We had the good fortune of connecting with Lee Strawberry and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lee, other than deciding to work for yourself, what was the single most important decision you made that contributed to your success?
I believe that research, planning, and observation has contributed to my success the most. When I started doing what I do, it felt like i was in a grey cloud of confusion. I had so many questions and felt like I wasn’t capable or ready at all. Although it was stressful at first, I slowly got all my questions answered through reading articles, watching videos, and asking my online friends on how to do things.
I’m always in the process of learning new things, whether it be how to run my business better, or how to improve my artistic skill. It’s really important to keep learning and asking questions, to help inform future decisions.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I’m a comic artist and digital content creator, My comics consist of slice of life, relatable stories about mental health, emotions, relationships, etc. I treat my comics like a diary, and record things as they are. The art I make I usually share within a week, while the feelings are fresh. At times, I create what I call ‘impulse comics’ which are a direct recording of how I feel at that exact moment in time.
It took a lot of trial and error to get where I am now. I started making animations on my Nintendo DSi via Flipnote a long time ago, and that was my first experience having a large online presence. Years ago, the online version of Flipnote went down, and I felt like that was it for me, but in fact it was just the beginning. After a break, I decided to stream my art on YouNow, which wasn’t very fruitful, but it made me happy so I kept at it. After I while I lost interest in streaming due to college classes picking up, and I stopped having an online presence for a short period, only posting art once in a while. My current online presence begins in 2019. I was going through a rough time in my life and found that making comics helped me cope with my feelings a lot. People started to enjoy the comics that I made, and during the BLM movement, I made some tutorials on how to draw black people to encourage inclusivity in the art community. Both my comics and my tutorials have helped me get to where I am now.
Through my experience, I’ve learned that if something is not working, it is okay to pause and start over again. Every time I’ve had great success, it’s been result of a change I made as part of that process. Something else I remember is that social media is all about being social. Having people I enjoy chatting with online, whether it be via DM or through a discord server, it makes me feel less alone.
What I want everyone to know about my story is that it’s okay to not feel your best all the time. Feelings are such a unique experience to everyone, and acknowledging and appreciating that experience is something everyone should do.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My mother and father have always been there to encourage me, especially when it came to my art and business journey. They may not always know what i’m doing specifically but they support me either way.
I recently read ‘The Artist’s Guide: How To Make A Living Doing What You Love’ by Jackie Battenfield. Her book was mainly about gallery work but as a digital artist I was still able to get inspiration from the book.
My partner has been my biggest fan. He’s been around to encourage me to keep going even when I’m feeling down about my work.