How did you become an artist?
I’m Half Japanese, Half African American and I spent most of childhood in Japan. As a kid, my Japanese mother would buy me manga so I can practice my reading but it instead, inspired me to draw. At around the age of 11, my parents saw me drawing and they looked at it, then proudly exclaimed “You’ll grow up to be an artist!”
Their pride grew to be my pride and I practiced and practiced... and here I am today! I think I was really lucky to have parents who supported my work. Their faith that I’d one day make art my job, kept me fueled and motivated. Plus, nothing was more fun to me than spending my day drawing.
Where do you get inspiration?
The mangaka group Clamp was my biggest inspiration growing up. I used to print pages and pages of Card Captor Sakura artwork when I was like 14 and I’d keep then neatly in a binder so I can flip through them when I needed inspiration to draw. My parents always wondered why we never had printer ink but I sure wasn’t about to tell them I was the one who wasted all the ink printing Sakura pictures on the daily! Nowadays, I just browse social media for my favorite artists. I’ve found sites like Pinterest are really helpful in finding and organizing anything that catches my interest. I also often go out on walks and I take pictures of cool scenery or flowers that I would like to use in future drawings. And I can’t forget the amazing artists friends that I’ve made over the years whom I receive daily inspirations from as well.
What’s your hardware setup?
I have a lovely 24” screen all-in-one PC and a Wacom Intuos (the old medium sized expensive kind) tablet that’s been collecting dust ever since I got the convenient iPad Pro. I’ve had the first generation iPad Pro 12.9in for about 2 years now and it’s been a staple in getting work done!
What do you like best about Clip Studio Paint?
Honestly, I can’t rave enough about Clip Studio Paint. I do everything from illustration, to comics and even animation, and CSP does it all! My absolute fave is that there’s a whole community that share brushes and assets that are often free to use and it is effortless to download and import into your program. I feel like CSP really cares about artists and their workflow and they’re always improving. I’m not kidding, I’ve recommended CSP to nearly all of my friends who don’t use it.
How long does it take you to make a single illustration?
I get this question all the time and it’s such a tough one to answer. I can take anywhere from 3 to 12 hours on a single piece and it really depends on how much detail it needs. But between you and me, I'm super lazy and I hate tedious work. Meaning I like to get things done as fast as possible, while still maintaining good results. I try my hardest NOT to spend 12 hours on a drawing so I’m always often trying to find ways to make my drawing pretty without necessarily needing to fully render my art. Blur tools, and layer effects are me best friend.
Would you consider Clip Studio Paint an industry tool?
I mean, I literally use CSP for ALL my work. It does nearly everything I need in an art program. If it can make my morning coffees, my life would be complete, but alas, it does pretty much everything else and so many professional artists use CSP. If that doesn’t tell you it’s an industry tool, I don’t know what will.
Where can we follow your work?
*** Isha is doing a #Giveaway with us! Reach her post on Instagram, follow her, follow @graphixly and leave a comment. Winners of Clip Studio Paint Pro will be announced on May 18, good luck! ***