Artist Interview: Ivna Lins
Ivna Lin is an Illustrator and Graphic Designer who embodies cute and colour throughout her practice! She mixes both the traditional and digital world within her art practice and home art studio. We had the pleasure of asking a few questions, delving into the world of cute, Copic Markers and Procreate!
'I LOVE how practical digital art is, but I can't help but notice how it feeds many unhelpful things for me - perfectionism, undoing/redoing too many things, wanting things to be a "certain way", doing things too fast... To me, traditional art allows me more spontaneity - I wanna be less pressured! '
'We get scared of "not being consistent", but if you look at most artists' body of work throughout their career, you'll see there's a lot of evolution and constant exploration, because making art is a way of expressing our favorite things in a way we enjoy.'
Q: We love your studio set up (especially the JellyCat friends!) What are your favourite parts and what are your essentials when creating art?
Hahah Thank you!! I think when choosing to decorate a space, we pick objects, colors and textures that we naturally gravitate towards. It's very fun to notice sometimes that my space "looks like something I would draw", because to me that's an interesting sign of how my "outside" is aligned with my "inside". I guess that's what we would call a style. My favorite part of my studio is my very favorite thing in my art as well: colors! I also love having markers, paint tubes, colored pencils around because they're so inspiring to me.
Ivna's Studio @ivnalins
Q: How does a piece of work begin for you? Can you describe your process?
Maybe it's my design background, but I tend to be very structured - I write my ideas down as little lists with bullet points of elements I'd like to include in a piece, then I'll sketch and make a color test before rendering. I'm not one of those people who test a couple ideas or make multiple rough sketches (and I always felt very wrong for not doing that). I like committing to one idea, even if I decide to change it as I go or to start over from scratch.
Q: We love your cute style! Do you have any tips on how to find your personal style?
Aww thank you so much!!! I believe we already have a style, because a style just means "the things we like", whether it's the things we like seeing, wearing, drawing, painting, making, etc. If you can't see your style in your art yet, try to think of your style of clothes, or make up, your bedroom or your favorite colors or patterns. One of the most confusing parts is to ackowledge that the things we like are constantly changing, and that it's ok if our art follows along! There's nothing bad about it. We get scared of "not being consistent", but if you look at most artists' body of work throughout their career, you'll see there's a lot of evolution and constant exploration, because making art is a way of expressing our favorite things in a way we enjoy. The more we practice, the more we are able to translate the things we like into our art, and that's why that's the secret to it all. Not because you'll "find it", but because you'll create it :-)
Copic Ciao marker illustrations @ivnalins
Q: What is your favourite thing about working with markers such as the COPIC Ciaos in particular?
Oooh, I still remember my first copic marker! I got 2 shades of red/pink (R20 and R22 hahah), and I would color anything with them. I LOVED the brush tip, and how vivid and solid the color was. To this day, the reasons I love copics are exactly the same: nothing can beat that brush tip, and the vibrant, opaque colors!!! It's such a quick way to add a "happy kick" to anything, which I love.
Q: In your practice you combine both digital and traditional, do you see yourself turning to more digital methods of art in the future?
That's a very interesting question! As I evolve along with my art practice, I notice I tend to want to spend more time with traditional media, because I enjoy the feeling of touching real things more. I LOVE how practical digital art is, but I can't help but notice how it feeds many unhelpful things for me - perfectionism, undoing/redoing too many things, wanting things to be a "certain way", doing things too fast... To me, traditional art allows me more spontaneity - I wanna be less pressured! It's naturally a slower paced activity, and it teaches you to flow with that, which is a beautiful lesson :)
Q: Do you have any advice to artists who are thinking of trying the realm of digital art, such as Procreate?
I think it's amazing to explore the possibilities, so please do it! But also know that it's easy to fall into an overwhelming trap of overstimulation: so many brushes, so many tools, so many tutorials, so many things to learn! I'd say don't be scared to draw the things you enjoy drawing, even if the world is constantly telling you to get out of your comfort zone. The things you love will keep you coming back to practice, and eventually you'll want to explore other things - so take your time, go slowly, and do whatever feels right TO YOU! It's your art and your own unique way of making it, don't let anything make you feel otherwise.
Procreate BTS ©ivnalins
Q: Do you have any advice on how to use social media as an artist without feeling the pressure to follow trends?
Hahahahah The million dollar question!!! This is such a complex topic, I could talk about it all day! I think social media has this big perk that we've never seen before, where you can suddenly get your work in front of people, without needing an agent, a gallery or a shop to be your middleman, which hooks us to the idea of engaging endlessly. At the same time, it feels like a casino, where everybody is trying to grow bigger and hop on the next trend, all the time - and nothing in life works like that, right? It's very complicated to keep going at a pace that works for you, when you get punished by the platforms for resting or taking a break. It's not your fault. But at the end of the day, there's no art without your healthy self - the pressures are real, and we can't always escape, but you can take care of yourself, do what feels right to you, and try your best, one step at a time - do a small step when you can, and that is perfectly enough!
Q: Do you have any tips on how to combat creative block?
I think it's a term to disguise some kind of pressure you have (or society has) been putting on yourself. Why do you have to make art when you don't feel like it? Isn't art something you do when your mind wants to play? What does your mind or body need right now? Why do we have to constantly be "productive"? We need rest, balance, and not everybody can work in a "perfect schedule". Life is messy and things are happening all the time, so don't blame yourself for needing a break, even if it's from the things that bring you joy. It takes energy to create, so maybe you just don't have it right now. I know we have deadlines and want to get better, but please be kind to yourself first, maybe you don't even realize how tired you are, or you feel overwhelmed with the idea of dealing with social media, for example. We all probably already tried beating ourselves up to fulfill some to-do list, and it probably backfired in some way; so why not try understanding what our body is asking for?
Q: Could you tell us some fun facts people may not know about you?
When I was 20, I started teaching myself (the almighty internet!!!) to play instruments (guitar, ukulele, piano, bass, harmonica), and recorded an album in my bedroom called "The Sad Side Inside" (yes, I was really sad hahah). I was grieving the death of my grandfather who was also our neighbor, so I went to his bedroom, "stole" some of his things and used it to make sounds for one of the tracks - his old wallet, the light switch, the tv static, some vinyl crackles and a typewriter - It still gives me chills to this day! haahah
Q: Lastly! Thank you so much for your time. We would love to know what you are currently working on/ do you have any exciting future plans in the making?
Ooo it's been my pleasure!! Thank you so much for having me :-) I've been craving a sense of community and interacting with people "in real life" after so many years chasing away the whole "internet growth", so I'm planning to go to conventions and markets this year, it makes me so excited! I used to think of myself as an introvert who would quickly get overwhelmed with the idea of conventions, but I feel like we are better than we think at little interactions, and maybe I'm actually gonna be a little grandma and bake cookies or tiny cupcakes to give away, I can't help it!!!