Meet Justine Diaz, an illustrator from Ontario!
Besides answering these questions, what are you up to at the moment!
I’m currently working on my thesis! I just had my last critique of the semester and I’m really excited to see where my work is going.
How would you describe a typical day in your life?
I’m usually either at school, working at my retail job or just home watching YouTube videos haha.
And going off of that, what would a dream day look like for you?
I’d love to have a career in my field so I can get paid doing what I love since my life has been pretty stagnant for a while. Maybe spending all day doing graphic design/illustration for a cool company like Refinery29, or even working at a tattoo shop.
You have some incredible work. Do you remember the first time you ever created a piece of work and sort of fell in love with the process of creating?
When I was in my second year of university, I was still trying to figure out what I wanted my personal style to be. I had an assignment for my painting & drawing class to do a portait of a female, so I picked Dani Roche (coolest girl boss and one of my design + style icons) as my subject. I think I had a lot of firsts with this painting – using gouache, experimenting with patterns and most importantly realizing that painting people was what I really enjoyed doing. Looking back, this is one of the weakest paintings I’ve done but I’m glad to see how much I’ve improved and how many portraits I’ve created since then.
There’s a popular experience among creators in general when they felt at some point—maybe in the beginning of their journey—or even from time to time when they didn’t like the work they were creating. Have you ever gone through that? And if so, what helped you to get over that hump?
I’m generally a negative person so I often feel like my work isn’t good enough compared to others or I straight up despise my work, but I almost always force myself to finish whatever piece I started because art is one of the things I genuinely love doing and am good at. My boyfriend, friends, family and even some of my Instagram followers are SO supportive and they help me push myself to keep making art and to go for a bunch of opportunities that I wouldn’t have gotten if it weren’t for them.
Who are you listening to at the moment?
The Front Bottoms, Superorganism, MGMT, also I’ve been listening to These Days by Wallows on repeat for the past few months. I started getting into podcasts by YouTubers and I’m really into VIEWS with David Dobrik and Jason Nash as well as Pretty Basic with Remi Cruz and Alisha Marie.
Some people feel like their true self when they’re at home alone reading book, hanging out with friends, and others when they’re creating. For you personally, when do you feel most you?
Always when I’m home alone. Or if I were to be with someone, I’d be with my boyfriend since I feel the most comfortable and myself around him whether we’re alone or out together.
You do a lot of these amazing portraits of musicians. What draws you to those subjects?
The subjects I paint are always people whose work I admire or I just like as people, and since I love music, I like to pay tribute to my favourite musicians by doing portraits. I always like to include some sort of aspect of them in the background – for instance, I painted the After Laughter album cover on my portrait of Hayley Williams and a bunch of cigarettes behind Mac Demarco (lol).
What’s one song you know all the words to and could belt out in a moments notice?
I Write Sins, Not Tragedies By Panic! At the Disco
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received or follow?
“Work on your own pace to achieve your goals.” I’ve heard this many times worded differently by multiple people. At first I just shrugged it off, but I have problems comparing myself to other artists and seeing how successful people my age or younger are. Because of this, I’m constantly putting myself down because I’m not getting commissioned or putting my work out there/not creating art as often as I should, not having a job related to my major and even not having “enough” followers on Instagram. It’s still a work in progress but I try to keep reminding myself that I shouldn’t rush myself.
If there’s one thing you could tell your 16 year-old self, what would it be?
Stop wearing so much black eyeliner and doing that weird scene/emo hairstyle every day. You’ll regret it.
THIS? OR THAT!
Coffee or Tea? Coffee only if it’s super sweet
Glossy or Matte? Glossy
Routine or Go-with-the-flow? Routine
Book or Movie? Movie
Sweet or Savory? Sweet (but I think I’m slowly becoming a savory person…)
Music Festival or Single Concert? Single concert
Cats or Dogs? Dogs!!!!!
Call or Text? Text
Hot or Cold? Hot
Digital or Film? Film