Introduced to this young artist through a mutual friend (Allison Wier, you can see her interview further down the page.), I recently had the pleasure of interviewing artist Grace Fairchild. A new resident of Post Falls, she has grown up in and around the Spokane / Couer D’Alene area, has two cats, Smokey Bear and Melly Belly. “The name Melly Belly comes from her laying on her back when we stretch her belly and she lifts one leg up, it’s hilarious.” She also has a sweetly supportive boyfriend (as evidenced in the interview below). While speaking to her on the phone, she described herself as shy, especially when it comes to talking to people, but I found her to be a vivacious, well spoken, good humored young lady. Read on to learn more about this rising star.
Q: When did you first discover your talent / love of art?
A: I got a set of graphite pencils and was always doodling cartoons and what not. One day on Instagram I came across art featuring pages and they were sharing such beautiful things. After sifting through so many posts I realized that one lady was drawing with colored pencils. It interested me. So one day my boyfriend got me some as a surprise. I tried one of the contests that a page was hosting. I had to draw a human eye ball but that didn’t go so well, so I took a photo of my cats eye and discovered that I wanted to try more of that furry goodness. On my second attempt at my cat I was hooked. I needed more pencils and decided that this is what I am really good at and stopped drawing cartoons.
Q: How long have you been actively creating art?
A: I have been creating miscellaneous art here and there all my life, but really only drawing since about May of 2014.
Q: Do you have a favorite medium to work within?
A: Colored pencils by far, they are so much fun and you can do so much with them, though they take a long time to create things.
Q: What do you call your style of drawing?
A: I would call it realism.
**We both (at different times) attempted to Google descriptions of her style and though hyper-realism comes close, we both found that term to be super subjective.
Q: What is your process? Do you listen to music, keep a snack nearby, burn incense, what?
A: No snacks. I am a messy eater. If I have something nearby it will end up all over me and my project! I don’t really listen to music when I’m drawing. I am a Netflix / Hulu tv watcher. I keep my tablet nearby and use the programs to keep track of time while creating a new portrait. I’ve been re-watching X – Files, Stargate, and Veronica Mars. I enjoy crime shows too, but they freak me out a bit. A friend keeps telling me to watch Dr. Who, but I’m not sure if I will.
**I, being a 10 year Whovian, encouraged that whole heartedly.
Q: How long does it usually take you to finish a project?
A: If I can work on a project without interruption 7 – 10 days. Otherwise I do about two projects a month.
Q: Do you have a favorite subject to draw, paint, etc.?
A: Animals are definitely my favorite to draw, there is always something interesting in them. My favorite part though is the eyes. I love drawing eyes! Especially when you get a really good picture with a neat reflection it.
Q: Is there a part you don’t like drawing?
A: I hate ears! They usually have weird hairs in or on them and, as I draw from pictures, it is really hard to get a good look at the detail.
Q: Where / how do you find inspiration?
A: I am a part of a few online groups which have so many people always posting and sharing beautiful things, I think that is where a lot of it comes from. Seeing what other create, sharing new products, reference photos and their own techniques drives me to want to improve. Having social media where so many amazing artists post their work helps. I think if I didn’t have that ability to find them and see their artwork I wouldn’t have discovered what does inspire me.
Q: If you could travel ANYWHERE for your art, where would you go and why?
A: Anywhere, I haven’t really been to too many places. I think doing a meet up with some of the people I admire would be amazing, so many of them are in the UK, Australia and Texas. We (my boyfriend and I) like to take drives and get photographs of all sorts of stuff so that I can try and draw from my own reference photos too. So anywhere to do that also.
Q: Who are some of your favorite artists?
A: This is so difficult! Danielle Fisher Portraits, Jessica Lennox, Lisa Lachri, Wendy Layne Windrich, Rachael Wild, and Kelly Lahar just to name a few. All but Wendy I discovered on instagram, and I recently purchased a print from Kelly.
Q: What are some other interests of yours? Hobbies, volunteer work, causes you support, etc.
A: Well my art was a hobby so when I am not working I will go home and draw.
Q: So you have a job other than super artist? (Yes I checked out your fb page and loved it!;)
A: Haha yeah, I work full time for a seasonal Bark Blowing company, which is an awesome job filled with amazing people. So in the off season, like this winter, I was able to spit out some art quicker than normal.
Q: Do you have a website for your art?
A: I do, it’s not finished and I am thinking about purchasing one instead of doing a free one but here is the link: http://graciesartcorner.weebly.com/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/graciesartcorner/ Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/handmade/Gracies-Art-Corner and if you search graciesartcorner on Instagram you will find me there as well.
**Some of Grace’s work can currently be seen at The Artisan Gallery @ 53 Wisconsin St. Priest River, ID.