Wednesday, March 16, 2022
Exchanges with Deyanira Gauna:
1. Who are you and what do you do?
Hello, my name is Deyanira Gauna, I’m 23 years old and I’m a digital artist. I got my hands on my first ever drawing tablet when I was only about 12 years old, and that’s all I’ve been really doing ever since.
2. What motivates you to create?
I think the most genuine answer I can give to that question is seeing other people create works of art. I first learned about digital art when I was really young, you know I found out about it through YouTube when other artists would make videos or “speedpaints” as they’re most commonly named, of themselves making art on programs like Photoshop or Paint Tool Sai which was very popular back in the day, and still is. Before I ever had a drawing tablet, I could only ever hope to have one one day and I always thought to myself how cool it would be to create characters with such colorful designs, so that was always my goal is to create expressive character designs.
3. How do you work?
In order for me to work, I honestly have to have a lot of inspiration. I can go days without touching a canvas and I won’t want to work until I see new work from my fellow art friends or artists who I look up to like Ocean in Space, Madie Arts, or Msbutterd. I think I can work from anywhere, from the comfort of my house, at my job, at a friends house. I feel incredibly lucky to have gotten myself an iPad because before I had one, and before I had my computer and desk, I used to slouch while sitting on the floor drawing on my old drawing tablet connected to my very slow laptop. I did this for seven years, so I think I definitely need to get my back checked out by a doctor haha.
4. What are your ultimate career goals?
My ultimate career goal has to be having my own online store to sell my artwork. If I had been asked this question when I was 15, I would have definitely said working at an animation studio. Which i still wouldn’t mind of course, after all I am working to get my associated in 2D Computer Animation. But for as long as I’ve been illustrating, that’s what I’ve just mainly focused on, is illustrations. Right now as I am 23 years old, I still don’t think I have the experience in animation to get hired at a cartoon or gaming studio. But I think I’ve realized for a couple years now, that I’ve wanted to start a business on my own making and selling my illustrations on prints, stickers, enamel pins, tote bags, etc. Working from home, making what I love, has ultimately been my biggest goal.
5. How do you manage a work-life balance as an artist?
I’m honestly lucky to say that I can get a lot of my artwork done from the comfort of my job haha. Of course, I get most of my work done at home, however my job is very easy going, not much happens when I work, so when I get the opportunity, I whip out my iPad and just start going at it.
6. Do your other interests influence your art?
I think so. My only other main hobby that I do is play video games. I mostly play simulator and survival games, like Minecraft, Stardew valley, The Sims, and Skyrim. A lot of these games allow for you to customize your character, especially The sims, and I can spend hours on just customizing my characters. I can never not have fun when it comes to bringing this imagination of a character to life, and that for my characters in my art as well.
7. Tell me about your techniques for overcoming creative blocks.
Usually my creative blocks aren’t when I don’t have an inspiration in mind, normally it’s when I’m in a rut with anatomy. I’ve been meaning to get out my comfort zone so that I can really do more art that I enjoy, and my biggest struggle is getting anatomy right. I think I’ve got it down fairly well, but when it comes to working with perspective and hyper-dynamic poses, that’s when I really struggle. I’ve felt guilty for the longest time when I look at anatomy references, but all the great animators who’ve worked in the industry have said that you can’t accomplish great anatomy without reference. And I also don’t make art for animation so I guess I can stylize however I want in my illustrations, but getting it right enough is my personal preference.
8. Describe a real-life situation that inspired you?
It would have to be when I was working on my cap-stone project in college. It was an amazing opportunity to work on a production with my fellow classmates that we were all so passionate about. This was during the beginning of COVID, so me and my classmates had to use voice chat in order to get work done with one another because we were all working from home, and it was really great getting to know all of them and sharing our ideas for the cap-stone project. Working as a team really helped me realize that I wouldn’t mind working at a studio someday, so maybe I will work towards getting my bachelors I don’t know, but I wouldn’t trade that experience for the world.
9. What memorable responses have you had to your work?
I think for me it ‘s always when people tell me to share my work online. I have my instagram where I would occasionally share my work on, but as of late I’ve been getting used to the feeling of feeling comfortable with sharing my work. I’m still working on it, but I’ve felt quite scared of showing my illustrations to the world for a while now. I think it mainly has to do with the fact that I feel like I could always improve, and therefor i don’t want to share the improving stages of my work. I think I’m realizing that the longer I wait to share my work, the later I’ll grow an audience who get to enjoy it. I feel like I’m finally allowing myself to feel comfortable with the idea of people wanting to see my art, warts and all. People, and friends, and family who’ve always told me they wanted to see more of what I can do, will hopefully finally be able to now, more consistently.
10. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
I think the best piece of advice I’ve ever been given was to not let life pass you by. I only have one life, and one life to do whatever I want with it. It made me realize that I might end up regretting holding myself back, and that by the time I realize that, life would have already passed me by. Years that I could potentially miss selling my art on my online shop, or at an art alley at conventions, would be wasted because I didn’t take a chance. Or even worse is the thought that your life could be taken away from you when you least expect it, and by then you would never been able to do what you had hoped for. Life is too short to worry about making mistakes, and that’s what it’s meant for, to make mistakes so you can learn from them. As hard as it is to follow, I still consider it to be one of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever been given.