HOW DID YOU GET INTO ART & WHY CALL YOURSELF A MISFIT? If I’m being honest, ever since I was a young child, I always considered myself a “misfit.” I didn’t really get along with the popular kids and wasn’t considered “good enough” by my art teachers to pursue art as a career. As a result, I never really felt like I belong anywhere. So to cope with this idea of not “fitting” I began writing stories of fantasy worlds and illustrating those stories to help be process through these feelings of not being wanted or belonging. As I got older, my stories began to get longer and my illustrations more complex. I still felt light years behind when it came to my artistic talents – but at this point I didn’t really care. Art for me was something to help me feel good about myself and if no one else saw it – as long as I was happy that was all that mattered. Fast forward to 2013 – when I was debating what to name to call my YouTube channel – I suddenly felt this urge to use the word “misfit” somewhere in it’s name. I wanted to own it – that I wasn’t the typical artist. I wanted to break rules and just have fun in the process. Not trying to pursue perfection – but rather inner happiness and acceptance through my art.
WHAT IS YOUR ARTISTIC BACKGROUND?
Funny enough, when I started college – I wanted to be somewhat of an Art Therapist with an Education Major and an Art Minor. My goal was to use art to help others process and cope – similar to how I had always used art. Although plans never quite turn out as we expect – I did end up graduating with a Masters in Education and early childhood and just a few hours short of having an art minor. But by that time – I was burned out on school and just wanted a change of scenery. So I began tutoring a vast variety of students with different learning needs as well as teaching art camps in the summers.
WHAT DREW YOU TO WATERCOLOR?
I’m not really sure – but I always loved the looks of watercolor even as a child. I’ve experimented with many different art mediums including oil, acrylic, gouache, ink, even pottery and stained glass. But watercolor always had a special place in my heart – and through it I always felt like my illustrations could come to life and hop off the page.
WHAT INSPIRES YOUR ART?
I’ve always been drawn to Disney Concept Artists. If I could, I’d own every concept art book for every Disney movie – but currently my favorites are the concept artists associated with Finding Nemo, Tangled, Mulan, Frozen, and anything to do with Mary Blair. I’ve also found a lot of inspiration from Manga and Anime over the years as well as Korean Watercolor Artists. I’ve always been fascinated with how they use ink with watercolor as well as extremely animated gesture drawings.
HOW DID YOU DEVELOP YOUR ART STYLE?
Trying anything and everything that drew my eye – such as colorful cartoons like Rugrats, abstract paintings, and even hyperrealism painting of flowers and barns. I tried anything I could and over the years began to slowly mold a style that made me happy. So, in my opinion, there is no real formula to finding your own art style but rather just a process of exploration in finding what makes you happy to paint and draw.
WHAT DO YOU USE TO PAINT DIGITALLY?
I currently use Adobe Photoshop, and Apple Pencil, as well as the App Procreate on my IPad. These digital tools help me create color terence’s for my watercolor paintings and take most of the guess work out of how to layer and mix my colors on the paper.
ARE YOU SELF TAUGHT?
Yes! I have taken several art courses in college – but for the majority I am self taught via library books and just observing the world around me.
DO YOU USE REFERENCES FOR YOUR DRAWINGS?
Occasionally, I really like to study anatomy drawing books, gesture reference poses, as well as animation books to help with my drawings. I find these references extremely helpful in getting correct proportions and even conveying emotions/gestures correctly.
WHERE DO YOU FIND INSPIRATION?
Anywhere and everywhere! I get inspired by going for a run, listening to music, going to the zoo, reading a book, watching a movie, etc. Anything that inspires my creative drive can turn into inspiration.
WHAT IS YOUR TYPICAL PROCESS OF A PAINTING?
I usually start with a simple thumbnail sketch after getting some form of inspiration. This is one reason I try to keep a sketchbook on my at all times. These thumbnail sketches are really loose and well to be honest quite bad. The point of these isn’t to create a finished look – but to capture the idea on paper as quickly as possible. These sketches tend to take less than five minutes to capture. After creating a thumbnail sketch – I’ll then try to work on a more stylized sketch – tweaking proportions as well as composition to create a better drawing. From there I begin to work on my final drawing and really hone in on the final piece – which I then transfer to my IPAD and paint a color reference in procreate. From there – I transfer my final sketch to watercolor paper and then start painting. Depending on how detailed the painting is – this whole process can take several hours to several days.
DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR SOMEONE NEW TO WATERCOLOR?
EXPERIMENT! EXPERIMENT! EXPERIMENT! Watercolor is a very difficult medium – so the only way to learn it is to just jump right in and play around with paints, colors, layering and even mixing with other mediums. The more you play around with the medium the more you will understand. Don’t be afraid to try new things – even if they turn out “wrong.” In the end – you can never lose as long as you keep learning and trying. Eventually things will start to fall into place and you’ll find yourself captivated by the beauty on your page.
WHAT PAINTS DO YOU USE?
I use a wide variety of paints from Winsor & Newton, Holbein, Schmincke, and PH Martin. For me, I desire paints that can translate on paper what is in my mind. I’m not super particular about lightfastness – but rather color vibrancy and smooth ink like textures.
Arlene PlastineSeptember 12, 2019 at 2:30 pm
Bravo Carrie! You found your way through the maze and are now a beautiful & gifted watercolor artist. But you did it your way. Can the way there be different for everyone or does everyone follow paths similar to yours?
AnnaSeptember 13, 2019 at 1:10 am
Hi Carrie. I think you are very brave for sharing your story. I was deeply moved and appreciate your honesty. Thanks to your YT videos, I have learned soooo much about working with watercolouring which is my favourite medium. I wish you the very best and look forward to more of your vids.
Jean | DelightfulRepast.comSeptember 16, 2019 at 3:15 am
Carrie, I’ve seen several of your YouTube videos since I took up watercolor a few months ago and decided to check out your blog as well. I’m a food blogger and several of my little watercolors have appeared on the blog. Though your style is very different from my own, I love your work and wish you and Stephen all the best with Watercolor Misfit and life in general. After thinking for decades that I’d like to try watercolor painting “someday,” I finally actually did and I love it. I may never get “good” at it, but I’m having a wonderful time!
MisfitSeptember 20, 2019 at 10:40 pm
Aw :D Thanks so much Jean! That really means alot :D
RachelSeptember 16, 2019 at 1:22 pm
I am a new misfit-ian! I began watching your videos last year, and thanks to you, painted something I loved very much. But I was quickly discouraged due to some major health problems that started soon after I began painting. I am finally making an effort to start again. I do feel like I lost everything I learned last year. So I’m going back through your videos. You are such a wonderful inspiration as an artist AND a person. Thank you for sharing your misfit beauty with the world.
MisfitSeptember 20, 2019 at 10:41 pm
Thanks Rachel! Hope your health improves – bad health is never easy. Keep playing around with art and allow it to just soothe your soul! :D