Cool Friends: Grace Miceli
Meet Grace, AKA @artbabygirl — a Brooklyn illustrator and animator whose work has graced the pages of The New Yorker, and the screens of every sad indie kid watching Soccer Mommy music videos. Her work has been featured at MoMA, Institute of Contemporary Arts London, NADA Miami, Tate Modern, SXSW, and this newsletter.
How did your career as an illustrator begin?
It was a slow build-I started posting drawings on Tumblr at the end of college. I liked the medium because I could buy printer paper and crayola markers at the pharmacy for like $10 and they would last me months. I scanned everything I drew and posted it online and over the years due to luck and generous internet friends and drawing daily because I was really bored and sad-my audience grew. I’ve made lots of mistakes (working for free!) but learned tons and developed my style slowly and found my voice over time. I’ve often been really afraid to share my work but I still put it out there anyways and I think that has helped me so much. You need to be enthusiastic and hopeful about your work if you expect anyone else to be.
What's your favorite part about the New York creative community?
I feel grateful to have found peers who have become both friends and mentors. I try to remember that there’s room enough for everyone and we don’t have to compete-it’s really nice to see that reflected around me. Also just transparency and vulnerability about the fact that working as an artist is awesome but challenging and still like a real and challenging job-it’s not as glamorous as it may seem.
What's inspiring you right now?
I’ll be real with you-I don’t feel that inspired right now when it comes to creating art. And I think there’s power in accepting that and not getting mad about it. It’s been really hard to be productive during the pandemic and that is okay and normal. I try to return to the things that calm me down like journaling, watching movies I loved as a teen, Tara Brach meditations and reading fiction (anything about tumultuous female friendships is preferred) because I know that inspiration definitely won’t come if my anxiety is in charge.
@artbabygirl on Instagram