About the artist
Mortimer Dempsey (the alter ego of Scott Stine) is a native of the Pacific Northwest, and has lived in Everett, Washington for most of his life. He has been an artist and art lover his entire life. Moritmer has explored and has had some (very) modest success utilizing traditional mediums for much of his life, but has been exclusively using digital art for the past ten years. Currently, most of his work falls into the modern art styles of surrealism and abstract art, with a leaning towards figurative photography.
How did you first get into digital art?
I began using computer art programs in the 1990s for my journalism and graphic design work at the time, and as I became proficient with such programs (particularly Photoshop) I started experimenting with digitally ‘cleaning up’ my collage and pen & ink work. Eventually, I started creating work from scratch digitally, and soon realized that the digital medium opened up a whole slew of possibilities that I had not previously considered, giving me more room to grow as an artist.
Why did you choose digital art as your medium?
Eventually, my worsening financial situation made traditional art supplies unaffordable, so I chose to devote all of my attentions on this new medium, and I still haven’t looked back.
What artistic styles are you particularly drawn to?
Although I was raised on classical art styles and comic book art, I found myself obsessed with modern art in my teens. My first ‘modern’ love is surrealism, which is still my primary influence, but I also embrace most other styles to varying degrees: cubism, futurism, art nouveau, abstract expressionism, et al.
What inspires you?
Art. Music, Literature. Cinema. Cats. Self-loathing.
What is your artistic motivation?
Of all your images to date, which is your favourite and why?
Impossible to say, as, like everyone, my tastes change, and sometimes, pieces we once thought exceptional don’t age well. I’ve included three of my current favorites from the last few years.
Which three words or phrases would you use to describe your work?
Aggressive, alchemical, incidental.
What memorable responses to your artwork have you had?
Far too many to remember. Everything from “This isn’t art!” to “You’re a genius!” Personally, I think my work and I fall somewhere in the middle.
Name three artists who inspire you.
How do you think you’ve improved as an artist compared to when you first started?
Any artist of substance will learn from both their failures as well as their successes. Subjectively speaking of course; what the artist deems failures and successes on an entirely personal level are usually far more important than what others think of their work.
What advice would you give yourself if you could go back to when you started making art?
To not spend the entirety of the 1980s devoting my life to being a comic book artist, as I pretty much sucked at it.
What devices/equipment do you use to create your art?
An outdated Macintosh desktop.
Which apps/programs do you use to create your art and which are your favourites?
A similarly outdated version of Photoshop.
Do you use images from stock sites as well as your own photos and if so, which are your favourites and why?
I use both equally but to varying degrees depending on the piece. Some are solely stock photos, whereas others use only my own photography. In most cases, though, it hovers somewhere in the middle.
And finally, do you find that digital art is often dismissed as a valid art form?
All of the time, and constantly. It’s funny how many people will dismiss digital art, because they feel that “anyone can do it.” They don’t seem to realize that people not so long ago said the same for modern art as a whole, and that it is just a tool, like a paintbrush. Yes, “anyone can do it,” but not everyone can do it well. I myself was not a fan of most of the digital art I saw being produced early on, but I never denied the fact that the digital medium is just as valid as any other.
Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and insights with us, Mortimer!