Believe it or not, art and technology go hand-in-hand. They may be two totally separate disciplines, but these days you really can’t have one without the other.
For Georgia-based artist Amanda Makepeace, modern technology helps her not only find inspiration, but it allows her express it in so many ways. The talented Makepeace thinks of art as a “journey” and her approach and desire to create unique pieces is giving admirers sore necks from doing double-takes.
Makepeace didn’t start out on her journey with technology in mind.
As a child, I spent a lot of time dreaming up imaginary worlds, writing poetry and always drawing. Books were a way to escape and writing and drawing were ways to create new worlds. When I wasn’t doing one or the other I was usually lost in my thoughts. There’s nothing wrong with introspection. Introspection can be a source of creativity and inspiration. If we didn’t have dreamers, well… I don’t want to go there.
My earliest memory, the moment when I knew I wanted to create, was watching my mother draw. Through a child’s eyes it looked like magic when she would copy onto paper my favorite dinosaur. I yearned to be able to do that too and from that day I always had a sketchbook.
But as times have changed, the artists of today have had to make changes to the way they go about their crafts. Makepeace is no exception.
“I’m at a point in my life now where it’s interesting to look back and observe my journey as an artist,” states Makepeace. “The art I’m creating now is wildly different than the art I created five years ago. While living in London, I painted large acrylic paintings depicting natural objects, like stones and leaves.”
A Makepeace painting can even be found on the cover of a book. (http://www.devjavasoft.org) She also ass that she is now working in digital mediums 90% of the time.
Talking to many artists, they will tell you the game has really changed, and they had to channel their “inner-geek” to keep up with the latest trends. Even though Makepeace says she’s not a hardcore tech geek, I think she sells herself short, as you can see in an excerpt from my interview with her.
There’s no denying I’m a tech geek. Technology is my new palette. My baby is a Lenovo Ideapad, AMD Phenom Dual-Core Processor, 3.00 GHz. One day I’d like to add a desktop computer so I can be editing on the laptop and rendering in the other. Other essential tools include my Wacom Intuos 4 (Small), my Nikon Coolpix L120, and my Espon Artisan 710. Software I can’t live without includes Photoshop CS5, Mandelbulb 3D and Apophysis 7x. I’m also beginning to delve into Bryce, a 3D software.
Like any business trying to get their message out, the Silver Spring, Maryland native says “less can be more.”
“Social media is my marketing tool, but I try to follow the stealth approach,” says Makepeace, who now lives in Watkinsville, Georgia. “I have a large online presence, but I don’t shout about it.”
She also adds that blatant self-promotion is only about 10% of her social media activity. The other 90% is sharing her process, sharing her life, sharing everything else she loves and making connections with other people. Notice the word “sharing.”
Makepeace also shares in her blog. Her advice to others is simple.
“Be interesting, be fun and be real.”
She also says that she doesn’t expect to run out of ideas for future pieces anytime soon.
“The inspiration for my current, and growing, body of art is an accumulation of experiences in my life,” adds Makepeace. “There are moments in everyday life that give me inspiration, like looking up at the night sky or watching the moon rise through the clouds.”
It appears anything is fair game for this up and coming artist.
She’s read, both fiction and non-fiction, from Dune to Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time, but also grew up on Star Wars and Star Trek.
She became interested in astronomy after taking at course in University that was not part of her degree requirements.
“If all of those weren’t enough, when I was a young girl one of my older cousins came to live with us,” remembers Makepeace. ” She worked for NASA at the Goddard Space Center, on the Hubble Project.”
Looking to the future, Makepeace says she would like to branch out into selling and exhibiting at science fiction and fantasy conventions.
She’s also currently working on expanding her digital painting skills and incorporate other software, like Bryce.
Ending the interview, Makepeace said more is coming.