Artist Interview: Chloe Hall – Illustrator

Art by Illustrator, Chloe Hall
Tell us about yourself, who are you, where are you from, and what do you do?

My name is Chloe Hall, a freelance illustrator based in Leicester. I live on a boat, and I work from my little studio shed, where I do all of my drawing and making! I specialize in line work, embroidery and pattern design. I often mix digital prints with the added detail of hand embroidery, and also create stationery items and soon to be fabric-wares, which I’m really excited about! I did creative subjects throughout school, then went onto do an Art & Design Foundation course, which made me realize I wanted to go into illustration. I didn’t think once that I was going to be a freelance illustrator, it has just sort of happened naturally.

Art by Illustrator, Chloe HallHow did you get started doing what you do?
I did Graphic Design & Illustration at De Montfort University and luckily had the support from Enterprise Inc. to help me build up my freelance business. I really discovered my style towards the end of uni, and have been developing it ever since. I have always been interested in creative subjects so doing Graphics & Illustration at uni came sort of naturally.

How would you describe your style?
Delicate, quirky and humorous. My work is a mix of illustration and handmade craft. I enjoy having a handmade element into my work, for example incorporating stitch into digital prints and binding my notebooks using my sewing machine, it makes it a little bit more me. My illustrations of women on the beach got a lot of interest from women themselves, and a lot of them enjoyed them simply because they show ‘real women’, I like to think I create work that people can relate to.

Art by Illustrator, Chloe HallWhat’s your inspiration?
I am a keen observer so people watching is how I get most of my inspiration. People surprise me everyday so a lot of the time peoples’ actions, conversations and their dress sense also inspire me. I also take inspiration from nature, the seaside and fashion.

What does your typical day look like?
I work freelance full time at the moment, so I normally get up, make a cup of tea, and reply to any emails I need to respond to. I then look in my diary to see what needs to be done that day, make another cup of tea, get the biscuit tin and go into my little shed to begin working. I treat my freelance work as my full time job so often I like to socialize in the evenings so I feel refreshed and motivated the next day.

Art by Illustrator, Chloe HallHow do you keep motivated?
I think keeping motivated is really important, it’s so easy to become unmotivated and I think the best ways to stay motivated are to plan your time effectively and realistically, constantly research new artists, create mood boards regularly and keep doodling! I also find it’s really important to give yourself time to have a break, it’s really refreshing and sometimes I find when I’m not sitting trying to think up ideas, they come to me easier. Sometimes I get a bit frustrated if I stay inside all day so I like to go out everyday if I can, even if it’s just to nip to the shop!

What do you hope to accomplish with your work?
I hope to have a successful range of products selling online and throughout boutiques around the country. In the future I would love to have my patterns and illustrations across a large range of products and selling in high street stores, as well as across clothing and accessories. Not much then? Ha.

Art by Illustrator, Chloe HallHow have others reacted to your work?
I was lucky enough to exhibit at Pick Me Up in 2014 as part of Codswallop Collective, so that was a great way to get feedback from a wide range of peoples’ opinions on my work, as well as meeting people within the art industry. People have been positive about my pattern work, as well as my hand embroidered prints and compliment my illustrations of people as they have a humorous element. A lot of people were interested in how I create the hand embroidered prints as I stitch into the paper instead of typically stitching into fabric.

What do you want others to take away from your work?
When people see my work I hope it makes them smile! With regards to the products I create, I hope I create keepsakes which people really love and can relate to.

Art by Illustrator, Chloe HallWhat, if anything, would you tell your younger self?
I would say plan your finances better! I was really excited to jump into creating products straight after uni and I wish I had planned all my products financially before creating them, instead of buying everything at once like an idiot. Saying that, I’m glad I have done everything I have with regards to illustration, as I am really focused this year and know what I need to do.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given?
‘If you’re not enjoying it you’re doing it wrong!’ Said by Ian Newsham, one of my tutors at university.

Art by Illustrator, Chloe HallAny words of wisdom to aspiring artists who want to pursue a similar career?
Enter all the competitions that will benefit you, send out mailers to design agencies and companies to get your work noticed, never stop doodling and make sure you create a good plan for the year ahead of you as well as SMART goals. Also don’t be scared to approach people, your works not going to sell if it is sitting in your studio in a box, even if they don’t want to stock or buy your work they will probably have some great advice to give you.

