deviantArt is home for a great variety of artists, some of whom own a very distinctive style and are instantly recognizable. Today I want to present you one of those artists. At first if you look at !Que-ink's gallery you might think you're looking at a photography gallery, with close-ups to some of today's greatest hockey athletes. However if you look closer you'll notice they're actually not photographs but digital paintings. Impressive enough right? Look even closer and you'll discover her paintings are not made with the use of complicated digital software and tools. But I'll let Sylvia explains that herself...
My name is Sylvia and I go by the username Que-ink. For the last 15 years I have been into art while studying realism for 8. I am known for my athletic portraits around the NHL and other various sports sites, magazines and newspapers. As a person I would say I am generous, caring and comical once you get to know me. Aside sports and art I enjoy various activities such as writing, playing guitar, singing, cooking and even dancing.
Before we start talking about how you create your portraits, tell us, what made you focus on realism and more specifically, on portraits of famous sport athletes?
Well, I would have to say taking Art Foundations through High School sparked my interest towards realism. I know a lot of people in my class did not want to carry on the traditions of realistic art. I found it to be beneficial to be different with my gallery. You do not see artists drawing athletic portraits all that often, so I wanted to honour their work through art. Someone had to, you know?
Robert Griffin III
Now is the time to explain, what's so particular about your art compared to others?
First off, being that it is realism + sports already singles my gallery out from thousands on deviantArt and other various sites. What makes my work "special" is the fact I do not work with layers. I use an online drawing tool called TegakiE, which basically works like MURO but does not offer copy, paste, rotate, import and many other features you would find in a modern digital art program. You get 72 colours, 7 brushes, 11 opacity choices and 10 attempts to undo any errors on your canvas...you do not get a choice to redo what you undo and every canvas measures at 480x640 pixels. For me, it is the most legit way to offer my work and not be called fake for drawing high-quality portraits.
Do you have any formal training or are you completely self taught? Do you feel you have any particular artist's influence?
No, I am not completely self-taught considering I took art classes through school. I occasionally stayed after for extra tips in realism, which I greatly thank my teacher for taking the time to assist me to where I am today. To your second question, I would have to say no when it comes admiring today's famous artists. I can not name one at this time.
Have you ever considered moving to programs that allow the use of more advanced tools and options like multiple layers at a given time? Why yes or why no?
I have indeed tried other programs such as Photoshop and SAI, but I will always prefer TegakiE as my main digital medium. It is easy for me to use, I do not have to worry about layers and the hassle of public citizens accusing me for false artwork. The option remains open to other applications, but the tools they offer simply do not work for the way I currently draw.
What's your main goal as an artist right now and are you doing to achieve it?
My goal as an artist is to spread the awareness of sports art. I know this genre is very unpopular with today's community, but that will never stop my passion in drawing athletic portraits. Like I said, someone out there has to honour their hard work; they put their life on the line every time they practice and enter the field, court and rink. Being said, there are many people who do enjoy what I offer as an artist. It is a great feeling to know I have reached thousands of people...not just deviantArt, but around the internet and locally alike. The main goal left to accomplish is to reach the ultimate and hope that Sports Illustrated one day features my gallery in their magazine. I have come this far with hard work and the help of such wonderful fans. The least I could do is make it big and thank them for such wonderful support thus far. After all, it is the fans who got me noticed; without them I would not be where I am at today...this is definitely, a true fact.
Lauren Faust MURO Commission
What role do you consider deviantArt has took in your development as artist? You've been a member for over 5 years, what made you stay?
"I suppose browsing galleries has influenced me to become more than a general portrait artist, but in the same time has made me a more social and open deviant towards fans and visitors alike. It has helped me communicate with others who find it interesting that I do not follow a particular bandwagon such as anime or portraits of movie stars. It is true, I have been a deviant for 5 years, but I was away for nearly 3. I decided to return when several acquaintances introduced me to some of the sports groups found around deviantArt. Making a return was a great idea; doing so has influenced people to take a like in hockey and other sports when they originally had no interest before hand."
8. What are the things you love the most and dislike the most about dA?
Well, I love deviantArt for many reasons. I love the attention I receive when I post something new. It is a great feeling when hundreds of people flock to my gallery just to leave comments in how much they admire my skills. It is also nice to know that my work can be accepted by most of the community. Thanks to deviantArt, I have met some really cool deviants along my journey to fame, especially ~Ice-calibr29historia who I consider my best friend and supporter thus far. There is no reason to point out my dislikes about dA considering everyone has that "special deviant" who absolutely hates their gallery and everything about them...what is there to do but laugh, right?
Finally, if you could be any color, what color would you be?
Red, all the way. It's just that sexy on me~