This 23-year-old Self-taught Digital Artist Creates Surreal Masterpieces
Jerry Quartz makes dreams into art using Photoshop, Lightroom, and Palette Gear. Take a look behind his magical compositions.
Jerry Quartz is a self-taught digital artist and photographer from Canada, whose magical and often dream-like surrealist work has been catching the attention of major industry players like Photoshop.
The 23-year old founded Prevalent Plus Clothing, photography community SNSRGRM, as well as The Facility Art Show, which he hosts in his hometown. In between gigs, Jerry has been learning digital art for over 9 years.
As a longtime Photoshop and Lightroom user, Palette Gear was a welcome addition to Jerry’s workflow. We recently sat down with Jerry to get a behind-the-scenes look at his creative process and what inspires him.
Palette Gear: Your work is often fantastical and magical; how do you come up with ideas and concepts?
Jerry Quartz: I do a lot of research when coming along with concepts. I must spend more time searching for the perfect photos under regulated use for hours and hours on end. Lately I have experimented with following a consistent theme and that has seemed to work much better for me as a lot of my concepts for photos didn’t feel as forced.
PG: Did you have a mentor or teacher?
JQ: As far as after leaving high school (Hey Waldeck), I’ve learned a lot through YouTube and experimentation (especially with video work). I always wanted to sit down with Photified and learn his workflow, he’s been a big inspiration to me over the years.
PG: Who inspires you?
JQ: My mom inspires me so much, she sacrificed so much when I was younger to raise me by herself. I want to give her everything I can while in the constant pursuit of happiness and living comfortably.
PG: What are your most used functions in PS and/or LR?
JQ: Well, for Photoshop definitely the magic wand tool as I’m taking pieces of photos and reinventing them through layer masks. As for Lightroom, my favourite thing to do is to desaturate a little bit and boost the vibrance to balance out some of the colours that don’t pop out as much.
PG: What is your creative process/workflow? How do you stay efficient? How important is efficiency?
JQ: My creative work flow usually starts with researching photos until I find a concept that works well for the theme or collection I’m working on. I have found recently starting a theme as a goal and making concepts around a theme makes it easier to brainstorm ideas. I would then bring them in Photoshop to cut, blend, colour correct and a few other things. Then finally bring them into Lightroom for final tweaking to bring out colours, work on shadows, and export. I love using Palette Gear for my edits because not only does it speed up my workflow but you can pretty much take it anywhere with ease. Plus, the minimalist design of Palette Gear makes it a nice addition on my desk.
PG: Do you have any tips and tricks for other digital artists getting started with Palette Gear?
JQ: One tip I would have to anyone setting it up would be to add one piece at a time until you get comfortable with your new workflow with Palette. The possibilities are essentially endless and can be a little overwhelming to sort through all the features Palette has to offer versus some of the features that you might rarely use when editing.
PG: Anything else that you’d like to share that we didn’t touch upon already?
JQ: Pick the craziest thing you can think of. Now, whatever you thought of, make a decision. Right here. Right now. To see that idea through regardless of the sacrifice. Photo manipulations made me realize even the craziest ideas can come to life and all it takes a little time and creative thinking to figure out how. Anything is possible if you don’t sell your dreams away and keep pursuing what makes you smile.
Watch Jerry’s process below.
Follow Jerry on Instagram to see more of his work. Which photo would you like to see a tutorial for?
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