Okay so I get a bunch of these question all the time about being an Artist. Questions like "How do you draw like that?" "Will you draw my comic for Free?" "What do I need to do to get better?" "What are the tools you use?" Ect...
I'm going to provide all these Answer and more here, so listen up.
1.The most commonly asked question is "How did you learn how to draw"
I get asked this question a ton and my answer is pretty much the same every time. "PRACTICE!!!" I cannot stress this enough, but you have to practice. You will only get out of it what you put into it. How good do You want to be?
Truthfully thats up to you.
I've put in a good 15 years of drawing almost everyday. I've wanted to be a comic artist more than anything. I WANTED IT! And now I'm doing it. But I had to work at it. I didn't just wake up one day and become good at drawing. I had to practice, which I still do.
It's pretty much like working out. Nobody just wakes up one day and has massive arms and a six pack. No, you need to actually get your butt out of your chair and hit the gym.
Learning how to draw takes time and devotion. There will be moments where you'll have to decide do I go play video games, or hang out with friends? OR do I go sit at my desk and practice drawing.
If being a comic artist is what you plan on doing then you better get in the chair and start drawing kid. I'm not saying hanging out with friends or playing video games is bad by any means. But where you devote your time is going to determine how good you will be at drawing.
Some of the basics that every beginner should learn to master are
ANATOMY. Learning the muscles and structure of the human figure.
FACES. Learning how to draw the face and different expressions.
DYNAMICS. Learning how to draw the body in motion.
PERSPECTIVE. Learning how to draw buildings, rooms, vehicles, story scenes in proper perspective. Also learning how to pose a figure in different perspective.
STORYTELLING. Learning how to properly tell a story with Sequential art.
These are the thing you HAVE to HAVE TO get down if you want to be a pro. Keep in mind that as an artist no matter how good you are, you will always have room for improvement. There's always new things to learn. It does't matter how good you think you are, you want to constantly keep looking for your weakness so you can focus on turing them into strengths.
2. Taking Critiques.
Wanted to post something like this for beginner and pro artists alike.
Okay when it comes to getting better as an Artist, you have to want to get better, you need to look for things that you know you need to work on.
By doing that, you will be turning your weaknesses into strengths.
As an artist you should always continue to keep looking for ways to get better.
Having more then one opinion is very important. If you aren't looking for new ways to improve, you'll start getting to comfortable in your art and you won't improve. You'll be stuck in a stage of saying to yourself, "Well, everyone likes my art, so why improve?"
It's fun getting praise from people saying your art looks good, but whether you are Seasoned pro, or a noob to drawing, if all you get is praise, then that can hurt you. Because you'll stop looking for your weakness and you won't grow as an artist.
If you want to grow in your art, get critiques from pros. Ask them what are your weaknesses and what are your strengths. Trust me it will hurt sometimes, when a artist tears your art apart. Sometimes you just gotta take it. When someone exposes your weaknesses, it can be a hard thing. But it will ultimately help you in the end making your weaknesses into strengths.
Don't take it to heart and don't get mad
(even though I have sometimes. Yup I have lol)
Always maintain a positive attitude.
Just take it for what it is and let your art speak for it's self.
Usually when people take the time to critique you, it's because they want to see you Improve. Not because they just wanna trash your art. (Through there are people out there who will do that. Don't listen to those people.)
Always keep pushing yourself and try new things.
Drawing is one of the most fun jobs in the world.
Have fun with it and never stop improving.
3.What tools do I use?
My tools of trade for penciling are
My two Mechanical pencils. One with a .05 lead and the other with a .07 lead.
Inking tools. Pigma Micron inking pens. Sizes range from .005 to .08. I also use a Pentel pocket brush Pen (I like those because you can get refill cartages) and Kurtake brush pens. Also I use a Faber Castel Big marker for big black filling in.
I color all my stuff in Photoshop. I use the latest version CS6.