Have any future aspirations that you’d like to share?
I am currently working on a product range which will be released towards the beginning of April. I hope to create two product ranges a year, which will include exclusive embroidery prints, stationery items and a one off fabric product to accompany each range. This fabric item will be different each time and relate to each product range so the element of surprise will be an important part of each product range! I hope to attend more events and markets this year so I’m currently looking at which ones will benefit me the best.

Art by Illustrator, Chloe HallWhat’s your dream project?
This is hard! I think I would love to create patterns which would be put across clothing and accessories for a well known brand, it’s nice to know people buy your prints, greeting cards, etc. but often you don’t get to see where they end up. I would love to walk past someone in the street who was wearing an item of clothing with my designs on it!

What art supplies do you use?
My most used art supplies are probably my fine liners and embroidery thread.

Art by Illustrator, Chloe HallAny other artists that you would like to recommend for others to check out as well?
Yes… William Wright, Damon Smith, Sarah Glover, Danielle Doobay & Pedro Demetriou. I am in a collective called Codswallop and these are my fellow Codswallops.

Find Chloe Hall on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Etsy.

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Designer Interview: Christina Anton of Boo and Boo Factory

Christina Anton of Boo and Boo Factory Jewelry ArtTell us about yourself, who are you, where are you from, and what do you do?
Boo and Boo Factory was founded by me, Christina Anton, as a way to create unique leather jewelry that you just can’t find anywhere else. The forms, shapes, colors, and patterns are all inspired by my training in architecture. All pieces are handmade from my Chicago studio with love and attention to detail. I specialize in statement necklaces, bold neon earrings, and bright color bracelets which combine techniques ranging from hand painted, hand cut, beaded, and woven materials. I love mixing patterns, prints, color, and form. I have been an architectural designer since 2006, working in various architecture firms in Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles. I graduated with an architecture degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago where I learned many computer and fabrication techniques that have greatly influenced my designs. After recently graduating with a master degree from the Southern California Institute of Architecture, where I gained a penchant for color and texture, as well as advanced computer modeling, animation, and cutting edge fabrication techniques ranging from laser cut, CNC, and 3D printing. I discovered I had a love of small object design. This inspired me to take my growing jewelry design business and pursue it full time.

Christina Anton of Boo and Boo Factory Jewelry ArtHow did you get started doing what you do?
I just jumped in! I’ve always made things since I was little so it’s a real passion for me. I love fashion and bright colors and patterns so it was only natural for me to start making jewelry. I started Boo and Boo Factory when I was in graduate school to help me pay for supplies and my 3D printed models. When I graduated, it had grown so much that I decided not to work in architecture but to work for myself.

How would you describe your style?
I love to wear lots of patterns and mix and match different elements to create a unique style. I actually wear a lot of black and then I’ll add a bright pop of color with accessories.

Christina Anton of Boo and Boo Factory Jewelry ArtWhat’s your inspiration?
I am inspired by textile art. I am also inspired by the colors and materials I use.

What is art to you?
Art is anything that you are passionate about. It’s an intimate expression of who you are, how you see the world, and where you are at in your life. Art is for everyone, a basic human need for beauty.

Christina Anton of Boo and Boo Factory Jewelry ArtWhat does your typical day look like?
I don’t have a set schedule, I just go with the flow. Everyday I make something new, well at least I try to. I have so many ideas of new pieces and new product lines that sometimes it’s overwhelming. As much as I’d love to just create all day, there’s so much that goes into running a business. I have to wear many hats such as marketing, accounting, research, pricing, wholesale, web design, SEO, shipping, sourcing supplies, etc. It seems like there’s never enough time in the day! But the great thing about what I do is that I love it, especially the part of being my own boss. I never thought that I’d be able to do something I truly love for a living and I’m so grateful for that. Plus I get to talk and network with people from around the globe. Everyday is so exciting because I never know what to expect or what new thing I’m going to learn.

Christina Anton of Boo and Boo Factory Jewelry ArtHow long does it typically take for you to finish a piece?
Depending on the size and intricacy of the piece, it can take anywhere from 30 minutes up to 3 to 4 hours. I take a lot of pride in the quality and craftsmanship of my work and each one is made with a lot of love.

