This week we had the absolute pleasure of interviewing Stephanie Buosi aka @steph_ingstones as our artist spotlight of the week.
Hello! Please can you give us a brief little introduction about yourself?
Hi! I love long walks and hiking trails, fresh baked bread straight from the oven, and sunny parks with lots of grassy hills; they make for the best reading spots. I have a professional background in digital marketing within the publishing industry, but have recently made the switch to working for a non-profit organization specializing in supporting libraries, a job change I’m very excited about. One big thing about me is I’m a huge bookworm. The other, is that I never leave my house without a sketchbook and a prisma pencil. I’m mostly self-taught, and have just recently made a serious commitment to learning more about children’s book illustration. So far I'm taking classes, developing my portfolio, and just soaking in as much as I can (and meeting some fabulous artists along the way!)
What inspires you?
I enjoy telling stories, and I’m a big believer in good visual communication as a tool for advocacy. I want to be able to give back to the communities I belong to, and help protect the earth using what talents I have. So I guess you can say two of my big drivers are encouraging literacy and environmental protection. I love drawing animals, but I want to start using my platform as a way to share information about vulnerable species and environments. So as I learn, I want to share what I learned with everyone around me. Inspiring young people and one day helping to write or illustrate stories that motivate them to care more about certain issues is a goal of mine.
What is your favourite thing to draw?
My go-to used to be cats and pretty girls, haha. But since I made the decision to pursue a career in children’s book illustration, I've been trying to push myself to draw new things (the Friday Doodle Club random words have really helped with this!). Still, when I want to relax and doodle, it’s still cats that take over the page.
What art goals do you have for this year?
I plan to keep developing my portfolio; and continue learning from various artists and experts on what makes a strong portfolio. There’s so much I still want to learn about the industry, and I also have interests in expanding my knowledge in graphic and package design (something I just started learning). I also want to develop an idea for a potential children’s book (and maybe pitch it? Who knows!) I probably have too many goals, if I’m honest, but taking it day by day.
What techniques/supplies do you use?
I mostly work digital, with the procreate app. I’ve started learning illustrator and I would like to develop a workflow that allows me to use both. Of course, all ideas start as doodles in my good ole’ dollar store sketchbook, and I do break out the pencil crayons every now and then. Before drawing an animal in my style, I like to study them first and tend to sketch them realistically on paper. I find this gives me a feel for their shapes and as I learn how to draw them, I can then “break the rules” and stylize!
What advice would you give to another doodler/artist?
Be patient with yourself and your skills. It’s good to have a goal, but don’t force yourself to attain a certain level of mastery too quickly. Enjoy the process and take time to celebrate how your art has changed and developed over a span of time (I like to look back on old work; sometimes I cringe, but often I enjoy the experience as I remember fun drawing times and ideas I once had). I also highly, HIGHLY recommend getting yourself an inexpensive sketchbook (or just staple together some old paper). When I compare sketching in my moleskin vs my dollar-store no-name brand, ideas come a lot easier when I don’t feel the pressure on keeping a pretty sketchbook “pretty.” Of course, if you are someone who enjoys making visual diaries, or if you use multimedia, you probably want a higher-quality sketchbook. But for doodling, idea development, and those times you just need to scratch a pencil on paper, inexpensive is the way to go! Trust me.
Learn more about Stephanie Buosi by visiting them at:
And see more of her work at www.stephaniebuosiillustration.com