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!

Call For New Members! 

Want to be a part of Girls Drawin Girls? New membership submissions open now until February 2nd, 2018!

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 submit 3 pieces of art to: girlsdrawingirls@gmail.com.

Of the 3 pieces, please include an understanding of anatomy, form, and a sense of your own personal style. Please also have at least 1 of the pieces be of a female. A $5 submission fee will be required upon submission. If selected, this $5 will go toward your membership dues. Please make payment via paypal to girlsdrawingirls@gmail.com.

If you would like us to review your portfolio for feedback purposes (in regards to applying to the group, or just to get advice), please feel free to bring your portfolio to any of our portfolio review sessions (usually during San Diego Comic-Con or New York Comic Con) or to any of our events, where one of our members can give you feedback!

We will be at the World Animation Celebration at Sony Pictures Animation 9/30-10/1, if you would like a portfolio review then!
Best of luck and we look forward to working with you in 2018!

Artist Spotlight: Cassie Soliday

GDG: Where are you from?

CS: I’m originally from a small town in Southern Illinois but am blessed to now live in Southern California. Hmm… I see a pattern here.

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

CS: Like many, I grew up watching cartoons, drawing what I would see on screen, and wondering what living in these other worlds would be like.  It wasn’t until Toy Story came out that I realized that people make these movies- and those people were animators. I’ve been chasing that excitement and joy ever since.  After graduating Columbia College Chicago and taking numerous workshops to further my skills, I’ve worked in production and artistic roles at Disney, Nickelodeon, Wild Canary, to name a few.

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

CS: I used to be a sketch artisan in the Disneyland parks and it was probably the best thing that could have ever happened to me artistically.  It was intense character design study everyday and the reality of how these characters & stories affect people really sunk in. I also had the opportunity to storyboard a music video for preschoolers and design props on a Nick Jr show.  In each gig, I learn something new about the work and myself as well.

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

CS: It’s amazing to be surrounded by so many wonderful artists.  Seeing the diversity of work being shared in the group keeps me on my toes and consistently thinking about what I’m going to make next.

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

CS: Emotion is a major driver for anything I make- whether its capturing something I’m feeling or trying to influence someone else to feel it, too.  I find inspiration from my surroundings, people I know and love or admire, comics, books, movies, nature- it’s everywhere!

GDG: Have you ever had to struggle with self doubt as an artist?

CS: Yes! Especially when I was younger, and sometimes even now. It’s easy to play the comparison game, but once I stopped worrying about what others were doing and started focusing on what I was doing or wanted to do, it was a lot easier. I’m very purpose driven and want to put good out into the world- it takes some reminding that what we make can have a positive impact, but it’s definitely motivating to get past your demons and carry on.

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

CS: I would love to create an animated series full of magical realism. However, I’ve tried to detach my self worth from this idea of a “dream job” because in these creative industries, gigs come and go. The ultimate goal is to always use my drawing, writing, and comedy skills to work in a collaborative atmosphere to create positive and adventurous media for young audiences!

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

CS: I love traditional methods- there’s nothing more romantic than holding a pencil and feeling the lead leave the tip as you pull it across a sketchbook page and then adding a splash of watercolor.  It’s so tangible and imperfect at times. However, being digital is necessary- it’s just so much easier when collaborating with others and being a part of a production. Plus, Ctrl + Z.

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

CS: I’m currently learning embroidery! There are some amazing artists out there who are really challenging what the form can be- even mixing it with illustration. Mixed media is such a blue sky idea- it can literally be anything!

GDG: Do you have any advice for aspiring young women artists?

CS: Trust yourself and trust that your artistic voice is worth sharing. Someone out in the world can benefit from seeing your art or hearing your story! It’s a gift. You are a gift.

 

Did you enjoy this interview? Leave a comment for Cassie below.

Artist Spotlight: Jennifer Llewellyn

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

JL: I’m currently residing Westbank Kelowna in Canada.   I am living right off the beautiful Okanagan Lake.

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

JL: I’ve always had a passion for drawing, as kids we never had coloring books. My mom would draw any character we requested and we got to color it. Watching her draw and doodle all day every day, sparked an early interest in drawing. However it was when I saw my first movie in a theatre “The Little Mermaid”, that I fell in love with animation. Followed by many art teachers that saw my passion, and helped me reach my dreams.

