Ep.10: There is room for everybody in the art industry with Cyarine

By Iva Mikles •  Updated: Sep 18, 2017 •  Interviews

Laura, better known as Cyarine, is a digital artist and illustrator from the Netherlands who enjoys all pretty things. She says: ” …which is no joke, my first word ever spoken was “mooi” which means pretty or beautiful in Dutch.” Every day, she inspires her astonishing Instagram community. As she likes blue color she combined aquamarine and cyan color into her nickname Cyarin/Cyarine.

As she says in her posts and videos her favorite part about art is creating something from absolutely nothing like a blank piece of paper and the fact that you can communicate emotions through art. The main motivation for Laura to create art is to be part of the artistic community and to see her own improvement over time.

Every day she inspires her impressive Instagram community of +1.3m followers with her newest amazing artwork!

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Key Takeaways

“Transparency and sharing is very important and I hope that other artists do it as well. If we share our experiences as freelancers and working for clients, everybody is going to grow from it, becoming one big family. There is room for everybody in the industry. Don’t worry about competing and tearing each other down. If we raise each other up, the industry will be healthier and we get paid better and everybody will be happier.”

Resources mentioned

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

All artworks by Laura Brouwers, 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 an amazing illustrator, character designer and freelance artists from Netherlands. She enjoys all 3d things, and she was mentioned that the first word ever spoken was Moy, which means Brady are beautiful in that. Her favorite part about art is creating something from absolutely nothing like a blank piece of paper, and the fact that you can communicate emotions through art. The main motivation for her to create art is to be part of her artistic community, and to see her own improvement over time. Every day, she inspires her impressive Instagram community of more than 1.3 million followers with her new and amazing artworks. She likes color blue, and she combined Aquamarine and cyan color into her nickname. So please welcome louder. browers better known as siren, and let’s get to the interview. Welcome everyone to the next episode of Art Side of Life. And I am super happy to have Laura here. Hi.

Cyarine  

Hi. Thanks for having me. I’m really excited. We already talked a little bit. You seem like a super lovely person. I’m so excited about this project. Because there’s no real podcasts that I’ve been really enjoying about art lately. So awesome. Great

Iva Mikles  

to hear. Oh, thank you so much. And I’m really excited to have you here because you know, you have such a big community and you inspire so many people. So thanks again. And let’s dive in. And let’s start with your background. Then, if you can tell me maybe what was your first creative outlet? What do you remember, as a child?

Cyarine  

I have drawings from when I was like two years old, even I actually the really fun story. I won my first drawing contest when I was two. I only wanted because it was like a coloring page. And instead of coloring on the page, I turned it around. And on the background, I was just like scribbling I didn’t know what I was doing. But the the contest was for Easter, and I was drawing in circles. So my mom was like, it’s abstract easter eggs. She was really smart. She should have went to art school. I mean, she can do the talk already. But yeah, that’s how I won. I think it was a VHS about some kind of Dutch Kids TV show. And I mean, that’s like, it’s not something that I remember, obviously, or like an actual conscious creative output. But I’ve been drawing for as long as I can remember, I was always a very creative child. And I always spent a lot of time on myself. And I really enjoyed just kind of keeping myself busy sitting in my room listening to music and just kind of toiling and stuff. So I don’t know, I just always remember doing it. But community wise and like actually seriously drawing, I started joining social media that wasn’t it isn’t around anymore, actually. And I had a lot of friends who do as well in elementary school, but also in high school. And I kept posting and kept getting inspired by them. So yeah, that was just, I kind of rolled into it naturally. And when those social medias stopped existing, I went to Facebook first on my own page and on a like a brand page that everybody was doing back then just for fun, not expecting to get any followers out of it just trying to keep up to date with the follow the people in the community that I was in already. So that was yeah, that was kind of how I started with it. I rolled into it and then Instagram started naturally DVR started naturally.

Iva Mikles  

So eight years ago. Yeah, that’s true. And so what was kind of maybe like at the moment when you decided I want to take this professionally was there like the moment though it was the whole transition?

Cyarine  

It was a transition? Definitely because like I said, I’ve been cables. Anyway, I’ve been kind of posting for such a long time and I was just part of online communities and I made a lot of friends online, even when it wasn’t for for, you know, professional reasons, because I just did it as a hobby. But when I was 17 or something I think I joined Instagram more seriously. Oh I think I joined Instagram itself when I was 17. Pretty sure. And then around 2014, it started rolling a little bit, I started getting more followers. And I started to know people that had a lot of followers as well. So I kind of collaborated with them and got more followers from that. And I just kind of got really motivated to do more with it. And I watched a lot of YouTubers, a gaming YouTubers, mostly non art YouTubers, but I saw how they interacted with their friends. So I was like, maybe I can do that with art. So yeah, that’s how it’s,

Iva Mikles  

it’s really cutting Was there some like conversation with your parents when you told them like, Okay, I will kind of continue doing this like really professionally and, like, earn money with my art.

Cyarine  

I wasn’t living with my parents, when I kind of got more serious. I actually have been living away from home since I was really young. So I was in health care. And the people there. Were kind of concerned about me drawing so much actually, because I didn’t go to school, I was homebound. I have been sitting at home since I was about 15 years old 1450, I think. And they were constantly trying to motivate me to do other stuff to go to like volunteering work and that sort of stuff. But at one point, like when I was I think I was 19 I was still volunteering. And I was doing art on the side. And I had like about 100,000 followers or 200,000 followers. Now I think 100. And I started getting job offers as well. And I was just like, I mean, I might be qualified, unfit for work, because of healthcare reasons. Because there’s like a government organization that has like a percentage of how unfit for work you are if you’re sick or handicapped. And I was on 100%. But I just went to them. And I was like, I think I can do more than volunteering, talk to my personal counselor at the time, and said, Well, this is taking up so much of my time, I want to spend more time on it. It might take away a little bit of my social interaction for now. But I want to work towards making that like okay, as well. And I was getting arm injuries from working at the shelter because I used to volunteer by walking dogs. So I was getting like real pains from drawing and walking the dogs at the same time. Most of the time, it was very aggressive dogs. So I was just like, I want to, I want to take more seriously, I think I can do it. And it went really well. And it has been going well for about two years

Iva Mikles  

now. So that’s really good. I’m happy for you.

Cyarine  

Yeah, I haven’t really been doing it for a long time. But I, I thought I wasn’t really an experienced entrepreneur at first, because you have to be an entrepreneur if you wanted to start a business and do art professionally. But funnily enough, yesterday, I had a moment where I was like, actually, I do have quite a few skills. Now, when it comes to setting up contracts, talking about deals and talking about things like copyright and all that stuff, because I was explaining it to someone else who I was helping with a commission. And she was very confused. And I was like, Wait, this all makes sense to me pretty easily. So I must have learned something over the years. Yeah, I was I was a little bit happy that to see that I was improving in that sort of aspect as well.

Iva Mikles  

Oh, yeah, maybe we did, we can discuss that as well, we should come back to the copyrights and what you learned over time. And I would still like to know as well, what were kind of the biggest decisions or turning points where you kind of got here where you are now.

Cyarine  

I don’t know if like timelines, I guess because 2014 there, like I said in the summer. So about halfway through the year I hit 20,000 followers. That was like the moment where I was like, Yeah, this is this is gonna be big. Because like, at first I was like, okay, 10k is a lot. But 20k was like, I can do more than I doubled the 10k the big 10k that everybody talks about. It has like a K at the end of it. And it didn’t say just like your follower number anymore. Especially on Instagram. It looks really cool. Yeah. And I was talking to friends about it. And I was like, I think I can make it to 100,000 if I really put a lot of work and effort into it. And that way I would have sustainable business and enough leverage to start doing commissions on a regular basis and make a living off of it potentially. And I hit 100,000 I think by the end of the year, so Oh, that went really quickly. And by that I said, Maybe I will hit 1,000,001 day and I hit 1 million I think early this year, I think in February. So it has been quite recent. And I thought, like 1 million Oh, this is it, but kept going.