Christina Anton of Boo and Boo Factory Jewelry ArtHow do you keep motivated?
Seeing my pieces being mailed to customers all over the world is my inspiration. Connecting with other creatives keeps my creative mind flowing. Also, I challenge myself by trying to create more unique and intricate designs. I am always learning new techniques and applying them to my work so that my line is fresh and always evolving.

Christina Anton of Boo and Boo Factory Jewelry ArtHow have others reacted to your work?
The reaction is love it or hate it. Some people just don’t get it while others are crazy about it. I never want the reaction to my work to be passive.

What do you want others to take away from your work?
I want to be memorable as a brand. Whether you like my work or not, I hope that my pieces will be recognized for their originality.

Christina Anton of Boo and Boo Factory Jewelry ArtWhat’s the best advice you’ve been given?
Don’t worry about what others are doing. I think as a creative it’s easy to compare yourself to other people. But the truth is, everyone is different and it’s not worth it. Just do the best you can, be true to yourself and keep working hard. Authenticity is key.

Christina Anton of Boo and Boo Factory Jewelry ArtAny words of wisdom to aspiring artists who want to pursue a similar career?
If you want to do something you love for a living, you have to make lots of sacrifices. Having a creative business is not easy and I work more now that I did at any architecture firm. Make sure you research and learn as much as you can about business as well as progressing in your craft. Just keep creating and get your work out there.

Have any future aspirations that you’d like to share?
I’m working on a 3D printed jewelry line which I hope to launch later this year. I’m really excited about it, particularly printing in gold and silver. The pieces will be derived from my architectural portfolio.

Christina Anton of Boo and Boo Factory Jewelry ArtAny other artists that you would like to recommend for others to check out as well?
There’s a few! I love Denise Reytan’s colorful mixed media jewelry. I also love Shayna Leib. She does amazing glassblowing art. Britt Bass is another artist I follow. Her paintings are amazing with great compositions and inspirational color palettes.

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Artist Interview: Michele Tassinar – Photographer

Michele Tassinar photography
Tell us about yourself, who are you, where are you from, and what do you do?
My name is Michele Tassinari and I’m 42 years old. I live in Italy (Finale Emilia so close to Modena and Bologna). I am employed in a graphic design studio, I deal with photographic productions.

How did you get started doing what you do?
I started taking pictures after I was given a toy camera. From there it was pure love for photography. I hope not to disappoint this important art form and observation!

Michele Tassinar photography
How would you describe your style?
Simple, full of flaws but poetic, I think.

What’s your inspiration?
First of all,  the sun and the light that surrounds our every day landscapes and things in general. That and movies, movies and movies….

Michele Tassinar photography
What is art to you?
Expression of sensibility. Everything that you want to communicate to others.

How long does it typically take for you to finish a piece?
Just enough time for one click! And the time required to develop and print my photos, of course. Working exclusively in analog.

Michele Tassinar photography
How do you keep motivated?
Be curious, always…

How have your surroundings influenced your work?
Constantly and I make sure that my eyes are able to see more things as possible.

Michele Tassinar photography
What do you hope to accomplish with your work?
Entertain and make people linger while stimulating their beautiful thoughts.

Any words of wisdom to aspiring artists who want to pursue a similar career?
I need words of wisdom for me as well!

What are your thoughts on art school?
Necessary to process and accumulate knowledge. Knowledge removes man from fear and ignorance. Education is a sacred right for every human being and art is essential to better understanding the processes that have accompanied and will accompany the evolution of human behavior.

Michele Tassinar photography
Have any future aspirations that you’d like to share?
Many and I’m trying to order them. I will keep you updated.

What’s your dream project?
It has partly came true. I work with my best friends and every day we try to always do our best.

Michele Tassinar photography
What art supplies do you use?
Expired Kodak films.

How could the art industry become better in your opinion?
If I think of the condition of art in Italy… well I would have to say… in a negative way… But things are changing here. In general I think it’s important to give space to all those who really have something to say, create less competition that could prove unproductive and jam any individual creative process. And social media are also used for this, no?

This is my opinion, however…

Any other artists that you would like to recommend for others to check out as well?
Derek Jarman, always.

