Pennsylvania Teen Creates Award Winning Web Graphics with Paint Shop Pro
Some might call it child's play, but the art 16-year-old Veronica Varos creates for her Web sites using Paint Shop Pro is anything but childish.
Veronica, who taught herself HTML at age 12, has been designing Web graphics using Paint Shop Pro for the past four years. What started out as a way to pass the time has turned into a profitable hobby for the Pennsylvania teen.
Veronica's Web adventure began with her interest in music.
"She's a big Hanson fan," Linda Varos, Veronica's mother said, "She's been real involved with them since they first launched. We let her get so involved with the Hanson community online because it offered some semblance of safety."
“Paint Shop Pro really gives the same tools as Photoshop, but its price is phenomenal”
It was seeing other Hanson sites on the Web that first piqued Veronica's interest in Web and graphic design.
"I saw other pages and thought, 'I want to do that.' I started out with a little Hanson fansite on Geocities or Yahoo. I just did it for me, to see if I could," Veronica said.
It was her mother, Linda, who first bought Veronica Paint Shop Pro.
"Some of the other programs were so complicated," Linda said, "Paint Shop Pro really gives the same tools as PhotoShop, but its price is phenomenal. All the teenagers are using it."
Veronica has a tough time choosing her favorite Paint Shop Pro creation. "Oh man, I don't even know. I've done so many things I can't even count how many," she said. But when pressed she admits that she likes the second piece she entered for the Hanson splash page contest that was a collection of pictures and quotes.
“A lot more people are recognizing my work than I ever thought possible”
People are always surprised to learn that Veronica creates her sophisticated graphics with Paint Shop Pro.
"They say, I didn't know you could do that stuff with Paint Shop Pro." They don't spend a lot of time with it. They'll just give up and when they see what you can really do with it, they're amazed," Veronica said.
And it seems there's a lot of people amazed with Veronica's work. In January, Veronica's John Mayer site got so many hits, the Web hosting company had to shut it down until she purchased more bandwidth.
She's won the grand prize for the splash page design competition on Hanson's official member site two years in a row. Veronica also runs her own Hanson site, Hansonlive.com. People all over the world have asked her to create splash pages for them. RollingStone.com asked if they could link to Veronica's site and Columbia Records contacted her regarding the music Web sites she designs and runs.
Columbia Records has even started sending Veronica CDs to review on her sites. This latest development has led to her biggest project to date, e-freshmusic.com.
"It's going to be mostly music and concert reviews, with some pictures," Veronica said. "There's going to be so much. This is the largest thing I've ever done. I even have other teen and professional writers and artists for the site. I hope to make it into something teens will really turn to for music information."
Despite all the attention, Veronica remains modest. "A lot more people are recognizing my work than I ever thought possible," she said.