Inspiring Wonderful Worlds With Mary Jane Whiting

Behance Artist Highlight: Inspiring Wonderful Worlds With Mary Jane Whiting

The best part of my Friday is being able to feature the incredible artists who join our Wacom Gallery. I’m especially excited to share, Ringling College of Art and Design computer animation junior, Mary Jane Whiting's work.

Mary Jane WhitingHere is Mary Jane’s story:

Wacom: Tell us how you started your creative passion.

Mary Jane: As a kid, I was obsessed with Sunday comics and animated movies.  I found myself drawing a lot in school, and sometimes getting in trouble for not paying attention.  I think it was around that time when one of my relatives mentioned to my parents that they should prepare themselves because I would definitely be an artist.  During high school, I started taking art seriously, and decided that I had to pursue my dream of becoming an artist and animator. 

Mary Jane Whiting HideOut

Wacom: What style of visual art do you focus on and why?

Mary Jane: Currently I’m a computer animation junior at Ringling College of Art and Design, where most of my work focuses on CG animation.  My passion is designing characters and worlds that inspire a larger story.  It’s an interesting process because I get to see my characters develop from a simple sketch into a fully-animated CG character.

Mary Jane WhitingWacom: What is your process from ideation to creation?

Mary Jane:

I usually approach every piece slightly different.  My process usually begins with fixing a cup of hot Chai tea, gathering and assembling good references, and making the initial sketches and designs.  After that it’s mostly about the choices I make in regards to value, composition and the mood that fits the piece.  After getting a solid design I move on to my favorite part - painting and refining.  Once I finish a piece, I usually try to walk away from it for a while and come back to add the final flourishes.

Wacom: Where and how do you find inspiration?

Mary Jane: Many of my inspiration come from things I enjoy in my free time, such as watching movies and reading.  When I’m actively looking for inspiration, I usually start with a news article or an image that interests me.  That being said, I think some of my best ideas come when I’m not hung up on “feeling inspired.”  I try to always keep a sketchbook in my bag so if inspiration strikes, I’m ready to jot down my ideas.


Wacom: What is your favorite of your work and why?

Summer VacationMary Jane: Hmmm, my favorite piece is probably “Summer Vacation.” The piece was inspired by a vacation I took with my family a few summers ago. We ended up getting lost in the foothills of Italy and didn’t make it to the hotel we had originally booked.  With this piece, I took the idea one step further and portrayed the concept of ending up at the “wrong” hotel; a hotel more sinister than the vacationing family in the little blue car realizes.  I think the piece has a cool narrative. Ultimately, it’s up to the viewer to fill in the blanks as to what happens next in the story.

Wacom: What Wacom technology are you using now?

Mary Jane: I use a Wacom Cintiq, though I also love my Intuos tablet when I want to sketch outside or on the go.

Wacom: Why did you join the Wacom gallery on Behance?

Mary Jane: I joined the Wacom gallery to get inspired and to make the transition from student to professional artist. It’s been amazing to connect with so many other digital artists and be inspired by their work.  I made the switch to digital art just before coming to Ringling, and Wacom products were an integral part of that transition. Five years later, I’m still using a Wacom tablet, and you’ll never see me without a Wacom pen in hand.

You can see more of Mary Jane’s work on her Behance profile.

For a chance to be featured in our Behance artist highlight, join our Behance gallery. Check back next Friday for another artist highlight.