Friday, 2 August 2013

Illustrators Arise: Moosekleenex

Hi, everyone! I am beyond excited and totally over the moon to bring you this month's Illustrations Arise feature. If you've never read it before, it's basically a (supposed-to-be) monthly interview I do with some of my favourite illustrators around the globe. This month's special guest is someone I've admired for years. YEARS! And I'm so happy she's agreed to do this. Please welcome, the talented Kelly Bastow a.k.a. Moosekleenex!

A: Hi, Kelly! I am so excited to have you here. Thanks for the opportunity.  First of all, could you please tell our readers a little bit about who you are and what you do? 

K: Thanks so much! I'm a comic artist and Illustrator from Newfoundland, Canada. I'm currently attending OCAD in Toronto for part-time Illustration classes. I'm still a first-year so it's hard to tell whether or not it's affected my art and process yet.

A: What first got you into illustration?

K: I've been drawing for fun since I was a little kid, and was really into comics and manga as a teenager. I've been posting art regularly on deviantART (and later Tumblr) for over a decade, getting feedbacks and praises has built up my confidence. Making friends with other artists has inspired me a lot, too. I want to keep creating and accomplish my goals.

A: Why did you choose the name Moosekleenex?

K: Oh, It doesn't mean anything. Me and a friend came up with it ten years ago as she was helping me make a deviantART account. Where I come from there are a lot of moose, though.

A: Out of all your marvellous artworks, which ones do you treasure the most?

K: Maybe The Captain. He's cute and melancholy, and I really like the inking.

A: You seem to work with ink a lot. Can you tell us about that?

K: I've always been attracted to black and white art, so naturally ink was my favorite medium. I love the boldness and stark contrast of ink pieces. I started using a brush in high school, I was pretty crappy at first, but improved with many hours of practice. I like the freedom and flowy-ness of brush inking.

A: Do you have any artists you admire? Anyone who inspire you?

K: Comics-wise, a few of my idols are Becky Cloonan, Julia Wertz, Chester Brown, Laura Park, Craig Thompson, Ross Campbell, and a bunch more. Carson Ellis, Foo Swee Chin, Jen Wang and Vera Brosgol have all influenced my style as well.

A: I understand that you once lived in Australia. Can you tell us about that?

K: I lived in Australia for several months in 2010. I went there to get a job and try to start a new life, but it didn't work out. However, I made some incredible friends, and had experiences I will always treasure. While living there, I was exposed to some awesome professional illustrators who made me consider art as a career rather than a hobby. I realized that I had the potential to be on the same level as my Illustration idols. 

A: What does the future look like for Moosekleenex?

K: Published comics and Gallery shows! I'm working on several fictional comics at the moment, I hope I can get them finished/published soon. It's my dream! Comics are my main priority right now.

A: Wow okay, thanks for your time, Kelly! One last thing: What kind of advice would you give novice illustrators out there?

K: Draw every day, push yourself but don't forget to enjoy yourself.

What I simply cannot resist from Kelly's style: Her artworks always seem to have this natural flow and either soft colours (with water colour) or sharp contrast (with ink). I also love the lines that always seem to bend naturally and never seem to just be boring lines. She always puts different unexpected elements into her illustrations that I would never have thought of, which give the illustration a rather dark demeanour or mysterious aura. Aside from the aesthetics - which I obviously can't get enough of -, I also love how she pours her heart out into most of her works, displaying her woes and joy. Using illustrations as a way of communication and self-expression, which gives a personal touch to her works and makes her seem so approachable to her fans. She is so inspiring to me that she even made it to my inspiration board.

Thanks for stopping by! Don't forget to stop by her website. Also, check out the previous feature here.


  1. your writing is great and this was enjoyable to read! :D


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