Alice Coles (@HulloAlice) is an illustrator, artist, designer, and video producer based in Colorado. She has honed her skills and created a signature style thanks largely to her own video production schedule. Alice publishes tutorial videos and showcases her experiments on her YouTube channel, HulloAlice.

In this conversation, we discuss Alice’s origins as an illustrator, how she found supporters in the YouTube community, what art supplies she relies on, and what sort of desk setup she uses to film her own work as it happens.

See more of Alice’s work and get in touch on her website.

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Alice at desk

Alice in front of her battlestation

Moonlit

Moonlit by Alice Coles

Always

Always by Alice Coles

Alice

Alice by Alice Coles

Show Notes & Links

  • Prescott and Alice met at a design conference in Phoenix
  • Alice describes her work as “an exploration of herself, her memories, and her place and role in the world.”
  • Alice uses storytelling in her art, calling herself an illustrator
  • Monument Valley
  • Loish, artist and inspiration of Alice
  • Kaizen, the Japanese idea of continual self-improvement
  • Alice admits she doesn’t quite have the time/focus for too many commissions
  • Sycra on YouTube
  • Baylee Jae on YouTube

“YouTube can be toxic at times, I've seen, but the art community is so supportive of each other.”

—Alice Coles

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“Watercolour is the worst medium to scan.”

—Alice Coles

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“I tend to barrel through life like a rolling stone.”

—Alice Coles

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Tools

Techniques

  • Start with inspiration — colour combo, landscape, etc.
  • Use figure references for anatomy
  • Paint in layers — block in shadows first, then skin tone — keep it thin
  • Underpaint (paint an entire paper with a single colour to instill a tone or feeling)
  • Use a hairdryer to dry your layers
  • Use a hairdryer to cure swimmer’s ear
  • Complete a painting in a single sitting (2–6 hours)
  • Batch videos, especially when lighting/hair/make-up is required
  • Watch a speed version of your video first, then record it again in real-time
  • Increase contrast and colour-depth in Photoshop — with the aim to match real-life colours
  • Use planners and lists — “bullet journal”

Habits

  • Keep supplies organized in clear cases — jars, boxes, etc.
  • Create an inspiring workspace, use personal items and motifs
  • Aim for a consistent wake-up time (maybe 8 am)
  • Reply to comments and emails first thing in the morning
  • Read while you eat, and before you go to bed
  • Don’t be so hard on yourself (regarding time management or inconsistency)
  • List out your tasks for the next day

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About the author: Prescott Perez-Fox

Prescott Perez-Fox is a graphic designer, brand developer, and educator with 18+ years experience in branding, packaging, graphic design, and web design. He runs The Busy Creator.

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