International Postcard Show 2016: Artist Interview #2

STEFF LEE

Steff lee is a British freelance creative, based in Leicestershire. Her many talents include Illustration, Animation, Web and UI design. She graduated from Norwich University College of Arts, with a BA Hons in Graphic Design with Animation. Steff has worked on projects worldwide, including making engaging educational animations for Ted-Ed and promotional videos for Horse and Bamboo theatre. Experiences, colours and patterns are just some of the things that inspired Steff’s entries to the International postcard show.   Each of the postcard designs have a focus on the female figure. 
‘Most of my illustrative work focuses on the female form and these pieces were some of my favourites I created over the last few years’. 
 

(Above from left to right: Pink Ribbons; Digital drawing. Beijing Flower; Pencil, ink and watercolour. Head of Roses; Ink drawing. Autumn Whirlwind; Digital drawing. Firework; Digital drawing.)

(Above from left to right: Pink Ribbons; Digital drawing. Beijing Flower; Pencil, ink and watercolour. Head of Roses; Ink drawing. Autumn Whirlwind; Digital drawing. Firework; Digital drawing.)

Steff's postcards are still for sale so if you like what you see you can get down to our Gallery and buy them now! More of these prints are available to buy on some wonderful merchandise at https://society6.com/stefflee

JJ: What made you become a freelancer?

Steff: I never consciously make the decision to become a freelancer.  After uni I naturally fell into self employment, there were a lot of exciting projects out there and I just got stuck in. I had a full time job for a few years which was great but I never gave up the freelance gigs on the side.  Back in 2013 I took some time out to go travelling and when I returned to the UK I decided it was time to go full time freelance.  The freelance lifestyle suits me, I love the flexibility of working for myself and the variety of projects I get to work on. Recently I collaborated on an illustration project called ‘The Freelance Life Project’ which highlights all the highs & lows of freelancing.  http://freelancelifeproject.tumblr.com/


JJ: You are quite diverse in terms of your creative skills, do you have a particular favourite discipline?

Steff: I love to draw.  The majority of my working hours are spent working on animations and my favourite part of the process is designing all the characters and elements for each piece.
 

JJ: Who or what  inspires you to be creative?

Steff: Pretty much everything around me can be a source of inspiration.  I try to photograph all the inspiring things I see and use these images as references later on.  It can be something as simple as the colours of the sunset or a well designed poster.My fellow artists friends are a constant source of inspiration.  Seeing their creations makes me want to create too.  This is one of the reasons I love Instagram.  My feed is full of a mixture of my friends artwork and other brilliant artists around the world.    


JJ: What has been your most challenging piece of work yet and why?

Steff: The animated short ‘BB’s World’.  I was working full time at the time and hadn't had the experience of managing a project that big and with so many team members before. It was a steep learning curve but I gained so much from that experience.  


JJ: Are there any creative skills, which you do not already have, that you wish to learn in the future?

Steff: There are so many new skills I’d love to learn that I’ve started making a list and I’m attempting to tick a few off each year.  This year I'm aiming to brush up on my After Effects skills and (the one I’m most excited about) learning how to use spray paint. I'd love to create some big bright pieces of art.


JJ:  A lot of your work is produced digitally. Digital art is bigger than ever before, how do you think it will influence art and design in the future?

Steff: Digital art has made art a lot more accessible to people all over the world.  With beautiful high quality digital paintings shared online people no longer have to go to galleries to discover new artists.  Inspiration can be found everywhere and people sharing their techniques online means it’s easier than ever to learn to create new art.  I definitely think it’s encouraging a generation of new artists who perhaps wouldn’t have chosen to go into a creative field if digital art and the internet didn’t exist.


JJ: Do you ever get artists block? If so, how do you overcome it?

Steff: Yes.  My best cure is to just draw whatever, no matter how rubbish it is, like fill pages with scribbles and sleep on it.  I used to get stressed out over artist block but I found it just made it worse.  Better to embrace, scribble it out and wait for it to move on.


JJ: What advice would you give to aspiring artists who hope to get into the same field of industry as yourself?

Steff: Practice! Create, make, draw and share. I believe this is the same with any industry but the more hours you put in the more you'll get out. Some other tips:

  • Put yourself and your work out there for others to see.  Publishing your work will also let you see how you have developed as an artist over time.  It’s great when you’re reflecting on old work.

  • Be critical of your work. There are always ways to improve and don't feel disheartened if others criticise something you’ve made.  Listen to every bit of feedback, it's the best way you can improve.

  • Find others like you - Surrounding yourself with creative people provides an endless amount of inspiration, advice and fun.  It’s always great to meet others with a common interest. 

You can see more of Steff's work on the links below.

www.stefflee.co.uk
steff-lee.tumblr.com
twitter.com/steff_lee
www.facebook.com/steffleeartist
www.instagram.com/steffleeartist