Iva Mikles  

is amazing. So, people really like what you do. And yeah, so keep doing that.

Cyarine  

I’m really honored. I don’t know what I did to deserve it. But it means a lot, obviously.

Iva Mikles  

Really, I mean, your artworks are amazing, and you share a lot of your stories and experiences. So I think that’s healthy that for sure.

Cyarine  

I try my best at least.

Iva Mikles  

And what do you think what was like the best advice you ever received when you started the career and also maybe the worst advice if you can compare?

Cyarine  

I don’t know. When it comes to advice. I never really had like a mentor figure, cuz I’ve been kind of learning by myself. And I haven’t studied at all. And I was kind of fighting against people saying that I shouldn’t be spending so much time drawing. Suddenly, there wasn’t a lot of positive response from it. At first, I might, my parents were always really supportive of my creative side. But yeah, it wasn’t working with them. So I wasn’t, I wasn’t living with them. Oops. But when it comes to good and bad advice, I don’t know specifically, if I had like one piece of advice, I really changed it. There were different smaller pieces of advice that kind of stuck with me over time. Like even simple things like little tips and tricks on how to draw someone like draw bigger pupils, if you want to have a more friendly looking character, oh, the tips of the fingers and about at thigh high like sort of stuff that kind of stuck with me. Although there was one person that did help me with a lot of more professional things, as she was a counselor, that only did like when when there was no one available, she would fill in for other people because she was quite old, I think she was like in her 60s. So she wasn’t as young as most of the people that weren’t where I used to live. And she was actually a contemporary artist, as well. So she had a lot of experience pricing artwork, doing exhibitions, she did exhibitions at the treatment center as well, because there was like a big like, reception building where there was other treatments as well for, for example, deaf people. And I think also like a lot of psychology stuff and research stuff as well. And I got to do an exhibition there as well, which was a really good experience. Even though my artwork wasn’t really good at the time, it was I think about five years ago now. It was really cool to have my artwork presented in a professional manner and get prints or purchases and knowing the difference between pricing original work and, and print work. So it was all just kind of like it’s small pieces of advice. But lately, I’ve been meeting a lot of other artists. And I think that it’s just very inspiring for me, in general, because just talking to them about very normal things, things everyday things that we experience really helps kind of put your own experiences and artists in perspective and not have you worry so much about what is okay, and what is normal and what is abnormal. And if you’re doing fine. And if your feelings are normal, or if you shouldn’t be changing anything about your your outlook on things. Yeah, I don’t know, it’s really hard to explain, because it’s kind of abstract. I hope that answer makes some some sense in some way. Yeah, definitely.

Iva Mikles  

Because then you can find out like, yeah, you might have the same problems or same solutions to these girls or just the outlook on life. And I was like, oh, okay, this is okay, or this is the same. So definitely,

Cyarine  

I don’t think that there’s one piece of advice that really can incorporate everything that we as artists experienced because there’s so much that we have to keep track of and keep in mind. I think one piece of advice would never cover everything. No.

Iva Mikles  

Is there something which kind of stuck with you as you said, they were like more advices like the fingers are like tied and how you draw

Cyarine  

that I want to say isn’t like oh, this is the thing that really changed everything for me because I feel like that is sort of the question you’re asking like this piece of advice was the most useful. I don’t know if that’s true, but that is That’s just not how I looked at those pieces of advice, theorize. I don’t know, trying to think really hard if there’s like one piece of advice that I can think of.

Cyarine  

I remember a while ago, an artist that I personally really look up to shared a piece of advice to his followers. And I actually had the pleasure of talking to him a couple of times, isn’t me, cheeks Galloway think that says like, now like, he’s an amazing artist, a very amazing role model to look up to. I love his Marvel work, I love his Disney work. But he said something about the industry and like, fearing that you have to fit in in a certain way that you have to fit certain, like stereotypical things about it. And he said, Don’t forget that you are the industry in some kind of way. I don’t recall the words that he specifically said. But that kind of stuck with me to think like, if it works for you, like, for me, specifically, we are the industry, we are the consumer, we are the people that are experiencing content in this day and age. So our opinions, our personal taste is just as valid as what you know, people think they have to fit to and what has been kind of the old standard. Yeah, that was a really useful piece of advice, because it made me a little bit less stressed. Because I’m, I struggle a lot with self confidence as an artist. So yeah, especially

Iva Mikles  

the highest possible. thing. No,

Cyarine  

I mean, I was gonna go back into that later, because there are yeah, there’s there’s definitely some, some struggles that I can, even with a lot of followers that I have experienced. But yeah, the really, really stuck with me that piece of advice by him perfect. Just because he is such an amazing artist, because he has been in the industry for such a long time. And because he is I don’t know, just someone that a lot of people look up to, I don’t know, I tend to think too much about what other people think. But it can help in some cases, if other people also look up to one person. And if one person is regarded as professional and then says took care about it. I feel like I can take our word for truth a little bit more. Yeah,

Iva Mikles  

I think it’s great, because then you kind of look up to different people for different reasons. You can have one role model, like, Okay, this is a really good presenter, and other one is like, okay, really great. I don’t know, color and light and, or interaction with people. So I think it’s really great to kind of surround yourself with different people, they can inspire you. So

Cyarine  

yeah, I think what the kind of philosophy that I’ve been kind of working with lately is by trying to surround myself with as many talented people as possible, and kind of the, the approach of always trying to be the dumbest person in the room. It sounds. Yeah, it sounds a little bit mean, if you say it like that. So a lot of people go, what it does, you’re not download, but that’s not what I mean, I meant, I mean to say that, I always tried to talk to people and actively engage with people that I consider my superiors because those are the people that I want to learn from. And it might be comfortable to surround yourself with people that look up to you. But in the end, that can be really harmful for your own growth. And by putting yourself in a position where you feel like you’re a student and when you’re ready to learn and you you already are in the mindset of going okay, I have lots to learn and this is what I’m going to do and what I’m going to focus on is the the confidence tips that you get become less bad as well, for me at least try to be the student and put myself in that mindset really, really helped me over time to get more comfortable. Yeah, definitely. Yeah. Especially with confidence problems. Like I said, I think

Iva Mikles  

it’s perfect because not that confidence, but the inspiration because you know, like I really like also the quote like you are the average of five people you spend the most time with what Jim Rohn said because exactly as you say because you want to become better and you’ll want to learn and if you just hang out with lazy people or they don’t want to do anything or complain all the time, then you will kind of slip to that. And then you will be the same. But if you spend time with people, they’re like, yes, let’s do this. I can make a then. So yeah, definitely that helps.

Cyarine  

Yeah, we’re definitely social creatures, even though a lot of lymphocytes, I’m so antisocial. I mean, I’m really affected by my, my environment, even if it can just be like lighting or temperature or anything like that, like the weather outside. People also really, really come into play with that. So yeah, yeah, I think that’s

Iva Mikles  

it. So what inspires you the most? Or is there something strange Maybe which inspires you? I don’t know, leaves on the ground or something special?

Cyarine  

I think everybody kind of gets inspiration from everywhere. And I think I’m no exception to that. I don’t know. It’s really hard to say because I think my inspiration when I need inspiration, I consume artwork by others. And I consume content that I enjoyed, like video games and movies and that sort of stuff. I’m not really big on comics. I’m more reader. I used to be a bookworm. But lately, I’m not really because I’m not I like I said I stayed home for most of my childhood. So I didn’t have a lot of education. I have good conversing skills. But a while ago, I tried to read a young adult novel, I picked up a book in English, read the first page, and the first sentence had about five words that I didn’t understand. So sadly, I’m not as much as a bookworm anymore. I can read kids books and teen books. Thank God, which I generally enjoy more anyway. But yeah, that sort of sort of inspires me, I guess. I’m trying to think of anything else that really inspires me. But like I said, inspiration is not. I think, especially for me, it’s not necessarily an inspiration for artwork itself, but inspiration to, to work or inspiration to. to better myself are caused by environment, definitely, I can really just be inspired after going out for a bit for a walk or sitting somewhere where a lot of different people go in and out. And by talking to other people, like I went on several trips lately where I met other creators and artists, which, which is definitely like the number one inspiration source for me as of lately.

