Ever wondered about the artists drawing those fantastic pieces of fanart you reblog on Tumblr or favorite on deviantArt? Here’s your chance to get behind the scenes with these artists who bring your favorite characters alive.
M. Seregon live in Richmond, Virginia with my husband, two dogs, and two cats. She’s been drawing for as long as she can remember, but she became more interested in it as a teen while watching anime. She’s never had any formal art training. She loves reading and drawing (obviously), but also cooking and kayaking. She features various characters in her art, including those from Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha fantasy series. The last book, Ruin and Rising, hits stores in June 2014.
What is it about the authors’ writing that inspired you?
I think the emotions generated by the stories bring inspiration for me. If I feel really impacted by a character or event, it makes is easier to draw the character or event. Sometimes I also feel inspired to draw to avoid the withdrawal that comes with finishing a really good book. If I can do fanart based on that book, it feels like the story isn’t quite over yet.
Is there any other influences you used to inspire you (besides the book)?
Sometimes music will influence what I do. I could be listening to a song and suddenly it will remind me of a character or give me an idea about a scene to draw.
What was your favorite reaction to your work?
To me, having an author approve of my fanart is the highest praise because they poured their blood, sweat, and tears into their characters. So I think my favorite reaction was when M. Latimer-Ridley asked me to do artwork based on their book Legend Unleashed. I was thrilled that authors liked my work enough to make a request. It’s also great to get positive comments on DeviantArt and Tumblr from the fandoms. Lots of times they love the characters just as much as I do (sometimes more), so getting their approval is huge.
What’s your process? What type of medium/art programs do you use or prefer?
I think pencil will always be my favorite. I sometimes use other mediums, but there’s nothing quite like pencil. Typically, I draw the picture in pencil, and then scan it. From there, I add color with PaintTool SAI and Photoshop Elements.
Do you have any tools you like to work with?
It took me a while to get used to using a Wacom tablet, but at this point, I couldn’t live without it for digital art. I also recently discovered that I prefer PaintTool SAI to Photoshop Elements. I think it’s much more responsive to the tablet.
How do you know when you have completed your piece?
Once I’ve finished shading, I do a lot of tweaking. I basically keep tweaking until I can’t stand to work on it a second longer. Then I know it’s time to be done. Even after I finish something, I can always find things I want to go back and fix. There comes a point when I just have to walk away and let the piece be finished.
What artwork is the one you’re most proud of doing?
I’m not a huge fan of doing backgrounds, so I think the one I’m most proud of is one of my Hunger Games pieces because I really pushed myself to do a full background. I’ve gotten a lot of positive comments about it, so that also helps.
Do you have anything fun that you’re working on or would like to do someday?
I’m actually going to be starting a watercolor class later in March. I’m really really excited about it! It will give me some new ways to do fanart. I’ve also been learning more about art nouveau lately. I’d like to try incorporating that style into my fanart.
What kind of advice or insight would you give to other artists?
I’m not a professional artist or anything, so my advice-giving skills are limited, but if you’re trying to improve your drawing skills, it might help to start a drawing journal where you draw something every day. I think just practicing can make a big difference.
What encouraged you to share your fanart?
I’m generally shy about sharing my artwork, but my family has always been my biggest support. One day my husband ran across DeviantArt and encouraged me to start posting things. It felt uncomfortable for me at first, but when I saw that I was getting positive feedback, I felt more confident.