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Meet Bob Winberry of WINBERRY Digital Fine Art & Photography in Long Beach

Today we’d like to introduce you to Bob Winberry.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Bob. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
As a kid, I was intrigued by Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf, in which a narrator tells a story as it is musically “illustrated” by an orchestra. In this symphony, each character in the story is represented by a different instrument. When augmented by narration, the instrumentation and orchestration achieve something unexpected.

I knew then that I wanted to tell stories by blending various mediums. To get there, I studied music, art, and photography, and when computers came around, I learned to program them from the bottom up: from machine code to C++ to HTML5. When Future Wave Animation (Adobe Flash) appeared I was ready, and I spent a decade producing interactive web and CD content that combined the music I wrote, the photographs I took, the characters I created, and the animations I developed.

Today I continue to pursue that Peter and the Wolf aesthetic by applying my photography, 3D characters and environments, and music to videos, graphic novels, and Virtual Realities with the help from programs like Unity, Blender, and Audacity (all free to use – the only cost is the learning curve). I also continue to use camera and computer to create printed images that merge photography and illustration. I am currently transferring my digitally crafted images onto wood. The art of transferring, requiring repeated layering and exposing of targeted areas of an image, ensures that each result is unique—and that each final image has a different, subtle message.

Whether by design or inclination, I’ve remained “local” as an artist. I work and exhibit in Long Beach, and often use digitally manipulated photographs of local Long Beach street scenes, architecture, and landscapes in my work—sometimes as backdrops for my edgier and more absurdist printed images. I don’t feel the limitations and constraints of a single locale. Putting an unexpected twist on the familiar can be eye opening.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I’ve always integrated technology and art, so staying on top of changing technologies is critical to me and to my work. But while getting behind the technology curve can be a distinct disadvantage, being ahead of the game also has its challenges. In the mid-1990s I showed some of my earliest digital printed images at a prominent art show. Though the images were well received, the digital prints were criticized as not “real” art. Today that is clearly not the case. Technology provides increasing opportunities to present a point of view and perspectives. But you have to be willing to put yourself out there, take chances, experiment, and put in the time it takes to learn new skills.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about WINBERRY Digital Fine Art & Photography – what should we know?
I suppose that any artist asks him/herself from time to time how they define success. If I measured success only by money flow I doubt I would have had the resilience to continue to challenge myself to break new ground in my work. Instead, I’ve found that mastering new technologies and art techniques stimulates creativity and helps to avert stagnation and predictability. So one measure of success for me is to accept constant change. It’s always about the journey and not the destination.

Selling a piece is always a good thing, of course. Seeing my work in someone’s home, business, or in a public place is very satisfying. I currently exhibit in local tours and shows, including the Long Beach Studio Tour, an exhibition in the Long Beach Public Library and various galleries.

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