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Photographer Interview: Jarred Tennell

Jarred Tennell PhotographyTell us about yourself, who are you, where are you from, and what do you do?
I’m a 20 year old photographer, born in Dallas, Texas. I’m a photo student, designer, and co-founder of Evlvd Minds art collective.

How did you get started doing what you do?
After the Evlvd Minds was founded, we brought in Emiliano Sosa, a videographer/photographer, to help strengthen the brands arsenal. He was the first person to put a dslr camera in my hands. From then on my interest in photography has continued to grow.

Jarred Tennell PhotographyHow would you describe your style?
Hmm I’d say my style is still has a lot of developing to do, but I can notice the difference or originality in my photography compared to photographers found on social media.

What’s your inspiration?
Most definitely music, it’s like a religion to me.

What is art to you?
A second chance. Sports originally was my main focus, but all good things come to an end. That is when I found art. It was a new way for me to display my ambition and drive that I gained from sports.

Jarred Tennell PhotographyHow do you keep motivated?
Spending time with my guys from “EM”. They all have individual talents that I truly admire. We kind of feed off each other and inspire one another.

What do you hope to accomplish with your work?
First, I want to reach peace with myself through my work. You know, just being able to sit back and say “I did it” is enough for me. But in a more selfless view, I’d like to inspire others. Not just artist, but anyone who carries passion for whatever they are into.

Jarred Tennell PhotographyHow have others reacted to your work?
I get so much positive feedback when I show my work to others, and its extremely humbling. Photography is still fresh to me, so knowing people enjoy my work is pleasing.

What do you want others to take away from your work?
Ha, hopefully they’ll see that you don’t have to fall into any trend or image to be successful. Basically be you, and love yourself first.

Jarred Tennell PhotographyWhat, if anything, would you tell your younger self?
Wow… there is so much I would go back and tell myself. For sure to take more risks and worry about the outcomes later, and not to worry about how others may see or think of me.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given?
“Slow grind is good grind”

Jarred Tennell PhotographyAny words of wisdom to aspiring artists who want to pursue a similar career?
It’s not the camera, its the photographer. You don’t need the most expensive camera to produce impactful photos.

What are your thoughts on art school?
It really depends on the person. School is not for everyone. Some people need an instructor to push them, and some people can be held back by school. Me personally, I enjoy taking classes. Mainly because I can choose the classes I’m interested in. I hated high school because I did not have that freedom. Art school can give you a chance to meet people in the same creative field you are in, and they may have the right connections you need to reach the next level.

Have any future aspirations that you’d like to share?
I would love to produce and publish physical copies of magazines I shoot. And to shoot an entire Evlvd Minds lookbook.

Jarred Tennell PhotographyWhat’s your dream project?
Directing my own film. Haha, I plan on picking up where Quentin Tarantino will have eventually left off.

What art supplies do you use?
Canon 5D Mark ll
Canon AE­1 Program
Canon AE­1

Jarred Tennell PhotographyAny other artists that you would like to recommend for others to check out as well?
These are a few photographers that inspire me.
Eris Jerome
Amber Asaly
Amber Asaly

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Artist Interview: Elfriede – Illustrator

Elfriede Art IllustrationTell us about yourself, who are you, where are you from, and what do you do?
I am Lilly Friedeberg or “Elfriede” (25 years old) and I am a Berlin based illustrator, designer, and recently I also get the chance to work/assist as a set designer and stop motion animator.

I love collecting vinyl toys, all kinds of stop-motion movies, flea markets, the internet-tumblr-world, and collaborating with other artists or sketching for hours while dreaming of weird candy worlds and outer spaces.

Elfriede Art IllustrationHow would you describe your style?
It’s always hard for me to describe what I am doing, but I want to try to explain.. I grew up with a big influence from Nintendo and Disney. I was in love with Mario and Yoshi. I loved those cute but also weird places you can hide for a while. Today I don’t play that much anymore but I still like to escape sometimes to colorful candy places! So I need to create my own worlds. :)

I always try to combine corny elements with weird or even a bit basely things. I would say I have a really dark and ironic humor which I always want to find in my work. Something can look so funny, friendly, and bright at the first sight and so mean and wrong on the second. For me its also important to not have this good guy/bad guy Disney image. I like characters that are good and evil and the same time :)

My illustrations also have a strong graphic influence. I like to draw icons and patterns. And I think its obvious that I am a bit addicted to candy colors!

