Artist Spotlight: Loren Petty

Where are you from / currently live?

LP: “Henderson, NV

Could you give us a brief overview of your art background? Do you know when you first became interested in art?

LP: “I first got into art when I was a kid because my uncle was an artist. I loved my uncle’s work and I wanted to be able to draw like him. I continued art throughout my schooling and went to a specialty arts high school to keep studying. I got my Bachelor of Arts in Media Arts and Animation and have done freelance sporadically over the years, but I mostly just do art that makes me happy now.”

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

LP: “In the past I’ve worked on a children’s book and an illustration for a mascot of a pet supply company. Recently I just finished up illustrating a comic that is in the lettering process right now and will hopefully come out soon. I think what I learned from these projects is that keeping yourself on a schedule and giving yourself deadlines helps to keep me on track. I also learned that being persistent is worth it because at the end, when you look back at the project, you get to see how all of your hard work has come together. That’s a really good feeling for me.

Has anyone compared your style to anyone else’s?  If so, how does that make you feel?

LP: “Not that I can recall. I’ve always had people say that I drew characters that either looked like me or characters I didn’t know. It use to bother me a lot, but not so much now. Nothing is 100% original and as long as I still enjoy it regardless, I think I could be happy.”

What have been your biggest obstacle to overcome as an artist?

LP: “Energy levels and thinking too much about where I’ve ended up. Being tired a lot of the times makes me not want to draw, but mostly thinking about how much time and money I spent trying to get into the industry and not making it really dampers my mood.”

“However, I do have things that help get me inspired again and help me to not feel so bad about where I’m at now. I just do my best to move forward and enjoy what I do.”

If you ever feel an artistic block, what do you do?

LP: “I typically scroll on instagram, tumbler and mostly, but sometimes pinterest too. Just seeing art gets me so inspired to create. Music is another huge factor too. I’ll listen to a song that creates vivid imagery for me and that’ll help to get the ideas flowing again.”

Have you ever experienced self doubt or lack of confidence as an artist?  If so, how do you overcome it?

LP: “I have and I still do. I feel that I’m not good enough and that sometimes I shouldn’t try, but then I remind myself that I’m just doing my art for me. That if I like it and no one else does, that’s ok. I just want to be happy making art and enjoying the process.”

Have you always wanted to be an artist?

LP: “Always. Even when I thought about being a vet or an astronaut, I still trying to find a way to involve art in everything. It’s a constant in my life.”

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

LP: “I’ve always loved classical paintings. I’d love to learn how to make gorgeous paintings with a softness and a depth that only those old paintings seem to carry. Also, sculpture. Sculpting is just so fun and I’d love to learn to do it better.”

Who is the most influential woman artist for you?

LP: “JAW Cooper. Her work is beautiful and inspirational to me. It has that dark yet hauntingly beautiful aura that I love.”

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

LP: “The industry is tough. Just keep pushing if you want to make it in that realm but don’t burn yourself out either. You don’t need sacrifice your health to show someone that you’re worthy.”

Follow more of Loren Petty’s Art on Instagram @lorenpettyart

Artist Spotlight: Liz Masters on Exceeding Industry Standards

 Where are you from / currently live?

LM: Currently I am based in Burbank, CA. Originally I hail from a small town in rural Pennsylvania.

Could you give us a brief overview of your art background? Do you know when you first became interested in art?

LM: My parents encouraged me to be creative from a young age. I remember coloring in books with my Mom, and wishing that I was as talented as she is. By high school, drawing was my strongest skill and my favorite escape.

When I found “Faeries” by Brian Froud and Allen Lee at the local library, I knew that I wanted to become an Illustrator! There wasn’t much information available about how to make that happen. I earned an Associate’s Degree in Graphic Design, a BFA in Illustration, and started sending out samples. In the end, I had to move clear across the country to find enough solid clients to sustain a full-time career.

