Over the years I've received many questions about my artwork, from topics about my tools to my experience to whether I've ever worked for Cartoon Network or Disney! I thought it would be a good idea to combine all the answers in one place so I decided to write up this proper FAQ. I've tried to include the more common questions along with some other useful information, but if you have a question that is not covered here please feel free to comment or message me.
Name: Nina Santucci
Nicknames: Wickfield, Wick
Country: United States
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What does your username mean?
I picked the username “Wickfield” after a character in the book David Copperfield
. I liked the character and the way it sounded!
What are your other hobbies?
When I’m not drawing I like to sew (sometimes I make my own clothes), read, study history, and collect American Girl stuff. I also like to cook if I have an interesting ethnic recipe to try!
What are your favorite cartoons?
Dexter’s Laboratory, The Powerpuff Girls, My Life As a Teenage Robot, and Sym-Bionic Titan.
What are your favorite pairings?
I don’t do much shipping, but I’m always a sucker for a one-sided romance. My OTP is definitely Dee Dee/Mandark from Dexter’s Laboratory!
What is Fooled?
Fooled is a project I began in 2012 as a contest entry for Disney-club. The prompt was to create a piece of art based on a movie concept that Disney ultimately discarded, and I decided to model mine after a film called “The Fool’s Errand,” which involved “ a court jester who goes on a mythical journey to return peace to his kingdom.“ After working on the art and characters for a few years, in 2014 I wrote a novel about their adventures. However, I do not have any plans to create an animation or movie based on the story.
You can support my work by purchasing Fooled on Amazon here!
What is Ego Trip?
Ego Trip is a TV movie based on the cartoon Dexter’s Laboratory, it is a favorite among fans of Dexter’s Lab. I do a lot of fanart based on my own designs for an Ego Trip version of Dee Dee, since she did not appear in the movie. You can view those drawings here.
What are the Futurepuffs?
My Futurepuffs AU is set 13 years after the cartoon The Powerpuff Girls, in a version of Townsville that is a little bit darker and futuristic. The Powerpuff Girls – now simply called The Powerpuffs – are 18 years old and stronger than ever. The concept was largely inspired by the movie Ego Trip mentioned above and is my personal take on a continuation/reboot of the original show.
Right now, I don’t have any plans to do a comic, and I do not plan to pitch my idea to Cartoon Network. I am just focusing on developing the storylines and working on individual pieces of art which you can view here.
Are you going to do more Historically Accurate Characters?
I currently consider my Historically Accurate series finished, and I do not take requests for new or additional characters. However, I may draw additional designs if I suddenly get inspiration. You can view the full gallery of historic designs here.
What programs do you use?
I use GIMP for sketching, coloring, and painting backgrounds. I used to use GIMP for my lineart, but since 2014 I use Inkscape to create the lineart for all my drawings.
What tablet do you use?
I use a Wacom Bamboo Pen tablet.
What is your process?
I will start out by sketching a thumbnail with pencil on a scrap of paper. I usually keep a big sheet of paper in my bedroom and doodle around when I have the spare time. When I find something I like I will recreate the thumbnail as a preliminary sketch in GIMP, often with references to get the pose correct (sometimes I will even photograph myself for tricky anatomy). After this sketch I will do a more defined sketch on another layer, then move the file into Inkscape to make the lineart. Once the lineart is complete I will move the drawing back to GIMP to add the colors and any finishing touches. If the drawing is more cartoony, I may upload a pencil sketch directly into Inkscape then move to GIMP for the colors.
How long does each drawing take?
I work slowly, so my drawings can take anywhere from 1 hour for a cartoon PNG, to 20+ hours for a fully rendered painting. On average a full-body, colored lineart drawing will take around 6-8 hours. And of course finding references adds additional time – this is why I am not the most prolific artist on DA!
Why did you want to be an artist?
I am not at all an “artsy” person in daily life, but ever since I can remember I've gotten feelings or ideas in my head that I just have to get out somehow, and usually I set them free, so to speak, in the form of a drawing. I’ve never had a wish to make lots of money through art, for me drawing is a pleasant, rewarding pastime. I especially like fanart because it is a chance to draw tributes to things that are important to me and that I enjoy. I also love having the chance to create something that didn’t exist before, that hopefully makes the people that see it happy or inspired, the way other people’s art inspires me.
What artists inspire you?
I am inspired by a lot of artists, including Genndy Tartakovsky, Craig McCracken, Rob Renzetti, Bruce Timm, Jose Garcia Lopez, Sandro Botticelli, and Milo Winter. Some of the movies that have influenced my style include Aladdin, Pocahontas, and The Road to El Dorado, and I also greatly admire historic stylized art (Greek, Persian, Japanese, etc.). Basically if an artist creates interesting lineart with strong colors, then they’ve got my attention. In addition to the professionals mentioned above, I am also daily inspired by many pieces of art on Tumblr, DeviantArt, and Pinterest.
Did you go to art school?
No, I went to school for business and earned my BSBA degree in 2014. I’ve actually never taken any art classes, although I did have Art Appreciation and World History of Art in my sophomore year.
