1) Please tell us a little about yourself first.
My Name is Jennifer Reagles, otherwise known as ~saiaii. I grew up in New York, moved to Texas and just recently moved again to Wisconsin. I work as a freelance artist and Director of Graphics for an urban magazine based in Los Angeles, CA. I've been on dA since 2004.
2) How did you start out with art? Which was the first (digital) medium you used and why this one?
I've always loved art and planned to go to art school after graduation from High School; I was accepted at Parson's and got cold feet so I never attended and majored in Counseling instead.
The start of my digital art career began several years later when I was employed by Excite! and part of being an employee required having to volunteer in their online chat platform. I was a chat host for the Help Desk where chatters represented themselves with "painted" (photomanipulated) avatars. I learned to create those with Paint Shop Pro 5 and soon had my own "paintshop" and avatar website where people could come have a tiny (106 x 120 pixels) digital canvas created for themselves.
3) What prompted you to venture beyond this medium?
I decided to venture on to a slightly bigger canvas and create "sigs" and wallpapers. The sigs (graphics that accompany a person's signature used in many online forums) were still photomanipulation, but as I learned more graphics programs, I began to combine 3dsmax, ultra fractal as well as some other programs to create very small mixed media graphics. I then began to explore creating wallpapers, which seemed like such a huge size at the time! I can say I've always been a digital mixed media artist as I rarely created a graphic in one program, and that still carries over to my work today.
4) What does Mixed Media mean to you?
Digital Mixed Media to me represents art that combines several graphic programs, very similar to the traditional mixed media category. I'm thrilled to have this category available on DA as most of my gallery will end up there! I still use a combination of different programs such as Paint Shop Pro, Photoshop, Painter, Ultra Fractal, 3dsmax, etc. for many of my works. Each program really has something different to offer me and I find that I end up feeling limited if I create something in just one program. For example, I'm attempting to learn Painter more but I still add light effects with abstract renders from 3dsmax. So it's not really a Painter project, nor is it right for the 3dsmax category either - Mixed media will be perfect
5) Which media did you use for your deviation Nerea? Why did you choose these specifically and which part of the deviation is what?
This piece uses several different programs. The background and mermaid was created in Painter, then I added several renders from 3dsmax: two that looked like liquid and one that looks like bubbles. After these were rendered in 3dsmax I imported them into Paint Shop Pro and used different layer blend modes. I then used some fractals created with Ultra Fractal to represent some of the plant life, in an abstract way. Finally I brought it back into Painter to create some final details such as the scales of the fin, small plants and starfish.
6) Do you have any tips regarding the use of several media in ones art is there something one should keep in mind when combining the art forms?
While I feel that it's very important to know the programs well that you choose to use in your digital art, don't be afraid to experiment with more than one. Some industry standards just don't fit for everyone. There are many programs out there to try... If you don't care for Photoshop perhaps try Paint Shop Pro, ArtRage or Photoimpact... You can't tell which one will fit your best until you try them.
Thank you very much for taking the time to answer these questions.