How did you become an illustrator/artist?
After attempting to do the "sensible" thing by ignoring my art and becoming a Medical Laboratory Scientist, I realised something vital was missing from my life. I went back to school and earned a BFA in Graphic Design and Digital Art. I haven't looked back, and I will continue to encourage others to follow their dreams.
What inspires you?
What inspires me as an artist is making an emotional connection with a person who views my art. Those moments of complete understanding with someone who moments before was a stranger keep me creating.
How do you develop your focus?
My background as a Medical Laboratory Scientist in a trauma hospital, where lives were literally on the line, honed my focus. That focus has carried over into my life as an artist.
Could you share some of your challenges as an illustrator/artist?
My biggest challenge as an artist is likely overcoming my nerves and talking to the public. Thankfully this is also my greatest strength as an artist since I make at least one connection at every public event that makes me want to keep creating.
Tell me about your favorite work.
My favourite work of my own is likely my award winning (Best in Show, Overland Park 2016) 'Depression' which was the first of my pieces that inspired my mental health art. My favourite work from others is probably the photo manipulation 'Brighter Days' by Brooke Shaden. I love her colour palette and symbolism as well as the almost painting like feel of her images.
What are your current/future projects?
I am currently working on two new oil painting pieces for my mental health line for a solo exhibition I have scheduled for the entire month of August in Kansas City.
Do you have a routine you follow when creating?
When I draw I tend to use charcoal and will find a model, or multiple models, as a source photo for each piece. I will then scan the image and use Photoshop to add colour to the original image if colour is wanted.
When I paint I will actually create a photo manipulation to incorporate all the elements before I begin. When I am happy with the layout and lighting, I then proceed to painting.
If you could go back in time and give yourself advice, what would it be?
Just because something isn't "practical" doesn't mean it has no value.
Do you have any advice for aspiring illustrators/artists?
Don't give up on your dreams! Work the practical job if you must, but don't let go of your creativity.
What is your preferred method for readers to get in touch with you?
I prefer through my website contact section. https://anitacyoung.com/