Angela- The United States

Artist Interview: Angela from the United States

Interview of Angela (@iCraveiLove) by Vanessa (@VanessDam) for Stana Talk Radio (@StanaTalkRadio)

Angela has a very personal style and I wanted to know more about her art and give you an insight on her Castle-related artwork. Angela kindly agreed to answer my questions.


1) Do you have an artist name? I go by my name Angela Russow. I did choose a business name, Inspired by You, so I can make a website or a Facebook page that stood out a little bit, but Angela is fine.

2) How long have you been drawing / painting? Are you a self-taught artist or do you have an art education background? I always drew when I was little and up to college and then I quit. I didn’t draw or paint again until about a year and a half ago or so. I am mostly self-taught. There were some classes at school but for the most part I am learning as I go, I read Internet tutorials too but other than that I don’t have any formal training.

3) Could you tell us more about your work? Do you paint at home, everyday or only according to your inspiration? Do you paint from nature or photographs? I work at home, I do medical transcription as my real job and it’s flexible, so it allows me to paint. I try to do something every day, even if I don’t have time to work on something extensively, I at least try to practice on my sketchbook. I paint if I am inspired and I want to do it or if somebody commissioned something. I’ve had at least 10 or 12 commissions since August, most are for familly or friends of familly.

4) Have you already exhibited your paintings? No I haven’t, but I want to. They have a craft fair in my town in April, I would really like to try, and get some more paintings done and prints made of some of my paintings to try to get there and advertise. So I definitely need to get more things done before I can do that.

5) Do you plan to enter the art business? Yes for sure, I am kind of already doing that now, since I have been paid for what I do. I would like eventually to go back to school so I can get a degree and maybe also learn additional graphic design and learn how to do additional things.

6) What is your favourite medium? What do you like in this medium? It is both regular pencil and acrylic paint. It is easier for me to get details with pencils, to get likenesses, and it is what I always did when I was younger. But then when I decided I wanted to try to make money or make a living off of art, at least part time, I decided I needed probably to learn how to paint. So I’ve basically been teaching myself how to paint this past year, and acrylic is really good for that because it’s water based so it’s easy to clean up and it also dries very fast. So if you make a mistake, you can paint right over, it’s really forgiving. That’s why I like it.

The cool thing with acrylic as opposed to pencil, is that painting you don’t have to be quite so perfect, you can just make little impressions and it kind of looks like trees, whereas if you do impressions with a pencil it looks like scribbles. So that’s kind of a cool difference with that, so I really like it.

7) Have you tried to do digital art? No, I am hopelessly clueless about digital art, I don’t have anything on my computer or anything like that. I would like to try it, I’ve been droppin hints to people that I would like the Samsung Galaxy Note with a little pen so I can get something going with that, but no I have no idea.

8) You draw and paint portraits, animals, landscapes, do you have a preference for one of these subjects? I really like to draw people. I do also like architecture, I’ve done a few paintings of houses for people, and those are a lot of fun. But people is my favourite. I also did a lot of dogs lately, so it’s all practice for something more, so that’s okay.

9) What does attract you in a subject? If it is pretty, if it’s interesting, and if there is a story surrounding it. There is a movie Stana recommended on Twitter one day called “The Brothers Bloom” which is a fascinating movie to me, and I like “For Lovers Only”, I have a ton of screenshots that I want to draw because it is a quirky fascinating movie and I’d love to draw some stuff with that.

And if I draw people, I like to get them a little more natural, like the one of Stana [Beckett] where she is looking at Rick at the end of ‘Cops and Robbers’, I wanted to do that rather than just from a posed magazine cover or something like that because I think it makes it a little more real in a candid.


10) Why do you draw celebrities like Stana Katic? She is gorgeous, for one. I mean, everytime there is a picture released, I’ve got it saved on my phone to try to draw it later. And it’s not just Stana, I want to try some colour pencils drawings of the entire cast, I have got a few of them sketched out so far. People in general like TJ Thyne, from Bones, I’ve drawn him several times. It’s mostly people I really like as individuals, as opposed to just people I like their show or who are just celebrities, I like doing people I admire as a person too.

11) How did you have the idea of painting Stana with pointed ears, wings, and sitting on the moon? That was actually pretty much her! The basic design of the purple fairy is the seat cover on my car, and I was staring at it one day I thought “you know that’s kinda cool, I’d like to make a fantasy painting out of that one day”. And then I read in two or three different places now where Stana said “I really want pointed ears”… That with a combination of the picture of her with a bow and arrows, so it just came together. It’s mostly like a mashup of all of that kind of stuff.


12) Do you do sketches before painting or do you directly paint on the canvas? 
I do a little bit of placement onto a big canvas just to make sure that the measurement is right, because a lot of time I have to draw, my reference is on my phone which is just 1 by 2-3 inch screenshot. A lot of time I do try to catch it out to make sure, then I do a little sketch on the canvas and then I go for it!

