Ep.25: The meaning of Fake it till you make it with Audra Auclair

By Iva Mikles •  Updated: Oct 09, 2017 •  Interviews

Audra Auclair is a Canadian artist whose work has spanned across many mediums. She has been exhibited both locally, as well as internationally in Australia and America. Although she has achieved a Graphic Design degree, graduating with honors, she instead specializes in exploring the surreal and beautiful female form with her transcendent fusion of fine art and illustration. She is praised for bringing awareness to current issues through a blend of pop art and fantasy. Her YouTube videos focus on art, mentality, and life with a very honest and calm atmosphere.

I’ve always loved drawing. I was hugely inspired by ‘Sailor Moon.’ It was the first piece of Japanese animation I had seen as there wasn’t much here in Canada. It gave me goosebumps every episode and it really inspired me to draw more. I didn’t know in particular what route I was going to take in the art field, but I always knew that it was something to do with drawing.

For the past four years, Audra has been working with her partner, Lopi, on developing an imaginative fantastical world and characters for their upcoming graphic novels, “Chiara” and “Nen”.

Get in touch with Audra

Key Takeaways

“If you are doing what you love, then you will be successful … if you put in the time, stay motivated and have willpower to finish things” 🙂

Resources mentioned

💡 Please note: We are supported by our readers. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you! For more info, please read our disclosure.

Special thanks to Audra for joining me today. See you next time!

All artworks by Audra Auclair, used with permission

Episode Transcript

Announcer

Creative, artistic, happy! That’s you. There are endless possibilities for living a creative life. So let’s inspire each other. Art Side of Life interviews with Iva.

Iva Mikles

Hello everyone and welcome to the next episode of Art Side of Life where it’s all about how you can turn your creative passion into a profession. My name is Iva, and my guest today is amazing fine artists character designer and YouTuber from Victoria, Canada. Although she has achieved a graphic design degree, she instead specializes in exploring the surreal and beautiful female form with her fusion of fine art and illustration. She has been exhibited both locally in Canada as well as internationally in Australia and the US. She is praised for bringing awareness to current issues through a blend of pop art and fantasy. Her YouTube videos focuses on art, mentality and life with very honest and calm atmosphere. For the past few years, she has been working with her partner on developing an image in a fantastical world and characters for the upcoming graphic novels Chiara. And then Kira will be available as a webcomic by the end of 2017. So please welcome Audra Auclair and let’s get to the interview.

Audra Auclair

Thanks for having me.

Iva Mikles

So I’m super grateful that you took time from your busy schedule and that you join us here.

Audra Auclair

Thank you. I’m so sorry. I’m so bad with emails.

Iva Mikles

Like everyone is like you create so much stuff.

Audra Auclair

Yeah, I’ve been trying. I’ve been taking a little bit of a break lately, but

Iva Mikles

so so let’s start maybe with your background, and I would like to know if you had something like a creative outlet when you were a child, maybe favorite board game, or did you do some other activities?

Audra Auclair

I watched a lot of like movies and cartoons and stuff. I played outside a lot. Those were like my main. Those are my main things. But um, yeah, I think animation was like my main inspiration like anime, Japanese anime. And just anything that was on like Canadian, like, why TV and stuff. So? Yeah, I’d have to say those things. It did play a lot of board games and stuff. But I think that’s where most of everything came from.

Iva Mikles

And I read you like the Sailor Moon right. And some movies.

Audra Auclair

Yeah, Sailor Moon was like, I think that was the first time I ever got goosebumps was the first time I watched Sailor Moon. I was like, six, I think. And I was just like, oh my gosh, it’s so beautiful. Like all these rainbows and like, there was nothing out there. That was like girls that were I don’t know, like super pretty and cool. And like, we’re independent and everything. So it kind of blew my mind. Yeah.

Iva Mikles

And so was that the time you decided you want to take it like seriously art or it was later.

Audra Auclair

I think First it started as like an interest from watching things like Sailor Moon. I was like I want I’m interested in recreating these things. And in kindergarten, they had us like, yo do little journals with the drawings and stuff like that. And then I had a principal when I was six years old, and he like, took me and my mom was I was like, Hey, you could be really good at this. You’d be on your level. And that made me feel special. So I just like kept working at it. And then as I got into like elementary, junior high, I was like, this is kind of what I want to do. It’d be cool to be a marine biologist and like swim with dolphins and stuff, but I could do the art things.

Iva Mikles

And they remember like the conversation maybe what you had with your parents when you told them like I want to take this as a career.

