CSP Featured Artist: Nadia Axel

CSP Featured Artist: Nadia Axel

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How did you become an artist? 

Since I was very young, I have always had a very vivid imagination - that combined with a tendency to not be able to express myself so well through feelings, drawing was always a way for me to express myself.

As I grew into my teenage years, I discovered manga and anime. I went from drawing casually to start drawing every day, creating characters, stories and reading loads of comics, and watching more animated shows than usual. I never thought about making drawing my job - partly because I couldn't afford the only art school we had, but mostly because I didn't want to turn my beloved hobby into a demanding job. I wanted to draw for myself - not everyone else.

There was a brief period in my early 20s when I almost didn't draw at all - instead, I focused on my education and getting a full time job afterward.

In early 2016, when I was 26, I started picking up drawing again and also started uploading speed-paints to my Youtube channel. I realized how much I had missed drawing and how important this way of expressing myself was. It was also about this time that my Youtube channel started to grow and get attention. By the time 2017 came around, I was so invested in my artwork and Youtube channel that I decided to quit my full time job and instead start as a freelance illustrator and creative influencer.

I am an artist because it is the best way I can express myself and I'm having way too much fun creating content for others' entertainment on my channel. I can't imagine myself ever going back to a regular full time job.





Where do you get inspiration? 

My biggest source of inspiration is music - I have been using music as my storytelling-core for my entire life. My imagination and ability to get immersed by the music and lyrics in songs have resulted in thousands of stories and specific scenes playing out just before my eyes. Some of those stories are being told through my art and characters today.

Besides music, I am very inspired by other artists in general. Whenever I see a really stunning piece that really appeals to me, I get super excited. I study the piece, try to figure out the techniques used, and wonder who that person in the drawing is - what's their story? I find that a great way to start a new piece, from looking at others' works, is trying to imagine what the story in the artwork is, and then ask myself: "But what if…"





What’s your hardware setup?

I'm a very experimental artist - I try whatever I can get my hands on. Currently, at my home base, I have a big gaming PC, two monitors as well as an XP-Pen Innovator 16 display tablet.

On the fly I'm equipped with an iPad Pro 12.9", an Apple Pencil, and Procreate.




What do you like best about Clip Studio Paint?

That it is clearly made for artists and drawing. It has resources like pose-able 3D-models, very intuitive tools for creating comics as well as some amazing standard brushes. I haven't been using Clip Studio Paint for long, but I find myself booting it up more and more often and I truly enjoy discovering all its features. I recently learned about the colorize feature and I'm still mind blown over it.




How long does it take you to make a single illustration?

It depends a lot - especially since I often swap between different styles, some being more cartoony and faster to produce compared to bigger painterly pieces. On my journey as an artist, I have also learned that I am very impatient and I quickly lose interest in a piece if it takes too long to finish.

My average time spent on a drawing is approx. 4-5 hours. Some take longer and some are much faster.





Would you consider Clip Studio Paint an industry tool?

Absolutely! I know that some of the very popular artists I follow use it for all their work. After starting to use it myself, I have realized why it is preferred by so many in the industry.





Would you like to promote some recent projects? 

I recently introduced my followers and subscribers to a whole new universe of OCs (original characters) and I'm currently slowly telling their story. I'm planning to tell their stories through short comics, everyday scenarios from their world, and perhaps a few animatics or simple animations. I've planned to get into animation as well very soon, to see if I can express myself even better through moving pictures rather static artwork.

Besides that I am working on a script for a sci-fi drama webtoon, the slowest project I have ever started, but I'm hoping to find more time for it next year. I have what you might call a good old-fashioned scatter-brain, so personal projects are always excitingly chaotic over here.



Where can we follow your work?

I'm active on all of these platforms:

Instagram: @nadiaxelart
Twitter: @nadiaxelart
Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/c/Nadiaxel
Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/nadiaxel



*** Nadia 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 October 12, good luck! ***