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Joey AK (blacksedan01) "Art is able to take you outside of yourself"

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So, I'm trying to discover new artists in the industry and I sent a call-out on Facebook to chat with some new faces. To my surprise, Joey AK answered and told me he's a member of Renderosity. So, please read and discover who (blacksedan01) is.

Tell me about yourself.

I'm a married father of 4 boys living just outside of Nashville. I'm a full-time property manager and semi-professional artist and writer, though property management takes up the majority of my time. I also draw and paint, but the majority of the art I create is digital. I am also currently working on an urban fantasy novel that I hope to pitch to a publisher I have a contact with in the UK this spring or summer. I write and create art under the handle Joey AK.

How did you get into digital art?

In 2007, I stumbled onto Daz Studio's website while doing image searches for Luis Royo's art and similar works. When I found out that it was a free program, I immediately downloaded it along with any free content that I could find. I figured that this was going to be a great tool for storytelling, plus it came with its own little online community. Over the years, I've bought some 3D models and textures, but most of what I've worked with has been the free content that's all over the net. I discovered GIMP and a couple of other image editing programs shortly after that, and then I was able to create my own textures and do some interesting effects in postwork. Except for a few tutorials I've picked up on various websites, I'm almost entirely self-taught. In addition to Daz Studio, I also do a little digital drawing on my phone and tablet using various sketch apps.

Why did you want to become a digital artist?

I never really set out to become exclusively a digital artist. I've been drawing pretty much since I could pick up a crayon, so it has been a part of my life as far back as I can remember. Digital art is just more convenient, considering that I can carry all of my art supplies in my laptop. When you live in a house with a wife, four boys, and a small dog, available space can be at a premium. Since I started making my own textures and saving scenes in Daz Studio, I can use shortcuts to create a scene in an hour that would have taken several hours back when I started. The most critical thing for me is the storytelling, so I will use whatever quick and dirty tool comes to hand, as long as I can tell a story.

What is it about art that you love?

Art is able to take you outside of yourself, put you into another place. It works on multiple levels; you can admire an artist's technique on one level, while you get lost in the story on another. Art is something different for everyone. You may as well ask ten different people what being in love feels like. You're going to get ten different answers. The cool thing is that all ten answers are going to be the right answer; you're going to find parts of each answer that you relate to.

What does art mean to you?

After my wife and family, it's how I define myself. After my loved ones, nothing else matters as much. It's my religion, I guess you could say. When I'm doing something at work, I'm thinking about a story or my next project. It's what I'm thinking about when I'm trying to sleep at night. I'd rather be creating than eating most of the time.

How did you become so passionate about art and why?

As I said before, I've been drawing since I could pick up a crayon. My mom recognized that I had a little talent and encouraged me. I started writing short stories in the second grade. Art was a way for me to put the pictures and stories that I had in my head out into the world where everyone else could see them. When I was a young child, I had some issues with my speech (my brain had a tendency to outrun my mouth), and I had to take speech classes. Writing my stories down and illustrating them was a way my teacher used to facilitate my communication. I found that it was easier for me to speak clearly when I was reading one of my stories out loud. The pictures I drew also helped me learn to create a visual narrative. I think I got hooked on comic books early in life because of the combination of stories and art. It's still my favorite medium.

What brought you to Renderosity?

I first learned about Renderosity on the Daz Studio forums. Some of the members shared content or new pictures, and I found the Renderosity community to be an amazing resource and even a place to meet some friends. I joined as a member under the name blacksedan, and kept that name until my old computer crashed and I lost all of my information. You could probably find some of my older work under that name.

How has art changed your life?

That is a tough question, because I couldn't even imagine my life without art. It's like asking a fish how water has changed its life. I'm only being slightly facetious here. I do know that the majority of my friends are highly creative people that I wouldn't have met without art, so my second family is something I wouldn't have without art.

Please follow Joey AK on Twitter: @TheRealJoeyAK

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