Nara Synthetic Paper

Hey Guys! We hope all of you reading this are doing well and having a fabulous start to this new year! Well this blog is for all you up and coming alcohol ink artists and those of you who want to find the perfect mentor for yourself in the world of alcohol ink art. Whichever field we are in, be it tech, finance, marketing etc, we all need a reference point and someone to look up to. NARA would like to present to you the top alcohol ink artists in the world that you should follow and learn from. All the artists mentioned below are absolutely wonderful and talented and will definitely be a great source of inspiration for you!

We got in touch with all these lovely artists and asked them a few questions which we thought would be really helpful to you and they have some really amazing answers and fun stories to share with you! All these artists have a very unique style of working with alcohol inks hence it is impossible to rank them, so do note that the artists mentioned below are in no particular order. We would suggest you to read about these artists and find yourself the perfect mentor according to the style of working with alcohol inks you like or prefer! Also this is just part 1 of 2 so we are going to introduce you to more amazing alcohol ink artists, stay tuned! So without much delay let’s dive right in and get to know these amazing artists better.

Note: You can directly head to their instagram accounts by clicking on their names.

Jessica Young

Well Jessica is an absolutely amazing alcohol ink artist and as you would read below she works on a ton of different surfaces. She is always very kind and supportive and she has truly proved that if you persistently work hard and simultaneously have fun with what you do you will always be successful. You should definitely check out her artworks that are made on wood. They are my personal favourite! You should definitely be following her to get inspired and learn from one of the best in the game! Now let’s hear from Jessica herself.

1. How did you come across alcohol ink art?

It’s a funny story actually! I was on my honeymoon in Costa Rica and it was a rainy afternoon. While my husband was out getting snacks, I was on Pinterest and came across an alcohol ink tutorial. That started me down a rabbit hole of alcohol ink and fluid artwork tutorials and different fluid artists. I was OBSESSED. I had been exploring watercolor as a hobby but otherwise art was not a major part of my life. I was actually trying to build a jewelry business at the time and had no intentions of getting into painting professionally. This honeymoon discovery changed everything. The colors, the movement, I connected to this medium immediately and it was all I could think about. Before leaving Costa Rica, I ordered all the supplies I needed to get started when I got home. When I got home I was disappointed to learn that it was NOT quite as simple as it looked in the tutorials. I gave up many many times on the medium and was convinced I just didn’t have the magic touch. That is why I always tell my students to keep going, keep pushing through the “ugly” art. If I had given up where I started I would’ve never found my groove and full potential as a fluid artist.

2. How has your journey as an alcohol ink artist been so far?

Amazing! I’ve built such a wonderful community through Instagram and Tik Tok, through running retreats and teaching classes all over the US and even back in Costa Rica where it all began!

3. Have there been any funny/surprising incidents while working with inks which you’d like to share?

I think the best is when I spilled an entire bottle of Gold ink down my leg and foot in the summer. The ink did not come off for a solid week and it looked like I had the most ridiculous temporary tattoo situation happening!

4. What are your views on the health issues related to alcohol ink art, do you believe it?

I only work with a double respirator mask with organic vapor filters when working with alcohol inks. When I am teaching an outdoor class I provide tools for students to use that do not require them to use their breath and warn of all possible risks of working with inks without a mask. I am strongly in support of the stories and testimonies of individuals developing health related issues or having health issues exacerbated by the use of alcohol inks without proper protection. I do not touch the inks with my bare hands and I recommend wearing gloves when using them.

5. Where do you get your inspiration from?

I work as a Psychotherapist and run a private practice dedicated to working with individuals struggling with trauma. 99% of my inspiration comes from the human experience, emotion and the ever-evolving human psyche. My pieces all have a story to tell and each piece connects to how we think and feel. I am inspired by nature, travel and my incredibly vivid and detailed lucid dreams.

6. The surfaces you prefer working on the most?

I love to mix it up and work on different surfaces. Paper, wood, tile, really anything non-porous for inks.

7. What do you think about alcohol ink art as a career?

I think anything that can fulfill you creatively and also pay the bills is a worthwhile career.

