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GirlGeek of the Week
November 1999

Gara Gillentine

Gara Gillentine

I became interested in computers in 1998 after realizing that it was becoming increasingly important to know how to use one in order to be more marketable in the world of work.

I left my job as a floral designer and came back to The University of Mississippi to take some computer classes. I had received my BFA in painting there in 1994. Being an artist I, of course, wanted to learn all about being creative on a computer. I also wanted to learn page layout and graphic design.

From day one in my "Computer Image Making" class, I fell in love with the Macintosh computer and Adobe Photoshop and life just hasn't been the same since. As a result of this "love affair," I gave my paint brushes, oils, and easel to my daughter. I bought a PowerMac G3, a modem, and Zip drive. I have since added more memory and purchased a scanner. I now do all of my artwork on the Mac. Drawings, paintings, and collage done on the computer offer a whole new way of thinking and seeing.

I have just finished designing the newest CD for a local band and am currently involved in my own "artist's book" project. In this book, a fusion of poetry and imagery will be created on the computer and then printed on various traditional printmaking papers. With these incredible new artist's tools, I can create for hours and never have a "mess to clean up." Ah! Technology!

When did you first discover your love and/or obsession with computers and technology?

See above.

How do you earn a living?

A "work" day for me is extremely varied, but it usually consists of going to classes, working on projects for those classes, and working in the Mac computer lab as a part time assistant. Those projects deal with learning the PC and PC applications, planning a new magazine launch, and working on my book.

On days I'm not in class, I work at home. For example, this morning I worked on the cover for my book and was on my Mac for 4 hours before I knew it! I had to be somewhere else in an hour and I didn't really want to get up and leave what I had started.

Do you consider yourself a Geek?

Well I never thought of myself as one, but after taking your geek test, I came to feel that I am somewhat of a geek and proud of it.

What is your favorite Website? because of its incredible fonts, art resources, reading suggestions, and extreme ease of navigation, because of the extraordinary amount of interviews and exchange of ideas offered relative to new media arts. (Sorry, I just had to give you two.)

What do you do when you are not working?

My work is art and school at the moment and when I'm not doing that, I'm researching my interests on the net, drinking coffee, writing poetry, enjoying my porch swing, on the net, or reading something really cool.


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