This is Marie Jane, the young, talented and incredibly reliable freelance Illustrator.
Born in ’95, MJ has been creating art non-stop all her life, putting all that she’s learned into everything she does. She’s taught students, organized art shows, performed at the Art Gallery of Ontario, painted murals abroad and her talents were recognized by famous Canadian Actors, Ashley Leggat and Michael Seater.
Check out this Interview with Marie Jane in early 2016 hosted by Lucia Cacciacarro, a Graphic Designer that gathered research on a successful illustrator that was presented at a conference at Seneca College as an example for Student’s and Professors in the creative arts programs to look to for inspiration.
So, Marie Jane. How old are you, and where are you originally from?
“I’m 21. My name is pronounced Mary Jane and I am from right here in Toronto!”
What’s your favourite piece of work that you’ve done so far as a freelancer?
“Hmmm, I have two in mind. My Elemental Enterprises, and my Dawn of the Dragons.”
What is your brand personality?
“I find that it is Convenient, Unique and Unbiased.”
What makes you different from other Illustrators?
“That’s easy, I am flexible. Though I like to follow a formula, there is never rules that I prioritize over the happiness of my clients. Their satisfaction holds more value to me than anything else. I am caring, enthusiastic and affordable. Though I sympathize with my clients, I expect the same from them and always approach business seriously and carefully so that all needs are met.”
Who are your target audience?
“My Preferred type of audience are those in the creative industry in need of concept art however, typically, I provide work for anyone in need of creative skills.”
What are your goals for the future? In terms of work and life.
“Well, as many people already know, I have a character that I’ve been working on since I was a child named Skylar Fox. One of my biggest dreams is to create a graphic novel based around her and if I’m really lucky, I would love to see a TV or movie series come after. I also want to learn more about animation. As for life, well… besides making a living off of my skills, I would love to immigrate to the states. I really love to swim but Canada doesn’t offer any nice beaches.”
What are you doing when you’re not creating? What are your hobbies?
“Well, art is still my hobby. When I get free time, I work on Skylar, find work online for inspiration, and watch movies and videos to educate myself further in the world of entertainment. I am always creating! Besides art though, I have always been a huge lover of the sea. I keep a lot of fish tanks at home, go mermaiding as often as I am able, and plan my next tropical beach vacation. I also enjoy writing! Not professionally though, just for fun. A lot of the time it’s fan fiction (laughs), but that’s another story for another time.”
What would people be surprised to learn about you?
“Hmmm…probably that I’m not crazy about graphic design. Don’t get me wrong, I adore looking at it, it’s awesome art. I just don’t have as much fun creating it. I find it kind of boring.”
Where else do you sell your work?
“I sell my work on my website and social medias. And every now and then I appear at events and conventions. I love being part of all that talent.”
What else should we know about you and your work?
“That I am incredibly easy to work with. I don’t think you’ll find anyone as open minded as I am. I love all work, different types of mediums and I love to learn everyday. I’m very confident in my capabilities and I want to take on any challenge.”
Do you admire any other artists?
“Oh my, yes. I follow a lot of talent that make me so jealous! Some who come to mind from the top of my head are Cyarin, ArtGerm, and Loish. But I also follow a lot of artists behind Disney and other animation studios.”
What’s your favourite colour?
“Since white doesn’t count, I like turquoise/teel/aquamarine.”
Do you remember why you started to like art?
“As a kid, everything I was interested in had a relation to being creative. Movies, music, drawing, making crafts… Every artist started with an inspiration but for me, I think a lot had to do with being distant from my brother and sister. Both were interested in very different things, so I made company with myself through characters on TV and in books.”
Have you ever had an extremely difficult client? How did you handle it?
“I have had my fair share of stubborn clients in the past, but most of it was all due to miscommunication. All of those experiences taught me that I have to work with my clients as though they are my partners and we have to tell it like it is from the very beginning and make sure that everything is clear and all expectations are met from both parties.”
Where and how do you work best? What’s your ideal work environment?
“My favourite place to work is in my studio. I like to have all my supplies at arms length and my computer ready if any research is needed. However, that doesn’t mean I can’t work anywhere else. I love company as well so as long as I have a good surface area to work, I’m ready to go.”
Can you describe someone outside your field who inspires you and tell us why?
“I get two people in mind right away. My father and one of my friends. My dad is a broker and, like me, he’s self employed and it’s hard. I never met anyone who works as hard as he does, puts up with as much as he does and is still able to be such an involved dad who does as much as he does. I adopt a lot of his habits and he is so forgiving, I swear, you can hurt someone close to him and he’ll still find forgiveness in his heart. As for one of my best friends, she inspires me because she’s just so sunny all the time. It is impossible to be negative and angry around her, even when you’re complaining about something, she’ll throw in a joke and finds a way to make it funny. She always looks for the positive in every situation and talking to her keeps me extremely motivated.”
What makes you angry?
Any achievements that you want to share?
“Yes! I just recently finished self publishing my first art book ever called The Art of Marie Jane Works! You can purchase it on my website.”
We have to end the interview, do you have anything else you want to share?
“Um… I think I want to give an honorable mention to Japanese animation and Disney. Both deserve a lot of credit for where I am today and I have to mention that for this interview. Other than that, thanks so much. I appreciate you having me!”
Since the conference, MJ is still going strong, creating works for her clients and slowly making her way to the top as a successful freelancer. Hopefully, MJ will have the honour to work with you in the future and be a part of your team in creating amazing things. To learn more about MJ, follow her on her social media accounts to support her journey on this difficult but wonderful path.