Interview with an Artist: NeonDigital

NeonDigital is one of our newest featured artists. We had the chance to hang out with them during CozyCon and they’ve been lighting up our Discord server with fun pieces, and we decided to get to know them better in this interview!

What is your trade name, and how did you come up with it?

Oh jeez. Formally I operate under the name SlimeMonsta. As for how I come up the name is slightly weird. My original character at the time, was very sexual as they had oozing paws, and an oozing salamander tail. So some years ago people took my “aggressive” personality and the sexualization of my character and just gave me the name SlimeMonsta.

When did you start using the name NeonDigital?

After some years of trying to make a name for myself in both the furry fandom, and the real world. I noticed that people that were not into furries, or anime took a big liking to my art. I wanted to have another name that would be easy to remember for those people. As I was choosing that name, I wanted it to be simple, yet corporate friendly.

When did you realize you wanted to become an artist, professionally?

It was sometime after high school, around when I was 18 or 19 years old. I had a huge problem with normalization of jobs as it seemed like my health didn’t matter to anyone. So I quit more jobs that I can count, and after being tired of working for others I decided I was gonna work for myself.

Can you tell us about your career journey? I understand you worked for Disney for a while.

While attending school, I landed a few contracting gigs as a freelance concept artist, 3d design, and technical artist. With Disney, it wasn’t so much as me being scouted or me applying for a job. As a full time artist, you’ll attend conventions and sell prints. But the bigger the convention, the more rules you may have to obey. A lot of anime conventions started to have an no fan-art policy for prints.

I forgot what convention I was attending, and what show it was, but I knew there was trending cartoon series, that I wanted to draw and they were at that convention. So I did some digging around and found the direct phone number to “Vache K Garabedian,” Who was the marketing director for Toon Disney. After a long time of trying to reach her, I finally got in contact. I made my pitch to her, which then turned into me working some side gigs with Disney as a whole.

What was it like doing side-work for Disney? Do you still do gigs for them?

It was unique. I can’t go into too much detail. But I can say it is not a high-stress environment compared to the gaming industry. As of now, I don’t currently do any more work for them.

Tell us a bit about your experiences working in the game industry– what kind of work did you do, and what was it like?

Working in that industry was probably the best choice of my life. Its extremely inflated to get into, but schools do help secure a job. Even when just working as an intern, you learn soo much about art in general. Its like going to school but being paid for it.

Speaking of art school, what would you say to those considering going?

To be honest, it’s not worth it today and it wasn’t back then. Its good to get an degree to have jobs consider you more. But at the end the day, having an degree will not land you gigs nor a successful career. It really comes down to the person, and their portfolio. But, if you’re getting into graphic design, it would be good to go as you’ll learn more about coding, web design, and logo design.

Is there a piece in your portfolio that you are proud of and can show us?

So, this image is from 2016. Its probably not the best image I’ve produced, and has a lot of errors, but its my favorite, and the image that gave me the confidence to say “hey, I can do this!”

Could you compare and contrast working for corporate clients and working with individual clients?

Individuals are just people, living day to day. Working a job, maybe have a family to take care of. So for them this an luxury item. But for corporate clients, its only business. It’s either something they need, or something they can benefit from. So the contrast was would be the difference in money, and the delivery time. And the comparison would be both parties paying you.

What mistake do you see many new artists make and what would you suggest they do instead?

I tend to see most new artist under price themselves, and some who tend to over price themselves. The only advice I can really give is, price as if you want to afford a good living.

What are you currently learning in your artistic business journey?

At the moment, I would say I’m learning how to think for the short term, and adaptability. Less stress, easier time management, and overall better work ethics.

How has Artconomy helped you with your business?

Well for starters, I no longer have to deal with PayPal. But it has helped me with project management. It’s impossible to attend to every social media site and platform when working with clients. Some projects I’ll forget about. So Artconomy provided me an solution when I can migrate clients to an singular platform.

NeonDigital is Open for Commissions!