• Interview with Adorkable Pixie Artist & Illustrator Amy Brunolli!

    Interview with Adorkable Artist and Illustrator Amy Brunolli

    by Traci Hines - Thursday, April 15, 2016

    This interview is one I am VERY excited about-not only does it mark the very 1st interview in our Adorkable blog, but it also features one of my favorite people on this planet! Amy Brunolli is a multi-talented fairy princess whos super power flows through her paintbrush (or pencil, or wacom pad...or whatever tool she chooses on any given day) Amy is the artist behind our brand new Pixie Wings design, and I'm so thrilled to get to introduce you to her! I'm honored to say she is a dear friend of mine. We met within the wonderful world of cosplay, and our friendship, like the flowers that garden fairies tend, has grown even more beautiful and fantastical ever since. So without further ado, I give you, Amy Brunolli (aka Cakesniffer2000): Artist, Pixie, Princess, Ballerina, Astronaut! (But let's just focus on her artwork for today. *wink*)

    Tell us a little about what you do.
    Well I do all sorts of things lol lol. Currently I'm working on my teaching credentials down in San Diego so I can hopefully start teaching full time. But previously I lived in LA and have worked on a number of movies as both an artist and a VFX Coordinator. I've also spent a few years teaching fine art classes to children such as basic drawing skills, coloring with pastels, watercolor, and even oil painting. I'm always constantly working on my own art and doing various projects here and there just to challenge myself and improve you know!
    What inspired you to become an artist?
    When I was little I always loved to draw and color and I did so starting at a very young age. I honestly think it was books that made me want to become an artist because I loved looking at the illustrations. As I got older it was also Disney movies and cartoons like Sailor Moon that got me interested in animation and I would practice drawing the characters.

    When did you first discover pixies and fairies, and when did you realize you loved them?
    Omgsh I have LOVED fairies since I was little and I used to read Cicely Mary Barker's Flower Fairies books at my Aunt's house and spend hours just flipping through the pages and looking at the beautiful pictures. Even now I have a whole collection of her books that mean so much to me. I used to think flowers were fairies in disguise when I was very young so I would go outside and talk to all the flowers. I also had a beautiful fairy porcelain doll and several fairy figurines. I just think they are so magical and Tinkerbell was definitely a HUGE favorite of mine growing up. 
    What is your favorite medium to work in?
    My favorite medium to work in is probably watercolor. I like drawing with pencil first and think ink and finally adding the watercolor. It's funny because I used to HATE watercolor and was not very good at it but I got some proper training on how to teach it to children and I just practiced constantly and I honestly love it now. It's a very fluid medium obviously and it's hard to fix mistakes so you just kind of have to go with the flow and not be afraid.
    What was your process for creating these beautiful Pixie wings for our Pixie line, and were there any specific pieces of inspiration that you used to create the image?
    Well first it was talking to you [Traci] and getting an idea of what you wanted and the look you were going for. Obviously Tinkerbell was a huge inspiration but we both agreed we didn't want it to be an exact replica or too similar so I spent a lot of time looking at various insect wings to try and find a good balance between realistic and magical I guess haha. I first drew up some thumbnails because I like to have a few rough ideas before going into a full drawing. I think we settled on 3 or 4 designs as the favorites and just ran with that and then it was just picking "the one" lol.
    If you were a fairy, what color would your wings be?
    Aughhh I don't even know! Purple maybe? I'm really into purple right now or teal? How about ALL the colors!!!!! lol.

    How does working with children inspire your art?
    Children are naturally creative and imaginative and have such funny and original ideas, so it's great to just listen to their ideas and see what they create. When teaching art to children there are a lot of things that are considered "best practices," such as art being more about the process rather then the product, and not placing a value on their art and instead letting them say how they feel about it or what they did. I think as an adult, those are great things for me to remember when it comes to my own art. Sometimes when I'm drawing something I get so focused on what it's going to look like in the end or just getting it done that I forget about the process and forget to have fun! So I think working with children has kind of brought back the spark of creativity and imagination and fun. 
    What is your favorite subject to draw/paint/render?
    I love drawing nature, like trees and landscapes and even buildings and things. I'm working on getting better at people; I love drawing faces and characters which I'm okay with but I would like to work more on poses and full body pictures. I mean overall I just love drawing and I like my watercolor journal cause I can draw a variety of things from a flower to the sandwich I had for lunch lol. 
    Favorite book?
    Uhhhhh Harry Potter DUH!

    Favorite fandom/genre?
    Harry Potter obviously will always be my favorite and close to my heart. I also love Sherlock and Doctor Who and of course Disney!
    If you lived in Neverland, where would you spend most of your time?
    Definitely Pixie Hollow! It's the most flitteriffic place to be!
    Do you believe in fairies?
    I would like to say yes. I mean anything is possible!
    What is your background in the arts?
    I have a Bachelor's in Media Arts and Animation and have taken a variety of art classes from life drawing to advanced storyboarding, etc. As an art instructor I also went through intensive training in oil painting and watercolor and how to teach them to children specifically. I got my start working in movies in around 2009 on Alice in Wonderland doing Stereoscopic Conversion (Which is a fancy way of saying "I made stuff 3D") and from there I went on to VFX production at a number of studios in LA such as Rhythm & Hues, until ultimately they went bankrupt and I started reevaluating what was important to me in life. Although working on movies was fun, the hours were just so long that I wasn't able to really enjoy my life or see my family as much as I wanted, so I started working with children and pursuing my teaching credentials. If you are interested in all the films I've worked on you can check out my IMDb credits here.
    Any cherished experiences that you've had either through teaching or creating art that you'd like to share?
    Oh my gosh it's hard to think of one! I think if anything it's just the funny things children say in general and how awesome all my students were and how special and unique they were to me. There are so many moments I'll never forget, from my students drawing me silly monkey pictures to making up songs, to helping them create beautiful pictures they could be proud of themselves for.
    Where can we follow your work?
    You can follow me on Instagram @cakesniffer2000 (which is a reference from A Series of Unfortunate Events...So 20 house points to anyone who caught that :P). When I'm not bombarding the world with pictures of my nieces (I'm sorry not sorry haha) I usually post various pictures of artwork. I also have an alphabet book called "Things to Remember" available on Blurb, it's fairly pricey at the moment until I can work on lowering the price, but there is a PDF version that is affordable and viewable on iPads and such if you're interested in checking it out.
    Follow Amy:
    Pixie Model: Marina Tinker
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