As to begin, I think a little introduction would interest most of us. You have a quite detailed bio on your deviant page, but perhaps you wouldn't mind telling something about your self, for those who don't know you, or haven't seen your page.
Hello! My name is Sara and I currently live in a tiny cottage in deepest rural Wales, UK with my partner, Mikey and our three cats.How did you get to know about photomanipulation, and what was your motivation in order to try this genre of art?
Well, it’s a long story, but this year, from Spring through the Summer I had no internet access, due to an unfortunate incident involving a farmer's tractor and my 'phone line… the telephone company took months and months to get around to fixing it and even now, it's still somewhat intermittent and flaky. Anyhow, while I was offline I started buying magazines because they're just like the internet but made of paper, one of which turned out to be a popular fantasy digital art publication, and shortly thereafter I found that, quite to my surprise, I had developed a keen interest in visual art and particularly the digital variety. After a few mildly encouraging try-outs with various free programs, I splashed out on a Bamboo tablet and a copy of Photoshop Elements. There followed a series of bizarre experiments involving squirrels in bikinis playing beach volleyball, and also footballers in tutus (the less said about which, the better). After my internet came back, I started looking around online for inspiration and I slowly came to realize that what I had been trying to do was a relatively crude form of photo-manipulation. My searches led me to deviantArt, which I had been only dimly aware of before, and there followed a period of getting lost in all of the wonderful art that others are producing and also feeling somewhat inadequate. I tentatively posted a couple of my pieces online and received some lovely words of advice and encouragement from Ivy, which prompted me to continue and gave me the confidence and will to improve. The rest, as they say, is history!You have a very interesting and colorful gallery indeed, and I couldn't help noticing, that you have pictures of many different styles. Which style is your favorite - if you have any - and why do you share an affinity for that particular style?
I haven’t really settled on a style as such, but I do have a relatively fertile imagination and I’m naturally drawn to the whimsical, the unexpected and sometimes the downright bizarre. My ideas come from anywhere and everywhere, things people say, movies I’ve seen, books I’ve read and sometimes even from the weird dreams I have (must stop eating cheese at bedtime...)- I’m always on the lookout for a good idea for a ‘manip! I do believe I have a good sense of humour, although perhaps not everyone ‘gets’ me and I’d like to think that some of my pieces might make people smile... I suppose that’s what I’m aiming for much of the time.As everyone can see it on your page, you have challenged your self, for a manip-a-day month, which was successful and you managed to create 31 manips. I believe you deserve a congratulation from all of us, even if this was for your own improvement. Would you mind telling us, how the idea came, and after having finished your challenge, how do you feel about your improvement?
Really, it was to give me the discipline to overcome my minuscule attention span (oh, look- a bunny rabbit)... also, it had become apparent that I had such a lot to learn that I started to feel a little overwhelmed. After some thought, I decided that since I’m somewhat task oriented and I do like to have a goal to work towards, the best way to make me actually knuckle down and put the work in would be to give myself a challenge. I decided that rather than making perfection my aim at this early stage, I would do a piece of art every day, for precisely one month, which would serve to give me a clear idea of my progress and also to see if my enthusiasm would still be as strong by the end of it. I settled on a pattern of reading or watching a tutorial in the morning and then producing something from it in the afternoon or evening. It worked really well, my technique improved by leaps and bounds, although I sill have a long way to go, and if anything, I am more keen than ever to carry on with my journey.Do you have any special plans for the future as an artist? What will the next step be for your progression?
I don't have any special plans as of yet, but life is a journey and you never know what’s around the next corner. I'll keep on pushing myself to learn more and polish my technique and above all, not stick a label on myself - there are many different styles and techniques that I intend to try that I've not even attempted yet. I’ve only just scratched the surface so far, and I think that’s what’s so exciting! I think that eventually I would like to be able to design book covers or something along those lines and maybe more - who knows, maybe even a web comic? My immediate aim is to simply keep improving and really, when you think about it, what could be a better plan than that?Thank you for the interview. And here is a small feature of the manip-a-day challenge, including all the 31 manipulations that she has created during october.