There's something about the artwork of John Girouard (a.k.a., Skooldaze) that grabs the viewer.
Maybe it's his attention to detail, or the subject matter, or just his talent. Regardless of what it is, he creates remarkable digital art using DAZ3D and Photoshop from his hometown of Andover, New Jersey.
Skooldaze took some time out of his busy schedule to answer a few questions about himself and his art.
How long have you been creating digital art and why did you start?
Skooldaze: I was a traditional artist (pencil, watercolor, oils) growing up and even went to a high school for commercial art. However, as time went on, life ended up having different plans for me and I moved away from art in my day to day life. Even though art took a back seat, I was always had my eye on the rear view. I would doodle when time would permit, go to art galleries and really longed to create art again.
When and why did you join Renderosity?
Skooldaze: In the late '90s, I start browsing art on the internet and was impressed with the variety of art and skill level I was seeing in the digital realm. In the early to mid-2000s I started dabbling in digital art and really loved the versatility, diversity, etc... and could see the future of digital was bright. Renderosity was one of the websites I would browse from time to time and the community seemed to be supportive and lots of new artists were joining all the time, so I eventually joined Renderosity in January 2001.
My time here has been enriching and inspiring and I exceeded my own personal expectations. I was artist of the month in June 2001, artist of the month and artist of the year in 2007. Being a member of Renderosity has opened many doors for me personally and has created many lasting relationships.
What inspires your creations?
Skooldaze: Inspiration for me is a fickle thing and changes as often as the weather. Overall, I think my personal day-to-day life experiences (good or bad) are the major source of my inspirations. Music, other artists, film, and travel are also a big factors.
When I first started with digital art, Renderosity was one of my primary sources of inspiration. The community was open and inviting, giving great critiques and helpful in my finding a voice in this new medium.
What is your favorite thing to design?
Skooldaze: I do a lot of portrait work, but what I always strive for is capturing a moment or a feeling. My favorite designs are ones where the emotion may be ambiguous enough that it leaves it up to your imagination to fill in the rest of the story. I love when people see something completely different in my design that wasn't my original intention.
What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
Skooldaze: There is probably a lot of things, as I am kind of shy and keep to myself mostly. Let me think... well, I have always secretly wanted to be a tattoo artist.
What is one thing you wish you knew more about?
Skooldaze: That is a loaded question... the secrets of life? the mysteries of the universe? Is there another word for synonym?
All joking aside, I wish I knew more about zBrush (or 3D modeling in general) so I could create my own characters and adornments. The ideas in my head far surpasses my ability to create them digitally, which is sometimes frustrating. I often think that if I could do more than the fundamentals of 3D modeling, I would be able to get these ideas out of my head and that would be amazing.
Michelle Willard, Editor of Renderosity Magazine | Former newspaper reporter. Recovering archaeologist. Political nerd. Writer at Middle Tennessee Mysteries. Read her articles here.