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

LM: As a freelancer I painted wine labels, illustrated storyboards, and sketched concepts for both advertising agencies and film studios. During 2014, I was honored to assist Universal Pictures with the dinosaur character style guide for “Jurassic World.” As the full-time illustrator for Home Brew Agency, I design stickers for social media, emojis, posters, and game assets. Each day my skills are tested, stretched, and improved. I practice my craft well over 45 hours per week. The demands of the advertising industry require an artist to be fast, versatile, and efficient under pressure.

Has anyone compared your style to anyone else’s?  If so, how does that make you feel?

LM: No, actually. One of my biggest struggles has been to settle into one style. The ability to switch styles through out the day is one of best strengths. I am actively working toward establishing my own style after hours.

What have been your biggest obstacle to overcome as an artist?

LM: Sticking to one idea! I tend to start lots of projects. Fortunately, I have finally found something that I can get lost in for a long time. I have lots of ideas for enamel pins, and have been sketching nightly. I even launched a Kickstarter!

If you ever feel an artistic block, what do you do?

LM: I will just start sketching (anything). An object near by, a piece of wild life reference, a friend, even a house plant. The physical act of drawing will spark an idea.

Have you ever experienced self doubt or lack of confidence as an artist?  If so, how do you overcome it?

LM: Getting a freelance career off of the ground required a lot of hard work and determination. I was not an instant success. Basically I just kept picking myself up and starting over until it worked.

If I wasn’t good enough to find consistent work yet, I would keep drawing until I was skilled enough. Networking at CTNx and on social media was a major boost.

Have you always wanted to be an artist?

LM: Absolutely.

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

LM: Sculpture. I took an ecorche course in grad school, and I love maquettes.

Who is the most influential woman artist for you?

LM: Terry Whitlatch was generous with her time and wisdom while I was in grad school. She is an extremely talented, kind and thoughtful artist. I love her work and I took all of her advice to heart.

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

LM: Never quit. Network with professionals and listen to successful artists who take you under their wing. Don’t listen to anyone who tells you that you cannot (or should not) do this. If you truly want to be a professional artist, devote yourself to it!

Draw daily. Don’t skip too much sleep though, and remember to take a walk once in a while. Don Bluth told me to find time to enjoy a personal life, too. He is right. Inspiration is outside the door!

Follow Liz Masters on her website Here to see more of her spectacular art!

New Membership Submissions Open! 9/1/2018 to 1/2/2019!

Are You Interested in Being A Part Of Girls Drawin Girls?

New Membership Submissions Open Now Until January 2nd, 2019!

If you would like to join the ranks of the leading international group of women artists, animators, comic creators, and all around amazing ladies. Please fill out a complete application, and submit 3-5 pieces of your own original art and a $5 non-refundable submission fee through our new and easy to use new member Application form!

If you are selected, the $5 submission fee will go toward your membership dues and it is required upon submission. Of the 3 art pieces that you submit, please include at least one of the pieces be of a female. Our FAQ & Membership Info page is now live if you have questions about joining GDG and about what the Group is all about.

Wondering What Kind of Art You Should Send?

We are looking for new members that demonstrate an understanding of anatomy, form, and convey a sense of their own personal style. Don’t be shy! We have members of many different skill levels and career types. The Group is about empowering and supporting one another as we continue to pursue our artistic journey and goals!

Our Art Submission Guidelines page shares more information and examples of what kind of approach we are looking for in your art submissions.

Artist Spotlight: Asher Benson Talks Rudicorn Series & Speaking Up!

Where are you from / currently live?

AB: I’m from Wilmington, DE and I currently live in Laveen, AZ

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. 

AB: I always loved art and grew up in a household that didn’t hold me back from it. I was fortunate. I went to Cab Calloway School of Art in Wilmington, DE and then went on to Delaware College of Art and Design, and finished my Fine Art Bachelors degree at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY. I’m currently in school for a Master in Toy Design. 

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

AB: I was relentless with Mattel, and finally was given the chance to take the test for Monster High some years ago. This really showed me the level of organization they required from their artists, and helped to make transitioning between various companies easier. I’ve worked on Polly Pocket and Disney Princess concept work for Hasbro, and Hairdorables rendering is my most recent work for Just Play. There are others, but I think these shaped my process the most.

