Davey Baker

How practice, perseverance & social promotion help to get you recognized

Davey Baker's artwork

What inspired you to become an artist?

I wouldn't say I am an artist, officially. I have always had an interest in drawing and this goes back to before I can remember. But, that being said, I have never been in full time employment as an artist. Recently I’ve been so inspired by digital painting that I want to change that if I can.

Can you tell us about some of the projects you’re working on right now?

Currently, I have a couple of independent freelance projects but I also have some personal projects I'm looking to have completed next year. This will possibly include the release of a book if I can get all the paintings done by then. All I can say is, about this time last year, I needed some character design practice so I looked up some ancient myths and legends and found the full descriptions of 72 sprits of Solomon. I then gave myself the challenge of illustrating them in reverse order.

What has been your favorite project to be a part of? Why?

I did some paintings for a company who makes piano tutorials for kids. The job was basically a forest backdrop for the videos they had already shot. They told me they had spent many hours looking through forest images on the Internet until they came across one of mine. I was really pleased they liked my work enough to approach me, and it was a change from drawing monsters and robots. They have been great to work with and they were so delighted with what I did for them, that now they're a repeat customer.

Davey Baker's artwork

What does a typical day look like for you?

If it's a day when I'm painting, I get up and check my emails etc., have breakfast and start painting, I usually have an idea from the night before of what I'm going to create that day. I can spend up to 8-12 hours working on a piece then posting in various places on social media. Sometimes I'm recording for YouTube so I'll spend the afternoon editing and trying to create some music. I like to play the piano but I've never had a lesson so I’m not very good at it.

How does Painter help you in the development and creation of your artwork?

Using Painter means I can create whatever I want, and I can quickly add layers to experiment with, change colors when I like, alter perspective and so on. All these things are only possible because of the digital element. This is why I now use Painter almost exclusively.

What’s your favorite Painter tool/feature? Why?

When the Palette Drawers were introduced I was amazed by how much space I could save. I used to have windows open all over the place and it got really crowded. This feature helped clean up my workspace and it's so simple too. I love it!

Davey Baker's artwork

Do you work full time as an artist? Were there any challenges involved with this?

I wish I could say that I do, but I don't work full time as an artist. I have a day job that pays the mortgage and I also play in a couple of bands too. When I’m not at work or playing gigs, I'm usually on my computer learning new painting skills. This is difficult to balance though as sometimes I feel like I have three jobs. I'm working on building a strong portfolio at the moment so hopefully one day soon I can quit the day job.

What advice would you give to up-and-coming artists?

I would suggest getting your work online as quickly as possible, If your art isn't visible anywhere you have less chance of being discovered. Work on your basic skills and don't give up! It's also the best time to be a creative right now because of the way you can promote yourself so easily online.

What hardware helps you get the job done? System and peripherals, the specific type of Mac/PC and Wacom tablet, etc.

I use a Dell XPS desktop and a 24" Wacom Cintiq. It was a lot of money at the time but I’ve had it for four years now and I still love it!

Do you use Painter and any other software together? And if so, what do you like about that process?

I have tried to use 3D software for cast shadows on objects but then I'll open the image in Painter to get that natural paint effect when I'm rendering. I do like this process as you can create realistic lighting within your concepts and then finishing it off in Painter really brings the idea to life.

To learn more about Davey visit DaveyBakerArt.