is not an easy task at times and it reminds me to accept some things are beyond my control and to walk the path given with strength and courage.
What is your personal favorite piece in your gallery and why ?
Uhhgg, just one?!? As well as Clothos for reasons above, there are a few that hold a special place in my heart.
I adore all my mask pieces, a personal obsession. Unbreakable Me though in my honest opinion not one of my better works was, is, a healing piece. About a time that life had me beaten pretty badly, but not broken.
I Dance Wherever I Wish ~ The Freedom to do what we love, our passions, whereever and when ever we wished.(and I learned alot making this piece and learning is a good thing!)
I think my all time favorite is IF ~ It represents to me, the things in life we choose to do and see with human blinders on. What would we see if we, how would we treat the world if could look at it from anothers perspective.
I could go on because a lot of my art has a deeper meaning to me on a personal level but I want to let the viewer find his or her own. Of course there are the pieces that were done just for fun., to make something pretty with no deep though or veiled meaning,
Do you have any artists you admire ?
Many of them. Michael Parkes, Keith Thompson, Stephanie Pui-Mun Law, Michael Angelo Bounarroti, Ansel Adams, Olivia, Hajime Sorayama, anyone who can realistically paint hands is my hero! Anne McCaffery, Piers Anthony,. Mark Twain, Robert Jordan & Dr. Seuss. ehh..who am I kidding I admire anyone with the guts and nads to create and put them self out there. I admire the young artists who create and get told their art is crap and don't give up., just makes them want it and work at it all that much more.
What are your future plans ? Where do you see yourself and your art in 10 years ?
Ahh, the dreaded future question. Plans, well I hope, in the next year (or three ) to master both Painter and Illustrator and expand my toolbox. As well as a 3d program or two. Life conspires and I dont have as much time to sit and create as I wish I had. I like the idea of making a living off my art, we should all be so lucky, to live off of something we love and are passionate about. The idea of being 'famous' kind of scares me, the attention would make me crazy. I am a pretty private person so I have no grandiose designs there. I would love to design book covers ( reading and creating, It doesn't get much better then that!) or artsy cards., the kind you see at all the cool stationary and book stores or Saturday Market. That would be fun. But I'm really a slacker in the marketing myself department Design doesn't really hold much appeal to me, the technical BS that goes along with it. Art to me is free flowing creativity, I'm not sure how I feel about being told what to make.
Thank you Carolyn for taking the time to give us this interview !