Skill Highlight: Illustrator
Samantha is an artist who followed her own path to find where she fits into the world of art. From the beginning she knew she was unlike the other artists in her family and wanted to approach art in a different manner. Her love for drawing and the desire to share with people has led her into illustration. She wants to share her story to inspire and help others who are starting out.
We caught up with Samantha Aldiero an illustrator from New Jersey, to see where she developed her desire to illustrate.
Tell me, how and when did you start illustrating?
I’ve been drawing since I was a child and have progressed from crayons to markers to colour pencils. There are a lot of artists in my family, so I’ve been drawing, painting and making things for as long as I can remember. As I got older, I became obsessed with drawing cartoons. I think part of that comes from the need to share my creations with people.
Is this your full-time job or more of a hobby?
At the moment it’s a hobby but my goal is to be able to make my own illustrations for novels. I’m always sharing my work online and love people to see my progression. The idea of sharing my artwork in a way that could apply to everyone, every day, appealed to me immediately. This is the reason why I became a member of SkillPages as it has allowed me to share my drawings and to be showcased over the ever-growing art and design world of the internet. I also update my blog and fiction press regularly with new illustrations and stories.
How would you describe your creative process?
I normally get ideas from my writings. I either take from a story’s scene or get an idea from the overall plot and begin from there. Graphic novels have also given me different ideas of how to structure a picture or a new style to try out.
Would you have any tips for other people starting this skill?
I think finding your unique style and keeping it consistent is probably one of the most important things. And then, of course practicing both your favourite and least favourite drawings. This is important as the more you draw, the better you’ll get! You should also try out different materials and styles and make sure to have fun as you learn. You don’t want to push yourself because it will only frustrate you. What I have found very helpful over the years is just to step back from my drawings and to do something else instead like writing. I always seem to go back and forth between both drawing and writing. Once I take a break for a short period, I then manage to get on a roll and draw a few pictures a day.
You started at a young age, where did your inspiration come from for your illustrations?
I would say my dad. I remember when I was young and I’d draw next to him while he did. I always wanted to be as good as him and still do despite the difference in style. He’s always there to give me advice whenever I have difficulty with a drawing. Also, I am heavily influenced by comic artists and I pay close attention to the way the pages in comic books are structured and the different styles they use.
How has your skill developed over the years?
In the beginning, I started folding pieces of plain paper and stapling them together to make little books to draw my own stories in. At some point they turned into comic books. Currently, I’m using pencils and black markers but I have been using computer programs like Photoshop for colouring. I’m also looking forward to using a drawing tablet, I think it will help me grow as an artist and make my art stand out more. The other amazing thing is being able to work from anywhere in the world. I still have weak spots though that I’m continuously trying to improve.
Apart from illustrating, what new skills would you like to learn?
I guess besides improving my drawing skills I’d like to learn more about jewellery making. I would love to start making my own pendants and use some more different materials other than beads.
Thanks Samantha for sharing your story!
Illustrators from around the world
For a sample of more illustrators on SkillPages click the links to view their great portfolios:
Keith Williams from New York, draws children’s characters for novels and comic books. Stuart Patrick from Birmingham, specialises in the genres of horror and action. Nicolette Van Gendt from Hammersmith, has been working in the animation industry for over 25 years. Tarique Aziz Laskar from India, has a solid foundation of digital and traditional illustration and is passionate about all forms of visual arts.
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