Miranda Yeo

Where did you grow up and when did you decide to become an artist?
I grew up in Ontario, Canada. I was never really sure of what I wanted to do after high school. I always enjoyed drawing but I never really thought I could do it for a living. Through researching art schools in the area, I found Sheridan College. I applied to the animation program but was rejected and they suggested the Art Fundamentals course. During my time in that program I figured out what I really wanted to do and I started reworking on my portfolio for the Animation course. 

Have you always been supported in your artistic path or has it been challenging to let your family and friends understand your choice?
My family has always been supportive of my art. Especially my mom, she always asks to see what I’m working on and motivates me to keep going!

What was the strongest influence you had when you were growing up ( artists, movies, cartoons, comics etc.. ) ?
My strongest influence is definitely Disney. I spent a lot of time watching movies like The Lion King and Little Mermaid and trying to freeze frame and draw what I saw on the TV. 

Did you have a favourite subject to draw when you were a child and do you still have one today? If you do, what makes it so special?
I love drawing people – usually female characters. Different hair styles and clothing are my favourite things to draw! As a kid, it was definitely Sailor Moon. So much Sailor Moon. 

What is your process in colouring your art and what type of tools and media do you use?
I use Photoshop for all of my digital work. I usually start off very sketchy, trying to lay down a pose or feeling to the character. I’ll go over it once to tighten it up but I try not to finalize things at this stage. If I’m doing a lineless piece, I’ll go right into blocking the base colours. Usually I’ll do a few variations since I find colour a really hard part of the process. Once I have the base colours down, I’ll add some shadows on another layer on top, followed by some highlights. 

What part of the creation process is the most fun and easy and what part is the hardest?
The funnest for me is the initial stages of drawing. I love coming up with different ideas and having a full page of sketches. The hardest is stepping back and looking at the final result and hoping it still has that life and appeal that it had in the beginning. Sometimes you have to separate yourself from an idea you loved in the beginning and start all over.

Is there something that you have designed that you are most proud of?
When I’m finished with a design, I’m always looking forward to the next thing! I’m usually thinking about what I’ve learned from the process and how I can do it better next time. 

What projects have you worked on in the past and what are you working on at the moment (if you can tell us)?
I worked on My Little Pony, Equestria Girls and Shimmer and Shine. 

What is your longterm career goal and what would your dream project be?
I want to work on fun projects! Working on a feature film is definitely something I dream of doing someday. Right now I’m enjoying working on designing characters for TV. Being able to continue making a living doing that is a dream!

Working for a company or freelancing: what suits you best? And why?
Working freelance has been very good to me. Being in control of your schedule, workflow and deadlines is great. And what’s not to like about being able to work in your own environment? But it can get very lonely at times so I hope to work at a studio again at some point!

What advise would you give to an artist who is dealing with an art-block? How do you boost your imagination and keep yourself creative?
Art block is the worst. Stepping away from drawing for a while usually helps me. I’ll play a game, watch a movie, or look up reference images. When you come back to drawing you’ll feel refreshed and hopefully have some new ideas! Sometimes working through the art block works, other times it’s like running into a brick wall. It’s different all the time.

Many art teachers and schools suggest to their students that a commercial artist should always work in one consistent style if they wish to have a healthy career. In your own experience, do you believe this to be true?
I think it’s important to play with different styles! It’s important to have a style that works for you and that you enjoy drawing in, but I don’t think you should limit yourself to only staying in that box. If you’re working on a production, you’re more than likely going to be asked to draw in a certain style so it’s good to be prepared and confident in recreating certain styles.

What’s your point of view about the industry today: what are the expectation for someone who wants to make a living with an artistic career?
It’s difficult and competitive. You have to put your work out there and push yourself to keep learning and growing. Work hard and don’t lose sight of what you really want. 

Who are the artists who inspire you the most today and what are some of your favourite designs out there?
Some of the big influences are Glen Keane, Chris Sanders, and Miyazaki, There are so many artists out there who inspire me! Brittney Lee, Lorelay Bové, Annette Marnat, Dean Heezen, Bobby Pontillas, Brittany Myers, Brianne Drouhard, Elsa Chang, and Cory Loftis are just a few. Social media really is a treasure trove of inspiring work.

Social networks, crowd funding websites, print on demand online service, you name it. New media on the internet are connecting the artists directly with their fans like never before. In your opinion, how is this affecting the industry and what are the pros and cons?
Every job I’ve had so far has come from social media, so I owe a lot to it! I’m incredibly grateful that people take the time to look at my work or contact me.  Being able to watch an artist’s progress is awesome and I’m inspired every day just by scrolling through various social media sites. It’s easy to be consumed by numbers, likes, faves, or over saturation of kickass art so it’s important to take breaks and focus on creating for yourself.

Finally, Where can we see your art online and get in touch with you? How can we buy your creations and support your work?
I’m most active on my Instagram: instagram.com/snarkies and my Tumblr: snarkies.tumblr.com

Thank you! :)

Thanks Miranda :)