Are you open for commissions?


If my shop is open, then I am accepting commissions! Please feel free to place an order and I’ll be in touch.
My commissions are available here - www.sketchbuck.com/commissions




What Materials do you use?


For my traditional work, I use Winsor and Newton watercolours with a mixture of other mediums to compliment. These include a range of Derwent colour pencils, Caran D’ache watercolour pastels, and Winsor and Newton gouache. I create all my works on either Arqadia mountboard, or Daler-Rowney watercolour paper. All my materials are animal product free.
My digital work is created on an Ipad Pro 2018 12” with Apple pencil, with Clip Studio Paint.




How long have you been making art?


It’s a bit of a cliche response I know, but really I have been drawing since I could hold a crayon. I’ve been making art since before I can remember, and I’ve been a freelance illustrator since 2011 (full-time since 2014).




How did you decide to become an artist?


It was a general progression of my interests rather than being set in stone. When I was younger I wanted to be an animator, so I’d spend my evenings animating looping gifs and learning through my mistakes with what worked and what didn’t. At highschool I picked subjects that interested me for my chosen GCSEs; Art; and Design Technology. From then I followed my interests into college, choosing Art again, alongside Graphics and Media Production. At this time my career began, I was accepting commissions digitally, and began exhibiting my paintings in galleries and at fairs. At university I took a split course of Fine Art, and Animation & Illustration. After the first year I dropped Fine Art and focussed entirely on my Animation & Illustration course. I continued my commissions and exhibitions/fairs throughout university, and by the time it came to graduation, I’d moved over entirely into full-time freelance work since 2014.




Do you have any hobbies?


I like to keep my creativity flowing even in my time away from work. I enjoy working on linocuts, sometimes I take these to fairs or sell them as people enjoy them, but I like to keep these just for fun and crafted towards my own interests.
I used to take piano lessons as a child, but stopped just before high school. I recently took it back up for enjoyment, figuring out how to play my favourite music by ear. Alongside the more creative interests, I enjoy walking and rambling, gardening and tending to my houseplants, and have fun experimenting with vegan cooking.




If you’re Vegan, why do you draw those scientific reference sheets?


Did you know that 92% of tests on animals FAIL once they make it to the human testing stage? Shocking isn’t it? My scientific reference sheets may be shocking too, it’s an active comment on animal testing. All of these clients have asked for my depiction of their characters being portrayed in a scientific study. None of the animals in actual scientific studies have consented. As a vegan, my ethics lay with avoiding the exploitation of animals, humans can consent, non-human animals cannot, I am proud to state I’ve been a part of scientific researches myself.

I realise it still may feel strange to create these pieces, but to me, I see it as no different to vegan replications and analogues of fur and leather, vegan steaks, eggs or sashimi, or even vegan taxidermy. It could be seen as a similar line to illustrations of a horror/halloween theme too. I apologise if the sheets are unnerving, I content warning/CW tag these posts as ‘Comedic Gore’ on all my social media if you’d like to mute them.




What packaging do you use?


Environmental impact is a massive passion of mine, not only in my business, but my personal life too. I believe that reusing materials for as long as possible is even better than using virgin ecofriendlier options. For this reason, I have never used new bubble wrap, I’ve always used wrap that I’ve accrued through my business and personal life. For this reason I’m sorry that it may not look as pretty as fresh wrap! I reuse as much of my packaging as I can, and if I’ve run out of reusables I am moving to eco-friendlier options. I have a roll of cellophane which I have used since starting my business over ten years ago, I’m very efficient with using it! However as soon as it runs out, I will be moving to alternatives. Unfortunately I cannot re-use tape so this will always be the most secure I can find to protect the paintings.

As for my digital work, there is no packaging involved, but we are on a 100% renewable energy tariff.
All of my materials are vegan friendly.




Do you have any tips for fellow artists and aspiring artists?


Our journeys in life through our artistry will all be unique, the way you experience your career may be different to how mine is, however there are a few things I believe cross this boundary into many of our livelihoods.

- My number one tip is always keep the client in touch! I recommend not only giving realistic deadlines (don’t say it’ll be done tomorrow, something may crop up!) and updating your client with WIPs/progress where agreed, but also having a public queue that you frequently update is very helpful. Whether you work full-time or part-time, consider posting your work-hours and timezone so clients know when you’re operating and get back in touch with emails as soon as you can, within a week or few days.

- On this topic too, please be kind to yourself about your working hours, it can lead to burn-out if you work longer hours than you should. Rest is just as important as work, an artist needs to have plenty of rest from business. Be respectful of your work hours, if you get an email outside of your working hours that isn’t an emergency, please consider waiting until the next working day to respond. It’s important to have a clear work and life separation, other sectors stop working as soon as they leave the office doors and whilst it’s good to be productivity oriented, it will be hard to work if you are burnt out.

