Artist Spotlight: Jamie Gibbons

GDG: Where are you from and where do you live now?

 
JG: Originally from Tucson, AZ. I currently reside in Denver, CO.

GDG: Could you give us a brief overview of your art background?

JG: Since childhood, I have been obsessed with animation and art.  I managed to get a scholarship to the University of Arizona where I studied Digital Media and Animation. Shortly after, I married my high school sweetheart (still married) and followed him around the world while he was in the military. Animation/Design jobs were few while constantly uprooting, so I started working in freelance graphic design and illustration and found my niche.

GDG: What are some of the jobs you have done professionally?

JG: Graphic design allows me to work on all sorts of platforms and mediums. I feel fortunate I’ve had the opportunity to have my work on everything from trains to toys. When I was growing up, all I wanted was to work in animation, but life got complicated and many suggested I try graphic design. My response then was, ‘I don’t want to work on ketchup bottles’. Eventually, I went for it. I learned so much and realized the crazy amount of creative expression that’s possible in this field. Now I would be overjoyed for a gig on a ketchup bottle!

GDG: Has working around so many other GDG artists influenced your art style?

JG: The first time I discovered GDG, I was on Brittney Lee’s blog and I thought, “I want in on that!” GDG allows me to work with such a variety of artists – you can’t help but see the impact the group has on your style. Just the weekly themes alone, I get so much inspiration and encouragement from this group of women.

GDG: Where do you get your inspiration?

JG: As most of us say, ‘everywhere’, but my favorite places to look are thrift shops. I love hunting through old records, movie posters, toys, and especially weird prints and photos.

GDG: What do you do when you are in a ‘creative rut’?

JG: Getting outside and allowing my mind to wander really helps. Denver is the ideal place for this! Within 20 minutes from anywhere, you can be in nature, at an exhibit, or just experiencing a new place to hang out and people watch. It’s something I really love about Colorado.

GDG: Do you prefer digital or traditional art?

JG: I love traditional methods, even though I do primarily digital work. I always start with rough sketches and love to paint color ideas. Regular practice in traditional mediums helps me develop my methods in digital. Going to the fundamentals and simplifying what I’m doing always helps me further a concept.

GDG: What is your favorite artistic discipline?

JG: Gouache painting. I love it. It’s what I do if I feel a creative temper tantrum brewing or just to work through ideas for work.

GDG: What have you always wanted to learn?

JG: Hand lettering. Like so many people, I suffer from writing, ‘Happy Birthday!’ on a card only to run out of room by the time I get to the ‘y’ in Birthday.

GDG: What is your advice to aspiring women artists?

JG: Stay diligent. Life can get complicated, but there’s always a way if you stick to it. Many people are shocked to find out I am an artist, because I’m a military wife, a mom, and caught up in the throws of domesticated life sometimes, but art is my passion and I will always find a way to make it work. It’s who I am.

Leave a comment for Jamie Gibbons below, or get in touch through her website JamieGibbons.com

Artist Spotlight: Miss Tak

HornsnHoneySmMiss Tak’s Portfolio

Where are you from originally? Where are you located now?

Born and raised in So-Cal. At the moment I’m working out of Hollywood.

Could you give us a brief overview of your art background?

 My parents used to say that when they’d hand out colouring pages in Preschool, I’d turn them over and draw my own things on the back. Later, I enrolled in private art lessons, as well as Saturday High classes at Art Center in Pasadena, and then eventually I did the CSSSA program at Cal Arts in Animation. After that I got my BFA at Art Center.

Describe some of the jobs you have done professionally how they have helped develop your artistic skills.

I’ve done a ton of odds and ends; from drawing pottery for a catalog, to portraits of people’s dogs in costumes, to professional illustrative jobs for TV. They’ve taught me a breadth of styles, which helps me develop a diverse portfolio. And working for TV has taught me that the quickest artists become the most valued.

JellySmHas working with GDG inspired you creatively?