Iva Mikles  

Yeah, that’s super nice. And so when you mentioned books, do you have like favorite books you would give as a gift to people or something you would read over or something maybe to learn from as well.

Cyarine  

I have a few favorite books, I used to be a very big fan of the Artemis Fowl series, such an arrow, someone will probably hear this. Okay, I used to read I have want to reread those books again, Harry Potter series also like the classic fantasy stuff, but my all time favorite has been in cards. The card series is so good. And the way that every really encapsulates my childhood for me, because it was an escape from the real world. And the book is literally about escaping from the real world in a lot of ways. So, um, yeah, I don’t know, that’s kind of like something that I think back about when I’m like, Okay, what what kind of artists do I want to be what kind of stories would I want to tell with my artwork? Because I don’t know for some reason I, I always think that I have to tell a story someday, even though I’m not a story artists and I’m just like, a concept artist that is pretty stuck. I think back about that sort of stuff. And I’m like, Okay, if I wanted to do something that was meaningful, I will probably be that because such a big impact on me and my childhood when I was younger,

Iva Mikles  

yeah. Because I mean, as you said, also, you always think about stories when you’re creating your characters anyway, kind of why they’re wearing their outfit or they pose or whatever. And when you mentioned that you are learning by yourself as well can you recommend maybe some sources to go to like websites or some some books or movies you like documentary about like art or learning?

Cyarine  

I haven’t really been actively consuming like actual useful media on studying certain topics. I kind of find things here and there on the internet and in books that I’ve purchased like a few just like art books, things with images kind of study visually a little bit more. But I’ve been asking my friend piccolo about his resources because I know that he has a lot of good books and The actual things that will be useful. So I really feel like my knowledge on this field is kind of lacking. I don’t really have any recommendations currently sorry.

Iva Mikles  

So you haven’t checked out any of the ones he recommended do yet.

Cyarine  

Now know, he said a few, but I don’t have the in like chat history or anything because it was in person that he said it. So I have to I have to remind him to send them to me because he keeps forgetting. I mean, we’re both really busy people. So I don’t blame him, but he should send it to me.

Iva Mikles  

So then we can put it afterwards in the show notes. What do you want to like? Check out some books like okay, these are good. I like these.

Cyarine  

Yeah, if I if I’ve ever recommendations, I’ll probably send them off.

Iva Mikles  

Perfect. And if you think about your branding, or your artwork, is there something you always try to communicate through your artworks, like your vision or something like that?

Cyarine  

I have through my artworks, I don’t know, I just kind of want to show what I think is pretty and what I’m interested in, I have been working a little bit more on characters that have a bit more of a background story. And for these characters, I do want to make fun female characters because Funny story, a lot of people asked me why just draw girls, or mostly girls because I still draw guys every it’s because I tried to actively make fun female characters. I used to draw just guys actually when I was younger, and develop male characters, but I came to a point where I was like, Okay, I never really want to cosplay because I used to cosplay a long time ago. male characters and I never have female characters, and I never really want to draw them. Why is that? Why don’t I enjoy them. And that’s because the characters that were presented and that were in media, I just genuinely hated because they were mostly stereotypes. And they were mostly very boring, and didn’t have three dimensional characters at all. There’s there’s exceptions to this, obviously. But generally speaking, there weren’t very many. And I made a kind of like a thing that I wanted to have interesting female characters, or at least what I think is interesting and attractive, because the artwork that I posted ways to grip is not the work that I do when I work for clients. But it’s mostly just kind of like my free time work. So it’s it tends to be one sided, I kind of want to add a little bit more variation to that now that I’m taking more time off freelance work by going back to YouTube and Instagram with more time. I just want to make sure that I do something that I would have appreciated when I was younger, definitely. And still appreciate being honest.

Iva Mikles  

And if someone would like to start to do what you do now, and they are wondering, like, okay, where should I start? Like, should I just buy a pencil or paper? Or should I just go directly to digital? Or what is your experience? What would you recommend maybe to start with and what do you do now?

Cyarine  

I think a really good basic kit would have just have to be like pencils, a small sketchbook and pens like ballpoint pen seven because that’s my preferred lighting tool. I wouldn’t say investing in markers is a very smart idea. watercolors like a basic set could be a good move, because it can help you put down at least basic colors, which is I think, like quite essential to start artwork. I wouldn’t go for digital immediately but I would be hypocritical to say that don’t buy a pen tablet when you’re young. Because my first tablet I bought when I was four I got four as a Christmas gift when it was about 14 years old. 1314 think maybe I was a walkable bolito very very old. It did I’ve been pressured that so that was school and there’s a lot of free drawing software’s there’s cheap drawing tablets available I would never invest in something big because you never know what kind of artists you might end up being. Maybe you prefer traditional art if you are drawing for a while maybe you prefer digital art then you can always upgrade but basic tablets are definitely good enough. But like the the basic essential kit that I would gift to someone starting it would be a sketchbook. A set of basic pencils like HB for sketching maybe like a bead pencil and like for B something like that. I really like those a color pencil for basic sketch lines. If I wanted to line something and take a picture of it and a ballpoint pen, that’s like everything I would recommend as a first start

Iva Mikles  

perfect, because I think the equivalent for the starting tablets is like bamboo maybe from back home. And they’re like, Yeah, I think are starting with these things. Like the cheapest one, right? Yeah,

Cyarine  

it’s so I think the the tools and then they have the Intuos Pro instead of what used to be the Intuos series. People always think that I named my cat after the tablets. But I do this is actually save already he came from the shelter and he already had it. So it happened to be a nice coincidence.

Iva Mikles  

It’s actually really nice like,

Cyarine  

exactly, I mean, I skipped the bandwidth series, because I went from a voltmeter to the Intuos four, which is the equivalent of an Intuos Pro. So now I have a bamboo after

Iva Mikles  

everything. And now you use auto Cintiq. Right. I used

Cyarine  

to use a Cintiq Companion two. And now I recently upgraded to a Cintiq pro 16 For my solid plate by stationary workspace. I’m going to have my Cintiq Companion two repaired hopefully very soon. So that I can take that with me on the go. I tried the iPad Pro, I didn’t really like it very much. No, sadly, I got really bad shoulder cramps from it. And it took me a very long time to actually create on it and sketch on it. It took me about like, two or three times as long and yeah, I don’t know, I never had that learning curve with Wacom tablets, and other graphic tablets that I’ve used. Because I

Iva Mikles  

still haven’t used the iPad Pro either. So I’m thinking like, Oh, should I get it? Because I have also just stationary Cintiq? And I’m like, Should I get the companion and then it’s like this discussion. So I guess everyone needs to try it for themselves what they like more?

Cyarine  

Exactly. I mean, there’s also the Surface Pro, I think artists surface. Is it a Surface Pro? I don’t know what the life is smaller tablets is I think he even has like a small elite book that has a welcome technology in it. There’s so many options that people don’t even think about people really think that there’s just like, one or two brands and walk home and Apple or like the high end of all the computers and drawing tablet related stuff. So yeah, I think I think it’s good to kind of read for this smaller companies as well that are really seeing really good project products as well. Because I think a lot of a smaller I think he knows why even released a companion like tablets. Yeah, I think they did. Yeah, with like a laptop built into it. And it runs on Windows as well, which was really convenient if you use for example painful sigh because that doesn’t run on anything like a an iPad or something like that. So yeah, I think there’s there’s definitely a lot of options to explore, I should explore it a little bit more of myself, because I’ve just kind of been used to walk on. But I don’t know if the other tablets have a similar quality and will be worth it. I know a friend of mine uses a you know, Vine is really, really happy with it. But it is about half the price of a Cintiq. So has very big difference in need.