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

JL: Wowza, how do I narrow down 17 years of work into a few sentences… Yeti Farm: Oh how I wish I could share what I’m working on now. A bucket list item checked off! Charmed Playhouses: Working with Tyson and his team for the TLC (Now Animal Planet) tv show. Has been truly amazing. Drawing live with clients, and their children is an incredible experience. Children have an endless imagination and this work always me to reopen mine. Tysons team of craftsman are truly incredible artists. The Chuck Jones Gallery: Working with the Chuck Jones Gallery on a piece for Comic Con, was truly a dream come true. Bob Godfrey taught us how to animate bug bunny. The day this opportunity came about reminded me of all his lessons. Sally’s Salon, Spa, Studio: Working with a team of 6 men and 2 women to produce a title targeted at women, was one of the most interesting experiences of my life.  Many challenges met with much success. The Sally’s series taught me a lot about women in games, and the real challenges we face. I think it’s important to remember we are of equal value.  Although the product was ultimately abandoned when the studio went under. We will always have these memories.

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


JL: I don’t feel that I even have a “style”, of course being taught under Charles at Vanarts has given me a Disney influence, working in animation you need to be adaptable. The show style changes with each production. You need to be adaptable. With Harmony, and other programs you can’t forget the importance of this. To many schools are not stressing life drawing…. Lets stop that. The Girls however have influenced me in other ways, Laurie B has been a friend for many years now, I miss her energy and laughter. Living with Genvieve FT in Toronto was one of the most amazing experiences of my life, we laughed and learned so much at the Imaginism in house workshop. Never ask us to make soup for you, right Gen?

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

JL: Life.  I truly believe in building your visual memory bank.  Don’t just experience life behind a computer, go live it. Studying people, animals, architecture, nature, and light. There’s endless learning opportunities all around you.

GDG: What is the biggest challenge that comes with being an artist?

JL: Time: Being a professional artist means just that. It becomes who you are; it’s your hobby, turned career. You truly need to engross yourself in it. The days never seem to be long enough. Welcome to being a lifetime student. 

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


JL: Oh how I long to flip paper between my fingers. Having started my career in animation with ACTUAL pencil to paper on the “Christmas Orange”. I really miss it. There’s nothing more appealing then flipping through an animated sequence. Watch the Bancroft Brothers you tube videos where they flip scenes from your childhood favorites and you will be able to drool with admiration. I do find it challenging to keep up with all the technology. Photoshop, Flash, Harmony, Maya, on and on. Like I said… lifetime student. You really need to love it.

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

JL: Storytelling: I’m not a writer but ask me to make up a story by the campfire and you’re in for a treat. Storytelling is the soul behind all animation, one walk through Pixar’s upstairs gallery with all the pre production art, will leave you in awe of these visual storytelling geniuses. Stop Motion: I love getting my hands dirty and sculpting. I truly love all things Laika and Aardman.

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

JL: I love Children’s books. I have worked on many but I would love to take a more Mary Blair Approach to this. There is some that just soaks you in with all of her work. The is the visual story telling I want to learn.

GDG: What is your advice to aspiring women artists?

JL: Never give up. It is very easy for people to stop pursuing art, and especially animation. The dedication to being a lifelong student is very hard for some people. I’ve seen so many TALENTED artists give up while within a hands grasp of their goal.  Learn from those that came before us. Respect those that paved the way. Keep going, keep drawing, keep building that visual memory bank.

Leave a comment or question for Jennifer below.

Artist Spotlight: Mako Fufu

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

MF: I was born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina. I moved to the US in late 2012.
I lived in NY for a while, then in NC… and I may be relocating to a different state shortly (keep tuned!).

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

MF: I’m a self-taught artist, I always loved making art and I’ve been doing it since I was able to hold a crayon.
I’m very curious and eager to try and learn new things, so my portfolio is quite eclectic. I’ve been an Art Director for Video Games, Comic Artist, Painter, Muralist and Illustrator, among many *many* other works.

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


MF: Every new job taught me new things. I specially loved doing Concept Art and Character design for Video Games, It was a lot of fun, as I’ve got to explore different styles and ideas and do a lot of research and experimenting with my style and skills, it was fun and educational! That job eventually evolved to Art Director and although I didn’t get to draw so much anymore, it helped me improve my attention to detail and organizational skills… but… to be honest, I’ve been always been pretty OCD myself.

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

MF: I already had quite a rounded style when I’ve joined the group, but it’s nice to meet friends with the same interests and do projects with a common passion.

GDG: Where do you get your inspiration?


