How old are you?
What is the primary medium you work in?
What is your favorite medium to work in?
What is your favorite subject matter?
Fantasy and horror.
What art tools do you use, and do you have any tools or brands that you recommend?
My primary art program is Clip Studio Paint. While CSP can have a bit of a learning curve, I think it’s a great program to have if you want to be able to do a lot of different things in one place. I draw on a Huion Gt-221, which is also an awesome alternative cintiq option for anyone that is looking to invest in something like that at home to consider. It can run as an extra screen or a stand-alone computer. When I need something portable and want to get away from my desk, I have procreate on ipad or just a good ol’ sketchbook and some color pencils.
What sources would you recommend for artists that are interested in pursuing your art medium?
The most affordable way to dabble in digital art and see if you enjoy it is to start with a smaller investment like a pen-tablet, or an art app if you have a tablet and a pen already like ipad or surface pros. I learned digital art before there was a lot of youtube tutorials through trial and error and clicking every button to see what it does, but now there’s plenty of free resources a google search away on how to get into digital painting.
How and when did you start creating artwork?
I was always a doodling kid, most of my childhood was coloring books and scribbling on scrap paper, but my “I know I want to be an artist when I grow up” moment happened around my middle-school days. I was a slight outsider for still watching cartoons (“kids shows” as some friends called them). The moment I realized that those cartoons came from actual adults with careers in storytelling, and how much range of audience animation had, I knew that was what I wanted to do. When I started high school my parents got me a wacom bamboo pen tablet to plug into the house computer so i could draw digitally, since i spent so much time on the computer anyway. Eventually a laptop of my own came down the line, and once I was in college with a side job buying my own art supplies I finally saved up for a tablet you can draw right on screen with.
Who or what are your biggest artistic influences?
A lot of my work relates back to my Faith, or my really early interests I had as a kid like fairytales and some 90’s anime/cartoons. I’m also very into those “older” shows because of the texture in them. That’s something I really miss in current animation so sometimes I bring back that more film-grainy look as a way to cope.
What piece of art do you most closely identify with?
Tim Burton was one of the first artists who’s work I saw and wanted to really dissect where it came from or how it was created. The Nightmare Before Christmas was that movie that I wanted to figure out as a kid, and to this day is still at the top of my favorites. Before I knew how movies or animation worked I just imagined that the entire cast of the movie was inside our dvd boxes acting everything out. Even now I still sometimes find new little facts about the film that I didn’t know before in shows like Prop Culture or other documentaries that mention it. Not to mention all the merch I have. … so … much.
If you could give any advice to your past-artist-self, what would it be?
Being self-taught is okay, as long as you’re actually learning new things. When I started thinking I wanted to be serious about being an artist I was super big on figuring it out myself and being “self-taught.” I did take an art class in 7th grade, but I didn’t really apply that much of what we learned to my personal drawings because I didn’t realize how important fundamentals were and it felt more like a craft class. Looking back, I might’ve been able to skip college and just find work if I knew how to research portfolios, network at conventions, and ignore that “I just want to make cartoons” mentality many young artists fall into which hindered my art’s development.
What is your absolute dream project? If you could create anything in the world, what would you create?
A 2D animated film of the book of Esther, but with the same vibes Prince of Egypt had! Prince of Egypt is so beautiful and I would love to see more Old Testament stories told in that format.
What is your ultimate goal as an artist? Has this changed over your art career?
To make people excited about the things I’m excited over. Fun characters, good story arcs, maybe some nostalgia, etc. If I can bring anybody some kind of moment’s escape from our crazy everyday lives through enjoying a drawing, a short film, or even a livestream and actually connect with people in a meaningful way, that’s what really matters to me.
What is your favorite plant and/or animal?
I love penguins! They’re so clumsy and silly and they make me very happy.
Is nature something that you’re drawn to?
I definitely have a really deep appreciation for nature as a Christian. During high school my church would often go on retreats and a few would be in the mountains so that we could be more connected with that aspect of creation and not be distracted. The only time I’m definitely not drawn in is when someone brings up hiking. I am 100% not a hiking fan. I’m definitely a flat-lander through and through when it comes to that.
Can you tell us about the pieces you created for this gallery?
Both of my works are inspired by songs I really like! The forest piece is inspired from “Come Along” by Cosmo Sheldrake. It pretty much always makes me think of a mix of the Spiderwick and Alice in Wonderland forests. The other piece was made from “All of Creation” by MercyMe and is a tribute to every little aspect of nature. The music notes are also a piece of the lyrics from the song.
Have you participated in the Artist Lodge Gallery before?
Yes! This is my second time joining. My first time participating was during the Grim Grinning Gallery!
Anything else you’d like to add?
I’d like to thank Marissa for having me back with the Artist Lodge and continuing to run shows during these times! Being able to participate in online galleries has really helped give me things to do while staying at home all the time and meet new artists.
*Please note that all artwork is reposted with permission from the artists. Please do not use, alter, or repost the artwork without direct permission from the artists. Each artist may have a different Creative Commons license on their work/images and you will need to contact them directly in order to obtain permission for your uses.