Frequently Asked Questions
What are your favourite materials?
I tend to use the same handful of supplies, and have stuck with them for years:
- Col-erase pencils - I usually use grass green or rose
- 0.3 lead mechanical pencil
- Copic Markers
- Prismacolor Markers
- Holbein Acryla Gouache
- Bic Fine ballpoint pen (the cheap one in the orange tube)
For sketchbooks I usually use Leuchtturm1917, although they've changed them so I'll be finding a new brand once my supply runs out. I like a sketchbook with smooth paper that opens flat. The sketchbook I use isn't perfect, but I prefer that as it stops me from being too scared to "ruin" it.
What do you use for digital art? / What brushes do you use?
I use an 11" iPad Pro with Apple Pencil, and I tend to use Procreate. My favourite brushes are the stock '6B Pencil' and 'Technical Pen' brushes, and the 'Bumpo' brush from Razum Inc which I use the most.
“Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.”
— Pablo Picasso
Do you have advice for beginner artists?
Draw everyday if possible, as the more you can draw the bigger your progress will be, and although at the beginning you may find that you don't know what to draw you'll soon find that the more you push yourself through it and draw anyway, then the more creativity and inspiration will come. Look up references online, look up tag lists for challenges such as Inktober even if it isn't October and draw them just for yourself. Even if all you can manage is a 20 minute doodle it's better than not having drawn anything at all. When I started I used to pause my Disney VHS tapes and trace from the screen like it was a light box - it really doesn't matter what you draw, so long as you're drawing.
My biggest turning point for me in terms of my progress was when I took a break from social media. Although social media can be a wonderful place to find like minded souls, it can also be a very toxic environment when you're finding your feet as it's full of artists best bits and completed works which can detract from your own enjoyment if you get into the habit of comparison and overthinking it. Learn to draw for yourself, draw for fun, draw topics and characters that interest you, and you'll fall in love with drawing rather than drawing to keep the masses happy and stressing over numbers.
Drawing isn't easy, and it's taken most people years upon years to grow their craft into something they're happy with. There is no quick fix or instant gratification, so you need to learn to enjoy the journey and stick with it.
How did you find your style?
I think it's should always be something that progresses naturally, and it should always feel fluid. You shouldn't go looking for a style, but learn the fundamentals of how anatomy works and practise drawing different poses and body parts and you'll naturally begin to block things in particular ways.
Never copy another artists style, but do break down what it is you like about their work - is it their colour palette, the texture, the way they draw eyes/hands/hair? Once you're able to recognise that then you can begin to work those elements into your own. You may also find that you end up being influenced by artists you admire without consciously being aware of it - it wasn't until I looked back over my body of work that I could see influences from Tove Jansson and Raymond Briggs who are two of my favourite illustrators. I can't stress enough though that you need to work on the basics of anatomy first, because if you don't have that base knowledge to build upon then you'll never be satisfied with your progress.
Did you go to art school?
Yes, I have a Bachelor of Arts in Illustration with Honors. I don't believe you necessarily need a degree in order to pursue a career in illustration, but one thing I do notice is those that haven't studied illustration tend to have a very naive idea as to the scope of the industry and their own place within it. My illustration degree didn't teach me to draw, I had to keep learning that on my own time, but it gave me opportunities to experience the different sectors within the industry to decide where I wanted to specialise, to learn how to complete briefs to specific deadlines, to promote myself, to legally protect my art. I only really found a way I enjoyed working after my degree had finished as I had the space to explore and have fun with my art without looming deadlines, but I still believe the experience I learned from my degree was invaluable and I'd always recommend studying it if you're able to give you that industry experience. Otherwise you're stuck playing the social media game, which doesn't guarantee success.
Will you be re-stocking *insert name here* ?
I can't say for sure, I outsource all of my products so if I'm currently not selling something then it means I'm either waiting on my supplier, or trying to find a new one!
What camera do you use for your videos?
I mostly use my Canon G7X Mark II, which I also use to take all of my photographs. I'll occasionally use my i̶P̶h̶o̶n̶e̶ ̶6̶S̶ iPhone SE II. I don't use microphones or lighting - I used to, but you only really need a microphone for a DSLR to shut out the lens noise, and a bright daylight bulb in a regular lamp is as good as any lighting setup.