8. Any tips and tricks you’d like to share with the young budding artists?

Make ugly art. Do not be ashamed to make ugly art. Make art that makes you uncomfortable, that requires you step outside of your comfort zone over and over again. If you expect perfection of yourself 100% of the time you will be disappointed far more often than if you allow yourself the creative freedom to be messy, bold and unafraid. Some of my ugliest pieces have sold the quickest. Stop hiding in the shadows, give every piece meaning and you will find your magic touch.

Anne Roos

Anne is one of those few artists who have been there with us from the very start. She has always been there to support. Anne is an absolutely lovely person and one of the best alcohol ink artists out there. Anne specializes in creating some really awe-striking flowers using alcohol ink. I mean you just have to go to her instagram account and check them out! Anne mostly works on Paper surfaces but she is also great at creating art on ceramic tiles and coasters. Follow her right away to fill your feed with majestic artworks!

1. How did you come across alcohol ink art?

I came across alcohol ink art on Instagram (I believe through @astuaryart and @fernsiebler) and I instantly was obsessed with the medium. The process of creating textures by blowing the inks around was so mesmerising. I knew right away I wanted to try it for myself and got started.

2. How has your journey as an alcohol ink artist been so far?

I started with alcohol inks mid 2018, so about 4,5 years ago already. In the first year, I honestly threw my inks in my closet again for a few months but kept coming back to them as I was obsessed to learn how to get better control over those inks. At the time I was doing my PhD and playing with my alcohol inks was a huge stress reliever and I soon became a true addict spending many many hours experimenting and playing with inks and learning myself how to control them. I loved going with the flow and seeing where the inks would take me. I started to gain more followers on Instagram where I was sharing my art and I slowly but steadily started selling my work, first on Etsy and now on my own website. During Covid I started with providing online workshops and last year I released my first two online courses.

3. Have there been any funny/surprising incidents while working with inks which you’d like to share?

The best discoveries often happen through little ‘happy accidents’ as Bob Ross likes to put it. What may be most surprising is that my signature roses actually happened as a happy accident as I did not intend to create a rose but it started to look like one. Of course ever since that first rose I have perfected the style but the beginning was unintentional, and look where it took me! That’s what is so much fun about working with alcohol inks, they have a mind of their own and they keep surprising you. The artworks that I love most were often the ones that happened through experimentation. It is key in learning to work with alcohol inks but also to discover your personal style and what works for you.

4. What are your views on the health issues related to alcohol ink art, do you believe it?

I don’t think it’s a question of ‘believing it’, rather it is very important to properly protect yourself and the people surrounding you when working with alcohol inks. I personally always wear a respirator and I have either a window open or my air purifier on to protect myself properly.

5. Where do you get your inspiration from?

It can be a lot of things, but most often it’s nature. I love going for walks and taking inspiration from flowers, trees, leaves, moss, anything that has interesting color, textures, and shapes. I also love to look up images from Google Earth as those show amazing texture and color combinations from the earth. But what I also love to do is to just work intuitively with the inks and let the process of letting the inks flow around on paper inspire me how to continue. I think that intuitive part is really what makes alcohol ink art so interesting and exciting.

6. The surfaces you prefer working on the most?

I most often work on synthetic paper for my artworks. Besides that I like to work on ceramic tile for my coasters. But I have also been experimenting with other surfaces!

7. What do you think about alcohol ink art as a career?

I think there are many options to consider alcohol ink art as a career, either as an artist, or by providing workshops/courses (or a combination like I am doing). Since it’s a relatively new medium, there’s still so much room to explore new things and develop a personal style. I personally have a part time job that I combine with my art business, but I think with hard work and dedication, in combination with a true passion for alcohol ink art, it’s definitely possible as a full time career as well.

8. Any tips and tricks you’d like to share with the young budding artists?

Experimenting and playing with inks are key in learning to control the inks and developing your own style. Taking a course or workshop can definitely help in the beginning phase to find out what tools to use and to learn some of the basics. Most importantly, you have to put in the hours, don’t expect to get great results right away. It takes time to control and master the inks so don’t be afraid to fail, learn from each piece and enjoy the process!

