WHICH MATERIALS DO YOU USE? (This is probably my most frequently asked question so I better start with that and give you all the details)
The materials vary depending on the project but here's my shortlist. (Please remember that what works for me and my style, might not be right for you - especially if you're just sketching for fun).
POINTILLISM: - Arches Hot Pressed - Rotring isograph pen .02 + Rotring ink(remember to buy ink since they come empty - 5 colors available) - Cotton gloves to protect the delicate paper (I get mine cheap at the pharmacy)
WATERCOLOR: - Sennelier or Windsor & Newton professional sets - depends on what colors I need. - Kolinsky Sable-hair brushes (They hold the shape really well and pick up color perfectly for fine detailed drawings and also come in the tiniest sizes).
COLORED PENCILS: - Faber-Castell Polycromos because they have 120 beautiful colors in their range and is known to be the brand with the best lightfast pigment (how resistant to fading they are when exposed to light)
PAPER: I always choose archival/acid free paper with a smooth surface (preferably 100% cotton) - Arches Hot Pressed - Strathmore 500 Drawing - Bristol
For graphite pencils and mechanical pencils I'd say you can get by with these: H (light for outlines), 2B (most commom) & 7B (deep dark color).
GRAPHITE PENCILS: - Caran d'Ache Grafwood (if you've tried them you wouldn't want to use others - they're also color coded in grey shades which is genius! But a bit pricy...) - Derwent (more price-friendly than Caran d'Ache)
MECHANICAL PENCILS: - Rotring Rapid Pro Drafting Pencil - Pentel GraphGear 500 - Pentel lead
BLENDING TOOLS: - 3 different sizes of blending stumps - Tissue paper for larger areas - Makeup brushes
ERASERS: - Tombow Mono Zero, round (it can erase the smallest things) - Kneaded eraser (lifts up graphite and is great for just lightening an area)
MATTE FIXATIVE: - Protect your art! And use the good stuff. I use Lascaux Fine Art Fixative because it can be used for everything like pastels, pencil, charcoal, crayon, ink, gouache, or watercolor.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE YOU TO DO ONE DRAWING? This depends a lot on the project and amount of details. Small 3 cm pointillism illustrations can take 1-3 hours. My biggest piece yet, was a Triumph that took 120 hours - also pointillism.
Pencil drawings are quicker but I still use a lot of time on details to make them as realistic as possible. Also depends if it's a commission or a personal project.
HOW DID YOU LEARN TO DRAW? I'm self-taught when it comes to drawing. I think, I might have been born with a great eye for "just" drawing what I see. But it all comes down to a big love for drawing and practice practice practice.
WHAT DO YOU DO? I work as a freelance illustrator and graphic designer and I am passionate about creating interesting and aestheticly pleasing designs for people and this world we live in.
WHAT'S YOUR BACKGROUND? I have a background in jewellery design and photography. A photography teacher suggested a career in graphic design because he saw something different in my photos. Best switch of career because I get to combine all my interest in graphic design; photos, typography, illustration, packaging and composition & layout etc.
I also had a grandmother who always had new interesting craft ideas when me and my sisters visited as kids. She knitted, embroided, crocheted and sew her own clothes, drew flowers on furniture, wooden boxex and table cloths. She's definitely had the most influence on my passion for creativity. I was the shy and quiet middle child who loved to sit alone and draw. One of my sisters is two years older than me and I would compare all my drawings to hers and toss them because I didn't think mine were good enough. The comparison trap started early on... But I kept practicing as a kid which paid off.
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED? After getting my BA in Graphic Design I moved to Paris and started my own company. I needed something to get me away from the computer, so I started an instagram account dedicated to tiny daily pointillism illustrations. I hadn't drawn for about 10 years but luckily it was like riding a bike for me.
HOW DO YOU PRICE YOUR WORK? Commissioned Illustration: Usually based on material cost, size of artwork, hours of work, hourly rate + usage.
Graphic design: Hours of work, hourly rate and usage or a flat rate depending on the project. Logos are usually a flat rate which include 2 rounds of revisions per phase and after that an hourly rate.
HOW DO YOU KEEP YOURSELF MOTIVATED? My work is my passion and to keep doing this, I need to create. So I set goals - yearly, montly, weekly and daily. Then there's always something to strive for/something to check off. Like improving my skillset. I'm also slowly learning to take breaks once in a while as personal rewards. I'm my own boss, so no one is going to give me a bonus, a raise, a day off if I don't do it myself.
HAVE YOU EVER DOUBTED YOUR TALENT? Yes! When I applied to the Shool of Media and Journalism in Copenhagen (where I got my BA in Visual Communication, Graphic design). They only accept 20 people per year and I wasn't sure what I was doing at all. Luckily I made the cut! But I also try to stay away from the comparison trap because that will surely make you doubt yourself.
IF YOU HADN'T CHOOSEN YOUR FIELD, WHAT WOULD YOUR ALTERNATE FIELD HAVE BEEN? I still miss designing jewellery (had to stop because of pain in my right hand) but in 4th grade I wanted to be an interior designer. The answer in 9th grade was "Artist"...
WHAT IS YOUR ADVICE FOR SOMEONE STARTING OUT IN YOUR FIELD? Love what you do, don't work for free, don't be too influenced by other people's work, be original, know your strenghts and weaknesses, have a stong mindset, practice everyday, exercise, meditate and stay hydrated. Should you have any unanswered questions, please DM me on instagram @marialyng.dk or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.