Cosmic Cat by Esme Lee

About the work:

My piece is called ‘Cosmic Cat’, a fantasy illustration featuring a cat alone in her own cosmos. It was digitally created in Adobe Fresco. I created this piece in response to the isolation and solitude I have been experiencing as a result of being in the High Risk category during the pandemic and therefore spending time at home in isolation.  I imagined my home as my own personal galaxy or universe, and pictured myself as the cat because while cats are solitary, often antisocial in fact, they are also strong, resilient and self-sufficient, this helped me to focus on the positives of my situation and to remind myself that I am a survivor, like the cat.

A little bit about the artist:

Esme Lee is an emerging artist and illustrator who also happens to be disabled, and the carer of two disabled children. As such her work expresses, in turn, sadness and isolation, childlike playfulness, and exuberant joy. With a distinctive style and keen eye for colour, Esme combines digital artwork with her background in traditional art, to create digital pieces with a truly authentic feel. Esme hopes in the long term to become a champion and advocate for disabled, female, and minority artists.

Fine more from Esme:

https://mybestzine.bigcartel.com/

an Artist’s struggle starts with definition

“”What do you do?- I am an Artist.”
Few people dare to say that. But why? We tend to make everything sweeter so that people won’t ask too much, or will understand. If I say I’m an Artist, they’ll ask again “What do you do?” demanding precisions. If I say I’m a Graphic Designer they’ll assume I draw logotypes and work for free for my friends. If I say I’m a painter they’ll probably think I sell 5000$ canvas that nobody understands… But really, who cares ?
I genuinely think an Artist’s struggle starts with definition. We’re constantly asked to define ourselves, but as an Artist looking for constant creativity flow coming and going, shouldn’t we dissolve any wall or label that may block our flow, our freedom? Isn’t that the whole thing about Art?


So I say I’m an Artist because I am. Everything I see, hear or do goes by an antichamber where it’s processed, analyzed and turned into some piece of Art, an inspiration, a color panel, a quick screenshot that will remain here until enough bended, scratched, thought, re-imagined, transformed, extracted,… I draw everyday for as long as I can remember. On paper, canvas, wood panels, fabric, people… Pencils, markers, pens, paint, charcoal are all part of my quiver. I’m also a musician. I play and compose. Everyday I sit by my window, hands on my piano and I improvise, looking outside. Every piece of music that I hear is decomposed. I try to recognize the instruments, to write the music sheet in my mind, to see the eyes of the musician playing it. For me, both graphic arts and music are related. One inspires the other and vice versa. 


Everything is a source of inspiration. It means I can be inspired by nature, other artists, sounds, dancers, movies, travels… Sometimes I feel the urge to create something. Today it’s a painting, tomorrow it can be a soundtrack, a comic book about dinosaurs or a peacock on the back of a vintage jean jacket… Being an artist means being open to every possibility, every daily life sound, every color, every voice, and never, ever, ever being bored of watching a sunset over the sea (That would be a crime).


I’ve been working as an Illustrator for a few years now. I’ve been told that my style is too miscellaneous or random to be interesting or understood, as you can see on my website : ffringed.com. I’m actually pleased to hear that, because it means I’m not like everyone else out there. It means that I’m always exploring, and also very flexible and comfortable in many situations.I’m now in the south of France, enjoying summertime, family and the Mediterranean sea. I start my day with a good breakfast and a good read outside in the sun. I read stories about the past, other countries, fictions and fantasies. I like beautiful stories about beautiful people. It always inspires me in some way and It’s refreshing. This time is perfect for a little meditation. Then I often play some music or work listening to music (always). I can’t work well with a complete silence. Then lunch, coffee of course and back to drawing and painting. This entire “routine” is flexible. But most of all, it doesn’t work if I don’t go out and stretch, do some sport, swim, go for fresh air, see my friends, or travel for some time. The key is in balance, learning how to treat yourself with good things, with beauty and kindness. The 5 senses are involved, and we must treat them right.


As a freelancer, everyday life is easier and soul-searching at the same time. It’s easier because I free my mind of what people expect me to do and create exactly what I want to. It’s exhausting sometimes too for two reasons : I have to eat, pay my bills, be productive and show results, as said before. I’m also constantly pulled and pushed by different vibes and inspirations, coming from everywhere, and if I don’t control myself a little bit, I work on 5 or more different unfinished projects at the same time, that I end up abandoning. Because inspiration is here to take it when it comes. You can’t ignore it. But also, inspiration needs to be controlled in a way that it’s really effective. Inspiration can be a hurricane. You should know how to read the weather.


Being an Artist is the way of life that I chose, and even if along the way it doesn’t work, I’ll just do something else that I love (Did I say that Artists tend to love a lot of things ?). But I’ll never stop creating.”

Who are YOU?

