If you are looking for lush candy-colored landscapes, quirky looking vector-based illustrations, with a touch of whimsicality, you have to check out Miss Chat*Z illustrations. Oasis catches up with Miss Chat*Z.

Tell us a little bit about yourself. What helped prepare you to become the artist that you are today?

My real name is Sirine, I’m quite the multi-cultural gal, and that’s reflected pretty much through my artwork. I’m a Saudi born, Americanized Lebanese, with a hint of French and a sprinkle of German. I work under the pseudonym Miss Chat*Z pronounced as “SCHATZI” (the pet name couples call each other in Germany), it stands for treasure and explains the crown on my kitten. The “Miss”, stands for “no collar on this kitty yet.” Oh, and I love cats, coffee, tea and stilettos. Professionally I am a work-all-day digital illustrator. I sit behind an iMac, almost 24/7 illustrating things for web design and TV. I also work on creative direction, graphic design, editorials, fashion design, children books’ artwork, character or concept design, storyboarding, product and 3D design, packaging, advertising, comedy and mobile content artwork… phew yeah I do all that and more.

Although I graduated as a graphic designer, with distinction, I’m actually a self taught artist. Things just came artistically embedded in me, since I was five. As a young adult I used lots of traditional media like pencils, markers, crayons, etc.. and at 17, I bought a Wacom tablet, dabbled with Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop till what was in my head was on the screen.

What’s your style?
My personal style is that of a sassy minx, and I portray that through the Arab Lady Pinups I create. People who know my work, and who have never seen me, can point me out in a stadium. I’m just like my pinups girls…with a little “oomph”. I believe in keeping things colorful, cute yet not childish, pretty but not too kitsch. I put all my heart into my work, mixing in my personal taste and design experience.

How do you go about designing?
When I start, I read over the brief that is sent to me. Images will start popping into my head about the structure. Although I stylize my work, I like to make sure everything is proper, so after imagining the work, I research online for similar works or ideas – I don’t want to copy anyone. I then sketch my idea roughly then move it on to Illustrator. Overall, I spend my time considering the subject’s gesture, guidelines and tweak around till everything is prrrr-oper. After I find it looking good, I add in all the extra stuff and little details in Photoshop. I try to create a nice flow so the eyes can move around the image freely, then drop off to the bits of humor I’ve added in. Most importantly, the illustration has to portray my style.

What is a typical day for you ?
I’m up by 8, coffee & oatmeal for breakfast, feed the pets, and then I’m off to my work desk. I check emails, start or finish projects, then it’s off to meetings, orders, phone calls, deliveries, and more projects to be executed. By late night it’s all back to email checking again, and planning the schedule for the next days. I’m very lucky that I have the freedom to work from home and can alter tasks during the day. It’s a blessing.

What are some of the things that inspire you?
One of my favorite things to keep myself creative is checking artists’ and craft blogs, and following fashion bloggers.

What have you been working on lately?
I just got back from Middle East Film & Comic Con. It was amazing to be there among the fans. I was completely sold out of goods by the last day. I loved it. Amazing people, feedback and on ground experience. Other than that I’m working on children’s books, a comic and more pinups!

Any advice for newbies in this field?
Don’t get too caught up in the technical side of drawing. Things don’t always have to be prrrr-fect, they just have to look as if they are. On a serious note I’d say, if you want to be in this profession, to make a living you need loads of dedication, discipline and some talent. Your success is a based on a cocktail of luck, talent and who you know.

Miss Chat*Z products and artwork are availble to buy online at: www.miss-chatz.com
Prints are only available during exhibitions. Follow Miss Chat*Z, for updates on exhibitions and new products:
Twitter – www.twitter.com/#!/Miss_ChatZ
Facebook – www.facebook.com/MissChatZ
Deviant – www.misschatz.deviantart.com

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