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Interview with illustrator and tattoo artist Sacronero

Thanks Marco Costantini @sacronero for taking part in our illustrators’ interview series!

How long have you been drawing?

From a very long time, since i was a young boy. 
I have a precise memory of my childhood: my dad who used to draw beautiful and super funny greeting cards for the whole family, and me trying in every way to copy him. I obviously failed miserably, my dad drawings were beautiful and too complex for me.
I remember the drawing battles that I used to lose every day against my best friend of that time (he still is now!) during classes at elementary school. 
My passion for illustration started the first time that i saw the drawings of Sergio Toppi, founded on a children’s newspaper (il Giornalino) that I used to read avidly every week when I was a kid.

What’s your process?

I always start flipping through my old sketchbooks and my notebooks, that over the years I have filled with interesting photos and doodles., looking for ideas and references.
When i find something that catch my interest i start to work on that subject.
I usually work on very large sheets of paper (as large as possible), in this way i avoid the risk to have limits that force me in some direction. 
as soon as i start to draw, my mind begins to travel and to imagine associations between elements, scenarios, and compositions, that i can build around the initial idea. for this reason it is fundamental for me to use a very large sheet: when i start i never know where i will end. 
When the artwork is done, i simply cut the sheet in a proportioned size.
Generally it is while my hand is moving on paper that I find ideas. If I try to find a good idea just staring at the wall, I could stay there for days without finding anything.
I have to move my hands and to do something to activate the mind. 

Digital vs traditional?

Traditional. My passion and obsession with drawing materialize in the point of contact between paper and pen and in the sound that they produce together.  The different types of paper, and above all, the pens, are my great obsession.. the pens.. I have a lot of them and when they finish I don’t have the courage to throw them 🙂 I have drawers full of pens of all kind, I know them all and I’m very jealous of each of them. It is almost impossible to steal one from me, my friends know that:) I also use the iPad when I need it, especially when I have to create a graphic that will then be printed on clothing, because in that case I need a very clean file to create the screen printing frame. I lso use it when  i have to change a design for a tattoo. It is very useful for these things.

How long does it take to create it?

The technique that I mainly use, and that gives me the most satisfaction, is crosshatching, that is a fairly slow technique. It takes me a while to finish a drawing, then obviously it depends on the size and complexity of the subject.  over time, I became much faster, also because I have to think less and less about what I’m going to do. In short, I make decisions quicker.

Is it a hobby or your career?

It is my job. 
Drawing is the core of everything i do, and I try to use it at 360 degrees. 
I get up in the morning and start to draw, in most cases I don’t know where my creation will end. It can stay there on paper, it can be framed and embellish a wall, it can become a shirt, it can be printed on a wardrobe or on a plate on which someone will eat, or maybe I will tattoo it on the arm of a client, to remain there for a lifetime. I love my job.

Why do you draw?

Because it’s the thing I do best, and it’s definitely the thing that makes me feel better. I completely lose track of time, worries disappear, I end up on another planet where I find peace and silence. For me it is a kind of meditation.
I think that through drawing I can express what I really am. Strengths and weaknesses, my passions, my taste and my limits. I draw precisely in the hope of reaching someone else’s eyes, someone who may have had a bad day, and make him smile, because maybe in that drawing he saw something that he felt familiar, something that resonated within him. Yes, I draw for this reason.

What inspires you?

My main source of inspiration are books and songs. 
Sometimes years after reading a book, suddenly a detail comes back to me: the description of a room, an object, or a person’s face. I love the great classics, my favorite authors are definitely Dostoevsky, Flaubert and Yourcenair. Another source of inspiration are the songs, the phrases of a refrain, or an impact title, I often turn it into an image.

What is the proudest moment that you have achieved?

Three moments.
The first one is when i opened my showroom in Turin, perhaps even earlier, while I was furnishing it, trying to find singular objects and decors in some hidden warehouses. I felt that the birth of something beautiful was near. 
The second one is the first time that I accidentally met, in a city far away from mine, a guy that was wearing a tshirt designed by me. It was funny and exciting.
The last moment is that time that a girl came in the shop where i work, asking to get her first tattoo done from me. She was super tense and nervous, but after we finished, she pulled out a giant smile and asked me if she could hug me. It moved me.

What is the biggest obstacle that you have faced?