Audra Auclair

I think it’s always just been a thing. Like, my dad wasn’t really around. I didn’t meet him until I was, I think in high school. So but he was supportive when I did meet him because he’s a creative guy. And my mom, she was always supportive from the beginning like even though she was a single mom, she was very she didn’t really care about me making money or anything. But she just wanted me to do what I wanted. So she He was pretty great. Yep, perfect.

Iva Mikles

And so we tried to kind of like the biggest decisions and turning points you had to do when you like decided you want to take this like seriously.

Audra Auclair

When I graduated, I made a decision to move away from a place that wasn’t inspiring or creative. I lived in like a very small town. That was like, oil, like based around oil field stuff, and just wasn’t inspiring. I had a lot of friends there that it was hard to kind of move away from them, because I had moved around a lot up until then. And yeah, I guess just I kind of always went with my with my intuition. And I didn’t realize that my environment where I was in that town was so important until later on. And I made a lot of decisions that were stepping stones that were kind of like, cloaked as mistakes. I tried working doing airbrushing, tattooing. I tried making jewelry, and I even moved to Thailand in in hopes that I could not have to worry about paying as much for rent and I can just like focus on making an illustration portfolio. And like gambled everything on that, like art or whatever I did have and went there. I think my biggest turning point was when I got fed up trying to get somewhere in my career. And I started a mini cleaning business with my friend who’s also an artist, and she was kind of fed up with doing commissions and stuff. And yeah, we cleaned houses for her while she she told me not to, like, tell anyone that she was doing. Like that’s wrong. cleaning sponge, she’s like, No, I don’t watch my career or something. But it was good for us. Like we both got a great break. And I got some perspective. And it’s just kind of, you know, it’s a process that’s just kind of out of your head. So I got to do a lot of thinking and recuperating. And after a while I think it was a couple of months, I felt energized to just do everything I could to make it work. Like it was kind of my last burst of energy after trying so many things. And so I worked like 12 hour days. And I think I worked almost every day. And I worked until like my neck was like

Audra Auclair

like I was having like a weird form of vertigo even I don’t know why I think something must have been cut off from just like looking down all the time. But I, I wanted to just draw what I wanted to draw. So trying to focus on like, what does it magazine want or what is like a tattoo parlor want in my portfolio there. So I just worked on stuff that I I loved doing. And I focused on posting it on Instagram, and Tumblr, and Facebook. And then after a while things just started to kind of pick up on their own. It was weird. It was like trying to like force things. And then just when I kind of gave up and did whatever it kind of happened.

Iva Mikles

But it makes sense. Because then you started to do more what you love. So you it shows through the work.

Audra Auclair

Yeah, it’s so true. It’s so true. I agree. And

Iva Mikles

so who kind of inspired you the most? Or did you have a mentor in this process?

Audra Auclair

Ah, there were a lot of people that kind of implements different decisions or different things I’ve tried. Yeah, lots of just like small things that people said that have opened doors that have kind of led me to try one thing or another. I don’t know if I’d be in the same spot if I didn’t try all the things that people have mentioned. I didn’t really have a mentor per se, but I did have a an art teacher, I guess you could kind of call her a mentor in high school. Her name is Carrie Caldwell, and she was fantastic. I’ve had art teachers that just like didn’t seem to really care much about about teaching art and she came in to my life like second last year of high school and she just like created a really safe place for everyone and she was very inspiring and like encouraging and she was like a second mom to me and I feel like she really helped kind of pull me through a time that I needed her most. I am very inspired by Misaki, the director, artists mind behind Studio Ghibli, and Kim Jong Gi, and lots of different peers as well. I’m always super inspired by other artists, lots of them you were actually interviewing on here. I was like, I don’t recognize all these people. They’re also great. Like, the art community is so inspiring. And we help each other out a lot. Yeah.

Iva Mikles

So what was maybe the best advice you ever received? Or the best lesson you learned from the teacher? You mentioned?

Audra Auclair

1000? That’s a tough question. I think best advice, I think, is fake it till you make it. I love that. Because when when I got out of high school, I didn’t know what I was doing. And I didn’t end up going to fine art school. So I always felt like maybe there was some like pressure that I had to have this degree to be called an artist or something silly like that. And I just kind of, I guess, convinced myself and maybe faked that, I guess knew what I was doing. I mean, I don’t know. I know, they teach you techniques in there and everything. But I feel like I did. Well, learning on my own and was able to kind of, I don’t know if I’d say fake my way through. But I think I did well, without that.

Iva Mikles

And when I think about like the worst advice maybe you ever received, or you saw someone gave to someone else.

