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We got a chance to sit down with the lovely Colorado-based illustrator and animator, Andréa Anthony, known in the art world as Peche.

My name is Andréa Anthony. I usually go online by the handle Peche which is ironic because nobody can pronounce Andréa and nobody can pronounce Peche the right way. They either say pesh or, I have heard like, peachy or something. But it is French so…

[PM]: The correct pronunciation is “peach,” for readers.

I graduated from CSU in Spring of 2016 so it’s been a minute. I’ve always wanted to draw. That was my main goal in life; to do my thing and share it with the world and somehow it would turn out.

I have been drawing my whole life. It’s been something I was really drawn to like with comic books and Japanese anime was a huge thing for me when I was younger in the 90s. And video games were huge as well. I was always visually captured by these huge media booms in the 90s like Nintendo, Pokémon and I just always gravitated towards the lines and the characters and the personalities I found in those spheres of media.

Drawing was always just there for me. In high school, that’s when I was first confronted with people telling me maybe I should choose a different avenue. But even then, I did plan for that but drawing was still always something that I pursued. It was something that I fell back on. It was something that, I think was very therapeutic in times of struggle or times of challenge or complication. I would always go back to drawing. It’s definitely therapeutic and I think the older I’ve gotten the more complicated my lines have gotten, the more intricate my line work has gotten and I think that that definitely helps me delve into that deeper.

My process lately has changed quite a bit from when I first started drawing until now. I used to never consider myself a digital artist which is so weird and bizarre to have people come at me with that terminology now.

When I was younger, especially a teenager, I always looked up to those artists on DeviantArt and I would say, “Oh I can never do that. I can never work a tablet” because it is so foreign. It’s not the same as looking as you’re drawing. It’s removed one step. But thankfully practice is a thing and now I sit down and I go into the piece with an idea I want to see or a concept I want to explore. Lately it has had to do with more meditative things so I’ll try and get my stress out on the paper so I’ll pick a theme or two like catharsis or anything that has to do with the metaphysical or astrology, I’m really interested in. I’m into weird celestial ideas mixed with these weird anime girls that look like they are going to fight someone, I don’t know, it makes sense to me.

So I sit down and I’ll draw the figure. The figure has always been an important part of my work because I love anatomy and I think it’s really satisfying to figure draw. I think it comes down to the characters that I like to represent or I’d like to see represented, rather. So I’ll usually start with anatomy or a figure or a personality that I want to see and then I will go in with background elements or interacting elements that will enhance that and usually that will encompass design as well. So I’ll draw with pencil and go in with pen on top of it, like a fine liner. That’s when I really start to sculpt those lines that get really intense and then I’ll erase all of that and scan it into the laptop and then I go in with editing software after that and clean up those lines in a really painstaking process. Anything that I consider to be a grainy scan usually gets cleaned up afterwards and gets really smooth and beautiful and that is intense and meticulous but I find that that’s where it gets really refined.

[PM]: Peche’s drawing was influenced by anime, video games and DeviantArt.

My practice started with watching anime and wanting to replicate the images I saw, like perfectly, to a T. And playing a bunch of video games and being on DeviantArt a lot in the early 2000s I looked up to a lot of artists that were very much active on the internet before social media was ever a thing. And just idolizing these people that you never knew who they were or what they did you just saw the work that they were producing.

I started being inspired by that and I think, throughout, I just kept reaffirming the idea of femininity. That was something that was really important to keep exploring just because I felt like it was so powerful. I felt like femininity wasn’t really represented in the way I wanted it to be, especially in the comic book and video game realm. I didn’t see as many female heroines that I wanted to see. They were male. There were more male icons and main characters and I wanted to see myself represented. I went out of my way, I guess subconsciously, to start doing that. And that seems to be where I’m at now – exploring themes of things that I’m interested in and icons that I want to interweave throughout my work now like I guess each piece that I draw now is like a piece of me that I would see in an avatar in a digital sphere or an imaginary avatar. They all communicate their own purpose, they have their own place and they have their own story. And they all have their own personality in a way too.

[PM]: Peche works as a graphic designer at a marketing agency.

I graduated about a year ago and I just wandered a little bit. I took a little time off, thankfully I was able to, and then I worked retail for a little while but now I do graphic design, professionally. Balancing that, I still do my own thing on the side.

I did study graphic design in school and at first, it was very challenging just because it didn’t come naturally to me. It wasn’t like drawing. In drawing, I get lost in it. But in graphic design there were rules, there were specific things that worked and didn’t and I found myself very frustrated by it many times but I feel like I’m now starting to understand why that visual language works and I am starting to appreciate it a lot more than I did initially. That works into my personal drawings a lot where I want to see a lot of those design elements. I want to see repetition and pattern and I want to be able to move the viewer’s eye around the page in a way that before I wasn’t really equipped to do because I would just draw and it would happen and I wouldn’t really think about the mechanics of it. Now I design for a marketing agency. It’s not really something that I would specifically pull into my work that I do now but it is a learning experience that enhances my work. I think anything that I do outside of my drawing will inevitably influence and improve this endeavor that I’m working on now.

PM Megazine couldn’t be more excited about getting to pick Peche’s brain about her process, background and inspirations. Please check out her work and follow Peche on Instagram

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