Zan Von Zed

Introducing Zan Von Zed, featured artist from Mystical Beauties Special (32).

Zan Von Zed is an artist and illustrator who lives and works in Sydney, Australia. She was born in Europe where she spent her early childhood, much of that time was spent roaming the halls of a medieval castle/museum where her parents worked. Her artwork is a glimpse into her overactive imagination which is teeming with heroines, costumes and characters, as well as mild flora and fauna themes. Zan is largely inspired by history, fairytales, fantasy and science-fiction. When she is not drawing, Zan likes to sculpt, paint and read about world mysteries.

How long have you been illustrating and what made you start? 
I've loved drawing, art and book illustration since I was very little. I grew up pre-internet with lots of old books around the house which were my go-to for information and inspiration. Then the internet appeared in my late teens and suddenly there was an information overload. When it came time for university I was apprehensive to go down the fine-arts route because of the ’starving-artist’ stigma, instead opting for Visual Communications (graphic design, web design, animation, photography, illustration), which invigorated my love of illustration and opened my world to digital mediums as well as ye-olde techniques. I’ve been working in design/illustration since the early 2000’s, and have been doing more personal artwork since around 2013.

Where do you get your inspiration?
Much my inspiration comes from movies, medieval art, books, nature and my subconscious.  

Where is your favourite place to illustrate?
I like to draw while I’m watching a movie on the couch. I find I have better results while I’m slightly distracted.

What are your illustrating/colouring material essentials?
I like a 0.3 mechanical pencil for drawing. For colouring I’ve lately been into art markers (Brushmarkers and Promarkers). and Prismacolor pencils usually make a regular appearance.

What’s the piece of work that you’re most proud of or enjoyed doing the most?
I have a couple that I enjoyed making, one of those is the girl with the ladybug and the oversized flowers/mushrooms. It took a long time to finish but it was fun adding all the details around her. The other is the girl with the letter in the lake, I really liked creating her dress.

Artist's tip

- I’ve  found that prismacolor pencils work even better on toned paper (with no tooth).  - A range of grey toned art markers are good for laying down values/shadows then you can colour over those tones with coloured pencil.  - Watercolours are great for filling larger areas.  - Gouache is also good for larger areas with a nice flat matte finish, which is nice for colouring over the top with coloured pencils.  - Gel pens are great for accents, especially the glittery ones. The white ones are good for highlights.

See more from Zan Von Zed

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