“Some of the characters/ scenes I draw have complex backstories and others are just representations of myself, the world, or just images I’ve thought up and needed to jot down.”
Name: Imogen Angela Smith
Art Materials: In my traditional work I usually use pens, watercolour, and acrylic paints but I love experimenting with other materials, especially resin. For my digital work I use a wacom tablet and pen.
Where does your inspiration come from?
I’ve always had a huge imagination,creating complex universes and stories inside my head that would often occupy me for days on end since I was a kid. When I was younger I loved drawing perfect looking human beings, I focused mainly on anime style girls and I wasn’t very good. At the time my anxiety disorder was becoming more prominent; I was told by my counselor I had a distorted reality. I had huge issues with needing to be perfect and would see and exaggerate things about myself that weren’t there, melting down regularly about my appearance, so I think a lot of what I drew then would have been my unrealistic ideals. As I grew up I became more and more interested in horror and macabre style art, I was really inspired by artists like “Saccstry” who had elements of realism and anime style peppered with gore, torture and general destruction. I had spent a lot of years completely introverted and submerged in self hatred and had a lot of pent up anger which started to come out when I would draw. I started to use distorted reality to my advantage, disfiguring and exaggerating my characters and freely warping aspects of the outside world in my mind before sketching them out. I projected what I saw on myself into drawings and was often surprised to see the absurdity of the mutations I associated with my image; my self portraits seemed to literally rot from the inside out. I have matured a lot since then, and while I still draw a lot from anxiety and depression as a kind of therapy I am just enjoying my style and exploring new artistic concepts at the moment. Overall I would say I’m a really happy person despite my down times and many imperfections I see in myself. I like to think that my characters live in ignorant bliss of their mutations.
Tell us about your creative process.
I usually just have an image in mind that I really need to get out, so I’ll take the nearest pen and get to it. I’m exploring new styles of art and taking more inspiration from my external surroundings now, so even when I am completely art blocked, I can find something to draw as a starting point that will help improve my skills.
What is the story behind your artwork, if any?
Some of the characters/ scenes I draw have complex backstories and others are just representations of myself, the world, or just images I’ve thought up and needed to jot down. The first image I’ve included of my art is a portrait of a character I created a while ago called “Scratch”. A lot of people conjure up characters who have terrible things happen to them or who seem to have the worst kind of luck and are still resilient, it’s kind of like beating yourself up in your imagination and it actually feels really good in a way. I subconsciously created a character who was rolling with the punches like I felt I was in times of depression, simultaneously representing all the hatred and harm I had inflicted upon myself and lived past. I don’t really like to literally explain the meaning of the rest of my artworks as I enjoy people relating to them in their own ways and creating their own meanings behind them. Art is also a way of showing my past mistakes, regrets, and progression as a person without having to explicitly state my story.
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