Audra Auclair

The worst advice I’ve gotten was, you should take this graphic design course that I’m doing. It’s great. And then I did. And then I did. Like $12,000 later and not really a lot of that wasn’t wasn’t worth it. I finished paying it off. Finally, like I think this year, luckily, but yeah, I have a weird relationship with post secondary. I feel like there should be, I feel like there should be websites out there where you can actually rate schools because I’ve heard from people that go to schools, and they just, they basically get taken advantage of because they just aren’t the greatest, even though the reviews are okay. Yeah,

Iva Mikles

yeah. But it makes sense. Because like, I also went to study multimedia graphic design where I thought I will learn like Photoshop and Illustrator, I will like, oh, and then I came there and there was more about coding and development, and I can

Audra Auclair

Yeah, that’s my boyfriend at the same thing to us. Like, I want to make video games, I’m gonna go into programming because they say that this is where you get into making video games. But he found out after all this money later that it was he wanted to like do the creative, world building development that has nothing to really do.

Iva Mikles

So what are your go to resource these are maybe books you can recommend for our audience, you know, to learn from or check out for books.

Audra Auclair

I think my most valuable books for me have been just art books like I have, I have a book by Kim Jong gi that I love and it’s just like a really thick book full of all the sketches. And I flipped through there and I’m immediately inspired. I mean Zaki art books and just like various art books, like from leash or other artists that I follow, and I feel like it’s just like a constant source of inspiration. And I feel like those have just been very helpful to me more helpful than a lot of like the instructional art books I feel like it’s it’s more inspiration more inspiring and more motivating for me to to look at something someone else has done. Yeah,

Iva Mikles

and if we go back to the time when you said also you were in school and then you also did the cleaning business and so kind of these waves of different types of jobs. When was it like when you did like the transition to like doing more art maybe more commission and how did you get maybe your first job or?

Audra Auclair

Oh, man, it’s always been kind of a mess. Like I’ve always been sort of flip flopping in high school. I did a couple of commissions. When I when I got out of high school I looked for Like freelance work online, and it was very difficult and competitive because you’re competing with other countries that can get by with charging way less. And I did commissions, after I moved to Thailand during Thailand, I went on a website called Fiverr, which is kind of kind of terrible as well. It’s like $5, for anything. And I was like, I do really quick portraits for $5 each. And that was just like, that was horrible. Because I needed the money. I was like, I’m gonna do anything. So I tried that. And yeah, I It’s always kind of been random, and gone into starting to make a portfolio for one thing and having to change my mind partway through. And it’s always been kind of scrambling to, I guess, find something or some way and commissions have always been just sort of a side thing that I would try and do. And I used to always take them through websites, like, you know, the freelance websites. And I didn’t, I wasn’t at a point where I had my own following yet. So it wasn’t until I had my own following that I could actually get commissions that I sort of enjoyed instead of hunting for corporate commissions. So once I started getting more of a following, then I would take them on the odd time for for some like side money, and they’re usually pretty enjoyable to like tattoo designs and line work and all that. So yeah, that was always kind of a side thing.

Iva Mikles

And so when did you decide that you want to do YouTube?

Audra Auclair

I don’t remember when I like it was kind of a random thing. I think I was watching people. I think it was after, after Thailand. I always watched YouTube. But then I started watching other artists drawing online, and I think I watched baby J was one of them. Yeah, I watched her and was like, Oh, that’s really cool. She’s doing fun stuff like putting a like handkerchief over her eyes and like trying to draw things without looking like fun stuff like that, which I still want to do. I haven’t done that yet. But I just like that’s like so much fun. And I tried doing like a time lapse drawing and it was like not the greatest quality at the time. But I don’t know it just started happening and it was a fun thing that I could do and it definitely helps getting like more eyes on my work as well.

Iva Mikles

Yeah. And so how long have you been in Thailand?

Audra Auclair

I was in Thailand for I can’t remember anything like half a year. Yeah, we weren’t intended on being there for much longer. But there’s there’s nothing comfortable about sitting in the heat on like an exercise ball and like your bra and underwear like dying of heat while you’re trying to work. There’s not fun and like I was using a as using do become a Wacom tablet. And, and my Macbook and like the metal from the MacBook was like electrocuting me while I was working on it because they have no grounding there. So anytime I want to use my MacBook I was being electrocuted and then anytime I used my tablet my sweat was just like it just sticking and like it was horrible. It was just not a good work environment. So it just it didn’t work out but it was very nice for getting like some culture

Iva Mikles

Yeah, so that’s different and so when you think about now the mediums and tools What do you use now and maybe what you started with? Do you have now a favorite brand do you use or something you work every day?

