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Jenny Lehmann is a 21 year old German artist with a knack for digital painting. Ms. Lehmann practices her art strictly as hobby, although her enticing paintings of enchanting women as well as other figures are worthy of the professional art scene. Take a look at her paintings in her DeviantART gallery or if you are looking for more details about each piece you can read her discussions on her blog.
ToonariPost (TP): How and when did you first start practicing your art (are you traditionally trained or self-taught)?
Jenny Lehmann (JL): I was always doing sketches and scribbles, even when I was a little child, but I started drawing and painting seriously at the age of 19, when I discovered the beauty of digital painting. I am completely self-taught, as most of the other artists I know. I guess it is more a calling to be artistically minded, so most artists teach themselves, because they don’t need a teacher!
TP: What mediums do you use for your art work? Which is your favorite and why?
JL: I’m a completely digital artist by now. The most important working tools for a digital artist are the tablet (I’m using a Wacom Intuos 3) and his/her painting programs; I use programs such as Adobe Photoshop CS2, SAI Paint Tool and Corel Painter for my artwork, usually working with all of them in parallel, because they all have their specific advantages.
TP: What piece of your work is your favorite and why?
JL: I don’t have a favorite artwork because, to be honest, for me the result is not the most important thing about doing art. It’s more or less the complete painting process. I’m happy while I’m painting, not when the artwork is finished. I do have lots of fragrant memories of little things that happened during a painting process, such as a wonderful stone structure I made or doing a really wonderful face. I don’t think I have one favorite artwork because all of them contain lots of little things that are more important for me than the whole painting itself!
TP: When you first started did you ever hit any bumps in your art process. How did you overcome them?
JL: For being a good painter I think you need to be patient and full of eagerness. If there are any bricks or obstacles you need to find a way to get around it. I personally take my time to create artwork. If there’s anything about a painting I don’t like, I will wait for a few days and then go over it again, until it is what I expected it to be. The biggest problem I still have is my anime influence; I still have lots of problems with real proportions and faces. I used to draw manga and anime a lot when I was younger but I personally don’t like the style anymore; it does not fit to my recent understanding of art.
All in all, I‘d say most of the problems you might have you can solve when you practice a lot and think about what you are doing very carefully. I have seen many – especially young – artists who didn’t think about what they actually wanted to draw or paint like and this caused them to become disoriented. I think a really good painter has to know about the direction he/ she wants to go for.
TP: Who or what are your inspirations and why?
JL: I have lots of inspirations, such as other artists I admire. I personally really like Marta Dahlig, she was one of the first digital artists I ever saw and I fell in love with her art. I also like Melanie Delon and a newcomer called Jennifer Healy, but there are many other artists I really like, too, and watching them helps me to improve myself, of course! But the greatest inspiration I have is the world around me! There are so many things outside that are worth having a look at and all of it inspires me to work harder, to learn more and to become better and even more dedicated!
TP: What artists would you consider working with to do a piece and why? What type of work do you think would come from this partnership?
JL: I’m doing lots of collaborations with other artists already, and I love it! The wonderful thing about working together on one piece is that you can learn from each other, you get new expressions and a different view on your own work! The result is usually a really good artwork containing only the positive things of both artists.
At the moment I’m doing a collaboration with the really talented Ulyana Regener and I have learn a lot of new things already because the way she works is completely different! Of course, I’d also love to do a piece with one of my other favorite artists, maybe with Jennifer Healy!
TP: What are your goals in life? Do you plan to continue art as a hobby or make it a career?
JL: To be honest I don’t know yet! I’d personally prefer to stay a hobby artist because if painting becomes your profession there might be a risk that you won’t have much fun doing it anymore, but otherwise I’d like to improve myself and to earn money with my talent. The first thing I will do is to finish University, and then… Well, we’ll see what future brings!
TP: You said that you would like to finish university and that you art would be better as a hobby. What are you currently studying at your university and why did you choose that field?
JL: I’m currently studying M+I in Offenburg, that’s a mix of Media Technologies and IT combined with Film Design and business administration. This is quite different from my hobby, but I didn’t want to study arts because I prefer people being down-to-earth, which is not a typical trait of artists, in general, and one of the main reasons why I still have problems calling myself an artist; I’d prefer to be called a painter or an artisan.
I really enjoy my studies, because it is very eclectic and I like to know about the technical aspects of the tools I’m working with in my free time.
TP: Do you feel that your culture has influenced you in some way that makes you different than other artists?
JL: Everything has influenced me, that is what makes every artist different from the each other. We all have our personal, special style, our individual mind and of course our culture, our social lives, and our experiences that make us unique! If people want to understand why I’m unique, they just have to look at my work and they will understand. I don’t think I need to explain this feeling, because it’s not necessary!