While in Chicago recently, I was having lunch with my good friend Jeff Schewe, when he asked me if I remembered the first time I saw Photoshop. I will admit, it did not have the same impact as the question “where were you when you heard JFK got shot” so I don’t remember the exact moment, but. . .
I do remember the excitement it caused.
It had to be sometime towards the end of 1988 or early ‘89. My partner at the time was David Biedny, who incidentally later co-wrote with me the first book ever written on Photoshop, The Official Adobe Photoshop Handbook by Bantam Books in December, 1991, which was the first book on Photoshop and the only one for almost two years.
David was writing for just about every trade publication out there. A perk of that job was that he received every piece of software that issued from a programmers mind and fingers. Photoshop was one of those little gems that came in the mail one day.
At the time I was being called “Mr. PixelPaint” in various circles because of the art work I was producing with PixelPaint, an early Macintosh drawing program from SuperMac Technology that was known for its extensive paint palette and color mixing schemes. I started to play with this new little app and found many similarities, a few missing features but, the BEST AIRBRUSH TOOL I had seen to date on anything on the Mac or PC. It was smooth!
PixelPaint had an airbrush tool as did Studio 32. Even VideoWorks, forerunner of Director, had one. None came close to the one in Photoshop. It was the first one to produce an effect that actually looked like what a real airbrush could do. I immediately started employing it in the painting I was working on at the time.
The Subway Inn, pictured below, called for a lot of ground-in grime on the walls and signage throughout. The close up shows the smooth tones of gray dirt that cover parts of the sign that was done using Photoshop. Though this might seem so simple now, at the time, in 1989, this was breakthrough stuff!
The Subway Inn–Detail
Needless to say, this was the last painting I did using PixelPaint. From that day on I was Photoshop guy. It seems a bit ironic that the Airbrush, the one thing that pushed me to Photoshop is no longer in the tool palette. No sweat, nothing lost but tons gained!
About Bert Monroy
Bert Monroy was born and raised in New York City where he spent 20 years in the advertising industry as an art director and creative director for various agencies as well as his own.
Upon discovering computers with the introduction of the Macintosh 128 in 1984, he embarked on a new digital career. He embraced the computer as an artistic medium and is considered one of the pioneers of digital art. Bert’s work has been seen in every major trade publication of the computer industry.
Bert is an accomplished teacher and lecturer who has served on the faculty of The School of Visual Arts (NYC), Center for Creative Imaging (ME), Dynamic Graphics Educational Foundation (IL), California College of Arts & Crafts (CA) and lectures at many other institutions and conferences around the world. He currently teaches at San Francisco State University. Bert is also a featured speaker at many world-wide conferences and is part of the Photoshop Dream Team of Photoshop World. Now living in Berkeley, California, he continues to serve his installed base of clients which include Apple Computer, Adobe Systems, Pioneer Electronics, Fujitsu, SONY, AT&T, Chevron and American Express. Bert has also done a considerable amount of film work for Industrial Light & Magic, Pacific Data Images and R/Greenberg Assoc.
Since May of 2001, Bert has been a regular guest on the TechTV channel show The Screen Savers. He appears every month to share Photoshop and digital imaging tips and techniques.
Bert is the author of Commercial Photoshop with Bert Monroy From New Riders Press and available on Amazon.
He will be presenting his Creativity Tour in Seattle, WA on May 13, 2005 at the WA State Convention & Trade Center.