This week’s Feature is digital illustrator Tally Todd. We first spotted Tally on Instagram and love how her page features both traditional sketches and digital art. It is really cool to have a behind the scenes look into how a sketch turns into a digital illustration. Tally has been drawing since she can remember and is relentless about pursuing her passion. It’s an admirable characteristic that all of our Features have. It is never a question if they follow their truest aspirations. Keep reading to check out Tally’s amazing work and learn more about her life as a digital illustrator.
: My name is Natalie ‘Tally’ Todd, and I am a Digital Illustrator from England. I am currently twenty one years old, and in my last year of University, studying Illustration and Animation. I have a love for eccentric characters, and anything related to fairytales or Halloween.
: I’ve been drawing ever since I could hold a pencil, creating art with anything I could try, so I think it was a natural progression to move towards digital materials. It’s a type of art I’d always admired, it looked much cleaner than traditional art, and much more versatile, you can change details at the drop of a hat, which I really like.
: Whether it’s a piece for myself, or a commissioned piece, it’s a pretty similar process. Everything from start to finish is digital, I start off with a very rough sketch, or a number of sketches to choose from, then I go in and refine the sketch as much as I can, with neat and clear lines. After that I block in the colours and values, and then I get painting!
: Honestly you don’t need much at all for digital illustration, it’s just that those things that you do need are much more expensive than a pack of coloured pencils. But there are lots of products available for a cheaper budget, I started drawing digitally using a Wacom Bamboo Graphics Tablet, and Paint Tool Sai, and they suited my every need at that time. Now I use a Wacom Cintiq and Photoshop CS6, which I couldn’t imagine being without at this stage. I think for digital tablets, Wacom are leaders in that field for a reason, they put out an amazing product, but there are a lot of different options, and it all depends on what you want out of digital art.
: Some of the benefits, like I said earlier, it’s much cleaner, and easier to change things. And of course there’s an undo button! Some challenges, well a lot of people have the misconception that digital art is automatically easier than any other form of art, which is altogether wrong. Painting is a very difficult skill, whether you’re working with oils, or a pen and tablet. It can also be quite a skill in itself to draw on a tablet, especially if you have never done so before, there is no friction, with paper you feel the traction under your pencil, but this doesn’t exist with a digital tablet, that can be quite a hard thing to get used to.
: I love a lot of the characters I create, because I love characters and character design as a whole, there’s something so wonderful about different designs and the little details that make then unique. I would definitely say I’m enjoying the character design for my current project, it’s about a young girl attending a school for witches, but in the modern age, I like how she’s quirky and magical, but up to date.
: There is a sketch I did very recently of a girl with asymmetrical hair, a bolo tie, and those glasses with the different flip down magnifying lenses. I love creating weird characters and mixing together lots of things I find visually interesting. It’s hard to nail down the traits I imagined her having because when I get an idea for a character they just appear, and I might tweak them, but in my head they appear as this living character already, I can hear them talk, see how they move, etc. I imagined her as being quite smart, very inquisitive, and quite sarcastic, and quirky.
: This one’s actually a little different as I’m working on the project, but from a different country, as I am based in the UK and they are based in the US. The film I’m working on is going to be an Animated Feature length film based on The Wizard of Oz, called Yellow Brick Road, the animation is going to be in my style of art, and I’ve been able to create the Character Designs, as well as posters for the film. I’m very excited to be part of the project!
: From absolutely everywhere! I love characters, so I can pull a character design out of anything, a television show I’m watching, or a person sat opposite me on public transport. I also love fairytales, halloween, fantasy, and sci-fi, so I like to pull ideas from those areas. Some of the work I find most inspiring is art from illustrators I adore, such as Ronald Searle, and Charles Addams, but I also love Visual Development artwork for animation, I’m currently loving the Art of Tangled, I’m inspired by it all over again, it’s just MAGIC!
: I could not live without a sketchbook, I use a red Moleskine, and it’s just the perfect size to take with me everywhere. I live my life with a pencil in my hand, speaking of which I pretty much exclusively use my trusty Pentel Techniclick Mechanical Pencil, I genuinely think I would drop down dead if I lost it. I couldn’t live without creativity, if I wasn’t able to create artwork, well, I don’t even want to think about it!
: Don’t feel like just because one artist is successful that you have to be like them, what you have to say is just as important and relevant as what anyone else does. Don’t compare yourself to others, take inspiration and some direction, but the best thing you can ever do is let your heart lead the way. If you push yourself to do something you’re not passionate about, the only person you’ll disappoint is yourself, you might as well be doing what you love.