If there was a Canvas sticker for the best real life job, Maggie Ramey would win it—hands down.
When the 20-year-old Californian isn’t drawing on the popular imageboard, she spends her days working at her father’s WWII airplane restoration company recreating old advertisements and designing art for the places.
“I get to make logos and airplane nose art for him, which is awesome,” Ramey told the Daily Dot.
“A lot of the time I have to take images from old, worn out, torn up stickers and photos from the ‘40s and turn them into high-quality pieces that my father can use to make a plane look like it did the day it was made. I like bringing the past back to life. Feels pretty cool.”
Like hundreds of other Canvas users out there, Ramey (who goes by Laggy on the site) is an ex-4chan user who joined the site while it was still in beta mode. On Canvas, a site where users can alter images to earn colorful stickers, she regularly participates in drawing threads and often shares her own video game-inspired art.
“I've been playing since I was little; I started with mostly Playstation games, like Spyro, Tomb Raider, Metal Gear Solid, stuff like that,” Ramey said. “Video Games have always been an escape for me. A whole new world to explore with its own style and rules. I love that. I know parents always say that video games rot your brain, but I personally believe that they exercise it.”
And exercising is exactly what Ramey has been doing. Using Inkscape, a free vector graphics editor, Ramey has created stunning fan art of Portal, a popular puzzle-platform game. The game’s protagonist Chell has been a particular source of inspiration for Ramey, who appreciates “strong female roles, in all forms of media, video games especially.”
Her piece, “Propulsion Gel Fun,” is a Canvas favorite, having collected more than 150 stickers and 99 responses. While the illustration may appear deceptively simple, it’s indicative of Ramey’s extensive creative process.
“I start every drawing with a sketch,” Ramey said. “ I've used up so much paper just sketching, I should be locked up for killing so many trees. After that, I go over the sketch in Inkscape. For a clean, cartoony piece like that, it would take an hour or two at most.
“For more complicated pieces, like my ‘Fallout’ pieces that need to look like they're from a post-apocalyptic wasteland, I make textures in GIMP (another free program) to give the piece that distressed, dirty, grungy look. Stuff like that takes a lot longer, maybe 4-10 hours.”
Ramey is unsure where her art will take her. But now that she has a fancy new Wacom Intuos4 drawing tablet, she’ll be on Canvas a lot more.
“Everyone there is so nice,” she said in comparison to 4chan. “It really feels like a community that cares, instead of a bunch of strangers insulting each other.”
Illustrations and Daily Dot doodle by Maggie Ramey