Audra Auclair

Yeah, I like I like experimenting with different mediums but I have this like great moment the other day where because I’m so used to working on like actual good quality watercolor now that I can kind of afford it and I went back and I was like just doodling as doodling on this just printer paper with like a basic like standard pencil and it was the most freeing thing ever and I it brought me back to him and like I used to just work with just a basic pencil or ballpoint pen even on printer paper like lined paper. And yeah, that’s pretty much what it used. I didn’t have anything fancy until much later in high school. In which case I had like very, very cheap watercolors basically and cheap acrylic paints first time I discovered oils since oils is like a more fancy expensive thing precise discovered them on like blew my mind. It was so great. This painting with like really good quality like a great, amazing medium that’s expensive is like like it feels amazing. Now I use Engram and CO quash and use mostly Daniel Smith watercolors, but I would love to eventually save up for a Schminke set. I’ve been kind of really wanting. So that’s my goal, and I use Gamblin water or not watercolor sorry oils, and I think that’s pretty much it. Yeah.

Iva Mikles

And then you also paint digitally sometimes, right? Yeah. Do you combine?

Audra Auclair

Yeah, I use 22 inch Wacom Cintiq for for digital art and also an iPad with procreate. Yeah.

Iva Mikles

Oh, yeah, that’s true. Yeah, because you also do these like videos where we can actually record directly in procreate.

Audra Auclair

I love procreate so much.

Iva Mikles

I still need to get that. I’m thinking about for a long time.

Audra Auclair

You would love it. I like I haven’t talked to anyone that hasn’t, hasn’t totally loved it.

Iva Mikles

Cool. So that simplifies your life as well. When you want to do like speedpaint video that you can just record.

Audra Auclair

I almost prefer it to my much more expensive Cintiq. Good. Yeah.

Iva Mikles

So and how do you design your day? What do you do daily, which contributes your success.

Audra Auclair

I wish I was a much more scheduled person. I am pretty random. However, I am trying to kind of be more organized. But I think just the nature of how many things I’m having to juggle right now is sort of keeping me from having a set routine, like set daily routine. So I don’t always have time to go through my emails. And I don’t always have time to ship everything in one day. So sometimes it like bleeds on to the next day or whatever. So it’s very messy right now I’m, I’m wanting to kind of switch around how I’m doing everything. Because I feel like I do need a little bit of structure. And currently I can’t get that. So I’m, I want to focus more on Twitch and YouTube. Because if I focus on making income through there, I feel like I can, I can kind of have more of a schedule, and it will be less about kind of a production shipping logistics sort of thing that I have going with having a store and focusing on the store. So I’m hoping I can switch with that. But for now it’s very random.

Iva Mikles

So can you make income also with Twitch? Yes. So is it per viewer? How does it work there?

Audra Auclair

You get ads, you have ads, kind of like YouTube. But also people can subscribe or donate. I haven’t been I’m not a partner yet, which is when you actually start making more income. But yeah, when you’re when you’re partnered, you can have subscribers and everything like that. So yeah, I’m aiming for that. i It’s risky. I have my boyfriend but like I’m somewhat supporting him right now. He does help me with a lot of things like packaging orders and stuff. But yeah, I, I It’s risky switching from sort of what I’m doing now, because my story is like 80% of my income and switching it to something else is really sketchy. But I feel like I feel like there’s some pressures in having to always be creating quick pieces to make money. And, you know, I always have so many things going on at once. And I feel like I’m, I’m stuck to creating just a single style. And I don’t have time to do studies to like learn more landscapes and everything because I feel pressured to make things quickly and not challenge myself. So if I work on Twitch and YouTube, I feel like people I’ll make income from people just watching and I feel like hopefully they’ll give me the freedom to do studies and maybe people can watch those Even if they don’t want to buy it per se, they can still come in watch. Because I feel like a lot of the people that follow me would want to buy things that are within my current style. So it feels confining a little bit. I don’t know if that makes sense. I’m horrible at words.

Iva Mikles

Nobody, I think it definitely makes sense because I haven’t considered Twitch before. And I just heard it from many people now that they are just moving there. And so it’s actually really great idea that you can actually create more art and make money while you’re also learning and people want to watch how you are learning basically. Yeah. And

Audra Auclair

I feel like there’s something to be said about getting to know someone too. And I feel more connected to people and I feel more like supporting their work when I know them on a personal level or some more personal level. I don’t know, I don’t know why. But it’s connected with them. So

Iva Mikles

yeah. And so how do you do your networking? Mainly? Is it through online? Or do you also go for like events, you know, around the country,

Audra Auclair

I would love to do events. That’s, that’s something I would really like to do once I finish my comic that I’m working on. But it’s it’s very intimidating. So I don’t I don’t do that. But I want to I really want to. But for now, it’s mainly all online, like social media. Like pretty much every social media you can think of I’m trying to slim it down. Because too much.