Racheal Monks

Rachael is one of the sweetest and most talented alcohol ink artists out there, always fun to interact with. She is extremely good at alcohol ink art. She mostly uses NARA synthetic paper to create her art and the way she uses alcohol ink colors to create magical artworks is something you need to check out for yourself. Head to her instagram account now & follow her. Your instagram  is never going to run out of amazing content!

1. How did you come across alcohol ink art?

I came across alcohol ink art after discovering the world of fluid art. My art journey started off with acrylic pouring, but as soon as I found alcohol inks, I was obsessed.

2. How has your journey as an alcohol ink artist been so far?

It’s definitely a journey which ebbs and flows. Alcohol inks are a very particular medium that requires a lot more thought process than other mediums, even in the set-up alone due to PPE. But I’ve loved every moment of it. The pieces that can be created using alcohol inks are magical, and sometimes the unknown of exactly how I feel will turn out is half the fun. I just love that each piece can and will be completely unique and different, even if you try to recreate something similar.

Not to mention when someone loves your work enough to actually want it in their homes. This is such a special moment and every time it happens it explodes my heart. Creating my art is my little escape from this crazy world and mentally helps me so much, so when someone else sees beauty in what I’ve made it’s an indescribable feeling and I’m so grateful for them.

3. Have there been any funny/surprising incidents while working with inks which you’d like to share?

It’s hard to think of any in particular really. There have been plenty of times I’ve spilt ink all over my work surface, after just creating the perfect colour for a piece and ended up with dark stained hands because of course that was the moment I decided to remove my gloves. This is more tragic than funny though!

4. What are your views on the health issues related to alcohol ink art, do you believe it?

I absolutely believe there are health issues that can be related to the misuse of alcohol inks. It’s easy to view this as a medium that can be used without thinking much about it, but the reality is alcohol inks are chemical based, and the majority of alcohol ink artists do use isopropyl alcohol which can be highly toxic when the fumes are breathed in.

I strongly recommend investing in PPE such as VOC masks and gloves. Also work in a well-ventilated room, and even take breaks where you can.

I have read stories regarding other artists who have suffered from using this medium. And myself, I believe I had some health issues over the Summer that was a result of breathing in the fumes too frequently – even though I wear a mask. So please, be mindful of this. There are warnings on the bottles for a reason.

5. Where do you get your inspiration from?

A lot of my pieces are inspired by my mood and the energy I’m feeling in that particular moment. I try not to overthink when it comes to picking colours and composition. When I’m in my studio, I typically will stick some of my favourite music on and just get into the zone and see what magic is created.

6. The surfaces you prefer working on the most?

Since discovering it about two years ago, I always use NARA Paper. I love that there is now such a broad range of products on offer, and I’m yet to find something they’ve created that I don’t love creating on. The non-staining was what drew me in first, but the quality of the paper and the whole team at NARA, who are so lovely, are what keeps me using it.

7. What do you think about alcohol ink art as a career?

I personally would love this to be my career. Though while also completing my undergraduate degree in Psychology, right now I unfortunately don’t have the time I want to dedicate to it fully. Hopefully in the future!

8. Any tips and tricks you’d like to share with the young budding artists?

I always say to anyone who’s just starting out with inks is to read up about the health and safety first, and if you’re still keen then just buy a few colours, some paper and play! Always just play.

Try not to look at anyone else’s work while you create or particularly try to copy what you’ve seen. The thing with alcohol inks is they can be completely temperamental and have a mind of their own sometimes, and until you find your rhythm of using them, its best to try and not get let down if your piece doesn’t look like something you’ve seen online. You’ll create your own magic.

Jess Kirkman

Jess is another favourite artist of ours and obviously enormously talented. Jess is really really cool and again absolutely fun to interact with. Jess works on NARA papers and art boards. Jess’s artworks are absolutely amazing, she does something that’s really cool and unique and that is creating 3D cell pieces. Now if you haven’t seen one before go check it out right now! It looks absolutely gorgeous! Follow her now you’re feed is going to be full of amazing artworks.

1. How did you come across alcohol ink art?

I discovered alcohol ink when I was first creating my 3D cell pieces that I make out of yupo paper. Once I discovered this plastic surface, I became curious what other people used this paper for, and that’s how I found alcohol inks. So, I kind of found the paper before I found the inks!

