DIGITAL PHOTO ART BY MARGARET WEIR

Art is my happy place, where I go to find peace for my soul, and get my insides out!  It’s where I release my inner hounds!

A general bio which may include your personal history, education inspiration education and any notable events or awards etc: I am a digital photo artist, working primarily in Photoshop, creating art through the use of filters, plugins, effects, compositing, and by manipulating elements. I work in grunge, romantic, ethereal and dark themes, but am always branching out to employ new techniques.  Photo-artistry is a world with endless possibilities, and countless opportunities for learning.

If you had a quote, proverb or a mantra printed on your shirt or tattooed on your skin, what would it say?

“Water to my soul” We lost our first grandchild, a little girl, to stillbirth, and when our daughter was pregnant with her second daughter, I took photos of her wading in the water, and thought, “There is my daughter and her daughter, and that is like water to my soul.”

What’s the best thing about being an artist?

I love being a digital artist, because I am able to create the art I dreamt about creating when I was a child, and I don’t have the fine motor challenges to overcome.

What were you interested in when you were a child and how did that lead you down the path to where you are now?

I loved everything about nature, and always wished I could capture everything I saw and hold onto it to share with others, to show them what I saw and felt.

Please tell us about the artwork.

It is Giana.  She was created using the model Jamari Lior, with many elements and textures added to make the final image.

What influenced you for this particular artwork?

Again, I am inspired by wistful, wishful expressions, and this lady is looking off in a daydream, perhaps.  The grimy mirror behind her gives a faint reflection, but also has part of a cryptic message written there, making one wonder what the rest of the message said, and what the real reason is for the lady’s daydreams.

How long was the process from the idea to the finished artwork?

Each piece varies considerably, but this one took days of review and revision.

What are your favorite tools, or equipment that you use to create your work, please be specific!

I use Adobe Photoshop as my base for my digital art, and also use Topaz Studio, and the Nik Collection as my primary plug-ins.

What are your favorite ways or places to find inspiration or unwind after a stressful day?

I find my greatest inspiration from other digital artists and photographers in our various online courses - AWAKE: Living the Photo Artistic Life; The KAIZEN Group (2019); Conceptual Fine Art Photo Artistry; ShiftArt.  Music is an important tool for helping to unwind, inspire and focus.  Movie and gaming music is particularly intriguing to me.

What is one of the most challenging aspects of your work?

Photoshop is one huge learning curve all the time!  There is always so much to learn, and so many ways of reaching your goals.  One of my biggest obstacles is staying with one technique long enough to master it, instead of wanting to rush headlong into more and more learning.

Are there any particular methods or approaches you use to help with this particular challenge and how does it help?

I get a lot of guidance from our course lessons and videos, as well as technique-specific videos on YouTube.  Our fellow artists are wonderful at giving constructive critique and tips.

What do you believe or like to do that many people may think is crazy or unusual?

In this day and age, I’m rather an oddity due to my deep Christian faith.

Which part of the world do you live and what do you like about it?

I live in Ontario, Canada, and love the richness of the four seasons, as well as the fact that we live on the Canadian Shield, and are pretty secure when it comes to earth quakes!  Lol!

What are your favorite colors at the current moment and what do they remind you of?

Blue has always been my favorite colour - it makes me think of calm and peace.  It’s a colour to retreat into when things get hectic.

What do you think is one of the biggest challenges facing the world at the moment and what can we all do to help? 

I truly believe the biggest challenge in the world is finding peace with one another.  We don’t treat each other with respect or value, and I’m not sure we can.  There are too many people who will always put themselves first, who will always be the bully, who will always let anger rule their actions.

If you weren’t an artist what would you be doing instead?

I would travel.  I love the vast diversity of nature in the world, and I’m fascinated by world cultures.

Why do you think art is important to you or the world?

Art allows us to connect to our deepest emotions, to connect with the world and our fellow man, to share those emotions and relate to the current world state without fighting or using words to hurt.  It allows us to express the most intense grief and joy, things that frame us and define us in the most profound sense.

If you could time travel to visit any time when would it be and why?

I wouldn’t go far - I would visit my great-grandparents, and experience the life of hardship they endured, and find answers to questions that are mysteries to us to this day.

If you went back in time and could give advice to your younger self what would it be?

In 20 years, none of this will matter.  Quit worrying about what others think, and follow your dreams.  Be strong.

Are there any particular artists, people or paintings that have greatly influenced or inspired you in your life or work?

I would have to say my father was my earliest and greatest influence and inspiration.  He could draw, sketch, paint and design, and in my child’s eyes, he was a world-class artist.  I so wanted to be like him.  Sadly, I couldn’t draw a straight line to save my life.  But, when he took up photography, things changed, and I found meaningful artistic direction.

Are prints available of your work, and if so where can they be viewed or purchased?

Some of my artwork is available on https://displate.com/watertomysoulhttps://artofwhere.com/artists/watertomysoul and https://www.redbubble.com/people/weirmarg/og-shop?asc=u. Art of Where and Redbubble are primarily for clothing.  I also have a shop on Etsy, https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/Watertomysoul, where digital downloads are available for anyone wanting to print their own.  I do custom work as well, and can work from anyone’s photos.  My work can be viewed on my website, www.watertomysoul.com, and on Flickr at https://www.flickr.com/gp/margotd/9441JL.  I can be contacted at weir_m@hotmail.com.

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