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Meet Eva Sowinski of Critterosity, fan*alley, Ground Zero Animation Expo, and Lacy Ink in Anaheim

Today we’d like to introduce you to Eva Sowinski.

Eva, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I grew up in the middle of nowhere Northern California. Being from a rural town, I taught myself to do cartooning and mixed media art, face painting, and from that I learned to be an entrepreneur. I moved to LA County when I was 18 years old, with barely anything, then worked part time for different jobs while beginning my face painting business, Lacy Ink. By 2009, I was able to leave my part time jobs, and work only as a face painter and caricature artist. Through working for myself I met fellow artists/crafters and opened a shop with a friend for 2 years, then moved on in 2015 to open my own brick and mortar, fan*alley and created the Ground Zero Animation EXPO. In 2013, I tried my first major convention, Designer Con and came up with my art name, Critterosity.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
If anyone has had a smooth journey, they probably didn’t grow. I am happy to say that there have been tremendous struggles and without them, I wouldn’t be where I am or who I am today. I have dealt with financial problems while owning a shop, lost friend/professional connections due to indifferences while trying to do what I felt was right, difficulties with running a small business in a hidden location, and small hiccups that come along with daily life.

Please tell us about Critterosity, fan*alley, Ground Zero Animation Expo, and Lacy Ink.
Critterosity: This is my art business. I create critters, monsters and fan art that are cute. I can do a lot of different art styles & mediums, so I dabble in a bit of everything. I also instruct at a local brewery for a paint and drink night with Paint & Libate. I love my art to be affordable & fun for all ages and genders.

Lacy Ink: This is my face painting business. I also am an independent contractor for 3 major companies in the area. I’m known for using my skills in cartooning to create unique paintings and everyone’s favorite animated characters. This form of art brings me so much joy and I love where it has taken me. I’ve painted on celebrities, traveled to locations I never knew existed and created friendships.

fan*alley: My brick and mortar is now gone, but the spirit of fan*alley lives on through pop up shows and galleries. I enjoy curating events that introduce artists to new customers who become longtime fans. The galleries are fun to host and I enjoy letting up and coming curators begin their journey with me. These are great events for rising artists breaking into the industry while still having seasoned artists as vendors. By the end of 2017, I will have stared my new channel for interviewing talent and talking about all things creative at Ugly Baby Studios.

Ground Zero Animation EXPO: This is my baby, this is what I want to keep growing. 2018 will be the 3rd Annual event. I have had the honor of curating a show that consists of my talented friends and professionals from the animation industry. The event was created to be affordable for all to attend & allow professionals to speak one on one with ticket holders in an intimate setting. The EXPO went from a 1 day event to a 2 day event by the 2nd event. The panels, workshops and lectures are filled with information and can be hands on. So excited to see this event expand!

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
As much as I was inspired from a lot of influences and family members, my Aunt Norene was my favorite part of childhood. She taught me so much about crafting and art. Though my parents encouraged what I loved, she taught me the skills. There are far too many wonderful times with her that I can reminisce, but I will always remember her teaching me how to use rubber stamps with embossing powders. I can see her whimsical sun stamp vividly that I was allowed to use in my sketchbook. Watched the powder melt with the heat gun so magically. From then on, I was hooked on rubber stamps and would make so many creations with them (especially my Lion King stamp set).

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Image Credit:
Eva Sowinski

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