Iva Mikles

But what is your kind of the most used one? Do you think YouTube or Instagram or?

Audra Auclair

Right now it’s Instagram and Twitter. But I do want to focus more on Twitch and YouTube? Yeah, I think I’m not sure why. But I think for mainly for just mental reasons, I find that it’s too much social media is kind of unhealthy, for me at least. So I feel like Twitter and Instagram are fantastic platforms for artists especially. But I get a lot of incoming things. Like, I see lots of other artwork, which is great, because it keeps me inspired. But too much can be overwhelming and can make you start to look at your own work and compare. And I don’t want that, and the news and everything. And there’s just a lot more stuff and chaos. But I feel like if I, if I’m on Twitch, at least it’s more of a conversation within a room. And instead of all these other things sort of coming at you. So that’s yeah, kind of. That’s kind of what I’m hoping to get with with this switch as well. I’m obviously not going to stop going on Instagram or Twitter, but I feel like I’m gonna be less, I guess focused on it and sort of distance myself a little because I do find as well, but you’re looking at a lot of other art, it keeps you from being inside of your own imagination, because you’re getting all these other things coming at you. So I’m hoping

Iva Mikles

that you can move there and can you share maybe like some maybe tip what you learned recently on, like, how to do Instagram or something from YouTube, you know, because you have so much experience from both.

Audra Auclair

Well, YouTube, one of the things I noticed about that, which I’m really bad at, but I’m hoping to get better at is updating frequently, like posting weekly videos is probably the most important thing you can do. I know lots of people who do daily vlogs which is so intense. I don’t know how they can do that. But they make a pretty decent living doing it. So yeah, updating free posting frequently. Is is definitely a good idea. Same thing with Instagram posting frequently. I noticed that on Instagram because Facebook took it over and they changed algorithms and everything. They they made it so that you basically have to make sure you’re posting somewhat often, which can be a bit of pressure because they they do the same thing they did with Facebook, which I didn’t like at all where you have to get a lot of likes on one thing to make sure it’s seen or to make sure your future posts are seen more. So and if someone doesn’t start liking your stuff or if they stop, then they don’t see your work anymore. So posting frequently kind of keeps that from happening. But then there’s also the pressure, like having to do your best and everything. So having posting stories on Instagram is a good idea because people always will see the stories, at least. So you can always post sort of what you’re working on. And if they want to see more of it, then they can click on your main profile. Now just the basics are good, like making sure you have a decent camera set up and the lighting is good. I pretty much always wait till daytime to take pictures because otherwise it ends up looking horrible no matter what I do.

Iva Mikles

Like that. Orangey or dark.

Audra Auclair

Yeah, yeah. So things like that are good

Iva Mikles

for a fact. And you mentioned your own comic and projects you’re working on now. So can you tell us a bit more about the exciting stuff which is going on?

Audra Auclair

Yeah, the comic is super exciting. I’m so in love with it. I’m also a little bit afraid of making it because you have to like design this character. Right? And you’re you’re stuck with this character for this whole comic, you have to make sure you’re like, does this hairstyle reflect like who they are perfectly? Or does are their eyes to like squinty, you’re wide open like, is, is the way? Yeah, the way they look is the way they look portraying their personality. And you have to like, look into all of these like nitty gritty little things and like their posture and how they walk. And it puts like a whole nother element into art. Like there’s so much more you have to you have to be thinking about. Which another reason I’m excited for Twitch because I’ll be able to actually do more like concept sketches and just rough things and share them without the pressure of feeling like Instagrams algorithm is going to detract from my viewership if I post something that isn’t a finished painting, you know. But yeah, it’s, it’s, it’s like a sci fi fantasy, comic book. And I’m doing it with my boyfriend he’s writing, but we’re kind of designing it together. And it’s, it’s exciting, because you get to make completely unique plants, and races and religions and everything. Because it’s on a completely different planet. We’ve been even changing like physics of things, and figuring out how certain things work. Like we have floating islands. And so we, we’ve been thinking about this way that like magnetism on the planet would kind of suspend different things and how radiation would work through like tree systems and all these really fun things like real designing is so much fun. So we have the first book, which is called Shuara. And it is, it’s been written, so now I just have to do the artwork for it, basically. Yeah, just that it’s becoming a lot longer than we had originally wanted. Because we wanted to start with a smaller, kind of like a short story, beside the main story to make sure that we can actually take on a huge comic that will probably take us like 10 or more years. Yeah. So we’re like, let’s start with something small and make sure we can do this. And it’s just become this like, whole separate large project. But it’s, it’s great, it’ll be fun. And then once we finish that we’ll start on the main comic of the main character.

