Cheryl Young

Freelance Background Artist
[email protected]


Cheryl Young is a Hong Kong freelance artist with a love of hamsters and environments. Visual storytelling is 100% Cheryl's jam.For business inquiries, contact [email protected]


How can I contact you/Are you available for commission work?
Contact me at [email protected] for professional inquiries. My notifications and DMs are filtered on Twitter, so the best way to reach me is via email.
I have zero interest in doing any NFT projects so don't contact me for them.
What does "No pronouns" mean?"
You use my name in place of pronouns like he/him or she/her.
E.g. Cheryl draws environments because Cheryl enjoys it.
Feel free to use either cy or Cheryl to refer to me!
Recently shifting to preferring they/them as well so those are also fine ^^
May I use your work to create a 3D model/recreate with pixel art/any other project?
No recreation/3D models/pixel art/fanart/remakes are allowed of my work. If I haven't responded about allowing the creation of a piece, then assume it's a "No".
Nothing I make may be used in any blockchain-related technology i.e. NFTs, cryptocurrency, or future inventions in the space. I do not allow for AI art related use of my work either.
Inspiration off my work + other image references and coming up with your own piece that is far enough from your reference material = OK
Directly copying large elements of my pieces (composition/colour/structural elements) and passing it as your own/inspiration = Not OK
I don't care if you credit me, I never consented to having my work be redone in any format so cease.
I strongly recommend you look at your various influences and inspirations in life beyond just a handful of sources and think more broadly/specifically to how to develop your individual voice and approach towards making art. I think it's more interesting to see a unique reinterpretation than a recreation of someone else's efforts.What if I already made something based on your work? Can I post it?
Are you ever going to release a colouring book with your lineart/Can I colour in your linework?
Where else can I find your work?
My side account for all things game related (currently where a majority of my Sky: Children of the Light stuff is) can be found at @sliceofcy!
Artfol: @cysketch
Tumblr: cysketch
What do you use to draw with?
iPad Pro, Clip Studio Pro
(Traditional) Muji pens are the best.
(Digital) custom tweaked brushes from the clip asset store
Example clip of main brush
Second inking brush (used primarily for character art)
Do you stream?
I stream on Twitch here!
I don't have any regular schedule, but most updates will be posted on my Twitter or you can follow my Twitch to be notified of when I go live. Stream clips will not be saved.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
A lot of reference images in both my phone gallery and gathered on pinterest. A large majority of it comes from the place I live, Hong Kong, but I draw heavily from Japan's architecture as well.
For artists, I'm inspired by Mateusz Urbanowicz, waneella, Sachin Teng, Rakoshirako, bluekomadori, Jake Wyatt, Anthony Holden, onemegawatt, and Zao Dao.
Aimer on repeat forever.
My favourite games are Ace Attorney 4 + Dai Gyakuten Saiban, Professor Layton series, almost everything Pokemon (mystery dungeon has a special place in my heart alongside Pokemon Ranger Shadows of Almia), and few others!
Do you have an artbook/zine?
I've been working on a few in my free time. When they're completed however, they'll remain con exclusive until further notice. Same goes for any merch I produce.
Do you have a store?
I’ll announce on my twitter (@cysketch) if I ever open one. Otherwise my prints are available here.
How can I improve my backgrounds/get started?Disclaimer: I'm not a trained educator nor am I qualified to be in the position of one, so feel free to take this advice with a grain of salt.Reference, research, and feedback.
- Reference helps with visualisation from what already exists in the world to aid the construction of composition. You will eventually build up a visual library of scenes and locations through reference photos, google maps locations, mapcrunch, etc. You can never really have too much reference.
- Research how other artists compose their scenes, how photographers frame their shots. Look up industry professionals, YouTube channels, movie screencap sites - the more specific your search is geared to what you want your work to become, the better.
- Ask for help/advice as you go, but often times it’s better to have work to show for it and be specific on what you’re stuck on/what area of learning you wish to improve.
- To be honest it doesn't actually take that much to get going on bgs, it's just a matter of being persistent in maintaining that practice and if you can find a way to enjoy it, then that'll be more beneficial to your development as you gear your learning alongside that enjoyment.
How are you so productive?/What are your tips to drawing backgrounds?/How do you get faster at drawing?
I spend a lot of time resting and researching ideas when I have free time, so by the time I get to draw, I'll have amassed enough material in my research to use as reference to draw from as a starting point to get going.
If you're stuck on ideas, getting feedback from friends or trying out a couple thumbnail sketches for composition ideas works well! Maybe also consider that you might just have burnout and need a break from trying to create art for a while.
Regarding speed, everyone learns at their own pace so it's not intuitive to compare one artist's speed to another. Sometimes certain pieces are quicker to finish, sometimes others take longer. Just work with what you're most comfortable with and you'll figure out your own shortcuts as you go ^^


I've made a few tutorials & process posts on Twitter, so I've listed them here! I mainly use Clip Studio Paint, so more technical tutorials will be catered to that.Tutorials
- Deconstructing Photo Reference 1
- Deconstructing Photo Reference 2
- How to add bgs to character drawings if you drew the character first
- Draw a box, put something in it
- How to use Minecraft to learn perspective
- Using outline stroke in CSP to draw plants 1
- Using outline stroke in CSP to draw plants 2
- Using outline stroke in CSP to draw fabric
- How to convert scanned traditional inks into digital lineart on CSP
- Wip thread for Fish Shop piece
- Layer breakdown video - How I build up colour
- Layer breakdown - How I organise my layers and use gradient map
- How I use reference (worldbuilding) 1
- How I use reference 2
- Note on characters in backgrounds
- Ghibli Howl's Moving Castle, Howl's Bedroom WIP Thread
- Howl's Bedroom - Separating the planes of FG and BG
- My notes on Social Media + Growing a Following
- Reasons to Raise Your Prices
- How to get Commission Work (Hobbyist Edition)
- Using hourly rates to estimate commission prices
If you find this information useful, feel free to drop me a tip on ko-fi!


I have Ko-fi commissions for character based artwork that you can find here.
You may also email me for paypal invoicing/discussion of details if you don't wish to use the platform. It's recommended to refer to the ko-fi listing for what I provide however.
Contact: [email protected]