Featured Artist for the Week – Ana CruzJul 05
Please tell us a brief info about yourself:
My name is Ana Cruz and I’m from Évora, Portugal. For almost 8 years now that I live in the Northern part of the country in a beautiful city called Oporto.
Tell us about your humble beginnings, When did you you first realized that you wanted to be an artist?
I’ve always had a passion for poetry and literature. I always felt a nerd about books, romances, poetry and everything that I could read that could take me into a different world. By now you must be realizing that I’m not very fond of reality.
In University I soon discovered that the aesthetics meaning of objects and everything around me was very important. It was time to change again.
After University, where I got my Portuguese and English degree, I decided to dive into Aesthetics, getting a degree in Cosmetology and, a specialization in professional makeup and special effects for theatre and cinema. By this time I felt that part of me was completed. I started to work as a makeup artist up to the present days.
Even so, I felt that something was still missing. I needed a stronger concept of art and, that’s when I found out the world of photo manipulation. I instantly fell in love with it. With the help of Tutorials and Photoshop, I soon developed my photo manipulation skills. I still have a long path ahead of me but every new day I want to learn more and be better in what I do.
Now I’m addicted to share my emotions and the beauty of my dreams, whether their colorful or dark, through my images, my words and my facial work.
All combined , they are my drug, my yoga, the air that I breathe. To take that from me, is to kill my inner self.
What are your tools of the trade: mouse, tablet, brush or pen and ink or pencil? and why?
I work with Photoshop (started on version 7 up to CS3). I also use a Wacom tablet and, of course, my faithful computer; without it, nothing could be possible.
Now that I’ve recently gave myself to the photography world, I use a Sony DSC-H5 and a tripod. The camera is not the best I know, but, as soon as I can afford, I’m planing on buying a Canon 40D. On the software part I usually edit my photos with Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Lightroom.
Who or what gives you inspiration?
I get some inspiration from other Artists on deviantArt. I must say that my biggest inspiration is =Lady-Dementia. I am completely in love with her work. Above that, my biggest inspiration comes from my own feelings and states of mind. I create secret and inner worlds where anything can happen. All the pieces I create have a part of myself, of my life experiences and my emotions.
Is your artistic background self-taught or did you go to college to study?
As I told on a previous question, all me knowledge is self-taught. I must say that I’m very proud of myself because I like my work and I believe it has some quality. I like to use my own experience to encourage other artists who are beginning and say that nothing is impossible. We just need to wish for this, work hard and believe in ourselves.
How do you keep “fresh” within your industry?
On deviantArt (the gallery where I expose all my Artistic works) it’s easy to follow all the trends because it’s a very famous website and many famous worldwide artists share their art with everyone over there.
Anyway, I always try to keep up with everything by visiting many online (and not online)galleries, websites, magazines, etc.
What are some of your current projects?
Some of them are still a secret and I can’t talk about them. I’m also working on a book and on some graphic design for t-shirts. Despite that, I’m working on my resources available on deviatnArt and my photoshop Tutorials.
Which of your works are you the most proud of? And why?
In a general way I’m proud of my photographic work because I’m still a newbie but people are already giving me positive feedback. That is always encouraging for me. On my digital art, “Lullaby of death” will be forever in my heart because it’s dedicated to my aunt who passed away and, “For when you sleep, my love” because it was the first time I draw almost all her hair, instead of using brushes. I’m proud of the way it turned out and, in a general way, it’s one of my favorite works, I find it beautiful.
Are there any areas, techniques, mediums, projects in your field that you have yet to try?
Yes, I want to expand my knowledge in vectors because it will be needed for my T-shirts project and, I also want to expand my knowledge and practice in digital painting. I’m just starting by drawing hair but, I hope to do more (and better) in the future.
Of course I must assimilate more information about photography techniques; that’s where I find more difficulties.
What do you do to keep yourself motivated and avoid burn-out?
I honestly don’t need to do much to keep myself motivated. I love what I do.i can spend a whole day creating new pieces and, sometimes the ideas just keep flowing. The fact that I see my improvements day by day and everyone’s positive feedback is always a major encouragement and motivation to never stop.
When you’re not in front of your canvas or monitor, how do you spend most of your free time?
I do so many things. In my opinion and, despite what I’ve said before, I don’t think it’s healthy to stay a whole day indoors in front of the computer. I love to take a walk and be in contact with nature and the ocean.
here on my city there’s a beautiful and huge garden where I love to spend my afternoons. Luckily, I also leave near the ocean so, it’s easy for me to take a walk along the beach.
I feel lucky also because I have a loving boyfriend and a big group of friend so, we hang out a lot at night; it’s always a fun time to be with them.
I also love to read a good book and cinema; I’m a popcorn addict.
and finally, What advices/tips can you give to the novice designers/ illustrators out there?
Like I said earlier, nothing is impossible. Take a look at me. The first I saw photoshop, I didn’t understood anything about it but, I got the strength and belief in myself to start creating. Look where it got me.
Be strong, practice a lot, devour the most tutorials you can and never loose faith in yourselves.
All of you are amazing people who can create new art, right from your heart. Choose your own path and create magic through your hands and heart!
(c) Ana Cruz – reproduced with permission
For other information, please contact her at:
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