Sasha F [solaris]
What is your specialty in illustration?
Fantasy Art, Anime, Manga, Inking, Watercolour, Copic markers, Cartoons, fairies, mermaids, forests
What are your regular clients like? What do they expect from you?
If a client wanted me to illustrate a cover for a children's book, they usually give me general information on the story, characters, important things to include, and the overall 'feel' and mood they want me to create. From there I draw thumbnail sketches of potential ideas, and then they choose which ones they like. Then we discuss any edits or changes. I then make a rough pencil sketch of the one they liked, and present it to the client. The client then gives me the thumbs up, or requests further changes. When a rough sketch is approved I move on to the final piece and when finished, send it to the client.
Is there a web address where we can see some of your work?
My art gallery:
My main site:
Have you completed formal art studies, or are you self-taught?
I've been drawing my whole life and have been working with clients only recently. I'm currently enrolled in the IDEA Program (illustration, graphic design) at Capilano University.
How did you get your first full assignment? What did it involve?
My mother has a small soap company, and needed a site banner, a logo, and product packaging. (www.seashoresoap.com)
That was my first job. After that, I have had many commissions from individuals for drawings and paintings.
What past or present day illustrators do you admire most?
There's so many to admire!
I really love Arthur Rackham's children's book illustrations. They're so detailed and lively, and the animals seem to have just as much personality as the humans.
I really love Brian Froud, the fantasy artist. His work really broke the mold. His characters aren't always pretty, but they're always fascinating!
How similar are your current drawings to those you did as a child?
That's an odd question. My skill level seems to exponentially increase. For instance, it took me until age twenty two to be fully satisfied and confident in drawing hands. So really, I keep improving as I get older. As for subject matter, I've always loved to draw beautiful people, whimsical fantasy scenes, and imaginary characters. It's my passion and always has been!
What was your favorite comic book as a child?
As a child I mostly read novels (like the box car children). My favourite comics now would have to be the Japanese manga. I love the art style and Eastern way of storytelling. My favourite manga: Fruits Basket, Vampire Knight, La Esperanca.
Do you have a particular style, or does it vary a lot?
My style encompasses a mixture of art nouveau, anime, and semi-realism. If the client wishes for something different, I will do my best to suit your needs.
What is hardest to draw?
Something I've never drawn before! I tend to commit things to memory and be able to draw anything from that. I find different perspectives of the human head to be a challenge, as well as two people engaging in something such as kissing, and architecture. But I always work out the problem.
What type of music do you listen to while you work?
I have quite an eclectic taste in music. I love Pop, Rap, Celtic, and Rock. Some of my favourite artists are Lady Gaga, Lil Wayne, David Bowie, and Loreena Mckennit. It really doesn't make sense that the same pair of ears could enjoy all of these artists!
Do you have a favorite work of art?
Nope. I appreciate so many different artists and their works that I really can't pin it down to one piece. If I could own a piece by any artist, I would love to have a painting by Alphonse Mucha.
What do you do when a client simply says "I don't like it"?
I always have the client involved in the project's progress (as I described in an earlier question). If they don't like something, I revise it until they do. It's my job to make their vision come to life. I want them to be fully satisfied with my work.
What new techniques have you been experimenting with lately?
Since I started school I've been trying all sorts of new materials and techniques. I recently became acquainted with Arches watercolour paper (the best and most expensive kind around) and it makes colours SO much brighter and richer. I also tried my hand at gouache, which was a challenge!
What part of your work do you do on paper and what part digitally?
It really depends on the clients needs.
If they want illustrations for children's books or something painted, then I would use traditional media. If they wanted business logos or other such things, then I would do that digitally. I am fully trained in both areas, so it really depends on the client.
What research do you do for your illustrations?
I don't generally use references in my work unless I'm drawing something that hasn't been filed into the encyclopedia in my head. However if I am using references, than I will scout out images on the web, or take photos of the things I need to figure out how to draw.
Do you have colleagues with whom you share techniques, tricks, ideas, etc.?
I am very active in online art communities and greatly enjoy networking with other artists. I frequently get critiques and suggestions from these helpful people. I also have my classmates, and we exchanged tips, tricks, and suggestions all day long!
Do you have any specific goals as an illustrator?
I want to illustrate stories; fantasy books, children's books, comics, manga, graphic novels - the sky's the limit!
I also want to gain experience working with clients. I love the client presenting me with a task and it's my job to figure out how to solve it.
What illustration web sites do you frequent?
What are you working on now?
A graphic novel that I've written and am illustrating.
What advice do you have for someone who likes to draw and would like to make a living from it?
- Put your work out in the public eye: get a website, sell at markets, send promotional work to potential clients
- Constantly practice your art, and take commissions from family and friends
- Build your network, and get your name around to everyone you know (and let them know you are available to work)
- Go to school! Learn from the industry pros.
Vancouver - Canada