venerdì 23 settembre 2011

Digital Artist's Hard(ware) life... part 1, my story

 I started my professional career in the field of Illustration, Comics and Animation in 1980, 31 years ago. I used all sorts of techniques, China Ink and brush, watercolor, acrylic, gouache and more. Since 1985 I worked more closely with advertising agencies as an illustrator and visualizer, and it is just seeing how digital tools were becoming increasingly popular among my clients that I have begun to wonder what could be the impact of new technologies on my work.

Not that it was new for me: I had worked since 1982 on one of the first two Italian video graphics Quantel Paintbox workstations (Animazioni Elettroniche, Milan), so I can say I was one of the Italian pioneers of the digital image, but they were big expensive dedicated workstations, while in the early 90's the digital image was processed on PCs that anyone could possess at home and office.
The swiss designer Costante Domenighetti and I at the Paintbox, Milan, 1982 (guess who was the client). 

The turning point for me was 1995, with the release of new Macs (Powermacs), when the power of processors finally started to be effective (at least for my expectations) for painting on large images, and at the same time with the new version of Fractal Design Painter, version 5, with its beautiful tin box; this program led to a level of maturity in my opinion really "Pro", or it was like it for me, at least, because I could start to do the same things I used to do on paper in a digital way.
My first digital illustration made with Painter 5
This was very important for controlling colors and not to rely on printer's scanners, for example; a huge possibility of retouching and post-produce artworks and, of course, the possibility of keeping a copy of every thing I made; before 1995, 99% of my artwork went lost in archives, I could only keep published illustrations if I could find it (not possible for 6x3 meters posters, as an example): from 1995 I could keep every single drawing, sketch and Illustration I made. 
(part 2 will soon follow)

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