Is it challenging to find your personal identity as an artist?

AB: It is extremely difficult. Most people feel they have to relate to something or put your work into a category they’re familiar with in order to approach you at conventions. And perspective clients, seem to also put you into one category. I can say that years ago, I was turned down for work from Hasbro, because someone on the team thought my work was too “edgy”. Sometimes you have to speak up, and other times, you just have to simply smile and nod.

What do you find is your biggest struggle as an artist?

AB: One of my biggest struggles is finding a platform for my work. Living in Arizona, I’m not very close to many conventions or areas where I can show what I can do all year round. I’ve also attempted to try for jobs that I would absolutely love, but they’re out of state, and no  matter how willing you are to move quickly, they’ll usually pick the person local to the area around them.

I’m not someone who can take that leap of faith and just hope that a position comes around in order to pay my bills, so I do the best I can to travel out of state to platforms where I can reach new groups of people.

What is the inspiration behind your “Rudicorn” series?

AB: I think my inspiration behind the Rudicorns, is that I’ve always tried to be as pleasant and understanding as I can when conversing with anyone, but I also find that there are ones that take advantage of it.  In “polite society”, you still have to get along with everyone, even if you’re annoyed about something and you just want to give them a piece of your mind.

This was an outlet for me to be snarky and to just let some of those frustrations go. I tried to come up with a set of unicorns at the time that were the all around kind and filled with love types, but the longer I looked at them…I really wondered if that’s how they’d act. I said to myself at 3am…”You wouldn’t be kind. You’d be awful…pretty awful!!” And tagline was born along with my Rudicorns brand.

Have you ever experienced self doubt or lack of confidence as an artist?  If so, how do you overcome it?

AB: That’s my constant. I’m always second guessing myself and the decisions I make, and to be brutally honest, I’m my worst critic! But I know that I can be as weepy and sad about circumstances, but I can’t stop moving forward. Even at my worst, I gave myself a few days to attend my pity party, and then I burned that place down to the ground as I left. If I stay in my disappointment, and self loathing, what gets done?! Who will fight my fights for me? Does anything ever change if I refuse to change? I

n order to get some of that negativity out of my head, I keep busy….VERY busy. I plan the next project, maybe several. I plan for my next convention, or I apply for that job I really want, I just throw as many well placed balls in the air as possible that I know…and that’s the key…know that I can handle when they all start coming down. Hope for the best, plan for the worst.

Do you think it is common or artistic types of people to experience self doubt?

AB: I think anyone experiences self doubt at some time in their lives. If they say they haven’t, then they’d be lying. It’s normal. You want to have the best possible outcome, but there’s no cheat sheet to life, so some of those decisions and outcomes are going to be hard on you.

Have you always wanted to be an artist?

AB: Yes, I’ve always wanted to be an artist. I started out wanting to be an animator, which is why I have a Fine Arts degree in Animation, but I quickly found my love in concept designs and I was fortunate to have family that supported my ambition and goals.

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

AB: I always wanted to learn 3D imagery. I’m in school partially because of that now.

Who is the most influential woman artist for you?

AB: Honestly my biggest influence is my mother. She used to draw and still likes to joke that I “sucked it out of her”, but those little doodles she used to do for me where significant and irreplaceable parts of my childhood.

You don’t have to be the most talented, or the top artist of your field to be influential. It’s how you carry yourself, the care you show in your work, and how you develop relationships with others around you. Even making my favorite Disney princess, I don’t think she truly understood how that shaped my path. So, thanks Kathy. You’re my biggest influence and I couldn’t be more grateful.

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

AB: Stop apologizing and speak up!

I struggle with this, and never realized how many times I’ve said, “I’m sorry” to people I’ve done nothing to… I’ve even said I’m sorry to inanimate objects! It was built into me, and I feel like this makes me come off as shy and more easier to push around. I never raised my voice as a kid, and this followed me through high school and college.

