About My Work:
I am Saige Levett, your friendly neighbourhood goth and self-taught digital illustrator.
The limitations and expectations of reality have always disinterested me. For as long as I could remember, I have lived in fiction, conjuring countless stories and characters to escape it. Whilst I am an illustrator, my heart has always lied in the narrative. I absolutely adore writing and pair that passion with my love of drawing by illustrating characters and the world that they live in. Whether it be a fanart from a video game or a tale of my own creation, behind every character I draw is a detailed, rich history or narrative. As a writer and artist, creativity, authenticity and believability are the foundations of my work. Similar to how my literary characters are grounded by extensive research, every illustration is coupled with hours of study and observation. I feel that as an artist and writer, my job is to make the unbelievable conceivable.
Since I was a child, I was drawn to western comics and animation as well as video games due to their bold, exaggerated expressions and whimsical worlds and legends. Having struggled with depression all my life, I found myself, time and time again, finding joy and solace in the limitless realms and stories of video games. I've always written and sketched incessantly, and gaming has become my chief inspiration; I hope to one day become a conceptual illustrator or writer.
Having originally been an ink artist, I've always been drawn to the sharp lines, crunchy shapes and bold colours of graphic art, western comics and animation. However, as the years passed, the more I felt the limits of the medium and transitioned to become exclusively a digital artist.
I find that there are a lot of misconceptions with being a digital artist. Words pulled straight from science-fiction often come up in people's questions, such as generation, AI, or tracing, but my digital process does not differ all that much from my old, traditional one despite using a computer and tablet. All my art is entirely created from scratch and hand drawn by myself and myself alone.
To begin a piece, I collect dozens of references, thumbnail potential poses and brainstorm some colour schemes. Once I've established the size and narrowed down my poses, I get started on my larger sketch. This phase could either be very quick or slow depending on the complexity of the piece, as I spend this time figuring out forms, angles and direction, cobbling myriads of references together to achieve accuracy. After I've tidied it up, I begin my line work, which is virtually identical to inking with a pen. Next comes colour. Blocking in colour is relatively simple, like using a marker, but shading and lighting often isn't. I spend ages airbrushing to create shape, texture depth. Once I've established form, I add my signature, crunchier highlights and shadows atop, then tint or brighten them using a wider range of colours to push and pull the piece. Afterwards, I colour my line art based on neighbouring colours to soften it and make it blend seamlessly. Finally, I create a backdrop using geometric shapes filled with organic patterns, often contrasting the colours of the character to make them pop. Many of my pieces take days to weeks to create, sometimes even a month or more, as I value every scrutinous detail, but in the end, it is always worth the struggle and emotional chaos. Upon seeing my work printed on paper, I feel a certain elation and fulfillment - that I created that - and that is the best feeling in the world.