About the artist
This week’s interview is with Lucy Dyer from the Isle of Wight in England. Lucy’s signature work is her dramatic contemporary portraiture, created by eroding and blending photos into the background with strong painterly strokes. Her inspiration comes in part from the images she finds on the Internet and is influenced by themes of protest and activism; leading her to produce artwork for several political comedians and musicians. Lucy is self-taught and has been making digital art for about 15 years; having experimented first with Paint Shop Pro, before moving on to Adobe Photoshop and also by experimenting with techniques she has learned from tutorials.
How did you first get into digital art?
Honestly? I think it was out of boredom and intrigue. I had a new computer and wanted to do something with it; beginning with Paint Shop Pro, before upping my game with photoshop.
Why did you choose digital art as your medium?
I can’t draw: simple as that. The one thing I wish I could do.
What artistic styles are you particularly drawn to?
It all depends on my mood. I like all sorts of styles – political, messy, minimalist, oil and so on; if it catches my eye, I am drawn to it.
Tell us about the process you use to make your art.
I search through loads of tutorials and images online and take my inspiration from what I see. With some, I do try and see if I can re-create the style in the picture; just doing it my own way. Most of the time, it is all hit and miss. And lots of practice!
At the moment, I have a thing for portrait artwork. I just leave out the eyes. It can give an image a totally different look and feel to a piece of art.
What inspires you?
People can inspire me. This might not always be in the visual sense; it might be an emotion – the way they have coped with something, or how they are doing in their own job and life. I am also influenced by the music I listen to while doing any art. Being in the right mood can affect my artwork, too, it can make for some exciting styles of artwork.
Of all your images to date, which is your favourite, and why?
There is a recent image I have made of comic and tv host Lee Camp called “Rocket Man”. It uses a few screengrabs from his latest comedy special. I love the passion he has in the work that he does. Be it in front of a camera with his tv show Redacted Tonight, or on stage in front of hundreds of people. His energy is infectious.
Which three words or phrases would you use to describe your work?
Emotional. Artistic. Portraits.
What interesting responses to your artwork have you had?
I had a message on twitter from someone who wanted to know how I made a particular piece of artwork; they were doing some school work and wanted to try and copy the style of my art. That was a proud moment for me.
Name three artists who inspire you.
Anthony Freda is just an awesome artist and person in general. I love looking at his work. It can either inspire me, fire me up or both.
When I think of the word artist, I don’t necessarily think of just people who do visual art; there’s music, tv, films, books, etc., so, for this reason, I have to say that comedian & TV host, Lee Camp inspires me. As I have mentioned before, the amount of energy, enthusiasm and passion he has for his craft is really inspiring.
If I had to choose a ‘famous’ artist, it would have to be Frida Kahlo. I love her quirky style, and the passion she puts into her work just amazes me.
How do you think you’ve improved as an artist compared to when you first started?
I was looking through some of my old pieces of artwork the other week and could see just how awful they were. So why do I keep them? So I can look back to see how far I have come, and also how far I have to go.
What advice would you give yourself if you could go back to when you started making art?
Keep at it. Persevere. There will be times you will want to give it all up but don’t. The people you meet, either in the flesh or online, are going to blow your mind!
What devices/equipment do you use to create your art?
I use a Dell desktop computer for all my art.
Which apps/programs do you use to create your art and which are your favourites?
The program I use most is Adobe Photoshop CC.
Do you use images from stock sites as well as your own photos and if so, which are your favourites and why?
I get most of my images through Pinterest or just by doing an image search.
And finally, do you find that people dismiss digital art as a valid art form?
Some do. It can be a little disheartening when you see those who can draw – or who use paint or anything other than just digital art – get loads of recognition, while your piece sits there gathering dust. I would love to be able to draw, but I can’t. Next time you see someone posting a piece of digital artwork, remember that they will have spent just as much time on it as someone who creates a Michelangelo masterpiece with their own fair hand. Give them some love and appreciation. They will love you for it.
Where to find Lucy’s work online
Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts and art with us, Lucy!