Iva Mikles

So when do you think these will be launched when people can expect

Audra Auclair

Chara I’m hoping will be next year. It all kind of depends on how how this new setup works for me because I I am not sure how I’m going to go about doing it Hello Yeah, that happens even though she was in the background Yeah. I’m it all depends on everything. Because if I can work on it while I’m Twitch streaming that would be fantastic. Because then that means I’m basically getting paid while I’m working on it. So that would help to bring it to life. But we’re not sure like we could consider doing a Kickstarter for it or something or try and get it published. We we don’t really know how to go about it yet, but I need to get the first like 1015 pages done. Hmm, then maybe we can reevaluate and consider maybe getting a publisher to see if we can get an advance so that we could put it out sooner. So it all kind of depends on all sorts of variable.

Iva Mikles

Do you want to be black and white or in color?

Audra Auclair

Color? Definitely be awesome.

Iva Mikles

Perfect. And is there something you wish you knew before you started the whole art career, like advice you would give to young self,

Audra Auclair

if I can go back in time and talk to myself, I would say to not do the graphic design course. I would probably suggest taking some sort, of course in fine art, maybe a shorter course more experimental not not a lot of commitment just to kind of get myself more direction as to where I want to go with what medium and to kind of develop my style instead of just jumping into trying to do illustration or graphic design. Yeah, I would focus on I would tell myself to focus on doing realistic studies. Like if I could talk to myself in high school, or junior high, I’d say, Yeah, I do do studies of people and like landscapes without a stylized. Without a style like that you try to force like, manga, or anime style, like focus on getting down realism, shading and everything before copying cartoons or copying other artists you look up to or anything like that. Because having those basics, if you get out of school with with all those basics, it just, it helps, I think, I wish I’d focus more on that. I wish I was prepared, that I would basically have to be a business person. And wearing a million hats. I wish I was a little bit more prepared for it so that I could maybe learn more about taxes, learn more about different equipment, marketing, website design, I wish I would have gotten into social media earlier, because I feel like that would have helped me get ahead a lot. There are some artists that I follow that they’re in like high school and they have started very early, and they have a huge following the geopathic huge platform that can set you up for a lot of opportunities early on. So yeah, I definitely wish I would have, I would have started with that. And I also wish I could tell myself that it doesn’t matter where you are like, or how successful you are, that it will still be an uphill thing it like you won’t reach a point where you can just like, kind of glide off of Wherever, wherever, whatever hill you climb to, you can just glide down it always be a little bit uphill. And that’s okay. And I think it’s, it’s because you do something creative. And you’re always trying to grow and it’s such like a mental spiritual thing that it will always feel a little bit like a struggle, but it’s it is worth it.

Iva Mikles

Yeah, and what about inspiration? What do you have now and maybe if you have something strange which inspires you?

Audra Auclair

Yeah, I love I love people that look like cartoons. Like you like an old man, just like sitting on the bench that has like a huge hunch. And like lots of ear hair and like a huge nose or something. Like I love stuff like that. I love seeing people that have very pronounced features. I would love to have the competence to actually like, go out to people and ask them, like, take a picture they would model for me or something that I do not have that much that much courage or confidence. So you

Iva Mikles

can just sit next to them and like try to sketch them and like No, I’m not drawing you.

Audra Auclair

I tried to like kind of side glance and look at people and try and memorize what they’re wearing in my head like okay, what jacket is he wearing? What are his pants? Like? What belt buckle? Like I’m not looking at crotch I’m lucky you’re wearing I try to look and memorize without being creepy. I wish I was like a like part robot so I could just like memorize a person so I could draw them later. That sounds pretty creepy, but it’s all like good fun. typing

Iva Mikles

exaggerated features you can remember some stuff and then you can implement maybe from different people to one character later on.

Audra Auclair

Yeah, it’s, I love it. That’s one of my, I love doing like really silly looking, drawing really silly looking characters like I try and I mainly do like beautiful, like surreal looking women like weird like horns or multiple eyes and stuff like that. And then I feel like that’s kind of the aesthetic that I set out for myself, but secretly I really liked drawing just like really weird cartoons of people.

Iva Mikles

So no, you can combine everything in the comic as well.

Audra Auclair

Yeah, I’m really excited to make some like hilarious looking characters and like a wide range of shapes and sizes. I’m excited. It’s new for me because I’ve always kind of stuck with this specific shape because I, I, it’s my favorite. I like drawing like weird, gangly, long, creepy limbs and stuff like that. But it is nice to be able to express yourself and like more more shapes and sizes. I’m, I’m excited for it.

