When Brenda Meelker of the Netherlands received Photoshop Elements as a gift from her dad in 2008, it was the beginning of a new era – one characterized by a vivid imagination, visual poetry and a clear presence of strong light and bright colors. Today Brenda is a freelance digital artist and the mastermind behind Embrision Arts, which she founded in 2011.
I try to portray a world of beauty, emotion and story.
“I guess it opened a door to my creativity because I became immediately very motivated and passionate about making art,” she said of her father’s gift. “A real passion had emerged and has never stopped since.”
Brenda uses photomontage, digital painting and creative retouching to produce her art.
TH: How would you categorize your work?
Brenda: The overall category would be digital art, but the subcategory is photomanipulation or photomontage. I would rather just call it digital art, because there is so much more going on than just putting a few photographs together.
TH: What do you think makes good digital art?
Brenda: With photomontage it is very important that all elements are blended perfectly and seamlessly. You also need to make sure that the overall composition/quality of resources/use of lighting, shadows and the perspective of things etc. is done and used correctly.
It’s a whole process where you need to be patient and work very well with the tools that for instance Photoshop provides. If you can manage the above technique then you are techniqually a very good digital artist/photomanipulator. It doesn’t say anything about your creativity though.
If the determination, passion and hard work is shown in a creation then there must be a great artist behind it. Not every artist has a brilliant technique, but if a story or meaning is coming through at the viewer and the work is lovely to watch as well then you are good…no matter the medium.
TH: Could you describe your creative process?
Brenda: The first step is always to find all of the stockresources that are suitable with the story in my head. This may take several days and the story can take a slightly different course along the way. There is one main subject or meaning that remains important during the whole process of creating though.
After that it’s an extensive process by using Photoshop and sometimes the software Paint Shop Pro X4 as well. (for certain effects).The images are brought together by blending, painting and retouching. Taking –as mentioned before- into account the composition/perspective, lighting and shadows. My tablet is important as well, can’t work without it. It makes me very precise at drawing and retouching.
In the end a work is finished when I have a good feeling about the overall composition, use of colors, atmosphere, technique and most important…if my story is actually brought to life.
TH: Where do you want your career to go?
Brenda: Well, I hope to have done a couple of interesting commercial projects and be successful in selling my art in galleries. I have some interesting things coming up in 2013, so we’ll see. I’m curious to know If I will continue to grow as an artist. Both technical and career-wise.
TH: How do you keep yourself motivated?
Brenda: I’m always motivated to make art, because there is always a story in my head that needs to come out. It’s the lack of time that’s keeping me away from the art sometimes. I’m currently also working as a registered nurse, so that is keeping me busy as well.
TH: What advice would you like to pass on to our community?
Brenda: Work hard to realize your dream and you might get very far. In life, with art, with everything. Never give up, but take it one step at a time.
Check out Brenda’s Indiegogo campaign to partake in her first foreign exhibition in New York! Let’s cheer her on and help get the word out.