Two weeks ago I whetted your creative appetite with my first Creative Feature – here’s my next amazing artist.
I first discovered Amanda Makepeace when digital art was something new to me, and my own attempts at digital art meant playing with pixels on Photoshop Elements! Amanda blew me away with her visions of space and science fiction landscapes. It’s been a pleasure to watch her work grow and she never fails to impress me. I have purchased Amanda’s work and been given permission to use her ‘Dragon’s Egg’ picture with my flash fiction story ‘Delicate Strength’. She’s an amazing Photographer with a regular monthly spot on The Shutterworks and she also blogs regularly at Téssera.
Amanda Makepeace – Digital and Traditional Artist
What inspires you?
If I’m honest, what doesn’t inspire me may be the better question. As a child I spent most of my time playing outside, wandering in the woods, creating imaginary worlds to play in with my friends and sometimes alone with my toys. My favorite movies from age 6 to 12 were The Black Stallion, The Neverending Story, Labyrinth, Star Wars and Alien. Nature, Magic, Fantasy and Science Fiction (with a dash of horror) can all be seen in my art from the last decade. Sometimes, things from every day life cast in a certain light will inspire me, sparking an idea that grows and spreads like frost on a window. My imagination does the job of inserting the magic.
Is your art planned or spontaneous? Can digital art be as spontaneous as other mediums, or does it require more planning?
I tend to believe nearly all art is planned. Ideas are spontaneous, but choosing colors, placement of figures, objects – a lot of thought goes into that aspect of art creation. This is especially true with narrative art, where one is trying to also tell a story. Even a still life is planned, whether it’s digital or traditional.
I put a lot of thought into my paintings. I will work on a sketch for a week, making sure I have a scene balanced before I begin painting. My ideas also tend to evolve. There can be many changes from that first spontaneous idea, to the sketches, and finally the painting stage.
I know you work with many different mediums. Do you have a favourite medium, or favourite colours, or favourite techniques?
Once upon a time, I would have said watercolors were my favorite. In 2011 I began having some problem with my hands. I suffer from an autoimmune illness, an arthritis that attacks my joints began interfering with my ability to paint in traditional mediums. I’m not sure now what made me try digital painting. It might have been curiosity, but whatever it was, it turned out to be a blessing. Painting with a Wacom tablet is painless and it supercharged my creativity. Even if I could, I don’t think I’d give it up!
What do you consider your best work to date – do you have a favourite piece?
This is a difficult question! I tend to fall in love with everything I paint, but there’s one that continues to standout. Fly Fast was painted last year and it still makes my heart smile. The full title is: Fly fast my friend. Go now. Do not wait for me.
It’s the story of a young woman sending her messenger owl off, with scores of other owls, as their village is attacked by a dragon. In the owl’s eyes you can see a reflection of the dragon. I think this painting will be a favorite for many years to come.
I’ve loved your latest embellishments on your digital prints, what are your future plans with your art?
Keep learning. I am truly still in my infancy when it comes to digital painting and illustration. One of my goals for the latter half of this year is to focus on improving my human anatomy skills!
Lastly, if you could commission anything for yourself, money no object, what would it be?
I would love to see some of my paintings become sculptures. A bronze sculpture of the ravens from my painting Stone of Knowing, and the magic stone, for my backyard would be amazing!
I’ve always had an active imagination and a love of nature and the fantastic. My creative journey began in childhood, thinking up imaginary worlds in the suburbs of Maryland. Since those formative years I’ve lived in the southern burbs, moved abroad to London, England (later the Dorset coast), and now call rural Georgia home.
I’m continually inspired by nature, myth and fantasy–emphasis on nature. I love the outdoors and I have a strange (and to some infuriating) bond with animals. I’m also book lover and comic reader. I may also be mildly obsessed with all things Marvel. When I’m not creating you might find me wandering the woods or fields, taking photographs of very tiny wildflowers.