I don’t know if I faced real obstacles in my career. Surely I struggled to convince myself of my abilities, and to realize that drawing could become my job.

You have one day to live, how do you spend it?

Easy question 🙂 For sure i would spend it drawing, closed in a stone and wood house on the high mountains, surrounded by pine forests with an icy torrent that passes by. Nothing more.

How can people get in contact with you? 

I can be reached on instagram @sacronero or @hardtimesdesign, on facebook Marco Costantini or Hardtimes Design, visting www.hardtimes-design.com, or via email sacronero@gmail.com or hardtimes.shop@gmail.com

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Whimsical illustrations by Lauren Lee

Thanks Lauren aka @byloelee for taking part in our illustrators’ interview series!

How long have you been drawing?

I drew as a child, but not very seriously. It wasn’t until I graduated from university as a graphic design major that I redeveloped my passion for it. I always had an interest, but didn’t feel it was a viable career nor that I was very good. I practiced it everyday after my office job and soon it became another love.

What’s your process?

My process always starts with research. Normally, I have a specific concept or feeling I’m thinking of, but it’s hard for me to envision things exactly (for example, a hand’s posture/position). I also love being inspired by what other artists are creating, especially if their styles are very different from mine. After that, I start with a pencil sketch and fix it up as closely to the final as possible. Then I block the sketch with colors before going into linework.

How long does it take to create it?

It depends on the level of detail – something fun and simple can take as little as an hour or two. On average most of my works will take somewhere between three to thirty hours all-around.

Is it a hobby or your career?

It used to be a hobby, but starting last year, I was able to switch it into a full-time career!

Why do you draw?

I love to draw to tell stories and convey feelings I have a hard time putting into words. One day, I’d love to write and illustrate a book. My favorite subjects are mixing whimsical/childlike themes with everyday life – it turns subjects hard to understand into something relatable.

What inspires you?

I’m inspired by mixed emotions and how to convey them simultaneously. For example, feeling lonely while being an introvert or trying to practice gratitude in moments of anxiety (things I think many people are trying to do during this pandemic situation). When I draw these feelings, it gives me a sense of both release and nostalgia. When others say they can relate, it helps us all not to feel as alone. 

What is the proudest moment that you have achieved?

My proudest moment would be at the very beginning of my career when I painted my first mural. It was during a time when I felt abused at the design agency I was working at. The day I resigned (after much deliberation) I reached out to my favorite coffee shop in New York and pitched them a mural in their shop. They accepted and together we collaborated on a 80 ft. black and white mural framing their name. To this day, it is one of my favorite projects and walking in there is a surreal experience every time! 

What is the biggest obstacle that you have faced?

Recently, the biggest obstacle I’ve faced in my career is the stunt of work due to COVID-19. This is an answer I’m sure many creatives, especially freelance or self-employed artists, can relate to. I recently went full-time freelance at the beginning of 2020. The volume of work was plenty at the time, however, the COVID situation has turned that momentum on its head. It’s hard when you feel a new beginning, especially one you’ve built up, has come to a sudden stop. The best we can do is be adaptable, come up with alternate creative solutions, and learn to breathe and take a break!

You have one day to live, how do you spend it?

I would be at home, with my family, my boyfriend, and our two dogs. I’d tell everyone I love that I love them, watch the entire Harry Potter movie series, and be surrounded by an unlimited amount of sushi and ice cream (eaten separately of course). I’d try to finish the outline of my book (so maybe a close friend can take over one day). 

How can people get in contact with you? 
People can contact me via email or instagram! I’m always happy to discuss commercial work and I have a special love for book covers, packaging and murals. 

Instagram & Dribbble: @byloelee 

Email:hello@laurenelizabethlee.com

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Interview with illustrator Snow

Thanks Snow @snowbayles for taking part in our illustrators’ interview series!

How long have you been drawing?

I have been drawing since I can hold a pencil in my hand.

What’s your process?

I don’t have a process.  I draw when I want to.  I stop when I no longer want to.  It’s by doing this that no project has really displeased me.  Because I do it when I know I like it.

Digital vs traditional?

Traditional.  Simply because nothing will ever replace the senses associated with traditional art.  Even if I love digital for a lot of things.  I always have paper and a pencil with me.  Even to take notes.

How long does it take to create it?

