By Jennifer Smith
Carrie Eli is a concept artist and graphic novelist specializing in character designs and illustrations. Her media of choice is digital, but her favorite method is combining traditional lines with digital colors.
“I started coloring digitally with just a computer mouse. The lack of control over lines with a mouse meant it was loads easier to just scan in line-art and fill in the lines. Once I got my own tablet I was able to start drawing from start to finish on my PC,” Eli says.
She is a modern artist who uses various computer methods to construct her art and share with others, including livestreaming, which she first tried while drawing her favorite art piece thus far “Tyrael.”
“I livestreamed the entire process which allowed me to receive immediate feedback from my watchers.
As a result, I tried things that I might not have tried sitting alone in my room with my own thoughts to go on. The experience was amazing, and really made me feel like I leveled up art-wise,” she says.
Eli was first inspired to create art when she stumbled upon an episode of the Japanese anime Sailor Moon with its colorful episodes of magic transformation. Today, Eli is inspired by artists like Zdzisław Beksiński, and pays close attention to her everyday surroundings.
“Sometimes it’s a dream I had, or a song I listened to, or a movie I just watched, but inspiration will hit me and suddenly I have this image stuck in my mind that I want to put down.”
There are times, though, when imagination isn’t enough and you can’t think of a thing to create. Eli says that going back to the basics can help jump-start creativity.
“It’s important to recognize how self-destructive those thoughts are. Once I realize that, I start working to pull myself out of the funk by starting out small. I work on studies, or easy things like color, light, and anatomy. It’s important to just keep drawing even if it’s something mundane and not from imagination. It’s also important to remember that every artist has those days or weeks where you can’t draw a thing right,” Eli says.
To get through those hard times, Eli also suggests focusing on the goals you set for yourself and continuing to work hard to achieve those goals.
“It’s one of those things in life where the more dedication, passion, and time you put into it, the more you’re going to get back in return. If you’re serious, and you put in the time to practice and to learn, you will get better.”
There are a lot of different ways you can get your art recognized. Eli’s advice for aspiring artists is to put your work out there however you can and to surround yourself with other artists who you can learn from.
“Join an art community online and just start posting your stuff. There’s a multitude of sites out there just for artists; Conceptart.org is one of the popular ones. Open yourself up to constructive criticism and surround yourself with artists who are better than you are. It’s the fastest way to improve on top of self-study.”
Carrie Eli is available for freelance and contract work. More of her art can be seen on her website: www.carrieliarts.com.