How would you describe yourself – who is Abbey Lossing?
I’m a freelance illustrator living in Brooklyn, New York. I usually illustrate in photoshop using a wacom tablet, but I have a background in screen printing which influences my digital work. I live a fairly active lifestyle, when I’m not working I’m running around Brooklyn for one reason or another.
Could you tell us a bit about your journey into illustration & animation?
When I started art school I knew I wanted to do something creative. I loved making my own clothes in High School, so I thought that I would major in fashion design. I soon realized that It wasn’t a good fit for me, so I switched to illustration because I loved drawing. After graduating, I got a job as an illustrator at BuzzFeed, which was a great foot in the door, but the end goal for me was always freelance.
How does it feel to be an illustrator, animator & artist?
Its rewarding to have a career that I’m passionate about. Obviously, there are still tough days, but more often I’m excited and immersed in my work. For that I feel lucky.
You’ve created GIFs from your illustrations, what made you start to make these?
My first job after college was working as a staff Illustrator at BuzzFeed. I worked there for 2 years, and during that time I made illustrations and gifs for BuzzFeed lists. I hadn’t made any gifs in college (they weren’t as popular at that time) so my experience there had a huge impact on my personal work.
What is your favourite GIF?
Anything cute or funny with animals involved. This one is one of my favorites.
As you said you worked as a staff illustrator at both BuzzFeed and Vice News. But now, you are working as a full-time freelancer. What made you decide to go full-time freelance? What was the one challenge you faced in your career as a freelancer?
I had a staff job for three years before leaving to pursue full-time freelance. You have a lot of expenses after college (student loans, new apartments, etc.) so it was nice to have a reliable paycheck. I loved working at both BuzzFeed and Vice, but pursuing a career as a freelance illustrator had always been my goal, so I left when I felt I could make it work. I love the freedom & variety of assignments I’m able to work on as a freelancer. Staying organized & on top of invoicing has been biggest challenge. You have a lot more to keep track of when you work independently.
How would you describe your style?
My style is shape based and simple. It combines a focus on the human form, limited color palettes, and nature-inspired motifs. All of my illustrations and animations are created digitally. I use a wacom cintiq, so it allows me to draw as naturally as I would on paper.
Can the creativity be learned later, or is it a feeling that is always within the human being?
I believe that everyone has creativity, but it’s like a muscle and if you don’t use it, it becomes weak.
If you weren’t an illustrator/animator, what would you be doing?
I would still have to do something creative, I almost majored in fashion design, so probably something in that field.
Who is your favourite illustrator/designer of all time and why?
I love Will Barnet’s work. His figures are beautifully designed & still feel authentically human. I also love his approach to color & flat shapes.
Where are your favorite spots in Brooklyn? Food, coffee, shops, etc.
For food, Frankies Spuntino 457 – it’s a quaint italian restaurant with the best meatballs. I used to live right around the corner, so it was one of my go-to’s. For coffee, I like Cafe Regular in Park Slope.
What do you do with your spare time?
One of my favorite hobbies is rock climbing. It’s great to get out and do something active since I spend most of the week sitting in my studio. I also enjoy trying out new restaurants & spending time in Prospect Park.
What’s your morning routine?
I usually get up around 7:30, make coffee & listen to The New York Times daily podcast while I catch up on either sketches or emails. I feel the most clear headed in the morning, so I try to devote that time to brainstorming ideas for upcoming assignments.
Is there anything that you couldn’t live without it?
Just my friends & family.
What are your top five songs on your playlist?
5. “Real Love Baby” Father John Mitsy
4. “Lost in the Light” Bahamas
3. “September Song” Agnes Obel
2. “Countdown” Sondre Lerche
1. “River” by Leon Brydges
Could you give us three fun facts about yourself?
1. I’ve spent months driving across the U.S to climb in different areas. Ten Sleep, Wyoming is one of my favorite rock climbing destinations.
2. All of the portrait mode pictures on my phone are of my cat Willow.
3. I raised dairy cows in middle school – got Reverse Grand Champion at the local county fair.