1.What inspired you to start making art?
Like most people I started as a kid, the thing is I never stopped. What kept me coming back to it was the feeling I got whenever I saw a new style I really liked, I had this really strong urge to make art “like that”. Studying and reproducing styles that engage me is still one of my favorite things to do with art. Making it as part of my income just grew from doing it for fun and posting online just for fun and motivation. There came a point when I couldn’t afford to spend the kind of time on art that I needed to keep improving. For a while, I started barely doing it, but with the pandemic, I was put in a place where trying to do it as a side-job made sense and it’s just been working out, which is awesome.
2.What is your favorite piece of art you’ve created?
My banner in most social media is a panel from a wordless comic I did several years ago, where a traveler just wonders through a seaside city then enters an eerie antique shop. It has aged, of course, but it was so much work and is such a time capsule of the styles that I was interested in at the time that I’m still quite fond of it. The main gimmick was that the outside world made geometrical sense and featured a lot of flats and right angles, but inside the shop perspective and textures are abstract and there are no walls or corners. It’s a very “student project” and there are a thousand things I would change today, but it reminds me how hard I was working to teach myself art in my free time and I’m proud of that kid.
3.What would you say your art style is?
Well, my journey has been very much about trying on different styles. It’s how I learned and how I got most of my reach on the internet. Having had no formal education, I just formed a kind of “default” style by having adopted a bunch of different ones over the years and having them naturally bleed into each other as I moved forwards. A lot of artists have a super distinct style that they stick to, and I really respect that, but for me adding twists to my relatively standard style is what keeps art interesting.
4.Plans for 2021?
I started doing art as a side-job in mid-2020, so I’m still getting a feel for how far I can take this thing. In 2021 I’ll try to grow it as much as I can. The challenge is maintaining the tripod of: Doing enough paid work; posting popular art on social media to get more reach; and practicing to improve so I can move on to better things. I’m not planning to quit my main job, so finding ways to make this doable is a constant process. I may try other monetization methods like Patreon if I grow some more, so I can focus on popular art more than commissions, I’ve found that trying things out on a small scale then pushing ahead on the ones that work out is a better idea than trying to predict what will be successful.
5.Advice for other artists?
If you’re already all-in and going to art school, follow your teachers. I’d like to talk to people from walks of life who like drawing and want to do it alongside other things like I did. Draw whatever engages you. People say to start with basic exercises and anatomy, and if that’s fun to you, you should do it, but I’ve seen way too many people giving up because of the mentality that you’re doing it wrong until your proportions are correct. My opinion is the best practice is the one that energizes you so you can put in the huge amount of time and work that it’s going to take either way. As long as your work is improving and you’re having fun, I think it’s fine to study anatomy, etc. after you’ve gained some confidence. The same thing goes for posting online: do it for fun. If I had started posting with the expectation of getting popular and eventually getting commissions and contract work I’d have given up years before those things happened. I just did it on the side because I liked to and was noticed very gradually. It could very well never have happened, I didn’t expect it at all and I think that’s the healthy way to approach it.