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A picture of Keelin Gorlewski

Keelin Gorlewski

Illustrator, cartoonist

in cartoonist, illustrator, mac

Who are you, and what do you do?

I'm Keelin and I am an illustrator and cartoonist from Toronto, Ontario which is in Canada. I am a part of a comics collective called Hello Boyfriend. I mainly do freelance illustration. I am currently working on my debut graphic novel with Shortbox. It is coming in 2022. I also make quilts.

What hardware do you use?

Most of my work is mixed media. I draw in whatever the cheapest sketchbook I can find at the time is with whatever is laying around, most likely pen or pencil crayon. With my Epson Expression Home XP-4100 I scan whatever drawings into my computer which is a MacBook Pro. Sometimes I skip this step and end up sketching on my computer. I print out with the same printer on just normal computer paper and draw over whatever sketch I have to give it more detail or a better idea of where I'm going with it. I then use tracing paper (the type you get in rolls) held down with painter's tape or washi tape, whatever I have and draw a more detailed version. I go over it with another piece of tracing paper to do my final lines and scan it back in. These drawings will all be done with a Prismacolour Premier in a dark colour like navy, green, or brown. I like the quality of the lead (whatever it is called in pencil crayons) to draw with. They are soft but don't smudge.

I decide what colours (usually by colouring on computer roughly) then take my final tracing paper and tape it down on a Huion 52x32cm light pad and then put a piece of cheap watercolour paper over it. I use Acryla Gouache and small assorted watercolour brushes to paint it. For the gouache and the pencils I just buy whatever colours I want from my local art supply store. I've never bought a set in my life. I then scan it into my computer again and composite them and also to clean a lot of the paint up digitally. I use a Cintiq for this (22HD? I believe.) Because of the way I work, my pieces are usually 9x12 or smaller. I am sure there is a better way.

For my quilts I will use recycled fabric from places like Value Village, or from scraps I have from other things or if I want something specific I will go to Fabricland. I also buy batting and notions there. I usually try to buy whatever is on sale, but always prefer natural fabrics (cotton, wool, etc.) I use a rotary cutter and normal fabric scissors on a self-healing cutting mat to cut things out. For sewing I just got a Janome Arctic Crystal. I love her. I am enamoured. Before that I was using my aunt's old one. It had no back stitch. Life is much simpler now. To quilt, I normally just do it on the machine, but recently I have been wanting to hand quilt. I just use DMC embroidery floss and an embroidery needle. I'm really new to it and don't know what I'm doing.

And what software?

I am a sucker that pays for Photoshop CC. I pay for the photography bundle because it is cheaper than just buying Photoshop on its own. I also do most of my animating digitally and will use the frame by frame function in Photoshop, which I know drives some people up a wall. I also have an iPad that I have Clip Studio on. I also have Clip Studio on my computer but I rarely use it. I find Photoshop to be way easier for editing and colour correcting, which is honestly mainly what I do on it! I also use the Kyle Brushes... My go to for sketching is "Dark Sketch," and I also really like "Pastel Party" for when I clean up my paint as it has a bit of texture. They are both in the dry media pack.

For my writing I just use Google Docs. I like how it saves automatically and I can just go on it anywhere and don't have to search through files on my computer which has too many files on it. I am trying to get into using Notion for lists and things.

What would be your dream setup?

My dream set up mostly involves being in Salzburg, Austria, or a little bit outside of Salzburg. I desperately want EU citizenship through my family but it's not going well. Anyway, in this fantasy I have a nice beautiful house that is sorta on its own and in front of the mountains with a cool large dog. Maybe like an Irish Wolfhound or a pointy black and tan Doberman or maybe even a Wirehaired Griffon. I like Dobermans because they look sorta evil and dignified. So I would have a beautifully decorated studio with a lot of nice carpets and lots of light.

In my real life, I have just moved to a new place so I still have to work on my setup. I would really like to have a cute shelf storage situation for my gouache as they are all just in an old plastic bag in an old Edgeworth Tobacco tin my friend gave me because it was called Edgeworth like the character in Ace Attorney.