Today we introduce Zoe Persico, a highly talented young artist from Savannah, USA. With a really remarkable and nostalgic style, Zoe illustrations are catchy, impressive and dreamlike, hope you guys enjoy this interview we did with her.
You can reach Zoe on the following links:
1) First of all I would like to thank you for doing this interview, it’s an honor us to present more about you to our readers. I would like to start asking you about when your interest for illustration and digital art started?
Thank you so much! I’m honored that you asked me to do this interview! Of course my love of drawing started with animated films, video games, and children’s books. I first started using MS Paint when I was about eleven and finally hopped into more digital programs when I was twelve. My interested for illustration was always there as a child, but I grew up wanting to be an animator. As years went by and my passion for children’s books rekindled with me, I realized my heart was in illustration and have decided to pursue it ever since.
2) Which artists do you use as reference?
Way too many to count! I get inspired by thousands of artists I run across, whether it’s online or if I happen to be browsing a bookshop. I greatly admire artwork that animators produce as well; some of my favorite children’s illustrators have worked in the entertainment industry. If I had to list a few, a lot of artists I turn to for reference would include Jon Klassen, Lorena Alvarez, Brigette Barrager, Teagan White, and Amélie Fléchais!
3) Your style is quite influenced by childbook illustrations / retro cartoons / animation. How did you develop this style and how would you describe it?
The best way I can describe developing my style is being so influenced by my artistic peers and idols. If I wanted to get a certain look with my work, I’d turn to an artist for inspiration. I look at what shapes they use, colors they pick, and which Photoshop brushes they like. As I mentioned earlier, many of my favorite illustrators work or have worked in the animation field, so I suppose that’s where I get that type of influence!
4) Describe us a bit about your creative process while creating a piece.
Usually I’ll come up with an idea or thought either relating to a given prompt or something I’ve thought of during the day. For an example, here’s a self-portrait I completed for another artist’s project.
I usually start with a super loose sketch, or sometimes I don’t start with one at all and go straight into the shapes. If I’m working with a client I give much more clearer and detailed sketches.
Then I go straight into color blocking. This is where I get to have some fun with shapes and different types of Photoshop brushes. If I’m working on a piece that focuses more on landscape, I’ll go straight into the shapes and work on the characters later.
I lastly add the final details to bring the character to life. I always try and keep a good balance of color, shape, and lines with each illustration (hooray for the elements of art!). A lot of people ask me if I do my lines first or after coloring, but I prefer after since I can naturally push shapes more without lines keeping me in any sort of boundaries!
And here’s the finished piece! Custom brushes in Photoshop are amazing. I love being able to capture a more traditional feel to my work despite it being digital. I used to have a very digital look in my illustrations, but lately I’ve been greatly influenced by other illustrators and children’s books that have a more traditionally painted look.
5) What would you consider the best moment on your career till now?
The biggest achievement I’ve ever had is being represented by The Bright Agency. Getting that email letting me know that they wanted to represent me was amazing. It was that spark I needed to let me know that all of my hard work of becoming an illustrator was paying off and that I’m doing what I was meant to do. I’m currently illustrating a book series right now, and despite the amount of work I have to complete (especially since I’m a student as well), it’s worth the amazing experience.
6) How do you describe your daily routine?
It depends! I hop between home and school a lot, which definitely keeps things interesting to say the least. When I’m at school I wake up, go to classes, and then return to either my room or the student center to work on illustrations. When I’m home I have a bit more free time. I usually work whenever the time feels right (or wait until later in the evening after I’ve completed other things during the day). I am always the most creative when it either snows or rains! I would send a picture of my office if I had one! I have grown way too comfortable working on my bed or on a couch with my laptop ha! I’m hoping once I settle into an apartment after I graduate school I can get a proper office set up!
7) Being a multimedia artist, please tell us what’s your favorite media to work with? Why?
Digital will always be my favorite since it’s so fast to work with and of course is extremely forgiving thanks to undo buttons! However I’ve always loved watercolor as well! It’s a nice change from digital because it puts you in the mindset that you can’t go back. You can take risks and when they pay off it’s an amazing feeling.
8) Tell us a lesson you believe is really important for every artist.
1. Social media is your best friend
2. Always push yourself even if you feel satisfied with your art
3. Your style will change with growth, embrace it and enjoy the ride
4. Always keep up with your favorite illustrators and inspirations
5. Take time out of your day to draw something for yourself, make yourself smile!
9) Tell us five websites that you like to visit.
My favorite websites I like to visit are:
5. Pinterest (my guilty pleasure!)
Youtube and Pandora are popular ones for me as well, but thought it would be better to list the websites that I have accounts for and look for inspiration on!
10) Thanks again for your time, please leave a final message for the ones who are starting out on this kind of business.
The best message I could give to my fellow art peers is to keep striving and reach for the stars! Work hard and the payoff will soon follow, and trust me, when it does it really makes you jump for joy! I hope that with my illustrations I can not only put a smile on people’s faces, but help inspire others as well. Follow your dreams everyone, I believe in you!