Meet Dave Sommers:
Dave, when did you first realize you wanted to be an artist?
One day, as a small child, my medium of choice became permanent markers as I freely expressed myself on the bathroom walls and cabinets! Our unlucky cat happened to walk by and his fur and paws became my canvas as well. Honestly, I really don’t know exactly when I realized that I wanted to be an artist…I have loved drawing and painting as far back as I can remember.
What is your current position at bluemountain.com and can you tell us a little about your background as an artist?
My title is Senior Creative Developer which is an appropriate title given my frequent senior moments. I earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Cleveland Institute of Art. I love the ease and immediacy of digital art but I also enjoy digging into traditional art by drawing, painting and sculpting with real world tools.
Could you tell us a little more about your work?
Breathing life into an imaginary world you have created by animating its environment and characters is fun and rewarding. I get to do this with 2D and 3D software. The art is only a piece of the puzzle though, as creating a greeting ecard is a collaborative effort. Our editors do an amazing job of creating sentiment that is just right for the occasion and we are all part of the process of brainstorming and developing ideas for the cards. It’s wonderful to see it all come to life when our talented audio team creates the music and sound effects.
What’s your favorite ecard you’ve created and what makes it special to you?
Often my favorite cards are the ones I have most recently completed because the struggle to create it is followed by the great feelings of relief and reward when it’s finally completed. It’s also great to work collaboratively with other artists because the piece as a whole seems to turn out better than the sum of its parts
Dave, are there any particular artists who have influenced your career?
Several years ago I was shocked to find the name of the famous artist Georgia O’Keeffe in my family tree. The chart had been tucked away for years in a box and I never knew I was related to her! Admittedly, she is a distant cousin, but I became an instant fan. My grandmother was also a really good artist but I didn’t even know it until her paintings and drawings were discovered soon after she had died. I admire a beautiful original painting of hers that hangs in my home today. The works of God in nature inspire and influence me. Plus, there is always so much that I learn about great design from nature and people everywhere.
How do you stay motivated?
For me motivation comes from envisioning the finished work as it benefits, and is appreciated, by others. I get to work with a group of extremely talented and creative people and their great work motivates and inspires me to become even better.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Hmmm, I think I’ll be basking on a tropical beach…talking proudly with my wife about our successful and wealthy children. Then (record scratch sound), my boss will tell me to stop daydreaming and get back to work. Truthfully I really love my job so I’ll be happy to still be creating art and animation!
What advice would you give to an aspiring young artist?
In art school I knew a student who wanted to be a really good artist, but he had one major problem, he couldn’t draw very well. Most of us wondered what he was doing there. He got a lot of negative criticism from teachers and students about his drawings but he didn’t let discouragement keep him down. His deep passion to become great drove him to work even harder. For 5 long years he persisted even though his progress, at times, was painfully slow. Finally, just before graduation, his final works were presented before a large audience of teachers and peers. His art was far better than any of us dreamed he was capable of creating–it was fantastic! He received a standing ovation and people were actually wiping away tears! He was an inspiration for all of us to follow our passion and never give up. So I guess that is my advice…follow your passions and inspiration and you’ll have the motivation you need to succeed. Hard work and persistence are key elements for any successful endeavor.
On a final note, what are some things you like to do for fun?
My family is really cool. I enjoy hanging out with my wife and kids and playing games, going on vacations, watching movies and going to church activities with them. I love a good hike in nature and being in awe of God’s creations. Oh yes…I like ping pong too!
We hope you know that your talent and all that passion you pour into your work brings a lot of joy to people worldwide!