Touch of Marla - Art by Marla Louise
As most artist, I bring a lot of my history and person into my art. My past has been as a successful video game designer and producer. Game design is basically a process of creating a world in which the game player creates their own story. I take the same approach with my art, by creating a world for the audience to explore I draw the viewer into creating their own story with my art.
In a like way, my person is also a powerful influence in my art. I am a transgendered individual. Simply put, I am an individual who lives and enjoys life both as a woman and a man. As such, this unique approach to life allows me to draw from both masculine and feminine energies as I create my work. In addition, due to being partly raised in Japan, my work also draws strongly from the oriental aesthetic.
For lack of a better term, I describe my work as being virtual oils. My unique techniques draw a great deal from photography in that my source material is original images/photography taken either in the real world, or more often in virtual worlds.
The art is created through three distinct steps. The first step is the creation of a base image. These are created in two different ways the first is through my real world photography. But possibly the more interesting origin is images from original 'photos' I take in metaverses and virtual worlds. Long predicted in science fiction such as Star Trek's Holodeck and various cyberpunk novels, the metaverse is alternate reality with its own beauty and adventure. These metaverses are not appearing around the world and for better or worse will have a major influence on the future of mankind. One advantage of doing photography in a metaverse is that I have much more control over scenes, sets, lighting and models than exist with real world photography.
The second step is to create an intermediary virtual digital image. Working from my source images, I repaint, redesign and rebuild the images in various photo and art software. The techniques I use vary from art work to art work, but what I strive for is creating more texture and emotion, many times by abstracting out the detail.
But the virtual digital image is not the final work. The art must take a final and important third step, turning it into physical form. To do this I work hand in hand with a master Giclée printer, using archival inks and high quality canvas or paper. Only then does she achieve my final expression in the art.
Note that while Giclée printing is best known for allowing high quality multiple copies, I do not make multiple editions (why repeat myself?). While I may use the same source material more than once in making a new work, I explore some new aspect or expression of the source in following phases of my creation process. As such, each piece is unique.