Artist / Illustrator
Troy Eittreim is an award winning multi-discipline artist, currently focusing on Digital Painting. He holds a BFA in Painting and Illustration from The Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD).
On this site you will find examples of his current personal work, links to purchase one-of-a-kind and limited edition prints, as well as other personal work created prior to his adoption of digital tools – in other words – analog creations.
Eittreim says, during my time at school, SCAD offered no computer classes. There was no such thing as Photoshop. Indeed Photoshop would not be commercially released until after I had graduated.
And it wasn’t until a couple years after graduation, that a friend stopped by to me gave me a copy.
However, there was no Youtube, no tutorials, no Photoshop for Dummies. So, I spent several years teaching myself (probably acquiring many bad habits to add to my other many bad habits).
At first, I could do little with the software. It felt primitive. I was quite dissatisfied.
Yet I was also fascinated. And challenged. And I could see the possibilities.
I knew I could achieve the aesthetic I have in my minds eye. Loose painterly imprecision combined with refined, highly stylized graphics.
But the tool presents certain problems for the creator that other tools do not. For one, the artist does not actually touch a medium. He dances his fingers on a smooth surface thumb pad – much like finger painting – yet with no paint.
It would take many years to learn how to operate the tool to produce what I see. And I often returned to traditional tools to satisfy my creative vision.
Now, having conquered Photoshop and Illustrator, I use them almost exclusively to produce what I call digital painting.
How I got here
I was raised in the arctic tundra (and cultural wasteland) of small town, Iowa.
An only child, I was naturally introspective, and spent many frigid winter hours in quiet contemplation. With chiclets chattering and ice-glazed piggies crying, I’d warm at my grandparents’ kitchen table, watching Chuck Jones, Tex Avery and Max Fleischer cartoons. I’d watch black and white Viet Nam conflict footage and be fascinated by the exotic flora, architecture and people depicted.
I’d draw. I’d paint. Play with plastic models. And airplane glue.
I showed a little natural talent. And – thanks to Grandma’s encouragement – I developed quite the imagination! And a nice little crusty ring of glue under my nose!
But there, in Iowa, Norman Rockwell and Grant Wood rule the roost.
It wasn’t until college, when I was introduced to Rauschenberg’s work, Abstract Expressionism, and Surrealism that I flipped my lid on modern art.
Upon graduation from SCAD I felt I was emulating my heroes to closely. I decided I needed to define my own aesthetic. And stopped looking at art altogether.
Then around, 1996 I began to look at Indian Miniature Painting – idealized, delicate and quaint little paintings, often painted with a one hair brush, depicting historic Indian court life.
And in 2002, during travel to Bali, Indonesia I discovered Kamasan painting – highly stylized, fantastical creatures and landscapes painted with natural pigments.
Now, I live in sunny Florida, have warmed up (some), and combine all these various elements to create wry fairy tales and other haunting, oddly funny visions.