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Lauretta Jones March 18, 2018 1 of 8 When did you discover digital art? In 1980, I was miserable in my job at an ad agency in Manhattan. I was having a moral and ethical meltdown about working in advertising. But I had no idea what I would do instead. (The drawing entitled, “Curl up and blow away, please” is of my ad agency cubicle.) On a visit to see my family in Ohio, my brother showed me a drawing program on his Apple II. The pixels were as big as the fingernail on my pinky (Apple lo-res graphics) and it was completely keyboard-driven (left-left-left-change color-plot pixel…). Nonetheless the proverbial lightbulb exploded over my head. Before that moment, I had had little interest in computer games except for the table-based Centipede at my favorite East Village muffin store. I knew of no one who created art on the computer. I had no idea how to start, where to go to learn about it. It felt like I was throwing myself off a cliff. But I couldn’t shake the excitement generated by the potential of an unexplored frontier. I finally found a course in computer graphics at the New York Institute of Technology. I was completely unqualified but the professor thought it was important that artists get involved in the field. I still have the course textbook, Principles of Interactive Computer Graphics by Newman and Sproull. I was so naïve that I tried to read bits of Pascal as though it were English. A classmate named Örlof took pity on me and explained what a programming language was. While attending my first Siggraph/ACM (Special Group in Graphics of the Association for Computing Machinery) conference, I interviewed with a number of animation houses across the country. One route for artists then was to work at an animation or business graphics house during the day and use the systems for personal work in the wee hours of the morning. But I decided I wanted to be in control of my art and so went off to buy my own computer. I bought an Apple II the


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