Freelance illustrator Jade Mere showcases her engaging digital sketches in issue 124. Take a sneaky peek here!


Sketching is a way to explore new ideas or improve old ones without feeling pressure to produce a completed, polished illustration. Sketching is a way to get your ideas down and concentrate on the story and concept rather than focusing on achieving perfect anatomy or rendering.

I was not born with a pencil in my hand. I did not start drawing until I was in high school. When I was a child, my older sister would excel in every subject, including art, and I always felt discouraged, so it wasn’t until she moved out that I started drawing. Even when I did start drawing, I wasn’t good at it, and had to work very hard to improve. I did, however, make up fantastic stories and adventures when I was a child, playing games with elaborate back stories and characters of my own creation. I believe that creativity resurfaced when I started painting.

I realized I wanted to pursue a career as an artist when I joined social media sites and started putting my work up and watched other artists. Since I didn’t know any artists in real life, it was the first time I had the chance to interact with people who shared a common love of art, and I wanted to keep myself surrounded by those types of people.

Now, instead of keeping a physical sketchbook, I keep a digital one. Every morning I start with a warm up sketch, 10-50 minute paintings where I try to get a concept down.


After thumbnail compositions, Jade gets an idea in place with rough lines

Inspiration and Ideas

I’ve found inspiration in all the common places: watching an epic film, listening to a song as images flash in my head, reading a fantastic book, taking a walk in the woods or along the ocean. I never have a lack of ideas.

There are too many artists to list who have inspired me, from the classic works of John Singer Sargent to the beautiful renderings of Ruan Jia. My favorite artworks are those that hint at a story, single images that make me wish there was an entire book dedicated to telling the story of that picture.


‘Lava Tiger’ a personal work

When it comes to searching for new artists I don’t spend much time in art galleries, because of where I live. I do however spend a depressing amount of time of the internet, browsing digital galleries!

Most of my ideas pop into my head when I’m taking walks and listening to music. I’ll quickly scribble down the idea, and then turn it into a thumbnail. A few weeks later, if the idea still excites me and if I’m able to get a pleasing composition out of it, I’ll make it into a full illustration. I would say that only one out of every twenty ideas makes it into Photoshop and is rendered out.

'Farewell', a personal sketch

‘Farewell’, a personal sketch

'Enthrall', one of Jade’s canine sketches

‘Enthrall’, one of Jade’s canine sketches

See more of Jade’s work and read more about her sketching in the full article in issue 124 of 2dartist!