Drawing by Jane Zeke
This interview is part of a weekly series that focuses on creators who live at the intersection of writing and art. The goal is to provide inspiration and practical tips for anyone looking to add more visuals to their work.
Almost every day on Twitter, Jane Zeke combines quotes or thoughts with portraits she paints digitally in Procreate. The quotes and paintings are great in their own right, but combined they are just a fantastic boost to the quality of visual Twitter. She also provides a time-lapse video in a thread below for each painting, which is something I would love to see more of.
Jane answered some questions below about her process and provided some wonderful thoughts about creativity.
Tell us about the creative work you do on Twitter
I started a Twitter account in January as a way to push myself to practice digital drawing. I work under a pseudonym to expand my network. Outside of Twitter, I’m a painter and an art teacher.
How long have you been visually creative?
True Story: Before I could write, I saw my mom’s signature on a check and forged it on a piece of paper. Been doodling ever since.
What went into the decision to start including quotes and time-lapse videos of your portraits?
It’s a healthy exercise to reflect on your day, think of one quote that resonates with you, and share it in a quirky, colorful package. The time-lapses are just a way to invite people into my *virtual studio* to see my drawing process.
What tools do you like to use for creation and publishing?
Procreate, Adobe Premiere, and my plain ol’ sketchbook.
Is there one image you are particularly proud of?
I get excited about tiny elements of each portrait. For this feed, I limit myself to about an hour or less per drawing. It’s really hard to decide when to put the pencil down and post them. I’m self critical – you might notice that there are issues with proportions, wacky facial features, and some haven’t achieved a likeness. I’m not necessarily proud of the images, but I’m proud that I’m putting unfinished work into the world because not many people are comfortable with that.
What advice would you give anyone who wants to build an audience using their visuals?
Send me your artwork. I want to see it and cheer you on!
Are there any creators who work at the intersection of writing and art that inspire and motivate you?
What advice would you give anyone who wants to start (or continue) adding visual creativity to their work?
Welcome feedback and QTIP (quit taking it personally). Hearing new ideas and implementing feedback will help you grow.
Bonus question: I noticed that David Perell follows you on Twitter. Any particular story behind that?
Didn’t know anything about him until he followed my Twitter – Glad he did because I now enjoy reading his weekly newsletters. Seems to have a good taste in art. 😉
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