MyBest, is constantly growing and we wouldn’t be able to get to where we are now without all of YOU guys. Yes, you, you reading this, you following us on Instagram, you replying to our tweets and you sending us your artworks.

MyBest, was created for people who are passionate, creative, hardworking. We want to inspire you in every way possible and showcase your art.

MyBest, is the place where we want you to know that we’ve all been there, we were all unsure of what next and we all had no idea how to get that dream job, how to make money from our art, if starting a blog or a YouTube chanel is a good idea.

MyBest, was created with you in mind, all of the young artists, experienced artists, people who are thinking about becoming an artist, an art student, someone who is going through a career shift. We value your experience and we want to bring you the content you want to see!

Thanks to our brilliant columnists during past several months we have been able to bring you delicious and beautiful food recipes by our talented Olga, amazing Cerri has been exploring all things Queer, lovely Maria has been sharing her experience as an art student sharing some tips with you and even coming up with a challenge, our fabulous Demi has been talking all things sex and art related, together with Claire we’ve been learning what it truly means to be a writer, Monyca has been giving some tips related to looking for a job and working in the arts, our new residents Mia and Emily have been working extremely hard on articles for their brand new columns. Now it’s time for even more inspiring content from YOU.

This column is created in order to showcase YOU as an artist. Be it an illustrator, animator, writer, film maker, designer, social media manager or a PR. If you work in arts industry we want to hear from you. Tell us your story, show us your work, takes us on a day at work with you.

What to write about? Well… Yourself as an artist! Here are some suggestions:

  1. Start off with: ‘Being an artist to me means…’ and tell us what it truly means to you to do what you do. What makes you tick, what inspires you, what makes you chew on your pencil.
  2. Takes us to your work! Tell us about your day, what do you do, how do you start your day and what is the most exciting part of your day at work?
  3. What made you want to be an artist?

Send us a 500-1000 word article at MyBestZine@gmail.com

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How did I get here?

Cover
SHOT FROM MY SECOND YEAR FILM, WHICH I MADE BASED OF MONYCA’S POEM (HEY THERE)

I remember my last year in Art High School, and how much I wanted to leave, to go somewhere and “start my life”. I came to England (Farnham to be precise) – to study. I chose an animation course at UCA (University for the Creative Arts) and I was proud of myself, of getting so far.

I was also very anxious… Like many many students from abroad (I can only speak for my fellow EU students as I only know what it feels like from that perspective) I was struggling to find myself in the new reality. How do I get the job, insurance number, flat? Why is everything so expensive why everyone was so hostile to students?

MY GRADUATION WORKS FROM HIGH SCHOOL

My first semester was rather difficult. I was living two towns away from the university and I was casually late for my classes almost everyday. I spent my whole weekends at work, in a small Polish coffee shop which was run by suspicious and a bit odd middle aged man, who called me naughty Agata and Monyca – mean monkey Monyca.
The classes were interesting, but I felt like there was not enough of them to be honest. I did have a lot of work to do, especially considering that I had a part time job as well and spent a lot of time commuting to and from university but I managed to pass to the next year with not so bad grades. I spend my free time meeting new friends and trying to improve my art and English.

SHOT FROM MY FIRST YEAR FILM

I think the second year is worth skipping, because no one really remembers it. It’s sort of like a transition period. However, back then I started to read more about art history, doing first parts of the research for my dissertation and planning my last year film. I feel like the second year is the time of discovering what we are really interested in, to establish who our friends are and making small projects before the stress of third year creeps in.

ANOTHER SHOT FROM THE SECOND YEAR FILM

At first I though I had everything under control. My dissertation was planned, I spent all summer preparing everything I could for my third year film, sketching, reading and resting. But that was a trap. It starts quiet, but then before you realize you wake up at 6am everyday, work in the library till your classes start, then go to work, and after your day job work on your project more because you are always behind on your schedule. It was stressful, but we’ve all managed to finish in time. The dissertation was done, and I was proud of it, especially that I found the topic that I’m really into now – surrealism and uncanny art.

I think it did put me on the right path in a way, after I’ve graduated (with a first, yay!) I’ve got to throw my hat, finish my film, talk with my friends about where the are heading and get to rest a bit before the next steps.

SOME OF THE STORYBOARDS FROM MY LAST FILM

After that I got lost for a bit. I focused on saving up and resting. I’ve focused on finding who I am as an artist (and I’m still very much looking), I’ve been painting, sawing, visiting galleries across England and going for small trips to find inspirations. I’ve got an internship for a bit and applied for entry level jobs. I’ve decided to continue studying and applied for Masters.

Overall, I think it was a good experience. I did grow a lot as a person and artist and I’m happy to start the new adventure – hopefully after this pandemic passes.

🌻🌻🌻Stay home and be safe 🌻🌻🌻 – Agata