1) Please tell us a little about yourself first.
My name is Phil Fensterer, a resident of Albuquerque, New Mexico, and currently I am a graphic artist for a sign company that produces signs, t-shirts, awards, band posters and other products. I also have a side business I'm trying to get off the ground I call Creative Schism (www.creativeschism.com) where I offer digital fine art, logos, cd covers, posters and even basic websites. I've been a member of deviantArt since December 2005.
2) How did you start out with art? Which was the first (digital) medium you used and why this one?
I started out drawing mainly because my entire family is involved in art in some way or another. My dad was a draftsman with great cartooning skills, my mom was into interior design and a great painter. My brother is a great artist/cartoonist as well. He even was trying to get a cartoon strip off the ground at one point but needed to focus more on his carreer as an enviornmental/civil engineer. One of my sisters is a fantastic professional pastel artist and painter. She has a website (www.margaretfensterer.com) which displays a small sampling of her work. I am and always was very proud of my family's artistic skills.
3) What prompted you to venture beyond this medium?
I never really went back to drawing and I started taking an interest in Digital Art. Then, five years after High School, I started getting into 3D and earned an Associate's Degree with a Concentration in Animation. I still didn't know what I wanted to do so I didn't really stay with it too much. I began taking more interest in Photoshop. I tried it for a while but nothing too seriously. Then, a little under three years ago I discovered that I could really get into it and began creating a bit more aggressively. Once I started seeing my results evolving into more complete looking images I began toying with the idea of doing it for a living.
4) What does Mixed Media mean to you?
To me, mixed media is taking any art medium and combining it with another to create something unique. For example, take a painting that I created, scan it in and mix it with a photo of an object or sculpture I made and then add maybe some 3D elements or objects I created using Photoshop or Illustrator. You can achieve results that may be impossible or very difficlut with just one medium alone. It can be very satisfying.
5) Which media did you use for your deviation Time and Effort? Why did you choose these specifically and which part of the deviation is what?
My image "Time and Effort" is a great example of mixed media. I wanted to create something original looking and experimented with different mediums. The background is a watercolor painting that I was trying out some techniques on. I then scanned it into Photoshop and messed around with the hue/saturation. I then drew the clock faces in Illustrator. I modeled the plant stems in Lightwave and rendered them, along with the floor, and brought them into Photoshop. I then used part of an image from imageafter.com to help create the "mechanical roots". I wanted a bit more complexity in that area so I modeled some gears and incorporated them into the photos and tried to make it look as if they were part of the same image.
I used Photoshop to add some extra textures, colors and lighting. It was great to see Photoshop bringing photography, traditional painting and 3D all together.
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?
The only advice I can think of right now is that you need to keep in mind when working with Photoshop is where light sources are coming from and color hues. I work in grayscale a lot first then add colors later. For example, if you take a photo of an object, make sure you match it's lighting. Also, convert it to grayscale and any mods you make to it are easier to incorporate.
Thank you very much for taking the time to answer these questions.
Note: In respect to the upcoming DIGITAL Mixed Media gallery I wanted to point out that fensterers work indeed belongs in this gallery because he uses different digital media to create them the fact that some textures or backgrounds are traditionally painted is not the criteria for putting it into DIGITAL Mixed Media.