reSOURCeS FOR ARTISTS

When I was but a wee lass, a lot of my art education came from random artists who were willing to share their advice on the early internet. They were overwhelming lists of resources, but I ate them up, because they had been curated by people who's work and opinions I admired. This is my page to pay that forward.

5 THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT MAKING ART

3 TIPS FOR RENEWING YOUR ART PASSION

ULTRA-AWESOME RESOURCE LIST

 

5 THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT MAKING ART

1

Art should be fun, unless you're doing it as a job, in which case you have to love it so much that you want to do it even when it's not fun. Don't do it as a job unless the pain of not doing the art hurts more than the pain of doing it. If it's a hobby then you have more freedom.

2

Expensive art supplies don't make you a better artist. Learning the Fundamentals and practicing Way Too Much will make you a better artist. Expensive art supplies only help once you understand why they're expensive.

3

Listen to Mentors, not Critics. Someone giving you advice to help you be a better artist is a treasure. Listen to them. Someone criticizing your work without helping you to improve is just trying to drag you down. Don't listen to them. 

4

Find your people. Find other people who like looking at, discussing, and making art. These are the people who will journey with you, and having traveling companions is a real gift. I found my people at local galleries, in art classes, and online in Facebook groups and YouTube comments. It's ok to be a bit shy and awkward - they probably are, too. The important thing is to be shy and awkward together.

5

Your body is your most important art supply. If you don't get up and move it, and don't feed it plenty of water and healthy food, it will fail you. Take care of it like you spend millions of dollars on it and you'll only ever have one... because you will. 

 

3 TIPS FOR RENEWING YOUR ART PASSION

1

Remember what made you start art in the first place. I used to be obsessed with fairies and dragons, with fantasy dresses and pretty princesses. Those aren't things that I normally want to draw any more, but if I'm really in a bind, sketching out something I used to love can get me back into the mindset of being a kid who was absolutely infatuated with everything artistic. What did you love? It doesn't matter how silly it is, or how long it's been since you thought of it. Draw it. Draw it badly, but draw it. 

2

Go back to the basics. If you're feeling like your art isn't as good as it should be, it's probably because you don't have a good grasp of the fundamentals of art - line, shape, form, value, texture, space, and color. I went through a 4-year art program and I still need reminders of these sometimes, so don't be proud and think you know it all! We all need a refresher sometimes.

Research each of these and practice them. Getting your pencil (or pen or brush or...) going is important, because as great as theoretical knowledge is, it's nothing compared to firsthand experience.

3

Mentors! I've had a number of mentors in my life, both in people I knew personally and in people I only know parasocially through the internet. These are people who are already masters of the art that you want to make. I find that YouTube offers a huge variety of excellent art mentors, and all of them are people who are willing to give away excellent knowledge for free. I've included a list of some of my personal favorites in the section about art resources below, and they often branch out to other potential mentors.

Personal mentors who can look at your work and give you personal feedback are obviously the best, but even hearing general advice from someone who knows what they're talking about and seeing their process can sometimes yield unimaginable practical inspiration.

 

ULTRA-AWESOME RESOURCE LIST

MY YOUTUBE MENTORS!

  • Ethan Becker. Character designer and animator who puts his mic on a knife and insults everyone, but not really. Truly excellent drawing advice under a thin veneer of insanity.

  • Adam Duff / LUCIDPIXUL. Digital painter with chill, informative podcasts about being an artist, finding inspiration, and what working in the art industry is like.

  • James Gurney. Traditional painter who offers brilliant and educational plein air videos, and sometimes dinosaurs. He is a master artist by all accounts.

  • Jake Parker. Ink artist and comics creator. He doesn't upload much any more, but his back log of videos are full of useful information about making comics and ink drawings.

  • Rafi and Klee. Traditional artist couple who ramble and rant about very important art topics. They

  • Jason Brubaker. Comic artist and writer with several major series under his belt. His older videos give specific advice about comics, and his newer videos are mainly livestreams where he talks and draws with other talented artists. 

  • The Crafsman / SteadyCraftin. A delightful channel full of crafting, 80's cartoon references, and witty humor.

ART FUNDAMENTALS

  • Line - the most fundamental fundamental. 

  • Shape - getting 2D.

  • Form - getting 3D.

  • Value - let there be light.

  • Texture - really feeeeeel it.

  • Space - perspective, composition, and all that good stuff.

  • Color - you could literally spend years studying this.

Note: I'm making a series of videos about these fundamentals, and will link them as I make them. In the meantime, Googling these terms will help you find information.

USEFUL ART FORUMS AND FACEBOOK GROUPS

  • SVS Learn. You have to be an SVS member to participate in the forums, but they're an excellent place for discussing illustration and comics with other talented people who are passionate about learning. You can read the comments even without a membership.

  • Crafters of the Universe. Crafts of all kinds in a supportive and creative environment. I'm a mod here! We try to keep things friendly.

  • Loish's Digital Art Group. Started by powerhouse illustrator, Lois Van Baarle, this group is for sharing and discussing digital art.

  • Digital Painting Tutorials and Feedback by Paintable. I think this formed around a digital painting class... that I never took... but they seem to accept members regardless, and it's a useful place for when you really want true feedback on digital work.