What started as a personal blog in 2008, a list of retouching and 3D animation studios that was used as an archive for personal learning and inspiration, has become an impressive collection of retouchers, illustrators and 3D artists and studios from across the globe. In 2013, Art Buyer’s Bible emerged when its owner and creator, Chris, decided to make something out of his list.
Today, ArtBuyersBible.com assists professionals and businesses to connect and network with advertising agencies and photographers to collaborate and serve as a pool of inspiration for young artists. FashionPhotographyBlog.com caught up with Chris from Art Buyer’s Bible to talk about his experience as a former freelance retoucher and his brainchild website.
When I asked Chris about his take on the appeal of retouching as a creative art form he replied that “There are a lot of different things that are good with retouching. For starters, it’s often a very fun and creative process to retouch images. People tell you what they are after but it’s up to you to get there. It is really rewarding when you manage to visualize what the client is looking for – when you can help get an image to go all the way; but I also have to say that Photoshop is 90% of what makes it so great. It’s such a fantastic application – maybe needless to say, but still.”
I was intrigued about how the self-starting freelance retoucher first got involved and what led him on to choose a career in photo retouching, he answered “My dad worked as an art director, so when I was growing up we always had the latest Apple computer at home, with the latest applications. Nowadays, everyone has the latest stuff, but back then (1994-96) it was not same. Many families had computers, but they were mostly used for games or word processors. I learned the overall basics at that time, but most of all I got a head start which drew me to go to a media program in high school.
After school, my cousin got me into a market department of a large fashion company and after working there for a while as an art director’s assistant, I met a fashion photographer who took a lot of pictures for the fashion company. He had a quite small company at that time, but he was hiring several photographers and retouchers as they were growing. And that sounded very fun, so I started working for him. I worked there for about 4 years and it was then I really started my retouching career. Some of the senior retouchers at the company believed in me and helped me develop. They were a big inspiration. After that, I started my own company, together with another retoucher and a photographer.”
From professional retoucher to website creator, I asked Chris how did the origins of Art Buyer’s Bible came to be, he explained “I have gotten all my inspiration from looking at other artists’ and studios’ work. Keeping watch on the big studios around the world always drew me in to create the same great work as they did. And while looking around to find other retouchers and great images I found a lot of studios. So I started collecting all of them on a blog. After a while, the list of studios was over a 100. So I decided to do something more of it and created the site. There are now over 200 studios and artist listed on Art Buyer´s Bible.”
The website offers something unique to the industry, according to Chris, “Art Buyer´s Bible has the best list of post-production studios on the web. There are endless of inspiration for both newbies and professionals. I also think we have done a really good job creating the directory overview. You can easily see what and where the great work is coming from.”
When asked about what’s on the horizon for the site and if there are any future plans to include photographers, Chris gave this answer “My future plan is to give advertising agencies personal help with finding collaborators… Since it all started with me looking for inspiration for my own work, I mainly searched for retouch studios. I’ve been thinking about if I should add photographers too. Maybe, but not in any near future. There are also so many, so then I have to think of a good way of sorting them. We’ll see.”
For people who are looking to do their own retouching, Chris recommends the following: “You need a computer with Photoshop and a big bunch of inspiration, which you can find at ArtBuyersBible.com :). Pretty soon you will also need a Wacom tablet.”
Picture 1: Monica Chamorro, Photo: Jenny Brough
Picture 2: Fernando Arrais, Photo: Valerio Trabanco
Picture 3: BlutsBrueder, Photographer: Matthias Zenter, Retoucher: Franz Steiner
Picture 4: Glowfrog, 100%CGI except model
Picture 5: The Livingroom, Photo: Frieke Janssens