My name is Lauren. I am a freelance dark fantasy and horror illustrator based out of southern New Jersey.
I am fascinated by strange beauty, the brutal elegance of the universe, and creepy dead things. Apparently it carries over a bit into the artwork.
Also, I have cats.
Frequently Asked Questions
For my digital work, I use a Wacom Intuos 4 graphics tablet. The programs I use are Adobe Photoshop CS4 and Corel Painter 12.
Any version of CS Photoshop and any version of 8 or higher of Painter is good to work with. Any Wacom tablet is good, too. I do not have experience with Cintiq models or non-Wacom brand tablets.
I am self-taught. I started digitally painting at age 14/15 (late 2001).
I do not have any super secret settings, techniques, or brushes. My use of PS and Painter is pretty bare-bones. No masks, channels, or fancy brushes. 80% of my painting is done with 2 or 3 brushes in each program. If you want to learn to paint digitally, you have to learn to paint. Any shortcuts that exist are only helpful (i.e. look good) if you know what you're doing.
Education / life
I have a BFA in painting (traditional), but I will not talk about or recommend college programs because my personal experience was a waste of time and money. I still consider myself about 75% self-taught. I encourage people to look into programs and workshops run by actual working illustrators:
The Illustration Master Class
Reputable ateliers if you're interested in a more fine art approach
If you must go into a college program, find one that stresses foundation skills: composition, color theory, figure drawing. Also take time to learn the business side of things!