All the illustrations that you can see on my insta are generally done between 30min and 1h.  Less for very simple designs and several hundred or even thousands of hours for the biggest projects I have had.

Is it a hobby or your career?

Both but drawing is not my only one career.

Why do you draw ?

Because I love it.  What other reasons would it be ?

What inspires you?

Absolutely everything on our planet.

What is the proudest moment that you have achieved?

This isn’t really just a moment but what I’m most proud of is that I’ve never given up on anything that is really close to my heart.  But in the end it’s not really about pride I think because it’s still not finished for me.  When I could tell everyone “I told you so”, at that time I would be proud of what I have achieved so far.

What is the biggest obstacle that you have faced?

The answer is simple although the obstacle is difficult.  No roof to sleep in, no friends to call for help, no family because I’m too stubborn, not a single cent on my account, no phone, no internet, nothing.  And continue to be happy every day with that.  It was the biggest obstacle of my life but overcoming it brought me 10 years of wisdom about life in general.

You have one day to live, how do you spend it?

If I had a day to live I would spend it like other days.

How can people get in contact with you?

By sending me a message on instagram : @snowbayles

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Illustrator Fabian Branas’ micro world

Thanks Fabian @fabianbranas.art for taking part in our illustrators’ interview series!

How long have you been drawing?

There is a rumor that I was born with a pencil in my hand..

What’s your process?

I’ve two kind of processes. 

The first one: I think about something I feel, or a message I want to share, and then I write some words associated to it. To continue, I use these words to inspire me to do some sketches. I sketch and sketch again until it’s visually interesting. Sometimes it can take a few days. When I’m proud of my drawing, I ink it. After that, I show it to my family and some friends to have their feedback. And sometimes I restart it, or put it aside for some days and come back on it later.

The second one I can’t explain it. When I walk, when I take a shower, when I cook, when I read, when I drive, … an idea pop up in my brain and I have to draw it. Magic or excessive imagination? 

Digital vs traditional?

Traditional art is for me the most authentic and the most emotional art.

But I discovered the digital art just recently and actually that’s true it can be really interesting too.

How long does it take to create it?

It depends on my brain. If an idea pops up, it takes me less than an hour. If I have to search for a good idea and sketch a lot, a drawing can take me a few days.

Is it a hobby or your career?

Illustration is becoming my job now. I try to live with my drawings and I think I’m on the right track.

Why do you draw?

I’ve too many things in my head and heart, this is why I need to put them on paper. This is the only way to get them out otherwise I feel overwhelmed, my brain (heart) overheat and… BOOM !

What is the biggest obstacle that you have faced?

This is not the biggest but the longest:

I’ve always had some problems with my father because we don’t have the same vision of the world. He didn’t understand why I wanted to make art. For him, art was inevitably associated with the bohemian life. He is working hard since years in a big company to support his family and his son wanted to make art.. No security. Not so much money. An impossible life for him. It was hard for me to grow in life when someone I love didn’t believe in me. However I fought during a few years, and one day he came to me and said : “I’m proud of you, son!” 

You have one day to live, how do you spend it?

I open my fridge, grab a beer and drink it watching the ocean, listening the waves. And what happens when the beer’s empty? I grab another one. 

What inspires you?

The most of the time I’m inspired by what I live, what I feel or what I dream of. But there are some things which are frequently in my drawings: 

nature, because it’s fascinating me.

ocean, because it soothes me.

mountains, because I feel so tiny when I’m on them.

ecology, because respect is my first value and nature needs our respect.

skateboard, because it’s so fun.

surf, because it’s so fun.

vanlife, because it is my definition of freedom.

How can people get in contact with you? 

Opened to any crazy ideas! 

IG : @fabianbranas.art

email : fabian.branas@gmail.com

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Moon Art

Are you fascinated by the Moon? so am I!

Its cool light, constant changes and the mysterious ways it affects life on Earth has been inspiring artists through the ages.

A simple subject to paint, moon art most often turns magical, bringing the sense of mystique and an air of secrecy. Here are some of my favourite Instagram moons (I’m sure I’ve missed a few glorious ones since… well, many don’t seem to be tagged properly Emoji)


Mimi’s (@dizzyhazelart) strong-contrast Moon is turned into a beautiful graphic illustration with branches and gold painted around. 

