Today we are sharing a Q & A Artist Profile DK Stoneman.
DK Stoneman is a digital memory keeper and digital artist who loves creating unique art using Anna Aspnes Designs.
Big thanks to DK for allowing us to share her artistry.
Artist Profile DK Stoneman
Tell us a little about yourself and how you discovered digital art.
Stone and I are retired and we set aside a week on average out of every month to go on some sort of adventure. We get out in our red Jeep and explore and take photos. When we get back, I use my photos and Anna’s products to create pages for my art journal, which I print at the end of the year. I work on double page spreads and my book is 8″ x 10″.
I studied art in college and loved it, but got my degree in computer science. I was a product manager for a major computer company working on the first color desktop computer when it came out in 1980. At that point I was creating art on the computer as part of my job and in my spare time. I would say I’ve been a digital artist ever since. I’ve been working and playing in the computer industry for 49 years now and I still do software testing.
My first digital scrapbook pages came along in 1993. They were in black and white and in the style of a newsletter. I would scan photos and create pages using office software. I would create sketches from items like paper clips or dried flowers for my pages, but the pages were pretty simple. At the time, I made pages about our vacations and gardening. I got on the digital camera bandwagon right away with those very first Sony cameras that came on the market.
As an adventurer and a photographer, do you ever take photos with a page idea in mind or do your photos inspire your pages?
I don’t think I’ve ever taken photos with a page layout idea in mind. These days I’m usually inspired by the story, but sometimes the photo. If I don’t have a story, I ask myself why did I take the photo and that gets me back to the specific moment which is actually the story. I want my pages to take me back to that moment years from now.
You have a distinctive journaling style that usually consists of two or three sentences that encapsulate the substance of your pages. Why do you favor this style and how did it develop? Do you have a special interest in Brian Andreas?
I don’t just want to remember what’s in the photos. I want to remember the days. Otherwise our trips would just form a blur. Text is important to my pages because not everything that would create a vivid memory is in the photo. There are so many details that can help to reconstruct the specific memory, that set one day apart from another. One jeep trail from the next.
As for the amount of text, I go by how much I like to read, and my pages contain about that much text. In my career I published many books and some of the rules in my head are left over from those days. For example, the length of each line. If I have more story than fits in the space I allow for text, I add another page with another photo to accomodate the next point I want to remember. Having the same text block on every set of pages creates a consistency in my book design, too.
If I could choose an artist I would like to spend time with, it would be Brian Andreas. I love his style and his view of the world. It seems like almost everything he writes resonates with me. This year is the first time I have included his work in my pages. I thought a lot before doing it, and I hope he would be okay with it.
Most of your work is done in two page spreads. There is always a pleasant balance between the two pages. How do you choose elements to balance your photos?
Thank you. I usually start on the right page with my photos. I choose my paper and sometimes I find the elements I want on the left page right away to match the paper or I look for specific elements as I work my way along. Often I work on the left page when I have at least a part of the right page done, to create the balance I’m after. Sometimes I spend more time on the balance than on everything else combined. One thing for sure is I’m always thinking about it.
I feel a strong need to honor the photo. For example, I can’t put evergreens or berries on a page about a desert trip unless there were juniper trees or berries on scene. So sometimes it’s hard to find something that will work with a specific story. That is where the creativity really comes in for me. When I do find something that clicks I get very happy. If I struggle, I give myself a lot of time to just play and then finally I allow that this is the best I can do with what I have available and I call it good.
When I get new supplies, I take the time to manage my new assets so I can choose my elements faster. For example, I save copies of all the buttons from everywhere in one folder, and all the charms in another. I spend about an hour each week on asset management, not including the time it takes to back everything up.
How did you create 2017?
I don’t remember the sequence of things on the page at the detail level, but for years I was a paper artist. I made many art journals using paper, paint, rubber stamps, etc. So I started by going through my supplies for the look I wanted, the look of an art journal page. I needed coverage, which for my double pages is always problematic anyway, but even more so when going for a layered art journal look. So I decided I’d just go with coverage for the top half of the page.
Magenta, teal and gold have always been my New Year celebration colors, so I picked ArtPlay Palette Radiant. I blocked out where the large pieces from the set would go, and then filled in as much of the white space as possible, just playing. The quote was an afterthought. I had the page almost done but wasn’t happy with it yet and I read the quote somewhere and it was exactly how I’ve always felt about the new year.
As an artist, how have you changed in the last two years?
It gets much easier and faster to make my pages each year! I have more supplies and I’m that much more familiar with all of them too. I definitely place more emphasis on the stories. More pages start with the story now instead of with the photo. And I’m also more comfortable including art without photos in my pages, and varying from a more minimalist style to an art journal style.
Do you have a favorite ArtPlay Palette or a favorite Anna product? Why do you like to work with Anna’s products when you design your pages?
I’m a crazy fool for Anna’s products because I know that everything works with everything else and I don’t have to think about whether something will “go with.” I’m subdued on weeks when there’s nothing new and thrilled when there are new UrbanStitchez, UrbanThreadz or MultiMedia Elements. The ArtsyTransfers are my most important serious workhorse product because they give me the best hope of covering the wide expanse of the 16″ x 10″ double spread with a single set of consistent colors and textures. And I adore BeadedThreadz and Charms and save them for special projects. I don’t use them much but I adore them and love when they fit in just perfectly
What are you reading right now?
Right now I’m reading “Ahead of All Parting: The Selected Poetry and Prose of Rainer Maria Rilke” English Translation. I’m also reading everything I can about the Mojave National Preserve and Death Valley National Park, and about the photography and Jeep roads in both, in preparation for our next trip.
You can see more work by Artist Profile DK Stoneman in her extensive gallery.
The Artist Profiles is a category of posts in which we aim to inspire you with the work of other artists, photographers, memory keepers, makers and curators. I believe we can learn much from others and inspiration can come from a variety of creative sources.
Please email me if you are interested in having your work featured in this space.