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Conversations with Trina Hines

Today we’d like to introduce you to Trina Hines.

Hi Trina, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
While I’ve drawn my whole life, I never expected to be earning my living through illustration alone. I was raised in Massachusetts by two jazz musicians, alongside my little sister who also loves to draw. It goes without saying that this creative environment influenced me a lot during my foundational years. We loved watching cartoons & playing video games, particularly Nintendo. When I discovered manga & anime, it captivated me & further elevated my style.

Today I am a full-time illustrator & blossoming animator. My main source of income at the moment is album artwork for a range of musical genres. Recently, I’ve started designing full vinyl packages, which has become some of my most fulfilling work. I also do concept art, character design & portraiture.

After graduating high school, I tried art school, but it wasn’t for me. I wanted to leap right into life… and life came quickly! Shortly after dropping out, I was scouted for modeling in a small town near Joshua Tree where I spontaneously commenced a four years long modeling career, allowing me to travel & practice my art in many distinct & inspiring places. This experience birthed my first “Travelogue” ink series, alongside a few other series that built my portfolio & lead me to my position today.

I love to make friends in different creative fields & gather inspiration in all forms. At the end of the day, we all fuel each other. I continue to travel for work & seek beauty in places near & far. I am grateful & proud to say I earned it through daily practice & maintaining a deep faith throughout numerous doubts & detours.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
Not necessarily. Only in the last year have I accumulated enough funds to feel properly secure. I was raised by independent artists & we did not have much money or material wealth growing up. Thankfully, this taught me early on how to be resourceful & grateful. More importantly, I learned how to look inward towards spiritual riches & forage for delights in my imagination.

The handful of sentimental possessions I had collected in my childhood were mostly art books, illustration & painting supplies & a few guitars. Yet they were all stolen when my storage unit was robbed in 2014. This was my first taste of life outside of the comfort of “the nest”. Little did I know how that would become a blessing in disguise… I got scouted for modeling shortly after this & I began to move a lot in my early 20’s with very little baggage besides my sketchbooks & pens. This was obviously magnificent in many ways, but I didn’t dig my feet into a solid foundation for a long time. The wild “hurry-and-wait” lifestyle & the physical pressures of the job were a lot to take on without a regular paycheck & without a steady home. I hopped around so many cities during this era so my idea of “home” changed often. But ultimately, this chapter taught me how to survive on my own.

I’ve certainly wrangled with anxiety all my life; however, all of this has informed my character as it stands today. I still consider myself to be one of the luckiest people alive.

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I launched into a full-time career of illustration in 2019 after sending my portfolio to a few music labels. Since then, my primary work has been album covers & vinyl packages. I cater these artworks to many genres including lofi, synthwave, instrumental hip-hop, downtempo, jazz & ambient music. At this time, that work is what I’m most known for. Outside of that, I draw all sorts of things — landscapes, portraits, concept art, character designs, etc. Right now, I’m creating concept art for a television series pitch & am working on two graphic novels, as I’m obsessed with narrative mediums lately. I also book bind & sell my own hand-bound books… and I’m even about to paint my first mural in Italy.

Amidst all this, I’m most proud of the tarot deck I’ve started designing. It’s a hearty challenge of drawing 78 cards so it will take years to build, but thus far, the reception of these initial card artworks has been very positive. Beyond the artistic challenge of this project, it is allowing me to tap into esoteric concepts & engage with my spirituality.

Obviously, I’m juggling a lot because so much intrigues me! The swiss army knife of skills I’m developing will eventually distinguish me from the rest. I just need a little more time… I’m playing the long game.

How do you define success?
I’ve been asking myself this question a lot lately. I’m currently in hermit mode while I develop projects of a greater scope than I’m used to. Right now, I cannot showcase my labors or receive any feedback for this daily work until these projects are officially announced.

Yet, despite my isolation in this chapter & receiving no external validation, I’ve “felt” very successful. I am focused & dedicated to the quality of these projects beyond my desire for immediate gratification. In response to all this, I’m learning one’s success depends on their relationship with themselves & their work — not others’ perception of their work. Success is a state of mind over a label or status. It is committing to a plan while maintaining a candid self-awareness. It is the result of a deep respect for one’s inherent worth.

So, am I making the fullest use of my capabilities today? Do I understand what needs to be done? At the end of the day, am I impressing myself?

Contact Info:

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Image Credits
(1) Feature Photo by Elizabeth Breazile (2) Film Photo by Adam Custins (3) Black & White Photo by Adrian Nina

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