Erica Gilliam @thesleepypine has created a wonderful bullet journal spread, filled with Moon phases and decorated with gold leaves, along with instructions on how to fully benefit from each of the waxing and waning events. 


The giant half moon by Enire @enire_k, with myriad of colours, from lightest pinks and rusts all the way to indigo and black, makes you feel like you’re being pulled into the open space.


Rayna Schwab’s (@rayna.schwab) gallery exhibits lots of moon art, demonstrating dozens of ways to paint our second celestial light. Among the loveliest are Rayna’s paintings of plant and tree silhouettes against the pale moonlight.


Tatiana Boiko @tatianabs.art gives her moons anthropomorphic character – a common approach in medieval times, on old illuminations and engravings – here with a modern twist, creating a beautiful spread of poetic and feminine moon phases.

Visit Lana’s Instagram gallery @calico.brush

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Scenic drawings with a flair for the fantastical, Meni Chatzipanagiotou


Thanks Meni @menis_art for taking part in our illustrators’ interview series!

How long have you been drawing?

I have been drawing and crafting things since I can remember. Professionally as a
full time illustrator, for the past five years. However, in total since my studies as a
graphic designer give or take for the past 11 years.

What’s your process?

First step of the work is research of the subject I am interested by reading a lot of
books, poems and etc. After I have a concept, I start creating different little variations
(pencil sketches). When I decide on a final draft, I proceed by selecting a surface,
paper or wood. Final step is to outline the work and fill in all the details with different
pen sizes and occasionally I may use other mediums too.

Digital vs traditional?

I prefer traditional drawing, however, I do enjoy working on certain occasions
digitally.

How long does it take to create it?

Each drawing requires different things, materials and time to be completed. I can
finish something very small in a few hours, but mostly it takes me days, weeks or
even months to finish a piece. Coming up with an idea, making multiple sketches,
revisions and of course the complexity and size of the work play significant role.

Is it a hobby or your career?

For me it is a career. However, there is a very fine line between these two, it can be
both. You can separate the business side of the work but when you are creating, art
is enjoyable. Is about making and exploring things, whether you do it as a profession
or not.

Why do you draw?

I want to create worlds that people can escape to, to dream, to travel for a few
seconds or minutes. The actual act of drawing, the process is very pleasing and
inspiring.

What inspires you?

Our vast natural world and its living inhabitants in every form and shape, both good
and bad. Books and poems hold unlimited inspiration for me, as they open different
worlds to dive in and spark up thoughts and feelings.

How can people get in contact with you?
They can send me an email at meni.chatzipanagiotou@gmail.com or they can join
me and my creative adventures on my social media pages.

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Watercolour Trends

Have you ever wondered how a subject becomes a trend? me too!

Here’s my theory: It takes someone extremely skilled to simplify a subject, while making it breathtakingly beautiful and (seemingly) super easy to recreate. That’s it. In a day or two, you’ll start seeing eucalyptus (ginseng, monstera, etc) leaves everywhere.  


Speaking of extremely skilled, French artist Blanche @leaubleue_ is most definitely at the very top. You could very well say Blanche is the Queen of Eucalyptus Leaves, with a number of stunning renditions of the subject, including the lovely red versions. Blanche paints her leaves and florals loosely, achieving subtle gradients and beautiful watery transitions.


Mina Park @minartillust paints the most striking botanicals in layers. In her Instagram post featured here, Mina plays with several colour mixes to create a rust-tinged, classical green and turquoise eucalyptus branch. Certainly one of the most exceptional eucalyptus-themed artworks. 


Jinhee @piggyme_1017 reviews watercolour supplies and has the most eclectic collection of ceramic palettes and trays. Her eucalyptus leaves are vivid and semi-realistic, and her presentation simple and elegant.

Visit Lana’s Instagram gallery @calico.brush

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Mother earth inspired illustrations by Eleni Georgiadou

Thanks Eleni Georgiadou @elenig for taking part in our illustrators’ interview series!

How long have you been drawing?
Since I was little. At the beginning I was just doodling weird faces and after my school art teacher encouraged me to do body and more details on them, I started developing my sketches even more. I remember drawing during all my school classes but after I went to college I stopped for some years. I started drawing again 4 years ago.

