Interview with YoungEarlGrey

// //

Excited to present my interview with a young ambitious artist simply known as YoungEarlGrey, an all around talent based in Sydney, Australia. Besides discovering her work via tumblr and featuring her work, i had a fun interview with her on her illustrations,creativity,Sydney and her goal to master and expand her horizons in the art/fashion world. Enjoy!

Can you please tell readers a bit about yourself.

Well there's not much to me, really! I'm twenty-one and I'm currently living in Sydney, Australia but I just spent two years in Melbourne studying Illustration. I'm a bit of a nostalgia freak, I love all things to do with the 80's and 90's as cliche as it sounds! I'm really very boring though. I mostly spend my time either in front of the computer or recently, screen printing.

When was your starting point as an artist.


I know a lot of people probably say this, but Disney really did get me hooked on drawing. I always used to draw as a kid and scribble away in class, but it wasn't until I got into Disney when I was about 15/16 years old that I really started to work on getting better and practicing every day. I got frustrated when I couldn't draw as well as the movie I was seeing on screen, so from there it was countless hours of practice practice practice!

What is your creative process like working on a project.

When I'm working on my own projects, it usually starts off with inspiration....and that literally comes from anywhere. Sometimes I'll be sitting on the bus on the way home and I get an idea, or I'll be listening to a song (music plays a big part in my artwork), or watching a movie. So kind of from there, I sit down and draw it out. I used to do a lot more sketching a few years ago, but at the moment I've kind of just been going straight from the first sketch into the finished product. I consider colour my stronger side, so I'm always seeing things in colour rather than a bare-bone sketch.


Artistically how have your grown, how different is it now compared to when you started.

I have to say the last two years I spent studying Illustration and having three hours of life drawing classes a week were the most beneficial to me so far as an artist. I had a style before that, but I was totally lacking in direction and in basic skills like anatomy etc, so really doing those intensive two years was fantastic. I feel like I still have my style but it's grown and changed in so many ways, particularly after experimenting with things like pen and ink, watercolours and more digital work.

Where is your perfect working space/station and what is your perfect working mode like?

I've been working strictly in digital this year because my scanner decided to break down and die, so my workplace at the moment is focused on my computer and Wacom Tablet (a drawing tablet that allows you to recreate drawing on paper, but it goes directly onto the screen instead). Usually though I have pens and inks and watercolours everywhere! I sort of keep everything in one place so its easy to grab when I'm in the midst of a drawing. Perfect working mode is when I'm inspired, and when nobody is bothering me! It's been hard coming back home to live with my dad, who I admire very much but after living by myself for two years it's a bit hard when it comes to getting inspiration late at night and not really being able to do anything about it. I find that I do my best work late at night, but when you're living with someone else you worry about keeping them awake!

So far what has been your biggest challenge?

My own sense of perfection. Sometimes I'll have a million ideas I want to draw, but I'll sit down and nothing comes out because I'm too scared to start it in fear it won't look like what I have in my head. It's crippling at times, and sometimes I don't even draw for days on end because of it. I find it's getting better the older I get and the more I went to life drawing classes etc, but it's still something that challenges me every day!


Most of your work are fashion inspired, do you input your personal fashion into your work?

Oh definitely! Most of what I wear day to day is very influenced by what I like - I'm very much into the 80's like I said, so a lot of my wardrobe borrows from people like Michael and Janet Jackson, Prince etc! So when I draw fashion-inspired pieces, it's coming from the same place of inspiration. 

Most important factor to you when working on a project.

For professional projects, I really have to connect with what the client wants and their vision. So far most of my projects have had an element that I've really liked about them so it's been easy, but  definitely I have to have that sense of knowing what they want, and how I can create that in my style.

What is the major satisfaction you gain from art.


Like any other artist, seeing the finished piece come together! It's a bit of a high, really. An addiction!

How do you define creativity and what does it mean to you?

I don't know, really. I guess it's just seeing everything around you, like really looking at things in a different way. I ride the bus a lot to get every where, so sometimes I sit there and look at people or buildings and imagine silly things or even how I would just paint whatever was in front of me. Creativity I think is keeping that part of yourself alive that's silly and fun, the part that you largely use when you're a kid. When you shut off your creativity you become the person who goes to work every day, goes home to sleep and doesn't think about anything else. It's important to keep that creativity flowing and just enjoy life and everything it has to offer.


Where is your favorite spot in Sydney.

I have lots of favourite spots! But I do love the middle part of George St where the cinemas and etc are. Back when I was a kid around the time of the 2000 Olympics, George St was kind of this hot spot that they were updating to draw in the tourists. There used to be a Planet Hollywood, two movie theaters, a giant screen on top of a building that played stuff, and a whole bunch of cool things. The tourist boom never really happened in Sydney after the Olympics and then a lot of the business in George St pulled out, but they still haven't renovated or changed a lot of the buildings since then. So you're sort of left with this place that's so directly 90's (in the way the buildings were designed), but it's now kind of derelict and nothing is really happening. I love things like that, because it reminds me of my childhood but kind of puts a spooky spin on it!

Reading your bio i was impressed with your ambition to expand your horizons and i personally love your art direction. How do you enlighten yourself to achieve your goals.

Oh thank you haha! I don't know, I think I've always been ambitious and my parents have always inspired me and put faith into me. When I was little I would tell my mum exactly what I wanted to be, and I just believed that was going to happen. I still feel the same! It's all about belief, as corny as it sounds. Even Michael Jackson instilled that same belief in himself - when he was working on Thriller, he wrote in permanent marker on his bathroom mirror how many copies he wanted to sell and how successful he wanted the album to be, and he would look at that every day. The more you believe in something, the more it will come true.

Last great song stuck in your head.

I've been into a bit of Prince again lately, and I love Electric Chair from the Batman Soundtrack album. Great track!

Top 3 visually inspiring movies.


Oh God, anything Studio Ghibli (Spirited Away, Laputa etc etc), The Artist and Prince's Purple Rain. That's just currently though, I'm sure it'll change in a month!


What do you like most about what you do.

I really like drawing things that conjure up that feeling of nostalgia I was talking about before, and when I draw something other people can connect with, that's what makes me feel good. Not all art has to be visually emotional or have deeper meanings, I just like reminding people of things that make them feel good. :)






Find YoungEarlGrey here :