Interview Naomi McLeod - Visual Artist
What is your artistic medium/s and when did you begin with them?
My main artistic mediums would probably be pencil and tablet. I started drawing when I was really young because my dad would never give me colour pencils. He’d tell me “create your own lines”. I really ran with that and would scribble on piles and piles of printing paper, and when I ran out of paper, I’d draw under tables and on my bedroom walls.
Around the age of 12 or so, my dad gave me my first, second-hand wacom bamboo for my computer. It was a dream come true to be able to draw onto my screen directly instead of manually using a mouse. From then on, Photoshop has been my number one tool for all my design needs.
Characters, monsters, friends and family; I’d draw whatever I could for hours.
Are you formally trained in your medium/s of expression?
Nope. Completely self-taught.
I think a couple of times I went to a formal class, but I never really felt comfortable there. I just wanted to draw whatever I wanted to draw and never really paid attention. It’s funny, I remember being in a class where the teacher was getting everyone to just draw circles. Just circles! Drove me insane!
Who are the biggest influences for your artistic expression?
My biggest influences are mostly other artists I follow online; Lois Van Baarle, James Jean, Lenka Simeckova. These were the people I drew a lot of inspiration from while I was drawing most of my digital illustrations.
I’m also a huge fan of H.R. Giger and Alphonse Mucha. Mucha’s style really resonates with me with how he drew his figures with beautifully illustrated detail around them. As for Giger, what can I say; his work’s fucked up. I love it.
Do you believe that the internet is a beneficial tool for Artists and has it been a beneficial tool for your art? If so, how?
Of course. Most of my work and its influences can be derived from my access to the Internet. I’ve been able to research techniques, tutorials for programs, other artists similar to myself. I also have my work completely accessible to a global, digital audience who will hopefully enjoy what I have to offer. Though I know there’s much debate on the online platform being quite toxic and filled with people who threaten artists like thieves and plagiarists, without jumping in I’ll never know what kind of future possibilities are out there for me. I can’t be afraid of that.
What are some notable applications or showcases your artwork has been utilised for?
I’ve been active recently with trying to submit several of my illustrations in competitions and events online such as JustAnotherAgency. I haven’t totally been able to showcase my artwork completely, however I am absolutely ready for the chance. Meanwhile I’m going to take my time developing my skills and folio, while dragging myself over the uni finish line.
Who are your favourite Australian artists?
At the moment, I’m really into the vector designs of Ken Taylor. He has a real keen eye for intricate detail and contrast, which I just adore.
Anneliese Mak is also someone I’ve been following recently. She’s an amazing concept artist for film and her illustrations are just so striking.
What is your favourite album at the moment?
I haven’t been keeping up to date with music lately, unfortunately, although I’ve really been into the Gorillaz new album The Now Now.
What are you currently reading/watching?
I’ve been watching a lot of animated shorts and movies for university lately.
I’ve been getting inspiration from Satoshi Kon movies like Paprika and Perfect Blue.
What are some of your techniques for maintaining creative output?
Draw daily! Even if I have no idea what to draw, I always try and put pen to tablet or pen to paper. It keeps the ideas flowing and allows me to think of new ideas for new illustrations.
What does Community mean to you?
Community for me means that I can be constantly inspired by other creative minds. It’s always so amazing to get to know other artists and experience what they have to offer.
Thanks Naomi for the great responses!
Hope you have all enjoyed this interview.
Until next time, stay engaged and keep creating!