Elfriede Art Illustration

What’s your inspiration?
My inspirations… I think there are several.

I get a lot of inspiration from the tumblr world. I created a reblog blog. I started to collect what I like and it helped me to understand me and my work better. I think that’s really important to my work. I see my work sometimes also like a way of editing everything that I saw into something new.

Then, of course, friends and other artists are a big inspiration for me.

I am inspired from the lowbrow art scene, Japanese manga and toys, Nintendo, food packages, and old board games.

Elfriede Art Illustration

How long does it typically take for you to finish a piece?
It depends. Some pieces took of course longer than others. When I start a new illustration I normally draw a few versions until I am content, and than I choose one. I always start with a really rough sketch to have a plan in my mind.

How do you keep motivated?
That’s a good question. Sometimes I look at old illustrations I did and compare them with new ones. That really helps me, because I am really critical with myself. And when I see that I improve my style and techniques, I get motivated to go on and on.

For me, an also interesting aspect is the whole social network. On the one hand, its a big motivation and it helps you to connect and show your work to a bigger audience. But at the same time it can sometimes be really hard to not lose yourself if you see all this great artist out there. It’s important for me to try to get better, but at the same time to just have fun with what I’m doing and don’t take myself too seriously. ;)

And of course the feedback from my friends, family, and other creative people is really important and motivating for me!

Elfriede Art Illustration

What’s the best advice you’ve been given?
Do something you really like, concentrate and be serious for ten years, and you will become really good!

What are your thoughts on art school?
I think there are some really good schools for design and art but honestly, I think for me it was more important to be in the right city (in my case Berlin) and to meet the right people. A city like Berlin can give you so much inspiration and show you all the great work of other artists from all over the world. This really helped me to find a way into my own style. There is also a lot to be learned at university, but in the end it’s what applies to everything: it’s what you get out of it. Of course a great university can show you a way, but you need to learn to motivate yourself as well.

Elfriede Art Illustration

Have any future aspirations that you’d like to share?
I hope I will be able to travel a lot and to see and discover more!

Any words of wisdom to aspiring artists who want to pursue a similar career?
I am still in the beginning and I also still learn a lot. But so far I can say: you really need to believe in what you are doing, work hard on it, and stay focused. I guess this is the typical answer, but it’s so true! And I have one good advice: Always finish a painting/illustration. Even when you realize in the middle of the process you don’t like it anymore. Finish it! :) You can always learn something from it and keep good elements for the next one.

Elfriede Art Illustration

Any other artists that you would like to recommend for others to check out as well?
I really like the honest, bright, and weird snapshot analog photos from my friend Resi, the great Fashion Label, “IndyAnna” and their little store in Berlin is always a inspiration for me! marco the graphic designer, and the work from Kohlen Pott.

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Artist Interview: Miki Lowe – Illustrator

Illustration by artist, Miki Lowe
Tell us about yourself, who are you, where are you from, and what do you do?
I am Miki, and I am a 23 year old girl. I grew up in a small French town with English and Japanese parents – which was a sure eccentric but super interesting cultural mix to be surrounded by.

In France, I specialized quite early, in what’s called an applied art course- an intense program that covers fine arts, art history and a lot of design studies (product, spatial and visual), which I think has kept on influencing me even after narrowing down my specialization.
I came to London to study art/illustration at Camberwell College, 5 years ago.

Since graduating, I’ve kept on freelancing, doing illustration work for magazines, or venues, but also some layout and graphic design work, for publications and cd/vynil and theatre companies.

