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I was born in Moscow, USSR on January 21, 1957. According the Chinese calendar, I thought I am rooster. I only just learned ten years ago, that year of rooster began later in 1957 than January 21. So I guess I am a monkey. For better or for worse. I have drawn all my life. Even when teachers at school were angry when I drew during class I would explain that it is my way to focus my attention. And it is true!
When I served as sailor in the Navy, on North Fleet in Murmansk, I made pencil sketches for my friends. Some of my pictures were sent home by mail. When I was back home, after my time in the Navy, I decided to attend one of Moscow's art colleges. It was very competitive and difficult to get accepted. I was rejected the first time I applied because the college did not think the pictures I presented were of a high enough level of skill. The professors told me that I will only lose time for exams. Next year my effort to be accepted was more successful. But because of administrative error, I wasn't included in group of students that passed the drawing exams, and after this mistake was finally fixed, I hadn't the power in my soul to continue tests. So I didn't get a high enough grade to be accepted. The third time was lucky for me. By then, I was 24 years old and my daughter was 6 months old.
During summer vacation I went with my friends on Ural and Siberia to work like artists. We did various kinds of jobs: painted on interior walls, carved decorative figures from tree trunks, did street decorations, and some mosaics. After college, I worked in a design office and made projects of exhibitions and city decoration.
After Perestroyka, our life seriously changed. This period in time presented a lot of interesting problems. I worked as a woodworker, as a company manager, and as freelance artist. But I dreamed about computers. I was afraid that I would spend a lot of money and not be able to understand how to work with the PC.
At the end of 1994, an advertising company hired me to work as a designer, and I got my chance to learn the new technology. I began with Windows 95 and CorelDRAW 5. In the Spring of 1995, I bought my own P-100 and 14" monitor. I was so happy. My friends, a family of American missionaries, gave me their modem when they left for home and I started to use the internet. On Xara.com I saw pictures by Gary Priester, Gary David Bouton, and some others. I wanted to work with Xara. I saw a simple, but impressive still-life made with Xara in our computer magazine, and I was impressed with Xara's features. So in 1996 I started to learn that application.
Some time later, I found some information about the COREL World Design Contest and I decided to submit my entry. I was so surprised that my picture was selected as the Monthly winner. It was The Road to the Church. Next year I submitted A Time Machine and was awarded an honorable mention. Sun's Fiction did not win anything but PROfile was a monthly winner. PROfile was a continuation of Party as a concept to create foreground and change the background to reflect various surfaces. Here I used canvas, but it could have been wood, stone, paper and so on. The last image I submitted was the Steam Engine which I entered in the technical drawing category. It was the very last contest and this entry was a Grand Prize winner! I created all of these pictures using only Xara. Later I used Xara for various images: Gas station - printed advertising, City Architecture - Posters, Microwave ball, Pocket-Sized Art - illustrations.
XARA Artists Wanted! We are always looking for new artists to feature on this page. If you would like to be considered for one of the future featured artists, Click Here to contact us. Please don't send images at this time. What works best is for you to place some of your best images on a Web page and send us the URL. If we decide to feature you and your images, we will contact you and provide further instructions.
Xara makes several graphics products and all of them are fun and easy to use. And Xara makes this site possible so it would be nice if you just went to these pages and had a look see. Thanks.
You are probably aware of Xara Xtreme but have you downloaded Xara Xtreme Pro? All the tutorials in this Workbook are done in Xtreme Pro, so if you don't have it, get it now.
Here are some other products made by Xara and links to the Xara.com Website.
©2007 Gary W. Priester