I have to admit my eventual disappointment in finding out that Rockwell used a projector and traced photographs onto his canvas. (I have since gotten over my prejudice, but had been scarred by years of elementary school friends falsely accusing me of "tracing".) I began to develop a less realistic style anyway, much thanks to my artistic mother whose constant critique that my figures were "too stiff" helped me move out of simple representational drawing and into a unique personal style.
That's me at four (with the bangs) next to my brother John who is also an artist and my sister Laura who is a banker.
Permanently inspired, I realized if I learned enough about writing and drawing stories, I might also be lucky enough to be allowed to do both jobs someday.
She also taught me how to make a girl's face from a cracked egg, a princess gown from a triangle and the side of a man's face out of capital "L"s.
In the early 1990's, when computers were just becoming popular, I got a job illustrating educational software for Jostens Learning Corporation. Our group of young illustrators were among the first to use the computer as a tool for drawing. Now I use a Wacom stylus that looks and acts exactly like a pen, but in those days we sketched with a mouse and only had 16 colors to choose from.
After working full-time as an illustrator and art director at various educational software companies, a book packager and a computer game company, I took the freelance plunge, supplementing my meager trade book income with textbook and children's magazine work for clients such as PEARSON, STECK-VAUGHN, HEINMANN, OUP, MACMILLAN, HARCOURT, CARUS, HIGHLIGHTS, GIRL SCOUTS OF AMERICA and many others.
For more discussion on Digital Illustration, please visit my blog at www.thedigitalpencil.blogspot.com.