Digital Artist Ruby Caurlette On Her Eye-Catchingly Glossy Portraits

Digital artist Ruby Caurlette joins us on Close-up Culture to chat about digital artwork, having to practise her skills in secret and the importance of support online.

Q: Can you tell us about the first time you tried digital illustration?

A: I grew up in a family interested in art. My father graduated from the Faculty of Arts and his mother is a talented painter.

Anyway, my older sister was starting to paint with the support of my father. I wasn’t encouraged to express myself in anyway as a child. I can’t lie, I was jealous of my older sister a bit. I wanted to find out my ability too, although I never imagined I would be an artist someday!

Later my sister and I decided to save our money to get a graphic tablet without our parents knowing, it was our little secret. Over time we started practice on the device and I started to dig deeply into digital art, but my sister still preferred traditional art.

Q: What kept you interested in digital art?

A: For someone messy like me, it is amazing that all the tools you need are in one place. You also don’t need to consume many tools or resources to practice drawing, I sometimes draw seven sketches per day! You can imagine how expensive it would be if I were to use traditional art. There are unlimited experimental possibilities in digital painting.

Q: Your style usually consists of semi-realist portraits with popping colours and a glossy touch. Can you tell us more about your style and how it is developing?

A: I like the idea of creating something between reality and imagination. A work that is inspired by reality and then returned to reality in another way. Since I was a child, I have always been attracted to lustre and glitter. It is amazing how this glow brings life to things.

Q: You have an impressive following on Instagram. How important has social media been to your journey as an artist so far?

A: Well, I didn’t get any attention or recognition from my family because they didn’t know I was practicing for two years.

I’m here because of my followers. Talent alone is not enough to make you persevere and develop – after all I don’t believe in talent! I didn’t pick up a paintbrush until I was 12 years old, but I am an artist right now. Practice with a little patience is enough to be an artist.

But the role of followers comes in here. It is totally fine if you don’t have a huge number of followers. It is just important to have someone who supports you and cares for you. Someone to applaud you when you succeed and someone to hold your hand when you fall down.

This is the importance of followers. They are a blessing, not a number.

Q: What do you usually look for when picking out references for your work?

A: As an artist, references are very important to me. Usually I like to choose a reference that fits the style of the colour pallets or even the poses.

Q: I imagine a lot of your references would be thrilled to see your work. Have you had any notable interactions with references?

A: All the reactions so far have been very sweet. One of the model asked me to let her print my drawing to put it on her wall. Another invited me to drink tea with her and draw with her because she is an artist too!

Q: What are your hopes and ambitions for the future?

A: I hope I can develop my own style and refine it as a painter because I really
appreciate when people tell me that I inspire them and they look forward to my drawings.

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