Trying new things, no matter what age can be fun and challenging at the same time. For instance going back to school to finish a degree I started many moons ago, was a bit scary. But honestly its also been one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever challenged myself with. Enter Dominic Saponaro, a friend and for this past semester my teacher too. I took Dom’s digital painting class this past semester at Moore College of Art and Design. Having never really learned or mastered the medium of digital paint, hey I was beginning to think the Wacom tablet on my desk was a hot plate or something, I was a bit nervous. From day one Dom forced us to face our fears of the tablet head on, giving us a big assignment out the gate. So I sat with my new friend the pen and tablet and tried to get to know her a bit. By week 3 I had the required piece to turn it, but I was mortified to show it with all these exceptional young women who have grown up in the digital age. I did survive that crit and was determined to keep learning. Most of my digital illustrations up to this point were done with a mouse, probably not the easiest thing to do, but I adapted.

green tara vs.1

This is the first version of my Green Tara

Dom is a wonderful teacher, firm, to the point and will push you to grow. and I am so glad I stuck with it. By the end of the semester in a few short 14 weeks, the tablet and I were friends. I even looked forward to meeting up with her to work on assignments and dare I say actually began using the the tablet and digital paint medium in some of my other projects. Project #3 was to create an illustration that could be marketed. I chose to create an image that could be used on on a wrap around book jacket continuing with my Asian theme. This time I didn’t hide under the table at crit time.

Book Jacket Illustration

Project #3 for painting class

All semester long I listened to Dom’s advice and kept that original painting of the Green Tara on my desktop, occasionally  revisiting her. We were given the opportunity to rework our images to have for presentation at our final critiques. So Tara and I  met often, late at night and through many stolen minutes throughout the day. I am happy to say that version #2 was a much better completed piece.

Completed Green Tara Illustration

Version #2 and final Green Tara Illustration

So I met the challenge head on, developed a new skill set and dare I say, had fun too. So no matter what your age take the opportunity to learn something new. Get out of that box and have a little fun. You never know what you are capable of accomplishing. while you’re at take a peek at Dom’s incredible digital painting on his website at http://www.swashbucklestudio.com . He has truly conquered the digital medium.

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