ince the late 1970s I have been known in certain circles as an artist/illustrator who has specialized in science fiction, astronomical and new age themes. The following gallery contains the bulk of my artistic creations. Certain works have been published inside magazines and on the covers of paperbacks and hardbacks. This includes having been commissioned by Easton Press to supply cover and interior art for “Ring World”, by Larry Niven, and “Dragon Masters”, by Jack Vance. Regarding my academic background, In 1978 I graduated from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, with a BS in Art. Being interested in science and technology it was probably inevitable that I eventually encountered the computer science department where I was exposed to the art of computer programming. I eventually graduated from Madison Area Technical College in the same summer that I received my undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin. My MATC degree was an Associate Degree in Data Processing. The degree allowed me to quickly gain employment as a computer programmer and systems analyst. It was a convenient a way in which to pay the rent while creating the kind of art I wanted to create on my free time. For the bulk of my artistic career, I never really had to worry about the pressures of conforming to commercial art deadlines or to the whims of art directors. While this meant I didn’t necessarily have as much time to create the kind art as I would have liked to have produced the bulk of the creations I have produced have been totally of my own “editorial” creation. I must confess that during the first couple of decades of my artistic “career”, this economic arrangement I had made with myself, to be a computer programmer to pay the rent, occasionally gnawed at me. I fretted over the fact that maybe I wasn’t truly an artist... a professional artist, because the vast bulk of my artistic creations never came close to paying the rent. Somewhere along the line, I finally realized that this was a ridiculous predicament I had needlessly placed myself in. Very early in my life I realized I never, never, ever wanted to be a starving artist - as if being willing to starve in order to continue creating art would be the only way in which I could prove to myself and everyone else my sincerity as a real artist. Eventually I realized my blessings and slowly started to get over my insecurities. I had secured for myself gainful employment in another field I enjoyed working in: computer programming. And as previously eluded to, programming computers is an art! I should be so lucky! Fortunately for me my daytime paying occupation rarely stressed me out. It was simply a matter of working out a reasonable balance between my two “occupations”. It allowed me to create the kind of art I always wanted to create, and not what I thought I needed to create in order to prove to everyone else that I really was an artist. As to the evolution of my art technique, back in the 70s and 80s I created art the traditional way, with paintbrush and airbrush on canvas and illustration board. My preferred medium of choice was acrylic with occasional side stepping into oil and alkyd. I learned early on what most illustrators learned, that painting with water based acrylics was fast drying, and as such, convenient. Also, painting on illustration board was both compact and lightweight, making it easy to transport my creations to numerous science fiction & fantasy art shows across the landscape. One day in the mid 1990s a friend introduced me to a recent purchase of his, a WACOM tablet. It was a nifty little tool. Twenty seconds of fiddling around with the contraption convinced me of the fact that “drawing” on a computer screen was how I wanted to create art from now on till the end of time. The following week I purchased my first WACOM tablet. I never looked back. Regarding computer art, or more precisely digital art, the finished product is always a computer file. Typically one has two options as to what to do with such a computer file. The contents are either displayed on monitor screens, or it is destined to be outputted as “hard-copy” using whatever printing technology might be available at the time. You have to understand, it was my generation, the baby boom generation, that first experienced close encounters of the personal kind with these amazing little devices known as personal computers and art software. At first we didn’t know what to do with personal computers, let alone digital art software! Eventually, we learned what to do, spectacularly so. But initially, it was our generation that sowed the seeds of developing digital art, crude and/or simplistic some of those early creations may have been perceived by certain art critics. Anyone with a reasonable amount of talent under their belt now had at their disposal a whole new set of tools for the creation of art. And, oh, what opportunities for the creation of vision impossible to assemble via traditional means were now possible. The evolution of digital art has only just begun. - Steven Vincent Johnson
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All works were created by a terrestrial creature who goes by the name of Steven Vincent Johnson. Enjoy your stay. Please feel free to tell your friends about this place.
Steven Vincent Johnson