About the artist

Photo of our featured artist, Joyce Campbell

This week, our artist interview is with Joyce Campbell. Joyce was born reared in New Orleans, Louisiana. The city has a rich history and is a cultural centre for music and arts, which, being genuinely interested in all of these things, suits Joyce perfectly.

Joyce started out creating art purely for her own enjoyment; her friends and family suggested she should show her works publicly, but she was skeptical. Having received encouragement from the artist friends she has made through the portfolio platform, Behance, she finally took the leap and displayed her images in a gallery. The show went well, with sales of her work and people asking when and where the next one would be held.

“People often expect the ‘tortured artist’s soul’ explanation of how I think of the ideas for my art. I know everyone has a different creative process; for me it’s like writing a song. The music and the lyrics come simultaneously.” – Joyce Campbell

How did you first get into digital art?

My journey into the world of digital art began quite simply by repairing damaged family photos, making sketches of pictures and doing basic overlays. Over time, my works started increasing in complexity. I would observe the work of other artists and attempt to reproduce the techniques that I admired. I began combining the best features of various programs to draw, edit and my pictures to create the required results in my compositions.

Why did you choose digital art as your medium?

I compose my works on my iPad; it is mobile and allows me great flexibility. The medium of digital art intrigues me, it allows for so many special effects. Also, if I make a wrong stroke, I can just hit Undo and try again.

Tell us about the process you use to make your art.

I usually begin by seeing something that inspires me; this could be an image from nature or a picture that I see. Frequently, I can see two seemingly diverse images and immediately know I want to merge them somehow. The process of watching an entirely new work of art emerging is exciting! At times, the process can be an altogether serendipitous experience, which makes it even more amazing. I hope that I am learning more from each new creation I make.

I use a combination of drawing, photos, overlays, and editing to create the effects that I envision in my final composition. Generally, I have a specific vision of what I want. Occasionally, however, I will hit a blend button that changes the entire appearance and I find that I really like the different perspective. I think that is part of what keeps this medium so interesting.

Which artistic styles are you particularly drawn to?

I enjoy all types of art and enjoy attempting compositions in various genres. I don’t want my works to become stale and feel that, by changing styles, I might be more inclined to see things from multiple perspectives and keep my efforts fresh.

What inspires you?

I am inspired by the world around us with all of its emotions and tragedies, along with the many faces, shapes, lines, angles and colours. I imagine this may sound a bit trite, but I feel that these things inspire all art.

What motivates you?

Creating is my motivation. If I were not drawing or painting, I would be composing music, writing, sewing, or building something. I love watching bricklayers, carpenters and stonemasons; that is art to me, I love the creative process.

Describe your style in three words.

I don’t believe that I have a particular style. So many things interest me. I hope that my art reflects my eclectic view of life and my joy in its diversity.

Name three artists who inspire you.

I can’t give three in particular as they are as diverse as my artistic styles. I greatly admire the Old Masters, although that may not reflect in my art. The Impressionists, and, of course, Picasso are also a source of inspiration; I do not try to copy their works but I feel that their influence can be seen here and there.

Tell us about any memorable comments or responses you’ve had about your work.

I have had quite a few comments that have touched me deeply; when I first began tackling the digital art medium, however, and wasn’t all that confident, an art professor told me that I took photographs and made art. Now, that is in no way an ill reflection on all of our talented and artistic photographers. I knew what he meant and had not looked at my work in that light; it has served as an inspiration to me as I have proceeded through my journey, travelling even further into the world of digital art. I know that the possibilities are limitless.

If you could only take two of your artworks to a desert island, what would they be and why?

This would be a very difficult decision. There is some of yourself in everything you create. Nonetheless, in the spirit of the question, I would probably pick Sunday Go To Meetin’ Hat and I’ve Got The Music In Me.

I chose the first because there is an entire heritage and culture associated with Black churches in the South. These churches have an entirely different feel to them. Life inside the walls of Black churches have been places of acceptance, freedom, and celebration. I have had the opportunity to share in a few of these celebrations and have very fond memories of them and of those with whom I shared them.

The second is a bit more about myself. I play multiple stringed instruments. Music has been an integral part of my life since I was a very young child. So, needless to say, it holds special meaning for me also. Neither is an especially one of my best compositions. My choices are based on the warm and special memories that they evoke for me.

How do you think you’ve improved as an artist compared to when you first started?

Mostly, I would probably find my first efforts quite amusing; I may also feel the same about my current efforts one day. We all have to start someplace, however and, hopefully, we will continually strive to improve our efforts. I certainly feel that I have much room for artistic growth.

What advice would you give yourself if you could go back to when you started making art?

I suppose the advice that I might give myself, even today, is to discuss technique more with other artists. It is probably a quirk of mine, however, to view it as a challenge to try to figure their methods out on my own. I would probably advise other artists not to take my point of view, and, in addition, I might try to take my own advice. ?

What devices/equipment do you use to create your art?

Mostly, I swap between Photoshop and Sketch, although I sometimes use a few of the effects of Light Express. I create all of my compositions on my iPad.

Do you use images from stock sites in your work?

I have access to ten stock photos from Adobe each month, so I do try to find some to work into my backgrounds, or for special effects from time to time.

And finally, do you think digital/new media art is not yet recognised as a valid form of art?

Digital art is accepted as a commercial format; I do, however, feel as though it meets with a challenge for individual artists who would their works appreciated for their artistic value. I had my first formal showing recently, with the sole aim of educating the viewer to the possibilities of this art form.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts and artwork with us, Joyce!

Find links to more of Joyce’s work in her entry in our Artists’ Directory.

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