Luna Ljis is a modern artist living in Germany. Starting from traditional painting in her teens, she moved on to digital abstract art using multiple mobile apps. In this interview she shares her experience and how-to knowledge.
Hi, Luna! Tell us a bit about yourself?
I live in Munich, Germany. I am married and I have a 9-year-old daughter. I am a sociologist and have worked for the past 4 years in the corporate world. My main hobbies are everything that is art-related, painting, drawing, collage, digital art, going to museums, etc...
How did you start doing digital art?
I did 3 years of painting lessons when I was 14. But it was too much focused on realism and I did not find it really interesting.
Until last year, I had never done anything art-related again. I started last year with photography as a means to bring more creativity to my daily routine. Since I used my Smartphone for street photography a lot, I ended up experimenting with lots of different apps to process the photos. At the beginning, my intention in editing a photograph was mainly to make an unknown person unrecognizable without destroying my photograph. I started doing this daily and posting on Instagram and fell in love with digital art, this became my main focus, instead. You can actually trace this development if you look at my IG account since the beginning, I left some of my first photos there.
What inspires you? How do you decide what you will create?
Anything really. It could be a mood, an idea, or something spontaneous that I develop in the creative process. This last one gives the best results, in my opinion. I begin looking at my photographs until something calls my attention. I try not to think a lot about it. Then I try to make a spontaneous association with it. I might add another photograph, a vector graphic or a painting to it. From this, you can actually develop a composition in any direction or style.
I also like to study art history and visit museums and try to work some characteristics of a particular period or artist that I find interest in some compositions. This is a lot of fun.
What apps do you use in your workflow and how does Trigraphy fit in it?
I use both iOS and Android systems because I like to have the best of both worlds. Having said this, If I had to choose one of them for digital art, I would go with iOS. My photos are in the cloud so that I can work with both at any time. I like Ipads and tablets because do not want to sit at the computer to do digital art, it would feel too much like work and would ruin my inspiration. I spend 1-2 hours 5 x week doing this and this is how I choose to spend this free time so it should have a relaxing and "no pressure" character to it. If I happen to feel too much pressure on some day, I take a break.
My workflow usually starts with deciding which elements to combine. For this I use icolorama, Picsart or Union app. Optional and extra elements can be brought in by many of the pixite apps such as skies, stars or galaxies.
The second part is to decide how to go about the background, what kind of pattern or texture? This is where I usually bring in Trigraphy, I love to experiment with different patterns and blend modes. I sometimes also like to blend in an abstract painting that I had been working on, which could also be further processed in Trigraphy to get a unique pattern. On Android, I like to use Mirrorlab for this. The pattern could also become the subject of the composition if I chose to put it on the main element instead of the background.
Describe your style. How did it evolve?
As I explained earlier, in the beginning, I was more focused on Photography, then I slowly discovered digital art to be a great tool of self-expression. The possibilities are endless. My style evolved and is evolving by means of a lot of experimentation with different styles, subjects, and techniques At the moment, it's kind of a mixture, I find it hard to classify. I would say I tend most of the time to a semi-abstract composition with some surrealist elements and pop art influences on the color schemes.
Could you share Instagram accounts that inspire you?
What advice can you give to young digital artists?
Three things really: experimentation, inspiration and daily practice.
I think if you're starting with digital art experimentation is the key.
Let me explain, I think if you're starting with digital art experimentation is the key. This might depend from person to person but I think one should not be limited to one single style, in the beginning, Trying out many different kinds of artistic styles, techniques and workflows are very important to get to know yourself and the medium better.
Inspiration is crucial....Looking at what other artists are doing and reading about and interacting with all that is art-related, not only digital art, is very important to build a stock of ideas and references in your head.
Daily practice is important because this is what actually builds your know-how and gives you some feedback. I personally try to post 5 x week. This number has worked very well for me.
I think digital art is a wonderful opportunity to build in more creativity in our daily lives. You don't have to buy a lot of supplies and equipment. A smartphone with a pen, an iPhone, Tablet or Ipad is enough and you can start to navigate the world of art and creativity.