Mandie LeScum [mols]
What is your specialty in illustration?
Character design and development.
What are your regular clients like? What do they expect from you?
My regular clients are generally private commissioners who want me to draw art for them of their personal character. Rarely will I get a commissioner for a public, commercial work. I general, my regular clients are knowledgeable and clear with what they want and always pay me. Very rarely will I get a client that's a little irritating.
Is there a web address where we can see some of your work?
My personal portfolio is http://stilou.zxq.net/ but it's not updated
my most updated pages are
my webcomic is http://www.codedlillycomic.com/
Have you completed formal art studies, or are you self-taught?
I have had no formal schooling, but I am not self-taught.
I have learned through trial-and-error, yes, but mostly I have picked up from free art tutorials online and my peers.
How did you get your first full assignment? What did it involve?
A commissioner contacted me through sxc.hu, which is a stock site. He requested a background for his Twitter. It went very well.
What past or present day illustrators do you admire most?
Of my own work I really do not like my complete stuff much at all. I will look back on it in a month and think: 'wow, why did I think this was socially acceptable?'
Though I do owe a lot to this piece: http://fav.me/d3azhsf
It's the style I adapted for my comic.
How similar are your current drawings to those you did as a child?
They look nothing at all similar. I still don't color within the lines.
What was your favorite comic book as a child?
"Johnny the Homicidal Maniac" by Jhonen Vasquez as well as "Serenity Rose" by Aaron A. and "Nightmares and Fairytales" by FSC and Serena Valentino BEFORE Foo decided to leave the project.
Basically... lots of Slave Labor Graphics publications.
Do you have a particular style, or does it vary a lot?
I use a lineless style, much like Genndy Tartakovsky's from Samurai Jack.
I also have that cartoony style that echoes Tartakovsky as well as Shane Glines.
However, I draw anime sometimes, too.
What is hardest to draw?
Any kinds of crazy perspective, really. It depends on my mood as well. If I'm feeling like an emotional cesspool I have a lot of trouble with drawing anything. If I'm inspired, I'll generally feel good about the piece.
What type of music do you listen to while you work?
I really favor Deadmau5, Lady Gaga and lots of trance and industrial music.
What do you do when a client simply says "I don't like it"?
I start over. Unless the client is very cranky.
This has never happened before, though. All of my commissioners have liked my finished works for them...with minor adjustments to detail if I missed something.
How I feel about the finished work doesn't matter, as long as the client likes it that's all that matters.
What new techniques have you been experimenting with lately?
I recently discovered that if I draw a sketch really tiny it's easier for me to map out what I'm looking for in a pose or a scene. It's called 'thumbnailing' and I really wish I knew about this years ago!
What part of your work do you do on paper and what part digitally?
I have sketchbooks but that's mostly practice for muscle control. I work almost solely digitally.
I work in digital formats so often that when I work in traditional formats I'm constantly trying to ctrl+z ... it's frustrating.
What research do you do for your illustrations?
I look for stock photos and color palettes. I also save illustrations from my favorite artists if I ever need inspiration or stylistic references.
THE COLOR WHEEL IS YOUR FRIEND.
I also browse fashion sites I like and save the fashions for inspiration and to use as a reference later. This is really helpful for if I can't figure out how to draw a coat or something.
I never copy anything directly but I do lift the bits I like best from everything in my reference folder.
Do you have colleagues with whom you share techniques, tricks, ideas, etc.?
Everyone I talk to. I have too many to list.
Do you have any specific goals as an illustrator?
To not be a sell-out. To stand my ground and maintain my integrity as a human, a feminist and as an illustrator. I also have a goal to produce the best possible webcomic I can with a concrete and meaningful storyline.
What illustration web sites do you frequent?
Deviantart, Newgrounds and personal blogs and sites of friends and people I admire.
What are you working on now?
It's a huge project. Apparently CN is aware of it already. That scares me out of my undies.
What advice do you have for someone who likes to draw and would like to make a living from it?
Practice all kinds of art styles. Find your niche.
Practice drawing from real life. I don't care how cartoony your style is... everyone benefits from some knowledge of realism. It will make your life easier.
Practice the shortcuts in proportion. For example, your foot is as big as the length of your forearm, (between your wrist and elbow).
DO NOT SHUN CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM. Ever. If you think your art is all that and a bag of chips.. you've got another thing coming. Everyone has room for improvement. You will not improve if you do not think you have anything to improve on.
Don't give up... you have nowhere to go but up if you keep going, but you will crash and burn if you stop.
What role does technology play in your creative process?
Technology plays a huge part in my creative process. I use the internet to find references, join groups and clubs with like-minded people, I use the internet to showcase my artwork and I use my computer and tablet to create my art.
What is art?
A conscious effort to create something meaningful.
How do you evaluate whether an idea is good or not?
If it's cliche as all get-out it's probably not a terrible idea but it's probably also not a spectacular one.
Strive for originality, even if it's impossible.
Why do so many artists and creators have such volatile personalities?
Who wrote this question?
How should a work of art be evaluated?
Take into consideration the media used, how much time was spent on the piece, how long the artist has been creating, how often they create pieces like the one being evaluated.
Which artists do you admire and how do they influence your work?
Shane Glines, Genndy Tartakovsky, Charley Harper... etc.
They influence my work with style and subject. So much.
What do you think about public funding for the arts?
Is it to be used for brain-washing and putting people down for their beliefs? Then I think it's abuse.
Is it for legitimate creative freedom and education? Then it's the tops!
Is art necessary?
It's everywhere. What a ridiculous question.
Is a work of art purchased, or is it better said, that it is the artist who is bought?
Physically, you bought the art. Emotionally, you may have bought a piece of the artist's 'soul'.
How do you feel about the fact that the pieces exhibited in contemporary art museums are often of artists already deceased?
I'm more concerned about the stupid things on display in some places.
I don't see the art in a plain piece of torn paper. Just... torn paper. Or a pile of folding chairs. It seems so lazy and it feels more like satire and that they're trolling.
I don't care if the artist is dead or alive, though.
Do you personally collect any items?
Lately, I'm buying autographed prints from artists I admire.
You know...before they die.
I am also collecting t-shirts.
Springboro, Ohio; United States