It still hinders me at work, and I find that I have to exert extra effort to be heard because again, it was a habit I learned to commit to when I was little. You don’t have to fade into the background, you’re allowed to have a voice and you’re allowed to reach for the same goals as everyone else around you. So speak up and stop apologizing for going for what you want.

Thanks Asher for bringing up some really good points! Please show her some love in the comment section below!

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you have to use extra energy to make yourself heard?

Speaking up for yourself as an Artist and as a woman in the professional world can be challenging for some.

If you find that a habit of not speaking up is causing you to experience negative interactions professionally; like being undermined or ignored and therefore are not being respected. Don’t be afraid to take the time to find ways or seek help for overcoming habits that you feel are not helping you advance in your personal life, career, and abilities.

Remember that confidence comes with strong actions! It’s okay to naturally be a quiet or reserved person, but in the end the amount of work that you put into a project should demonstrate your strengths and abilities.

Once you find your voice, don’t be afraid to use it and show people that you are a boss babe that is confident in your abilities and deserve respect and recognition for your hard work!

GDG & Gallery Girls Team Up for Speakeasy Life Drawing

Girls Drawing Girls & The Gallery Girls are teaming up for a one-night Drawing Extravaganza!

Join the members and Founder of Girls Drawin’ Girls along with the lovely and inspiring women of Gallery Girls for one night of decadence and creativity.

 

“THE SPEAKEASY”
With multiple Models, Art, Drinks, Live Music, & More!

WHEN:

Saturday, August 18th, 2018
8:00 to Midnight

WHERE:

Nelson Creative Space
13133 Saticoy Street
North Hollywood, CA

ADMISSION:

$5 entry
$20 entry with life drawing

We are encouraging dressing up! Tap into your inner flapper or bootlegger for a discount!

$3 entry with costume
$15 entry with costume and life drawing

MODELS – Marissa Gomez, Johnathan Cripple & Jennifer Fabos Patton

LIVE MUSIC – Marissa Gomez and Guitarist & More

Come and draw amazing models!Drink and Socialize in the Speakeasy Lounge. Look and Buy Great Art to support women artists!

Independent Shorts Awards Features GDG Member: Leslie Abney!

GDG Member Leslie Abney featured on the Independent Shorts Awards

Leslie Abney teamed up with Tonya Kay on an amazing filming project to complete the storyboards for the short entitled, “The Ascension of Ava Delaine.” This 5 minute short film was shot entirely on drone, in one single take. Wow!

Leslie storyboarded not only an Official Selection at the Independent Shorts Awards, but also an Honorable Mention win at Hollywood New Director’s Film Fest, a Semi-Finalist at Los Angeles Cinefest and an Official Selection at Female Filmmakers Film Fest!

The Ascension of Ava Deliane,” is a short film project that reveals the bold efforts of a woman transitioning into a more secure, confident, sexual, and progressively more valuable woman as she ages. The filming project is the Directorial debut of Tonya Kay, and was lead by a diverse team and crew that strove to break boundaries and helped to increase the representation of women and minorities. This female-led and female-centered project had a crew where 80% were female and 30% were People of Color.

Other Team members included Andria Chamberlin who served as the Cinematographer/Drone operator, Writer and Co-Producer Shaula Evans, and Sound Designer Jaimie Billings; who all contributed their skills and experience on this fantastic and impressive film project!

Congratulations Leslie, Tonya, Andria, Shaula, and Jaimie! We here at GDG can’t wait to see you soar high again!

“Don’t dream it, be it!”

-Melody Severns

Girls Drawin’ Girls Booth & Panel at San Diego Comic Con 2018

Girls Drawin’ Girls will be at Booth #5628. Our Booth will be in the aisle that is just behind the Marvel, Boom! Studios, and Sideshow Collectibles Booths in the Exhibit Hall. Look for the Banners mounted above to find what aisle number you are on and where to find us!

Stop by Our Booth to Meet the following Artists for Comic Con Exclusive Signings.

