My friend Adriana was a wonderful influence in my life. She introduced several anime to me, the magic of Copic markers, and the joys of cosplay. More importantly, though, she has a heart to serve the Lord. She was - and is - a valuable friend of mine, and it was sheer pleasure to interview her.
K: Where did you grow up? When did you decide you were an artist?
A: I was born in Portland, Oregon and grew up in various places in Oregon. I started drawing at the age of two and have been drawing ever since. I remember being praised for my art starting in 5th grade. I always loved drawing for people if it meant they would smile. So probably around that time was when I decided that I was an artist. I didn't decide that I truly wanted to do anything with art though until high school.
K: Do you feel supported by your family in your art?
A: Yes, my immediate family is very supportive of my art. They encourage me, give me constructive criticisms and help me when I hit rough patches.
K: How did attending the SoCAM affect how you felt as a Christian artist?
A: The SoCAM helped me to realize that there are many ways to reach and minister to people through art. The possibilities are endless! It also helped me to realize that when I am in constant relationship with God, I have endless inspiration to draw. Its when I dwindle away from Him that I find myself feeling uninspired and unmotivated to create. Which makes a lot of sense, seeing as he gave me this gift and he is the ultimate creator himself.
K: Growing up, what was your strongest artistic influence? (TV, literature, famous artists, etc.)
A: Growing up, I loved literature. Shakespeare, Mythology, History. Fiction especially fantasy and sci-fi inspired me. It all helped me to learn and grow more interested in art. I often would draw from what I read, practicing putting to paper what I was reading. Artists that really inspired me where Leonardo Da Vinci and Vincent Van Go.
K: What's your favorite medium? How did the SoCAM expand your technical skills?
A: My favorite medium depends on my mood. I love drawing in a sketchbook with pencil, inking the lines and then coloring with Copic/Prismacolor markers. They are my traditional preference as opposed to colored pencils, charcoal, paint or pastels. I'm not overly fond of the messy mediums. I also love drawing digitally using Paint tool SAI. The SoCAM helped to brush up my skills with known programs like Photoshop, Flash and Maya/Blender while also teaching me knew programs like AfterEffects. In all honesty I had not used a tablet much before going to the SoCAM, so the school really helped to break in using one for me. It helped me to realize what I had been missing out on and what I needed to work and improve on when it came to digital art. Up till then it had been a rather foreign medium to me.
K: If someone were curious about the SoCAM, what would be the first thing you would want them to know about it?
A: That it is a wonderful school to learn and grow both spiritually and in your giftings. They encourage your growth and help develop your skills while teaching you new ones. You're surrounded by other students like yourself and it creates a wonderful community.
K: What advice would you give to an artist struggling with artist's block?
A: Don't give up and push through. If you have an art block, one of the best things to do is draw something you're not good at. Don't know what to draw? Then practice. If you aren't good at drawing hands or feet, draw those till you are blue in the face from all different angles. Never give up. The art block will pass in time and when it does you will be better for it.Another great help for art block is to study and mimic other artist styles that you look up to and admire. The more different the style from your current one the better as it will stretch your comfort zone.
K: Where can we see your art online, or get in touch with you?
A: The best places to see my art currently would be on my Tumblr, my Instagram or my personal Facebook. My Tumblr is Skiadli, though its a mix of my own art and the art of others, along with my interests. Its more of a personal blog than an actual art blog. The same goes for my Instigram which is Skialdi as well. The best way to contact me would be either by phone or Facebook. I'm not the best at checking my email, but I do occasionally. That would be firstname.lastname@example.org.