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What program/materials/brushes do you use?

If I'm working digitally I usually use procreate on iPad. For me, the ease of use makes it the king of digital drawing tools. I only really move over to photoshop if I'm doing more complicated coloring.

I tend to change up my traditional materials constantly, because I love experimenting and trying new things. But I do have a few perennial favorites that I always keep nearby: colerase pencils, ink, dip pens with either a G nib or a good ol' fashioned crow nib, Pentel brush pens, and a tiny travel watercolor set.

If you're reading this because you want advice on what materials to buy, here it is: try to think less about which tool/brand you're using and more about the marks and textures you can get out of it. This will help you become more intentional about what you're putting down on the paper while hopefully simultaneously freeing you up to experiment and play. That said, buy whatever looks fun and doesn't break the bank and see if it works for you and the marks you're wanting.

Did you go to art school?

I did not go to an art school; because of financial restrictions I felt the need to go to an in-state public school. I initially started out in music, but when I realized how much time and credits the program required I panicked and switched my major to undeclared. I really had no idea what I wanted to do at that time, and I was afraid of committing to one thing! I only took a couple classes in visual art/painting while I was in college, and I ended up graduating with a degree in anthropology. I guess it worked out because I often think of myself as a professional observer of humans.

I've always been drawn to creative outlets, and went on to work in many artistic fields throughout the years. I had an Etsy shop while I was still in school, around 2007 - 2009 (a hard time for artists), where I sold some posters of my illustrations. I also taught music and dance for many years. I was even briefly employed as a stained glass artist. I've done a lot of different things! I guess this is all to say, there's no one path to becoming an illustrator, and no right age to start learning.

Should I go to art school?

This is such a personal question, and a difficult one to answer because for each person and circumstance it'll be different. I didn't go to an art school, and perhaps at the time it wouldn't have been right for me - I don't know. There's a part of me that would like to go back and have the experience of being in that environment, maybe for a master's program at some point. But in truth the cost is incredibly prohibitive! It's probably the first thing a student should consider when thinking about school options. If you have the financial resources, go for it. You'll (hopefully) be pushed and encouraged and meet a lot of great people. If not, there are many other ways to learn nowadays. No one should feel pressured to graduate into an art career saddled with overwhelming debt.

Do you take personal commissions?

Not right now, sorry! If this changes, I'll let you know you know via my instagram.

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