Leen Isabel – Wed 7/18 3pm to 9pm & Sat 9:00am to 10:30am 

Liz Climo Signing – Sat 7/21 5pm to 6pm

Liz will be signing a Special GDG Themed Print

Remember to Support Women Artists At San Diego Comic Con 2018! 

 

Also, Be Sure to Come to Our Panel! 

Pinup From A Woman’s Perspective on Fri 7/20 at 7:30pm to 8:30pm in Room 24ABC.

Panelists include Melody Severns (GDG founder and Simpsons artist), Noelle Raffaele (WB director of DC Girls), Aisling Harbert-Phillips (Deluxe special effects artist), and Leen Isabel (Pole Dancing Adventures). Since 2006, GirlsDrawinGirls has grown from just 18 local LA women to around 200 women artists from all over the world. They are all professionals in the animation, comics, video games, and film industry and have chosen to draw pinup art, which has been predominately male dominated, to showcase the art from a female point of view. By redefining the pinup, they are not only setting the focus on the diverse and talented women in the entertainment arts industry, they are also embracing their own take on their bodies and their sexuality on their terms.

GDG will also be hosting a Meet & Greet that is open to the public on Thursday 7/19/2018. Come try out Gigi’s Ale and meet the Founders and Artists involved with the Girls Drawin’ Girls Group! Support Women Artists and Small Businesses run and lead by such talented and ambitious independent women!

Comic Con 2018 Extravaganza at The Bell Marker Brewery

Join the Founders and Members of Girls Drawin’ Girls for a pint of Gigi’s Ale, At the Bell Marker Brewery at San Diego Comic Con 2018.

Girls Drawin’ Girls will be hosting an awesome 21+ event for their fans, Members, and the public at the Bell Marker Brewery  on Thursday 7/19/2018. GDG collaborated with the two time Medal Winner of the World Beer Cup and Gold Medal Winner of the Great American Beer Festival, Ignacio “Nacho” Cervates. To create our very own signature beer, Gigi’s Ale for Comic Con 2018!

There will be a special Artist signing area with the wonderful and talented Asher Benson, the Artist behind the beautiful label for Gigi’s Session Ale! Other amazing Artist’s Leen Isabel & Ashley Cooper will also participate in this very special and exclusive Artist signing for Girls Drawin’ Girls!

Food & Drink Specials, Gift Bags full of exclusive Comic Con swag.

Custom GDG Art Prints and Merchandise for sale and the GDG Looney Tunes Art Show.

Ticketed VIP Area where you can meet and network with GDG Members and other Industry Professionals.

Come try out Gigi’s Ale and meet the Founders and Artists involved with Girls Drawin’ Girls Group! Support Women Artists and Small Businesses run and lead by such talented and ambitious independent women!

Remember to also stop by and say “Hello” at our Booth #5628 at the Exhibit Hall inside of the San Diego Convention Center.

Also, be sure to come to our Panel Pinup From A Woman’s Perspective on Fri 7/20 at 7:30pm to 8:30pm in Room 24ABC.

Comic Con 2018 flyer

The Bell Marker Brewery & Kitchen

602 Broadway San Diego, CA 92101

DATE AND TIME

Thursday, July 19th, 7pm-12am

Private VIP Event from 7-9pm
VIP $30 ticket, includes:
  • Meet the artists and founders of GDG, and other great members of the Entertainment Industry at Comic Con 2018
  • Sips & Bites, including Gigi’s Session Ale!
  • Gift Bag w/ GDG Vol. 4 book and The Bell Marker swag bag

Artist Spotlight: Rosana Iarusso

Where are you from / currently live?

RI: I’m from and live in New York!

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

RI: I’ve been drawing since I could hold a pencil so art has always been a part of my life. I owe a lot to my elementary school art teacher, he actually taught us about perspective and proportions of the face very early on, so that was a tremendous help later down the line. 

I attended the Fashion Institute of Technology and earned my BFA in Illustration and took a bunch of CGMA/Schoolism character design classes. Currently, I’m working as a graphic designer and freelance character designer/illustrator. 

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

RI: I had a character design job for a music video where I had to come up with designs for a bunch of 1930s style characters.

