How did you become an artist?
I always loved to draw since I was a child, but I never thought about to become a professional artist. In fact, I graduated in Early Childhood Education. When I got my first computer (I was 13 or 14 years old), I started with digital art, just with a ball mouse and the classic Paint. After finishing the career, I started to draw more frequently. It was so relaxing and it was very helpful with my anxiety problems. So then I began to share my work on Instagram (in 2016). One year later, I was celebrating the 1000 followers. So I thought “hey! Why not? I can be self-taught artist and maybe a professional one in the future!”. I left my profession as a teacher and began to draw seriously, learning everything by myself. I didn’t go to an art school so this way was (and still is) a little hard. But I never give up!
Where do you get inspiration?
I think I get inspiration from all that my eyes see! TV shows, video games, animation movies, art books…. But what influenced me the most when I was younger, was the anime of Sailor Moon and the underwater stuff (I really dreamed of being a mermaid!). Also there’re 2 artists who were very important for me at the beginning: one of these artists is Lois van Baarle. Her art had all that inspired me: the flow, the underwater vibes, the magic (girls!). The other artist is Alessandro Barbucci. When I was 14 years old, I was totally obsessed with his style (I still am) and with the comic “The W.I.T.C.H.” (by Barbucci and Barbara Canepa). Other artists who inspire me so much are Laia López, Peter Brockhammer, Pernille Orum, Brittney Lee, Carlotta Dicataldo… and many more! I guess the art style that inspires me the most is the semi-realistic style.
What’s your hardware setup?
I work with a PC (that I think I’ll have to retire it soon, it has many years) and with a XP-PEN tablet (Artist 15,6”). Maybe in the future I’ll get a newest tablet but at the moment I’m very happy with this one. I also work with an IPad Pro 11”. But I have no preference, I like to work with both.
What do you like best about Clip Studio Paint?
Clip Studio Paint is very complete and very intuitive to use. I tried to work with other software but it was impossible for me, until I found Clip Studio Paint. Of course it has a learning curve like all software but it doesn't feel too heavy… The interface is simple and clear, tools are easy to find and to use, and it has all the tools that I need (and more). I use CSP since I got my first tablet (years ago). When people ask me about it, I always say the CSP is like...friendly but professional! (Does this make sense?)
How long does it take you to make a single illustration?
The time that an illustration takes me depends on the level of detail (obviously). Generally, a complete illustration, with an elaborated background or with so much details, can take me between 8 to 10 hours (I always say that I work so slow). But a simple illustration of a girl with a simple background (just gradients for example), can take me between 2 to 4 hours. Of course, the production time depends a lot on how inspired you are. If I’ve an art block, multiply those hours by 2!
Would you consider Clip Studio Paint an industry tool?
Yes of course! I don't think there are any professional tools better than the others. Every traditional or digital tool is totally fine. You are making the art piece, not the tool! Just make art with the supplies you feel comfortable with. And there’s no reason to believe that CSP is not valid in the industry. I will continue working on my projects with CSP, for sure.
Where can we follow your work?
I’m on Instagram as @reirachel.art and on TikTok as @rei.art. I have more art accounts like Artstation or Gumroad but you can find all my links on Instagram!