Victoria Johnson, The Sketchie Beast, is based in Southern California

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© 2019 by Victoria Caro Johnson/The Sketchie Beast

 Ecclesiastes 3:11


Being a mixed bag of ethnicities, exoticism comes naturally to my creative process, seasoned liberally with bold flavor and bold color. Some of these influences also come from my passion for belly dance. For me, exotica is not just an inspiration, it's a way of life.


This digital gem, meant to convey a sense of tranquility, is a 55-layered monsterbytes of texture and color. When the mood strikes, I'll balance my  gritty, earthy images with pieces that are light and ethereal. Peace, I hope, is what comes to mind when you view this.


It took three days to birth Nathania which in Hebrew means 'God's Gift'. Believe it or not, she is one of my more lengthy labors.  As is the usual fashion of my illustration, the original line art was created in Illustrator, but the best part, always, is finishing the fine details in Photoshop. The layering and texturing is where I shine.


Although I created 'Masks' for my own promotions—business cards and flyers—I realized this would make a cool piece on its own which consists of other pieces and textures of other works. Again, the beauty of digital where I can easily master an effect and transfer it at will. 'Masks' truly highlights my love of exoticism, textures and more textures. And gas masks.


Meditate is another creation meant to invoke a sense of peace and calm in the midst of life's storms. It took numerious texture layers to get the vintage look I desired for Meditate. Well-aged, seasoned, damaged are themes that are an integral part of my digital style. 


This creation pretty much sums up what I know to be truth: we're all flawed individuals, but we can be serene in that knowledge. Flawed and Serene uses multiple layers of exotic textures and a color palette that I hope conveys the patina of age and timelessness.

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With belly dance being a passion of great influence, I find much inspiration from this art form and with dancers who perform on the circuit. In this piece I wanted to convey the erosion of the ancient with multiple patterns and textures, on the dancer's top, on the vase, in the background, for added interest. 


'Lotus Eater' started with a Balinese mask as a model. This was one of my earlier pieces created while still trying to master the digital pen I drew the mask in Illustrator and transferred to Photoshop for the fine details of corrosion, cracks and color effects. 


Although I learned belly dance in the Arabic Cabaret style, I've developed a passion for tribal fusion as well as a fascination with the costumes styles. After creating the initial illustration of this tribal dancer, I added the exotic textures and patterns that are an integral part of my artworks. The original illustration used brighter colors, but for this I chose a less saturated palette for a vintage look. 


This Fan Art illustration was inspired by a YouTube video. Capturing a screen shot of the somewhat rudimentary character, I drew the subject in Illustrator, then made her my own with many effects layers to give her a space-age meets old world charm, with a touch of anime. And as a finale, set her in a temple fit for a goddess of the galaxies.