Befriending with a Kookaburra in Featherdale Wildelife Park, Sydney, Australia.
My name is Susan Szecsi /pronounced: sætʃɪ/ and I am a full time freelance 2D artist, illustrator and visual storyteller with more than 6 years of professional experience. I enjoy working in various artistic fields including character design and children's books illustration, games, advertising, and environment design.
Born in Hungary, I got my art training at two prestigious studios where I learned art anatomy, color theory, perspective and composition just to name a few. The traditional approach meant that we needed to draw and paint from life to acquire classical painting skills.
I got my BA in English Language and Culture and later my MA in English Language and Literature.
During past years I have been lucky enough to live and work on 4 continents embracing multicultural environments and communities. I enjoy learning and I have always been fascinated with the people I am working with.
Currently, I am am living and taking jobs in San Francisco Bay Area, CA.
For additional information or enqueries just drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
Scholastic, NYC, NY USA
UCSF, University of California San Francisco, CA USA
Transplant and Stem Cell Immun-biology Lab, Hamburg, Germany
ODI Oxford Designers and Illustrators, Oxford, UK
Alive Magazine, Advanced Publishing, Alamo CA USA
Hunter House Publishers, CA USA
Ttlharmony Publishing, Candler, NC, USA
Atlantis Editorial Science and Technology S.L.L. Palo Alto, CA USA
Ergo-IKnit, San Francisco, CA USA
Community Leader Inc, Burlingame, CA USA
GOPex, San Mateo, CA USA and Melbourne, Australia
The Patagucci Institute, San Francisco, CA USA
Concierge Ortho, San Mateo, CA USA
Bodywakes, Budapest, HungaryRugerwafers, NY USA
Marketingminds, New Zealandmothers2mothers, Los Angeles, CA USA
My favorite mediums when I am painting traditionally are oil and acrylic. I have been participating group and solo art exhibitions for more than a decade now. I really enjoyed taking portrait commissions. Recently, I concentrate on illustrating books, games apps or other projects. See some example of of my illustration projects clicking CASE STUDIES.
Below: picture delivery in New York City, NY. around 2006
How did you decide to learn art?
I have always enoyed drawing not only because I won every possible school competitions, but because being a shy kid it helped to fit in. I started to take it seriously when I began high school in Budapest. I went to have extra art classes almost every evening from 5-8pm. We usually had 2-3 live models for heads and nudes and of course great teachers.
You would often find me at Keleti in the railway station's waiting room early morning, before school with my sketchbook drawing the sleepy passengers. After school I went subway sketching or when the weather was good, in parks or busy squares to sketch.
I regularly visited museums and galleries, I pretty much knew about every new exhibition in Budapest.
When I arrived with a carefully selected set of oil paints at my first art camp at Lake Balaton I had high expectations. At age 16, naively I thought if you are good at drawing, mastering painting would be a no brainer. In spite of the fact I produced a couple of truly hideous paintings, I fell in love with the medium immediately. For two weeks, we went to paint plain air in small groups in the fabulous Hills of Badacsony. In the evenings we critiqued each others' works.
Later, I went to another, smaller studio. It was atelier style studying, watching and working with a master. My focus was on painting in oil and acrylic, color theory, anatomy, composition and filling the gaps of my technical skills.
When I felt ready, I started to exhibit with my group and later alone too.
Resisting for years, eventually I started to use digital media a few years ago. I really feel sorry now not doing it earlier. Using tutorials videos and I learned by trial and error fast. I still love watching other artist and learning from them.
What digital tools do you use?
To create 2D paintings I mostly use Photoshop, and Corel Painter,
I used to draw on a very old Wacom Intuos 2 Large size. Recently, I have upgraded to a 21" touch screen Wacom Cintiq. Drawing on the screen is fantastic. Instead of wasting precious minutes (or hours) zooming in and out, you can concentrate on the creative process of painting.
What is your favorite traditional medium?
It is difficult to choose only one as I have been working with different mediums for so long.
For smaller illustrations, I love pen drawings with watercolor, as they are dynamic, lightweight and nothing compares to the watercolor's random beauty. However, it requires a lot of planning ahead and undivided concentration as watercolor is very difficult to correct without ruining its aery beauty.
For bigger size paintings I love to use oils. I usually start with a drawing then comes the acrylic under-paint on a few layers. I finish it with 2-3 or more oil layers. The layers are varied from opaque to thin translucent consistency, which gives the painting special quality and look.