Tara Segars is out of this world

groovywitch

It takes a lot of courage to share what you’ve made, but don’t stop doing it.  Love your work and other people will, too.

About Tara by Tara:

Tara, 20. Fantasy enthusiast, artist, aspiring nerd.

Questions: 

AH: You are seriously insanely talented. Has this always been?

TS:  I think it’s common for artists to be told that they’ve got “natural talent”, which I don’t always agree with.  A lot of the art that you see is the result of years and years of practice and sweat and tears.  Most artists start off with the same skill level, and natural “talent” only plays a little part in your journey.  I didn’t start seriously drawing until ninth grade (I was not good at it), and I only started because I had a friend who was super into it and I wanted to be just as good as her. My first sketchbook is full of characters from anime that I was big into, and some of my own original characters.  But I started off printing off doll bases and tracing over them with my own characters (if you do that, please credit the artist!), and used that as a way to gradually learn how to draw for myself.  The day that I drew my first picture without a reference is still one of the best days of my life.

After that, I continued to push myself, and try to imitate other styles until I developed my own. I got my first tablet a couple of years later, and spent about a year teaching myself how to work digitally. Sometimes I’ll stream myself making an illustration, and I’ve found that that, along with the feedback from my viewers will help with issues I’m having. I’m still growing, my style is constantly changing, but I’m having fun with it and experimenting with different ways to produce my art!

AH: Who are some of your biggest influences?

TS: My dad is my biggest influence! He’s always been incredibly supportive of my art. When I go to conventions, he helps with my table, and his reactions are always genuine when I gift him with things that I’ve made.  I drew him a Star Wars thing years ago, and he still brags about it to his pals.  All of my art friends are influences because we’re always gushing over each other’s art, and it’s nice to be showered in compliments every once in a while!  Of course, I have a ton of artists who greatly influence my art: Sara Kipin, Vestien, Helen Mask, & Matt Rhodes are a few out of the many.

AH: What is your favorite medium/subject matter? 

TS: I still have an internal struggle over this question, and I’ve been drawing for 8 years now.  I go through phases where I will draw literally everything digitally, but I just bought some fancy blue lead and have been drawing everything traditionally!  I love gold, though. I have so many gold pens (the number’s at 10, but it’s always growing), and I use it in all of my traditional work! As for subject matter: I tend to focus on fantasy characters the most. Specifically: elves.  It’s not always a conscious decision, but it shows up in a lot of my work!

AH: What is your favorite thing about digital art? 

TS: Being able to play around with so many different “mediums”.  If you want your piece to look like it was drawn traditionally, you just need to download a pencil brush! Same with watercolor, or oil, or literally any kind of shape/texture you could imagine.  And you can make your own brushes, to further personalize your work.  Painting digitally is a lot like painting traditionally, and if you spend most of your time learning to paint digitally, you can usually turn around and use the same techniques in a traditional piece.  I don’t tend to delve into full blown paintings, though, since my work is more illustrative. I work in Photoshop CS6, with a Wacom Intuos Pro tablet!  

AH: I have used art to express all the parts of me I don’t really get or can’t work through,  what role does art play in your life?

TS: I use my art as more of an escape from reality. I create characters and stories for worlds that don’t exist and invest my time into developing those. Real life can be boring sometimes, and I’d rather spend my time creating places that I can run off to whenever I want. 

AH: If you could give any advice to young artists, what would it be?

TS: Don’t stop doing what you’re doing.  There are days where you will hate everything you create, and sometimes it’ll go on for longer than a couple of days, but everyone goes through that. Create more to push yourself out of that hole.  Keep everything. When I say “everything”, I mean everything. Sketches done on notebook paper, things that you consider to be “bad art”, your digital work, studies, everything! It’s a nice resource to use when you’re stuck in one of those holes and need a reminder of how far you’ve come in your art, and how much you’ve grown.  Don’t be afraid to show off your bad work! Post everything to your social media! It’s a way to show that you accept all of your art for all of its mistakes, and you’re not afraid to show that off.  Most of the art that you see online is only a portion of that artist’s works; it usually doesn’t include their sketches or bad work, so don’t get discouraged! Everyone has bad art (even the professionals)!