How did you learn to draw?
For me learning to draw has been a long process of experimentation my whole life. There is no quick way to become a good artist! When I was a kid I would draw my favorite animals, cartoon characters, and toys. I never went to art school or even really used books, I just drew what I felt like and got better over time through repetition. Around the time I turned 13 I consciously began trying to improve my art, so I would look at pictures from magazines or books and try to copy them in my sketchbooks.
When I was younger I thought the “best” art was the most realistic, painterly kind of art. Once I joined DA, however, I realized that all different art styles are valid. Once I decided my favorite “style” involved lineart and flats, as well as cartoons, then I was able to focus and imitate the work of similar artists to really improve my skills. As you can tell from my gallery I still love to copy other styles, and I learn something new from every different style I attempt. And I am nowhere near finished learning – in fact I still have a long way to go!
How long have you been drawing?
I have been drawing for over 20 years – I started when I was 4 years old in 1995, drawing lions from The Lion King. Since then I’ve been drawing non-stop, although I only began posting my art online in 2011.
Do you work for Cartoon Network or Disney?
No, I am not associated with (and have never been approached by) any professional company. I am just a dedicated fan.
Are you a professional artist?
No, art is my favorite hobby, I would not enjoy it nearly as much if it were my career. In my daily life I am a very left-brain person, so drawing helps me to express myself and it makes me feel less stressed, too. If it became just another chore, it would lose its magic. The only time I am paid for my work is when I take commissions here on DA.
Have you considered animation?
The closest I’ve gotten to animation is creating a few storyboards for Fooled. Otherwise, I have no interest or skill in animation, but if you would like to create an animation based on my art you are more than welcome!
ADVICE AND TUTORIALS
How do you overcome art blocks?
I have art blocks every few months, and since I only draw as a hobby and not as a professional, I have found that the best course of action is to simply accept the block and use it as a time to focus on my other hobbies. If I try to force myself to draw, then any art I create in that period looks and feels forced as well. Usually after the break that the art block provides, I return to my artwork refreshed and with a new perspective that makes my art even better.
Do you have tips on how to improve my art?
PRACTICE! I don’t consciously practice very much (and if I did I’m sure I would be a lot better) but I do try to incorporate a new technique or push myself every time I start a new drawing. Pay a lot of attention to everything you look at, stare at pieces of art or photos of people, and eventually your brain will absorb some of that information and it will be there when you go to work on your next drawing. Always be sure to use references when you need them, and never try to rush your drawings just to get them finished. The one single thing that has improved my own art most of all is taking the time and enjoying the process, which ALWAYS always leads to a better finished product.
Do you have drawing tutorials?
Yes, you can view them here. If you have a specific question about how I did something in a drawing just message me.
Can you share your resources for historical costuming?
Yes! Most of my resources are linked in the descriptions of my historical drawings, but I have posted additional information and resources in this Tumblr post.
REQUESTS, COMMISSIONS, AND TRADES
Do you take art requests, commissions, or trades?
I do not take requests, and I only do art trades with close friends. I do offer commissions, you can find more information in this journal.
Will you draw my OC? Will you do the artwork for my project?
I do not work for free. If you are interested in hiring me to create a drawing for you, you can check out my commission journal for basic prices or note me for additional information.
Why are commissions so expensive?
My commissions are actually fairly priced, for custom work I charge $20/hr based on rates from other artists with comparable skills. Though you might see cheaper prices elsewhere, it is because most artists undervalue their work and are selling themselves short, which I refuse to do.
Do you take point commissions?
No. I have no use for DA points, I only accept payment through Paypal.
Why don’t you take fanart commissions?
In the United States where I live it is actually illegal to charge money for fanart, since it is based off someone else’s copyrighted work. While many artists get away with selling fanart, I prefer not to profit on the work of others and focus on original characters and concepts instead.
Why don’t you take NSFW commissions?
While I don’t oppose NSFW art in general, most of the NSFW requests I’ve received in the past have been uncomfortably detailed and personal. I decided to implement a flat policy refusing all NSFW requests and I prefer for that boundary to be respected. Thanks!
Can I use your art for personal use?
You may use my art for icons, banners, and backgrounds if you provide a credit and a link back to my DA page. You may also print, share and save my artwork as long as you do not offer it for sale. However, you may not upload my artwork to your DA gallery or claim it as your own.
Can I use your art for commercial use?
No, you may not use my art for your financial gain in any form whatsoever. I have and will take legal action through a DMCA copyright claim when my work is infringed. If you see my art being used for commercial purposes or posted for sale, please comment or note me to let me know, thank you!
Can I draw/cosplay your designs?
Of course, I love it when people are inspired by my work! I only ask that you not use my art for sexualized purposes, and that you credit or tag me as the original artist (preferably with a link to my DeviantArt account). Be sure to send me a link or photo so I can see what you made!
Will you join my event/contest?
I appreciate any invitations and will definitely check your contest out, but I usually do not have time to participate.
Do you read comments on your art?
Yes, and I try to respond to as many as I can. Every comment means a lot!
Do you have a Tumblr account?
Yes, here is the link