While we were preparing for our first mDAC KIDS & TEENS event we came across an interesting young iPad Artist Zoe Olson who wrote to Apple's CEO Tim Cook to tell him "How the iPad Changed her Illustrating Career". We think she is a great inspiration for all young artists who are seriously thinking of adopting mobile as the new medium.
We interviewed this intriguing artist.
1. Where are you from or current residence?
Born and raised in Charlotte, North Carolina.
2. How long have you been an artist?
Since I was about six.
3. What drew (haha) you into becoming an artist?
To be honest it started out because I wanted to be better at something than my older sister, Mariah. It wasn't until I was about ten that I became truly passionate about art.
For these next questions, feel free to be as elaborate/detailed as you are comfortable with)
4. Aside from working digitally, do you work in other mediums as well? Favorite non-digital medium?
Mostly just regular pencils for sketching, and some watercolor and acrylics. I tried a lot of different mediums out but didn't feel like any of them fit my style perfectly.
5. Tell me about how/why you got into mobile/ipad art and a short history of what devices/apps/software you have/do use and why (favorite features, how it suits your workflow)
Well, my older brother Jeremy was a designer and bought a really fancy Wacom tablet that he let me use. Eventually, I inherited it. I adored digital art because it felt so freeing and I wasn't afraid to make mistakes. So, when that broke I began saving up for a Wacom Cintiq, but then the iPad Pro came out and I switched directions. I already owned the app Procreate on my iPad Mini and loved it, so I thought that I would enjoy the iPad Pro with Procreate even more than a Wacom Cintiq with Photoshop. I love how the simple interface doesn't distract from what really matters: the painting.
6. Tell me about your influences, favorite art/artists/styles. (Movies, comics, music are also perfectly fine to include in this section)
I love to go on Deviantart (http://lenapen.deviantart.com/) for inspiration. Some artists who have truly changed my views about art are Loish (http://loish.deviantart.com/) and DestinyBlue (http://destinyblue.deviantart.com/). Also, the Disney movie 'Tangled' really had an impact on me. But most influential is most definitely Stephen McCranie. He created my all time favorite webcomic 'Space Boy' (http://m.webtoons.com/en/drama/space-boy/list?title_no=400) and also the amazing nonfiction book 'Brick by Brick' (https://www.amazon.com/dp/0991336704/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_awd_T4w-wb69B5D6V) which is a collection of comic essays that illustrate what it is to be an artist and also how to learn and keep striving to be better. I can't recommend it enough!
7. Do you have a favorite piece that you created? If so, what is it about the piece that makes it one of your favorites?
Probably 'Tiana' because it was the first digital piece that I really put a lot of effort into, and it made me realize what I could do if I worked hard to make a full picture rather than just a ton of random sketches that I never finished.
8. Why is art important to you (from a creator standpoint or art in general)?
Making art is important to me because it is fun, and it makes me feel accomplished when I'm done with a piece. Art in general is important to me because it creates a safe place for me to step into when I need emotional support.
9. What is something you would like to achieve as an artist?
Well, my next goal is to make a comic book completely on the iPad Pro. It is the story of twin superhero sisters who are complete opposites when it comes to dealing with emotions, and a slippery villain who uses people's anger and hate to get into their minds.
10. What do you like to do when not creating art?
Sing, write, and read. I learned to yodel when I was eleven and have been annoying my family ever since.
11. Where can people see your work (links to your websites (Flickr, Google+, DeviantArt), Facebook art/business page, sites for purchasing works (Society 6, Red Bubble, Etsy, etc.)
I update my blog (http://www.theipadartist.org/) weekly, and am on Twitter (https://twitter.com/zoolson) daily. And youtube. If you want to commission me, my email is:email@example.com
12. Any advice for budding student artists?
Just get out there as soon as possible! The best learning experience I ever had was when I took a job illustrating a children's book for a stranger online. It was a lot of hard work, but it broadened my capacity a ton. I feel so lucky to have such a head start to my career at fifteen! If you are in high school I would recommend you do the same, since you most likely aren't having to support yourself, so you can work for cheap. Working for cheap will get you more jobs, which will get you more experience. Then, by the time you actually DO have to start supporting yourself, you will have enough experience to charge more.
We thank Zoe and wishes her Good Luck with her journey with iPad pro! If you want to learn to create and illustrate, join us at mDAC