Paper I like to draw on is 8.5x11 Card stock and 11x17 Bristol board for comic pages and covers.
4. This is another question I get asked and I know a bunch of other artists have been asked this as well "Can you draw my comic for Free?"
"Can you draw my comic? I can't pay you, but it would give you good exposure" "Can I pay you in copies of the book?"
NO! NO times a 1,000! Even if it is "the best story EVER!"
WHY? Because that is called taking advantage of someone. I don't ask you to be my accountant or be my lawyer for Free. I've got bills to pay too.
If you went to school to spend 4 years or however long, so that you could learn what you needed to know to get a job, would you want to work for free? I mean after spending half your life learning something so you could one day earn a living.
NO! It's the same thing with drawing. People have spent a good portion of their life learning how to draw, and when someone has the audacity to ask if you could draw their comic for free, it's rather insulting.
Here's why I hate this question.
If someone is asking you to draw their comic FOR FREE, It means that they don't value your time.
Please for the love of humanity, "DON'T LET PEOPLE TAKE ADVANTAGE OF YOU!!!" I've been taken advantage of before and it was a not fun lesson to learn.
Make sure you are getting paid for your work! Not in copies of the book, I mean PAID ACTUAL MONEY!
I'm saying all this as a warning to you young up and comers. When someone offers you work, make sure they can pay you, AND make sure you earn what they pay you by doing a good job! If they can't or won't pay you, walk away.
5. Portfolio reviews. What do the publishers want to see,and what you need to know.
The big publishers don't take samples anymore, which means you're gonna need to travel to conventions to meet with the editors.
When it comes to getting a portfolio review from a big time publisher, here are somethings you want to keep in mind.
1.Draw pages! Make sure you have a portfolio is full of them. They should be drawn on 11x17 comic boards and presented in a nice portfolio.
Publishers don't want to see pin ups or your creator own stuff. What they want to see is that you can tell a story with good art that stands out among the rest. Make sure you only bring your best work.
2.Know this, there are tons of other people from pros to noobs vying for the same work. YOU HAVE TO BE BETTER THEN ALL THEM!!!
Editors don't care if your mom thinks you are the best, or if you were the best artist in your class. They only care if your work is better than the rest and that it sells.
3.Don't and I mean DON'T get upset or make excuses when the Editor tells you that your art has problems. Be nice. Listen and learn to what the editor has to say. Do not interrupt the Editor when he or she is speaking. Take what they are saying and learn from it. NEVER GIVE UP!
4.Once you get home from listening to an editor, you sit your butt in the chair and start working on whatever you need to do in order to turn your weakness into strengths. If an editor asks you to do more samples, you better get to work and make sure you get back to them ASAP or they will lose interest. There are tons of artists who could have been working in the biz, but were not attentive to getting back to the editor and didn't do more sample work.
5.Editors want to know that you are reliable and can meet deadlines. If you get work from one of the publishers, it's possible that they may put you on a late book. They want to see that you can meet those deadlines. Usually you will need to at least complete one page a day depending on how much time they give you.
5. When you get work
Okay this is now your time to shine. You have now gotten a job working in comics. AWESOME!!! Hurray!!! Now it's time to get to work. You really need to apply yourself in being reliable.
There a stack of paper on your desk that needs to be turned into pages.
Know that you would be working with a team people. writer, inker, colorist, letterer, and editor.
You need to have a team mentality. Get your pages done in a timely fashion so your other team members have enough time to do their jobs.
Work hard and with the best quality in your art you can muster. Always do your best to turn in quality art no matter what.
Make sure you are managing your time wisely. Keep a calendar near by and get yourself on a good work schedule, maybe keep a daytimer. There will be times when you need to wake up early and go to bed late.
This job can be very demanding at times, but always be sure you keep a positive attitude. Remember to have fun. Drawing is one of the most fun jobs ever.
Enjoy it and work hard in all that you do.
I hope this Journal has been helpful to you all.
Keep drawing and practice everyday!