Iva Mikles  

Yeah, so if you research the let everyone know. And you can try.

Cyarine  

I mean, I was really interested in the email that because their support is actually located in the Netherlands, oddly enough, and about like an hour from my home. So it was really like, oh, a lot of the smaller companies tend to be Asia based, and they tend to have limited distribution worldwide. But you know about having direct support in Europe is really, really positive. I think I was really surprised by that.

Iva Mikles  

And do you have also like a favorite brands from the traditional tools.

Cyarine  

I mean, I would, I would almost feel brewed up so far, because because I finished in our factory and I saw it being created. And I know kind of the story behind it. So I’m kind of a fabric myself, I’m girl at this point. I mean, they offered me a bunch of their products as well, which I’m so happy with. I also use a lot of their products before I even went there. They have the art pens, which I’m really, really happy with. And I think all the stuff that they’re like brush markers almost are really cool. Besides that, I swear by pencil ink brushes, those are hazing and big ballpoint pens. The best pens there are they’re easy. And I love the aesthetic of it as well. I don’t know as an Instagramer it’s good to have like aesthetically pleasing art materials, and it just makes you excited to work with them. I mean, if your pens don’t look pretty who would pick them up? Right. So yeah,

Iva Mikles  

I use so that’s really Yeah, kind of I need to try. But

Cyarine  

kids are really versatile, so you should use

Iva Mikles  

them. But it’s scary because you cannot erase it.

Cyarine  

I mean, yeah, but you can’t erase paint. I know I know.

Iva Mikles  

And What do you know mentioned? Instagram, let’s go to that. And maybe can you share some tips? What do you learn over time something like, Oh, this is really interesting you should do, or you shouldn’t do.

Cyarine  

I think a lot of the like tips and tricks on how to grow your Instagram profile is a little bit outdated. Because it changes so quickly. And I’ve worked with Instagram, personally, I’ve visited their office recently as well. And I’ve discussed it with them as well. And they’re, they’re really open to it as well, which is really cool. They’re super nice people. But they’re constantly experimenting with how the algorithms work, how they work, what happens on the platform, I mean, only a few months ago, I think they released the live stream function. And now they were already protesting something else for it, which I had the pleasure of being part of. So I don’t know, I think it’s really important to stay flexible. I think that’s the, and to experiment a little bit, see and observe, see what statistics change. For example, there was a time where the Explorer page was a lot more organic. And now there tends to be a lot more trends on it. So it tends to not give you as much traffic as it used to. Stories used to be more promoted as well, on the Explore stories feed, now they’re a little less promoted. And videos, for example, used to be favored over photos a lot of the time. And I used to get a lot of views, I used to get like 2 million views on a video that I would pose. And I would get 1000s of followers within a day because of just posting a simple video, because it was just pushed out so much. And now it’s hoped or like even quartered, like the views. They, the algorithms change so much. And you really have to kind of shift your focus depending on where it goes, if you want to keep growing. And I know a lot of people stick to one thing, and I think that’s when I see most people kind of stagnate in their growth because if they stick to using a certain trick to get more followers, either people aren’t going to notice or it’s just not gonna work anymore, and people are gonna get bored of the content and leave. So on top of, you know, the actual algorithm not favoring your content anymore. People will also probably notice it in that in some time. So I think that is what helped me grow as well. Kind of noticing, okay, videos do really well now I did more videos, then. Having a series as well, during the outfit of the days really helped me keep people around for a longer time because they would recognize the pattern as well. So there’s there’s different things that you can experiment with. It doesn’t it’s not for everybody to do the same things, obviously. But yeah, experimentation is key.

Iva Mikles  

And yeah, because do you also have concat some kind of like spatial scheduling like Okay, on Tuesday, I will do my outfit then the other day, I’ll do the full day I don’t know I

Cyarine  

used to kind of feel obligated to post every day at least, I had a period where I would post multiple times a day, even I tried to plan I’m not a planner, I’m very disorganized, which is very convenient when it comes to answering emails. I’m sure you’ve noticed when it comes to when it goes to sheduled No, I never really did that. I became a lot more flexible and I actually took a break for a while. And now I just kind of do whatever I want to do, I try to post I try to spread it out a little bit more. So if I produce a lot of artwork within like a short amount of time, I will spread it over a longer amount of time so I don’t have like gaps of inactivity when I’m active at least. That’s the only thing that I really keep track of besides like time post I do keep track of when my followers are most active. And I know that I have a lot of American followers but also a considerable amount of European followers Western European so I tend to post in like the late evening for your Europe timezone which I am located in around 8pm my own time because I know that a lot of Americans will see that this time as well

Iva Mikles  

so know their sleep and they are still also Europe. Yeah, that’s like

Cyarine  

the most direct influence on how many legs I can get. If I will post in the morning. I would get like 20,000 likes less easily because it just doesn’t show up on people’s timelines anymore. Yeah.

Iva Mikles  

And then they have to remember to go like actively to your profile to search for something if that Yeah. I hear so much content. But also you you write some stories about your each piece like why did you do it or kind of how. So there is a bit of a background like writing about it like every post you do, I think, what do you make? Kind of like you don’t just write like, okay, here is my next drawing. But do you just say something more about it?

Cyarine  

Yeah, yes, I tried to put a little bit more into the description as well. I mean, I put a lot of things in my Instagram stories and in my Twitter updates, but I think most people end up seeing my artwork posts. So this is where I update everybody on what I’m doing. And especially because I get so many questions about what I want to do, where I am, why I’m less active, for example, or why I’m more active or that sort of stuff. I tried, I tried to put a lot of background information, I think that’s useful.

Iva Mikles  

And how do you design your day? What is your normal day look like, you know, you wake up, you have a coffee, or, you know, the whole kind of scheduling thing. I

Cyarine  

tend to be more creative in the evening. So I tend to do, I tend to wake up a little slower. I’m not I’m actually quite a morning person. I really enjoy early mornings, and I do early nights as well. So when people ask me about the night owl, or a morning person, I saved both pitches, unfortunately, I want to sleep. But I tend to wake up quite late because I, after all work with a lot of American clients. And my fan base is mostly American timezones and in Brazil, as well. So this is when I’m most active and moved to most of my artwork. But during the morning, I tend to get up eat breakfast, drink coffee, and kind of inspired myself by watching content that I like, I usually watch like an episode of my favorite show or vlogs that I follow. Or, you know, that sort of stuff. I tried to give myself some time to get started and feel good about the day. And that’s what I do emails and contact people because if I want to do stuff with like deliveries and all that sort of stuff and sending back tablet for repairs, even that sort of stuff. Those people are all located in Europe in the Netherlands specifically. So I have to do that during the day during office hours, otherwise I won’t be able to reach them. And then after that is then I don’t have any distractions. I don’t have people bothering me via email or calling me or all that sort of stuff. And that’s when I start to do art. I do most of my artwork after dinner. I cook dinner pretty much every day because well I eat at home pretty much every single day because I don’t cook like a laborer didn’t do this every day. And I don’t wish I had had for that and the skills. If I’m being honest, I’m not the best cook but yeah, I tried to I tried to take time to do that sort of stuff just to kind of to eat casually. I don’t really have a very hectic lifestyle I used to eat while I was working really spend a lot of time just physically drawing like eight hours a day I would just be stuck to my tablet. Oh good because I got tennis elbow. No. Oh, no. Yes, it’s really bad. I said tennis elbow and it’s really weird.