What’s your process?
For my personal projects I usually start right away, while having a clear mind and a good mood. I am always working during night, I can’t get so creative and comfortable in other hours. As you have noticed I love drawing characters always starting from their eyes which I believe they are the mirror of their souls. For commissioned projects I am following a different route, like doing a research first to get some knowledge on the subject. After that ideas come and go and when I have the initial idea ready I start sketching it roughly. I stop when I am pleased with my composition and then I start drawing it, digital or traditional depending on what I am asked to do, adding all the details everywhere it’s needed.

Digital vs traditional?
I used to work exclusively traditional but for almost one year now I tend to work more and more digital. To be honest I love both and I really miss drawing on paper and experiment with different mediums.

How long does it take to create it?
When I start to draw I completely loose the sense of time, my minimum is around 6 hours and maximum can even take days.

Is it a hobby or your career?

It’s my passion and something that I feel I am good at and can evolve more and more.

Why do you draw?
I draw cause that is something I really love and it has become a part of me all these years, it’s who I am. Drawing for me is a tool of mind-travelling to undiscovered places exploring your self-consciousness and heal yourself.

What inspires you?
Everything that surrounds me can be a source of inspiration such as nature, animals, poetry, music, people, movies and so many more. Need to mention that Tim Burton’s work influenced me a lot.

What is the proudest moment that you have achieved?
I can’t say I had the proudest moment yet but I am sure that moment will eventually come. I sure have memories that I felt proud of myself though!

What is the biggest obstacle that you have faced?
I think that my biggest obstacle was myself, my lack of confidence and my doubts on whether I was good enough as an artist. Seeing people appreciate my work gave me the necessary strength to overcome it and continue doing what I love the most.

You have one day to live, how do you spend it?
I would prefer not knowing it was my last day cause I would most likely panic. So the last day if I had the “luck” to know I would do my best to calm myself and spend my last moments with my family sharing memories, eating and listening to music and of course I wouldn’t miss a walk next to the sea…

How can people get in contact with you?
You can send me an email at elenigdrawing@gmail.com or direct message me on IG: @elenig
E-shop: www.inprnt.com/gallery/elenig/

Links for social media:
https://www.instagram.com/elenig/
https://twitter.com/_elenig_
https://www.facebook.com/elenigart

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Serial Art

Do you paint in sets?

Watercolour artists often do, especially if painting in wet or in layers (since watching the paint dry isn’t exactly the most exciting experience), but so do the artists using other media.

Developing a theme and exploring other possibilities while using the same colours or the same subject, is very common among the surface pattern designers, and a way to tell a story in more than one chapter. 

Ellen Crimi-Trent @ellencrimitrent, a Massachusetts-based artist and designer, uses all types of mediums in her expressive artwork and often paints in sets or series. Her wall of white-on-black flowers, done in acrylics, is a beautiful example of the variety that can be achieved simply by changing composition and layout of a single subject, while using the same limited palette. 

Kelly Ventura @kellyventuradesign works in Michigan and has created some of the most luscious surface pattern designs for famous retailers, including Anthropologie, Bloomingdale’s, Crate & Barrel, IKEA and Target. Kelly’s paintings and patterns sometimes spill over to another sheet of watercolour paper. Her peonies featured below are among those luxurious samples.

Gosia Gregorczyk @mkonejn, based in Gdansk, Poland, uses watercolours to create stunning gestural florals. As a surface pattern designer, Gosia often paints a series of flowers which either spread to another sheet of paper, or show a different angle and a variation on the theme in several editions, each entrancing on its own and absolutely fabulous when put together. 

Visit Lana’s Instagram gallery @calico.brush

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Mountain passion by Jonny Bobgan

Thanks Jonny Bobgan aka @inklineridge for taking part in our illustrators’ interview series!

How long have you been drawing?

For as long as I can remember. I loved drawing as a kid, though I wasn’t all that naturally talented at it. I like to think I was always the best artist in the room—unless there was another artist in the room.

Despite not being extremely gifted, I was fortunate to always have the support of my parents, teachers, and friends, so I just kept doing what I enjoyed. Eventually, I discovered my strengths and got better through practice. Too many adults don’t believe they have the talent for creating art, but a lot of the time it’s just because they stopped doing it so early or stopped enjoying it for the wrong reasons.

Why do you draw?