It’s definitely emboldened me to work more with the nude female form. They make women look strong, regardless of how she’s dressed. And that was such an important lesson to learn to claim as my own.

Where do you find inspiration for your art?

Usually my ideas come from some kind of narrative. Many of my friends are excellent writers, and I mostly find myself wanting to help bring their worlds and characters to life. Other times, I use painting as a form of escapism. Creating things that I wish existed.

Do you have a preference between working with digital or traditional methods? 

I only work digitally now, aside from a few random sketchbook scrawlings here and there. As much as I respect traditional work, I hate the clean up, the supply costs and the lack of an undo button. When I paint digitally, I work on a Cintiq, which allows me to paint right on the image with no disconnect. I find that it’s a really happy middle, and still gives you a traditional feel.  

JanuaryQueenSMAre there any artistic disciplines that you have a passion for?

Aside from digital painting I make costumes and props. Many things tend to lean towards the ‘Steampunk’ style. Though, honestly, I just enjoy creating tangible, useful things that make people happy.

Is there a type of art that you’ve always wanted to learn?

I’d love to learn how to screen print! I think that’s an awesome way to be able to produce artwork.

Do you have any advice for aspiring young women artists?

Do you. And do it as long as you can. Everyone will try to take your uniqueness from you and tell you that you should be more like someone else. Do your own thing, it’ll take you much farther than mimicking someone else. 

Artist Spotlight: Erin Greener

Erin’s Portfolio

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Could you give us a brief overview of your art background, where you are from, etc?

Growing up on a hobby farm in a small town, having even a teeny bit of artistic talent made you a big fish. I knew I wanted to do something with my talent, but I wasn’t sure what yet. I figured that going to art school after high school would help me figure that out. However, going to the city for art school gave me a serious reality check. That big fish attitude was gone real fast!

Describe some of the jobs you have done professionally how they have helped develop your artistic skills.

All right, confession time. I have yet to land a true blue professional art job. The best I got going for me is being a digital illustrator for a start up.

Has working with GDG helped you get to know other women artists? If so, has that been beneficial to you?
Absolutely. After graduating art school, I still wasn’t able to escape the corn fields of southeast Michigan. Not a lot of artists out here when you’re half an hour from the nearest city. GDG was where I could connect with people who liked to draw the same stuff I did.

axefinalsmallHow would you describe your style?

I would use the words ‘Comic book candy’ to describe how I draw. I like keeping things relatively 2D. Detailed line art, bright color and vibrant moods are my playing cards.

What is your favorite subject to draw?

Oh. Em. Gee. Battle chicks. I’ve always been a fantasy fan. I love drawing warriors, weapons, magic stuff….

Do you think it is important for women to embrace their own take on what makes them feel sexy?

If you don’t embrace it, someone is going to try to make you feel bad about it. If it weren’t for GDG, my pin up art wouldn’t be seeing the light of day because I would have been too fearful of what others thought about me. Here in Smalltownland USA, women are taught that sexiness makes you more difficult to respect, and for a long time I was buying into it. But at the end of the day, you belong to you, sexuality included. Pin up was how I expressed mine.

Do you have a preference between working with digital or traditional methods? Could you give a couple reasons why?

I’m definitely a digital artist. As much as I love traditional drawing methods like pencil and pastel, my vision is most accurately achieved in photoshop. It’s also more convenient since I’m chained to a computer most of the day.

Are there any artistic disciplines that you have a passion for?

My educational background is in traditional 2D hand drawn animation. But I am REALLY into crafting and costume-making too.

Is there a type of art that you’ve always wanted to learn?

Glass blowing and wood working would be pretty awesome. Even though my art is mostly digital, I utterly adore craft arts.

raversmallBased on your professional experiences, do you have any advice for aspiring young women artists?

A little aggressiveness and self confidence goes a long way in the industries where one gender is the overwhelming majority. When you’re the only female in the office or one of the few females in the company, there’s a chance you may not be treated quite the same as your male coworkers. Your strengths might get downplayed, you might be talked over, you might get treated like a weak link. It’s very important to teach others how you want to be treated. You are a strong, talented, person with your own beautiful ideas and a unique view on the world. Don’t let them forget.

