What’s your background?
I'm a professional photographer focusing primarily on weddings and portraits. I'm also very active in the mobile art and photography community. I've won many awards for my iPhone work, which has been exhibited in galleries and museums in the U.S., Canada and Europe. I offer workshops out of my studio in New Jersey, where I teach students how to create art in the palm of their hands with their iPhones or iPads.
In my spare time, I love to draw! Sktchy has rekindled my love of drawing, which I put aside in college when I took up photography instead of pursuing my dream of becoming a cartoonist and working for Disney.
Sktchy has led me to other forms of drawing as well, such as urban sketching, and I can honestly say that drawing has become an obsession! I am so grateful to be a part of this community of likeminded artists, all striving to improve their skills and to generously share their tips and advice with each other. Thank you, Sktchy!
What do you look for in a reference photo on sktchy?
Dramatic light usually catches my eye, and I also love a photo that offers something unique – a characteristic that I can sink my teeth into – a great expression, a cool beard or hair, someone wearing interesting glasses or a hat or holding a cigar/cigarette, or interesting patterns of some sort that I can play with.
What’s your medium of choice when you’re creating art?
My iPad Pro and Apple Pencil in the Procreate app. It's a killer combination! I've also been experimenting with pen and ink in sketchbooks, but it's hard to give up the iPad for drawing portraits. It's great for the way I work in layers.
What’s one quirk in your creative process?
Back when I was drawing a lot of cartoons in pen and ink, I had a process where I would start sketching very loosely on a sheet of paper and then, on a lightbox, I would trace over my loose sketch to refine it. I would repeat that over and over until I got a final version I was happy with. Sometimes, I would even cut out pieces from different stages and glue them onto my final piece!
I now do the same thing in Procreate on my iPad, which is probably why I like it so much. With the layers in Procreate, I can pretty much replicate this technique but it's much easier on the iPad! I can "cut" things out, such as an eye or nose, and resize them and move them around until I'm satisfied.
Any words of advice for fellow artists?
Try to draw every day. It is seriously the best way to improve. And post everything, even if you think it's a failure. Let your Sktchy gallery become a diary of your progress. It's fun to look back on where you started and how far you've come. It can be very instructional and will inspire you to keep going!