MF: I do watch a lot of TV, movies, listen to music, do an unhealthy amount of online research and travel as much as I can, so that gives me a lot of ideas and resources. But rather than sit down and be directly inspired by something specific (unless it’s commissioned work) I’ve found out that I do my best work when I look for the inspiration within myself, my emotions, my feelings and the things I want to say loudly but I can’t.

 

GDG: What has been the biggest moment of artistic inspiration and merit for you?


MF: I’m always inspired when I make some big changes (which usually include relocating somehow, but that’s another story) Regarding Artistic merit, my biggest moments were first when the US Government awarded with an “Alien of Extraordinary Ability” Visa in 2012 and later on “Alien of Extraordinary Ability” Green Card in 2016. Both came to me after a lifetime of working on my art, and saying the paperwork itself was really really REALLY though doesn’t even begin to describe how difficult and stressful (and expensive) that process was. But since the bar is set that high, (especially for the green card…. gosh) having my skill being recognized as “Extraordinary Ability” makes me extra proud and grateful.

GDG: If you are ever in a  ‘creative rut’, what helps?


MF: Doodling freely, going back to basics to what you enjoy doing in the moment… meaning doing whatever you enjoy, without judging its quality or value.

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

MF: I enjoy both on their own way. Traditional media makes me feel more connected to the work. It’s more challenging because there’s no Ctrl+Z, and it’s more difficult to photograph and reproduce as a print. I think part of my digital “disconnection” is based on the fact that I work with a regular non-screen type of tablet, I have to fix that. Digital gives me a cleaner result and it’s easier to share.

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

MF: I love painting, I use oils, acrylics and watercolors depending of my mood. I do play with sculpture every so often, I want to take some classes and get better so I can do art toys. I’m figuring out some photography to make my products look pretty on my shop, and I have to say I’m starting to have fun with it. I’m teaching myself 3D, I’ve done some tattooing, silk-screening, animation, video edition… I am very curious and I love learning new things, so I know at least the basics for a whole lot of things at this point!

GDG: Has working around so many women artists within GirlsDrawinGirls helped you find ways to express yourself?

MF: It has helped me to make some very good, very talented friends (and I’m an introvert so it’s kind of a big deal to me).

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

MF: My advice is for artists in general… well, I’d say for people in general, in whichever endeavor they are passionate about in life: Practice, practice, practice! When in doubt, google. Always listen to your gut. But also, use common sense.

Leave a comment for Mako Fufu below, or get in touch through her website

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: Lisa Dosson

Where are you from / currently live?

LD: I was born and raised in a very small community in Northern Michigan. Currently, I live in Burbank, California


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.

LD: I got into drawing from a pretty early age, and decided I wanted to be an artist when I was 7 years old. Since then, I have studied Graphic Design (BA) at KCAD in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Classical Drawing at the SACI Academy in Florence, Italy, and Classical Animation at Vancouver Film School.
Currently, I work as a commercial story board artist, and co-run The Model Drawing Collective, one of the largest life drawing workshops in Los Angles.

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

LD: Everything can be a learning experience, even retail jobs teach patience. I stated out working odd jobs, and teaching design drawing as a tutor at KCAD. Teaching a skill to someone else is a great way to grow more too! After that, I did (and still do) freelance work, which has helped me work under pressure: tight budgets and even tighter deadlines. Running a life drawing group definitely helps with technical and communication skills. Life drawing by the way, is a great way to develop almost any artistic discipline: animation, character design, modeling, sculpture- or even just overall confidence of forms and lines. What I’m saying is, come to my life drawing! https://www.facebook. com/modeldrawingcollective

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

LD: Perhaps not my artistic style, but I met one of my closest friends at the first gallery event I attended a couple years back. Professionally, it’s given me some great opportunities too- working the Pasadena Chalk Festival, SDCC and lecturing at UCLA have been highlights in my career.

You recently went to Paris to study art, what was your takeaway from that trip?

LD: Paris was an amazing experience- something I had planned since I was 15 years old. I spent three months studying at the Louvre, which anyone can do if they are an adult and apply for a professional pass (which only costs around 40 USD!) Since I had planned this trip solely for personal study, I spent most of my time copying works and sketching from the Old Masters, and also meeting other artists and visiting their life drawing workshops. It’s hard to simplify the experience into one takeaway, but the trip definitely broadened my perspective regarding how other cultures celebrate their artistic heritage. Though subtle, there was a level of respect offered to me in Paris because I was a studying artist that I would love to see more of here in the US.

