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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!

God bless!


Add a Comment:
Absolhunter251 Featured By Owner Oct 31, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow! I know after reading your journal now I wanna improve for sure!

But I did get asked to write and draw a full comic for free!!! It was insulting! Thankfully, it was never brought up by him again, and it kinda dropped. Good. :)
but this is a great journal! I'm going to be making my comic and didn't know where to start, until I saw your journal, now I got a better picture on where to start! Thank you!
SpaceRacer55 Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Great advice! I love hearing from people who have worked hard to get where they are in the business and it means a lot that you are willing to take the time to share your advice! Thanks for a great journal!
Leon-Z Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2014
"Will you draw my comic for Free?"?!?!?!?
"Will you draw my comic for Free?"?!??!?!?!?!?!?

WTF?!?!?...>=C....that's an artist's job! how can you ask someone to work for free?!?!?
JoeyVazquez Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2014  Professional General Artist
I know it's crazy.   Lotta people have tried to get me to draw their comics for free.
Leon-Z Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2014
>___>....the nerve...ALTHOUGH to be honest I used to think I could ask sketches or a quick face or somethings at fact the first time I went to a con(it was just a one day con at NY, APPLE CON, I think, I asked Andy Kubert for one, he denied, and I make not big deal about cuz I was glad to meet him, and it was his time and there were lots of people and...well, luckily before going to my next con I saw this…

and I remembered what I had done to Andy and I felt awful, >___>, and now I always ask how much for a sketch instead if they can just do it...and I am glad to pay!
abathingnerd Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Good read. Thank you. :)
seba-80 Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2014
Thanks mate for all information!
JosiahNugent Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2014  Student General Artist
This was really informative. I'm going to go practice right now :D
tedbergeron Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2014
Wow that is gold! Thanks so much!!!
fisheypixels Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2014  Student General Artist
I think it would be safe to assume that you have a scanner.  A good one to get it high quality on your computer.  Would you mind possibly shedding some light on what type you have that gets in on with high quality?

How much do you charge?

I'm more of a writer, and it's the same mentality.  I also am starting to draw more, I suck.  Forgive me if this is a stupid question, but how long did it take you to get good?  For example, did you copy out of your favorite comic issue, picking up different styles and details?  Or did you draw from real life?  Or just freehand.  Or all?   Which worked best, where you learned the most from?  I'm not looking for speed, just which way has the most to learn from.
JosephDiF Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you for the advice.
AceOfKeys72 Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This is definitely going into my tutorial section. I'm surprised to hear you've been drawing for 15 years. So this brings up a question I'm surprised no one has asked or hasn't been brought up: How do you deal with days you don't want to draw, even though you want or you know you should be practicing? If you can answer that I would be so gratful. It is one of my hardest problems I've faced as a budding artist ;)
SynAngelGates101 Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Fucking genus man! I know for one that i have like one of the best styles out there xD haha so that parts covered.
JoeyVazquez Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2014  Professional General Artist
It's not all about style man.  I used to think that too, but here are few things you want to keep in mind.    You need to know how to tell a story with sequential art (pages), and you need to know how to work hard and meet deadlines.   

There are plenty of amazing artists out there who could be working in comics, but they don't draw pages, and they can't meet deadlines.    

If comics is what you want to do, make sure you practice doing both of those. 

Blackn-Yellow Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2014  Professional Filmographer
"gET CRITIQUE FROM PROS. Ask them what are your weaknesses and what are your strengths." Okay, so what are my weaknesses and what are my strengths, Mr. Vazquez? I'm curious to hear what you say. 
JoeyVazquez Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2014  Professional General Artist
Alrighty man, I can give you one, but first let me ask you this question.   Is being a artist for a living what you want to do?
Blackn-Yellow Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2014  Professional Filmographer
It already is my living. I've been in art school since 2008 and I have close to nine more months before I graduate. I would have bailed years ago, had I not wanted to be an artist. Now, granted, I lean WAY more to the 3D side of things but I also enjoy 2D illustration and I plan on making my own comic series that I'm going to put on the web and hopefully pitch it to Image and see if they'll bite. I have a really sweet idea going on for it and some good story but I know these things are all about politics and who likes it or not. 

