About the artist
Shane Maxwell was born and raised in Brighton, UK, where he also works. Art has been an extensive part of his life since a very young age. In his teens, he developed an interest in photography on a tight budget. His education and career progression have focused on artistic creativity. Shane’s abstract paintings are a direct transition to digital from his traditional canvas and paint days, using brushes in Photoshop to mimic the technique.
How did you first get into digital art?
My earliest exposure of digital art was in 1982, when I had my first home computer, a Commodore 64. The program was called Paint II Deluxe, it was more aligned to computer graphics than a full blown art package. However drawing with a clunky mouse was an exciting concept. In 1986, I upgraded to a Commodore 64 Plus 4 before my teens. When I started my career in 1990’s that’s when I entered the world professional art software such as Corel Draw, Corel Paint and furthering to what I use today, Adobe Photoshop.
Why did you choose digital art as your medium?
As an traditional artist using traditional art mediums such as watercolour, acrylics, pencils and inks, much of the time taken to paint became increasingly harder while I continued night classes or family life. Frustrated by the lack of time, I experimented recreating traditional art mediums such as oils and acrylics using Photoshop. It was an added bonus that I could return to my digital compositions at any time rather than returning to a dried up piece of paper.
What artistic styles are you particularly drawn to?
I like mixture of landscapes and abstract art.
What inspires you?
My emotive state of mind has been my main influence, I tend to use art as a therapy for stress relief. Often my emotions are a result of a hard day in the office or being affected by something in my personal life. Experiences can be both positive and negative, but I find my paintings on social media show how I feel from one week to the next.
What is your artistic motivation?
Currently this is publishing art for a social media audience. I eventually want to sell my art and am looking into the best platform to showcase my work.
Of all your images to date, which is your favourite and why?
This a very hard question, as I have over 5000 paintings on social media and further unpublished paintings which are unseen. However, to answer your question, I will choose my painting titled Haystacks and Windmills. It depicts farming life in the countryside and the reason behind the painting was to do with some very detailed projects at work, which were particularly complex, taking a considerable amount of time.
Which three words or phrases would you use to describe your work?
Prolific, motivational and inspirational.
What memorable responses to your artwork have you had?
Plaudits include: “What type of acrylics or oils do you use?”, “Beautiful, your paintings are wonderful” and “Total knockout”.
Name three artists who inspire you.
How do you think you’ve improved as an artist compared to when you first started?
I feel I have evolved through marrying up all my creative principles and I continue to evolve, to me art is a never ending journey!
What advice would you give yourself if you could go back to when you started making art?
Try and make more time for art.
What devices/equipment do you use to create your art?
Personal computer (Windows) with pen stylus and Apple iPad with Wacom Bamboo Pen Stylus.
Which apps/programs do you use to create your art and which are your favourites?
Adobe Photoshop, Corel PhotoPaint, Kai Tools and PhotoBlender.
Do you use images from stock sites as well as your own photos and if so, which are your favourites and why?
I do not use stock photos as I tend to take all my photographs myself.
And finally, do you find that digital art is often dismissed as a valid art form?
Yes, I have experienced this point of view very early on. On many occasions [people] often writing a rude comment about how digital art is a cheat. It’s pure ignorance, as I start like any other artist, with a blank canvas!
Where to find Shane’s work online
Thank you so much for doing this interview, Shane!