It's Friday again! Are you ready for the weekend? And for a new inner-view?
Let me introduce you to Katia, or as she is known in the web: Vaelyane. This time we're travelling to France with a funny, special wanna-be illustrator.
Let's see what she has to tell us:
Oh, my! What a start! Well, I don't think I've accomplished much of anything yet. I'm still a student, trying to find my way. Nothing special ever happened to me. What surprises me the most is that I didn't give my art up despite how much I've had to struggle with it. I'm never satisfied, always striving for something far beyond my abilities. It's a terrible hindrance, but I managed to go on in spite of it. Perfectionism is a horrible plague I never got rid of. I was fairly unproductive before this year, mostly due to my visceral fear of failure. I had to force myself to get where I am, and I hope I'll have enough strength to make it last.
My dream would be to make a living solely with my drawings. Perhaps even write my own stories, and illustrate them! As far as I know, it's a dream many others artists share, but only a few could achieve.
2. How did you get into what you do creatively?
For a long time, I was only considering drawing as a way to illustrate a non-written story I had in mind. It wasn't even supposed to be a visual story. I decided to depict my characters mostly for fun, without any further intent, as I didn’t think I was very good at it anyway.
As I drew what I had in mind, I got progressively more interested in the act of drawing itself. The more I drew, the more it obsessed me. Improving became a real challenge, as well as a constant struggle. I decided to put my writing aside and focus on this instead. I became serious about it around four or five years ago. Today, I'm still at an early stage of my artistic development, and I have no idea where this is going to take me, but I'm curious to see how it will evolve over time.
3. The medieval era is strongly present in your works. Is that your favourite Age? What do you like about it?
Today, I wouldn't say the medieval era is my strongest source of inspiration, even if it was very prominent before. As a kid, I used to read many books, including Arthurian legends and other tales which always fascinated me. Medieval times can seem so foreign, with their traditions and supersitions, their brilliantly detailed illuminated manuscripts, even their architecture! I know some people call this period a dark age, but it's not entirely accurate.
Nowadays, I have broadened my inspirations to a variety of sources such as Art Nouveau, the Victorian Era, the 1920s... even the Renaissance! I can't say I have a favourite Age. There are too many I find equally interesting!
Smoke by *Vaelyane on deviantART
4. Your characters’ faces are different from the ones I usually see; they seem more representative of the actual human being. Are your characters inspired by real human faces?
As a matter of fact, they're not! At least, not directly.
I strongly dislike using direct references when I'm drawing or painting. I'd much rather go for imagination, despite the possible awkward look of the outcome. It's not clever at all. Don't draw like me, people! Use references if you need them!
Even if I don't always succeed, I usually try to give specific facial traits to my characters, to distinguish them. They're not always amazingly pretty either. I might be drawing imaginary people, but they're people nonetheless! All different, rarely perfect. I must admit I still draw generic stereotyped faces once in a while, like I did in my “Rise of the Valkyrie” painting.
My greatest fear is to draw faces that all look the same despite my best efforts. I often feel they're far from being different enough yet. Of course, I have nothing against artits who idealise all their faces, but it's not what I'm trying to achieve.
5. Which tools do you use to draw? What was the most difficult to learn?
I was a mere pencil doodler, at first. Only mechanichal pencils, as seen in my mechanical fish drawing. This was one of my only "finished" works from back then.
What I'm currently developping is my digital painting technique, using Photoshop. I have recently gotten much bolder with my attempts at digital art, and these are what I mostly show. But even now, I usually sketch my drawing out with a pencil before trying to paint it, and most of my sketchbooks are still filled with mechanical and coloured pencils doodles.
I try something different every once in a while, such as indian ink for traditional linearts, or markers... I enjoy using watercolours too, even if I don't use them often. In terms of difficulty, I'd say they're all equivalent, even though digital art is a lot more convenient for me. Each technique has its own pros and cons. Anyway, I feel I haven't mastered any of the tools I'm using!
Rise of the Valkyrie by *Vaelyane on deviantART
Can you believe I had a anime phase? I can't either!
It didn't last long at all, though. I quickly fell back into semi-realism. I'm fairly ashamed of it, not because I dislike anime but because it looked even more horrendous than my earliest attempts at my current style.
In short, it was a mix of both. After this style proved to be the wrong one, semi-realism became the obvious path to choose. It might change in the future. Who knows what might happen?
How do you balance passion and hard work in your projects? Do you use one more than the other?
Obstination and hard work are definitely more prominent.
It gets harder and harder for me to keep being passionate about a piece the longer I work on it. Sometimes, I lose courage when I see how slow I can be. At other times, I'm afraid I tried something way over my current abilities. All these doubts are putting my patience to the test. Ironically enough, I'm not very patient, but I'm working on it!
After all, isn't that what passion originally meant? Loving something enough to suffer for it?
Shamosh Temple - New version by *Vaelyane on deviantART
Well, I’d say it’s this young lady I met on a French-speaking oekaki board called e-kaki.
Her blog is over there: http://aube-silverfire.blogspot.com/
and her deviantArt account: http://pendalune.deviantart.com/
She's extremely productive, determined and passionate. I have never seen anything like it! She spends every waking moment drawing and working hard to improve her art. She makes me wish I was more productive as well and her use of colours and light encouraged me to work on mine. As a matter of fact, I wasn't producing many "finished" pieces before this year, her influence might have helped trigger my sudden increase of work!
9. What do you do when your creativity feels blocked?
Whenever it happens, I stop drawing or painting whatever blocked me and try to do something else. Sometimes, I pick up another drawing. Most often, I browse through pictures on deviantArt, Tumblr or other sites in search of "food for the eyes" and inspiration. It doesn't always work, though. My advice, for what it's worth, would be to take a breather, do something else you like and the art block will vanish after a while.
10. If you could change one aspect of our society through your work, what would it be?
My work isn't meant to change society, it's mostly just a pure expression of my imagination. But if it could change anything, I'd wish to change this, even if it seems quite vague and general: Ignorance is everywhere and can lead to many misconceptions and sometimes even harm others. Granted, it's much easier to wallow in your own ignorance than trying to overcome it and teach yourself to grow, but people, you can think for yourselves, be open and curious! It's not all that hard and it's very gratifying. :D If you already are, thank you! Really!