Fight the lockdown through mixed-media collaborations.
During a quiet period when commissions aren't coming in, many illustrators would agree that brushing up on your skills or learning a new art form would be a good use of free time.
Not mentioned as much but equally valid is the art of collaboration, something which the current boom in video conferencing and remote working was designed for.
There really has never been a better time to reach out to peers and heroes on Instagram and propose working together on a piece for fun; these artists below have been doing it for a while, so let them teach you in the ways of creative collaboration.
Making magic with Marmaladica
Marmaladica is an ace at original art and fan art work, the latter often devoted to their passions of Black Butler, Sailor Moon and One Piece.
I love to collaborate with friends as my biggest joy is to draw for people I like. The same goes for artists I adore and find as my inspiration.
For the process we first chat and discuss the topic, like fan art for a show we both enjoy or another specific theme.
We plan a deadline for the month after with no pressure; I do pretty much an art trade. Others love to mix their line style with my colouring style, or vice versa.
We then send the finished art via e-mail. I never open it until I'm done with my part. That's the most exciting time!
Oh wow, it's Owakita
Influenced by Ghibli films, ukiyo-e, impressionism and colour therapy, environment artist Elora Pautrat (@Owakita) loves to create illustrations inspired by Japanese woodblock prints with a modern twist and a soothing colour palette.
I love to collaborate with other artists because their art really brings something special to my background. I mainly focusing on landscapes and to be honest, I haven't done any character art in super long. It's not something I really enjoy doing, so I'm always super impressed when people can draw characters with their own style.
I love mixing styles; after all my own is a mix of several inspirations as well! It's also a great way to reach different audiences; on the personal side it's a very cool way to get to know some artist better.
Natasha (@Sadshrimps) and I reached out through Instagram and both expressed we'd like to collaborate. It helped us meet together in Japan and we eventually became good friends! Her work is warm and cheerful, it has that 'slice of life' vibe and I deeply love it. I'm always super happy when I look at it.
Usually with collaborations we first talk about what we'd like to create, what we have in mind, what colour palette. The artists I collaborate with usually focus on character art so the process for me is pretty straightforward. After we agree on what we'd like to create, I work on a background then send them the PSD file so they can work over it (and sometimes change the colour palette if they need it to fit a specific colour scheme for their Instagram page).
Ceramics and video with SADSHRIMPS
I'm Natasha Elle, most people call me Elle! SADSHRIMPS is truly my escape and platform to explore all the types of art I want to do. To put simply, it's a combination of art and statement wearables; all cute and edgy at the same time. I created this brand with the idea of making each piece bold and I try to encourage my audience to embrace that and to be bold with their fashion too.
I love collaborating with my friends and fellow artists mainly because I'm a fan of mixed-medium art. The idea of making something come to life by combining different styles of art really excites me and makes me want to try different things all the time. But I don't get to do it as often as I'd like to!
So far, I've collaborated with people I know personally so communication and the making process goes pretty smoothly. My collab with Elora was a digital art piece made into a video with fading characters in a backdrop inspired by Kyoto. We both really wanted to make something together as she loves drawing the atmosphere and I love drawing people – we're literally a perfect match!
That piece really came together so smoothly like magic, I really think we could do them more often and even try animating the whole thing.
My other favourite collab would be a ceramics collection made with my friend Rei Made Potty (below). It's a medium I've never explored before but through that project I've learnt so much about ceramics.
I love digital art but there's something so satisfying about holding a solid handmade object, and I'd like to explore more mediums like that.