Being a mixed bag of ethnicities, exoticism comes naturally to my creative process. I draw inspiration from a complex genetic pool to infuse diverse flavor and color. Some of these influences also come from my passion for belly dance. For me, exotica is not just an inspiration, it's a way of life. 


The challenge of digital art is that it can be very flat in presentation needing a good mix of texture and layer effects to make it come alive. The trick, always, is finding the right combination, knowing when to stop messing with it, and making sure the printed piece looks as good as it does onscreen. With Backside Beauty, it's mission accomplished.


This digital gem, meant to convey a sense of tranquility, is 55-layered monsterbytes of texture, color and light play. When the mood strikes, I balance my gritty, earthy images with pieces that are light and ethereal. I hope serenity with a bit of fantasy  comes to the beholder's mind when viewing it. 


It took three days to birth Nathania which in Hebrew means 'God's Gift' and she is one of my more lengthy labors. Considering it takes me anywhere from 2-8 hours to create a piece, this was one of my lengthier labors. As per my usual M.O., the original line art was created in Illustrator, finishing the fine details in Photoshop. Layering and texturing is where I shine, it being the most enjoyable process of creation. 


'Masks' was created for my own promotional purposes before I realized it would make a cool image on its own. This piece consists of other pieces and textures of other works. That's the absolute beauty of digital...transferring elements and effects at will. 'Masks' truly highlights my love of exoticism, textures and exotic textures.  


Meditate is another creation meant to invoke a sense of peace and calm in the midst of life's storms. It took numerous texture layers to get the vintage look desired for Meditate. Well-aged, well-seasoned and slightly damaged effects are an integral part of my digital style, invoking feelings of something well-loved in its worn around the edges glory.


This creation sums up a fundamental truth: we're all flawed individuals, but we can be serene in the knowledge of perfection being divine. Flawed and Serene uses multiple layers of the exotic textures that I love, in this case distressed bamboo and weathered stone, along with a color palette that's mean to convey the patina of age and timelessness. 

'Lotus Eater' started with a Balinese mask as a model. This was one of my earlier pieces created while still trying to master the digital pen using Illustrator and Photoshop as mediums. Adding hairline cracks and distressed textures, so much a part of my digital signature, Lotus Eater was the first piece that sold at my first fine art show.


Although I learned belly dance in the Arabic Cabaret style, I have developed a passion for tribal fusion as well as a fascination with the costume styles. Tribalene was another of my very early works after acquiring the digital pen and pad. Although I haven't been a digital fine artist for long (just under 2 years), it's a wonderful and satisfying thing to track my progress in maturity.


This piece was inspired by a YouTube video of a favorite bellydance song. Capturing a screen shot of the somewhat rudimentary character, I made her my own with numerous effects layers to give her a space-age meets old world charm and a touch of anime. And as a finale, set her in a temple fit for a goddess of the galaxies.  

© 2019 by Victoria Caro Johnson / The Sketchie Beast

 Ecclesiastes 3:11