- To help with burn-out, something I have gone through two significant spells twice now, I have become very strict with my working hours. I try to avoid working in the evenings or weekends to give myself a healthier relationship with work. It can be helpful to find a different hobby to art that you can enjoy (I found creating art for myself didn’t help with burn-out, however if this works for you, great!). This can be other creative activities such as working in a different medium, or subject for example. Or something different like a sport, gardening, travelling, playing or making games, learning another language, the list is endless! This way you can put your natural creative drive into another source, so when you return to your artwork, you will be more refreshed and ready to go!

- Alongside looking after your mental health, your physical health is equally important! Be sure to take care of your wrists and hands, so plenty of stretches throughout the working day, and don’t work through pain. Rather take a day off and update your clients that you are doing so to rest your wrist, than doing damage that can take weeks or months to heal! If you find them helpful, a wrist brace, or a few different ones can be helpful, if not for working in (I find them tricky to work in), then certainly for rest. Being an artist can be a very sedate life, so make sure to get little breaks throughout the day to move as much as your body and energy levels will allow for.

- One final word of advice, study! I know it’s a very cliche thing to say ‘practice practice practice’ but it really does make all the difference. By studying you will accelerate your mind’s knowledge, and soon your hand will catch up by practicing what you’ve learnt. If your creativity levels are feeling low, it’s the perfect time to ‘consume’ some art (please don’t go eating actual art), go look up your favourite animals, landscapes, artists work, music, whatever it may be and study, what makes it click for you, engage with it! Give yourself time and you’ll find your motivation coming back.

TLDR: Four things I’ve learnt that I think are important - Keep your clients in the loop, respect your work/life ethics, look after your physical and mental health, study and engage in other art.




Do you have a public queue?


I sure do - link




What do the different stages on your queue mean?


Digital
Not Started - I have not begun work on your commission yet
Initial Work - I have other art I am working on at the moment, I have got your references ready and am beginning to rough up ideas.
Sketching - I’m working on the rough sketch for your commission.
Sketched (approval) - Only for those with WIP commissions. I have completed the rough sketch for your commission, I have sent you an update and am awaiting response.
Lining - I am refining the sketch stage, and am now adding the detailed lines.
Lined (approval) - Only for those with WIP commissions. I have completed the lines for your commission, I have sent you an update and am awaiting response.
Coloured (approval) - Only for those with WIP commissions. I have completed the rough colours for your commission, I have sent you an update and am awaiting response.
Colouring - I’m currently working on the colours for your commission, I start with rough colours (which WIP clients will see) and then move onto refining them.
Final Work - This stage happens after the colours are complete. Depending on your commission I may be working on the shading, lighting and special effects, or adding text and the final touches to your reference sheet.
Working On - For smaller commissions, I may work on several commissions at different stages alongside each other, or I am in the middle of stages. This stage is usually only used for commissions with no WIPs.
ON HOLD - work has been postponed on your work, I may be waiting to hear back from you about your commission or payment. I only use this tag when I have updated you prior, please get in touch as soon as you can to prevent further delays.
Complete - Your work has been completed and will be awaiting your approval on the platform you commissioned me from. If you’re having problems accessing this location, please let me know.

Traditional
Not Started - I have not begun work on your commission yet
Initial Work - I have other art I am working on at the moment, I have got your reference images ready and am beginning to rough up ideas.
Sketching - I’m working on the rough sketch for your commission.
Sketched (approval) - I have completed the rough sketch for your commission, I have sent you an update and am awaiting response.
Working On - I am currently in a painting stage. You will be updated at different stages throughout this process.
Final work - I am adding the final details after your final WIP image.
ON HOLD - work has been postponed on your work, I may be waiting to hear back from you about your commission, payment or postage. I only use this tag when I have updated you prior, please get in touch as soon as you can to prevent further delays.
Complete - Your work has been completed and will be awaiting your approval on the platform you commissioned me from. If you’re having problems accessing this location, please let me know. I will update you about the postage of your artwork prior to your confirmation.




I have another question!


Please feel free to contact me!




Do you content warn / trigger warn any of your content?


Yes, I currently tag for:
Blood
Slime
Comedic Gore
Gore
Choking

There will never be sexual content as I will not create it, therefor there will be no need for tags for NSFW. Artistic nudity will be tagged.

Please let me know if you’d prefer additional warnings and I’ll do my best to cater.




What does [id] or [alt-texted] mean on your uploads?


Where possible, I add a description to my social media image uploads, this can assist people who use text readers and for those who prefer additional description to images.

[id] Stands for Image Description, the description of the image/s will follow this tag.
[alt-texted] Means the image has alt-text built into the upload.





Q&A