Sometimes I find myself face to face with my own limitations, drawing myself into a corner that spirals into thinking, “I suck, I can’t do this.”
Celeste: Hi Nidhi! I wanted to chat to you because I stumbled upon your illustration portfolio and was really taking with your style. You definitely have a particular style of textures and bright colours (my favorite), with most of your work being digital. Did you start out in traditional medium – and what made you end up in the digital medium?
Nidhi: The vast majority of my illustrations are digital. I have played with wood burnings and watercolor over the past few years and I truly enjoy it. I feel that each medium has its benefits and drawbacks. We live in a time and place where digital tools mimic traditional and afford a lot of flexibility. I will always explore new mediums, and as an artist I don’t know where that might take me next, but I do feel most strongly about digital.
I started with traditional and still sketch on paper as much as I can. I am currently creating my debut graphic novel digitally. But I firmly believe in honing your drawing skills before turning to digital. Nothing can replace a steady hand. Drawing on the computer before mastering paper can be very frustrating. I think many students believes the computer can do the work for you – that’s completely untrue. You must develop your eye, your hand and your understanding of form and shape before venturing into color. I spent a couple years in art school, before I dropped out, drawing traditionally before I began working digitally. Read more
My name is Emily Hare and I am an Artist and creator.
Celeste: First of all, thank you so much for letting me interview for the blog. It’s a real honour! I love the name of your studio ‘Waving Monster.’* Can you tell us a little about where it comes from and how it started?
Emily: Hi Celeste, you’re very welcome! It’s lovely to be asked.
The studio name was really invented because I didn’t want to use my own name up front as I thought that something unique that wasn’t a name, would be more memorable. I can’t actually remember how I came up with it now, but it does bring up an immediate image in one’s head, and hopefully, that means people will remember it!
Celeste: You work is mostly in digital format. Can you us us the technical information about what you use? Do you use a cintiq or a Intuos (pen/tablet connected to PC)? And do you sketch first in pencil/pen and scan in, or do you go straight at it in digital?
Emily: I grew up and spent years working in traditional media, but in 2004 I started playing around with digital art and got hooked. I now prefer to use digital for commercial projects as they are easier and faster to edit. I use an iMac and a 22HD Cintiq, however I used to use a regular Intuos tablet too (where you don’t draw directly onto it) and that was great, I don’t think it’s necessary to have a Cintiq, but it certainly is handy if you came from traditional media as it feels more natural. My preferred software is Photoshop, but sometimes I’ll use Manga Studio for sketching. If I’m going to be doing a final painting digitally, I always start digitally too. Read more
“The time has come,” the Walrus said, “to talk of many things…”
Celeste: First of all, thank you so much for taking time out to answer my questions. I’ve recently started using polymer clay to create pots for plants and during my website polymer-rabbit hole research I stumbled across your beautiful designs. I have so many questions, but I guess I must start at the beginning and just ask what made you think of putting your clay-works on journals in the first place? Did someone suggest it, or did you just look at your journal and think ‘I’m going to design on that.’
Aniko: I found someone else doing it and I thought it’s amazing ( Chris Wildhaber Kapono) , although even if seeing journals was my first experience I had with polymer clay, still for another few years I didn’t do journals. I was making little pendants, jewelry boxes and things like that. When I made my first ever journal I loved it and all the members of my family loved it, too. So after the first one I made few more and somehow it stuck to me. But I still do make other things like jewelry boxes, jewelry, miniature sculpture and more.
Celeste: ‘Mandarin Duck’ is the name of your studio – is there a story there, or how did you come up with the name?
Aniko: I remember once I came back from school and my mother also came back from her work. She was all enthusiastic and she said that today she had a psychological test done to her and she wanted me to go through this test too. You have to name 5 animals ( birds, fish e.c.t.) and then she will give me the results. So my favourite bird at a time was Mandarin Duck, animals – Tiger and because I had rats as my pets, I also said a rat.
When Alfred’s mom told him to be watchful and keep his ears to the ground, legend has it Alfred’s ears dropped a few notches. He says that he could fix them if he wanted to, as his teeth are all made of gold. But if he sold his teeth to fix his ears, he wouldn’t have any teeth.
Alex likes to taste things. He thinks your dish needs some chives or celery, which is good because that is that he has growing for hair. He also likes to lick the counter top, the cat and your dishes if you let him.
Fred can smell things a mile away, which is why he likes to keep nice-smelling things for hair, like Chives and Golden Lemon Thyme. Despite the raised eyebrow, Fred is friendly sort of fella and is always ready to make anyone smile who looks at him.
Henry is a calm, peaceful and tranquil soul. His smile extends all the way up, and his cheeks round all the way down. He has succulents for hair in a mix of colours when in bloom, that are hardy and water wise.
Sam has been waiting for someone to take him home, so that they can use his chives and give them a much needed haircut in the process. He quite likes the idea of a possible mohawk haircut. He also has wonderful tumbly thyme on the one side, to add a bit of softness to his generous nature.
He would love nothing better than to sit on someone’s kitchen window and watch them make delicious meals. But be careful – if you leave any cookies or left-overs out with Sam about, they might be gone by the morning.