For Illustrator, Computer Strokes Are Brush Strokes

It certainly has not matured as a legitimate art form or even a contender, but Roy A. Montibon, 29, a Santa Ana award-winning computer illustrator, feels that computers will surely provide artists and collectors with the next great frontier.

“The work seen now is still experimental,” Montibon said while sitting in his dimly lit computer center where he works as a graphics illustrator. “But the directions this medium can take in the art field are wide open.” Using computers to provide an art form, he said, started only five years ago.

Two pieces of art he produced on his $80,000 computer are part of a traveling University of Oregon computer art exhibit.

Despite his and other work produced by computer artists, Cal State Fullerton computer graphics professor Lotan Berg, 28, feels that “in terms of the legitimate art world, it hasn’t really become part of that environment yet.” And Paul Schimmel, chief curator of the Newport Harbor Art Museum, said: “It’s not the next wave of what we call art.”


Nevertheless, Montibon believes that computer art will some day be a vital part of the contemporary art community. A graduate of Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, Montibon said it is that background that helps him create serious art on the computer. He is design manager for Visionary Art Resources Inc. of Santa Ana.

“The direction this medium can take is wide open,” he said. Besides producing art that can be hung on the wall, he said, “it (the computer) can be used in motion pictures for such things as animation, as well in other fine arts.”

Because of the art form’s infancy, Montibon said, “only a handful (of artists) are attempting to do serious artwork. Initially it was called garish or put together in poor taste, which led to a general prejudice against computer art.”

He said much of that art was produced by mathematicians and engineers who had computer backgrounds but not an art background, such as his. He recently illustrated that point as well as his artwork to an audience of 200 at UC Irvine.


“There are all types of possibilities that haven’t been touched yet to create art by computer,” he said. Montibon contends that it will not be long before the serious contemporary art community will accept computer art in the same way that it accepts sculptures and paintings.

Talk about being overwhelmed. The five German students, Heiko Juelg, Michael Kohl, Ellen Sommer and brothers Juergen and Ralf Eller, who came to Fullerton College to learn English, first had to cope with the campus enrollment of 18,000.

Their hometown of Kahl, Germany, only has 15,000 people.

Kenneth L. Harmon, 43, of Orange spent his adult life in the Marine Corps, part of it as a lieutenant in Vietnam, where he was twice wounded. He retired as a major and decided to enter business, so he opened a bistro in Brea.

Of course, he named it the Purple Heart Saloon.

Poor Officer Hulk. The 125-pound police dog for Seal Beach that has has been a favorite of school children and a dynamo at rooting out criminals, has an inflamed disc. He’s been forced to take medical retirement, and owner-partner Neil Henderson said big dogs such as Hulk (a bouvier des Flandres) are prone to get back problems although he’s not sure how it developed.

But while Hulk may be through searching buildings for robbers, his role as a police dog for the past 18 months, he can still do other work.

Henderson said Hulk will guard his home.


Acknowledgments--Tricia Roby, 13, of Orange was awarded a $1,000 scholarship for winning California Miss T.E.E.N (Teens Encouraging Excellence Nationally) over 143 contestants ages 13 through 18. Marjorie Hong of Orange was second runner-up.