Illustration by artist, Miki Lowe
How did you get started doing what you do?
As far as I can recall, I’ve just always drawn things I saw, but also things I imagined. I used to compulsively draw mushroom houses when I was very small. Pages and pages of them. The other day, in fact, I found some old drawings from when I was a kid- they were pretty detailed, expressive and straight to the point, I’d obviously put some spirit into them! although we lived in France, my father brought me up with Roal Dahl books. The idea of being an illustrator came to me with Quentin Blake; I got a drawing practice book by Quentin Blake, I hope I’ve kept something of his teachings

How would you describe your style?
I find it difficult to give a straight forward answer to that, as I see myself as having different styles- I use a variety of materials and techniques; pen and ink, also watercolour, etchings, colour pencils.. which means delicate and detailed drawings or very bold and rougher, – with varying degrees of realism and abstraction- sometimes quite light hearted, other times darker…I haven’t decided on one stylistic direction I want to stick with across all my artwork, and dwell whether it’s an issue or not for an illustrator. Eclecticism could describe my style perhaps, and personally I think it has advantages- for instance it has led me to work on very different projects and adapt to a range of briefs. I do, though, have an obsession with drawing bathtubs, coffee cups, girls, and making everything look lopsided!

Illustration by artist, Miki Lowe
What’s your inspiration?
Mostly, I’d say my own life. Even when I work to briefs, I’m guided by them, and I feed on things I see, remember, hear, research. At the end of the day I’m quite introspective- my art work has changed depending on my interests, focuses, emotions, even obsessions and neurosis- perhaps my illustrations are a form of diary- not so much in a figurative, day to day manner, but the themes I work with, or the atmosphere. Aesthetics, I try to create, are often linked to things that are going on in my life or in my head.

What is art to you?
An exteriorized interpretation of ones thoughts, impressions, experiences. I can’t make up my mind wether it’s something made to be seen, or made for one’s self. Guess it depends on the people.

For me as a practitioner, art is something- probably one of the only things- that enables me to get out of my own thoughts whilst still concentrating- it’s my sport/exercise. When i get completely absorbed in a drawing, or the process of making a picture, It’s the closest I get to mediating- even though actual mediation is a difficult thing for me.

 

Illustration by artist, Miki Lowe
How do you keep motivated?
Mostly, I think, if I stop doing anything all together, I’m absolutely certain nothing will happen. Whereas if I keep making pictures, I don’t know what will happen, but there’s a window for possibilities.

I have other artists or people in the same situation as me, I also find it helpful to talk with them and motivate each other. It’s nice to encourage and be encouraged.

How have your surroundings influenced your work?
There is so much going on in my surroundings (which is London, but I mean in the world in general) that I am not quite sure. We have access to so much information- the past- the present- limitless subject matters. The visual and mental imagery I can get in a day, or even by the hour can make my head spin. I see my work as very much of my time; a mix and match of cultural references, époques, eclectic subject matters and influences cut and pasted together.

Illustration by artist, Miki Lowe
How have others reacted to your work?
haha, It depends.. My mother for instance usually frowns and says, ‘ its good… but…why does it have to be so…like this’

I get good reactions, and I guess in general, people are polite and if they don’t like it, they don’t say anything at all. Once someone told me my drawings had a ‘Ralph Steadman-ish’ thing about them- not sure I can see it, but it was a great moment.

What do you want others to take away from your work?
A strong image that remains in their mind after looking- the feeling it’s something they haven’t yet seen, the desire to see it again… And I’d really like my work to touch people’s imagination.

 

Illustration by artist, Miki Lowe
What, if anything, would you tell your younger self?
Nothing much- if I did, it would be to do things differently, and I don’t want that.

The only thing I would say is, try to like your own work, don’t get so frustrated with it, just don’t be so hard on yourself.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given?
I met a man in a hostel in Kyoto when I was 18, and physically small, whom I told I wanted to climb mount Fuji, but I obviously wouldn’t manage on my own.

He said, what are you talking about, you can do anything you want, if you try, there’s no rule saying you can’t. He made me promise to go the next day, which I did and managed. I don’t always remember to apply that to my life, I should.

Illustration by artist, Miki Lowe
What are your thoughts on art school?
Mixed. English art schools tend to leave you to it- and assist you in idea development more than anything else. I had an amazing time, with the best facilities/studios, interesting projects, and all the time to think about what I love to do.

These days, as a graduate, I’m trying to develop further technical skills to complement the more conceptual approach I acquired from Uni. For examples, I’m looking at anatomy, and trying to train myself ‘classically’ a little bit as it is an element my work lacks of- and it’s so important (in my view) to have a certain understanding and mastery of a technique (in this case of structure, shape etc.) before taking complete freedom and distorting them- I think there is a Japanese saying like that.

