This year’s Teen Issue cover artist is Lauren Frame. She is a fifteen-year-old high school student in Rancho Cucamonga, California. In addition to the cover digital illustration — “Turn on the Light,” inspired by The Owl House — her artwork is sprinkled throughout the issue’s poetry contributions.
Here’s a Q&A for insights into her artistic sensibilities.
Erin Michaela Sweeney: When did you know you wanted to be an artist?
Lauren Frame: There was never really a specific point in time in which I was inspired to become an artist. However, when I was around seven or eight years old I began to find drawing tutorials on YouTube consisting of all sorts of subjects. After doing hundreds of these, I began to gain a passion for drawing, and when I was gifted my first digital drawing tablet, I began to take my art more seriously.
EMS: Where did you learn some of your artistic skills?
LF: As stated before, my very first experiences with art were from tutorials on YouTube. Later on, I attended an art class in eighth grade as well as an art club in seventh grade. Currently, I research methods on YouTube and in physical guides, and I hope to take more art classes in the next years of high school.
EMS: Who are some of your inspirations?
LF: My main inspirations come from animators in the industry, such as James Baxter or John Lasseter, for animation that is. YouTube artists such as Scott Christian Sava and Sam Yang from Sam Does Art also provide useful tips on digital and traditional painting that I use regularly.
EMS: What motivates you to share your artwork?
LF: Ever since I’ve started taking my art more seriously and considering this as a potential job, I’ve wanted to share it online to perhaps gain traction and create a following. Creating a name for myself has been a goal since I’ve witnessed little-known creators on YouTube gaining hundreds of thousands of followers from their art, which has boosted their popularity online everywhere.
EMS: Why is creativity important to you?
LF: I think of it as an escape from reality, imagining a world that may never be, but can act as a place to flee to when times are tough. It enables so many people, myself included, to express their interests and imaginations vividly without much constraint, which is something I find fascinating.