Introducing Stenaira, featured artist from Manga Fairies Special (101).

How long have you been illustrating and what made you start?
I have been fascinated with art all my life. My earliest memory as an artist is at the age of three when my grandfather taught me watercolour painting. My late grandpa knows how much I was into art that he started mentoring me until I build my own style and path.

Where do you get your inspiration?
I really like drawing portraits of women. One movie that completely inspired my art style is Big Eyes (2014) featuring the life of Margaret Keane. Most of my works have huge eyes. Like Keane, I am also fixated with eyes when talking to people. Always makes me wonder the intentions they have or the sinister that their eyes hold. 

Where is your favourite place to illustrate?
In the most comfortable place in our house – in my bed along with the soft pillows and sheets. It gives me some sort of relaxation. It stops me from stressing myself with conceptualising artworks and I can just draw freely.

What are your illustrating/colouring material essentials?
Back when I was still doing traditional art, I had charcoal pencils, brushes and colouring pencils. Now that I am venturing into digital art, I have my 22 inch Huion drawing tablet. Also an app called Procreate on an iPad comes in handy, especially when I draw in bed or in a coffee shop.

What’s the piece of work that you’re most proud of or enjoyed doing the most?
Putting this 40 page issue of Colouring Heaven together! I had so much fun creating the designs. In fact, illustrating each of the pages did not feel like a job or a chore. It was like I was giving myself an escape away from reality and all my personal problems.

Artist's tip

Trust the process. It may not look good from the start but once you incorporate layering and blending techniques, it will all come together.

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