Puzzlers! I am soooo excited!! I was lucky enough to get in touch with the super friendly and talented David Maclean! If you know puzzles, then you know David!

Along with the below answers to the questions I shared with him, I want to share this link with you – so you can see his artwork. https://artofdavidm.com/  

Here we go and I hope you enjoy it! I know I did!

Can we learn a little bit about your background? Tell us about yourself!

"It has been said that you either become an artist, or you are born one”. I believe I was born one and meant to be an artist from the day I was born. My mother shares a vivid memory of picking me up after my first day of school, only to take me directly to an art supply store. My mother had seen what I'd created in class, she was all bright-eyed and proud, and knew she must help me pursue my art talent. Ask her and she will say, "This was his destiny, he is an artist.".
I have been a digital artist for the past 20 years, and a traditional artist for the 35 years previous to that. Currently I live among the vineyards and orchards with my wife of over 40 years, Maryse, and we have 3 grown children and a grandchild. I am represented by a leading art licensing agency and my artwork can now be found in every corner of the world. I also have a successful on-line art gallery (artofdavidm.com) that features my art.

What got you started in creating art for puzzles?

I sold my art gallery business back in 2015 after a 26-year career of running and owning multiple art galleries in Washington, Oregon, and Western Canada. The only reason I got into the art gallery business was to support myself and my family and to work towards becoming a full-time artist. That has always been a lifelong dream that I have been fortunate enough to achieve. After I sold my art business, I was full time in my studio at home and had a thought to offer my art into the art licensing field. I emailed 10 different art licensing agencies and received 8 contract offers within 24 hours. This seemed like a pretty good sign that I should be in the art licensing field, I signed on with an agency out of London UK that offers my art to the puzzle industry as well as other licensing products.

Do you do all the art or have a team of artists? 

I create all my own art.

How do you do the images (draw, photo, computerized)?

I was a traditional artist (watercolor, acrylic, oil, pencil) on an easel since a young age but around 20 years ago I enrolled into an evening course at a local college to learn a new program for running an industrial printer I had purchased for my art business. After a few months in the course, I started to realize I could create art within the computer program using a tablet and pen with the pen acting as my brush. This was the very early days of programs like this when you could create a work of art in a computer. I spent the next year playing with it to see how much I could transfer my painting on an easel skill to the program. This program offered a huge color pallet and allowed me to make my brush any size, large or small, hard, or soft just the way I wanted it to plus the different layering I could do.
In traditional art you can overwork a piece very quickly and have to start over but in the program, you can eliminate a layer and carry on, I now have between 140 to 200 layers each time I create an artwork.
Once I mastered the program I never looked back.

What is your inspiration for puzzle art and has it changed over time?

I receive a lot of requests from puzzle companies for a specific scene which means I usually have to do some research, and this can be challenging at times, but I enjoy this. I find inspiration for art that I create on my own through many ways, driving down a street filled with homes, visiting a new place, something I saw in a magazine, on-line or watching a movie just about anywhere. My art is never an accurate depiction of a place as I take all the best parts of an area and create it into one scene that expresses the feel of the area.  After all these years of being an artist I still get out of bed every morning with an excitement to get back to whatever I’m working on. I will never retire from being an artist as I love the
creating part.  

Is your artwork published in other forms besides puzzles, and if so, what form?

My artwork is sold as Wall Art in canvas or paper print from my website as well as in art galleries and in licensing for puzzles, calendars, diamond art, cross-stitch, cell phone screens and other products. I have over 300 artworks now been offered by different puzzle companies.

Do you have a favorite puzzle or artwork that you have created? If so, which one and why?

I have several pieces of mine I like, and our home is like an art gallery of my canvas art that we change around a couple of times a year. My favorite pieces usually are works that invoke a strong emotional feeling, my goal as an artist is not creating an image but rather an emotional feeling.   

Have you ever regretted an image being published after the fact?

Yes, but years ago I went to a lecture by an artist who was becoming a famous artist at the time and during the lecture when one of his pieces came up on the screen, he said he regretted creating it and it was a mistake to allow it into print. There was a big gasp in the audience as so many people loved it and many had purchased it. This has always stayed with me that I may not care for it but someone else may love it. Art has such a personal taste for everyone that we all see and feel it differently. When I had art galleries we would see couples fighting over which piece to get.

Do you enjoy doing puzzles? Do you have a favorite artist/series brand?

Yes, during the winter months we always have a puzzle with my art going in our dining room.

How do you see your work evolving and how has it evolved since the start?

Over the years I have seen my artworks change many times and always welcome a new change to my art and look to find new ways on how I create it as well as new themes.

What are your plans for future projects?

If you had asked me this question 20 years ago I could have written a lot about it but I have come to a place in my life that I like to let life unfold and try to just flow with it rather than trying to control everything. This mindset seems to work for me now.

"Art for me is a place that I go to be lost in a world of dreams. My mind falls deep into the scene where my ego thoughts cannot go and my imagination runs free. Time stands still for I feel the letting go to a place that I belong”.