Athlete Turns Professional Painter
When a sports injury ended her athletic career, Joanne Gervais turned to painting for something to fill her time off the field.
"I played soccer, baseball, hockey, four to five sports every season," she said. Injuries prevented her further participation in sports and necessitated a career change.
Gervais, who started out as a graphic designer working at a commercial printing and trophy business, is surprised by her success in the art world.
It was in 1996, while recuperating from knee and shoulder surgery, that Gervais started drawing and painting. Her husband David suggested that she become a professional painter.
"I taught myself how to paint," she said. "I even took a portraiture class to learn more about painting. After a week, the teacher asked me how long I had been painting portraits. I told him I had just started on Monday when the class started. He was amazed by how quickly I had picked it up. Now, I actually teach college students."
A new career was born. And with the help of Paint Shop Pro, Gervais' painting business has flourished.
Gervais creates many of her marketing tools including invitations and advertising flyers and also manages an extensive web site, using the many features available with Paint Shop Pro.
"My painting has progressed so fast because of Paint Shop Pro," Gervais of Kingston, Ontario, Canada said. "My work is known all over the world because of what I do with Paint Shop Pro."
Since turning painting into her full-time career in 1998, she's created over 4,000 paintings, drawings and sketches. Her work hangs in Canada's Royal Military Academy, galleries around Canada, and has been featured on the cover of sports magazines as well as in collections throughout the world.
Gervais was first introduced to Paint Shop Pro when she hired a web designer from Loyalist College to design a Web site to display her works. Since her site was so graphics intensive, he suggested Paint Shop Pro for its affordability and ease of use.
"It did such a beautiful job on the Web site that I went out and bought it right away," Gervais said. Now her Web site is one of her main marketing tools.
Gervais uses Paint Shop Pro to promote and market her paintings, both on the Web and in print. She also uses the program to assist in organizing reference material and communicating works both finished and in progress to clients and galleries.
"Before we had these great graphics programs like Paint Shop Pro, we did everything by hand," Gervais said. While working in the graphics industry, Gervais would cut out letters and logos by hand and have to line them up by sight.
"It was tedious," she said. "Something that would have taken three hours takes three minutes with Paint Shop Pro."
After she finishes a painting, Gervais takes a picture of it using a digital camera. She then loads the photos into Paint Shop Pro so she can prepare them for various purposes, including reproductions, cards, file storage, email and the web site. Within an hour of completing a painting, Gervais can have a great looking reproduction on watercolor or photographic paper, promotional cards mounted and ready to send to clients, and the image sized and cropped, ready for the web site.
A new good quality digital camera and Paint Shop Pro have greatly reduced the costs of photography and printing. "I used to take 40 to 100 shots of a painting to get one proof that would be suitable for printing." Gervais now says "I only need three to five pictures because with Paint Shop Pro, I can manipulate a poorer quality proof image to more closely resemble the original painting."
Considering that she started using a computer just over two years ago, she is just discovering the potential that this great graphics program has to offer. "I use Paint Shop Pro almost everyday," she said. Features she often uses include photo enhancing, color, contrast & saturation manipulation, cropping, resizing, multi-imaging, and printing.
Gervais also uses Paint Shop Pro to e-mail works in progress to potential buyers. She’s even used Paint Shop Pro to alter existing paintings to show interested art collectors what something she hasn't even created yet will look like.
"My husband says I'm the only artist in the world who can sell a painting before it's even started," she said.
All artwork on the web site www.joannegervais.com has in one way or another benefitted from Paint Shop Pro.