Iva Mikles  

I think you probably

Cyarine  

know tennis elbow, but I said elbow which was almost like

Iva Mikles  

elbow anyway. So

Cyarine  

yeah, well, whatever. But yeah, I do used to do that. That wasn’t a good idea. I tried to take my time. And then after that i i play some video games I go

Iva Mikles  

to bed. So what is your favorite video video game or the TV show? What is it?

Cyarine  

They vary so much. I’m really excited for the new Stranger Things season which is coming up pretty soon. That’s one of the dishes I watched in a very long time. I said watch a lot of logs I watch. Mostly Julian solivita splogs. He’s he’s an amazing filmmaker. And they’re just really laid back to watch kind of in the background. And so now with and especially because they’re not artists, and they have such a different lifestyle from mine. It’s just it’s really calming to watch and it’s not as stressful because I’m not like thinking about artists much when I watch them. Focus. I really I mean YouTube over television at this point. Definitely. And besides that, I mean video games, it kind of varies a lot as well. Lately I’ve been playing a lot of Don’t Starve Together again. I don’t really enjoy Overwatch as a lot of people do. But I play a lot of strategy games like to Age of Mythology, I’m really, really into old games and replaying the same games all the time. So, yeah, that was a that was a good one. That’s just something that I can just kind of leave running. And I don’t really have to. I mean, I still kind of fast paced, but it’s not as fast paced as planning story. He’s games all the time of shooters, all that sort of stuff.

Iva Mikles  

So you can always get back to it and just go when you want. Yeah. And when you mentioned clients and the client work, how do you find new projects, or new paid projects, or they come to you now or come to me, you kind of learn over this process, like what everyone should do, or some kind of tips.

Cyarine  

For me, they come to me at this point, that’s when I started my business and critical interiors, when I got those job offers. I tried to be picky when it comes to taking jobs, even though I want to take all of them. Even personal commissions, I would love to do them, I just don’t have the time to do them anymore. For me, client work is something that I have to consciously kind of decide that I really want to do, because it’s not my it’s a it’s not the most financially rewarding thing to do. It’s mentally rewarding, however, because it it’s inspiring, and it’s very fun to work with teams that I’ve never worked with before. And I mean, job experience is just fundamental as a cell phone artist. And I mean, imposter syndrome is real. I know, I have to present myself as a professional, I still feel like I’m so far from, from good enough to be a to be calling myself a professional. But I mean, I’ve technically been a professional doing jobs for such a long time. of such a long time. I mean, two years. I mean, so long time,

Iva Mikles  

but it is because you know, like you’re just in it. And it’s just going and yeah,

Cyarine  

I mean, yeah, I’m just technically speaking to sounds really, like every time I’d say I just can’t get over, I can shave the finger. That sounds pretentious. But, I mean, I would be doing a disadvantage for the community by saying that I’m not a professional, because at this point with my following and with, with the sort of skills that I build over time as well, even though I still got lots to learn, I do have a kind of like a role in the community to represent artists in some sort of way. Because if companies or clients work with me, they will hold my the experience of working with me as a certain standard for them to look at other artists in the community. And by charging more for example, people will be able to charge more as well. I got criticized for charging X amount for my art prints, ones, anonymously, of course, but I got criticized for it. And I just because they were like, Oh, she’s asking so much. Of course she does. She has a lot of followers. And it’s just like, even just trying to think back about it. Why would they be mad about that? Because if they want to charge more, if people see me charging X amount for my friends, it’s going to be a normalized sort of price. Even if you’re hating me, I’m not going to ask them to like me or like my work or agree with how much it costs. I still, at the end of the day do have a platform that I can use to kind of put a positive spin on things, especially because the community is already so underpaid. And it’s very common for people to say, Oh, it’s just art. Why would I pay so much for it? Like that sort of just higher

Iva Mikles  

up the standard? And, yeah, because if you would go to the shop and you want to buy like physical frame, you wouldn’t ask them like, Oh, can I have you cheaper? And they were like, of course.

Cyarine  

Exactly. So I try to I try to put my best foot forward in representing the community and doing something that I believe is fair. Even though impostor syndrome, like I said is a really big thing that influences my ability to price myself, I really have to turn that off and just say, Okay, I’m just going to go as like how it’s supposed to go. Opinions aside, self doubt inside. It’s just important to, to do to this point. Yeah. And I would recommend it to other people as well. Like even if you don’t believe in your artwork, try to pretend like you do, because if you’re working with a client, you’re not only representing yourself, you’re also potentially, you know, making it difficult for yourself and other artists in the long run. Yeah, we do carry that responsibility. they’d be all together as a community to raise awareness about how artwork is priced, and what is fair and what isn’t, and how artists should be treated, because there are still a lot of people that think they can just treat artists without any respect. Sadly,

Iva Mikles  

yeah, because it’s not only about creating the artwork, but you have to spend money on your materials or tools, you use the education, so everything. And also, like coming to you have to support yourself, as you mentioned, like the professional artists, I think it’s someone who can support themselves, you know, through doing art. So I mean, definitely, that’s a worry. Yes. And because also, as you mentioned, like you can higher up the prices when you have higher demand, which is normal. So you can start with some amount and then you go up later on, when you just don’t have time, you have to create everything. And but how would you kind of suggest people to start with maybe what would be kind of the starting price? You think, if you want to talk about that?

Cyarine  

I don’t know, I heard that people kind of when we’re 35 euros an hour or something like that, or 30 years and our for like students art students. Yeah. So even if you don’t study artwork, I think that’s a really good starting point. It really depends on where you live, though, what the living costs in your country and area are like, and what the averages in the industry are in your country, because and the countries that you work with. I know over here, 75 is a very 75 euros an hour is common for professionals to ask. So I base my rates on like, what the average is, what the demand is, and the time that I have, that I can put in to the commission, because there’s more than just like, the actual hours like if, for example, I would spend five hours on it was five hours on an illustration for a company that wants me to draw a character, I would charge five times my hourly rate. But if I needed to have it done in like, instead of like over a month’s time, or like over two weeks time, five hours is low amount of hours. So I would say two weeks, I would I would charge that. But if I were to have it done. Like, it’s currently Wednesday, by Friday, I would charge much more. Because I would have to put aside other things and reschedule and work in the evening, or work during like not office hours, I would say I’d have to potentially risk like my health by drawing longer hours. So you have to keep that into consideration as well. But other than that, I know that a lot of students use 30 euros or $35 $40 an hour as like a base point to start doing professional artwork. Yeah,

Iva Mikles  

yeah. But that’s perfect. Just to have kind of like a starting point in mind. And then like we can research what is like in our country, as you said, What is maybe the the average price or the monthly salary for like artists, and then you divide it by hours, then you add some social benefits and all of these so yeah, ethics is what we have to pay separately afterwards. So okay, yeah, that’s perfect. Yeah.

Cyarine  

I mean, that’s all little like business stuff that really highly depends on your government as well. I mean, Texas, and that sort of jazz. I always want to discuss prices, like that’s how we do it. At least here we discuss the prices without taxes. And then because it’s company to company usually, or when it’s to a consumer, you have to add the Texas though, but that’s just here. It might be completely different I know in America is an entirely different story and completely different percentages as well. So yeah, it just varies. I can’t really say anything about that. And I would it’s really not possible to say like this is the hourly way that you should ask is it beginning

Iva Mikles  

to exactly so tricky, so yeah, but yeah, so everyone should just search how it is in their country and how that works. And so yeah, but perfect. Thank you for the for the tip. And as you mentioned, like we were discussing like how to say yes and no to projects. If you have to say no kind of what is kind of going your own in your head like the decision making part.

