This is the long awaited in depth Q&A many of you have asked for! I thought this would be helpful for students and other artists who would like to know me a little better, I hope you find it insightful.
Where are you from and what school did you attend?
I’m based in Toronto and graduated with a bachelors in Animation from Sheridan College.
What sparked your interest in art and illustration?
One of my favorite hobbies as a child was coloring books and I also grew up watching my dad draw. He just did it as a hobby at the time but I was amazed with how he was able to capture a person on paper.
Are you a full-time artist? If so, how did you make the decision?
I am! It was never a question for me. Painting/drawing was what I was good at and I had no doubt that this is what I was meant to do since the age of 7. I knew I wanted to do something in the arts, at I was drawn to fine arts, then it became animation and layout, and now I’m pursuing illustration!
Who or what inspires you?
I find inspiration from everything that’s just aesthetically pleasing to me. I love looking at fashion and branding photography, plants and even interior design. As for who, I would say Gustav Klimt and Audrey Kawasaki made the biggest impact on me throughout my artistic journey.
What is your artistic process?
It depends on what I’m inspired by. Everyday I’m looking on Instagram and Pinterest for inspiration, when something catches my eye I’ll make sure to save it so I can look back on it when I’m ready to start a new piece. From there, I’ll pick and choose different elements from different photos or from my imagination that I would like to incorporate into one piece. If i’m inspired by a color scheme, then i’ll start my painting by blocking in the colors first, if it’s a pose, then I’ll start by exploring similar poses. So it definitely ranges with every piece.
Has your style evolved over time?
I don’t even know where to start. It’s evolved so much that I’m no longer attached to the word “style” anymore, I’ve accepted that It’s going to be an ongoing journey and I’m much more focused on growing and improving as an artist than what style looks like. I find that when you let yourself get too attached to a certain style you lose the creativity and drive to explore and experiment.
What is the average amount of time it takes to finish one illustration?
It really depends on the piece and how complex it is. I never give myself a time frame, I just work on a piece until I’m happy with it. I’d say I generally take around 2-4 hours on a digital piece, and depending on the size, 3-6 hours on a traditional one.
What is the most challenging part of being an freelance illustrator?
Being self employed, no matter the occupation, is always a challenge. Luckily, I absolutely love what I do and I also love running my own business, I like planning, and constantly pushing myself to work harder everyday. Obviously money can sometimes be an obstacle since freelancing means there’s not guarantee of a steady income but I really believe being able to be your own boss makes it all worth it. I honestly don’t think I can go back to having someone tell me what to do haha!
How do you stay motivated when you experience a creative rut?
Whenever I feel uninspired I’ll just simply take a break from painting. I don’t believe anyone should ever force themselves to be creative if they don’t feel motivated or inspired. When you force yourself to be creative you’ll slowly take away the love and passion you have for your craft. When I feel uninspired I’ll do the following:
- take a break, watch a movie
- save a bunch of pretty photos so I can look back at it when I feel like working again
- try doing different activities that relax the mind, like yoga
How did you build your online following?
I get asked this question a lot, and I feel like there’s a lot of people who think there’s a secret to getting followers. Truthfully, all I ever did was try strive to make good content and be consistent with posting. There’s no secret, when people like your work they’ll tend to follow you, it’s as simple as that :)
Thanks for reading!