I've been asked a few times by students in school for art and design to answer some questions for their assignments. This is super flattering and makes me feel like a for real legitimate illustrator (byyyye imposter syndrome!). Anyways, the most recent request was from a girl in Chile and I thought I'd share my answers here in case others were wondering (probably not but oh well here it is).
1. At what age did you start your career?
I started pursuing graphic design as a professional career when I was 22. I went to school and worked for a few years before deciding what I was truly passionate about was illustration, and I began focusing on narrowing down my career to that when I was around 25. I still work part time as a graphic designer while I await work authorization to own my own business in the United States.
2. How would you define your style?
I would refer to my style as positive, colourful, and whimsical
3. Do you think it developed naturally?
I think an artist’s style is always evolving as they grow in skill and life experiences. Style is definitely not something you can force as it is unique to each individual artist’s perspective. Natural development is the only way!
4. What is the main message you try to promote with your art and why?
I think my art shines a light on finding joy in the everyday. I draw a lot of animals, women, fashion, and nature, because these are the things in which I find day to day passion and joy. They are a reflection of my own life and my own simple aspirations. In that sense I think my art is very personal, even if it depicts things a wide range of people can connect and relate to.
5. What decisions in your style help you send that message? and what elements do you use in your drawings to transmit that message?
I think this message is conveyed in my choices of colour and the hand drawn textures found throughout my work, as well as the expression and composition of my characters. They are meant to inspire levity and good feeling, so the choices I make while creating an illustration keep that in mind.
6. Personally, I find it very challenging to be consistent with my style, because I discover new things, but not necessarily are in line with what I have been doing. Have you ever had trouble with consistency in your designs and if you had, how have you solved them?
I think a lot of creatives worry entirely too much about maintaining a certain “style” or technique just because it’s what their audience is accustomed to seeing from them. If you try a different medium or technique in your artwork, you will still be interpreting and filtering that technique through the lens of your own style, and therefore it should be considered a part of it rather than in opposition to it. Artists’ styles are continually changing and growing, and that’s part of what keeps art interesting and not stagnant.
7. What has been the biggest challenges you have had to overcome in your career? and What has been your biggest achievement?
I struggle with a lot of the same doubts and anxieties that most creatives tackle on a daily basis. But the current looming roadblock in my life is living in the United States as a Canadian on a work visa. This really limits my ability to grow my business in traditional, business-forward ways, so I’ve had to compensate by seeking out other creative opportunities and avenues to fulfill that yearning for accomplishment. For the last year my focus has been on growing my following online, and sharing myself and my art in the hopes that when I’m clear of the technical business setbacks, I can hit the ground running. I would say my biggest achievement is the mental state I’ve reached concerning my art practice. Growing up, I really thought to be a real “artist” or to make money from artwork you had to be creating giant still life oil paintings and selling them to museums. But the realization and understanding of the value of what I do has me in the right mindset to take on any challenges moving forward.
8. What are your future projects and what are your main goals as an artist?
There is a lot I’d still like to accomplish as an artist. I actually keep a big spreadsheet of ideas for projects I’d like to work on now and in the future. Some of these things include book illustration, a collaboration with a large company like Anthropolgie or Target that can distribute products featuring my illustrations, I want to learn to sew better so I can design clothes and make printed fabric goods, I want to find ways to keep my art sustainable and beneficial to the earth rather than detrimental, and so much more!
9. What would be the greatest advice you would give to someone who is just starting to develop as an artist?
Don’t worry about what others around you are doing. Work through your craft and listen to your own internal voice to guide you. It’s cheesy, but if you are spending time worrying about what others are doing or creating work that someone else has already made, you won’t be helping the world. The best and most rare thing you can offer the world is yourself, so why not do it as authentically as possible? Someone out there is waiting to connect with you.