Cyarine  

Obviously the monetary gain from it because I do have to be realistic. If it’s such a low pay, no matter how fun the project, I just can’t justify it. Because I would be taking time from content that I can make for myself and that I can make potentially more money with or other projects that I could take on. So that’s definitely important. Other than that, it’s just something like sponsors, companies that I want to work with or jobs that I get offered on freelance basis, I just want to make sure that it’s something that I personally enjoy and believe in, I feel like those, like sort of morals are a little bit too important sometimes for me, if I didn’t have the platform and a luxury that I had, I would, I would never be able to do it, like how I am doing it currently. So I definitely appreciate the luxury that I have in that, that I can pick cherry pick those rare things that I really enjoy and believe in. But even if I like, even when I was younger, and I got job offers that I didn’t particularly enjoy, I just, I didn’t take them. I didn’t say okay, I’ll take them because I need to make money, though I just accepted that I wasn’t getting enough job offers that. Or providing enough money. And we’re a company that I believed in, or we’re respectful or all that sort of jazz. So I didn’t consider them. Jobs that could support me. So I didn’t consider myself able to support myself as like an entrepreneur or a business person. So I never really had a moment where I consider myself not to have that have that luxury or where I had to take drops. I hate it. Because I just didn’t do it full time. But by the time I’d had part time jobs, and I volunteered when I was unfit for work. And that’s what I just did. Instead, I never really I wouldn’t, I would rather work. But picking up garbage garbage from the street, which is something that I mean, it’s smelly. Nobody likes picking up garbage garbage with their hands. I mean, it’s still like, there’s fun place to joke because I did that to my network that the whenever this shelter, I had to clean out literal poop. So I did not to say anything bad about other people’s shops, because there are still jobs. But I would much rather do that than work on illustration jobs that I hated. I actually have considering doing volunteering again, in a different form. Because I don’t enjoy full time illustrating as much I really am not made for living in intrapreneurs lifestyle. I’m not that sort of person at all I had to be because I got so many personal job offers, and it’s going so well that there is no way that I could make a better living or even in the future than I can now. So I was kind of forced into that. But I don’t really enjoy freelancing because I am a really social person. I’m very Extra, extra, extra, extra extroverted, yes, for my kids, they weren’t. So I’ve been considering taking on a part time job or doing anything like that. But I can’t, I just don’t have the time I’m traveling so much. And the traveling takes care of me being antisocial already. So really glad I’m really privileged. I’m really honored that I get to go to all these places. So that it fix its own problem. But yeah, I would rather do that than take those shops. And that’s why I keep in mind.

Iva Mikles  

But that’s perfect. Because then you know what you want, then you can set some goals and you can structure your time differently in the future. Maybe you can have an assistant or you can have a team of people or you can do it health and health like illustration other work, so you never know. Yeah, definitely. And so what are the projects you’re working on now or something coming up in the future you want to share or it’s not secret.

Cyarine  

I am working on releasing a bigger project actually, possibly one of my biggest projects so far, it’s I’ve worked on a lot of things for for companies that paid quite well and for some collaborations that pay quite well. But lately, I’ve been getting kind of bored with that. So I returned to Instagram and YouTube again, YouTube, I’m super excited about I’m traveling a lot in the future as well. So I want to do flux of that and share a little bit more about my life as an artist of besides just my process. But besides that I’m working with Instagram on something cool, which is gonna be signposted next week, and that’s when we should be having this up as well. So I’m really promoting that now. I’m really excited to work with them. I’m honored that they wanted me to do this. So it’s gonna be honest stories. And then I’m working on a physical object that people can purchase. That’s going to be somewhat this shape is going to have multiple layers, it’s gonna be really cool, um, layers like an onion or

Iva Mikles  

turn the layers or you don’t know, yeah, maybe

Cyarine  

or like fold them, I wouldn’t do that it will be kind of fun. Yeah, it’s gonna be cool. I’m kind of seeing because I had multiple offers multiple parties that were interested. And I’m seeing what works for me discussing it all. But I’m working on the concept in the meantime, and just taking it into my own hands and kind of working on it. Because getting those offers really inspired me to work on it. It’s not something that is offering, like a lot of money, but I just really, really want to do it. I want to invest my time into it, and I hope it will be worth it, it’s gonna be a little bit of a risk. But spending time on client work for most of this year. So far, I’m doing a very amazing amount of sponsorships that I was honored to get offered. I have built up a little bit of space where I can work on my own seven, it’s way returned to YouTube, specifically, because YouTube will offer me a lot of time to work on my personal projects while still earning money. Because I gotta feed my kid and I gotta feed myself. Gotta keep the electricity running so that I can work on my tablet as well.

Iva Mikles  

So you know what to do when your project will be out end of the year or next year, or you don’t know yet.

Cyarine  

And definitely next year? Yes. Oh, cool. Cool.

Iva Mikles  

So I would like to know as well, like you mentioned some of the projects, and what does maybe your worst or difficult career moment, then what do you learn from it?

Cyarine  

I this is gonna sound really weird. But the worst moment in my career was right after hitting $1 million. Sounds like the most amazing moment in my career, you would say, but I was kind of like building up towards a little bit more stress. When this kind of happened, and I was working towards 1 million that was kind of kind of keeping me going and I was motivated to work towards that. And then as soon as I hit that, I was like, I kind of like, froze, and I had like all these thoughts coming through my head and were different thoughts. It was the one Okay, so what now I did it, I did 1 million I never expected to get here. What’s next. And follower count isn’t something that I think is really important. I think your engagement and the sort of impact that you have on people is more important than that. But milestones are definitely something that still impacts your work as an influencer as an artist. So it was still quite an impact to me. But it was also just like the the kind of idea of having a million followers, the symbolism of it having so many followers, and I felt just really worried I was just like, I can’t, I don’t deserve this. I don’t know what to do with it. I have been given this platform. But I don’t I don’t have any inspiration. I don’t have good enough works. I just completely broke down after that time. And I really had a tough time. Getting back on my feet. I kind of struggled on for quite some time. I was traveling, I was taking breaks, but I was taking Hall fest breaks actually, I was never really giving myself risks. And even during this time, I still felt pressure to pose I felt pressure to perform, I felt pressure to prove that I was worth it. Not necessarily to other people, although other people were my kind of like, way of how to measure it. But I was desperately trying to prove to myself that I was worth it and that I was doing well. So I was trying to post somewhat frequently I posted a little list, but I was just worried that as soon as I would stop, I would lose everybody’s interest and people would go away and that it was fleeting and that it would somehow disappear within like a split second. I was just I was putting a lot more thought into it and need it because recently I took an actual break I hadn’t posted on Instagram in a month even before that I was already traveling a little bit more and I I think it was about around the time when I went to the fabric Estelle factory what I really had the moment where I was like, Okay, I need to chill I need to give myself some sort of space to breathe. And I didn’t post for a month and people kept following me. I still gain as much followers as I did every single day and never really slowed down much. I didn’t get people complaining, I didn’t get any sort of negative negativity from it whatsoever, I still got jobs, I still got to do a lot of fun things. And I was just so relaxed, and now I’m really reenergized. I’m working on new stuff again. And I’m purposely trying to do my own thing rather than work for clients all the time. So yeah, I feel really a lot more relaxed. And my physical health has been improving a lot, too. I was sick a lot more than last year, I got like five colds. And I think that was just also the stress in affecting it a little more. I did get sick this month. But overall, my energy is just moving much better. And my mental state has just been a lot more relaxed, chill sound.

Iva Mikles  

So that’s good. So basically, even though we have to work hard all the time, so we still need to remember to take breaks.

Cyarine  

Yeah, that’s really important. But also, you might think that you’re taking breaks, and you might think that you’re relaxing, you might think that you’re being lazy, but trust me or not. That’s what I really had to realize. I felt very guilty. And I felt very restless when I took breaks. And now I can take breaks without feeling that way. anymore. I think I was hard to do that. But yeah, 1 million right after that was definitely it was difficult time. Now I’m getting out of that again. So I’m really glad that that is over.