Where do you find your inspiration for your art?

LD: I love old fairy tales and folktales. I love listening to people’s family stories and their histories. I love unlikely animal friendships too. I think those loves show up in my art, both in my subject matter, and in the way I draw

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

LD: I like both. My background is very traditionally based: charcoal, pencil, and ink. I enjoy and use all of these mediums because they can be practical and comforting. There is something very intimate about having a sketchbook with me wherever I go. In a practical sense, it’s just quicker and less committal to use pen a paper for quick thumbnails before I begin a project at work- it makes me feel more connected to the project too. Digital is fantastic for commercial art because it’s so easy to share, replicate, reproduce, and edit. At the end of the day, they are both just tools.

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

LD: Life drawing and story telling- lucky for me, the two fit together pretty nicely. In my free time, I also love doing long render studies of casts and bones.

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

LD: Tattooing. Something about using ink and needles is really appealing to me. I’ve always shied away from learning it because the idea of practicing on people/dead pigs (yikes!) was just too daunting. Modern technology has developed a sort of prosthetic skin sketchbook though, so when I get some extra money, I will definitely be giving it a try!

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

LD: Two things actually..

On Style:

It seems like young artists get really stressed out about having a “style” or finding “THEIR style,” but don’t worry or even think about it. Practice good fundamentals instead, because if it comes from your hand, it’s already your style.

On Sexism:
Sexism in our industry is real, so don’t be surprised when you encounter it. Remind yourself (and possibly others) that unless you are, in fact, operating your stylus with your genitals, gender has nothing to do with your job.

Call For New Members!

Want to be a part of Girls Drawin Girls? New membership submissions open now until Jan 31st, 2017!

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 submit 3 pieces of art to: girlsdrawingirls@gmail.com.

Of the 3 pieces, please include an understanding of anatomy, form, and a sense of your own personal style. Please also have at least 1 of the pieces be of a female. A $5 submission fee will be required upon submission. If selected, this $5 will go toward your membership dues. Please make payment via paypal to girlsdrawingirls@gmail.com.

If you would like us to review your portfolio for feedback purposes (in regards to applying to the group, or just to get advice), please feel free to bring your portfolio to any of our portfolio review sessions (usually during San Diego Comic-Con or New York Comic Con) or to any of our events, where one of our members can give you feedback!
Best of luck and we look forward to working with you in 2017!

Artist Spotlight: Megan Kelly

Where are you from / currently live?

MK: I am originally from a small town up north called Patterson. I currently live in Los Angeles.

watermelonCould you give us a brief overview of your art background (when you first became interested in art, education, work history, etc…)

MK: I have always been interested in drawing, but it wasn’t until I watched my first bugs bunny cartoon that I decided I wanted to become an animator. I went to college at San Jose State to join their Animation / Illustration program, called the ShrunkenHeadmen Club. While in the program I was lucky to meet people working in the industry through the Acme program and through them I got my first job working as a Layout Artist on the Simpsons Movie at Rough Draft Studios. Since then, I worked on the Futurama DVD’s and then American Dad where I am currently an Assistant Director

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

MK: Character Layout and Storyboarding taught me to loosen up and try to add as much life in my drawings as possible. As an Assistant Director I’ve learned a lot about the process of making an animated show. Learning what happens after the drawing is done (animatic, timing, color) has changed the way I board. I also found that good time management is your best friend.

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

mewecanMK: They haven’t influenced my style as much as they’ve just influenced me to draw more. Looking at all the diverse beautiful drawings that the women of GDG produce just makes me want to create more! I’m constantly inspired by those around me.

What is your personal take away as a woman drawing pinup art of women?

MK: I never really thought it was weird or odd that I enjoyed drawing pinup art. It’s just something I’ve always done since I saw my first pinup in a comic. I think you should draw what you like, what inspires you, and pinups always seemed so cool to me. They are sexy but in control and I like that.

Where do you find your inspiration for your art?

MK: Other artist’s work inspires me. I like looking at different styles and ideas and it usually sparks something in me and makes me want to draw. Most of the pinups I draw are nerdy things that I enjoy. I draw a lot from books I am reading or shows and movies I watch.

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

MK: I am not an artist that quickly sketches something and have it come out perfect. I like to noodle with my drawings, get ideas as I am drawing. So digital has been really great with that. I like that I can erase with ease or change the size and angles of things at a whim. I would go through so much paper and erasers before I started using digital, so I am happy I can save some trees now. Also, my style is more stylized simplistic shapes so finishing my work in illustrator helps me get those really clean lines.

