Hello there! My name’s Aleesha, but online I’m known as INKY. I’m a New England based digital artist with a primary focus on illustration and design. I’ve always liked illustrating since I was young, and explored the field of design while earning my B.F.A. at the University of Connecticut.
Once I graduated, my studying didn’t stop there. I invested numerous hours learning new art software and even built my own PC for creative projects.
Currently, I’m a full-time logo production artist, but have been working on my own independent projects in my free time.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Why the name “inky”?
Originally, I went by the name “inky_biscuits” online everywhere for years. I can’t really remember how that name came to fruition besides some old Facebook food challenge back in 2008. Some old friends and I changed our middle names to random foods, and people started calling me “biscuits” as a nickname in real life so it kind of stuck for a while. The inky bit had to do with my love of the aesthetics of ink. There’s something very raw and pleasing about the texture and brushstrokes of ink media.
That username definitely helped me stand out online because no one understood why those two things would ever be together, but eventually I outgrew it.
A lot of my followers and friends online started calling me “inky” for short, and to be honest, it’s easier to work with in terms of branding and consistency.
Why do you draw hedgehogs?
My hedgehog illustrations were first inspired by my husband’s spiked hair! They’re not the only things I like to create, but when I do, they usually indicate that I’m in good spirits. My hedgehog illustrations are a more lighthearted and playful take on our crazy world.
What do you draw with/ what tools do you use?
I’ve actually gotten a lot of questions like these on social media regarding the software I use, my drawing tablet and PC.
I have to say, regardless of the tools any artist uses, it may not work for you. I spent years playing around with tools, brushes, workflows and software to find out what clicked with my style.
Anyways, for my illustration work I primarily use Clip Studio Paint, but will use Procreate for sketching and laying out ideas. For my design work, I use Adobe Illustrator.
My main drawing tablet is the XP Pen 15.6 Pro, while I use my Apple iPad Air 10.5 and Apple Pencil on the go.
My PC specs are as follows:
- CPU: Intel Core i7 7700
- RAM: Ripjaws 8GB (x2)
- GPU: Gigabyte GeForce 1060 (6GB)
- SSD: Samsung 860 EVO (1TB)
- HHD: WD Blue (2TB)
Check out my blog if you’d like an in depth explanation about my setup, process and workflow.
Are you taking any commission work?
Currently, I am not taking any commission work. However, this may be something I am able to pursue in the future.
What inspired you to pursue art as a career?
Well, I was absolutely miserable in other fields I worked in, and I grew up around a lot of blue collar factory workers in a rural town. I didn’t want to have that life, not that those types of jobs are bad, but it just wasn’t for me. I struggled in a lot of different places because I couldn’t let my creativity shine, and in some instances my creative thinking caused trouble in positions where everything had to be done by the book.
I didn’t necessarily care where I worked, but rather that I had some flexibility to be creative in that position. I sort of used my upbringing as a reminder to stay humble and focus on my end goal.
Art is a hard field to get into, and at times it can be unstable, but don’t let anyone tell you it’s impossible, because it’s not. You just have to be open minded about what different industries could use your creative expertise.
Where do you get your ideas from?
Gosh, that’s a hard one. Sometimes they just come to me randomly when I’m not even in a creative moment. On the other hand, my ideas actually come from visions or rather animated stories that play in my mind when I walk and listen to music.
I have a running list of pieces I want to create one day, but it can be hard to find time to make everything. Sometimes, I do have to let my many ideas go. I can’t commit to all of them!
How do you deal with art block?
By doing other things that aren’t related to art. Contrary to popular belief, it’s utter insanity to commit 100 percent of your life to just one thing or one craft.
If I’m getting frustrated or can’t find that creative spark, then I simply do something else for a while. Walking, exercise and being out in nature help me clear my mind.
What would you tell artists who are just starting out?
I would tell them to not give up and to use the endless amount of resources us creatives have at our disposal today! Also, get some sort of online presence, the art community is so supportive online and it’ll help you build fans who can support your work in the long run.
Basically, don’t be afraid to put yourself out there, but don’t let it consume you where you’re only making art to appease an algorithm or for likes.