Iva Mikles  

But the dude that you know now and how to get over and kind of what is your main motivation? Or how do you get yourself motivated when you feel like down?

Cyarine  

I always see okay, kind of what ties into that question as well. There’s two aspects to that. There’s like, what motivates me? And what reminds me of what? Why I do it. And then there’s also people asking me, how do you draw? How do you remember to draw? How do you stay motivated to draw so much? For me, I don’t have to actively try to motivate myself to draw because if I do that something’s wrong. I think an artist or someone that is a creator, doesn’t matter what you’re creating, I might change my medium over time as well. Because an artist’s like drawing is just one way of expressing your artistic thoughts and vision. But if I don’t create, like, at a certain time, I will always feel like creating something again, that’s just how I am as a person. I think a lot of artists can probably relate to that. So I think that is a piece of advice I would give to people as well, if you have to force it dumped. Because what is it worth? I mean, there’s obviously like different degrees. And if you’re really just being lazy, you need to get some work done. And you need to study up a little bit, obviously do that. But if you have to force your creative process, when it’s just free work, then don’t because you’re doing something wrong in that case, or you’re not enjoying it, and why would you create it then because art is still in some way, just a hobby and something that should come naturally, in a certain way. There’s different tricks that you can take to educating us to feel a little bit more motivated, like doing warm up sketches, or studies or that sort of stuff if you’re feeling stuck, but that’s just that’s just sites that you can try that out. But if that doesn’t work, and your mindset is still like, oh, I have to force it, then you something’s wrong. But um, besides that, like actual motivation for me to keep going is a lot of it is followers. I try to not say this I tried to in the past, but I care a lot about what people think about me and a lot about what I get to influence in a world and seeing that people like it and seeing people interact with my artworks and tell me their own takes on it. Be inspired by it or even just commenting and liking. That reminds me of okay, it’s worth it. I should keep going. Because obviously some people enjoy it. So that is definitely one of the things before I had my followers used to be my friends that also drew and being in an environment where people already drew a lot because I know that the luxury of having followers is not for everybody. I remember the days when I was on DeviantArt and I would jump in the air and my drawing got over 10 favorites. So I mean, I know a lot of people go oh, how are you motivated? How did you stay motivated if you didn’t have a lot of followers? Um, for me, it was community and just being around other people and drawing together with them making up stories and collaborating and doing our trades. Yeah, that was, that was for me what made it fun, very social aspects, I realize it’s not, you know, the actual satisfaction of seeing something on paper as much. Sometimes it’s just as simple as, like, actually enjoying the physical aspect of drawing. Like, there’s nothing more amazing than a crisp ink line on a piece of paper, just like the textures just makes me happy. I don’t know, we’re just like the act of drawing and just kind of starting with a blank canvas and putting colors on it. And that sort of stuff, like, digitally or traditionally, just fun. I think it’s a hobby

Iva Mikles  

shouldn’t be definitely, yeah, people should enjoy or like everyone in our audience, like they should just tried out what they like, and yeah, if they don’t like whatever they are doing now, they should try something else. Yeah, definitely.

Cyarine  

And if you don’t like doing I mean, backgrounds, why the hell we should do backgrounds. Because I know a lot of food like, that was like my first one of my first thoughts. I was like, I don’t enjoy drawing backgrounds as much. Now I do again, it comes down truly, always will change. But I was like, here, I can just be character artists like I for one. Now I just think back on I don’t like that. But back then everybody was like, if you don’t draw a background, your drawing isn’t complete. It was like, Yeah, that makes sense. That’s definitely how it works. Like, I am not going to complain about someone drawing like the radiators, or lamps or Herma. Like airplanes. If it was normal, you want to draw it. And that’s not something that you want to draw. Yeah, that makes a lot of it sounds really stupid. But I know that you should try to be more fair, a little bit more varied. But if you want to specify your specific skills on something, why the hell not? It’s still your artwork, if there is an audience for it, if there if you even if there was no audience for it, even if you can make no money with it. I don’t think that should be your primary drive. If you want to be a professional artist, obviously, there’s ways there’s things being said about being varied and having different sort of skill sets. But there’s also something about being specialized in something. It’s, it’s what people will hire you after for after roles. Oh, yeah,

Iva Mikles  

definitely, yeah. Because when you choose something, then you put your heart in it. So it’s like your best work because you enjoy doing that.

Cyarine  

I used to feel guilty, I used to feel really bad about drawing backgrounds, I don’t know, it’s something so specific. Like them, because I don’t worry as much about it anymore. I used to have. I mean, I used to feel like such a chore because I was like I have to do it to be a real artist. And now that I have put away that mindset, I’m just like, oh, I want to draw whatever want to draw, I get inspired by backgrounds that I get inspired by settings and that sort of center. Like I want to draw this, because I will it will make me happy if I can do it. So I think that is really important.

Iva Mikles  

And do you have something now, which simplifies your life, something maybe you started to do every day, or like a meditation or sport or yoga, or maybe it can be also just some tool or you know, as you said, like watching TV or video games.

Cyarine  

I’m a little bit lazy. So I don’t tell the sports, I should know, like any tool or any specific thing that’s helped me. I’m still getting health care, I’m still not out of out of treatment now. So that’s good. But I still get a lot of help. I still have professionals, which is great. That’s okay, that’s Seamus stigma. I have been talking about getting back into therapy because I want to get specific help for some of the issues that build up over time because there’s definitely still things to tackle. But already having counseling has just really helped me. I have weekly counseling sessions, sometimes even more than that. And I needed to get over that I needed to feel ashamed about needing more. So so that’s just like a really heavy sort of example, but that really helped me a more simple thing. I don’t know. There’s not something that I have like think about as a ritual. I mean, I sit on Discord a lot. I noticed discord has helped me a lot with feeling less lonely as a freelancer and I talk to mostly non artists. My Discord server is a server with very, very people, and we are pretty much on there every day. As sometimes were inactive for a couple of weeks, but I’ve been in there for about a year now. And just talking while I’m working, and doing other stuff around the house, really helps me stay social and keep them less hyperfocus mind or just the art community and just freelancing and just art as a job. Because I don’t really go out very much. And I don’t do much other things when I’m traveling. It’s always for conventions and for business related things. So, making friends outside of the art community has helped me

Iva Mikles  

when you mentioned also the conventions Do you have like favorite conventions you go to or something when your fans can see you in the near

Cyarine  

future. I mean, there’s a convention really nearby my house, which is what I call in the Netherlands, I was there last month, that is a convention that I just really enjoyed, because it’s something that I go to every year, it’s like, it’s a small convention, but I know pretty much everyone there and I’ve been going there since I was younger. So that’s a different sort of convention, I feel like I’m going there as as a person as like Mike itself, rather than an artist. I haven’t really been visiting a lot of conventions abroad, so I don’t have much experience with it yet. I really enjoyed going to summer in a city, which was a YouTuber convention, because it wasn’t I don’t watch a lot of anime, so I don’t really connect with the anime convention crowd very much. Um, and I don’t read a lot of comics, the Comic Cons also don’t really apply to me, no comic cons or pop culture events are mostly now. So it really varies sort of content doesn’t really matter anymore. So I think the Comic Con is so far, like the biggest convention that I’ve gone to where I’m like, okay, the content that is on there, I really enjoy. But atmosphere wise, I’ve been like punished is so much fun. So we’re gonna see it was cool, because of the people that I met there being a convention abroad that I went to. And I’m going to Japan weekend in Madrid soon, going there next in two weeks, actually already is coming soon. And I wouldn’t really want to go to conventions in the US because I know that there’s the convention scene as the biggest over there. And most of my followers are there

Iva Mikles  

CTN maybe, oh, sorry, CPM in November.

