Here’s your chance to get behind the scenes with fanartists who bring your favorite young adult books to life.
Allarica is a 23-year-old “computer programmer by profession, artists at heart.” Currently studying for her art degree, she spends most of her free time reading, playing video games, and traveling on the weekends, and trying out new restaurants with friends.
“As for favourite YA books, wow, there’s way too many! At the top of my head are Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series, Neal Shusterman’s Unwind Dystology, Jennifer Lynn Barne’s The Naturals, Cassandra Clare’s Shadowhunter Chronicles, Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha trilogy, Pittacus Lore’s The Lorien Legacies, and Stacey Kade’s The Ghost and the Goth trilogy. To name a few.”
What is it about the authors’ writing that inspired your art?
It’s different for every piece, to be honest. Sometimes there’s a certain character that’s just so well-written, you can’t help but fall in love with them. There are also couples that are just too perfect for each other. Other times, there are scenes in the book- or possible scenarios- you can’t seem to get out of your head. That’s when the creativity starts flowing.
Are there any other influences you included in your art?
I pretty much grew up watching cartoons and anime and I think that’s where the biggest impact- style-wise- comes from. Of course, high school and college kept me tremendously busy and I’ve only really started drawing again two years ago. I honestly remember seeing fanart by Viria, Gretlusky and the likes and going I want to be able to draw well – just like them.
What was the best reaction you’ve received?
I personally adore all positive response! I mean, who doesn’t? But as a fairly new artist, constantly, the best feedback I could get- and imagine getting- is being told how much better I’ve gotten since I started. There’s just something very satisfying about knowing that there’s improvement in your work.
What’s your process?
The first and most important step is to get motivated. There are days when I can draw for hours on end and days when I can’t even bring myself to lift my pen. Inspiration strikes at the oddest of hours- usually around 2 in the morning when everything’s gone quiet. Once I’m all pumped up and ready to draw, it’s pretty formulaic from there. I start with a quick reference search online- poses, clothes, etc., followed by a rough sketch and a color test. Then comes lineart, base colors and several layers of shading.
Do you have any tools you like to work with?
I’m pretty much a purely digital artist, as of late, so I use my trusty Wacom Intuos Pro tablet. I have been for a year now! As for software, I do my drawings on Paint Tool Sai and do adjustments on Adobe Photoshop afterwards.
What encouraged you to share your fanart?
My online friends, mostly! They’re the best support group. It started with me doing small doodles for them on my sketchpad and posting them on my tumblr. Soon enough, I started getting an audience and I suppose with that comes positive reinforcement and validation.
What piece are you most proud of?
It always changes. And it’s usually one of my latest pieces- the ones I spent the most time and effort on. Currently it’s my drawing of Piper and the rest of Cabin 10 as Star Sapphires.
Do you have anything fun that you’re working on or would like to do someday?
Well, I’m currently super excited for some art to be published in a book coming out early next year! It’s a pretty big deal for me. As for things I’d like to do someday, art-wise, it might seem a tad ambitious but I want to learn to animate. Fingers crossed.
What kind of advice or insight would you give to other artists?
Draw what you love and love what you draw. I think that’s the most important thing to it. Art’s all about enjoying what you’re doing. At the same time, keep in mind that no one becomes an expert overnight. It’s a learning process that goes on forever. Don’t despair. Your drawings might not always look exactly the way you pictured it in your head but with practice, patience, a bit of experimentation and inspiration, nothing’s impossible.