Creative Focus: Festival's creative guru talks art

Here's the pitch: Adobe wanted a graphic artist to demonstrate how to use its products to generate a snazzy work of art that would stand up to the increasingly cynical critics who tend to think computer generated graphics reside in a realm occupied solely by geeks. The Edinburgh Festival would play host to the work.

Here's the pitch: Adobe wanted a graphic artist to demonstrate how to use its products to generate a snazzy work of art that would stand up to the increasingly cynical critics who tend to think computer generated graphics reside in a realm occupied solely by geeks. The Edinburgh Festival would play host to the work. Now to find a suitable artist.

Enter Hannah Gal, a photographer and illustrator who, by her own admission, is considered something of a guru when it comes to cyber art. You've probably seen some of her work: either in The Independent, Creative Technology, Mac User or any of the other magazines that seem to be clamouring for her to decorate their pages.

ZDNet UK News: Hannah, what exactly are you doing at the Edinburgh Festival?

Hannah: Well, Adobe wanted to have a sort of step by step guide to creating an image. They wanted something a bit different so the idea came up that we'd make an animation, which looks really nice. You look at it and it starts off with a black and white scan and it develops as you watch it. I mean you actually watch it evolving until it reaches the final step - a very colourful and rich image which started off as a very dull black and white image.

ZDNet UK News: For those of us not at the festival, where can we see this work? Is it on a website?

Hannah: Yes you can go to my website but the animation won't be there for at least a week. It will also be on the front cover of Mac User [although it won't be animated]. I contribute regularly to a lot of magazines and to The Independent and I... don't ask me why...

ZDNet UK News: You're considered a bit of a guru...

Hannah: (laughs) Ha! Yes. So I'm told. A bit of a guru!

Hannah gives lectures for Adobe and is often seen at galleries displaying her own work, or as one Adobe official told ZDNet News, looking at ways to improve how creative art packages work. Improving how the tools Hannah uses to get the best results is important as there is a strong tide against which digital artists often find themselves.

ZDNet UK News: I've often heard it said that digital art is not art at all. Do you ever encounter those sorts of opinion?

Hannah: Oh yes and you know, I feel sorry for these people. It's a sort of ignorance. I feel sorry for them because they are missing out. There is so much to do and to create and they are closing themselves off to the possibilities which I think is a shame.

ZDNet UK News: Could more be done to educate these people?

Hannah: Yes and I'm glad to be doing the work I am doing with people like Adobe who are very interested in this type of art, this type of expression.

Hannah's animated piece - Angels in motion - is on show at the Edinburgh Festival (9th-31st August) or you could try her website but it won't be there until next week.

Hannah's next exhibition is to be held at Metro Imaging in London this summer.

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