THE ART OF STEPHANIE STASIUK MONK
My name is Stephanie Stasiuk Monk but you can call me Stas. I'm a freelance illustrator from British Columbia who practices in both digital and traditional mediums. Much of my portfolio is steeped in fantasy and I derive a great deal of my inspiration from nature and folklore. I love experimenting with colour and texture, and striking a balance between elegance and eeriness in my work.
I completed a certificate in Digital Animation from the British Columbia Institute of Technology where I learned many skills that I still use to this day. In 2022 I had the opportunity to illustrate my first book cover, and in 2023 I worked on a fully illustrated children's book. I'm looking forward to creating more commercial illustrations in the future, and would love to design posters or album covers for musicians.
When people ask me when did you get into art? my answer is usually as soon as I learned to hold a pencil. I don't actually remember getting into drawing, it feels like it has always been with me. I would spend hours sitting at the kitchen table with my sister drawing animals. I vividly remember pulling long sheets of continuous form paper out of the box by our old computer and using it to make "levels" inspired by old Mario and Sonic games.
I began designing my own characters at the height of Pokémania - that wonderful time in the late 90s when Pokémon had exploded onto the scene in North America. The first character I had ever designed was a simple green and blue dragon. From that point on I would continue to enjoy designing characters and thinking up fantasy settings for them to live in.
I made my first attempts at drawing digitally when I was a child. I would sit at our family computer and draw in MS Paint with a mouse. I remember printing out my extremely bright geometric drawings and wasting all of our printer ink the process. My parents must have noticed how much I enjoyed drawing digitally because they got me a secondhand Wacom tablet and Adobe Photoshop, and I've been been using those brands ever since. I have since upgraded my setup to a Wacom Cintiq 22, but I still use Adobe Photoshop to this day.
I sometimes paint on canvases and in those rare instances I like to work in acrylic, and for my artwork on paper I use just about anything I can get my hands on. I experiment with watercolour, pencil crayon, paint pens, spray paint, oil pastels, chalk pastels, and felts. However, my favourite medium for artwork on paper would have to be Pigma Micron ink pens.
As much as I prefer digital drawing, I try to dabble in traditional art every once in a while as a nice reprieve from the incessant glow of a screen.