By Dilinna Ugochukwu
With eye-catching color contrasts and intricate detailing, Patteera Sudsok’s work is beautiful, brilliant, and focused on character design. They first started posting their art online in 2016 when they were in middle school, and have since grown a following on social media.
When Sudsok first started posting, they were inspired by their love of cartoons. They like to draw fanart inspired by some of their favorite animated shows like “Adventure Time,” “Steven Universe,” “Attack on Titan,” and “Jujutsu Kaisen”; as well as the work of other online artists—with similarly cartoon-esque styles—like Gunzbie and CutiiCosmo. Sudsok’s work employs saturated colors, and can accurately be described as bright and eye-catching. Additionally, perhaps because of their love of animated shows, Sudsok is drawn towards creating character art over environments or backgrounds.
Sudsok's favorite part of art is the creative process. “Just sitting down and doing art is really relaxing to me,” they say. Creating artwork “calms me down, and I think it grounds me as well.”
Sudsok does sometimes create too much and run out of fuel, leading to a loss of motivation. “It feels like I have to start all over again with my skills,” they noted. “I feel bad and then stop creating.” Practices like keeping a small daily art journal have helped, but Sudsok still struggles with occasional burnout.
For this reason, Sudsok sees creating art as a lifelong practice—“it’s always going to be a passion of mine, something I always go back to”—but not necessarily a future career. If art was their only source of income, they feel they would burn out: “I wouldn't have as much passion as I do now.”
Luckily, Sudsok’s online community has helped them find support and combat burnout. They see their online community as a very kind place, with mutuals (people who you follow and who follow you back) being especially welcoming, Followers’ encouragement and likes “makes me feel like I'm not alone.” Additionally Sudsok says that all their followers are “super supportive and really respectful of what each artist wants, and we promote each other.”
Sudsok has also found support online with other artists of color. “We have to stick together,” they noted. “When they see me, or we see each other, succeeding and getting support, it feels really good.”
This online validation was especially important at the beginning of Sudsok’s artistic journey. When Sudsok first started creating art, their family wasn’t very encouraging: “They didn’t really see my work as a serious thing.” Sudsok also attributes part of their family's initial lack of support to their lack of knowledge around career options for artists and fear of financial instability.
As Sudsok gained a greater following on social media, Sudsok’s family has grown more supportive of their artistic endeavors: “They see that art can be something that’s worth my time.” Now, they buy Sudsok’s work off of Redbubble and encourage them to continue making art. Their family’s support has made Sudsok feel proud: “It made me realize that what I was doing was worth my time, and that I should be proud of the finished products I made.”
Sudsok believes that artistic appreciation from friends and family is vital: “Just having a system of support and love that is always there for you is really encouraging.” They especially encourage other BIPOC young artists to find mutuals of color who can inspire them. “Find people who are in your situation as well, so you can have that support group,” they said. “You always have someone who’s going through what you’re going through… there are a lot of people who are out there for us.”
All images by Patteera Sudsok.