Photographer and digital artist Kevin Carden has spent the last decade mastering photo editing software and captivating the world with his stunning digital manipulations. His art is enchanting and draws you into a wondrous, colorful reality.
Kevin draws inspiration from his faith, family, and even everyday life as a father. He also wants to encourage other artists to never stop learning from others and from their own mistakes. “My main passion with my digital art is to portray concepts, themes, and stories directly from the Bible. Sometimes, I am able to do this with ordinary photography, and a little bit of photoshop composite work. But other times I will essentially have to do a lot of painting. I’m not the best digital painter, but sometimes that’s the only way I can accurately portray the emotion and the feeling of the piece,” Kevin told Bored Panda.
Read on for our full interview with the artist, scroll down to see how Kevin made his digital collages, and let us know which ones you liked the most and why, dear Pandas! Make sure to check out his social media pages, as well as his Gumroad for some cool Photoshop tutorials.
“You are with me”
“Some are called to water”
“The Two Biggest Roles of a Mother”
“The Back to School Prayer”
“Pray for your children”
“How sweet are Your words to my taste!”
“The two biggest roles of a father”
“The “Sun” Flower”
“The Tea Party Out of this World”
“Let the children come”
The artist illustrates themes from the Bible in his art
Bored Panda wanted to find out about Kevin’s latest works of art and the themes behind them. Here’s what he said: “Recently, I painted one called ‘The Shield,’ which features a huge fire breathing dragon and a man hiding behind a cross for protection. The main concept I was trying to illustrate here is that being a Christian doesn’t mean the attacks and hardships will stop. It just means that we can seek shelter in the cross, and the unconditional love of Jesus. The attacks will still come, but they won’t have any power over us if we trust in the ‘shield.’
“Another one I painted was called ‘Rescued’, and it was directly from a story in Matthew 14. Jesus was out walking on the water, and Peter wanted to walk with him too. Peter successfully walked on the water, at least for a few steps, and then he took his eyes off Jesus and started to sink. But Jesus lovingly reached down and rescued Peter out of the water. It’s a beautiful story of the love of Jesus reaching out to us when we need Him the most,” Kevin shared with us.
Photoshop has a learning curve but is very simple once you get past it
Kevin said that he’s been using Photoshop since 2010 and enjoys how flexible and powerful it is. “I know that many people now don’t even own a computer, so they do all of their editing on mobile apps. I feel like Photoshop gives you a lot more control over your editing than other programs,” he said.
“Being able to stacks hundreds of layers on top of each other to create one piece of artwork is something only a powerful program can do. I also love Photoshop because I’ve used it so long that I know exactly how to use it and I am very familiar with all of the tools and techniques. There is a bit of a learning curve at first, which can be frustrating, but once you get past that curve its actually a very simple program.”
The pandemic hasn’t affected the artist’s work much
We also wanted to find out how the coronavirus pandemic had affected the artist and his work. According to Kevin, the impact was very minimal. “Since I shoot my own stocks for my artwork, I have not been able to go out and get as much photography done this year. The zoos, museums, and some national parks were closed. So I had to rely on my photographs from previous years much more this year. I don’t do a lot of photoshoots with large groups of people though, nor do I shoot weddings or events any more, so those disruptions have not affected me very much. All in all, the pandemic has not had much of an impact on my work, and I am so thankful that I can continue to create art through it all.”
Coming up with new ideas is the biggest challenge
Kevin boasts more than 371k fans on Instagram and nearly the same amount of followers on Facebook. His journey into the vast wilds of photo-editing software started a decade ago. He quickly realized just how flexible, creative, and unique the software allows his art to be.
“Coming up with creative ideas is usually the hardest part of my process. I get inspiration from my faith and from themes in the Bible which are so much fun to illustrate. I also get photo ideas from my wife and children as well, and oftentimes I am just illustrating everyday life as a father. Sometimes, I just get ideas out of the blue with no real explanation and those projects tend to be the most popular for some reason!” the artist revealed what inspires him to Bored Panda in an earlier interview.
He revealed that whenever he finds himself in a block, he looks for relationships between opposite themes or tries creative brainstorming techniques.
It’s a family-run project
Kevin’s wife and two kids are very involved in the creative process and they’re his favorite models. “Since our kids are young, they certainly don’t think these creative art pieces are anything odd. It’s just every day normal life for them. So I tell my daughter that I want to create a picture of her eating ice cream on the planet Venus, she gets excited because she gets to do something fun with her daddy, see a cool photo of herself, and even get a sweet treat in the end.”
The vast majority of the photoshoots happen in their family home or their backyard, so the kids can feel relaxed and just be themselves.
The artist speaks about faith through his digital art
Faith is very important to Kevin, and he doesn’t shy away from showing religious themes through his art. “The Bible is full of so many miracles and supernatural stories that cannot be easily portrayed using only photography. With the technology of editing software, I can bring those Biblical themes to life in creative and powerful ways. I am burdened by a large amount of cheesy and low-quality religious artwork out there. I am just blessed that God has given me this talent and I want to use it to create high quality and thought-provoking pieces of art.”
Kevin enjoys being a digital artist, working from home on something that he’s very passionate about, and spending so much time with his family. However, he’s also human and shared with Bored Panda that, of course, it’s frustrating when projects that he’s been working hard on don’t come together. Fortunately, he bounces back easily.
“It takes a lot of hard work, but it’s very rewarding in the end when you can share your passions and creativity with the rest of the world,” he said about art.