My name is Apollo and I’m a British/Russian high school student and illustrator living in the UK. This year, I'm applying to study Animation at uni, so we'll see how that goes.
In my spare time I enjoy playing Dungeons and Dragons and listening to podcasts, both of which are my biggest inspirations. I love having a story behind my work, so drawing things from my D&D campaigns is very rewarding for me.
As someone who wants to go into animation, I enjoy drawing my characters in exaggerated poses or with a wide variety of face expressions - currently, my favourite subject matter is goblins, because their faces are so expressive and fun to play around with. I also love character design, and making characters who are very distinct from one another is always a fun challenge.
I'm most active on my instagram, where I post daily, so check it out if you want to see more of my work (@apollinares).
Have you always been creative and artistic?
I was always creative, that's for sure, but I could never settle on what practice I wanted to go into. As a child I loved dressing up and making adverts to show my mum, who worked in Nokia at the time - I'd write little slogans and draw pictures and then film it on my dad's fliphone. Then, for the longest time, I wrote poetry. I was into music at one point as well.
When I was little, my friend group was made up of three girls who were also really into art, and theirs was a lot better than mine at the time, so I was never really the "art kid" at my school growing up. At first I couldn't evolve because I was so preoccupied with not being recognised comparatively to them, so for a while I abandoned art, but I'm glad I stuck with it in the end and kept practicing!
How would you describe the style of your work?
My work is vibrant and colourful, and I always try to put a story behind it. Even if at the moment it's mostly fanart, I like the thoughts and feelings of the character to be clear when I draw, and I love exaggerating every gesture to its full potential.
What’s in your pencil case and what’s your favorite tool?
I'm a digital artist through and through, but my pencil case is still full - just in case! I've got everything from a portable watercolour set to some copics to brush pens to pencils to felt tips in there, as well as some loose change and a drive with my animation reel on it. When it comes to art supplies, I really am a hoarder.
As for my favourite tool, that comes with a story. In the summer of 2018, I briefly lost access to my laptop (with my beloved Photoshop) because I was caught up in the Cranston Fire evacuation, and so while I was on the move I invested in an iPad pro, thinking it would be a temporary solution. But honestly, I love Procreate so much! It's by far the best tool I've ever used for drawing. It kept me sane while I was stuck in a motel, and I haven't gone back to Photoshop for drawing since!
Who is your favorite superhero?
Cliche answer, but my mum. She's the tiny Russian lady with so many skills under her belt it's actually insane.
If you could have one super power what would it be?
I'd love to be able to freeze time, so that I can catch up on sleep and not miss any deadlines!
Where do you look for inspiration?
My friends and mutuals (especially on instagram). I'm a huge advocate for artists sharing resources and advice, and my community of followers is so amazing to talk to - each and every one of them has inspired me in some way, I'm sure. Sometimes it takes looking at a friend's art process to get an amazing idea of your own, or vice versa!
Who are your favorite artists or comic book authors?
This changes every few months, depending on my interests! Currently, I'm applying to Sheridan College for Animation, so I've been completely awestruck by the work of the current students, psyching myself up for when I join their ranks! For that matter, everyone I follow in instagram is someone whose art I admire! And of course, I believe you can't be an illustrator without ever seeing the work of Kim Jung Gi, whose intricacy is also incredibly inspiring to me. This list goes on and on, but I can't leave out Beatrice Blue, who is not only one of my favourite artists, but also did an interview here a couple of months back - I was absolutely thrilled when I found that out!
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