Skilled. Humbled. Passionate - Just a handful of ways to describe the very talented Cassie Manning. Early in May we had the pleasure of getting to know more about London based Illustrator Cassie, her work and her passion for family time. We have been inspired hugely by both her work and style, both of which Cassie passionately shares on social. Whilst the Ink dried on her latest illustration, we sat down with Cassie to bring you the artist @nubianrockchick and the woman behind the art @thismrslife
Tell us about yourself...
Hi my name is Cassie Manning, a 30 something full time illustrator, wife and mother of two in the UK.
When did you start to illustrate?
I have always enjoyed drawing from an early age but didn’t start taking it seriously till early 2016. After having 2 children I took it back up again to relax and destress. I began sharing my images on Instagram and the journey began from there.
Were you a natural, or did you take time to find your style?
As I have always loved to draw some part of it came natural to me. When I took it back up again it took plenty of practice and adjusting to get to where I wanted my illustrations to look. I'm still experimenting and trying to figure out my style. I don’t think any artist is every fully satisfied with their style and always want to treat something about their work.
Did you attend any training courses? Or was it a pencil to paper situation?
Oh no way, for me art is like problem solving. I experiment and scratch away with the pencil with shapes to get the outcome I want. Definitely a pencil to paper situation. I do however think learning the basics helps. Like I said I wasn’t great when I started and some things I couldn’t get to grips with at first, so YouTube tutorials and mini online course helped me understand the basics. Classes are helpful but I haven’t had any formal training. Art is so very expressive and interpretative as long you enjoy the outcome of your work I feel formal training is not important at times in that respect.
How did you build your following on social?
It took some time, but consistency I think really helped me. I post regularly and my supporters of my page know even down to the time of day that they are going to see something pretty on their timeline from me. I also utilise hashtags to their full advantage. My target audience found me from there. My content is very relatable and sharable and they like to share in turn with their own community, so I get a lot of recommendations and that has helped me grow a lot. Finding your dream audience is the key, when you have a real community behind you that genuinely love and care for your work it makes things a lot easier.
Do you have a favourite piece of work?
How do you take time to balance work and family?
It is very difficult, I am always trying to find better ways to do this. So definitely not going to sugar coat and say with planning I balance it all with a smile on my face lol. Owning a business and working from home a lot of the time the responsibilities fall solely on you, you definitely will see me working late. I haven’t worked it all out yet but have had enough burnout situations to realise you have to set some clear boundaries. Setting working hours is what I aim for so I can dedicate after hours to my family. As I am a creative I often get urges to create but being a business owner you definitely have to set up some structure to your days and months so you can plan ahead.
What advice would you give to any budding illustrator?
Draw, draw and draw every day and share your gift with the world. If you want to become a working illustrator you won’t get work or customers if they don’t know you exist.
Find out more from Cassie -