Today I’m very excited to welcome Creative Marlene Cooper who let us discover her digital universe!
Digital Artist Marlene Cooper Interview
Please tell us a bit about yourself and your universe?
I was born and raised in Long Island, New York. I completed my B.F.A in Art Education at Adelphi University in 2012. After my undergraduate program, I relocated to Chesterfield, Virginia to teach art to disadvantaged youths in Richmond City. Although I enjoy teaching, creating art has always been my first love. Whether I’m painting on canvas or creating concept art digitally, expressing my imagination visually has always kept me grounded.
When did Art become a part of your life, how have you been influenced?
As a child, illustrative books fed my imagination. The designs captivated me in ways words never could. As I grew older, videogames, comic books, anime, and manga inspired me to create my own characters and stories. Two of my favorite comic artists were Michael Turner and Mark Silvesteri. I marveled at their exquisite use of line to bring their awesome stories to life. Anime and manga introduced me to compelling stories and unique characters without boundaries.
Tell us about your work? What are you currently working on?
I recently launched a line of apparel featuring my abstract work. I am currently working on concept art for a gaming startup as well an RPG app. I am in the process of completing my first children’s book, and that is something I am extremely excited about!
Were you always interested in art growing up, and how did you come to digital art?
Art has always been a mainstay in my life. However digital art has been a more recent undertaking. I began painting digitally in 2011, and I found it to be freeing. I was self-taught, as most digital painters are, and so I developed my style through trial and error. Digital painting allowed me to create vibrant pieces in a fraction of time. While it is not a replacement for traditional art styles, it does allow me to render concepts quickly and make changes without completely starting over. It’s perfect for working with clients on a tight deadline. I’ve seen some of the most stunning environments and characters created digitally. Some of the most stunning environments and characters I’ve seen were created digitally. I would love to see this art form integrated into the secondary art education curriculum.
Sometimes people don’t know that digital art is really an art. What would you tell them?
Art is ever evolving. There was a time when photography as an art was debated within the community. I believe that regardless of how the design is created, as long as it evokes an emotion, tells a story, or sparks an idea, it is art.
When you are creating—how much of it is instinctual or planned?
All my works start with a plan. Whether or not I stick with the plan depends on how I feel.
How is your art different from other artists?
Regardless of the imagery and the medium used, you can always see my hands at work. I do not use gradients to create value or shadows because I prefer to create those effects manually. My line and brush work are purposefully unblended. I want to connect with the viewer and I want him to see the perfect little flaws as they happen. The imperfections that are in the painting, add character to the piece. When I leave my brush strokes visible, the viewer can better see my creative process.
What’s the meaning behind your illustrations and digital paintings?
It depends on the project. I create what I feel at that moment. As I evolve as an individual, so does my work. I am not bound by social conventions, racial identity, political or religious beliefs. My work is innocent in its intention, leaving the viewer to decide what to make of it. I create what is beautiful to me and I want the viewer to appreciate that beauty… or hate it. There is nothing worse than a pretentious artist. The viewer decides what it means to them.
How has your style changed over the years?
Some of my early work was extremely dark and grotesque with a morbid quality to them. Now my work is much more vibrant with less blood and corpses. Sometimes I slip into my old habits and sprinkle some macabre where it shouldn’t be.
What do you want your viewers to take away from your digital art?
I want viewers who are unfamiliar with digital art to recognize that digital painting has a place within the world of fine art. A digital canvas can speak to you the same way as a traditional canvas. I want my characters and environments to tell a story that speaks to the viewer’s inner child spirit.