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Interview with Tux Paint Artist Serena

Conducted by Bill Kendrick. Posted July 3, 2023.


"Fin Fin"

About Serena

What's your name?
Hi! I’m Serena but I go by abstractaardvark online.
How old are you?
20 as of doing this interview!
What do you do for a living?
I’m a full time student-studying illustration and character design. This year will be the 4th year of my degree! :)
Do you have other artistic endeavors?
I write often, and do all kinds of mediums of art — printmaking, sculpture, jewellery, among other things.
What are your other hobbies?
I like to walk/hike and generally just enjoy nature, and I have a small record/cassette/CD collection I feed a lot of my time into.
Where can people find you online?

🖼 View Serena's artwork in the Tux Paint Gallery

Discovering and Using Tux Paint

How and when did you first learn about Tux Paint?
I think I was originally looking for KidPix and then I ended up getting reminded of Tux Paint through that adjacent rabbit hole… I was pretty surprised to see it still being updated because I have faint memories of using it when I was younger.
Did you stop using Tux Paint and come back to it later?
Yes and no, I remember using it as a kid and I didn’t really have an understanding of what was going on so I think coming back to it now is almost like reopening this weird time portal in a strange way. I think either way, I keep coming back to it because the interface is so simple compared to the more ‘professional’ programs I’m used to using.
How do you usually interact with Tux Paint?
I use my stylus/screen tablet majority of the time!
What are your "go-to" tools in Tux Paint?
I don’t usually go super crazy, I like the simplicity of the default smaller brush. I love the Toothpaste brush a lot for fun embellishments though, and often use Sharpen and Noise when putting finishing touches on my pieces. I’m also a huge fan of the fruit and vegetable stamps.
Is there something you wish Tux Paint could do that it can't?
Maybe a bit too complicated of an ask but I do wish that we could save/import specific colours/colour palettes or have some way to quickly colourpick from an image! That would save me a lot of time while drawing recurring characters in my work.

(Note from Bill: Starting in Tux Paint 0.9.28, you can bring up the pipette tool in a lot of situations by holding the [Control] key while clicking in the canvas!)
What other kinds of art tools do you use?
I’m really into watercolour/gouache right now and have been focusing on that a lot in my traditional work, but I do a little bit of everything! Digitally I flip flop between Procreate and Clip Studio Paint for bigger projects of mine.
Do you ever edit your Tux Paint art in other drawing programs or vice-versa?
Sometimes I’ll edit colour levels in Photoshop and resize things when necessary/add other material effects with assets in Clip Studio, but for the most part I find I can get a solid finished piece with just Tux Paint.
What tips or tricks would you like to share with other aspiring artists?
Have fun! Tux Paint is really good for just doing whatever you like and not really worrying about the details. Draw some blobs and see where it goes.
What piece of art, or other creation, are you most proud of?
It's hard to pick! I have been having a lot of fun with some less serious, more fun pieces this year involving a multitude of my strange little beast characters. I don’t have a name for the world yet but I’ve done a lot of art in this context — on the right are some tuxpaint pieces that are related and on the left is one I did in Procreate that’s more detailed. I think it’s fun to see them side by side and to see how similar they still are :).

Style and Inspiration

What would you call your art style?
This is a hard question-I feel like I can’t really pin it into one or a few styles, I flip flop between a kind of children’s book style and more abstract, involving sort of glitch art/'webcore' themes.
Are there certain topics or fandoms that you like to focus on in your art?
Most of my work is not fandom based but I’ve been really into Splatoon 3, Pikmin, and Fin Fin on Teo the Magic Planet recently! Otherwise, everything is oriented towards my characters and universes I love to worldbuild by myself and with friends.
What artists do you look up to?
I’m really inspired by works by Ikegami Yoriyuki and Tove Jansson among others. I also find myself constantly inspired by all of my fellow artists in my circles online as well!
What other things inspire you to make art?
I take a lot of inspiration from children’s books, abstract art, the early web, and all of the nature around me!
Have you ever published or exhibited your art?
I'm in the process of making some stickers which include some art I've made in Tux Paint, so I'm excited for that! In terms of exhibitions/galleries, I'm very interested in putting one together in my next year of studies that would include some of my Tux Paint work/possibly others. We'll see but it's definitely something that's been on my mind.


If you could interview me, or someone else who works on the Tux Paint project, what would you ask us?
I would love to know what your favourite type of penguin is!

Bill: Good question! They're all pretty cute, but let's go with Emperor Penguins.

"Weird and Strange"

Untitled commission

Did you know? Tux Paint is not shareware, it's open source. So it's free, forever!