Q&A with @GGGGRIMES (NSFW)

Gabriella Grimes aka @ggggrimes; non-binary illustrator (they / them / theirs); New York, New York

DN: How would you describe what you do?

GG: I’m a freelance illustrator / digital artist! I use these interchangeably for the most part.

DN: How did you get started with illustration?

GG: I’ve always been into creating, but I didn’t take it seriously until 2017, after getting encouraged by some awesome kids attending the camp I was working in. I rekindled my passion for drawing and painting, then got my first tablet a year ago, which changed my life!

DN: What is your creative process like? Does it differ when you’re fulfilling commissions?

GG: I usually have two different routes for personal pieces! I write down an idea when it comes to me and then execute it when I have the time. Or I sit down with the intention of creating and hope something comes to mind as I go!

When I do commissions, I ask a lot of questions beforehand and sometimes try to come up with an idea before I even sketch anything out. If it’s a concept that’s hard to explain, then I absolutely will sketch out some shapes to get it approved by the customer.

I always do the same process when I actually paint though! I sketch, outline, shadow, color, and then add details.

Please read from right to left! Another comic featuring two brown boys of unspecified races. "The sky felt heavy, as a mix of your scent and the heat of your affection weighed down the air around us. My love for you spilled over as you exhaled yours into my lungs." As for the direction, I read a lot of manga and planning it this way made a lot more sense for this piece. In the future I'll probably alternate between left to right and right to left but I'll clarify if it's right to left in the beginning! πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’#art #artwork #illustration #drawing #painting #digitalart #digitalartwork #digitalillustration #medibang #medibangpaint #medibangpaintpro #huion #drawingtablet #blackartist #queerartist #peopleofcolor #nycart #nycartist #artistsoninstagram πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’

DN: Where do you get the inspiration for your work? Are there any queer artists that you can point to as influencing the art you produce?

GG: I’m most inspired by my feelings. I love recreating emotions I’m experiencing through the lens of people in a painting. I have a lot of artists whose work really speaks to me! Off the top of my head, @taziacira/@xystugli, @aorists, @mrfishink, @zachgreatart, @jamesfalciano, @shmoonify, @ivannatas, @hellomynameiswednesday and I could probably go on and on!

DN: Your use of bright colors, strong patterns, and illustration technique is instantly recognizable β€” how do you like to describe your particular style?

GG: I honestly have no clue how to describe my style and I try not to dwell on it. I’ve had people compare my work to the work of other artists who don’t even use the same medium I use. I’ve been compared to comic book and graphic artists as well. I’m happy with all of these comparisons. My style could also possibly change again at some point, so having myself assign a label to it at this time feels like I’m just limiting myself!

DN: What impact do you hope your art could hold and what legacy do you work to leave with your art?

GG: At the end of the day I want people to look at my art and feel validated, more connected to themselves, and more connected to people who might look nothing like them. I want my artwork to leave people with happiness and a sense of belonging.

DN: What tropes / binaries do you want your art to disrupt or call into question?

GG: I feel like people need to do more unpacking what queer people actually look like and especially when they’re black and non-black POC. Non-binary people aren’t just AFAB white people. Black people are allowed to live and defy stereotypes simultaneously. People of color are multidimensional, and it’s racist and queerphobic to assume that being queer is a white people thing.

DN: Is there any advice you could give to aspiring young queer artists?

GG: Respect yourself. Read the Fran Tirado’s (@fransquishco) β€œThe Queer Guide to Getting Paid.” Set boundaries and only do what you’re comfortable with or your heart calls out to. You’re allowed to say no, you’re allowed to limit people’s access to you, and you’re allowed to question how people interact with you when they have the knowledge that you’re queer. You’re worthy and important, and you have to remember that while living in the art world. πŸ’