The Gnomonworkshop is an amazing resource for both traditional and digital, and 2-D and 3-D tutorials, forums, interviews, and courses. I've used it many times to tap into the deep well that is artistic knowledge.
I wanted to focus on an artist Scott Spencer. Here is an interview with Scott Spencer from thegnomonworkshops.com:
Here is another one with CG Channel:
The biggest amount of information I gathered from this was the fact that artists can take, and will take, many different paths to either their goal or their fate. Also, the value of persistence is shown by Scott Spencer's movement into Gentle Giant Studios. He goes on to say:
I always wanted to work at Gentle Giant because I was aware of them just
as a sculptor and there was just a huge variety of work that came from
the studio. So I was trying to contact the studio for a couple of months
and just through persistence I finally talked to Carl, the owner, who
flew me down for an interview from San Francisco. He brought me on after
that for about a week and I have now been here for two years.
After reading this interview I actually contacted Scott Spencer (I don't know how I found his email), but he recommended I do the same thing (actually call the company!). I did this, and have done this multiple times, but I have not gotten a response back. I am hoping that with persistence I might be able to get a shot!
Another thing that interested me about Mr. Spencer is his drive to take his craft to the highest levels. Many times Digital 3-D artists tend to be looked at as creators of non-realistic designs, but with technology at a peak, artists are able to recreate the world more and more accurately.
I always wanted to be a creature designer. A monster maker. Even when I
am looking at Gambilonia, or Michelangelo I want to bring the same type
of set discipline to entertainment art that I would bring to what other
people call Fine Art. I don’t have that differentiation in mind. I have
always known what I wanted to do and that I want to do it as best as I
possibly can so it seemed to me that I should pursue as much traditional
training as I was able.
I would like to take Scott Spencer's outlook on using the traditional art knowledge, and integrating it into digital work, in my own work. I feel that once you can more easily replicate reality, then you can more easily create a stylized creation.