Anush Banush is a senior high student about to enter college. She’s the head artist in her high school’s magazine, and has won international art contests, such as the T-Shirt design contest for the show Bee and Puppycat for WeLoveFine. She also participates in various art projects such as zines, cons, and the like. She has yet to start her own Mythology Class-inspired comic, but already has online shops where she sells her artwork. You can visit her shops at RedBubble, and INPRNT. Anush also enjoys playing games (even though she’s very new to it and is probably kind of bad at it), watching movies (including old classics like Gone with the Wind, though her favorite will forever be sci-fi), collecting toys (particularly designer toys like KidRobot and Tokidoki), reading books (Indie comics and art books) and, of course, drawing! You can visit her Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Tumblr to see more of Anush’s work.
I actually started drawing ever since I was two, and my grandma saw my potential. She would buy me paints and canvases whenever she came back from her trips. Even though I wasn’t all that good back then (well at least in my perspective now haha) she would never scrimp on me when it came to buying art materials. So at 4 years old, I was already painting with oil before acrylic, and it was probably this overwhelming support from her that made me think that if my paintings can make one person happy then I wanna make tons of paintings to make more people happy. It was then that I realized ‘Oh this is what I wanna be when I grow up’.
Q: From that moment, and throughout your journey as an artist, what has been your biggest struggle?
The biggest struggle so far for me has been time management, especially because aside from doing art I’m also a student. Balancing the tons of homework, presentations and tests while having to sleep and do other essentials made it way harder to draw mostly, because I draw slowly and I always have to be in a certain disposition first before drawing.
What made it even harder was when I became an honors student in 10th grade, because I had to sustain the marks. Because of that I had to take months off from art or else my studies would suffer. It’s only now that I’m in 12th grade that I stopped aspiring for honors to give more time to develop my art (only to still be in honors). So I guess all ended well haha!
It’s still a problem for me until now because there are days wherein I either don’t sleep at all so that I can finish my homework and still have enough time to draw (resulting with me passing out the entire day afterwards). Nonetheless it’s still manageable (well, I’m so used to it at this point haha!) but it all boils down to being disciplined because I love making schedules and to do lists but I always fall short in actually following them lol. The days that I am able to follow the schedule are great because I complete all my tasks and get to sneak in time for some matches on Overwatch.
Q: What would you consider is the ONE thing that REALLY helped you level up your skills?
Man, this really made me think but I guess there is no real way around it except just facing it and start drawing. There is not much of a secret at getting better at art than just doing it over and over again because it’s a learning process. The more you draw the more you get to know yourself, your style and the medium you use.
I kinda wish I knew that doing commissions was not as complicated as I thought because then I would have been able to start doing them way earlier. When I started digital art a lot of people kept asking me if I do commissions and I would always answer ‘no’ out of fear of the entire process, which at the time, I considered to be too technical for me to start because it involved banks, money, agreements and the like, which for some reason, made me really nervous.
always thought of it as ‘too hard a task to do’ so I kept brushing it off. But now that I have done it, I found out that it was actually really simple and I ended up regretting not doing it earlier. Now whenever I meet someone whose art is great or when I meet up with a friend who is an artist I encourage them to do commissions and brief them through the process so that they don’t end up like me.
Q: What drives or inspires you to continue making your art?
Mostly the people I follow on social media or from either books or movies! Every time I see good art, beautiful scenery, or harmonious color combinations I get pumped to draw haha!!
I actually fit in the artist stereotype who looks like a hermit whenever I get so invested in what I’m drawing hahaha!! Like, if I have a piece that I absolutely have to finish no matter what, you will find me in the far corner of the table complete with my art materials, a small storage of food and drinks as well as my own little fan. There are also some instances wherein I could withstand not eating, bathing or sleeping for 2 days just to complete a really important piece LOL!
But most of the time I’m more of a student rather than an artist so I barely have time to draw. So I either end up drawing in class, when the teacher isn’t around, or during breaks, and a little bit at home when I’m done with all the groupwork and projects.
Q: How do you deal with distractions or challenges that you encounter while you’re working on your art?
Sadly, I just let it happen because I noticed that if I don’t take breaks while drawing I get easily worn out, which makes me draw even slower. Some distractions are good every once in a while as long as you control them.
Get sleep, eat food, play games, watch movies and lastly, scroll through social media. I always feel burnt out after finishing all my commissions, or when I draw everyday for a week, because doing art feels less as a means of expression and instead becomes more of a job so I just try to enjoy my time by doing leisure activities. After doing all these things I get rejuvenated to draw again and then I’m back to the daily art grind haha!!
My biggest win was when I won my first international contest for a T-shirt design of one of my fave shows Bee and Puppycat for WeLoveFine!!
Q: What would you say has been your biggest failure?
My biggest failure would probs be not passing the final screening for a recent Overwatch Fanart Contest. It wasn’t much of a big bummer for me though because I wasn’t really expecting to win haha!
Q: What, for you, has been the best way to promote yourself and your work to potential fans, clients, or publishers?
Posting frequently, communicating with others and attending cons!! Posting a lot is important not just because it allows others to know that you are active, but it is also relevant to post at the right time with the appropriate content so that your post doesn’t get washed away with similar content in order for more people to see your work. Talking with your followers or other fellow artists is equally significant because you build connections and get to be part of the community. Going and participating in conventions has been very effective as well because people get to meet you and see your art first hand. I’ve also gotten to meet many clients, artists and publishers because of cons making it a great opportunity and a really fun experience.
My dream is to one day be part of an animation group and make cartoons similar to the shows that have greatly influenced my life like Steven Universe, Adventure Time, Gravity Falls and Avatar the Last Airbender to hopefully leave an impact on other people much like how these shows shaped me.
Q: What, for you personally, has been the source of your ideas, creativity and talent?
Real life experiences, interactions and various forms of media are sources of my ideas.
At a young age I loved how seeing art or watching shows were able to evoke something in me. Each one I saw would make me feel a certain way or make me think and it would always make my life more interesting. Like, when Steven Universe first aired I got so inspired by the art that I asked my Dad to buy me a tablet and if it weren’t for that then I would not have been the person I am today. It was then that I thought, “Wouldn’t it be nice if I could make others feel the same way?”
So, 4 years later, here I am now doing the best I can to continuously get better and to hopefully inspire someone else. I guess this is also why I feel so happy when people tell me how my art has affected them because for me that is the highest honor that I could ever do to someone else as an artist.
Steven Universe, Bee and Puppycat and Adventure Time
Q: What are the top books, art books, blogs, podcasts, or workshops you’d recommend that helped you level up your skills?
The Art of Scott C., The Art of OOO, Nimona, Toki Doki Art Books, The art of Big Hero 6, Toyland, The Art of Disney, and probs all ‘The Art of…’ books.
Q: If you could work remotely, from anywhere in the world, where would your office be? Why?
California because it houses Gallery Nucleus, SDCC, kidrobot, Blizzcon and a bunch of other artistic places/cons that I’ve always wanted to go to!
Loika!! They also go by the name 3DaysMarch or Andatsea! Their way of drawing intricate backgrounds complete with great composition, lighting and color palette really make me wanna know all their art secrets hahaha!!
Q: Who do you consider your biggest mentor that helped you improve your skills?
(Doesn’t have to be someone you’ve met personally. Can be someone you look up to, or someone whose art has inspired you to get better, over the years.)
Rebecca Sugar, I can’t even begin to explain how she inspired me to be more confident in myself, in my art and in who I can be in the future!!