Long story short, Yes. It's the ONLY living for me. I'd sooner drive off a cliff than work an average 9-5 or do something that isn't art.
JohnnySlade Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
ok what about this scenario. i thought of a comic book idea and my BEST friend is a good artist and if i write scripts and he draws, would it be okay not to pay him until we start selling if i dont get paid until then either?
JoeyVazquez Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2014  Professional General Artist
Thats entirely up to you guys.  If he's your best friend and wants to work for free, that is up to him.  If you are both equally collaborating on it and he's okay with it, sure.    
JohnnySlade Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
AndrogynousOne Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I don't think that sounds fair, as he has already put in the work. Unless it is a simple project, such as chapter title sketches but drawing for an entire comic and being later is asking for too much work for recompense all at once but I'm no pro.
JohnnySlade Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
art aint free.
JCecalaIV Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Book of Vazquez!! Great piece right there. Excellent advice man!!
Dinoman87 Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2014
Nice peace. I have heard a lot of this before but the stuff I haven't heard is nice. I know I need to work on my story telling a lot.
SeanE Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Addendum to "Critiques"...

When giving a critique, don't just say "your colour theory is wrong" (or whatever...). That doesn't help at all. If they knew it might be wrong then the person would have already fixed it and you wouldn't have had to say "your colour theory is wrong"

Be Specific!...! Say exactly what is wrong, and then be prepared to offer solutions and even to do a paint over, or adjustment, or at least to show samples of where you think it's done right and then explain why. Otherwise the person you're critiquing won't have a clue what you're talking about and most likely ignore you.

Be prepared to be ignored... At the end of the day it's that persons picture. If they don't agree with what you're saying or don't act on it then that's their right to do so. You are not their employer, mentor, god-like-being-that-must-be-obeyed and so you have no right to get upset if they don't do what you say. As long as that person is happy with what they've done then that's ok. If they choose to dismiss what you have to say then that's their right too. Btw.. You might be wrong yourself!
JoeyVazquez Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2014  Professional General Artist
True dat! :D  Thanks for the Addendum Sean!      Yeah it's good to be specific when giving a Critique.  Other wise people will have no idea what exactly they need to work on. 
DragonBlitzStudios Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2014  Professional Artist
thank you for this way past cool advice.
skysoul25 Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2014  Student General Artist
very mature of you my friend and great job :D [that and i told you when we met you'd be a comci book artiest sicne day one and you have  been improving alot since i met you my friend.] so i am always proud of you Joey. 
Mosquito-86 Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2014  Student General Artist
thank you for all the advice

Really hope to turn this passion in a proper job someday
BradyMajor Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2014  Student Digital Artist
Thanks for taking the time to share your insight and pass on advice, Joey.  
nonochy2 Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2014  Student General Artist
2. Taking Critiques. 

I'm a girl and I want, with a passion to get into the comic industry and everyday I practice when I have a bit of free time, but it's so hard to get Critiqued, I've actually shed a few tears when I gave one of my pieces to one of the people at a table in comic-con, that was the most embarrassing day of my life actually xD

But ever since that day I now can handle critiques. I'm doing my best to break out of my habits.
Timothy-Brown Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2014   Digital Artist
It's cool getting your insights and advice. Thanks for posting!
Daniel-Jeffries Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Man this is just what I needed to hear today, I dont always read up on the journal entries on Deviant art but I'm glad I did for this one. Thanks Joey for the wise words
Maroonz80 Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2014  Student Traditional Artist
I realy would love tobe in the comic world. What variety  the portfolio I dnt know if I read it right
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January 21, 2014


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