We had the good fortune of connecting with Caitlyn Blackburn and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Caitlyn, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
I have loved the arts for as far back as I can remember. I can recall taking the coloring contests very seriously in elementary school, or rather, as serious as I could have at the age of 6. Books were also a big part of my life while growing up because I was an avid reader. People would always ask me what I wanted to do when I grew up, and I would struggle to decide between being an artist or a writer. There was a fascination with stories, but I also loved drawing. I can still remember the very moment I decided I wanted to be an animator. It was a normal summer weekday and I was casually watching the show Danny Phantom on Nickelodeon. Then it hit me: “oh! people get paid to make these shows!” It was perfect. Animation was the ultimate combination of storytelling and drawing. That’s when I truly got serious about art. There was never a backup plan, because I didn’t want to do anything else. Sure, I’m willing to work other jobs to make ends meet, but the ultimate goal was always to make a living off of art. The stories I heard from books and TV shows were a major source of escapism for me when I was at my lowest. I feel as though I’ve learned a lot about life from them as well. If my work can be the same thing for even one other person, then I will have been successful. I want to give back to the same communities that helped and inspired me throughout the years.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
One of my favorite saying is, “Art is hard.” It takes a long time to finesse artistic talent and truly master your craft. I wouldn’t say I’ve mastered anything yet, but I’m making steps to improve every day. I’m currently in the beginning stages of my artistic career. I graduated university only a few months ago, and I’m hoping to be my own boss. I take drawing commissions, and I currently run a YouTube and Instagram account to showcase my work. I will also be live streaming drawing sessions soon and am in the works for creating a potential web comic. My main issue is which one I should prioritize, because there’s so much I want to do! My art ranges from cute and colorful, to dark and whimsical. There’s a definite anime influence to the way I draw characters, with just a hint of western cartoon styles mixed in. I’m interested in a variety of genres, but right now an ‘eerie but beautiful’ aesthetic has piqued my interest. The best way I can describe it is the feeling one gets while staring at the black silhouettes of trees against the moon while fog rolls across the ground. It’s beautiful with a hint of something sinister lurking in the dark. That’s the kind of feeling I want to capture in the comic I’m developing. For now, I guess we’ll see what the future has in store for me.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
This depends on whether you’re talking about Colorado or where I’m currently living. I grew up in Canon City and lived there for my whole life. That is, up until a couple months ago when I moved all the way to Japan! In Colorado, one of my favorite places is Bishop’s Castle. It’s a castle in the middle of the forest that some people decided to make one day. It’s such a wild place, and they’re still doing construction on it. The concept of a normal citizen getting up one day and deciding to make a castle with his family is so funny and cool to me. It’s definitely one of my favorite places in Colorado.
However, in Japan, I would definitely show my friend all the little ramen shops around here. The food is so good, and there’s so many tiny restaurants around town. I would also drive them around the area so they can see what Japan looks like. The architecture is a bit different than in America, and they also drive on the left side of the road here. One place we would have to stop is the owl café nearby. There’s a little coffee shop that has live owls in it! So you can enjoy a coffee and pet the owls. I’ve only been here a few months, but so far Japan has been a very cool place to live.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My wonderful husband, Scott, has been immensely helpful throughout my whole journey. He’s been incredibly encouraging while I got my college degree in animation. He’s also extremely hard working and is supporting our little family while I get my feet off the ground starting my small business. My situation is very lucky, because his support is allowing me to focus all of my attention on my work right now. I’m truly blessed to be with such an amazing man.
Other: email: email@example.com