I was born in 1992 in Durban, South Africa. I never intended to be an artist. I drew a lot as a kid, but my teen years were spent mostly outside with dogs and horses. I didn’t have the time or desire to be inside drawing. However, while being snowed in, I picked up an old sketchbook in an effort to relieve some boredom. Drawing didn’t come easily, but I quickly became addicted to creating and seeing my skills progress. Since then, more days have gone by that I have drawn than days that I haven’t.
My focus on digital art began at the end of 2016. At this point in my life, I was traveling a lot and living outside of the US for most of each year. I was attracted to this medium as a way to create from anywhere and offer commissions to people anywhere in the world.
Quite a few people have had questions about how I work and whether my paintings are actually paintings or just manipulated photographs. Here’s a process video of me working on Kaiya the Malamute’s portrait. My approach varies slightly from piece to piece, but generally I work the same way on digital as I do with acrylic paints. I start with a blank canvas and use my pen and tablet to draw and paint just as I would on a real canvas. I use reference photos like any other artist, but no photographs are included in my paintings and I don’t paint over pictures.
Are there faster ways of doing this? Yes, perhaps. But often clients want a portrait that is the result of a combination of (sometimes bad) photos. If I chose to paint directly over the photograph, the result would not meet the client’s expectations. Also, often the references I’m given have a filter or are poorly lit. Using colors directly from the photo would not give my paintings the vibrant, realistic light that I enjoy. Therefore, I choose to approach my digital paintings in a more traditional manner, so that I’m never tied to a photograph. I love that this method helps me to build my skills with each piece I do.
If you want to stay in touch, I’m the most active on Instagram! Feel free to send me a message to say hello or ask a question.