Sharpies and Watercolours, Tools of the Trade for Artist Rebecca Tobin

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Rebecca Tobin, 21, caused quite a stir on Tumblr when her comic about a cup of tea going cold generated over 40,000 notes. Taking influence from ‘overheard conversations, life and other art’ Rebecca throws everyday encounters on to a page using sharpies and watercolours.

Rebecca began posting her drawings online in 2010 after accumulating full sketchbooks and not knowing what to do with them all. She creates her art by ‘doing line work with Sharpie fine liners, they’re water resistant and pretty cheap! I colour with watercolour paints, I like the level of unpredictability which I have never been able to imitate digitally.’ Using digital technology to create gifs from her sketches brings an exciting edge to her work, mixing traditional watercolours and raw sketches with new art technologies. Rebecca enjoys creating gifs however she adds that it is ‘very time consuming.’


Currently studying for her degree, Rebecca has just returned from a year abroad in North Carolina where she attended Small Press Expo and the Toronto Comic Arts Festival during her time across the pond. Rebecca believes the shows ‘changed the way I thought about my work and made me more serious and motivated. It was a game changer.’ Comic shows offer artists an opportunity to sell their work, attend panels and workshops whilst making new friends and networks which leaves Rebecca ‘fired up about creating!’

The internet is a ‘powerful tool’ for young artists according to Rebecca who believes the ability to build up an audience through blogs, social media and websites has been ‘invaluable’ to sharing and showcasing her work. Aspiring to create a cover for the New Yorker and by doing so join the illustrious ranks of art’s most influential names, Rebecca seeks a career out of the art she claims is a ‘labour of love.’ Rebecca feels that the main barriers to young artists wanting to pursue this desire of a full time career in the industry are that ‘it takes a lot of work and doesn’t pay well. These barriers excite and terrify me in equal measure. For me, it comes down to that I can’t imagine doing anything else. I love making comics, I love drawing, and even though it might be difficult, it’s what I want to do.’

To see the full delights of Rebecca’s art, visit her website


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