Where did you you grow up and when did you decide to become an artist? Have you always been creative?
I grew up in a Cornish town that’s right on the Cornwall/Devon boundary, I’ve lived and studied here all my life and I absolutely adore it as it’s super close to a city but it’s surrounded by beautiful countryside! I guess I have always wanted to be an artist, I was always the “arty kid” in school and was often heard saying “I want to be an artist when I grow up!”. I had all kinds of pencils and paints, some of my fondest memories are of working in my sketchbooks at my Grandparent’s house!
How did you develop your skills? Did you study art in school or are you self taught?
As a kid I was drawing pretty much constantly and when I got to my teens I received my first graphics tablet! Being able to draw digitally really reinvigorated my love for drawing, and I was able to improve quickly by sketching out studies and being able to see my mistakes while fixing them quicker.
I studied art throughout my secondary school life and then at A-Level in the Sixth Form. It was during my A-Level that I discovered Photography and my drawing stopped for a while as I was absolutely enamoured with the medium. I was obsessed with my camera, I used it constantly to improve my skills.
I then went on to study Photography for my degree at the Plymouth College of Art. I really enjoyed my time there but I found very quickly that I didn’t think my photography was up to scratch and that retouching was more my forté. Retouching led to digital collage and then when I graduated I returned to watercolour and ink Illustrations. Doing nothing but photography and photography-related art for 3yrs+ really tired me out so I am currently taking a break!
Have your family and friends always been supportive in your artistic path, or has it been challenging for them to understand your choice?
I’m very lucky in that my family have always been very supportive, but sometimes not in the best of ways. When I first told my parents that I wanted to be an artist, the “poor artist” stereotype instantly ran through their minds and they tried to convince me otherwise as they were worried. Not because they didn’t think I was good enough, but because they know how difficult it can be. I listened for a while, I yoyo-ed between wanting to be Veterinary Nurse and the more artistic careers.
I explored the realms of being a graphic designer, an illustrator, a photographer, a retoucher and more. Mainly so they wouldn’t worry about the money side of it, but in the end, being an artist is still my strongest desire and they’re beginning to understand that.
What was your strongest influence you had growing up ( artists, cartoons, films, comics, etc.)?
I watched tonnes of cartoons and anime, and read loads of manga as a teen. Of course that led to the awkward stage of drawing everything in that style and putting all that work on deviantART, yikes. I still love anime and manga but I can appreciate its beauty without the need to replicate it now.
The strongest influence on my art right now would be Tarot. There are so many beautiful and bewitching decks out there and I love looking at them. I get a lot of inspiration that way.
Do you have a routine when sitting down ready to get creative?
Normally I tend to sit down on the days I don’t work and just start sketching some concepts that excite me, that then leads to an illustration. At the moment I’m taking part in #The100DaysProject which means carving time out everyday to draw no matter how busy the day is.
I purposely made my project, #100DaysOfInkedAstronomy, easy to accomplish as I only have to illustrate a constellation, moon phase or meteor shower once a day. I tend to do this after I’ve eaten my lunch and just before I start getting ready for work. Otherwise, if i’m not working on this project, I don’t tend to have too much of a routine but just start illustrating when I feel the most motivated and inspired!
What part of the creative process is the easiest, what part is the hardest and what part is the most fun?
The easiest part for me is thinking up concepts and ideas to sketch. I’ve always enjoyed thinking of and exploring different ideas! The hardest part is trying to translate my ideas from my mind onto the paper in an accurate way. Sometimes I know exactly what I want an illustration to look like, but I may not know how to draw something in particular or I may just be feeling a bit rusty, this can be super frustrating!
The most fun part for me is when the illustration is going well! When I have an idea that is making me super excited and all my drawing is going to plan then I am in absolute heaven!
Have you worked on any exciting projects in the past and are you working on at the moment (if you can tell us)?
I’ve been incredibly lucky to have worked with a couple of Twitch Streamers to create some awesome illustrations. The first was where I worked with the delightful Kaeyi Dream to create a t-shirt design for her followers. The design was based on The Moon tarot card and incorporated a Munna from Pokemon with some witchy paraphernalia! The second was where I worked on another t-shirt design for the wonderful Lauren Radderss . Her design incorporated her adorable kitty, Millie, with a gamepad and gaming mouse.
I adore both of these incredible streamers so being able to work with them was a dream come true! Plus seeing photos of people from all over the world wearing the t-shirts you designed is a super awesome feeling!
Do you have a long-term career goal and what would your dream project be?
I suppose at the moment my long-term career goal is to be able to support myself with my illustrations, either through the sales of prints or doing freelance commission work. I’ve been very lucky and grateful to have worked on some already amazing commissions, but I feel that doing that “full-time” would be a very rewarding experience.
My dream project is very simple and modest really, I just love working with people who are very kind but know what they want for a design, even better if that includes my witchy dot work style of illustration!
Would you prefer to work for a company or work as a freelancer? And why?
Ooh freelancer! I can see the pros to working with a company with there being regular income and such but I can’t help but feel that I would feel really restricted creativity-wise. Whereas as a freelancer you have people approaching you because they like you and your work, so you have a lot more creative freedom.
What advice would you give to an artist who is dealing with an art-block? What do you do to keep yourself creative and boost your imagination?
Don’t be mad with yourself, I know its frustrating but just try to relax for a moment. It’s okay, get a beverage of your choice, your favourite notebook and pen, then get comfy. Right, what things have you drawn before that you enjoyed? Write them down. What things have you not drawn yet but the possibility excites you? Write them down. If that didn’t help then start combining some of the ideas you’ve written down and see how that goes.
If you’re still struggling then I find it helpful to go through Pinterest & Instagram to see what my arty friends are up to and see if that triggers any inspiration. If it still isn’t working then put down the notebook and do something else for the day, you can come back to it at another time! I also have my own tarot card spread for removing creativity block which work really well! It’s on my blog if you’re interested!
Do you have a favourite subject to draw? If so, what makes it so special?
Witchy things like creepy crawlies and celestial objects! Generally things that pique my interest and awe in the real world make me want to stare at them longer and draw them.
Who are the artists that inspire you the most today? And why?
The three artists that I am constantly following with absolute adoration are Audra Auclair, Anna Jane Searle and Pony Reinhardt! I highly recommend checking out their work as it is all beautiful and sublime! For daily inspiration I often turn to my Tarot decks as the imagery tends to be stunning and mystical, my favourite combination! My favourites for their artwork right now are Kim Krans’ The Wild Unknown Tarot deck and A.L. Swartz’s The Wooden Tarot deck.
Do you have something that you've designed that you are most proud of?
My celestial hare illustration! I have it available to buy on t-shirts through RedBubble, I have one myself and words cannot describe my love for it. To me it’s just perfect, it’s creepy and cute, combines mysticism and geometry, while having a touch of celestial with the little constellations! I think I am most proud of it because it encompasses all my loves into one piece, and I feel like it is my best illustration technique-wise to date!
If you had to give 1 piece of advice to someone just getting started in the creative field, what would it be?
Just get started! Whatever creative field excites you, start creating work and more work. Your excitement shows through your work and when you talk about your work. Excitement is contagious and other people will be drawn to you! Have fun with what you’re making, and try to not let the stresses and strains get to you!
Finally, where can we find you and your art online and get in touch with you? How can we buy your creations and support your work?
You can find my blog at www.myfairpixel.com, this is where I talk all about my work along with my interest in Tarot & Spirituality!
You can find me on Twitter & Instagram as @MYFAIRPIXEL.
You can buy my prints from www.myfairpixel.etsy.com and t-shirts from www.redbubble.com/people/myfairpixel