This is the long awaited in depth Q&A many of you have asked for! I thought this would be helpful to 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 at Sheridan College.
What sparked your interest in art and illustration?
My favorite activity as a child were coloring books and I actually grew up watching my dad draw. He just did it as a hobby but I was amazed with how he was able to capture the essence of an object 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 first it was fine art, and then animation, and now 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 furniture. As for who, I would say Audrey Kawasaki made the biggest impact on me throughout my artistic journey. When I first saw her work I instantly became obsessed, there’s something so soft, beautiful and seductive in every one of her pieces.
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. I’ll make sure to collect inspiration from many different sources/photos before I start, and I’ll just go from there! If i’m inspired by a color scheme, then i’ll start my painting by blocking in colors first, if it’s a pose, then I’ll start by exploring similar poses. So it definitely ranges for 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”, I’ve accepted that it’s an ongoing journey and I’m much more focused on growing and improving as an artist than being focused on what certain style I have. When you let yourself get too attached to a certain style you lose your creativity and the 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 think being able to be your own boss makes it all worth it.
How do you stay motivated when you experience a creative rut?
Whenever I feel uninspired I’ll just take a break from painting. I don’t believe anyone should ever force themselves to be creative when they don’t feel like it. 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 - 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 did ever did was try my best 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!