Home : Interviews Photoshop : Jan
tell us about yourself, your childhood inspiration and how did you
first get into the world of digital arts?
Ever since I was a small
boy I wanted to become an artist. Making pictures fascinated me.
I later trained and became a professional artist (see my website
at http://janesmann.com). I worked
part time in the DTP business with Photoshop/QuarkXPress lay-outing
a magazine and also with Pagemaker for a publisher. But my main
program is of course Photoshop. I began with Photoshop 4 because
I needed to edit scans of my paintings for printing invitations
and other PR material. I made this material my self in Photoshop.
you exclusively use Photoshop for your work? Tell us your experience
about Photoshop. What are the most appealing features you found in
Later when I set up a
website, I needed to edit pictures of my paintings and I soon discovered
that Photoshop could not do, what I wanted to do in order to make
the screen images look like the real paintings. This began almost
ten years ago now and after some years of continual frustration,
I began dreaming of writing plugins to do the jobs. Alternatively
I could have dreamt of a whole new graphic application, but with
Photoshop advanced layer editing options and the fact that virtually
any professional uses Photoshop, I decided to write additions to
and how did you start thinking of making this amazing PowerRetouche
plugins for photo retouching? What was the first reaction of this
plugin in the digital art world?
Three years ago I founded
Power Retouche. The first major filter was the invention of a sharpening
algorithm that did not create edgelines like unsharp mask does.
Then in the years to follow I developed the other filters partly
from my own ideas and partly from the suggestions of photographers
who were so kind as to ask if I could solve some problem or other
- like the radial density correction.
Digital Photographers have provided me with constant encouragement
and kind suggestions for improvement and for new filters, and I
can truely say that without the many enthusiastic emails I have
received, Power Retouche would not have been what it is today.
an artist what is your philosophy about digital art? How much you
are inclined toward orthodox styles of painting? Can you describe
the pros and cons of digital and traditional painting?
My artistic medium is
traditional painting. For some reason I have always loved the smell
of oils and the texture of paint, so I have never done much artistic
creation in the digital media. My working experience in the digital
media is and has always been, retouching - both in my parttime job
in the DTP/Publishing world and with my own art. So the name Power
Retouche came naturally out of my intentions and talents.
But when I create, I need the feel of manipulating solid mass, paint.
I miss that with digital imagery. I have begun exploring printing
on various media like cottonpaper and the new printers can produce
lovely textural images on ragpaper, but I think I will reserve this
for doing a crossover between traditional graphic prints and digital
Somehow toned prints or pure black and white retain more papertexture
than full color prints do, so in terms of making artworks where
the texture is as important as the subject matter, then toned prints
or B/W prints are superior to color - but this will probably change
as pigment based printers become more available and affordable insted
of dye based printers. Dye based colors have a translucency which
sinks into the paper fibres and robs the paper of texture. Pigment
based prints are more dense.
Traditional art has always values texture immensely. Something which
too few modern artists are aware of because we mainly meet art in
books and completely miss that aspect. Look at Rembrandt or any
other old master and you will see how texture brings the subject
you define the relation between the spirituality and an art? How your
spiritual inclination does affect your art? Please advice our visitors
who would like to take digital art as a career.
Spiritually I am more at
home in hinduism than in any other religion. I meditate daily an hour
or two and have done so for 25 years now. I met my first guru in 1983.
My main practice is kundalini meditation and the shaktipat lineage
of Anandi Ma and her master Dhyanyogi (http://dyc.org).
I always strive to embody something spiritual in my works, even when
the subject might seem morbid.
But this springs from contrast: in works of art contrast is everything:
If you want to praise life, include some representation or symbol
of death or eternity. To render light, your images must be dark. If
you want to hint at the intangible, as I aspire to, your art must
be tangible and full of pinterly texture.
This is how it is. Digial art is about to catch up on this, so I can
only advise any aspiring digital artist to devote much attention to
the print, the ink and the paper.