Artist profile: Bethany Johnson

This+is+a+self-portrait+Johnson+made+in+2019.+Her+art+style+ranges+from+very+realistic%2C+to+colorful+and+cartoon-like+caricatures.+

Photo courtesy of Bethany Johnson.

This is a self-portrait Johnson made in 2019. Her art style ranges from very realistic, to colorful and cartoon-like caricatures.

This artist profile is about junior Bethany Johnson, who has been drawing throughout middle and high school. Johnson has amassed an impressive 16.7 thousand followers on the social media app TikTok, all while showcasing her art and her personality.

 

When did you first start making art?

 I first started really getting into art back in 6th grade, but I do remember drawing on notebook paper all the time in 5th grade, too.

 

Did anyone help you when you first began making art? If so, who? How did they help? 

I wouldn’t say that anyone necessarily helped me, but I had people encouraging me. I’m self taught, but I took art classes all throughout middle school and in my current high school career, too. Those classes are useful, but when it comes to my own art style, I was on my own.

 

What/Who inspired your style? 

There are plenty of artists that I’ve seen on social media that have inspired my style, picking little things from what they do and adding it to my own, until I had my own personal style. Of course, I’m still inspired by my mutual (friends) and other artists to keep drawing, and I’m thankful for everyone who has kept me going.

 

How would you describe your art? 

I’d describe my art to have more of a cartoon style. I use a mix of colors to make my art really pop.

 

What is your process for making a new piece? 

When starting a piece, I usually start with a rough sketch, which I call the “skeleton”, and then I go back over that sketch with more detail, maybe changing a few things to make it more to my liking. After I’m satisfied with my sketch, I start on the line art. Finally, I color in the line art and make sure to add all the details. I add my signature and then post it.

 

What is your favorite medium? Why? 

My personal favorite medium is digital art. There’s so many possibilities with different blending styles and an unlimited color palette. Plus, if I were to mess up, the “undo” button is sitting right there in front of me.

 

What art have you been making throughout quarantine? What has changed about your art since quarantine started? 

I’ve been making tons of art throughout quarantine, ranging from fan art from shows or games, to my own personal characters with their own background stories. I would say my art has changed dramatically since quarantine started, considering I started getting more into digital art around April. I might add that my style has improved even from September up until now, since I draw almost everyday, my art just keeps improving.

 

What kind of social media do you use to promote your art? Which version of social media is most popular for you? 

I use Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter to promote my art, though Instagram is where I’m most popular. I barely post on Twitter, and TikTok doesn’t really seem to get my art around all that much anymore, even though I’ve gone viral for a few pieces.

 

How do you deal with the amount of online attention you get to your art? 

The amount of attention actually encourages me to keep going, having plenty of support from mutuals and friends, and even from people I’ve never really spoken to before. Thankfully, I’ve never had to deal with much negative attention.

 

Do you have any advice for newer artists? 

To all the new artists, I implore that you stray from tracing someone else’s art and claiming it as your own. That only gets you in trouble, and makes you look bad. You can, however, ask the artist if you can redraw their piece in your own style, and with permission and proper credit, you can post it. I also encourage that you practice often, because I understand that it can be frustrating if something doesn’t look right the first time. The internet is a wide open space and has plenty of sources where you can look up tips such as anatomy, shading, lighting, and more! Take it from me, being a starting artist can be really difficult, but if you’re passionate enough, you can push through and make something great.