Tell us about yourself
My art is actually my side project, which I've always had a love for. Currently, my day job is in I.T. but I'd love to make the switch to my art one day, I'm working up to that. I am a self-taught artist, I actually did poorly in my final high school art exams, which was a shock to me and a lot of my friends who know me.
What kind of art do you do?
Currently, my focus is digital art, mainly portraits and character illustrations. I'd like to branch out to other areas and mediums but I'm focusing on improving these areas first.
How did you get started & how long have you been doing it?
I've been drawing from the time I could hold a pencil really, it's always been a part of me I guess. I started more recently in 2012 with the portraits though, and this was mainly digitally as well. That started out with me wanting to really dive back into my art after a long hiatus, and I always had a love for faces so I thought that would be the perfect starting point.
What or who inspired you?
My cousin has been a major inspiration. When I was in grade school, I always looked up to him thinking, "I want to be able to do that". Then in high school, I met a very close friend of mine who I started to have small art competitions with, trying to do more pieces than the other. Eventually, it became more about what more can we learn art-wise.
How do you work?
It varies for portraits and illustrations. For portraits, I may see the right angle or lighting (or both) and I feel inspired to recreate that face and embellish a bit more. Illustrations can also come from seeing these things, but it can also be a scene I play in my head that makes me go "oh that would be epic". Currently, I start off with a grayscale of a piece to get my lighting down and then go into color, it allows me to keep the piece together.
How has your practice changed over time?
I used to focus on really rough line-work, then clean that up and go straight into color. But as I wanted to get faster I realized how time-consuming certain things were. So, I've been working on improving my accuracy and cutting down on wasteful actions, refining the process as it were.
What’s integral to your work as an artist?
In terms of my artwork, lighting and story are very essential. I need to know where my light is and how intensely it can affect my scene. Also, the story behind what is happening and why it's happening.
What has been a seminal experience in your career?
Being seen by as many people as I have been on Instagram. It's been very uplifting and heartwarming, especially some of the comments that I've received.
What’s your favorite piece from your collection?
There are a few, mainly because of how they take my mind into a full story. They kind of interconnect in different ways. Some of these pieces would be The Queen's Will and Heri: Divine Providence, oh and Drow Mother: Sindyrrith because of the glowing hair.
How do you know when an artwork is finished?
It's never finished, there's always something to be changed or be done. You just have to find the strength to let it go and call it complete.
Where does your inspiration come from when you are working? Do you have different inspirations for each piece?
I can't pinpoint any one place where I get my inspiration. It all depends on where my mind is at when I feel the inspiration. Anything can "set me off" in a sense; a person's face, a piece of music, words from a friend. They are all inspirational.
Is there an element of art you enjoy working with the most?
I love to work on faces and hair. Especially parts of the face like the nose and lips, because of their curves and how the light hits them.
Do you pursue themes?
I try to at times, but what usually ends up happening is, I either get lost in theme development or I get distracted by a whole other theme that can pop into my mind. There's always just so much that can be done.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
Always be mindful of the story behind your piece.
Professionally, what’s your goal?
I would love to complete one or more of my major stories and publish them. Also, to have a gallery show.
What is your dream project?
Working for Magic: the Gathering at some point in my life.
Name three artists you’d like to be compared to and why.
Mel Milton (@melmadedooks)- His handling of light, color and form are exceptional. He's able to keep a level of rough energy to his pieces that amaze me.
Marcus Williams (@marcusthevisual) - The energy his pieces give off is astounding. Be it the color or the form of his characters, I can't get enough of it. (I was surprised when he followed me on Instagram!)
Elicia Donze also known as Euclase (@elicia_donze) - Her work speaks for itself 100 times over. She has been a major inspiration for my portraits and illustrations on a whole when it comes to realism.
What art do you most identify with?
I identify with Elicia's artwork more. It's one of the major goals, for me to reach anywhere near that level.
What obstacles have you faced as an artist?
Maintaining a day job while practicing to better my art and promote it. It's a giant juggling act but a necessary one at the moment.
What obstacles have you had with getting more people to know about your work?
Social interaction. As artists, I think most of us are more in tune with creating our art and bringing it to life than we are with promoting it and getting people to share it, etc. One of my major obstacles, other than practicing my art, has been learning how to market myself and interact with people who I don't know.