In case you hadn’t already guessed by looking at her lovely character drawings, Madie arts loves clean lines and cozy couches. There is a huuuge pool of charming individuals living in her mind at all times, planted there by the movies, games, and books she greedily consumes. But mostly, she loves coming up with her own characters, because that’s what heroes do.
We sat down with her to talk about everything that inspires and motivates her. And, much like her designs, her answers were clear and colorful in equal measure:
Where are you from? Does this place influence your art?
I was born in Lisbon, Portugal, where I currently live. It’s a very sunny and vibrant country with tons of history and culture.
I suppose most artists are influenced at least a little by their birth country, but in my case, I’ve taken inspiration from stories, places, characters and ideas from all over the world.
When did you start drawing and painting?
I’ve been doing it for as long as I can remember, to be honest. Ever since I was a child, my parents realized I had this passion, so they were always very supportive. They nurtured my interest and allowed me access to the tools and classes that would help me improve my skills with time.
I studied design and traditional art in school and university, which gave me a good sense of some basic concepts. But most of what I have learned was self-taught, especially in the area of character illustration, which is where I like to focus most of my time. My love for the arts is what’s kept me involved in the field for many years growing up, and I know this passion is for life.
Speaking of drawing characters, do you have a favorite movie or book character you like drawing the most?
It mostly depends on what’s going on in my life.
Sometimes I take inspiration from entertainment that I’m consuming at the moment, characters or stories that impacted me deeply in the past, while other times, I might be inspired by visiting a location. I love drawing fan art from shows, movies, or games because I can actually sketch and draw while watching them.
For example, I’m really into the House of Dragon show at the moment, so of course this inspired me to draw some of the characters. Another example is that whenever I travel to a Disneyland park, I love sketching some of my favorite characters on location.
In general, however, I primarily draw my original characters. I love creating characters with something to say, adding elements that convey a specific theme, idea, or vibe, or in other cases, by elaborating and creating backstories for them.
Do you have a favorite spot where you love to create?
I usually prefer to draw on the couch while consuming entertainment. There’s something genuinely comfortable and cozy about that for me.
But when I’m not home, I also like to draw in beautiful places surrounded by nature.
Sometimes I also draw in outdoor coffee spots. However, I prefer to draw alone or in the company of my boyfriend since I get easily distracted by people.
I get too self-conscious about my art when others are observing me.
Did your style change over the years?
Oh yes, my style has evolved a lot over time.
I was always inclined towards a specific art style based on clean, simple yet elegant shapes.
I have explored quite a bit since then to get where I am today, with a stronger focus on a more organic approach to textures, and a free-form of expression in both my line work and my shading.
I’m always learning, so even though I’m happy with how my style looks now, I’m always keen on improving by evolving my approach and techniques.
Do you have other hobbies besides drawing?
I like working with other materials and mediums like resins, sculpture, and oil or ink painting.
Besides that, I also love to travel, especially to places where nature is prominent, like parks, forests, and lakes. Like anyone else, I also enjoy going to the movies or hanging out with friends.
As a content creator, most of my time is dedicated to my business. Fortunately, there are many exciting opportunities to grow and be creative in the market right now.
But I try to have at least one day off to go out and have fun with my boyfriend and friends.
It’s essential to have balance in life. Speaking from experience, there is such a thing as overworking yourself to exhaustion. And when that happens, the cost is great, both to your mental health and productivity. So my advice to anyone wanting to become a full-time artist is to keep a healthy balance and give yourself time to breathe.
What other advice would you give to beginner artists?
Besides the obvious, which everyone probably knows already, it’s good to practice as much as possible, but it’s also crucial to use references and expand the visual library and culture living in your mind.
Another thing that can be considered more subjective, and took me a long time to accept and realize, is that you should follow your passions and do what you want to do, especially in the creative field. Just try to always do your best and keep learning and improving. Take any negative advice that threatens to take you away from your passion with a grain of salt.
What works for someone else might not be good for you. Instead, focus on your own path.