Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Ted Larson: Digital Artist - An Interview, Part One

Ted Larson: Digital Artist - An Interview, Part One

A few months ago, I was pleased and surprised to find myself hosting the artwork of one to the internet most popular and prolific digital artist, Ted Larson. He lives in Seattle, Washington and is a member of the Mars Hill Church. As a Christian, the subjects of his online work centers on characters and books from the bible. Some of his oldest digital art depicts Daniel, Ezekiel, scene from the Exodus, and Revelation. His newest and not yet completed artwork, centers on Zechariah and will also include a very ambiguous set of artwork “The Life of Christ,” which will span the four Gospel.

As an artist on the beginner level, I am truly awed by Ted Larson’s art. I saw his artwork for the first time a year ago as on the Biblical Art Com, which is a website created and hosted by Rolf E. Stærk, who is a Norwegian theologian and schoolteacher. While I was
Exodus 3:2-14 The Burning Bush
visiting the web site, I saw a small advertisement about  seeking a host for Ted Larson’s artwork. I passed it up.  Two weeks later, I was visiting the Biblical Art Com again, and I saw the advertisement again. This time I was intrigued, but I thought to myself,

 “Leave it, Evelyn. This is for the professional.” I didn’t listen to myself.

Instead, I plumbed right in with an email that stated that I have a site and that if Ted was willing the left me host his artwork, it would be my pleasure to do so. Once I shot the email off, I thought, this will never happen. Well, lucky for me, I was quickly put in touch with Ted and here we are today.

I must say that I am as happy to host Ted’s artwork today as I was at the first notion of it. Furthermore, to introduce my readers to the artist, I have added a brief interview, which I conducted via email with him yesterday.

Merry Christmas to All!
Evelyn F. Altheimer-Fain

Revelation 12:7 Michael vs Satan
Hi Teddy,

Merry Christmas to you!
I visited your site this evening and saw your 3D CAD model of Ezekiel’s temple. I think it’s great. I also read where you plan to spent some additional time working of various projects including a "Synthesis of the four Gospels." This statement sparked a few over due questions from me. I hope you do not mind answering them.

1.  From you recent photo it is clear that you are a young man of college age. Can you tell the readers just what sparked your interested in Digital art, and how long you have been doing it?

Thank you for the compliment! Actually although I look young in my recent photo, I'm 46. It was my Freshman year in high school I knew that art was my life's work. My mother enrolled me in evening drawing classes at our local university. I learned the classical methods of drawing from a live model. I kept that discipline going throughout my twenties branching out with oils and pastels. I fascinated by the great masters of the past like Da Vinci, Rembrandt and Dega. They were my heroes and set the standard of quality I felt I wanted to achieve.

2. Do you or you have ever worked with tradition art forms, such as, oil pastel, and/or watercolor? If so, what are you favorites?

Yes, I am also self taught in natural media like watercolor. pastel and oil paints. I think for portraits pastel was my favorite. For landscapes watercolor is a great atmospheric medium.

3. In an earlier message you stated that you taught yourself how to work with a new digital art program. What program is it, and do you like it?

I taught myself a program called Photoshop, back in 1995 when it was version 3.0. I also use a program called
Exodus 8:17 Aaron Strikes the Dust
Painter. For props and backgrounds I use a two 3D cad modeling and rendering tools like Form Z, and Cinema 4D. I really enjoy all these programs. They each contribute something unique to each picture I make.

4. Of the many digital art programs on the market today, what one would you recommend to beginners?

Probably Photoshop Elements. It has all the basic tools for building illustrations for almost anything you can imagine. It just takes some time to work through the tutorials to get a handle on the basics of the tools.

5.  It is my understanding that you are in the thesis preparation stage of your education. Would you say that a formal educational background in art is necessary component for the success an artist today?

It's not necessary but any art or craft education can greatly contribute to creative personal development.

6. Because I am a newbie to working with digital art can you tell my readers and me just what you mean by the phrase "Synthesis of the four Gospels."

Sure! I am planning a series on the life of Jesus Christ as was described in the four Gospels- Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Many of the events and miracles described in the first three Gospels overlap. Some are unique to the individual book. I have a list of over 100 illustrations that will span all four books. The book of John is the most challenging. It contains some of the longest doctrine or teaching passages that Jesus ever spoke. The gospels project is ambitious but not impossible. I hope and pray it will be the body of work I am remembered for.

7. How does it feel to be one of the most recognized digital artists of the web?

I feel very grateful to God almighty for his gifts. Its feels a lot like the early oil painter pioneers of Europe. I feel awe and a humbleness being able to glorify God through my art. Sometimes I feel like I'm soaring the heights of secret treasures found in the pages of scripture. Other times I feel loneliness and despair much like Christ felt when people misunderstood or even rejected him. If you have ever listened to any of Beethoven's music you have a sense of exaltation and glory as well as the painful, tragic low points in life.Many creative people experience this range of emotions, but I would have to say its all worth it!

Ezekiel 3:17 Ezekiel the Watchman
8. Congratulation on your success with the creation of the cover for one of author, Ron Cantrell, books. I understand that he is a contributing writer for Bridges for Peace Christian organization. Could you tell us more about Bridges for Peace and its mission?

Sure. Ron is an advocate for the peace of Israel. He is a Christian who loves the Jewish people. Part of his mission is to help everyone discover that God hasn't abandoned his people the Jews. There are many prophecies describing the coming consolation of Israel when Jesus returns to earth. Many centuries ago God spoke through his prophets about a promised land for the Hebrew people. Long before there was a Palestinian nation there was a small but great nation called Israel. It's very sad to me that some of the teachings of Islam urge the Arab peoples of the world to band together and wipe Israel off the map. Hate and genocide is never the will of a loving God. Jesus said "You are my disciples if you have love for one another".  As followers of Jesus we have a calling to love everyone even if we disagree with the politics of the time. Ron has that love in his heart and dwells among the Jewish people in Israel as a prayer warrior and teacher to believers all over the globe.

Well, Ted, this is all that comes to my mind at this time. Sorry for the delay. I get sidetrack with other projects from time to time, but I never forget a friend. 

Peace and Many Blessings to You and Yours during this Holy Season!


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