Feb 21,2020 AM 11:32
Once upon a time in Quebec, a girl named Holiday loved reading manga. Like many kids, she read tons of them from the school library, but unlike most manga fans, who usually only went to a few comic cons did a little cosplays, she didn't stop there. She picked up a stylus and got to work.
Holiday(@holidayqk) is the winner of the XP-Pen #xmastreechallenge last December. "I wanted to make something festive, and festive to me meant colorful and vibrant, with lots of things to look at throughout the piece. I tried to use a lot of bright and bold colors and make things look as shiny as I could. The rainbow-colored garland around the Christmas tree in the background was kind of an accident, but it worked well, so I kept it."
Although she got her first drawing tablet around 2009, Holiday didn't start seriously studying digital art until 2016. Like many artists, she never studied at art school or taken classes aside from what she had to take in high school. Everything she knows comes from the books she read. She also follows tons of artists on social media for inspiration and ideas on new things to try.
"At first I just drew manga style, because it was easier and fun. Although real faces and still lifes were a bit boring and rather difficult, I practiced doing more realistic art to improve my skills. But I still prefer more stylized art because I find it more expressive and fun to do, even after learning some still life."
The first time Holiday heard of the XP-Pen was in March 2019 when the Artist 15.6 Pro was brought to her attention. A lot of people say good things about it, and since she had wanted a pen display for a long time and the price was reasonable, she decided to buy one. "I like that XP-Pen tablets tend to be more affordable, while still being as reliable and high quality as similar tablets from other makers. I think they're perfect for those wanting to try using a pen display without the high initial cost."
Holiday currently uses Clip Studio Paint EX with the XP-Pen Artist 22R Pro for all her illustrations. When asked about the most challenging part of her art, she said, "The sketch phase is usually one of the hardest. I'm trying to come up with the pose, expression, and overall composition and it can take a while to get it right. Another challenging part is trying to make the finished drawing reflect the initial feeling I envision for the piece, like making it a cool and vibrant piece, or a softer and gentler piece. Sometimes I manage to get the mood I imagined without too much trouble, and other times it turns out a bit different; that can be fine too."
As she spends most of her time practicing her craft, Holiday also gives advice for those who have never tried digital art: "I think the first thing is probably getting the best drawing tablet that is affordable for you, so that you can enjoy digital art to the fullest. After that, even though digital art is pretty intuitive I think it's still important to get practice, so beginners should find tutorial videos, guides, and books for the things they want to draw, like anatomy, animals, comics, or even particular types of art, from concept art to bishoujo manga. It's also important to find artists you admire so you can have goals to aspire to and inspiration for getting better. Digital art is a very forgiving medium, and there's no ongoing cost of materials, like paint or paper, so experiment a lot! Most of all, make sure to have fun."