Thank you to Joan for doing this Q&A artist feature about me in the last issue of Newfoundland Quarterly!! I finally got the copies in the mail and it’s a joy to see 🙂
Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I’m a freelance illustrator hailing from Toronto residing in a shoebox of an apartment. I love to make complicated coffee and instant ramen. I’ve loved painting and making pictures for as long as I can remember, and the decision to go to school for that and try and turn it into a career has been really scary but I’m so thankful for getting the opportunities to do so!
What about your artwork here: why these subject matter, and how did you select your palette?
Working as an editorial freelance illustrator means you don’t get to choose the topics you paint about. I think that can seem really limiting however no matter what topic you are assigned, you are always painting with your own voice and perspective. I’ve also been SO lucky to receive projects that have been close to me and my interests. Along with woman’s rights and mental health, humans versus nature has been a really prevalent motif in my work since before I found my own artistic voice. I feel like I always start at square one when I’m selecting colours for a piece but in the end it’s pretty clear that I’ve got a certain palette I’m always sticking close to!
What artists, not limited to visual artists, influence you?
I’m influenced by everything, I think you just look through that lens in everyday life as an artist. Music has always been a big source of inspiration for me; Kate Bush, Alex G, Modest Mouse, Leonard Cohen, and Built to Spill are some artists that have shown up in some way in my personal work, along with so many others. There was a time a made an entire zine about baseball because I was so obsessed! I probably get the most inspiration from a couple friends I graduated with and have kept really close with, Marley Allen-Ash and Heidi Berton, we are really supportive towards each other’s careers and inspire each other in non-competitive ways, I’m so thankful for them and I love their work. Carson Ellis and Eleanor Davis are all-time favourite illustrators for me.
Do you have a work routine?
I definitely have a specific process I go through for each piece I do starting with scribbled down notes to small thumbnail ideas, to line drawings and colour studies, and eventually the final painting. But as far as a work routine goes there is no specific time of day I find to be the most productive for me. I’m lucky to have a small corner for my studio in my apartment, and having it right there means I can pick something up whenever it feels right and work on it without restrictions.
What’s your idea of work/life balance?
I think I feel a lot of unnecessary guilt when I take any time away from making art or promoting myself as an illustrator. My idea of work/life balance is to feel fulfilled from both, and in order to feel that way you need to put a lot of time into both. It’s hard to know what’s right but if you’re able to hone in on which part of you needs more attention then you shouldn’t feel guilty having to push one aside to spend time on the other.