What is your title, and can you explain what your daily responsibilities are?
My title, as it appears where things like that are needed, is Artist, Author, Teacher.
My first daily responsibility is to get up.
My work day starts by doing things like email, getting some job out or making necessary calls. The main thing is to get it all done so I can get to my work. At that point, the rest of the day becomes a blur. Until I have to cook dinner for when my wife gets home. After that, I usually go back to the studio and work some more.
What inspired you most to become a Photoshop artist and trainer? Why did you pursue this as a career?
I wasn’t inspired to become a Photoshop artist. Photoshop happened to come along and become my preferred medium. I have been drawing since I was 2. I have been an artist my entire life. Many other careers came along the road of my life but art has always been my passion.
I became a digital artist when I saw MacPaint on the Mac 128 in 1984. Since then I have grown with the tools. When I first saw Photoshop a few years before Adobe knew it existed, I knew this was my next tool and it has been so ever since.
What do you think is the biggest obstacle to pursuing a career in the creative fields?
In today’s market I would imagine competition. It is however, far easier to be seen than the days when I had to walk around lugging a giant portfolio.
With all the new versions of Photoshop what changes do you personally feel are the most exciting or brilliant?
I think this answer requires an entire book. If I had to narrow it down to a hundred, wait, maybe less. OK, just a few. The number one would have to be the Brush engine. I remember going to Adobe to see it in progress. I said I hadn’t seen anything that cool since PixelPaint. The Adobe guys laughed. It turned out my old friend Jerry Harris was working on the Brush engine. He and Keith MacGreggor wrote PixelPaint.
I remember the first time I saw Layers. Locked in a brightly lit room at Stanford University surrounded by multiple mikes, cameras and facing a huge mirror with people whispering behind it. I saw Layers in the menu and freaked. After playing for a while I remember one of my first comments was “why can’t I select more than one layer at a time?” Layer styles are way up there!
What Photoshop artists/creatives do you follow, and why do they stand out from others in your opinion?
This list would be very long! I am going to narrow it down to the main influences in my life. Richard Estes and Ralph Goings are two of my greatest heroes. They are both Photorealist. Much earlier, I was influenced by Maxfield Parrish. It was his use of saturated colors that captured my attention. I tend to brighten my colors.
What social networks do you like most? Which present good examples of Photoshop and Photography the best?
I subscribe to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Frankly, I don’t spend a lot of time on these things. I have enough work with emails! I’d rather spend the time working.
What is your prediction of the evolution of social networks? How do you think these networks will showcase artists and Photographers better in the future?
Social networks are a great place to get the word out. We have seen the impact on world politics. YouTube, Behance, the list goes on and on for the avenues for people to get their stuff out there. It is very exciting! The downside is, as I mentioned earlier, there are many others doing the same.
Puts the challenge on your shoulders to be better at what you do.
What predictions do you have for the future of Photoshop and Photography?
That’s a tough one! Things I saw in SciFi movies through the years that looked so cool but felt like “not in my lifetime!” are now things that were outdated ten years ago. I stopped predicting a long time ago because there are things in the works I can’t even imagine.
Rather than pondering what will be, I play with what I’ve got and anxiously await what comes next!
As for photography, I can’t tell you how many times I wish I had my camera with me. Today, it is attached to my hip in the form of a phone. Everybody has a camera now! The future is wild with possibilities!
Whether you are taking a picture or creating one from scratch, do it because you love what you are doing. Do it because the creativity in you needs to be satisfied. Do it because it puts a smile on your face and a warmth in your soul.