Creator of the Month - Maxineart
Welcome to Creator of the Month, where we feature an incredible creator from our community of fans and learn about who they are beneath the surface. This month, we have Maxineart!
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Creator of the Month Questions
What city are you based in?
Tell us a bit about yourself!
Hi! I'm Maxine, also known as Maxineart online. I'm a freelance artist that is mostly known for her love of mermaids and all that is whimsical. I love what I do and really try to show that in what I create. I hope to inspire fellow artists or just bring joy to those who love art. There's nothing better than hearing how my work has brought someone a bit of happiness when it was needed most, or hearing that I've inspired someone to create.
What fandoms are you into?
I love Disney and classic hand-drawn animation and I'm sure you can see how much it inspires me as an artist. I also love Anime, especially Studio Ghibli. The stories that Miyazaki tells just really stick with you and I think that's so important when creating a piece of art, that you are really putting a piece of yourself and your heart into it.
What inspired you to become an artist?
My grandma was a watercolor painter and was just such a huge inspiration for me seeing that, yes, it is indeed possible to realistically do this. It's amazing how many naysayers you'll meet during your path to following your dreams. It's almost like the world is constantly testing you and trying to make you doubt your decisions. I had so many people tell me how unrealistic it was to make a career out of my art, and it took a lot of self-reflection to see that if you have the passion and the drive then there's really no stopping you.
Do you have an art piece that you are most proud of?
I feel like over the years I have a favorite that stands out and it's just so incredible to watch how that favorite changes over time. I love looking back at my old favorites and remembering how hard it was to get to that point of being proud of it and just watching my skill level evolve over time. I think it's important to look back and see your personal growth and see why you loved something and what you may do differently now with a similar design. Right now I'm really proud of my newest piece 'Siren Sisters.' This one was a lot of fun because I generally work small scale (3x3 inches) and this piece is 8.5x11, so it was a great opportunity for me to use that larger space and fill it with more details and hidden designs.
What is your most requested piece?
My most requested piece right now is hands down my January Mermaid Pin. At the beginning of the year, I started creating monthly mermaids which has just been such fun to design and share with everyone. Since January was the first she's been the hardest to find, as they are all exclusive and limited designs.
Can you tell us about the process of making your work? Where do you get your inspiration from?
I like to start with small thumbnails so I don't have to worry about getting too detailed. I find it's really helpful just mapping out the basic idea of a piece/character, using shapes, and just translating your ideas roughly so you can start breaking down what you like/dislike, without worrying about having to erase too much. From there I take that idea and either bring it into procreate or photoshop or, if I'm working traditionally, I will sketch out the detailed design on my watercolor paper. I have both a Wacom and an iPad which are both great tools to work with, and when I work traditionally I use Gouache paint, which I absolutely love for its bold colors.
As for inspiration, I love getting inspired by nature. Colour palettes are a great way to get inspired as well and, of course, other artists! I love getting inspired by artists and it's always so amazing to see what others are working on or seeing their ideas come to life.
If you could give any piece of advice to new artists, what would it be?
Sketch. Every. Day. Seriously, it will help you not only improve but get into the habit of creating daily, especially if you want to do it professionally. That being said, it's also okay to take breaks, feel that art block and move past it and learn to not get discouraged by it. But when you're inspired sketch out all the ideas you can so when you hit those blocks you can look back at the map of ideas you laid out and get back into that groove. I also find keeping 'mood boards” or inspiration ideas saved is really helpful, I personally love Pinterest for that. Also, remember that it's not going to happen overnight. Art is a skill like any other and a muscle you need to work on in other to improve, so don't get discouraged if it's not happening right away, give yourself time to have fun, and learn what works best for you.