Audra Auclair‘s whimsical and dreamy portraits are sumptuous artworks. After developing her style and embarking on a path of creative self-discovery, Audra landed on a style that plays with pop surrealism and fantasy in her own unique way. She sat down to speak with us about her artistic practice, where she finds illustrative inspiration, and her relationship with drawing beautiful, dreamy women.
On finding inspiration:
I've always loved drawing. I was hugely inspired by 'Sailor Moon.' It was the first piece of Japanese animation I had seen as there wasn't much here in Canada. It gave me goosebumps every episode and it really inspired me to draw more. I didn't know in particular what route I was going to take in the art field, but I always knew that it was something to do with drawing.
People tend to focus a lot on style, and personally, it's something that has caused me a lot of frustration in my career. I was taught that it was good to be diverse but I later found that it could actually be a problem to not have a "style." This led me to doing some traveling and self-discovery so I could somehow create this thing that would make me different among the sea of artists. It wasn't until I stopped thinking about having a style that I could actually start developing one. I'm still not sure I have one because I love experimentation too much, but if I do have one, my best advice for artists would be to not focus on it. Experiment with different mediums and make sure you have the basics down pat. If you practice everyday and get good at the fundamentals, the rest should come with time.
On the creative process:
I have a planner where I loosely schedule my work week. I have a day each week set aside for printing/packaging/mailing orders, a day for recording and editing YouTube videos, and the rest of the days I work on my art, promotion, and other tasks related to my "business." This gives me lots of time to come up with ideas. Sometimes I will start with a random sketch and build up on it, oftentimes I won't know what it will become until the very end. Other times I try to be more meticulous about the planning. I will get reference photos and search for inspiration from books, Pinterest, or nature. I don't like being constrained too much in how I do things, because it takes away the fun of it for me. It is all very random and chaotic, usually.
On looking up to other artists:
Hayao Miyazaki is probably who I look up to most in terms of his art, his mind, and his inspiring words. The man is walking inspiration and he is not ashamed to be bitter and honest. Miyazaki is a hard worker, he is so down to earth regardless of his success, he is an environmentalist, and has the same wishy-washy creative process that I do. Fiona Staples is probably a fave comic artist of mine. She is humble, beautiful, and talented.
On drawing women:
There are often times I want to draw things with a message, but other times I just want to draw what I dreamed I could be or I will let my hand/brain do its thing and usually it's a woman. I find women so beautiful in every form and I drew them so often growing up because I wanted to be one of the pretty girls I saw on 'Sailor Moon,' or one of the girls I drew, so drawing them now is therapeutic for me. I don't have to think much when I draw them. I get asked if I draw men, I do, but I prefer to draw women probably for the same reason so many boys grew up drawing superheroes. Maybe sometimes we draw what we want to become.