Artist Interview with Elise Brave

Elise Brave is 19 year old artist from Italy currently studying animation at Nemo Academy in Florence. Elise is passionate about 2D Animation and the art behind film, working in traditional and digital mediums. Elise Brave is the first student I have conducted my Artist Interviews with. As a student myself I would like to see what other people in my position are doing to work towards a creative career.


Tell me a little bit about yourself, about your life?

Where do you go to school, and what classes do you study? What are you doing to help prepare yourself to become a successful artist? 

I don’t really know where to start from…
My real name is Elisa Tulli, but on the internet people know me through my pseudonym Elise Brave (there’s a nice story behind this choice).
I come from a little town in Italy. I realized that I loved art when I was really young (now I’m 19) as I started drawing at the age of 3 or 4; at that time I enjoyed sketching animals and everything related to fairy tales. As I grew up, I went to a scientific high school, quite curious for a girl who loves drawing and art, but I was too young and insecure and my parents wanted me to keep my passion for art just as a hobby. Anyway, when I graduated last year, I was ready to make the decision ... I wanted to study animation in Florence at Nemo Academy. So, here I am, I completed my first year and I can actually say that I found my way, I couldn’t have chosen any other. Your heart always knows where you should go. Mine told me to follow my passion that it’ll hopefully be my job, one day.


Tell me about your style of art and how you go about this process from start to finish?


I am particularly interested in your process for your portrait inspired by Franz Xaver Winterhalter's Sissi and your frozen fanart.


I don’t know if I really have a defined style yet, but my art process is quite always the same. I do like traditional art really much, so I usually start with some pencil sketches or thumbnails. When I’m satisfied with the sketch, I decide if I will color it digitally or traditionally.


Image 1: This is one of that rare times when I start with a digital sketch. 


Image 2: About the coloring, I like to start with the skin, by using a palette with 4 or 5 tones. 


Image 3: Once the skin is defined (but not completed), I color the eyes, mouth and other details.You might notice that eyes changed from 3 to 4, because I wanted them to look a little bit rounder, just like in the original portrait.


Image 4: Then I worked with the hair, that took me a lot of time… And at last I added the dress and I had fun with the final details (light, pearl necklace, etc.) 
Here we are!


Frozen fanart:

When I work traditionally, my favourite combo is Caran D’Ache and Promarkers.
So, with this piece I started sketching some poses (by using references). I wanted to show a delicate kind of sisterly love because, just like Elsa, I’m the first born and I have a younger sister. Indeed this scene shows a side of my special friendship with her: when the older sister protects the younger one.
Back to the process, when I found a  pose and a composition that I liked,I did the clean up with a 2H pencil, then colored it with my Promarkers. After that, I used my Caran D’Ache set for the lineart (I love these pencils because they’re very soft and bright) and my white pen for the light on their eyes. 


You have an impressive following on your Facebook page. How do you market yourself and go about social networking?

I still can’t believe to have so many followers! I remember the first time I joined DeviantArt: it was about 3 or 4 years ago. It was in that period that I understood that my love for art should have been more than a simple hobby. In fact, by joining DeviantArt I discovered a whole new world: so many artists and artworks that filled my eyes all at once. I wanted to learn, to experiment, to receive suggestions and constructive critics! It was the very first time I got the chance to show my sketches to such a wide public. I also should say that I’m quite shy, so social networks have been a great help to me in showing my drawings… After DeviantArt, I subscribed to Tumblr and only later I created a Facebook Page. I always tell myself: it doesn’t matter where you start from, what it really counts is how much effort you put on what you love to do. Also, I think that even after these years I’m still at the beginning, because I never think I learnt enough.


Could you please give some example of any roles you have done for clients, how you came about them and your overall experience?

As a young artist and student, I haven’t found a role in the animation industry yet, so I define myself as a freelancer at the moment. I do private commissions and my clients usually ask me for portraits or drawings in my cartoony style. In my dreams, I’d love to work as a character designer or an animator, but let’s see…



Who and what inspires you as an artist?

It’s quite evident that I’m a great Disney addicted, I guess! And as a training animator I just can’t not appreciate that unique fluidity and softness that’s typical in the Disney style (about traditional animation). I’m also greatly in love with Impressionist art, artists from “la Belle Epoque” like Toulouse-Lautrec, artists from Italian Renaissance and so many others.

My favourite contemporary artists are Glen Keane, Alessandro Barbucci, Barbara Canepa, Isabella Mazzanti, Claire Wendling, Brittney Lee, Jin Kim, Chris Sanders, Benjamin Lacombe, just to name some. I find inspiration in nature, colors, animals, relationships between human and animal and between people, etc.

In fact, my main aim is to convey emotions through my drawings, I really hope that they give something to whom they watch them: maybe a smile, a sense of joy or nostalgy, sadness or happiness …


Do you do any illustration/concept art tutorials? If not could you recommend some you have found useful?

I haven’t done any illustration tutorials, but on the internet I have found many useful guides, from how to color to how to practice gesture drawing, how to draw human figure, etc. 
Understanding colors by Blender Guru: the best guide to colors I’ve ever watched.


How to draw gesture by Proko: 
I suggest visiting his channel, it’s full of really useful tutorials.


What are you working on now and what do you see yourself doing in 5 - 10 years?

I’ve recently joined a group of young italian artists, we haven’t developed a project yet, but I’ll make sure to give you more info once the project starts. As I said before, I’m not working yet,but  I’m planning to reopen my commissions soon.
About my future… Well, I know my dreams, but I’m not sure if I will ever realize them. I would be really happy to find a job in an animation studio, not sure about the role, but I sincerely like the idea of working in a team and creating something unique that will be enjoyed by children and/or adults!


Elise Brave sells prints on RedBubble and Society6, for more information visit:

RedBubble :

Find more links for Elise Brave at:

Tumblr blog: 
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