Hello! I hope you might find some of this information helpful for your research. I have answered some frequently asked questions below!
What is your inspiration?
My style is in part influenced by traditional painters, but I would also say that it is a product of experimentation with digital art. I've spent a lot of time trying all sorts of techniques, and this is one that seems to have stuck. I love the vibrancy of colour that you can achieve digitally, and by combining that with inspiration from Pierre Bonnard, Les Nabis and Expressionism in general you end up with this look.
Another key inspiration for my work, which started quite early on, is recording everyday life through drawing. I am most interested in capturing people in day-to-day environments, so I often make sketches when commuting or wandering around the city. I enjoy spending time in busy cities, where there's endless interactions and interesting moments to capture. By taking time to be still and observant while everyone is busy going about their day, you realise how much there is to see.
While studying at university I learned about a practice called Reportage, which involves sketching people and places on location, immersing yourself in and interacting with the environment you are observing. One of the key artists who brought reportage to the scene is Feliks Topolski. Through exploring Reportage, and trying it for myself, I realised more and more that this way of working was really interesting and motivating for me. By spending time in the surroundings that you're drawing, you're better able to capture the feeling of the place, I think.
What medium do you use?
Although I do often work with traditional materials, a lot of my recent work is made digitally. I use Photoshop and digital brushes to create a lot of the bright artworks you can see in my portfolio.
What is your process with digital art?
The process with my digital work involves building many layers of colour. I like being able to use translucent layers, letting colours shine through each other. I think techniques like this help to create more depth. By working with the light from the screen, you can create really punchy colours that you may not be able to create with paint. I'm always exploring and experimenting with digital tools to see how far it can go.
What influences your choice of colours/colour palette?
I think often times, the colours I use are partially influenced by the palettes of The Impressionists. They have an incredible way of using colour to build mood. I try to do the same, by focusing on the mood I want to convey and then boosting and building the colours that will give that effect.
What advice would you give to people who want to improve their drawing skills?
I would say just to sketch from life as much as you can. It's the best way to learn and memorise how to draw things. For observational drawing, I'd say the number one tip is to practise regularly. The more time you spend on it, naturally the better you will be at observing and understanding. And that will show through in your drawings over time. Also, observational drawing teaches you that it's not about making perfect drawings, but recording life as it moves around you. So the lines can be free and loose at times, and that's ok.
What advice would you give to aspiring illustrators/animators?
When starting to form your own creative career path, it is very normal for the beginning of the journey to be a bit wobbly and uncertain. There’s no set amount of time it’s supposed to take to sort it all out. I have found that keeping busy with personal projects, and keeping all my blogs and sites updated with fresh work has helped me to feel like I am always making an effort to get my work out there. I’ve also tried to involve myself with various creative projects that are happening locally, whether it’s working as an assistant in a gallery or helping out with animation workshops. All of these things can help you to further build your skillset for jobs later down the line. You may end up discovering more avenues for yourself too.
I guess the key is to be open minded, while keeping an awareness of what you enjoy most about illustration, and trying to find opportunities that are somewhat related to your main interests.
I’d also say as a side note, that it’s worth making the effort to seek out people that are enthusiastic about the way you work, and your ideas. Building a community of creatives around you that are positive, encouraging and have a good work ethic.
Your experience may be straightforward, or a little complicated. It’s not something that you can really compare to other people, because we are all coming from different angles and situations. It’s your personal journey to make, and as long as you're clear on your goals it’ll work out in one way or another!