It helped me learn how to draw and tackle a different art style than my own. (On top of helping me work on my turn around skills.)

What artist influences your style the most?

RI: There’s a bunch, so this is a tough one. I’d say the following list of artists are ones that I admire and look up to their work a lot whether they are still around or not: Mary Blair, Al Hirschfeld, Lorelay Bove, Amanda Jolly, Peter Emmerich, Liana Hee, Carter Goodrich, Tim Oreb, Ronald Searle and probably many many more.

What do you find is your biggest struggle as an artist?

RI: Right now one of my biggest struggles is holding myself back and figuring out where to start with some of my projects, coming up with ideas/concepts. Sometimes when I have a project in mind, I second guess myself, and the project becomes daunting and that makes it harder for me to start. 

It takes me a while to overcome this fear and I’m trying to get better at fixing this made up fear.

Where do you find your inspiration for your art?

RI: I could be inspired by anything and everything! I would say my art inspiration these days are very much inspired by fashion (especially 50s fashion), mid century modern items, people on the NYC streets, music and the seasons of the year.

Have you ever experienced self doubt or lack of confidence as an artist?  If so, how do you overcome it?

RI: Yes, a lot of the time I feel like I have no idea what I’m doing. Usually, that means I need to take a minute/a break 

from what I’m doing and try something new. I tend to flip flop from digital art to painting something and most recently I’ve tried embroidery. So that and asking myself how can I switch up this drawing usually helps keep me from becoming stale and creating fresh work.

Have you always wanted to be an artist?

RI: Yes, I think so! When I was little I think I might have wanted to be an art teacher for a very brief moment!

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

RI: I would love to try sculpting one of my characters one of these days! Or lino cut and plein air looks fun!

Who is the most influential woman artist for you?

RI: Right now there are two. 

Mary Blair, her paintings and use of color are always so inspiring and definitely one of my good friends, Kristen Sgalambro, she creates amazing paper art and has this crazy drive & work ethic, I definitely look up to her a lot. 

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

RI: I’d say to keep drawing no matter if anyone (or yourself) tells you other wise, you can do it! 

Create things that you enjoy; your work will show if you’re having fun or not so try and remember to have fun while creating! 🙂 

Thanks for reading! Please leave a comment for Rosana! 

 

Artist Spotlight: Arie Monroe!

GDG: Where are you from / currently live?

AM: I am originally from Kansas City Missouri and I am currently living there as well, though I often travel for work and have traveled for school to other states.

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

AM: I have always loved cartoons and animation. I grew up watching Saturday morning cartoons and The Disney Afternoon and was inspired greatly by all of it. Especially The Lion King and The Little Mermaid. When I was 11 years old, I decided I would be an artist.  I have been drawing ever since.  I went to a local school for studio arts and later attended the Joe Kubert School of Cartoon Graphics for comics and animation.  I also worked as a caricature artist during my time in college during the summers to help me improve my craft.

After leaving the Joe Kubert School I worked at Mada Design as a illustrator for childrens books while I also freelanced and drew sketch cards. Some years later I moved to LA to mentor under an animator where I did work for Warner Brothers and Universal Studios.

I moved back to Missouri, where I currently live, to be with my family and help my mother who had been sick for a while only to find out she had lukemia.

I started my own caricature business, Drawlikecrazy Caricatures, and I also freelance doing comics and other illustration, as well as, working on personal projects.

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

AM: I have learned a great deal about what it means to work as a professional very quickly after I started working at Mada Design.  It was a very different task to complete loads of assignments in school for a grade or teachers approval.

I really learned the value of creating quality illustration for a project and how to work in a team. I also learned how picky clients could be and the challenges of trying to please them while still maintaining your artistic vision; something I still struggle with today.  It was great though, I got to illustrate many book covers, coloring books, and kids books for companies like Crayola, Dreamworks and Nickelodeon.  I really loved my time there.

