Saturday, 17 March 2012

Interview | Dominic McCann

Dominic McCann is a professional retoucher and free lance digital artist from the North East of England. He's done work for big names such as National Geographic and Billabong, to name a few. I caught up with him to find out a little bit more about himself and his work.

An Interview With Dominic McCann

When did you first become interested in retouching, art and photography etc.?
It wasn't until I turned 20 that I became interested in digital art... it was actually eBay that pushed me down the retouching path. I had an online shop selling vintage clothing, one of the jobs was to photograph and edit the images before listing items. I started enjoying playing about with the images to make them stand out more to buyers, adding effects etc. While I was making money from eBay I got accepted onto the Fine Art uni course in Newcastle, the decision I made then is what has took me to where I'm at now. I chose to ditch uni in favour of Photoshop and eBay. Over the following year (thanks to a lot of YouTube tutorials) I became quite advanced in image editing and manipulation... and so when I found a freelance website where I could use Photoshop to make a living, I let the eBay shop go. That was 6 years ago and I haven't looked back since.

Have you always been good at what you do, for e.g. do you think it’s a natural talent, that you just found it easy to do, or was it a steep learning curve and lots of of hard work?
From a young age I've always loved and excelled in Art, being creative is when I feel most comfortable. People can still achieve great things without a natural talent, but it certainly helps to have a creative mind in this industry. Its been a huge learning curve, I'm still learning now and will be for as long as I continue down this route.

So where are you at the moment in terms of work. Are you working for a company, are you free lance or a bit of both?
At the moment I'm working Freelance. I get work direct from customers who have found my online portfolio, but I also use agents. I currently have 3 agents from different areas of the world who give me work for a commission percentage.

I know you done some work for National Geographic for one of their commercials, you must have been thrilled. Were you approached by them? It must have been great giving the opportunity? 
The Nat Geo project was given to me by one of my Agents. I'd only been retouching for a year when that one came in, so it was a huge confidence boost. Securing a job for a company of that size spurred me on to work harder and become better.

Now then the Subbuteo image you done for the Tyne & Wear derby, which I love by the way! It made it's way on to the front cover of A Love Supreme. You must be well pleased with that, again were you approached by the people over at ALS or did you contact them?
I've been an avid Sunderland fan for as long as I can remember, its a great passion of mine.. so I thought it would be fitting to combine my two passions, thus creating the MON Subbuteo image. I had a feeling that it would turn a few heads when I posted it on Facebook, but I was shocked when the editor of ALS got in touch asking for permission to use it. He's since given me the freedom to come up with other concepts for further issues... Its nice to think that my work can have a positive influence on others.

When your not busy retouching or putting together digital images, what is it you like to do in your spare time?
Nothing too 'rock n roll' any more I'm afraid. I live with my girlfriend and her 5 year old, so any spare time we get is spent doing family orientated things... teaching the little one to ride her bike without stabilisers is currently proving to be a difficult one ha ha.

Finally Dom, what are the plans for the future?
Not many people get the opportunity to make a living doing what they love, so if I'm in the exact same position in 20 years time then I'll be a happy man. There's always the chance for me to become the agent, and delegate work for a percentage... but I enjoy doing the work too much myself at the moment so maybe that can be much later in life


Thanks for taking the time out to speak to us. You clearly have a great talent, and we hope all goes well for you in the future.ACM

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