Selective Focus: Steph Anderson

Stephanie Anderson is an illustrator working as The Hillside Creative. She enjoys making detailed, textured drawings with simple tools. And if you’re looking for a pet portrait, she’s ready to help you out.

SA: Ink and watercolor is my medium. There is something that I love about the harsh, black lines of the ink pens in contrast with the free-flowing, vibrant watercolor brush strokes.

I begin each piece by first drawing the image with Micron pens. After it is completely drawn, I then paint over it with watercolors, some I decide to leave in Black and White too. Everything I draw is on watercolor paper which has a lot of texture- this can be a little tricky when you are meticulously making a lot of small lines.

Cat Commission
One of the questions I get the most is people wondering if I do pet portraits. The answer is YES! I love how this sweet, snoozing cat turned out.

I am a huge fan of pointillism- I love how so many small dots and lines can add such depth to the piece. Some of my most favorite art pieces are those of scenes in the night. I love seeing how people portray the darkness and think of the night light differently than a more common daytime scene. The moon and night scenes have been a huge focus of mine lately.

Split Rock
This was my first try at a landscape and I was so excited with the outcome. It gave me the idea of starting a collection of Lake Superior landmarks, next one up was Enger tower.

When I was younger, I started painting with both acrylic and watercolor paint. I have always enjoyed painting but I believe my skill developed further when it came to drawing. I have not had any formal schooling on these techniques, but drawing has been a creative outlet for me throughout my life.

Enger Tower
Most of the Summer I had been focusing on animals and nature. Come Fall I need to mix it up and challenge myself with something new- landscapes.

This past Summer I finally made the decision to start a business so I can keep creating and have the opportunity to share my work with others. Thus, The Hillside Creative was created!

Starting this business has been a huge challenge, but a very fun one. I think a more personal challenge that I face is finding a balance with being true to my style and perspectives, and maintaining that, while trying to create things that I think others would like and purchase.

A huge reward has been seeing people’s reactions to my work. At one of the last shows someone I had never met came just to see my work. That was such an amazing feeling! It really is rewarding to finish a piece as well. Sometimes there is nothing as daunting as a blank white sheet of paper and to turn that into a piece of art is pretty cool.

Sleeping Fawn
It is hard to pick favorites, but I would have to say I would have a hard time parting with this Fawn.

Currently I am only selling my work at local art shows. I am a part of Duluth’s Art on Tap group as well as Duluth Made Market. I am hoping to add an online shopping feature to my website in the coming months as well. Instagram, @thehillsidecreative is the best way to keep up with my latest news.

Flower Compass
Flowers are one of my favorite things to draw. I love the flowing lines of the petals. Also adding the watercolor to them is so gratifying- they just come to life!

I do not have any shows on the books quite yet, January has been my moment to take a breath and a break from my work. I am itching to get back to it and hoping to get some shows scheduled. I would love to try some larger festivals this year! Also something new coming up for me- prints of my originals. I have only sold original pieces so far and I would love to be able to offer more work a lower price points.

Instagram: @thehillsidecreative

Lake Superior Moon
To make my starry skies, I draw tons of small circles and then color in the black behind them. It really takes a long time and causes hand cramps, but the outcome is totally worth it!

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