Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Coffee & Convo with Digital Artist Jeff Mueller

Evelyn Brent is an air brushed portrait.

Maestro is a sample of a digital painting.

Muddy Mona is a Computer manipulation of several photographs combined with digital illustration.

Coffee & Convo welcomes Jeff Mueller, also known as Computer Art Man. 

Jeff, you're a Digital Artist. Tell us a bit about what you do.

I own and operate Digital Creation Station, Ltd. a Commercial Computer Art, Fine Art, and Photography studio. I freelance as a commercial photographic retoucher, specializing in digital manipulation, photo restoration, logo design, fine art paintings, stock, wedding, graduation, and maternity photography. 

You mention on your website that you became passionate about airbrushing as your first medium. How did you get started?

My father was a commercial Photographic Retoucher.  He also enjoyed painting in his spare time.  When I was a kid, I loved going into his studio to watch him work. This inspired me to start drawing when I was 14. Dad went into business for himself when I was 16.  I worked part time, as his apprentice, through high school.  After a few months, he bought a left-handed airbrush for me. It was love at first sight.  My early air brush paintings in high school left a lot to be desired. I spent 2 years in the fine art program at UW Milwaukee before transferring to MIAD, Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design.  At MIAD I came into my own as an airbrush illustrator.  In 1984 I started working full time at Air Artworks (Dad's Studio) and airbrushing on the side.  I truly loved painting Portraits and I had a talent for it.  In 1989 we transitioned the commercial art business to the digital world. The studio was renamed Altered Images, Inc.  I stopped airbrushing physically and started airbrushing in the computer. I would not create Fine Art again until 2009.  Today, I have a renewed passion for creating digital fine artwork.   

What are some interesting projects you've worked on?

Over the passed 30 years, I've worked on many interesting campaigns including, Pepsi, Mt. Dew, Harley Davidson, Coors Brewing Co., Miller Brewing Co., Weather Shield, General Motors, and Komatsu. Designing the Pepsi ball was especially challenging. The water droplets and ice were shot on multiple bowling balls and transferred on to the Pepsi ball logo, creating a realistic affect. For Komatsu, I recreated a Masterpiece, the Mona Lisa, in dirt. I created 3d affects in the shawl, hair, and hands using piles of dirt from several photographs.  Interpreting the art director’s vision by illustrating with dirt, is not something you get to do every day.  

What are you currently working on?

Currently, I am working on a Social Media-Multiple Medium Series.  I have digitally painted 10 works of fine art. The subject matter is people, in real life social settings, networking and communicating. The idea is to pull the subjects into the virtual world, correct composition elements, enhance colors and details, and combine those images into a master composition, or under painting. I use the under painting as a guide. Together, the pen tablet and photoshop CS5 painting tools feel as if they were made for me. Next, I print them back out into the physical world on large format canvases, accent each canvas with acrylic paints, and promote them conventionally and virtually. The ultimate goal is a gallery show in both the physical and virtual worlds. 
In the future, I would like to offer event/occasion painting. The process would include shooting HD video and digital photography, as reference, to create an one of a kind, original digital painting of the event.  

Where can we find you? Can you give us links to view samples of your work?

My work is available for viewing at, Featured on the website is The Social Media-Multiple Medium Series. Access links to Twitter @computerartman, facebook,, and weekly blogs from the Navigation tab.  Recently, I posted my first video blog, promoting the creative process of digital art. 

Do you have some words of encouragement for aspiring digital artists? What do they have to look forward to in this field?

This is an unbelievable time to be an artist, digital or conventional.  The internet and social media has exploded the gates off their hinges. The field is wide open to anyone, from an Associates degree candidate, graduates with a Bachelor Fine Arts, or the self taught armatures. Today, with the tools available to artists, the sky is the limit. Anyone can reach millions of people using social media to promote and brand themselves.  Until recently, this opportunity was only available to a few select artists.

Thank you so much Jeff.

If you have any questions for Jeff, feel free to post them in the comments below.

Thank you so much for supporting SAND!