13) I would like to talk about your very creative painting “Blue Butterfly Style” that Stana’s webmaster has posted on her Facebook page. Can you describe it for the listeners who haven’t seen it? I’ve wanted to paint something to do with “The Blue Butterfly” since the minute the episode was airing, I thought it was beautifully done. I wanted to do something with that but something original, and I wanted to include as many people as I could. That’s why Jim (Scott Paulin) is in there. A lot of people probably didn’t know that all of the background people are based on either crew or additional cast members or writers. Terri E. Miller and Andrew W. Marlowe are in there, they’re right up front, I think most people recognized them. The bartender is Andrew Bikichky. Christopher Brow the cameraman, the Bowmans (Rob and Chuck) and Luke Reichle are backing up Lanie (Tamala Jones) on stage, and then just to kind of fill in the back. I put Meredith (Darby Stanchfield) and Gina (Monet Mazur), I thought they look good kinda sitting there by the piano all dressed up. I tried to include Ruben Santiago-Hudson but it could be Gates’ husband who we haven’t met yet.

I look at it now and I think I probably should have done a little bit less, kinda less is more, it’s a very busy painting and very detailled. Nobody posed for me for that painting, except for Molly, there is a perfect shot of her walking into towards the end, I was like “Oh my gosh, perfect, I have to draw that”. Most of is is from memory or Twitter avatars, for all the pictures of these people on the Internet, there was not one where they were exactly how I wanted them to be, so I had to make that all up as I went along. It is an 18 by 24 in painting, it’s pretty big, and it is acually hanging in my living room right now!


14) You also reproduced a painting by Alex Gross named “Matasaburo in the Wind”, it is the one that we can see in Kate Beckett’s apartment, in Castle. Was it a challenge for you to paint it, and why? Did you change something in the original painting? Yes it was a challenge, because for one that painting is 24 by 36 inches and I painted it from the screenshot from Alex Gross’ website. Trying to get the measurement right on that was difficult. Also, at that time I didn’t have an easel or anything so I was painting on the floor, with the canvas on my lap so it was pretty difficult.

I have touched it up since then, so I may repost it. I fixed her arm, like some of the perspective was wrong. So I had to go back on that after staring at it for a while I was able to see some things. And the one difference that I made to the painting is that I took off the baby: there is a baby with the head on fire at the bottom and it was freaking my kid out when I started to paint it so I painted over it. But yeah, it was a challenge but it was fun. I love the painting so I wanted to get a print, but the prints are very expensive so I figured why not trying to do one myself? So now I have one in my room! And if you want to better yourself, it’s a good idea to practice by copying other artists’ artwork.


15) Do you have a favorite drawing / painting? 
My favourite is the one from “For Lovers Only” where they are sitting by the beach, with Stana in a hat with Mark Polish, it is on Stana’s FB page. It was the first drawing that I have done after 10 or 12 years or so, so I am pretty proud of it even if I look at it now I think I can make some changes on it. But it kind of got me back into drawing in the first place so this is why I really like that one. And I have a painting of “For Lovers Only” that is in colour, with them running through the yellow flowers and I really like that one a lot too.



16) Where do you find your inspiration to draw / paint? Are there any artists that you admire, do they influence you? Most of my stuff is inspired by tv and movies I have seen or things that I’ve read. Artists definitely do inspire me in the sense that I want to do better or try new things, or get better at everything. Photography inspires me too, like people tweeting sunsets or anything on Instagram and everywhere else. I have tons and tons of pictures saved from what people have sent me.

17) I remember you saying on Twitter one day that “things like the STR Tumblr page really help you stay motivated”. Can you tell us how it helps you and why? It makes me think maybe I am going into the right direction, if people likes things that I do. My biggest problem as an artist when I was younger, and it was one of the reasons why I quit, was self-confidence. I was a good artist in highschool and then I showed up at college there was people who was so much better than me and I just said “forget it”. Now with a lot of added pressure from friends and familly saying “you really need to do this and work on this”. You know, that helps. So when I put a picture on the Internet and a bunch of people like it or it gets added to [Stana’s] Facebook page, it’s like “OK cool, people like it”. And it makes me want to do more and to do better.

18) What advice would you give to artists just starting out? I would say, like I just said about college, don’t compare yourself to other people. I look at Arlene’s drawings all the time for example and I’m like “Oh my gosh, I can’t do that yet”, but I know I can eventually. You can admire artists if you want to get better, but don’t say “because there are artists better than me, I’m not going to try”. Just keep trying. And put yourself out there! If you are an artist and you do want to make a living at  it, don’t wait until you think you have a perfect porfolio and don’t wait until you think that all of your drawings are beautiful or that you have enough. From my perspective, I am 33 years old, if I want to make a living at this I’ve got to dive in and get started. No one is going to come to my apartment and say “Oh, you paint?!” or “look at your sketchbook, that’s awesome!”. You have to put yourself out there and go for it. Don’t worry about not being perfect and just keep trying, try new things and experiment and have fun with it!

19) Where can we find you on Internet?

And if you do want something painted by me, don’t be limited by what you see in my gallery right now, I’ll try anything. If there is a favourite photo you have or if say you want to see your little girl turned into a Disney princess or something, I can try that. That’s what I call it “Inspired by You”, if you want something, we can work together to make something that you like.


Please, if you want to show Angela’s artwork, ask Angela first, mention the source and don’t forget to credit her correctly.


If you missed our STR show on Tuesday January 8th, 2013: (the interview starts at 22’35”)

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