My name is Lauren. I am a freelancer fantasy and horror illustrator based out of southern New Jersey.
I am fascinated by strange beauty, the brutal elegance of the universe, and creepy dead things. Apparently it carries over a bit into the artwork.
Also, I have cats.
FREQUENTLY Asked Questions
-For my digital work, I use a Wacom Intuos 4 graphics tablet. The programs I use are Adobe Photoshop CS4 and Corel Painter 8.
-Any version of CS Photoshop and any version of 8 or higher of Painter is good to work with. Any Wacom tablet is good, too. I do not have experience with Cintiq models or non-Wacom brand tablets.
-I taught myself Photoshop starting at age 14/15 (late 2001).
-I do not have any super secret settings, techniques, or brushes. My use of PS and Painter is pretty bare-bones. No masks, channels, or fancy brushes. 80% of my painting is done with 2 or 3 brushes in each program. If you want to learn to paint digitally, you have to learn to paint. Any shortcuts that exist are only helpful (i.e. look good) if you know what you're doing.
EDUCATION / LIFE:
-I have a BFA in painting (traditional), but I will not talk about or recommend college programs because it was a waste of time and money. I still consider myself about 75% self-taught. I encourage people to look into programs run by actual working illustrators, like SmART School, Schoolism, and the Illustration Master Class, or into reputable ateliers if they are more interested in a fine art approach.
-If you must go into a college program, find one that stresses foundation skills: composition, color theory, figure drawing. Also take time to learn the business side of things!
-YES, I will finish my Skin Tutorials. The core tutorials will be free to the public, but I will need to crowdfund them and accordingly will have expanded versions available via Gumroad or a similar platform. Part 2 will be overhauled and expanded--at least 4 new natural skin tones, plus several fantasy/unnautral skin tones, and then Part 3 and 4 (or however it ends up being split up) will be completed. I also plan to continue doing tutorials in the future via Gumroad or a crowdfunding platform like Patreon. If you follow me on any social media platform, you will know when all this happens because I will make a huge fuss about it. Stay tuned...