Drawing in a large audience


Among the various art students in Diamond Bar High School, senior Kaitlyn Michaud has captured the attention of thousands with their digital art.

Initially growing interested in art through video games, Michaud took private lessons to develop their skills. Their passion for digital art only grew after realizing the lack of popularity in digital art meant that they could explore different art styles in private. In just five years of consistent uploads on social media, Michaud’s art account @sharkerwiz on Instagram has amassed over 10.5k followers.

“I found a drawing tablet and I just decided to start drawing randomly as a hobby. Now I sell posters and I’m working on T-shirt sales right now,” Michaud said. “I think digital art is underrated and many people don’t think much of it, but it’s everywhere around the world. You can go down the street and there are logos.”

Michaud’s primary artistic drive is drawing fan art of the hit horror indie game, “Five Nights At Freddy’s.” Their style can be described as dramatic and vivid, with expressive characters that portray their appreciation for the game.

“I first used [the drawing program] FireAlpaca because it was free,” Michaud said. “But it doesn’t matter what program you use to make digital art because all it takes is your talent, skill, and the passion you put into it.”

In addition to their digital art skills, Michaud has been diving into the cinematics of art and has since found a new passion for animating which they hope to pursue further in the future at an animation company.

“I think animation is something I want to delve into way more and I think it’s a very underrated form of art. A lot of people underestimate how hard it is to animate every single day.”

Following Michaud’s popularity on Instagram, one of the struggles they faced was the toxic nature of the social media platform, obsessing over likes and follower counts. Like many other content creators, Michaud struggled with mental health regarding social media.

“With Instagram specifically, you can get caught up with the numbers of it all. There was a certain point in my life where I let the numbers and the followers dictate how I felt about myself and my art,” Michaud said.

Currently, Michaud has begun selling their work on Redbubble, an online marketplace company that allows artists to sell their own merchandise such as clothing and accessories. However, Michaud plans to start the manufacturing process on their own.

“I’m thinking about moving on from Redbubble soon and doing the business all by myself—which requires my website, equipment, and ink,” Michaud said. “It’s risky since I’m not sure if it’ll be successful, but it’s a gamble I’m willing to take.”