Rhea AKA Young Early Grey has been working on some spicy animations featuring a power house of it girls...we caught up with her to chat about her process, inspiration and find out where it all began.



You have a healthy following on Instagram @youngearlgrey what are some tips for artists who are looking to build theres?

Rhea: Understand your strengths and play to them! Building an image is so incredibly important these days, where artists are expected to be a media presence as well as creating a steady output. If you can identify what sort of image works for you - and it should always be something true to yourself - then you can market it consistently and have something for people to respond to. Some of my favourite artists even have distinctive colour palates that they stick to on their Instagram posts, so it feels like a cohesive product when you scroll through their Instagram. Know what you want to put out, and make sure it's clear to your audience too. 


Why do you think its becoming popular for brands to use social media as an advertising platform?

Rhea:  I think people of my generation feel a bit closer to brands through social media rather than traditional methods of advertising, such as magazines, billboards etc. I notice a lot of brands treating their social media accounts with a more casual air which I think works surprisingly well - like they're another friend posting on the Internet, but they have cool things you want to buy and take part in! It's important to approach people with that friendly atmosphere and it's definitely easier online. 

Tell us a bit about you process behind these 3 GIFS? 

Rhea:  I was so excited when I received this brief because I am all about cool and strong women! My biggest inspiration on the animation front is Sailor Moon, and I wanted to kind of play that into each girl's theming. Sailor Moon had advertising products tied very closely into its branding, so every time she would transform there would be a particular focus on her nails, lips and make up so later on they could be marketed alongside the episodes. I wanted to bring that magical feel into the animations but also stay true to each girl's style, which were very different from each other too. Janelle has a very classic 60s imagery with her black and white tux and minimal make up, Nervo are covering the cool DJ side of things with a bit of a 70s disco flair, and Pink has always been about loud colours and that androgynous feel of the 80s. It was important for me to reflect this in each animation and give the girls distinct looks. 

What was your favourite and why?

Rhea: I can't pick a favourite, honestly! I definitely had fun with some individual frames - like the nail polish pouring in Nervo's animation - but they were all a total blast to create. 

Tell us about your first experience with social media?

Rhea:  Oh boy, I started out on tumblr way back in about 2008 at the end of high school! I started posting my drawings up on there out of interest, and then learnt how the tagging system worked (you can tag each thing you post on tumblr under various things, which people can then search, much like Instagram and Twitter now works) and how I could push my work out there even further. I was desperately obsessed with Michael Jackson at the time and was drawing him a lot, and my first audience was really built on from that! I became a part of the online community surrounding him and a lot of them followed me over onto Instagram a few years later. I really credit tumblr with my first start into getting my artwork out there and I still post on their regularly on the same YoungEarlGrey blog! 

Do you see self promotion as an important part of being a commercial artist? 

Rhea:  Absolutely! You know how to market yourself better than anyone else. It's important to stay true to the things that interest you and make you different; I've always been into the 80s and all of that scene, and it's really become a part of my online personality and how people identify my work. I have an image that people respond to and because I also post a lot of photos of myself alongside my artwork, there is a physical identity that is linked to it. It's very easy to self promote these days because of social media, but tricky to find your niche and your voice. But it's something that will come to you as you see how and what people respond to!