March of 2021's Artist of the Month is Sarah Richford, aka TechraNova, This amazing up and coming illustrator based in the UK has only been a Pixel Empire member for a few months but has quickly become a fan favorite.
I had the pleasure of asking Sarah a few questions about her art style, process, and, of course, who her favorite Starter Pokémon is. Enjoy!
The Electric Mouse Within Poster by TechraNova
When browsing your storefront, the phrase Gotta Catch 'Em All definitely comes to mind. You have dozens of amazing Pokémon Evolution designs in a very unique style covering all eight generations. Which design started this amazing collection?
I started with "The Fire Mage Within" sometime before 2016, as a one off - and I think you can tell it was the first one out of the lot! I even drew it and forgot to share it online for more than a year because I didn't like it so much. The response I got from that was a lot of positivity which completely changed my view on the art itself!
The Fire Mage Within Poster by TechraNova
Did you design these with the intention of making more in the same style, or did it just sort of EVOLVE after you struck gold with the first design?
I see what you did there with that Evolve!
I didn't intend to make more after "The Fire Mage Within" but I remember people suggesting more on social media after I shared the first one. I figured, why not draw more? After drawing "The Fire Cat Within" I ended up drawing all the fire starters as my followers wanted to see their favourite starters in that fire style. After the fire starters were finished, people wanted to see how the grass style silhouette would work, then the water style and so on! Each one flowed into the next, people really liked "The Grass Saur Within" and later on "The Aura Within"
The Evolution Within Poster by TechraNova
One of your all-time best sellers is The Evolution Within featuring the three original starter Pokémon and their evolutions. Who is your favorite starter Pokémon, from any generation?
That is a good question! I think my favourite starter is either Typhlosion or Blaziken. I'm always flip flopping between gen 2 and 3.
The Evolution Within Poster by TechraNova
What was your introduction to the series that has inspired your artwork for so many years? The cards? The video games? The Anime?
The games for sure, I've pretty much played 'Em All from the very beginning.
The Eveelution Within Poster Set by TechraNova
In addition to Pokémon designs, you now have a growing collection of Digimon evolutions as well. Do you have a favorite?
Wargreymon was always the coolest one when I was a kid so drawing him was a blast, I wanted to keep the same silhouette style but make them recognisable from the show they're from, so I added a lot more "cyber" like lines and shapes. So instead of the silhouette being made of a fire element, or water, it's made out of digital energy. Also their designs are much more complicated which could be harder to show in a silhouette, so it was a challenge to pick what lines to show through in the silhouette.
Digimon Evolution Set by TechraNova
I speak with a lot of artists and the answer to whether 2020 was good or bad for their creativity seems to be split right down the middle. Where did you fall in the spectrum?
Yeah 2020 unfortunately hit pretty hard, like it did with so many others. Some days I felt productive as an artist and other days I just wanted to curl into a ball and play video games all day! Here's hoping 2021 will be better for all of us.
The Menacing Ghost Within T-Shirt by TechraNova
Do you have any upcoming designs that you are excited about and would like to share?
I do!! I have a digi design soo many people have been asking me to do! A special fusion!
Are there any artists that you would like to shout out that inspire you?
My two favourite artists are ChocolateRaisinFury and Geekydog, you should really check their stuff out. They're extremely inspiring.
Do you have any parting words of wisdom for aspiring graphic artists who are looking to get started in the industry?
Draw what you like and are inspired by the most, and drawing art that flows with other pieces in a set are extremely fun to do! I seriously recommend set pieces, especially if you can make them in a style that can become recognizable the more you draw.
If you'd like to view more work from Sarah Richford, aka TechraNova, you can view her storefront HERE.