Iva Mikles

Yeah, that sounds really fun. I’m really looking forward to see it. And and we didn’t talk about the the kind of difficult time or the worst career moment because like, we always have ups and downs. And then you mentioned as well, you always go up and up the hill. So yeah, what would be maybe your kind of key takeaway, or like learning from the difficult time, or what was the difficult time story.

Audra Auclair

I think the hardest time I’ve had was when I was in Thailand, it’s it’s difficult to not talk to anyone to have anyone to really hand gestures and like minimal Thai speech can only go so far. So it was kind of lonely, but also the heat and trying to trying to force myself to dig inside myself to find some style, but I had no idea what what it was or where I was going to get it from or all of that it was difficult and ascending, when I did finish my portfolio portfolio, I could feel that it was forced, like it didn’t feel right, it didn’t feel good enough, and look back to an hour and I’m like, Ah, it just it wasn’t good enough. Like I wasn’t ready, I still had a lot of basics I needed to work on but finishing it and and sending it to agents and not like getting much back was just, it was hard and kind of just accepting defeat was really difficult to had to move back with my mum for a bit to kind of try and figure out what I was going to do next. And it was just very hard, it was very hard mentally. I do struggle like a lot with mental issues and depression. So I’ve had a lot of moments where I get too focused on on the work and whether I’m improving enough and comparing too much, and all of that stuff. But that moment was definitely like, it had a lot more additional elements that made it more of a foul and more of like a breakdown. And I’m glad it happened. Because I do feel like every bad thing that has happened and every mistake I made and everything like that has just kind of led me to where I am now. And it makes me appreciate where I am now. Much more because I did have to struggle and sometimes I forget like what it what I did go through to get to this point. And I feel like I just start to, I guess take advantage of just being here and and I it’s good to think about what you what you like kind of went through to get to the to that point because it helps keep you humble. So I know not everyone has to go through. Yeah.

Iva Mikles

But what kind of helped you to get out of that, you know, what was your main motivation or how did you kind of motivate yourself like to continue and

Audra Auclair

Well, I think after I went home, just being around family felt a lot I think my my siblings made me my sister, I love her to bits. But she was driving me nuts at the time. And I couldn’t be there. So I was like, I need to get motivated. So I can get out of here again, I need to sort myself out. And I need to just try and try and get back into, I guess, just working in and trying to reach my goals. So I had a little kind of relax, relaxing period. And I think I invested in a week on tablet at that time, my first my first like, good tablet, and it kind of helped me be motivated as well, because I was inspired to, to create more more digital work. And, yeah, I think there’s something to be said about failing, and then just kind of picking up your pieces and spending time to pick up the pieces and just let yourself be sad about something not working. And then once you’re kind of just tired of being sad and tired of, you know, your position and where you are, I think, I think that’s when that’s when I got the motivation back. And I think that’s pretty much what happened to me, every era of my process of getting here was I would, I would try really hard and I’d have all this motivation, and then I would not get what I wanted out of it. And then I would kind of break down, you know, have a good cry, or a week’s worth of crying or whatever. And thinking and, and I would just step away and let myself recover. And then I get tired of being sad and then I try extra hard and then things eventually work.

Iva Mikles

Perfect then do you also go like to nature or do you do yoga or something you know, which always helps you.

Audra Auclair

I wish I did do a little bit of yoga because I have a friend here that was that was a teacher and and I did really enjoy it. But I find it hard to motivate, motivate myself to set time aside for that every day. But I feel like even though I don’t go out every day for like a walk or anything like I would like to living somewhere that have the option to go outside and there’s water to swimmin or trees to walk through. Or mounts to climb right outside is very helpful. Because when I do have a moment where I just need to get away, it’s there. And yeah, I think my environment helps a lot. And I do also use video games to go away sometimes as well. But yeah, I do think having having nature has has definitely helped a lot

Iva Mikles

in do you have your office now at your house? Or because you don’t have to travel somewhere right to work.

Audra Auclair

Yeah, I have it here. But as you can tell by my cat like and the odd sounds in the background there. It’s it has like a couple of like issues where you’re not like completely separated. But we just moved so I actually have like a separate room at least now or as before I was working in like the dining room area. And there’s just smokers sometimes like my boyfriend he he like moves around the lights. I was shaking his legs. Yeah, so send you like, Can you just stop or he’ll like, be like, he’s got so much energy he’ll be typing and like working beside me. But he’ll get like dancing around and I can like hear his he’ll have his headphones on. I could hear him like moving around and like dancing. Oh yeah, so I definitely have more separation because I can just kick him out. And that is definitely really nice. I really like that.

