hello everyone! to start this up in a classic way lets begin where i was born. i was born in germany, saxony-anhalt in a town called wolfen what lies near to a small town named bitterfeld. bitterfeld was the place i lived the first 19 years of my life. bitterfeld once was the most important industrial city in old former ‘east’ germany, and the most dirtiest. though it was a fantastic time to grow up there. with some interferences here and there – the usual stuff. 2001 we moved to nuremberg and are quite happy with the decision.
in the end of 1999 i started to work with photo editing programs. my first experiences i got from corel photopaint but soon converted to photoshop 5.5 what was truly a good program to learn. soon i realized what potential this program has and tried to dig deeper to learn all the little secrets about photoshop. even today i learn new techniques from time to time. the possibilities of photoshop are almost unlimited. soon i got interested in basics of webdesign and started to learn it through adobe golive. yes i can see the code masters rolling their eyes here! i must admit that i cannot handle all this, some sort of cryptic, code stuff. soon i got some good results with golive what motivated me to try more stuff. so i started to create various graphic designs just to find out if it works or not. most of it worked and soon i had an own website. pretty crappy one from my todays point of view. but everyone has to start somewhere right? i deepened my knowledge about golive and photoshop.
late 2001 i discovered deviantart.com. at this time still a very young community but growing fast. the digital art i saw there blew me away. at this time abstract 3d works were the trend and, indeed, a lot of it looked great. it brought up some artists that can even today still create 3d art that catches your eye! i realized that i had to learn a lot to reach a level the other members already had. my basic knowledge about things and my interest to learn helped me to evolve my abilities. the coming year was a very experimental phase. i tried a lot of styles, techniques and… learned. i started to work with 3d programs. first of all bryce 3d. it’s probably the easiest 3d render program you can get. you can learn very fast and create some nice effects too… all that in a very short period of time. i still use this program. nothing too special though. with some good knowledge, patience and photoshop you can still create astounding 3d abstract works. or even scenery! soon after bryce i discovered terragen and fell in love with it.
i always had a love for wide open terrains/landscapes. it was always one dream of mine to live in the future. to visit alien planets. to see their surface, landscapes and wonders. born today it’s almost impossible that i will ever leave this piece of rock called earth. so i had to use my imagination to visit these alien planets. i created them on my own! terragen was probably the best landscape rendering program you can get at that time. after learning the basics of terragen i started to combine my terragen render works with photoshop effects. i created a technique to add real rock textures to my mountains. to add more depth and detail to my pieces. to give them a fantasy look. i’m working on that technique until today and it still evolves.
in 2003 terragen became more and more artistic. lots of people started to use it but only a few were showing what was possible with terragen. with all that knowledge then, i figured out that i was in need of a new site. soon tigaer-design version 2 was up and looked impressive to me. a neat design, fast to load with well used flash elements. the site should do its work until 2005. early 2004 e.a. kolb, one of the core admins at deviantart back then, asked me if i would be interested to become admin for the digitalart/3d gallery. i thought that this would be a great experience to see how such a large beast of site works intern. so, while i did my duty as gallery director, i also learned a lot how things go behind the curtains. i enjoyed the time… the people. lots of things changed on deviantart since back then. unfortunately, mostly, not to the good side.
2004 was also the year i discovered cameras. i started with an analog camera from a friend. i got the basics there. soon i bought me an own camera, but digital. a minolta dimage 7i. things are slightly different with a digital camera. it took a while to earn the knowledge i needed to evolve my skills but when i had them i started to shoot really good pictures. my favourites are macro pictures. plants, insects – all sorts of things. i also started to take pictures for use in my painting works. then i found out the quality of the pics were not the best to work with. especially not when you want to work in print quality. early 2005 i bought me a semi-professional camera that delivers everything i need. a canon 20d. i sold my old cam to save some cash and started to learn my new cam. pretty fast i sorted things out and once again learned a bit more about photography.
2005-2006 was a phase i completely concentrated on concept art, techniques, matte painting. mid 2005 i created a piece named ‘artificial’ which really made clear that i made it to some sort of professional level. i used a pretty weird technique to create that picture. it took me surely 8 weeks to completely finish the project. which involved a kinda tutorial/walkthrough documentation too. the technique i used was a very heavy mix of terragen and photoshop. the pieces ‘the wall’ and ‘a new hope’ followed and were created with the same technique. after finishing ‘a new hope’ i was not very happy with the time i needed to create these pics. i got myself a wacom intuos graphic tablet. from that moment on i was trying my best to become better and much more productive with my work. i started to learn digital painting. i never seriously painted before but knew some basics about lighting, shadows and stuff. that helped. the pics that came through 2006 were a strong mix of painting and matte painting. i worked with photos and extended them through paintings. i guess i love that kind of work. it’s a cool feeling to see things come together when working on something.
concluding words… – when you read everything down to this spot, you know almost everything about my artistic growth. i tried to write as detailed as possible and hope you had a bit fun reading it! so at last you might wonder where i got my ‘tigaer’ from. in the very beginning of my digital art doings i knew a girl. we were friends back then and she had a cat she often called ‘tiger’. we germans have a weird way to pronounce some letters so she often said ‘tigär’ instead of ‘tiger’. i thought it would be great to take the name! but instead of the german letter ‘ä’ i took ‘ae’, what’s the same, to have it more international and working in a domain/url.
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