I usually don’t use the term “the feels” to describe what something evokes, but in a way it’s succinct. When I look at ireallshouldbedrawing’s art, the emotions the images provoke always linger. To sum it up, I get the feels. The moments she creates always seem like part of a bigger story and I’m often left spinning my own tales and wondering what came before and what will come after that moment.
I was scrolling through her art blog as I was writing this and got distracted for a time, stopping awhile at each picture, so many images bright with angst, or sadness, or compassion, or love. She told me that her style changes depending on the emotions behind the images, naturalistic for romance and angst, stylized for humor. Though I have been a fan for years, I never really noticed that about her work, but once she pointed it out, there it was, another layer learned, another reason why talking to artists about their craft is always fascinating.
ireallshouldbedrawing was one of the first art blogs I followed when I started to explore the Sherlock fandom on tumblr. Her style is unmistakable and sharp and constantly moving forward. I love the wideness of her range, from quick doodles, to images that invoke watercolors, and others that are sharp and black and almost colorblocked. She explored all of the incarnations and eras of Sherlock, though you could tell she had a soft spot for Rathbone.
ireallshouldbedrawing selected seven pieces to talk about, and I had to stop myself from asking her to add about ten more to the stack. Over the years I’ve amassed an epic list of favorites, Happy May 4th (Reichenbach feels), War-related Nightmare (Watson feels!), Jude Law’s Watson (just wow!). More recently she’s shifted focus from Sherlock to the MCU, transferring the emotions onto Tony Stark and Steve Rogers and I’ve amassed a new list of favorites. The characters might have changed but the feels will always be the same.
You have two fandom handles: “fictionforlife” and “ireallyshouldbedrawing”. What are the stories behind them?
I’ve been obsessed with fictional characters since I was nine. My first serious fictional character love was Nine Continents, a character from a kung fu comic book series. Then there was my Legolas phase, Da Pump (a Japanese boyband), and Eagle Vision (Magic Knight Rayearth manga), to name a few. I’ve been in love with fictional characters all my life, hence my other handle “fiction for life”.
When I first got into my first proper fandom, it was really overwhelming because I had all these feels. So I tried my hand at drawing, something I hadn’t done in years. I was terrible and I needed to practice a lot and “I really should be drawing” was sort of a reminder to myself.
How did you get into the Sherlock fandom?
I watched Sherlock for the first time and went to the interweb and it went downhill from there haha kidding.
What is your fandom experience like?
Fandom has been a fun place for me because I keep it that way. I try to steer clear from wanks, though there have been times when I couldn’t help myself because they involved fanwork shaming.
Are you active in communities, do you read fanworks, etc?
I don’t spend as much time as I used to online, so I try to participate in fanwork exchanges when I can. It’s a good way to stay in the loop with fandom and get to know new people.
I read about three to five fics daily or more, depends on the length.
Now that you’ve moved on a bit from Sherlock to MCU are the fandoms very different?
I’m more in the Steve/Tony fandom to be honest, I love every single version of Steve/Tony I’ve seen, whether it’s MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe), 616 (Earth 616), Ults (Ultimates) , or even the cross-verses. They’re special, and broken, and amazing in their own way.
Basically the fandoms are not much different, there are still wanks, ship wars, and characters bashing. But there are also discussions, meta and fanwork exchanges. There are more exchanges in the Steve/Tony fandom than in the Sherlock Holmes fandom that I know of (especially after ACD Holmesfest announced they were taking an indefinite hiatus. HA hiatus), and some of them have been going on for years. Sometimes obsession needs constant feeding and comics and the cinematic universe have been giving us that.
Since you’ve been reading heavily in the MCU these days, can you rec your top three Steve/Tony fics or favorite MCU fan writers? We can never have enough recommendations!
Oh boy. There are too many great Steve/Tony writers and awesome fic to just recommend three! But off the top of my head, I can think of these; “Buy You a Mocking Bird” by jadedoll, “A Fistful of Steves: This Town Ain’t Big Enough” by teaberryblue (with art by Raikishi) and “Doubt the Stars” by someidiothasice.
Can you tell me about your art background?
I went to a design school and had a few basic art classes there.
What mediums do you work with?
Mostly digital, but I really like working with ink.
What are you currently inspired by and how is it feeding into your work?
I’m really hooked on YA books with gay protagonists right now. My favorites are currently Hero by Perry Moore and Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz.
I haven’t made anything based on those books, but I have been drawing a lot of Iron Man Noir AU while listening to a few songs from George Michael’s Older album on a loop.
You mentioned that your handle came from wanting to remind yourself to be drawing more, how often are you drawing now? 🙂
Almost every day. Especially now that I quit my day job and just started a freelance business as an illustrator. Still not as often as I’d like to, though.
How has your style changed over the years?
I’m more confident with my strokes, but I’m still trying to find the style I’m most comfortable with.
What’s one question that you wish people would ask you about your art?
Can I commission you? Ha ha! Or, what’s the story behind a piece?