We can’t get enough of Courtney La Forest’s cheeky, adorable, and super fun art. Whether portraits of romcom-worthy couples or adorable canine worlds filled with dogs playing soccer and boardgames, her stuff is the cutest. The 20-something East Coast-based illustrator is a self-described “good-for-nothing-young-artsy type,” but we disagree: One look at her work, and it’s easy to see that this girl’s got talent. Her art is colorful, heartwarming, and totally brings the happy feels — and that’s why she’s our Illustrator of the Week!

Find out more about Courtney and her art below, and buy some of her exclusive-to-HelloGiggles phone cases by clicking right here.

What inspires you to make things: I’m inspired by all sorts of things. Inspiration comes in so many shapes and sizes —something as grand as a bright and colorful sunset over the Pacific Ocean is just as stimulating and awe-inducing for me as a giggling small child or a glass jar filled with assorted wildflowers.

I find myself often most drawn to natural elements for inspiration, particularly the flora and fauna nearest me. I’ve always had a very strong passion for learning and enjoy absorbing information about whatever particular subject matter I’m currently invested in. Throughout my college years I attended and assisted teaching several natural history drawing courses and have since always found a warm and welcoming source of inspiration just in the outside world around me.

I also get very inspired to pursue making new things from art I see made by other creative individuals, whether that be in the form of traditional visual arts, music, or film. Sometimes something as simple as one intriguing Instagram post is all I need to feel invigorated and be grasping for any nearby scrap of paper to scribble away on.

Your favorite thing(s) to draw: I really love drawing dogs! And animals in general, especially little critters doing “people things” like skateboarding or playing guitar. Some of my other favorite things to draw are flowers, people’s faces, and curly hair. Defining texture and getting lost in the details of a pattern is definitely my favorite place to be.

Medium of choice: Photoshop tends to be my go-to, where I use my Wacom tablet to use a number of homemade brushes and textures made from scanned scribbles and paint brush strokes. I also use a number of Kyle T Webster’s Photoshop brushes. When I’m not working digitally, I enjoy using colored inks, markers, graphite and water-soluble crayons in my sketchbook.

The first time you knew you wanted to be an artist: I’ve always really enjoyed drawing as a pastime and method of exploring my thoughts and inner feelings. In grade school I was really into Beatrix Potter’s books and at a point realized that I could be like her when I grew up if I wanted; that is, both draw and write the words for picture books. Since then I was always making little comic books out of notebook paper in my school binders and scribbling my own fan drawings of different Pokémon and Powerpuff Girls characters for other kids during recess.

Proudest achievement so far: Although I’ve been very humbled and honored to have received some greater recognitions in the past for some of my work, most of my proudest achievements so far have actually been having the occasional opportunity to inspire some other young person to pick up a drawing utensil and have at it. Being a natural born lover of learning, I find myself drawn most toward opportunities and art projects that inspire creativity and intellectual growth among it’s viewers and participants.

Music you listen to while you work: A whole variety of things! It really depends on what I’m working on and the mood I’m in. Sometimes it will be gentler melodies like Fleet Foxes and Bon Iver, while others I’ll want to have Rage Against the Machine and Kid Cudi blaring. I do have an embarrassing soft spot for cheesy pop music, especially from the 90s era, as well as synthy electro indie pop sounds like Chvrches and Made In Heights. I have a particular love for strong female vocalists as well, such as Sia or Amy Winehouse. Lately I’ve been finding myself enjoying a lot of film soundtracks while working, particularly Jonsí’s album for We Bought A Zoo, Alexi Murdoch’s album for Away We Go and the compilation album for the indie Pakistani vampire thriller, A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night.

Your most prized possession: Probably my computer hard drive/external backup drive! Being a mainly digital artist, not only is many years worth of my creative life saved there, but all of my gathered and handcrafted tools of the trade are also stored, allowing me to create at ease. After that, probably the graphic novel and picture book collection I have amassed over the years, which constantly offer me so much creative inspiration and mental freedom.

Your personal hero: My Grammy! My grandmother has always supported me and encouraged me to follow my dreams, and is my number one fan—she literally has an entire wall of every art print I’ve ever produced at her house, as well as every and any drawing, painting, or other craft I’ve made her on display for all to see. She also inspired me heavily throughout my childhood to always try and work my hardest, while also remembering to say ‘please’ and ‘thank you.’

The last thing to make you giggle: One of my roommates, who is also one of my very good friends, Kellie, just made so many goofy faces at me while brushing her teeth before bed and we both couldn’t stop laughing after. I live and spend time with so many of the smartest, sweetest, and silliest people I’ve ever met and it’s the best!

Check out Courtney’s amazing phone cases via Casetify — they’re an exclusive partnership with HelloGiggles! And for more of her work, check out her website, Twitter, Instagram, online store, Pinterest, and Spotify.

You can check out our past Illustrators of the Week here!