Later, when working in LA, I got to learn how to paint with an airbrush as an airbrush caricature artist, and that was really fun as well. I did character clean up for Warner Brothers and it was exciting seeing my name in the credits of an animated film.

All the things I have done have informed my work with my own business and have taught me to look for what will create passion and excitement in creating and working and not just jumping from job to job, but learning what really matters to me as a artist and sharing that.  Working in caricature I get to talk to people and learn about their sensibilities instead of being isolated in a studio all the time.  I was painfully shy growing up and did not talk to people so I feel like I have come a very long way in learning to be more social and work with others, which is the most important key to working any sort of job, whether you work for yourself or you work for other people.

I am always looking to learn more and improve everyday, not just as a artist, but as a human being.

GDG: Has working around so many other GDG artists influenced your art style? If so, in what way?

AM: I love GDG! So many inspiring women are in the group and such a wonderful network to be a part of. I really enjoy looking at the ladies work and seeing how they approach drawing the female form.  It encourages me to be more and more myself in my work.  If anything, because I appreciate all the unique styles of the creators in the group and how they apply those things to their profession that is uniquely theirs. Whether it is through webcomics or animation, the inspiration is endless.

GDG: What do you find is your biggest struggle as an artist?

AM: I struggle the most with my confidence.  I constantly worry my work is not good enough.  Probably to a pretty unhealthy extent.  It is one of the things that has held me back the most in my career. Even causing me to lose freelance jobs cause I do not have confidence in my work and fear showing it to my client because I did not think they will see it as being good enough. Depending on how stressed I get my level of confidence can swing pretty low and when it is at its lowest I think I draw my worst, so I actually have learned to step away from the drawing table to rest and refresh my mind so that I can see things with fresh eyes. I started taking time to pamper myself and do things like get massages and work out at the gym.  Self care seems to be a big remedy to the confidence issue. I find my work improves once I clear my mind and rest.  When I was in school I was constantly on, wishing I didnt have to sleep so I could do more work and that translated into my work life at an even higher level because now my livelihood relied on it.  I have found that my livelihood was suffering because I was also physically wearing myself down.  I even developed a shoulder injury from long hours painting and my eyes would hurt from hours staring into a lightbox or at a computer screen.

That wear and tear can effect your ability to grow artistically and I didnt realize that, so of course my confidence suffered even more.  Now I have put equal effort into replenishing myself confidence through rest, though sometimes the stress is not worth your health.  Balance is key and everyday I feel more secure in my ability as a artist.

GDG: Where do you find your inspiration for your art?

AM: I love animation, good stories, and time with good people. When others are inspired and excited, it really gets my creative energy flowing as well!  It is refreshing to share ideas and passions with like-minded individuals.

GDG: What would be your artistic “dream job”?

AM: Someone paying me to create what I enjoy and not wanting me to change it in any way.  Just letting me be the creative person I am and accepting it.  The only changes they would offer would be to improve what I do but not change it to their vision.  As artists I feel we spend a great amount of our time recreating the visions of other people.

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

AM: Animation has always been my passion but my work ends up focusing on illustration and comics.  I would love to animate and be amazing at it in every way possible, specifically 2D animation.  I find 3D to be boring because it does not involve drawing.  I love seeing characters move.  It brings a smile to my face to see a painting dance.

GDG: Who is the most influential woman artist for you?

AM: I cannot pick just one because I have known so many and enjoyed the art of so many as well.  There is Anna Marie Cool, who encouraged me to attend the Joe Kubert School, June Brigman who helped me with figure drawing in school and did the cover of my all girls art anthology while attending Joe Kubert. There is also Afua Richardson who is a great friend and an amazing artist whose work has graced the cover of several Marvel books, including Black Panther, World of Wakanda, and so many more… and we cant forget the many artists in GDG that are all doing amazing things.

In terms of artists I dont know I love Claire Wendling, Joanna Quinn, and Joanna Davidovich…the list goes on and on.  I could never choose one.

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

AM: Be yourself and make lots of art! Oh and get a good nights sleep. Lol!

Thanks, Arie! Readers, please leave a comment for Arie Monroe!