Usually because I’m inspired by other artists creating stunning work. I see a piece that is beautiful or meaningful, and I’m reminded of the importance of creating and putting artwork out there for people to enjoy. It’s also a really relaxing process for me. I have ADHD and drawing is an effective way for me to slow down and relax while keeping my mind and hands moving. As a student, I was constantly doodling in class, which always helped me attention (though some of my teachers found that hard to believe).

What inspires you?

Other than the inspiration I find in other art, I’m constantly inspired by the beautiful and dramatic world around me. It could be something as little as a leaf or as big as the mountains that gets me feeling creative. And now that I have kids of my own, they inspire me to keep drawing. I see their fearlessness when they create and when they use their imagination. I also want them to see what happens when you pursue what you love and commit yourself to making it a part of your life for the long haul. I remind them that you can make money doing what you love, and you can continue to love doing something even when it doesn’t bring a profit.  

Is it a hobby or your career?

I’m fortunate enough that it’s both. Unfortunately, Inkline Ridge no longer produces an income for me after the brutal Instagram algorithm updates last year; my follower count is 6,000 lower than it was one year ago after a steep decline in visibility. However, I do still work on occasional commissions—most recently for Patagonia—and I do a lot of sketching and illustration as part of my full-time job as a freelance graphic designer. This work tends to be much different than what you see me posting to Instagram, but there’s just as much—if not more—creativity behind it.

Digital vs traditional?

I love spending time with both, so I tend to go through phases. This also depends on the types of projects I’m working on. I tend to work on a lot of digital illustration to support the brands I work with as a freelancer. Working digitally allows me to work efficiently and shift direction and adjust details based on client feedback without taking a hit to my time or their budget. With modern tools like the iPad, Procreate App, and Apple Pencils, I’m still able to add a hand-rendered feel to the digital artwork when needed.

What’s your process?

This definitely varies by project, but if I’m sketching in my classic Inkline Ridge style, I honestly don’t have much of a process. If I’m referencing a real place, I’ll sketch some primary lines in pencil to get the overall shape and proportions right before I pick up my pens. If I’m drawing a more stylized landscape, I’ll often skip the pencil stage and just go for it.

That said, my process for client work goes much deeper, as I’m generally trying to tell a deeper and clearer story for their brand. There’s a learning and planning process that comes before anything to ensure the artwork is not only beautiful, but conveys the right message and tone to the right audience.

How long does it take to create it?

Nearly all the pieces I post to my Instagram account take 15–60 minutes, though my bigger acrylic paintings on wood tend to take 2–3 hours. Often, my smaller drawings will take longer than my really large drawings because I’ll get lost in the details. Even though my trees are usually just little scribbles, it still takes time to lay down a few hundred.  

What is the biggest obstacle that you have faced?

Four years ago, the agency I was working for went under and I was owed a substantial amount of money when I left. My employers at the time were like family to me, so it was financially and emotionally draining for us. To make things worse, my wife and I had just taken custody of my teen brother and sister when we already had to kids of our own. Our mom had passed away a year before, and their dad had just been arrested. So, overnight we went from raising two small kids to also supporting and guiding two struggling teenagers. Desperate to support my family of six, I frantically grabbed hold of some freelance projects while I figured out what was next for us. Needless to say, this period of transition in our lives was turbulent and testing—much more so than my four years as a Marine.  

What is the proudest moment that you have achieved?

Overcoming those hardships is by far my proudest moment. Not just because I’m proud of myself for pushing through and coming out stronger on the other side, but because I am deeply proud of my family; my wife for lovingly and meticulously managing our crazy family life, and my kids (brother and sister included) for keeping their heads up and moving forward when times were rough.

You have one day to live; how do you spend it?

With my family on mountain trails, exploring this beautiful world and laughing along the way.

How can people get in contact with you?

Social Links:

IG: @inklineridge

Website: Inklineridge.com

Website:  bobgan.com

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Food Art

How do you paint food? (and I’m not asking how do you paint Easter eggs) Using vivid, bright colours, or subtle, muted shades? loose or tight, sketchy or detailed and precise? these are a matter of personal style, of course. The same is true when it comes to the choice of media. These three ladies use their signature styles and watercolour to paint some of Instagram’s most memorable edibles. 

Marina Pravnik @marinapravnikart, from Ukraine, applies a very delicate palette of soft, highly diluted colours to her botanical illustrations. You could say she paints with tinted water – water with a drop of colour – which results in exceptionally graceful, refined compositions with vintage feel.

