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!