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Thursday 11 July 2024

Meet The Illustrator: Andrea Zupcsan

Andrea Zupcsan (Zoop-shawn)

Describe your illustration style in ten words or less.
Digital with chunky shapes and painterly textures.

What items are an essential part of your creative space?
I need either a good sketchbook and a soft pencil or my ipad! I also love having access to my art books for inspiration.

Do you have a favourite artistic medium?
I do most of my work digitally but my favourite traditional media is coloured pencil.

Name three artists whose work inspires you.
The list of artists who inspire me is a long one. I’ll choose three illustrators who are currently working that I absolutely love.
Matt Rockefeller:
I’ve been in love with Matt’s work for a long time now.
He creates a lot of fantasy work that keeps you coming back again and again. I absolutely love his linework and compositions. Most of all, it’s his ability to convey story in his artwork that makes him such a fantastic illustrator.
Aurelie Lise-Anne:
Aurelie is an illustrator I found more recently. I love the simplicity of her drawings. She is able to convey exactly how these characters are feeling with only a few lines and her character design is absolutely beautiful.
Eglantine Ceulemans:
Eglantine is amazing at capturing these perfect slice-of-life watercolor and ink images. It makes me want to give up ever using digital again and just draw in my sketchbook forever. I love her cartoon style that can still feel realistic because of the stories she’s telling.

Which artistic period would you most like to visit and why?
I’m not entirely sure there was a period of art history that I would enjoy visiting. Actually living some of the lives the old masters lived sounds rough even if they were creating absolutely beautiful work. If anything, I would have liked to be an illustrator through the 70s, 80s, and 90s when you could focus on one type of illustration work and make real living with traditional media. That being said, I think Impressionism is my favourite although it wouldn’t take much to change my mind to Brogue or Realism.

Who or what inspired you to become an illustrator?
I don’t really have a person or a moment that convinced me to become an illustrator. Art has always just been there for me. It’s one thing that I’ve never been able to stop doing. During my college years I wasn’t quite sure what to do. I ended up with a B.A. of English and a minor in Fine Art. It wasn’t until after I had a Masters of Library Science and was a working librarian that I realized my real interest was storytelling. After that it felt like the most natural thing to switch over to a career in illustration.

Can you share a photo of your creative work space or part of the area where you work most often? Talk us through it.
I use part of a large family room above my garage as my creative space. I have a large desk with my computer, printer, and cricut. I work mainly on my ipad but I also have a wacom that I use with photoshop for finishing touches. I enjoy putting art on my wall for inspiration, some of them are from different artists, some are my own, and some are work by my kids! Next to my desk I have a bookshelf filled with art books and sketchbooks.

What is your favourite part of the illustration process?
It’s when I’m right at the end of a piece. I know everything is going to work out the way I wanted and I’m just adding the finishing touches to make things really pop. It’s those wonderful finishing details that are the most satisfying to me.

What advice would you give to an aspiring illustrator?
Although I still think I’m an aspiring illustrator, I think there are two pieces of advice that continue to push me forward. The first is to draw as much as you can with intention. You need to push yourself to practice your weaknesses if you’re ever going to get better. The second is that finishing something is better than trying to make that something perfect.

Andrea is an author/illustrator from Youngstown, Ohio. Being a librarian for 8 years has taught her the importance of good storytelling. Her art focuses on finding the hidden magic in the world. She lives with her husband, two children, and grumpy whippet Lily.

For more information, please visit Andrea's website or follow her on instagram.