Have any future aspirations that you’d like to share?
One day, I would love to have a show (of my etchings, preferably) in one of those beautiful, slick, spacious all-white galleries, a retrospective show regrouping my work over many years- so it would have to be a few years in the future- with the most fun, lavish, un-slick, opening party the art scene has had in a long time.

Is there any other artists you would want us to look at/recommend?
Yes, Have a look at this painter, Armando Seijo.

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Artist Interview: Yetzenia Levia – Illustrator

Illustration by artist, Yetzenia Levia
Today, we’d like to welcome illustrator, Yetzenia Levia to Jung Katz.

Tell us about yourself, who are you, where are you from, and what do you do?
So, often when I first meet someone I feel the need to explain my name. It’s usually because the person I meet will give me a puppy dog head tilt. If you are curious about how to pronounce it, it’s Yet-zen-nee-ah Lay-va. This name was given to me by my Guatemalan mother for Yetzenia was her favorite character in a soap opera.

I grew up in different areas of New Jersey where the common names for a girl were Sarah or Megan. The first days of class were especially frustrating because the teacher would not only butcher my name but would also want to know of its origin. No one asks for the origin of Sarah! These moments would make me annoyed, so now the first impression of me to the other students was that I was a strange-named, pissed off girl. And having a resting bitch face didn’t help either!

My redeeming quality was my ability to draw. Like any kid, I started out with finger painting and crayons. But lucky for me, I have an obsessive personality so by the time I was 5, I could make a wicked horse. By age ten and onward, I gained a lot of technical ability and could draw realistically. I could erase my first impression by drawing people’s portraits or anything in general. It was like my smoke bomb. Look at what I can do!

Illustration by artist, Yetzenia Levia
How would you describe your style?
Well, I have a lot of nervous energy and it’s soothing for me to make a repetitive mark. So you’ll see a lot of dots coming from me. I guess I would describe my style as being a bit whimsical and cute but with slight underlying dark tones. The way I render some characters in my art is naïve, even though I’ve had years of visual art education. My way of making art is not sophisticated at all.

Illustration by artist, Yetzenia Levia
How long does it typically take for you to finish a piece?
Some drawings happen in less than 10 minutes. Others might take 2-3 days, but not much more. It really depends on the drawing.

Illustration by artist, Yetzenia Levia
What art supplies do you use?
I work mostly with pencil, ink, gouache and watercolor. Sometimes I work digitally with a tablet. The quality of my materials ranges from $0.99 store watercolors to professional grade gouache. My feeling is that just because it’s expensive, doesn’t mean that it’s any better than the low end stuff. I have a ton of really expensive brushes and the one I use the most is a brush from a value pack.

What is art to you?
Art to me is when someone creates or does something and it doesn’t serve a purpose. It just exists. Usually, if it’s g ood art it will have made some impression on you, be it good or bad. I can appreciate most art, but my favorite would be art that has a narrative. I like a good story.

Illustration by artist, Yetzenia Levia
Any words of wisdom to aspiring artists who want to pursue a similar career?
I used to have an opinion that if you’re not making art or working to improve yourself as an artist, then you’re more interested in the idea of being an artist rather than putting in the work. It’s a harsh opinion. I think now I’m less critical and can appreciate that people work differently. However, if you’re not going to work, you should at least be in your physical or mental studio, leaving yourself open to an artistic idea. Be ready with a sketch book or a tablet.

Illustration by artist, Yetzenia Levia
Have any future aspirations that you’d like to share?
♫ I wanna be, the very best, like no one ever was ♫ … Silliness aside, I hope I’m physically able to continue making the art I like for the rest of my life.

Illustration by artist, Yetzenia Levia
Any other artists that you would like to recommend for others to check out as well?
Yes! These are all wonderful artist I have the pleasure of knowing personally during different stages of their art career. There are more artists I’d like to list, but they don’t have websites. The list I do have had a lot of names, but they are defiantly worth your time. Check out the work of:

Jack Daly
Mike Antrim
Dustin Metz
Mike Middleton
Theresa Francisco
Celia Gray
Caitlin Cocco
Kate Eggleston
James MacFie
Derek Franklin
James Brittingham

Illustration by artist, Yetzenia Levia

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