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Princella Seripenah

Princella is a digital illustrator who uses her platform to show the beauty of Black women, and promote self-care and mental wellness by creating art that speaks to the soul.

Moscow, Russia

The balance between artist, business owner, and medical student is a hard one, but Princella manages to find free time in between her studies to create art that can speak to and heal others. For her, an important component of her platform is that "representation matters".

Why do you focus on creating artwork for and of Black women/ women of colour?

REPRESENTATION MATTERS. I would love for any girl or woman at any age to see herself on package designs, t-shirts, notebooks, wall art, and art shows/exhibits even in museums.

What motivated your decision to pursue the medical science route for your career while also carrying through with your artistic talents?

My passion for creating started at a very young age and has been a constant part of my life since. Growing up, it has been my dream to be that ray of hope to any ill patient that comes my way, at the same time, I have always loved creating art that can heal and speak to others, so even while schooling, I continued making art as a hobby, as a way to relax from the veeerrrrrry stressful medical student life but as I continued, more people fell in love [with it] and started making requests for custom-made pieces. So I decided to turn it into a business and that’s how I birthed Art by Princella!!

What field of medicine do you plan to work in and why does it attract you?

I’ve still not made up my mind on it yet lol.

I’ve been illustrating for close to 2 years now alongside studying in medical school. I'm proud of being able to balance medical school studies and my freelance illustrator business without any prior business skills. I’m currently trying to see how to possibly merge the two in the future because I actually love both fields.

How do you make time to work on your art while you’re in school?

I had to learn some serious planning and organization skills that I'm still slowly getting the hang of.

What are your preferred mediums to create with?

I create my art digitally and I prefer it that way because I’m a messy artist; I love that I’m able to easily correct my artwork while drawing on my iPad.

What is the significance of the colour choices in your illustrations and poems?

I have an obsession with warm earthy color palettes! In a lot of my personal work, I tend to capture calm and genuinely peaceful subjects, with intentions to promote self-care and mental wellness. My aim is to create art that speaks to the soul.

I’m really looking forward to a time where I can finally visit the beach, Moscow is a land-locked city and the cities that have beaches are miles away.

Have you ever returned to a piece of work to recreate it? If so, what was that process like?

Yes! It made me understand how much I’ve grown as an artist, In this work here, I simply changed the colors and added a few elements and it made a whole difference!

How do you approach creative challenges and what helps you resolve them?

Every Illustrator’s worst dread is "Art block" haha. The thing that helps me through it is simply taking time off and pausing everything on illustration or creation. Alternatively, I try other hobbies I have; like dancing, reading, going shopping, exploring the city, etc.

What knowledge have you gathered from your business, and your artistry in general, that you feel would be helpful for upcoming digital illustrators to know?

For upcoming digital Illustrators, I’d say, don’t rush your process, take time to learn, and explore your potentials within yourself. Focus on improving your skills, and finding what problem you’re passionate about solving through your illustrations. If you decide to share your work on social media, don’t worry about gaining a huge following just yet, eventually, the right people will find you. Just keep practicing.

Within the illustrator community, are there any experiences that have shaped your views?

Mainly the challenges from the business side of running an illustration business. I did

not know speaking up and asking fellow creatives for help would’ve been so helpful. I’m really grateful to be a part of the illustration community, everyone is so nice and willing to help.

Do you find that your creative work changes depending on the type of mood you’re in? Do your emotions guide your work?

Definitely, there are periods I don’t feel like creating however if it’s work for a client, I try hard to suppress those feelings, besides, the deadlines are enough motivation to get the work done haha. Generally, I try not to rely on how I'm feeling to get things done unless it's a personal passion project and I’m not constrained by time.

Work usually starts by seeing a photo I’m inspired by on pinterest. My mind starts to place various elements and form an overall concept that the picture could play a vital role in.

What has been a rewarding experience for you as an artist?

Receiving so many messages about how people are being touched and inspired by my work has to be the most rewarding aspect of my work. It also pushes me to keep working on my craft and always do better.

In the process of creating work, what have you learned about yourself?

I learnt that I’m too dependent on myself. I’ve understood that I’m never alone and I do not have to try figure everything by myself, and that it's okay to ask for help.

You can view more of Princella's artwork on her Instagram page @artbyprincella and purchase select prints from her online store:

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