Iva Mikles

So you can work on the other stuff and and some of my last questions I want to ask you is about the future. And I would like to know what would be your dream scenario, you know, like five to 10 years and imagine you cannot fail and that’s like how I how you want to have it.

Audra Auclair

Okay, so this is the best question ever. i Okay, I would travel the world and I would just sketch everything I wouldn’t like I don’t think I’d make very many like original like separate pieces that I could take in so I would just have sketchbooks full of all these different places, and I would travel somewhere and I would find like a building or like a mountaintop. For cafeteria, and I just sit and draw people like for hours, and I would go and eat somewhere awesome and just discover new places and people, I feel like that would be the best thing ever. And then like, I would maybe publish sketchbooks so that I could somehow be like making some sort of, I guess income from from that. And in a dream scenario, I’d like to be making enough that I could actually take lots of time aside to do volunteer work, I would love to do that environmental work, it would be awesome to take aside like a month, a year or a couple of months a year to just like, clean, like work with cleaning oceans and spills or, like planting trees. Like, I would love to do that. Like, I think that’s a that’s like, if when I die, that’s sort of the one thing I would like to leave behind is that I helped the environment a little bit. Yes, because I feel like we use so much as As humans, we consume so much that I feel like giving back for a month, a year, or like a month of my life or a couple months in my life would be really would make me feel better about myself.

Iva Mikles

That would be perfect. Because I think yeah, as you mentioned, we then realize like, Oh, you just buy fish, but you don’t know, like, how much stuff is happening in the ocean? You don’t see why. Yeah, but yes, no information about that.

Audra Auclair

They they discovered these, like, amazing. They’re called like glass sponge reefs. And they’re like, down by Alaska and a few other areas. And there’s like, almost none of them left. But they’re amazing. They can grow like multiple storeys high. And they’re like, they look like glass. And they’re just like these glass tubes of just these really cool things. And yeah, people are wanting to like fish near them and, and drill near them or something like that. And yeah, just have me thinking like, and these things have been around for millions of years.

Iva Mikles

So we destroy basically everything, you know, just gradually and yeah,

Audra Auclair

so I don’t know, I feel like that would be so fantastic. And if I could never get the time to do it, I would love to donate a lot of money to be able to do something like that. So I think that would be that would be my dream scenario, along with finishing all the comics.

Iva Mikles

Yeah, that would be perfect. I would definitely join me for that. And I’m so happy that you were here and you took time. And before we say goodbye, maybe you can take our give us like the last piece of guidance, or key takeaway. And then when we say goodbye.

Audra Auclair

Um, I think that Well, a lot of you’re following. They’ll be listening. Mostly the artists, right? I feel I feel like if it’s something that you really want to do, it’s worth doing anything you can if, if there’s one thing I kind of learned from my whole experience. I think it’s worth it. There’s a quote that I found that I really like, by Herman Cain, I had to put down so I remember just, it’s called Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. And if you love what you’re doing, you will be successful. And yeah, I totally didn’t. I didn’t notice that. When I was, you know, forcing myself to try and find the trade. I didn’t know that just doing paintings that I love doing was going to, I guess be the answer. I had no idea. And it wasn’t until I started doing something that I truly enjoyed doing that. Success started slowly happening. So I think that, yeah, if you’re doing what you love, then you should be successful. If you’ve put in the time. And you have the motivation and the willpower and

Iva Mikles

everything. It’s so just replenish things. Yeah.

Audra Auclair

Finishing Yes, finish is very important.

Iva Mikles

Amazing. So thank you so much again, thanks, everyone, for joining.

Audra Auclair

Thank you. Thank you for having me. And see you

Iva Mikles

guys in the next episode. Hope you guys enjoyed this interview. You can find the others resources mentioned in this episode at artsideoflife.com. Just type a guest name in the search bar. There is also a little freebie waiting for you so go check it out. If you enjoyed this episode, please leave a review on iTunes hopefully five stars so I can read and inspire more people like you. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to Art Side of Life podcast because I post new interview every single workday. If you want to watch the interviews, head over to artsideoflife.com/youtube. Thank you so much for listening. Don’t forget to inspire each other. And I will talk to you guys in the next episode. Bye.

Announcer

Thanks for listening to the Art Side of Life podcast at www.artsideoflife.com

Hi, I am Iva (rhymes with “viva”). I am an artist, illustrator, founder of Art Side of Life®, and Top Teacher on Skillshare. Since 2009 I've worked as an illustrator, character designer, art director, and branding specialist focusing on illustration, storytelling, concepts, and animation. I believe that we are all creative in infinite numbers of ways, so I've made it my mission to teach you everything I know and help either wake up or develop your creative genius. Learn more about me.

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