Another Marina, from Saint Petersburg, Marina Lasaeva Orlyuk @marina_lasaeva_orlyuk, prefers a more illustrative, loose style of painting. Her fruit, florals, still life and landscapes are marked by an airiness and spontaneity of a thorough colour connoisseur, an aesthete predominantly interested in the play of colours, shades and contrasts.


Moscow-based artist Ksenia Tikhomirova @ksyu_t_art is a hyper-realist intrigued by the most minuscule details – the microscopic hairs on a bee, tiny slivers of light under the water droplets, beginnings of the process of oxidation on apple cuts, barely perceivable variations in tones between onion peels… If Ksenia decided to challenge her audience, we’d have a hard time picking the real object vs her painting of it.

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Любите лук?🧅Я только в приготовленном виде или в роли натурщика😁 ⠀ Минус рисования с натуры – приходится дышать ароматом объекта😏Зато казалось, что это пахнет моя нарисованная луковица и хотелось сделать её ещё реалистичнее. ⠀ А вообще с этим луком дурацкая вышла история. Мне не понравилась моя роза (см предыдущий пост), и хорошая бумага #saunderswaterfordpaper как раз закончилась. Ну и я, не долго думая, начала рисовать лук на обратной стороне листа с розой (откровенно говоря, очень часто использую обе стороны бумаги). И тут внезапно появился человек, желающий эту розу купить😮Я согласилась, но вот лук заканчивала с мыслью, что будет у него незавидная судьба изнаночной стороны картины. Это тем более обидно, что мне в кои-то веки понравился результат (процентов на 80%😀). ⠀ Сижу вот теперь и думаю: начинать новую иллюстрацию на обратной стороне пиона, ждать новую бумагу аж до среды или отрезать под ботанику кусок среднезернистого Арша🤔 ⠀ #ksyu_t_botanic __________________________________________________ Do you like onions? I definitely liked to draw it🙂

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Visit Lana’s Instagram gallery @calico.brush

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Watercolour White

Watercolour white is a total conundrum – added to other paints it destroys transparency, one of the most treasured qualities of aquarell art, added on top of watercolour layers does the same, without really whitening the area, layered over white paper remains invisible and useless… so most watercolour artists suggest leaving the white areas untouched, claiming “there’s no white in watercolour, our white is the white of the paper”. But for the white to truly glow, some colours and shades have to be added. Here’s how these three masters solve the problem.

Using the tinted paper and gouache, in addition to watercolour, is the way Marie Silver @marie_silver_36 resolves the dilemma. Marie’s sketchbooks provide a series of wonderful examples, showing how mixing the media can help preserve the looseness and beauty of watercolour, while allowing for a more graphic and concrete presentation.

Evgenya Babicheva Sheglova @evgenyasheglova, master of botanical illustration, has a keen eye for myriads of soft shades of gray, blue, green and yellow found in seemingly ‘plain white’ flowers. In addition, Evgenya manages to find the right consistency of each shade, so the resulting artwork ends up being entirely breathtaking.

Watercolour artist and teacher Stephanie Boechat @stephanie_boechat uses wide tonal range of Payne’s gray and dark blues to shape beautifully loose watercolour painting of a white lighthouse. Leaving the white of the paper on lightest parts, Stephanie adds shades of grey gradually, starting with the most diluted, lightest tone and ending with the most saturated colour in the shaded areas.

Visit Lana’s Instagram gallery @calico.brush

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Forest Black by Anette Sommerset

Thanks Anette aka @ankatsom for taking part in our black and white illustrators’ interview series! 

How long have you been drawing?

 I’ve been drawing for as long as I can remember. As far back as in kindergarten I was mostly interested in painting and drawing. As soon as I had a pen in my hand growing up I started doodling. In 2016 I slowly started to get more serious about it.

What’s your process?

 I always start by making fast sketches, mostly to try out ideas and find a good composition. I have a small book that I use for this purpose.  After that I draw it on a piece of paper using a pencil.  Once I’m satisfied with how it looks I finish it with ink pens. If I decide to draw it digitally I take a picture of the sketch and import it to a drawing program on my iPad.

Digital vs traditional?

 It’s not so long ago since I started to draw digitally. I enjoy it, but I think it’s something special about the traditional way. Somehow I feel more in control when I draw with pen and paper.

How long does it take to create it?

