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!

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!

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: 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: 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.

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: Yating Sun

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Yating Sun’s Portfolio

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

I am from China, mainland city called Qingdao. Now I am located at Los Angeles, California.

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

I have liked to draw since I was a kid, and the professional training for my artistic skills comes from high school. I went to an art high school and learned some very basic rules of drawing and painting, then I studied design in my undergraduate school. I came to the US for graduate school for my studies in major visual development. Now I am in game industry.

skllyanin-50b99f5e1270893Describe some of the jobs you have done professionally how they have helped develop your artistic skills.

In one of my part time jobs, I had to render a character to completion. It’s really a process in which other people can help you to find your faults and help you correct them. Especially after you stare at an image for a long time, it is very important to let other people help you to find where you need to improve. I don’t think it is an artistic skill necessarily, but a very important skill to know.

Has working with GDG inspired you creatively?

Our GDG group has so many talented artists, each one of them. Their drawings really inspire me.

 

How would you describe your style?

Colorful and weird.

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

I prefer to work traditionally, it’s more about what you can touch and feel, and it is better for archival purposes than digital.

Are there any artistic disciplines that you have a passion for?skllyanin-51db5ace14657c4

I want to try more fashion design and sculpture … I have a passion for all things related to art.

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

Writing.

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

Find out who you are, and stick with it, and your art will naturally come out.

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: Sandra Fremgen

Sandra’s Portfolio 

Pandoras-Box-Painting-Sandra-Fremgen

Where are you from?
I was born in Hong Kong and currently living in Los Angeles. 

Could you give us a brief overview of your art background?
With my background in traditional painting and digital art, I have been working as a surface designer for the past 9 years. I have created artwork for fabric, greeting cards, photo albums, dinnerware and many other items used to decorate your home. I love designing for the mass market because it allows the majority of us to buy a beautiful item at an affordable price. At night I paint my “Panda and Me” series because it’s important to create art based on personal enthusiasm.

Describe some of the jobs you have done professionally how they have helped develop your artistic skills.
Over the years, I have worked as in-house artist, freelance and even ran my own licensing business! When you are a working designer, you must have a thorough understanding of the goals your clients are trying to achieve. This means researching the market and trends that relate to your client’s products. Artistically, learning how to combine my traditional painting with digital skills has really sped out my output rate. I can still create art that looks traditionally hand done when I am on the computer. Clients usually don’t understand the artistic process and want the turn around ASAP.

Elvis-Panda-and-the-Mermaid-by-Sandra-Fremgen

How has being a part of GirlsDrawinGirls helped you as an artist?

Being a part of GDG has opened up my eyes to what drawing the female form is about. When I was a kid, I spent many afternoons drawing pretty ladies in my school notebooks. However, as I got older, I became reluctant to draw ladies because I feared that I was contributing to the “problem.” Meaning, if I kept drawing the idealized female form, was I supporting the message of unachievable female beauty? Being part of GDG helped me work out these issues. I love seeing how my talented colleagues show their beautiful interpretations of female beauty and power. GDG has been a big chapter in my artist growth.

How has your particular style evolved?
When I first started painting ladies, I just copied everybody’s style that I liked. My first attempts looked like Jack Vettriano paintings and later the evolved into SHAG knock offs. The more I paint and draw, the more comfortable I am in my own skin and it shows in my art. Right now, especially with “Panda and Me,” my artwork is a cross between Hello Kitty Cute and Mad Men Retro Cool!

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

In my day job, I use both digital and traditional. When I’m painting on my own, I prefer to use acrylics because they are traditional yet dries so much faster than oil! In this age of mass production, I prefer to create a truly unique one of a kind object such as a painting. I love being able to hold it in my hands and see the texture of the paint on wood.

Are there any artistic disciplines that you have a passion for?
Aside from painting, I LOVE to dance! I’ve been swing dancing, doing ballet and Polynesian for a long time. In swing dancing, I love the give and take of the leader and follower. As the follower, I don’t know what is the next move and must rely on the signals from the lead. This moment of tension of “what will happen next?” is what I try to capture in my paintings.

Panda-and-the-informant-by-Sandra-Fremgen

Is there a type of art that you’ve always wanted to learn?
I would like to be a better sewer and fashion designer. I’ve made every mistake possible in sewing my dresses!

Based on your professional experiences, do you have any advice for aspiring young women artists?
It will take a while before you figure out what you want to say in your art. So for now, focus on mastering all the technical skills such as drawing, composition, design and color theory. The more technical skills you know, the better you will be able to communicate through your art. When you become a working artist, you will inevitably hear some horrible things said about your work. It is a blow to your ego, but you will be able to move on because of your proven track record in the past.