Alexandria Thompson specializes in photo-manipulation (also known as composites) and mixed media. And she does it all while singing and dancing in her chair with her headphones on.
“I’m always trying new things and love experimenting with my work,” Alexandria says. “I enjoy doing photo manipulation and just about anything else that allows me to do my craft.” She was the Grand Prize winner in the 2012 “Incredible Makeover” contest sponsored by the National Association of Photoshop Professionals. She can keep her headphones on, but now she’s doing her photo manipulation on a brand new Cintiq 22HD. “I find myself falling back into my traditional arts roots with ease with the Cintiq’s ability to swivel,” she says. “It’s just like working on a piece of paper.”
Alexandria’s grandmother was a painter. As a child, Alexandria remembers seeing the rolled up ends of the tubes of paint and glass jars full of paintbrushes around her grandmother’s house. It was from this that her love of the arts blossomed. She learned to draw and paint from her grandmother and continued to do traditional art until around 2003 when her best friend introduced her to her first Wacom tablet, a small Bamboo MTE-450 that she used to make all her digital pieces.
"It makes my workflow twice as easy"
“I loved how easy it was to fix the mistakes you made digitally as opposed to the mistakes you made traditionally that then required you to redraw whatever you messed up,” she recalls. “But when I first got the Bamboo and started working with it, I kept turning it, without thinking, like I would with a piece of paper. It took me several months to stop myself from doing it as it was an automatic reaction!”
Alexandria’s been doing digital art ever since. “I loved the feeling of a pen in my hand again like I did with traditional art,” she says. “I like combining the feel of traditional with digital and Wacom made that possible for me. It cuts my work time in half with the ExpressKeys. And now with the Cintiq’s ability to allow me to angle and lay it flat as I might when working on paper – again, like combining the feeling of traditional with digital – it makes my workflow twice as easy. I use my Wacom all the time in my work so it’s a very integrated part of my life. Without it, I doubt I’d be a far along as I am today.”