 Normally it takes between 1-4 hours, depending on the complexity and the technique I use. Most of the pieces I make are not very big in size. When drawing bigger I sometimes spend a few days on a drawing.

Is it a hobby or your career?

 It’s turning in to a career, which I’m very grateful for.

Why do you draw?

 Most of all because I love it. I always did and I think I always will. One of the things I really like is to get lost in a drawing. I find it very relaxing at the same time as it keeps me focused. I suppose you could say it’s therapeutic in a way.

What inspires you?

 Nature is my biggest source of inspiration. I grew up in Norway with beautiful nature all around. Sometimes it’s enough for me to go hiking in the woods to find new ideas. I also always liked geometry and patterns. I suppose that’s why I like to combine it with nature in my designs.

What is the proudest moment that you have achieved?

 A couple of years back I made a decision to leave my job and what I considered safe and familiar behind in order to move to another country.  Even it was challenging I knew it was the right thing for me to do, and I know I’ll never regret it.

What is the biggest obstacle that you have faced?

 Working on becoming a full time artist. It definitely takes a lot of effort, but it’s what I feel the most that I want to do.

You have one day to live, how do you spend it?

 I would spend it with the people I love. It wouldn’t matter so much what we would be doing as long as we would be together.

How can people get in contact with you?

Feel free to send me an email or direct message on IG anytime.

Email: ankatsom@gmail.com

Instagram: www.instagram.com/ankatsom

Online shop: www.sommersethart.bigcartel.com

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Interview with architect and illustrator David Bülow

Thanks David aka @bulow_ink for taking part in our black and white illustrators’ interview series!

How long have you been drawing?

Since forever. As a child I would always be drawing, alone or with friends. Even when I didn’t have paper, I’m told I would be drawing in the air with my finger. I still do that, annoying I think. Every schoolbook and later notes from meetings has always been smeared with drawings and doodles. The funny thing is, that I remember conversations and situations better from looking at the drawings than reading my own notes, because my handwriting is so crappy.

What’s your process?

It varies. Sometimes I know excactly what the final result will be, and finish within an hour going straight to ink. Sometimes I do pencil sketches forever to capture the right movement or mood.

Digital vs traditional?

Both and more! I cherish the feeling of paper and pen, the sound and smell. I love that it is irreversible, that it counts. That there is no cmd + z and you have to include your accidental inkdrops or mistakes, or start over. It gives a focus and feeling of presence I sometimes find it difficult to find in the digital realm. For the bulow_ink project I only use traditional materials. But I work a lot from my Ipad and enjoy it as well, for architectural illustration, competition projects I use it professionally with my office.

I am experimenting with photogravure technique these days, a wonderful mix of digital crafts and traditional crafts. I hope to beging sharing the results soon, very excited!

How long does it take to create it?

It’s normally a wonderfully slow thing. Anything between a few minutes and days.

Is it a hobby or your career?

I don’t do hobbies, only passions. I work as an architect and run the architectural office @primus_arkitekter, where drawing by hand is a vital part of my work. The ink drawing is a creative outlet and art project, a place where you can let your imagination run and get lost in the sweetest possible way.

Why do you draw?

I can’t help it.

What inspires you?

I guess we all take inspiration from everything around us. I’m always enjoying people interacting with cities and architecture. Having personal moments in the context of the built environment. The climate crisis inspires me to act and draw, not only in the apocalyseporn-style, but as a way to raise awareness and inspire action. Women inspire me on a daily basis. The elegance and expressions of female gestures. I recently opened @bulow_kink for this fascination.

What are you working on right now?

I am working on a grapic novel on the daily life with bipolar disorder with my girlfriend Tina (who is the bipolar one) – she writes and I draw. The process is posted on insta @the.other.party – it´s a very meaningful process for both of us, to bring awareness and eliminate stigma – and try to have a laugh about it too. I hope you will follow and support it. This project is btw completely done digitally on the Ipad

And then I’m getting started on a book project describing emotions and experiences of urban spaces. I got a grant from the Danish Arts Foundation (thanks btw) to help finding time for it besides my architectural practice. And now made an timeline for the project with my publisher

With my office @primus_arkitekter we´re working on a theatre building in Odsherred, a library and culture house in Viby – and last week we handed in a competition bid for the new headquarters for the Roskilde Festival. Very exciting