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

MK: I sometimes like to sculpt things, usually with whatever’s handy as opposed to working with clay. I have made a few masks out of newspaper and tape for Halloween.

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

MK: I would love to learn how to do paper art.

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

MK: Always ask questions and don’t be afraid of notes on your work. You are never too good to learn. As for your personal work, just draw what makes you happy not what you think will make others happy.

Artist Spotlight: Joanna Davidovich

Where are you from / currently live?frankie01

I’m living it up in Atlanta, Georgia.

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’ve always loved drawing and watching cartoons.  My parents still boast how a painting of mine sold at a school charity auction when I was in kindergarten.  They never told more for how much, for all I know it was sold for pocket lint, but still, my interest in pursuing art started early!  I drew all the time growing up, went to college for animation and have been working as an animation artist ever since.

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

I’ve mostly worked on broadcast commercials and a little series work doing animation, boarding, character design and the like.  In broadcast, the deadlines are unforgiving so you’re always looking for ways to get your ideas down faster and faster.  You have to learn to trust your first instincts, and live with it.  There probably isn’t a single project I haven’t said something like “if I only had more time I could have done so much better!” So when I draw for myself, I’m still in that “get-it-done!” mindset.  Even if I’m not satisfied with the final product, if I linger I rework things to death in frustration, so I just take it as a learning experience and move on.  I would have a different philosophy if I had more time for everything, but for now, this is what I learned from my work and this is what works for me right now.

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

Sure!  Its fascinating how artists can take one idea and create such distinct and wildly different things with it.  GDG has the weekly sketch themes which are so much fun to follow.  When I check out what’s going on on the GDG blog or FB page I’m always logging things away to try myself in the future.

What is your personal take away as a woman drawing pin up art of women?
It’s so funny how much of the old pinup art we find so adorable today was considered scandalous at the time it was created.  I’m not what you’d call an adventurous person, so when I draw pin ups I like to think to myself “if this was 70 years ago, I’d be a REBEL!”.  But pin ups have always held an appeal for women if you think about it- so much of advertising and fashion is basically pin up art.  Pretty girlie drawings are about cheekiness, liveliness, humor- and those are things everyone can appreciate.  I could speculate perhaps that female artists have a more natural understanding of that appeal- I’ve yet to see a female artist of any skill level do a pinup that looks two basketballs hanging off a Q-tip.

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Where do you find your inspiration for your art?

I love early/mid 20th century pop culture- the music, movies, fashion.  The swing era is a particular favorite.  There are so many luscious Technicolor spectacles where every frame looks like a painting I want to hang up on the wall.  And the black-and-whites, when the lighting is just right, can get this velvety texture and glow that makes all the actors look like otherworldly gods.  I think that women on the whole never looked more beautiful and strong than how they were made up and photographed in the 40s.  And of course I’m inspired by great artists, especially in those in animation.  Animators just draw awesome pinups- I mean, is there anything more sweet and sassy than a Freddie Moore girl?

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

I prefer to work on paper, but necessity dictates I predominantly work digitally.  Technology is amazing, but nothing beats the tactile feeling of pencil and paper when you’re working out ideas.  But I only work on paper when I have time, and as I’ve indicated previously there’s not much of that going around anymore.  But ever since I started buying those Kyle Webster brushes for Photoshop I’ve enjoyed digital more and more.
swingout
Are there any artistic disciplines (sculpture, painting, photography, fashion, etc, anything….) that you have a passion for? 
I wish I could try it all.  I keep dabbling in watercolors with embarrassing results- I really wish I could make a proper study of traditional media.  Since I don’t do it, I couldn’t call it a passion- just a strong desire.

Is there a type of art that you‘ve always wanted to learn?
 
See above!
Based on your professional experiences, do you have any advice for aspiring young women artists?

Its almost like I have so much advice I can’t even put it into words.  Its something like: Don’t let other people dictate your career.  There are so many paths to follow, but there are even more that you can forge on your own.  Work hard on your skills, have confidence in them, and value yourself.  And on a personal level, you’ll always have those sneaky little doubts and disappointments no matter what you do, but those should never stop you from creating and doing the things you love.  And take a break sometimes to get out of your own head.  And stay healthy!  Remember to sleep and drink water and don’t just eat Twizzlers all day even though they are super delicious and convenient.