“I am fortunate to have many family members who nurtured my artistic interests from a young age. Whenever the holidays rolled around, I could count on my family to practically bombard me with art supplies from a variety of mediums.”
My friends are also a huge source of inspiration. We work in different mediums: digital art, watercolor, makeup. But their dedication to their craft encourages me to constantly push myself further. Additionally, I find myself seeking inspiration from graphic novels. Particularly the art styles of Alison Bechdel, Jarrett J. Krosoczka, and Lucy Knisley.
Before putting pencil to paper, I write out brief descriptions of what types of images I would like to accompany each line of the story (ex. M is for musicals filled with drama and power: comedy and tragedy mask, music notes, dark shadows.) If I’m feeling shaky about an illustration concept, if it’s out of my comfort zone, I’ll do a rough, rough sketch on loose leaf paper using a smaller scale before beginning the pencil sketch on marker paper.
Inking the line work is the next step, and probably the most tedious. I use three different sizes of marker to ink my illustrations (.25mm; .35mm; .45mm.) After inking, I let the illustration dry, probably for an excessive amount of time because I’ve ruined many drawings by smearing the ink due to my impatience. Then I erase an extra visible pencil marks on the paper before coloring with my Copic markers. If necessary, I’ll use colorless blender to soften the marker lines! And ta-da! All of this takes me anywhere from 2-4 hours depending on how intricate the line work is.
How you developed your style?
Practice, practice, practice. People like to think that because I am really good at drawing some things (mostly food), that I’m able to draw “whatever” with ease, but when I’m confronted with drawing new things… I suck. I would only draw things that I already felt confident drawing, so developing a true sense of style proved difficult. This past year, I’ve really buckled down and forced myself out of my comfort zone. I use drawing prompt apps like “Arty Games,” online drawing challenges like drawing Pokemon from memory, or trying to draw from Pictionary cards without using references. These methods of practices require me to think about how and what I like to draw while still forcing me to draw things I’ve never drawn before.