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Find out about the
award-winning bestseller Dream

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Secrets of the Artists
Legacy Project

MIKE CARTER

Mike Carter

Illustration from Dream

Toronto, Canada

Digital

The "From Reality to Dreams" series of images created for the colored page backgrounds in Dream tells a story within the story. Each stage of life is associated with a different color, starting with a bright yellow for the beginning of life, moving through the gray challenges and fertile green opportunities, and ending with a soft yellow for the end of life. In terms of imagery, the series begins grounded in the reality of sand dunes with only a sprinkling of stars, moves through the tumult of a sandstorm, and ends with a page overflowing with stars. The images were a challenge because they had to be simple, but evocative. Mr. Carter also created the endpapers for Dream.

Recipient of the Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award, he has done artwork for hundreds of advertising, editorial, and design projects. At 14, he completed his first commercial illustration for Elho Ski Wear in Montreal. With that paycheck, he purchased an airbrush and began exploring its fascinating smooth and realistic effects. Thus began a love-hate affair with airbrushing that would last until the mid 1990s when Photoshop finally dethroned airbrushing in the commercial art world as the main method of achieving realistic imagery. In 1996, he purchased a MAC 8500 (instead of a new car) and started taking various courses to get up to speed. He sees Photoshop and Illustrator as "incredible creative tools. When combined with traditional sensitivities, sound production knowledge and an obsessive attention to detail, you can get a great result." Today, Mr. Carter's mastery of the computer is so skilled that you would swear what you're looking at is a real bird feather or tree.

Mr. Carter embraces every opportunity to work at his craft. When he's not on his MAC or honing his pool shots, you'll find him on one of his various mountain bikes fighting gravity and smiling.

"I'm living my dream -- I draw for a living. It's taken thousands of hours of drawing and repetition to learn my craft. All artists will tell you we get sprung from the womb fully formed with a pencil in our hand and start drawing. I'm happy I attained my childhood goal. Much more of the same, please!"

Find out more about Mike Carter


© SV Bosak, www.legacyproject.org

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