Self-taught illustrator Summerizze: ‘I love that I can express my feelings through drawing’

We talk to Indonesian-based illustrator Rani, aka Summerizze, about her love for drawing women, why she takes part in creative challenges and her favourite features in Affinity Designer.
Tell us a bit about yourself and when your love of drawing first began.

Hello, I’m Summerizze (my art account name and the name I use as illustrator), but in daily life, my family and friends call me Rani or Ran. I am from Indonesia, and I am 24 years old.

I’ve loved drawing ever since I was in elementary school, but I didn’t really focus on it until more recently.

We read that you studied Chemistry at university. When did you realise you wanted to be an illustrator, and how did you go about making it happen?

Yes, I did, but I realised that I would like to be an illustrator about one year ago (in 2020). When I struggled to find a job related to my major, I decided to learn another skill that could help me to get a job. When I discovered some illustrations on Pinterest, I fell in love with them and thought: I also want to make something like this. So it all started from there. I searched many tutorials on YouTube, starting from zero again because I only had basic drawing skills, but that didn’t matter to me as I was determind. I also took some courses on illustration and graphic design.

How would you describe your style?

I think at the moment it looks flat, simple and without much texture. The figures often have a small head and long legs, and sometimes a big body, but actually, I want to improve it to make it better and add more texture.

Women are a re-occurring theme in your work. What is it about the female form that inspires you?

Exactly! It is all about the beauty of women. Women are beautiful, and I love illustrating women with a variety of appearances—different skin, hair, clothes etc., not just only one form.

“Women are beautiful, and I love illustrating women with a variety of appearances—different skin, hair, clothes etc., not just only one form.”

We love your use of colour. How do you approach colour palettes in your work?

Actually, I usually search for colour references on Pinterest or Instagram. I try to match colour combinations with my illustrations and imagine how they will look in the illustration itself, and whether they will match the mood. Not all colours will match, and that’s why I have had some struggles with this. Sometimes it takes a long time to find the perfect colour palettes to match my illustrations.

Where do you find inspiration?

My inspiration can come from anywhere, sometimes it appears suddenly in my mind when I’m half asleep, but I also find it on Pinterest (I really love this app so much) and Instagram (where I follow accounts with great colour palettes).

Talk us through your process; how do you develop your ideas into final illustrations?

The first thing I do is find inspiration. Then I collect some references, that I turn into a sketch (usually digitally), but if it is too complex I draw it on paper. A colour palette is also an important thing to find before colouring it. Finally, I digitalise it using Affinity Designer’s Pen Tool to trace my sketch.

When did you start using Affinity Designer, and what are your thoughts on it? Do you have any favourite features?

It was around March-May 2020, if I’m not wrong. At first, I didn’t know about the software, but then I discovered a tutorial on YouTube about how to create a flat illustration using Affinity Designer. I then download the software, tried to use it, and I was really impressed because I could switch to the Pixel Persona to add raster brushes to my illustrations. Besides that, my favourite features are easy layer clipping (the ability to put an object inside another object by dragging down into its layer), the Color Picker Tool, the Swatches panel, brush dynamics where I can set the pressure, velocity etc., and how I can export my artwork to many different formats. There are many more, but these are my favourite features.

We noticed that you regularly take part in creative challenges. How do you feel this benefits your work, and how do you decide which ones to take part in?

Yes, I think the benefit is that I can get fresh ideas, explore things I haven’t done before, and make new friends by connecting with people who also took part in the challenge. Meeting other artists and illustrators via the hashtags used in challenges is quite interesting.

I choose which challenges to take part in based on the theme or prompt they have, the illustrations they made (for dtiys) because it gives me an idea of what I will draw and how will I draw it, and the deadline time.

What do you love most about being an illustrator?

I can express my feelings through drawing, which gives me satisfaction. I enjoy every part of the process, and by taking part in challenges, I’ve made a lot of new friends from all over the world. I love it because, in real life, I rarely communicate and go outside.

“I can express my feelings through drawing, which gives me satisfaction. I enjoy every part of the process, and by taking part in challenges, I’ve made a lot of new friends from all over the world.”

Is there anything you’ve learnt this past year that you wish you had known when you started your career as an artist?

As I started my career as an illustrator only a year ago, I’m still new to this, but I’ve learned a lot about composition, colours and tools for digital drawing.

What are your hopes and ambitions for your creative career?

I hope that I can improve my drawing skills, and people will enjoy and love my illustrations, and my ambition is to become a professional and talented illustrator.


You can see more illustrations by Summerizze on Instagram, Pinterest, Behance and YouTube.