Instagram: @spencerillustrates

1. What’s your story? Where are you from?

Hey! I’m a freelance illustrator and jr art director based in Brooklyn. Going back a little, I actually went to business school despite being an artist my entire life. I eventually hit a breaking point and made the leap. This meant a long journey of making terrible work while teaching myself all the programs and techniques necessary to escape the previous career path I chose. Eventually, my work started to suck a little bit less as I found myself starting to get real gigs and finally found some sort of purpose in what I wanted to do.

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2. Tell us about your aesthetic.

Hmm, lots of characters in weird poses, bright colors, and expressionless heads. When I was younger I only drew portraits and I think I overcorrected by now leaving my characters with simple blank heads. I find it to be a fun challenge to show expression without facial features.

3. What is your favourite medium and why?

If we’re talking my favorite to look at, I love crazy walls and murals. So many amazing artists doing work in a big way. I want to get into that but my iPad is just way to convenient…definitely feeds into my laziness. So I guess if we’re talking about my favorite medium to use, it would have to digital. I think my procreate app has around 25 GB of drawings. It’s just way too easy to use.

4. What is your artistic process like?

My personal work is ideally driven through taking random ideas I have throughout the day, usually on the train/subway, and then jotting them down to execute later. My notes are filled with ineligible ramblings that I can dig through to try and stir up a thought I previously had. Pretty funny stuff too, for example, something like “cloud clothes.”

Realistically my process is a lot of staring at a blank page, scribbling shapes until something either makes sense or it becomes frustrating. I also like to bounce around between projects. I feel like when I hit a wall nothing good can really come out of it until I take a step back.

5. Who and/or what inspires your work?

The little weird moments that happen throughout the day, especially living in New York City. This place is so wacky and stirs up so many different emotions from so many different kinds of people. Anything from the people on the subway to a pigeon landing on your window can whip up an idea.

6. What role does art play in your life? How does it change the way you view the world?

It gives me peace of mind to know that no matter how bad of a day I’m having, I can always wind down by drawing my weird little characters that people like for some reason.

It also gives me a greater appreciation towards random things out in the world. Whether it’s an illustration on a subway ad or a funky looking building, knowing that someone’s passion and artistic vision brought that to life is pretty cool.

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7. Where did you study?

I mentioned this briefly earlier but to be specific, I went to Fordham University which is a pretty business-oriented college in NYC. I went in majoring in finance. Why? Not really sure, but it was some internal voice that was telling me I couldn’t seriously consider becoming an artist. I think I was afraid I wouldn’t make enough money or not be good enough.

8. Where do you see yourself in five years?

Working out of my own little studio, or in a shared space with some inspiring creative folks. I’d like to get to a place where I can be super picky about the projects I take on and maintain a constant stream of fulfillment. Would also like to adopt a good doggo.

9. What about in ten?

This is a scary question, but I definitely hope to work on some crazy passion projects. I have a ton of appreciation for those creatives who don’t limit themselves to a certain craft and just make whatever they feel like. I hope to paint walls, work on an animated short, maybe a live-action film etc. But I’ll definitely always be drawing and considering that my main thing.

10. What do you hope to achieve with your art?

I really just want to stir up a conversation with whatever I make and give whoever sees it that little extra feeling of conceptual thought. I think that’s something I’m still building towards but I’m trying to get to a place where the thought behind a piece is louder than just being a pretty picture.

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11. Now, tell us a little more about you as a person: what is your favourite food?

Crispy Artichokes.

12. Favourite book?

The Walking Dead graphic novels are a classic for me.

13. Favourite genre of music?

Honestly more of a podcast person…but 90’s hip hop if I had to choose.

14. What are your hobbies?

I like to use video games as a way to turn my brain off if I’m stuck on a project so probably that. Sorta like a mental palette cleanser. I also love watching stand-up comedy and have delusions of trying it one day.

15. If you weren’t an artist, what would you be?

I mean I was on that finance path in school, so if I didn’t have my passion for art to take me away from it then I guess something businessy. Wow, that’s weird to think about.

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