Thursday, November 29, 2012

Monika Holloway

Hello readers! Today we are featuring the artist Monika Holloway. While she doesn't sell PSP tubes, she is very talented in her artwork. As an art community, I thought we would feature non-psp artists as well. We are all lovers of art in this community. Very often we come across artists which we love the work of. This blog is for all artists and a chance to get to know them better.
You can visit her DeviantArt. Monika creates wonderful fantasy images with her artwork.

1) How did you become a part of the online art community?

I became part of the online community just over a year ago, as I started displaying my work on Facebook and Deviant Art.
After that I also joined Elfwood. It didn't happen all at once because for a long time I was hesitating, unsure if I should
display my work or not - I simply needed more courage to do it. But once I started there was no going back - the sheer
amount of positive feedback and nice comments I received convinced me it was all worth it.
People I met online - and I mean both other artists as well as my fans - have been extremely supportive, helpful and very,
very friendly. Their positivity and encouragement are invaluable

2) What does your artwork mean to you?

I couldn't imagine my life without it - its that simple. My artwork helps me understand myself and also helps me makes
sense of the world around me. Creating fantasy art lets me cope with reality in the way nothing else could. For me, there is
nothing better after a long, stressful day than sitting down with my sketchbook and letting my mind wander freely down
some enchanted forest filled with fantasy creatures. What can be more relaxing than that? For me painting is a form of
therapy, its the best way to share things I love with other people.

3) What inspires you in creating your artwork?

Anything can inspire me because I daydream a lot and always have my head in the clouds - but my biggest inspiration comes
from the Nature herself. Of course, I also have my "triggers" that make me want to create, to paint - those could be many
different things: a particularly beautiful piece of music, the smell of the grass, even flowers in my back garden. But
seriously - I think about art almost all the time and even if Im not painting or drawing, it's constantly on the back of my
mind. I've always been artistic, writing, drawing or playing one instrument or the other (Im a violin player by trade, but
never pursued it further after finishing school) but only after I discovered the existence of fantasy art I also discovered my
purpose in life.

4) How long have you been selling your artwork?

I've only started to sell my artwork recently, in October this year. I sell my artwork through an Fantasy Art auction group on
Facebook and also in my Etsy store.

5) How do you create your artwork? Is it by hand
or digitally? What tools do you use in doing the artwork?

I create all my artwork by hand, I never really worked digitally in my life and I don't pretend I understand digital work
because I genuinely don't. I enjoy looking at digital paintings but I lack the technical skill to create one. Plus for me art
wouldn't be the same if it didn't involve getting messy, for me it's just part of the creating fun.
To paint I use mainly Winsor and Newton watercolour tubes and pans and also hot pressed Strathmore illustration board. I
don't normally use any special, fancy tools - the only exception are my Kremer pigments which I absolutely adore (they are
water colour pigments in powder form, you need water to activate them).
My painting process is quite simple - first, I create a sketch which is then transferred to the illustration board. Once there, I
sometimes add or change few things, keeping in mind erasing at that stage is not the best thing, so I try to keep my graphite
lines light. With the sketch ready (and when Im happy with the composition) I start painting, usually working on the
background first (starting with the background helps me to establish general colour scheme in case Im still in doubt about
the colours at that stage). One painting can take me anywhere from a week to a month, depending on the size and my

6)As you have developed your style and artwork, which artists
have influenced you?

In October 2010, just over two years ago, I was browsing through the shelves of my local bookstore when I saw a Tarot
deck painted by an amazing fantasy artist - Stephanie Pui-Mun Law. I was standing there for almost half an hour, flicking
through the images, absolutely in awe. Then, remembering her name I purchased two of her tutorial books and a cheap set
of watercolours with only one purpose - I had to learn how to paint. And so it started. At first I just copied her (Stephanie's)
art, then slowly began to create my own artwork. Now, two years on, I would never look back.
Since then I've got a lot more familiar with fantasy art and discover work of many other artists, some of them truly
incredible (to mention only a few: Daniel Merriam, Toby Froud, Linda Ravenscroft, Amy Brown). Still, I feel that
Stephanie's art has made the biggest impact on me and its always going to inspire me most - it's always going to have a
special place in my heart, perhaps because if it wasn't for her I would never discover my life's biggest passion :)

7)Does the digital art community help artists become more well known
with getting their names and artwork more visible?

Of course it does! I think for a modern artist there is no better way of getting his/her name out there than through the digital
art community. We all live in a world dominated by computers, tablets and Internet, so it seems to be the most natural way
of gaining visibility.

8)What do you enjoy the most about being part of the online community?

Thing I enjoy most is the opportunity to share my art with others, also the ability to give and receive feedback from other
artists. People I met online - and I mean both other artists as well as my fans - have been extremely supportive, helpful and
very, very friendly. Their positivity and encouragement are invaluable, especially when I feel low.

9)What are some of your favorite art pieces which you have done and why?

I always enjoyed painting every single one of my artworks (the process of it), although I am never very fond of them once I
finish, because that's when I start seeing their flaws. Im also rarely pleased with the completed piece, just because Im such a
perfectionist (very annoying) and I am never entirely happy with anything I do or create. My favourite paintings are probably
"The Call", "Ophelia" and "Heart of the Forest" - maybe because they turned out very much like I wanted them to and most
importantly - I had lots of fun creating them.

10)Do you do commissions with your artwork? Are you open to ideas and suggestions with the art?

I've never commissioned a piece before, but Im always open to suggestions and ideas. I guess if someone asked me to paint
something very specific I wouldn't say no as long as it was tasteful and it wasn't too different from what I normally do.

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