2. How has your journey as an alcohol ink artist been so far?

Using alcohol inks was my first experience with abstract and fluid mediums. I find it so meditative and relaxing that I quickly became hooked. I come back to inks whenever I need to zen out.

3. Have there been any funny/surprising incidents while working with inks which you’d like to share?

Well, Jess is a bit of a perfectionist she has rarely messed up with alcohol inks inks so no funny

4. What are your views on the health issues related to alcohol ink art, do you believe it?

I am always cautious when using inks and make sure not to inhale any fumes as well as have good ventilation. Other than that, I take the same precautions I would for most other mediums.

5. Where do you get your inspiration from?

There are so many amazing artists out there, so simply flipping through instagram fills my head with ideas. Other than that, I’m always inspired by nature and the universe. The colors in nature are like none other.

6. The surfaces you prefer working on the most?

I mostly work on Nara paper but occasionally work on smooth artists’ boards.

7. What do you think about alcohol ink art as a career?

I encourage anyone who wants to try and pursue art full time to go for it. For me, I use art as an outlet to my 9-5, vs putting pressure on it to be my main source of income.

8. Any tips and tricks you’d like to share with the young budding artists?

Create, create, create. Quantity brings quality and the most fun moments are when you’re experimenting and indulging in the process.

Emily McSevich

Emily’s artworks are genuinely aesthetic and mind blowing! Her pieces inspired by the ocean are my absolute favourite. I definitely recommend that you check them out on her instagram! She is another artist who is genuinely fun to interact with and she’s so so good at what she does. You should definitely be following her if you haven’t already!

1. How did you come across alcohol ink art?

I first found alcohol inks back in 2017, I loved how free flowing they are and took me out of my usual watercolour comfort zone.

2. How has your journey as an alcohol ink artist been so far?

Alcohol inks catapulted me into becoming a full time artist. I think I caught inks just at the right time as it was something people hadn’t really seen before.

3. Have there been any funny/surprising incidents while working with inks which you’d like to share?

The most surprising and fun thing about inks is that you can never make the same piece twice. The inks really have a mind of their own!

4. What are your views on the health issues related to alcohol ink art, do you believe it?

I think it’s important for people to do their own research on inks and the health implications. I work happily with inks to safety standards that I’m happy and comfortable with.

5. Where do you get your inspiration from?

Most of my inspiration for my work comes from the ocean. As well as flowers, nature and the changing seasons.

6. The surfaces you prefer working on the most?

I adore working on Nara paper mainly because it’s stain free. Nara was the first brand that made it affordable to buy paper on a roll, meaning I could work on a large scale for the first time.

7. What do you think about alcohol ink art as a career?

Alcohol inks gave me the career I have as a full time artist. I really owe so much to inks. I think as they’ve become massively popular in the last 18 months it’s probably harder to get your work noticed now but it is possible!

8. Any tips and tricks you’d like to share with the young budding artists?

My number one tip would be to go into inks without any expectations. If you start with a clear image in your head of what you want to create you may get frustrated. You have to be able to go with the flow when it comes to inks as the inks behave differently from one day to the next. Even the air pressure on any given day can affect inks!

Conclusion

We hope you got a lot of useful insights of the alcohol ink art world by reading what these amazing artists had to say. There’s so much to learn from our lovely artists, the experiences and stories that they have shared with us are so amazing! They have faced a lot of obstacles throughout their journey but they never gave up and that’s the kind of attitude you require in order to become a professional alcohol ink artist and turn your favourite hobby into your profession and maybe one day you will also feature in our blog! They are all genuinely lovely and I’m sure you can reach out to any one of them when you need any help along your alcohol ink art journey. All of them would be more than happy to help and guide you.

Our tips to you would also be very similar, keep practicing, enjoy the process and never stop learning! Alcohol ink art is very therapeutic in nature so whenever you`re feeling low just get your paper & inks out and start creating! If you ever need help with anything related to alcohol ink art please feel free to get in touch with us, we`re always here to help & guide you. As mentioned before this was the 1st part of our very popular blog series part 2 will be out soon so stay tuned!

Lastly, do follow us on Instagram & Facebook for amazing alcohol ink art related content and other important NARA updates.

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