Cyarine  

I wish I could go there. No, I don’t think I’ll be able to attend. But I really want to go to New York Comic Con. That’s like my all time cool. MCM London seems really fun to me as well, chemistry wise, but I’ve never attended. I would be open to recommendations, people have requests for me to attend certain places. Because I always get questions like, Are you going to discount it go to this con, will I be able to buy your prints? Let me know. I always tell this people and also I can’t afford to travel and take all my stuff usually. So I have to kind of rely on convictions that want me over as a guest. Which, which I’m honored by, because I get more and more requests to attend. But yeah, I always, always let people know that they can suggest guests as well. So if you really want your favorite artists over, just send an email. I mean, I do that for my friends a lot as well. I generally just message their Facebook pages or the Twitter’s and I’m like, hey, this artist is really popular here. And I really enjoyed our content. Would you be interested in inviting them over? That’s why I do I do that for friends that I would want to meet? Because I mean, if they’re famous artists, and I know them, I know that way we can hang out easier. So I kind of I kind of using it. Sorry for that. But also, I did it for people that I look up to a lot and I actors and people that I think are cool. Yeah.

Iva Mikles  

Yeah. Because of course, like, well, you know, someone that is a great artist and you want to see them there is a convention like why would you call like, contacted the person organizing. So yeah,

Cyarine  

when I was younger, I didn’t realize that you could actually do this, but the convention wants to make it a convention that people will enjoy. So they listen to the people. It’s really as simple as that.

Iva Mikles  

And let’s talk about the future. And I would like to know what would be your like dream scenario around five, five to 10 years, you know, if you cannot fail, you’re not afraid of anything and like, Okay, this is how it is. No, I’m

Cyarine  

just kind of I am keeping a really open mind to things. I really have just plans for next year. That’s it. I’m trying to save money because I get a lot of job offers now but I don’t know how my health is going to be. I might go back to being unable to work. work. So I am kind of making sure that I have some money saved up, and that I’m investing in things that will last me a long time. So I don’t spend a lot of money to ever really live on a very low amount of money. A lot of people always ask me, oh, you’re always going to such cool places. I always tried to sleep with friends get really cheap tickets. I’m really glad I’m small. Because I always have enough limp room in cheap air planes and that sort of stuff. Like when you have the cheaper flights, you know, that sort of stuff. I mean, I can stand up underneath the cabinets. That’s how short I am. So I’m happy. But out. Yeah, I don’t know, I just, I tried to be as fiscally responsible for now. Because I don’t really have a very clear perspective on the future. I honestly didn’t have any perspective at all. So I’m just glad that I can plan ahead a year now. And that I have a house to live in. for a longer amount of time, I was always moving around, I was in treatment for such a long time. I genuinely I genuinely didn’t have like an actual house where I lived. I lived in healthcare, it’s like, it’s like, almost like staying in a hotel. You are just in that room and you have your stuff there. But I never really felt at home and less placed by apartment where I lived, it was a temporary place because the buildings were really old. And they were gonna demolish them at one point. Now they’re not doing anyway, because there’s so many people looking for cheap housing. But I finally got to this place, which is a newly renovated Little House in the city. So happy about. And it just made me feel a lot more like okay, now I need to save up. And make sure that for the future, I have a little bit more perspective. But I’m happy, I’m happy that there’s at least a little bit a year for me is a big deal. Five years, I don’t know, I can say all these things, but I don’t really want to make myself like, unhappy by not being able to make these goals. So I know, it’s good to plan ahead. Definitely. I try to not do it in my case, specifically because of my health. No, that’s yeah.

Iva Mikles  

And then more in the far, far future, if we think about like, what would you like to be remembered for? It’s more like a deep question. But something like yeah, if you have something in mind,

Cyarine  

I don’t really want to be remembered, I think I I just want to make an impact while I do this sort of stuff. And I want to make sure that I am as kind as possible to as many people as I can. What I do want to try and do is teach in a certain way, I don’t want to be a teacher. But I want to, because of my experience with autism and healthcare, I do want to work in that at one point. Even if it’s just going to be like a temporary workshop every week or something for a certain amount of time, like a limited amount of time, that already is something that I just really want to do. Because I don’t know I, I just want to do something that I feel qualified for. And feel like I have something to say about and I do have experience in because when I was younger, being in such a difficult situation, you just don’t want to hear from someone in an entirely different life experience. Like this is how you’re supposed to do it. So I think it will be something that I genuinely have, like actual weight in. So I’ve kind of been focused on that in some way or form that I want to do that in future. And that’s hopefully what I will be remembered for. Not for having autism, because that’s stupid, but I hope to at least do something for the kids that are in the shoes of Mike itself.

Iva Mikles  

Yeah, definitely. Because it would be great if they’re someone who already have experience and they feel closer to that person or you right if you would come there and making them happy also with the drawings or something that’s like perfect, that’s amazing. Yeah. And I’m really happy that you took time from your busy schedule to join us here. There was so much inspiration and tips. Thank you so much.

Cyarine  

I hope it’s someone okay, because I always worry so much. I’m like after this interview, I kinda have to, because I think this is really important to share. Let’s break down like this sort of image than I might have portrayed in this interview. After this I’m gonna reconsider everything I just I’m just gonna have like a mental breakdown just gonna sit there like didn’t come up pies didn’t come up. The Garmin ego did I come off? Maybe too humble that I did didn’t say anything. Weird. Did I say anything rude or anything? So if that is the case, I just want to get that out there. I hope it was useful. I hope it was somewhat interesting. And I hope it didn’t sound any like, like I took things for granted or stupid or anything I don’t really worried.

Iva Mikles  

No, it’s just from your experience. And I think that’s totally great. And before we say goodbye, maybe you can share, like last piece of advice or guidance kind of just going through your art career.

Cyarine  

Okay, um, one piece of advice is that nobody knows what they’re doing. I know that a lot of people have said this before me, but specifically the community. I know that there’s, I put people on a pedestal all the time. But especially once again, going back to the former Castel factory, meaning those artists that I looked up to for a long, long time, being in a room with them, drawings, nerve racking, it was it was so I was so nervous. But they were nervous as well. Pico was in the corner, he was literally shielding his sketchbook from me, he was like, don’t look at it done. I was so embarrassed. I was like, Are you kidding me? You’re so amazing. You’re such a big influence on me. Are you absolutely joking. He’s like, those are ugly studies. I was a saver. She’s there, like, look at my stuff, don’t look sketchy, like throwing away sketches all the time. Everybody feels like that. And I think transparency and sharing that we feel like that is really important. And I want to do that in my YouTube channel in the future. And I hope other people, other artists will do that as well, because I Yeah, that makes it makes it just a lot more comfortable. And it makes the work experience a lot more fair as well. Because if we share our experiences as a freelancer or working for companies or anything else, we’re open about it to a certain extent, because there’s certain things that you’re legally not allowed to be open about, like, I think race and stuff you’re not supposed to talk about very much with. When it comes to freelancers, I don’t know how it technically works. But, you know, as long as we’re open about it a little bit, but a feelings about our experiences, everybody’s going to grow from it. And there’s room for everybody in the industry, don’t worry about having to tear each other down. For one big happy family, hopefully, I know that there’s a lot of people who worry about competition, but if we raise each other’s raise each other up, we don’t have to compete as much because the industry will be healthier, and we’re going to be paid better. And we’re gonna be much happier in the end. So

Iva Mikles  

go totally agree and hoped also these interviews will help young artists or anyone who wants to do more and just be inspired. And just so we’ll help each other succeed, you know, and inspire each other. I think that’s great. Yeah. So, so thanks again for being Thank you for having me.

Cyarine  

It was really fun.

Iva Mikles  

Thanks, everyone for joining and see you in the next episode. Yeah. Thanks. Hope you guys enjoy this interview. You can find all the 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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