Manuel Lopez Herrera reinvented himself as a digital artist
Manuel, a manager for Customer Support, has been with HP for 19 years. At first, he was delivering remote phone support, but after seeing a DesignJet team’s large-format color print, he fell in love with the quality of the print and the explosion of colors and knew the team was for him. He also happens to have reinvented himself as a digital artist, perfecting his work and techniques using HP tools to achieve it.
THE LEAP FROM MACROECONOMICS TO ART
He has a degree from the University of Amsterdam in International Trade and Macroeconomics, and he has practiced art since childhood, once even trading a teacher two handmade paper-mâché hand puppets for the study books he needed.
During the mid-‘80s, he worked with paper, tracing paper, glue, Letraset lettering sheets, photographs, photocopies, and scissors. His work involved many steps, including a lithographer, a print shop, and offset printing. He rushed to use Photoshop, and QuarkXPress when they came on the market.
But he never considered himself an artist.
Only in March 2016 did he begin to reinvent himself, creating a solid body of work and perfecting its quality. The biggest roadblock was what he calls the reptilian brain, a mindset that so prefers the status quo, it will do anything to avoid discomfort and failure.
His first serious exhibition as an artist was the Henley Festival of performing art, and his work is now in galleries, exhibitions, and online. He has 3 different series: Abundance, Mythological Stardoms, and Comme a la TV, widely different from one another and with incredible processes and backgrounds.
For all of his work, Manuel trusts a simple source: His neurons always have the solution. For him, the creative process always starts with the willingness to explore the unknown, and his topics may be random.
“I don’t really choose them, they choose me, in that sense that an idea or a concept shows up in my mind,” he said. “I focus my attention on that idea, but then I let it be. My default mode is to not think about it for a while and let the unconscious deal with it. When I least expect it the ‘ah ha’ moment presents itself. There is absolutely no effort involved.”
“I trust the inimaginable amount of recorded experiences and stored knowledge in my neurons to do the work for me”
WHEN HP TOOLS COME HANDY…
HP products have made all the difference for him, an HP Spectre x360 in tablet mode and the HP Stylus, in particular, have increased his productivity and the quality of his artwork.
“I can use the laptop like a canvas, and digitally mix the colors and use a pen with the same dexterity as with a brush on a canvas. On a canvas, the paint has to dry between layers, while on the laptop I can change the colors, shading, and intensity in an instant and adjust it to my liking.”
Manuel works with Photoshop and a Spectre x360 15-inch with 16 GB RAM, Ultra 4K screen, and 1TR storage. Speed and capacity are crucial for him: “I can create more work in less time thanks to the processing speed, instead of waiting for a filter to be applied or a file to be open or saved.”
Manuel told us there are future series in various stages, including a reflection on the culture of selfies, inspired by his newly purchased HP Sprocket Photo Printer. The first time he saw it, Manuel thought it was kid’s stuff, but then he saw the potential of the sticky-back mini-print, which he plans to mount on wood panels.
ART AND 3D
3D is on his mind, too. “I plan to learn the 3D ZBrush software and to look at affordable 3D desk printers, but I am not willing to compromise on quality, so I am waiting on the day our own HP 3D printers will be available at our channel service providers.”
Finally, when asked about creativity, Manuel says: “Creativity is the tool of our survival as a species,” he said. “And the future of all living organisms on our planet depends on our ability to find creative solutions to complex problems. Today, in my role as a manager, I rely on the same creative process to find solutions to challenging problems.
“Creativity is the willingness to be curious and explore the unknown with a beginner’s mind”
Author: Clane Hayward