Did you attend art school or undertake any other formal artistic training?
I went to college to study studio art with an emphasis in drawing. I learned a lot about critiquing and I got to experiment with a lot of different mediums, but unfortunately my school did not have a very developed digital art program, so I am basically self-taught when it comes to working digitally on my IPad.
What piece of software or hardware could you not live without and why?
I definitely could not live without my IPad Pro! I use it for all of my artwork and it is my favorite way to create at the moment.
What do you hope children take away from your drawings?
I really hope children can take away that it is beautiful to be unique and to be yourself. A lot of my work is focused on inclusivity which I believe is really important for children to see growing up. I want kids to be able to see themselves represented in the characters and know that being “different” should be celebrated.
Take us behind the scenes and describe your studio / workspace.
Currently, my “studio” is a desk in my bedroom. The reality of being a freelance illustrator for me at the moment means that I don’t have the luxury of having a separate studio space. I want people to know that you can still work on your art practice and business from anywhere! You don’t have to have a perfect studio space to make it work. I would love to eventually get to a point where I could expand and have that separated space from work and home, but my bedroom studio does the job for now!
Where do you get the ideas for your characters?
I typically find reference photos online that speak to me that I like to use as a jumping off point for my characters. Sometimes it is just a pose I find interesting, or a cool outfit or hairstyle. I typically sketch out the body and pose first, and then I make up the details of the person’s identity as I go!
What advice would you offer someone just starting out as a children’s illustrator?
Don’t give up! It often seems like other illustrators that you see online are overnight successes, but that is almost never the case. It has taken me years to get to the place that I am at, and if I had given up in the first year or so of sharing my art online I would have never gotten all the amazing opportunities that came to me later on! So I would say keep creating, stay consistent and do what makes you happy, and it will all fall into place.
When you are not drawing, how do you like to relax?
When I’m not drawing, I enjoy doing other creative hobbies like crocheting and trying out other art mediums that I rarely use. I also love to just sit down with friends and watch movies and tv shows to relax.
How important is it for you to be part of a creative community of people?
Being part of a creative community is so important to me because you can all learn so much from each other and have a support system! It is so great to go to art markets and events and meet people that you admire. I have a lot of artist friends that all lift each other up which helps a lot with loneliness and motivation. I also have a really amazing online community of people that support me and my work which also helps me stay motivated because I know my work is reaching the right people! Finding community has become a huge part of my creative and personal life, and I think the right people can really positively impact your life.