What is the message you're sending into the universe with your work? Why do you feel so strongly about said message?
I like to keep the message of my work quite vague and let people take their own interpretation of it. I think explaining the exact meaning of every single thing ruins the point really, the image should convey enough by itself. A lot of my inspirations feed into my art, I’m really interested in melancholic, unrequited relationships, sex and the way humans relate to each other which comes through into my art. These are all things people have experienced at some point in their lives so I like them to be able to relate to my art and attach their own meaning to it.
A lot of women believe they need formal training in order to succeed as a female Artist. What’s your take? Did you have a formal education or are you self taught?
I’m not sure a ‘formal’ training is needed in this day and age, with Youtube and the internet around it is so easy to teach yourself anything! I’ve literally taught myself all I know about animation from the internet and just experimenting with different things and just having fun with it.
With my drawing I was lucky to have quite a formal training at the school I went to. We did a lot of life drawing and drawing fruit and stuff in charcoal which I would never have done in a million years if I wasn’t forced to, but I’m definitely grateful for it now. I do really believe in starting with the basics and learning to walk before you can run and I can only draw how I do now because of all those hours of basic training, drawing fruit. Doing a lot of life drawing definitely helped to too! Especially in knowing all the bodies’ proportions and how to exaggerate them to create a style. But you don’t need training for that, you can literally just sit in front of a mirror and draw yourself naked.
Tell us about the exact moment or period in time when you realized you were born to create.
I’m not sure there was ever a precise moment but I remember when I was 4 I told my parents I wanted to be an artist when I grew up and they responded by telling me that artists only make money after they die. After that, I wanted to work in a chocolate factory but shifted back to my dream of being an artist pretty soon after, despite the lack of big dolla.
How do you stay motivated? What does your daily routine look like?
This is definitely one of the most important things while being a freelance! I find it really important to have deadlines, even if they’re just personal ones or else I tend to feel a bit lost and lose my drive a bit. It’s also good to have several projects on the go. If I’ve been working on the same thing for a while it all gets a bit stale and I start to slow down a bit, so whenever that happens I just switch to a different project to freshen it all up.
What tools, apps, websites, blogs, books, or podcasts help you the most when it come to financials?
One I would really recommend it the AOI’s ‘Illustrator’s Guide to Law and Business’ book, super useful! It has loads about how to price your work and bits about copyright laws which I was completely clueless about before I read it. It even has a contract written up to send to your clients which covers your back and makes sure you can’t be messed about.
What’s the most difficult financial hurdle you’ve had to overcome while running your business? Get specific!
I’m really lucky that I was able to move home to London after I graduated or else I’m sure rent and living costs would have been a huge stress. Especially as starting off as a freelancer work is so inconsistent, like you might have a month of no work but then get 5 commissions all at once. It was really nice to be able to move back and be able to save up money and focus on developing my art and business 24/7 without any huge financial pressures.
Big or small, what’s the single best money making tip or piece of advice you can share with up and coming artists?
Don’t undersell yourself!! It drives me crazy when people think they shouldn’t pay you decently because you’re doing what you love and ‘art is fun’. You just have to tell them no, this is my time and you gotta pay for it.
Name 3 of your guilty pleasures.
1- Love reality TV, just been watching Extreme Cheapskates which is a show full of people eating roadkill to save those pennies.. Having a little peek into other people’s lives is the most fascinating thing for me.
2 - Love a chicken wing, any day, any night
3 - Bed haha, I’ve got better but I used to do all my drawing and art lying on my belly in bed, I’m just all about being cozy.
It’s karaoke night and your up. What song do you sing?
Madonna - Like a Prayer!
Give us three of your favorite/ most inspiring things right now. Could be a book, a food, a destination, a song, a person, etc.
1. Nadia Lee is always giving me life, I’m in love with the video she did for Kali Uchis - After the Storm. Its a saturated, kitsch dream and I have to watch it about once a week. Plus she just always looks incredible, I need to draw her soon.
2. I’ve been reading ‘House of Leaves’ recently which is a really good book about a home which is bigger on the inside than it is on the outside. The way its formatted is really cool though and plays with space in relation to the story by having one word a page and then loads of words squished into claustrophobic little boxes. Its so interesting when the layout breaks the boundaries like that and can convey such a message, like why keep it plain and boring when you can be so creative with it?
3. I’ve also been so into Alan Resnick’s shorts for Adult Swim’s Infomercial series. Even though they’re just short films they have huge backstories and conspiracies with encoded internet archives which tell even bigger stories than the films themselves. I find that level of detail and effort put into a project, even though people might not necessarily look at it, really inspiring.