Mixing Media: Q & A with Rick Dempsey

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By day, Vistek Toronto’s Print & Imaging Consultant, Rick Dempsey, is on hand to answer questions a-plenty from the public at large and to help them to get the very best results in all of their endeavours. By night, he channels his creativity into his own creative endeavours in a way that is uniquely his own.

Meet Rick Dempsey (Vistek Toronto, Print & Imaging Department)

How did you get your start (what is your background/education?)

My interest in art goes all the way back to my days in elementary school and was nurtured as I took art throughout my years in high school.  It was a natural fit, therefore, to continue my artistic pursuits at the post secondary level, earning a college degree in Graphic Design.

What/who (where?) inspires your creativity?

My traditional fine art gets its inspiration from my childhood memories of growing up in rural Minnesota and northern Ontario.  Many of the images have a country flavour, with no attempt in my art to reflect city life.

Do you consider yourself a photographer or a fine artist?

I consider myself to be primarily an artist at heart, and a bit of a photographer.  Having the benefit of over twenty years as a colour technician and retoucher  has aided my traditional media work to include Corel Painter, Photoshop, and Lightroom.  This has allowed my work to include digital fine art.

How/when did you decide that mixing media was where your creativity lived?

I was introduced to computerized mixed media while working at Toronto Image Works, where daily, I saw artists who used various approaches in creating their work.  I had the privilege of working with Ed Burtynsky where I assisted in working on large chromogenic prints.  This experienced crystallized my focus, and gave me a path for my own future artistic expression.

Can you describe for us your process?

My process now involves several water colour and pencil crayon sketches, which I scan into the computer. Using Photoshop and Corel Painter, I build layered files that utilizes the strengths of these programs and facilitates the use of photography combined with my original drawings.

Is there anything you’ve learned at Vistek that has changed or helped your art?

Working at Vistek has been a huge opportunity for me to further explore printing options  and the wide variety of media and papers possible in producing my work.  Presently, I am working on my custom family collages, while also completing several creative pieces.

In a perfect world, how would you be paying the rent?

In a perfect world, I would love to be working full time exploring my creative energies.  I am sure that day will arrive and Vistek will have been a very strategic and important part of that process.  However, until that time, I will continue to grow my skills and abilities while serving the creative community at Vistek.

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