Badass Buddy: Zoe Si

Greetings friends! For this week’s post, I’ll be featuring another Badass Buddy of mine, Zoe Si.

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photo credit: zoesees.com

Zoe is a cartoonist, freelance illustrator and lawyer based in Vancouver, British Columbia. I’ve known Zoe for years. We first met in a student club at university. I always thought her dapper blazer and jeans combinations were very put-together. Since then, I’ve had the pleasure of seeing her cartoons pop up on my Facebook newsfeed regularly. Her cartoons never fail to make me smile.

I emailed her to pick her brains and here is what she shared:

On the businuess of cartoons…

The Etsy thing actually started way after I started my blog (zoesees.com) in September 2010, for which I drew one drawing every day for 365 days. After a few months, my readership increased and people started asking for prints of drawings I’d done. When I started my Etsy shop, it didn’t feel so much like I was “starting a business” per se as it was just accommodating a small demand in my free time. It was definitely a learning curve to figure out the most efficient way to digitize a drawing, get it printed, and then ship it out, especially with being a full-time student with limited time, funds, and means to get around. It is still really exciting when I get a notification that someone has purchased something and I feel like I learn something new with each order.

Currently, most of my business comes from readers, friends and colleagues just emailing me to ask for commissioned prints, but Etsy is great for putting seasonal things on sale like Christmas and Valentine’s Day cards.

On what inspires her…

I’m creatively inspired just by funny and interesting occurrences from my everyday life. I enjoy capturing how something really hilarious went down, or my first impressions of a stranger on the street. I’m also clearly active on Tumblr and do a lot of scrolling through other people’s art, especially traditional comic book artists and people who do editorial art (with topics ranging from history to psychology to Oscar nominees) for magazines such as the New Yorker. I’m endlessly fascinated by how much it’s possible to convey with just a few lines and a bit of colour, and I greatly admire this in other people’s work.

I’m also inspired by funny smart comics. I’m obviously a huge fan of Kate Beaton’s “Hark A Vagrant!” and can only hope to reach that level of creative wit and on-point execution in my own silly cartoons.

photo credit: zoesees.com

“Instant crush on this girl I spotted at a red light the other day, precariously transporting a canvas and singing to herself.” – zoesees.com

On her favorite creative medium…

I love pencils as they’re so versatile. Even with just a simple cartoon, a little bit of strategic shading can add so much mystery and depth. I also LOVE my set of greyscale prismacolour markers and I use them with black fineliners for cleaner, more finished looking cartoons.

photo credit: zoesees.com

photo credit: zoesees.com

On her personal style…

I kind of feel like the cartoon version of myself that I often draw is more representative of “me” than I will ever be. She is all simple shapes — a huge round face, glasses and bouncy hair, and handles everything that comes her way with the perfect mix of poise, sassiness and utter confusion/bewilderment.

photo credit - zoesees.com

photo credit – zoesees.com

On taking risks…

At risk of sounding horribly corny, don’t be afraid to try new things you know you’ll be bad at. I used to be self-conscious about e.g.: trying new styles of drawing, subjects or mediums and one day I realized, “Hey, no one is going to see or judge this unless I choose to show it to them, so YOLO” and my life hugely improved. It’s still a bit of a struggle but it is worth it!

I’m a huge fan of Zoe’s cartoons and illustrations. They make me smile and laugh. If you want to see more of her artwork or order some unique cards for Valentine’s Day, visit her website or Etsy store

you’ve been stylesyah-ed! xo

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