Artist Spotlight: Penelope Gaylord

Penelope’s Portfolio

PENG-dragon-complete-webWhere are you from?

I was born near Manila, Philippines but home is the Washington, DC area.

 

Could you give us a brief overview of your art background (when you first became interested in art, education, work history, etc…) we just need a couple sentences, doesn’t have to be full bio. 

I think The Little Mermaid had a huge influence on me to want to draw, even though I didn’t know it at the time. I was drawing Disney Princesses until high school. Then I got into anime, specifically Sailor Moon and Ranma ½. After high school, I started to take art more seriously and got into comics with my now-husband Jerry. We started out doing independent comics for other people but our first big project was “Fanboys Vs. Zombies” published by Boom Studios. From there, I’ve worked on other properties like “Adventure Time” and “My Little Pony.” Outside of comics, I draw illustrations for whoever wants to hire me!

 

Describe some of the jobs you have done professionally how they have helped develop your artistic skills.

I’ve been a freelance illustrator for a few years now. Doing comics has really helped me to broaden my understanding of what art could look like. I’ve been to so many comic cons and seen so many different styles of art that I can’t help but be influenced by them. Some projects have asked me to stay on-model, some give me artistic freedom, and that’s really helped me to be flexible. There’s really nothing better than learning on the job.

 

Has working with other GDG artists influenced your style?  If so, in what way?

Being a part of GDG has certainly pushed me to get better. There are so many amazing women with very impressive accolades that it’s really made me step outside of my comfort zone and truly earn my place at the table.

 

sweater 200 markedHow has drawing the female form influenced other aspects of your own personal artistic personality?

Drawing females have always been my forte. I just find it comes more naturally. Drawing curves is in everything I draw, not just in the figures but in decorative things like hair or background elements.

 

Who is the artist who has most inspired you?

That’s kind of a big question. It’s really tough to single out just one artist. There have been a handful in my life and each inspire me differently. But I guess the first most inspirational artist would be Glen Keane, even though I didn’t know it yet. The Little Mermaid made me really pay attention to art. I didn’t know why I loved the pretty pictures, I just knew I did. Then came Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and so on. The stories were all wonderful, but the art was what stuck with me.

 

Do you have a preference between working with digital or traditional methods? Could you give a couple reasons why?

I prefer to work digital when it comes to colors, but traditional when it comes to drawing. Not having gone to any type of art school, I never really got to learn properly how to use traditional mediums like paints or charcoal. So whenever I use that, I feel like I’m just a kid playing around with paints. But I’ve always drawn with paper and a pencil because it feels natural. I taught myself to learn how to color with photoshop since I heard about it and I’ve just gotten more comfortable with it. It is a lot of learning, a lot of experimentation, and quite a bit of frustration – but no mess to clean up afterwards.

 

Are there any artistic disciplines (sculpture, painting, photography, fashion, etc, anything….) that you have a passion for? 

I just love drawing. Putting that pencil to paper is kind of therapeutic. I draw what I feel, I draw when I’m bored, I draw when I can’t get an idea out of my head. I’m one of those that doodled on every single sheet of notes or homework in school.

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Is there a type of art that you‘ve always wanted to learn?

I’ve always wanted to learn how to paint. Not even realistic paintings, I just want to learn how to use the medium.

 

Based on your professional experiences, do you have any advice for aspiring young women artists?

My advice to young women artists is to just do you. Draw what you like, paint what you love, photograph things that interest you. Whatever it is that you want to do, do that. There’s a lot of pressure for any artist, men or women, to either give up on their art completely or to conform their style to fit someone else’s expectations. But for women, if you find yourself in an industry that’s male-dominated, there’s extra pressure to fit in. Don’t! It’s your unique vision that will make you stand out in the crowd.