A child’s paint marker was used in Urban Guerilla Girl II for the thick blue and red lines. Raphaël Vicenzi scanned them, and played with a few lines to build up the shapes of the woman
Raphaël Vicenzi, AKA mydeadpony (mydeadpony.com), whose work melds drawings of women with scanned watercolours and textures to create a gritty fashion style, agrees:
“[Working digitally] speeds up the process of creating an illustration that could be mistaken for something that wasn’t made with a computer.”
“I’m not very fond of purely digital works,” adds the Belgian illustrator. “[The digital process] allows a lot of creativity that would, otherwise, not be possible, and the organic part that can never be reproduced exactly with a computer has more life in it.”
For others, like Russ Mills (byroglyphics.com), using a computer is the only realistic way to produce what would have once taken months.
Dawn Gardner concentrates on how conflicting messages can be communicated in an abstract form in her visual interpretations of other poems
“I come from a background where traditional media was once the only option,” says Russ, who abstractly reprocesses disparate objects and images, taking inspiration from late American artist Robert Rauschenberg.
“Bringing as much real media as possible into the digital arena lets me get the results that would, otherwise, be difficult to achieve, or be incredibly time-consuming,” he explains.
“The main benefit is the degree of spontaneity that can be injected into each piece; combining unrelated forms often gives an end result that is totally unexpected and really helps to keep the interest level up.”
However, Russ also highlights the challenges of this type of work; how to combine the different forms for the desired effect, and knowing when to stop. He says that although he has a clear idea of what works for him, there’s often a “tipping point where things start to look crap”. That’s when it’s time to start all over again.
Dawn Gardner has documented the emotions that occur within certain time frames in her visual interpretations of segments of instrumental music
Mateusz Sypien (digi-mental.com), who primarily works digitally, but also has a strong attachment to papercraft, says it’s the overall concept that drives his creative decisions.
“Everything is based on a sense of style and design,” says Mateusz.
“When parts don’t fit together, they don’t work. I don’t force anything. One element may change position a couple of times, before it sits in its place.”
Ollie agrees, and says the task at hand often tends to dictate what forms are used, and in what combination. He adds that time can be the deciding factor of where to take an image, and what techniques are used to get there.