AsBackwards Illustrations - Interview with illustrator Shannon Austin
Today our guest is Shannon Austin. Her business is called AsBackwards Illustrations. Shannon currently lives in Jacksonville Florida, but she is originally from Anchorage Alaska. She spent eight years in the U.S. Army as a surgical Technician. After getting out of the military, she attended school part time for Illustration. While she is completing her degree, she decided to begin her career in freelance illustrating and writing. We have conducted an interview with her.
How did you start out in illustration?
I've loved drawing ever since I was a child. In school, I would take requests from classmates to draw their favorite cartoon characters. It was really in high school that I got into comic book art; Stan Lee was my hero. A friend and I started writing short stories and practicing our artwork by copying our favorite artists, such as Joe Madureira, trying to create our own graphic novels.
What was your original background?
I have a mix of fundamental training and self-taught skills. In third grade, I started taking lessons with a local artist in our upstate town of New York, Nadine Carl. She not only taught us the basics, but she would also take us to museums and galleries so we could learn to appreciate all different forms of artwork. During my service in the military, there was not a lot of free time to take classes. I spent most of my service drawing diagrams of human anatomy; which was helpful while working in the medical field. One of my sergeants, who knew of my talent, had me paint some murals and flag designs for our company. After I was honorably discharged, I began taking online courses with the Academy of Art University in San Fransisco part time. I am hoping to transfer to a more local school here in Jacksonville to complete my Bachelor's degree in Illustration.
Besides portraits and landscapes, what other artwork do you create?
I love to branch out as much as possible. I feel that challenging myself can only improve my skills, so I will take on any request asked of me. I love photography and also sculpting. I am currently also working on a few modern art pieces in oil paint.
What are your favorite mediums?
I love working with charcoal and pencil; they're my go to's. When coloring, I usually like to use my computer.
What is it about digital painting that you like the most?
I love the ability to save my original artwork and then playing with what the different layers allow me to build up. It's just nice to be able to experiment without destroying the original artwork. Working on my computer also makes it easier to deliver projects to my clients, and it's less messy.
Which type of books do you write?
I enjoy mostly writing children's books and graphic novels. I have also written comic strips.
What do you hope to achieve eventually?
I hope to publish my own material, as well as give the chance to other new artists.
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