It takes a lot of courage to share what you’ve made, but don’t stop doing it.  Love your work and other people will, too.

AH: Tell me all about the conventions you have worked with/will be working with.

TS: I just recently started vending at conventions!  I try to stick with smaller ones, because I’m still not confident enough to expand into the world of large conventions. My first con was Hamacon, last June, and it’s been my favorite one so far! I started doing them because I wanted to see if my work would sell, but now I’m doing it because people genuinely love it, and getting to interact with them while they talk to me about my art is one of the best things! I’ll have people come up and say something like, “I’ve seen this on Tumblr, and I love it!”, and it’ll take me by surprise because people have seen it.  It’s still a weird feeling, but getting to hear someone say that they love your stuff in person is so much better than reading it online.  My next convention is Magic City Con in Birmingham in June, and I’m excited for it!

AH: Tell me about your love for space and how it plays in your work.

TS: Oh man. I’ve always been obsessed with space, and just the idea that there could be life somewhere out there. I use it in my art as a way to place myself in that kind of setting. It’s my own personal way of exploring space for myself. We’re just a little blip on the radar, there’s a whole universe that’s been unexplored! My love for it just got worse when I played Mass Effect (for all of my gamers out there, pls play it, it’s so good, I love it so much).

AH: What is the best part about getting an art degree? What is the worst? 

TS: Ohohohohoho. The best part is that I love creating so much that I’m not stressed or upset about taking 17 hours of studio classes, because I’m literally in the studios all day, every day. (Usually on the weekends, too). The worst part? I didn’t start off in the art program, I started off in Animal Sciences, and set myself back by a couple of years by switching.  And I feel like the art program at my school caters to a specific type of art, and I’m not getting the most out of it that I could get from a school that offers Game Design, or Illustration as majors. I’ve met so many beautiful people through the program, though, and it’s nice to see how people so different can interact through art.

AH: What is your creative process like?

TS: I listen to video game soundtracks (usually the Skyrim playlist on Pandora, or the Mass Effect one), most of the time, but I do have a Spotify playlist that I will occasionally listen to! I usually make my best sketches during class, rather than paying attention, which isn’t a good thing (pay attention in your classes, kids). A lot of the time, I’ve just gotta be in the mood to draw something & that usually comes out of nowhere, whenever.

My characters! I could go on all day about how much I love my characters, but I won’t do that because I do it enough on all of my social media. Most of my characters come out of the games that I play, and I just start putting them into my own stories after that!  I almost never have a story in mind when I create a character, though.  I’ll just draw a character, and if I like them enough, or if I draw them enough, I’ll find a name for them and then figure out a story. It’s a super backwards process that I go through.

AH: How do you think that social media has helped/hindered your art? 

TS: I’ve met some beautiful artists on there! Actually, most of my art friends were met online, through our characters. It can get a little discouraging sometimes, though. If I have people constantly reblogging my art, but never putting comments in the tags or anything, then I start to feel like my art is being taken for granted, & almost like the viewers expect me to create art for them.  That’s why I’ve recently been pulling away from my fanart to create more original things for myself.  You just need to remind yourself that you don’t need to create because you feel like you need to, but that you need to create things for you.

AH: Any last words?

TS:  Don’t tear down someone else’s art just to justify you feeling bad about your own. And don’t make fun of things that that people find inspiring because you may have just killed off a future artist. Have fun with your art! Experiment! Show it off! Toot your own horn as much as you want (be your own support system)!! 

A playlist by Tara:

You should follow her on everything:

Insta: taranovae

Twitter: @taranovaes

Tumblr:   http://taranovae.tumblr.com/

BUY ALL HER STUFF:

https://www.etsy.com/shop/TaranovaIllustration

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