Artwork by Annie: Ocean Astronaut
Meet Annie, an amazing artist based in California!
What inspired you to start creating art?
I’ve probably been drawing since I was 4 or 5. The earliest memory I have of becoming interested in drawing was watching my grandpa draw pictures for me. I remember wanting posters of the Disney princesses to hang up as decorations, but because we didn’t have a printer back then, he would just draw them for me and let me color them in. Eventually, my grandpa became busier taking care of my younger cousins and had increasingly little time to draw. Instead, he encouraged me to draw for myself! At the time, I was a huge fan of mangaka Arina Tanemura’s works, so I learned how to draw by replicating her style. Since then, my drawing style has evolved into something I’m quite content with, and I have a lot of fun drawing so I’m super thankful to my grandpa for being the starting point for my passion. What’s your process like when planning out a piece?
I’m not much of a planner, so I usually just go with the flow. When I get an idea, I sketch the figures roughly and move things around as needed before doing a cleaner sketch and adding in the details. Interestingly, if I’m doing a full body drawing, I always start from the legs and draw in the rest of the body from there. I find that doing it this way helps me balance the pose better and more naturally. Sometimes I’ll have an idea of the colors I want to use in a drawing, but I use the hue slider and color correction tools a lot to balance out the colors as well and find the colors that look the nicest.
Artwork by Annie: Uchuujin What or who do you pull inspiration from for your artwork?
I often use my art as my emotional outlet, so my main source of inspiration is my thoughts and emotions. I draw what I want to express because I’m not very good with words, and since art is so subjective and anyone can have different interpretations of an artwork, I feel comfortable knowing that I can be vulnerable with my raw emotions while still having a protective layer of uncertainty. Some other large sources of inspiration for me are fashion, nostalgia, and other artists! Most often, the way I get inspiration is through a certain item or theme I serendipitously spot in my surroundings. I’ll think “Oh! That’s some cool glasses. I want to draw them!” and base my illustration around that one item.
How do you overcome any challenges you face?
Luckily, I don’t get art blocks very often, but maybe it’s because I don’t put a lot of pressure on myself to draw when I’m not feeling inspired. When I do feel completely uninspired, I use that time to study and draw from references in order to improve my technical skills. Oftentimes, however, it can get discouraging sharing pieces that I’m proud of on social media and not receiving the amount of attention I thought it would. Though I know that the amount of likes doesn’t determine my art’s worth, it does feel rewarding to receive the validation of knowing that others also enjoy what I create. When I’m feeling this way, I try to take a step back from social media and focus on drawing something just for myself rather than something to post. I’m also extremely grateful that I have some amazing friends and supporters who always leave really heartwarming comments about my drawings and are always cheering me on.