hi madeleine, i have a question for you as an artist. i consider myself ok with using 0.3mm and 0.5mm pencils for all my art, which is mostly just character designs for role play and elder scrolls fanart. however, i'd like to improve my skills, especially in inking and coloring and i'm not sure where to start. i'd like to eventually have a drawing tablet, but don't want to waste money if its not practical. i'm a full time medical employee, so i dont have time to take classes.
As long as you have access to the internet and set aside some time for drawing I’m sure you can improve! Here are some things that might help you out:
Figuring out what tools to use can be daunting- don’t worry! A lot of artists say which tools they use for certain work, it’s up to you to decide if you want to try them- these blogs find out which tools they are-
The way I found my favorite inking tools was to save up money and order as many random pens from http://www.jetpens.com - it was like a grab bag ever couple months until I found the perfect one for me!
As for skills:
Look up Andrew Loomis Art Books- they are all free pdfs online and excellent for learning techniques!
Hi Madeleine, I need your advice please. Between a wacom and an iPad, what would you choose ? There are some really neat apps for the iPads, but a wacom seems much more professional. I'd use it more for personal drawings and such. Thanks ! x
It depends on what kind of art you do and what your process is or what process you are trying to learn.
My iPad acts as a scanner,drawing & reference tool.The only downside is it doesn’t offer high res files yet. But I regularly scan my comics with it and ink it digitally~
The wacom is an industry standard, but there are other models out there giving it good competition- I hear good things about Monoprice tablets & they won’t hurt your wallet too much.
Being a professional isn’t so much about the tool itself, a professional can make any tool work for them regardless of what it is!
No matter what you decide to get, make it work for you and learn everything you can about it!
Hey Madéleine ! Seeing your stuff makes me so happy because it's so funny and lively and badass, and at the same time it makes me a bit sad sometimes because your life seems to be so much cooler than mine, haha. I'm so shy, it's quite hard for me to make friends to hang out with, and I'm lonely most of the time. So you're kind of an inspiration to me, artistically as well as in your way to be positive and to reach out to other people ! Keep up the good work
Hi! Thanks so much for your sweet message!
It’s hard making IRL friends- and honestly, all my best friends were internet buddies for years until we had a chance to meet in person! Internet friends are great because you seek each other out based on your passions in life versus being together by default location like school or work. As you grow artistically you’ll also grow in confidence and feel like you can conquer the world and befriend anyone! Keep up YOUR good work!!!!!!
hello friend, i have synesthesia so when i hear people's voices i associate them with colors in my brain area. like an aura! but maybe less cool. just thought i'd let you know that your color is a lovely pinkish yellow, like the base of a rose petal. wow!
This is kinda embarrassing but do you draw your art on paper first? If so do you just go over the lines again in photoshop or? I'm not real good at this x.x I've drawn most of my art offline and some on my 3ds. I have a tablet, but I just haven't gotten the hang of it yet some was hoping maybe I could snag some tips from you? (huge fan of your art here) ((aspiring to draw like you one day))
It really varies with each drawing! Sometimes I do a sketch on paper & then ink it digitally, sometimes I ink on paper and scan it, sometimes I do it all digital!
keep practicing a little bit everyday with different techniques!
When is it a good idea to sign your art? Is it a good idea to use an alias? How old should you be before acting professional?
-Sign it as soon as you are done drawing it!
- Aliases are fine, be it for privacy issues or wanting to create different things without association to previous work, just make sure the people who have the power to hire you can reach you with a single email without needing to play detective on who to contact.
- You shouldn’t wait to act professional, be it now, be it yesterday.
what to do if you are in a european country where comic cons don't exist and you really want people from that country to get to know your work because you're from that country? :/
First thing- don’t ask this question anonymously! If you want people to know who you are then…let people know who you are!
Second, I did a quick google search and found at least one major comic convention in every European Country or Bordering Country- find comic artists from your country and find out which conventions they go to! That will be your best bet to meet more artists from where you are from. Europe has a great train system, make use of it!
If visa issues prevent you from traveling to specific places- start posting your work online ! Find comic stores that will sell your published minis!
Don’t be discouraged- Conventions are a great place to network, but your biggest asset in getting your work known is *the internet*
hIII!! I was wondering - is there any way I can order Lumberjanes? I'm afraid my schedule won't allow me to be free on Wednesday to go to the store :/// but I really really want it - so is there any other way that I can still order it? :/
If you have a store that you go to- give them a call and see if they will hold things for you!
I used to have a box at my old comic shop and they would put all my subscriptions in there and hold it up for a month until I could come in!
How long did it take you to develop your style? Your art is amazing!
i don’t know- i’ve been drawing and trying to get better since i started and it keeps changing and it will probably be different in another year or so- at least i hope so! gotta keep moving and growing!!!
Hi! Your work is super duper awesome and it gives me such joy when I see it! thank you! I have a sort of unrelated question though- I'm going to be doing my very first table at a local convention this year and I don't know how to turn all the stuff I've made into printed goods. Do you go to a printer or do it at home or what? Could you go into what it takes to prepare for something like this? Thank you so much!
Hi! That’s a super good question and i’m going to do my best to answer it! Here we go-
I do a mix of both printing at home and using a printer!
Those were the cheapest I’ve ever done- I layed it out properly in photoshop, printed it out and folded it!
I’ve never been good at imposition- numbers always confused me, so when I wanted to do a stapled mini comic I didn’t lay it out the way it’s traditionally done in a printing process. So I printed each page separate (page 1 on front, page 2 on back- next piece of paper is page 3 on front page 4 on back etcetc) and then stapled the cover and back to it. I did that for a couple of years- I don’t think the comics looked very nicely constructed but they were just okay.
Some important tools to have would be a long arm stapler & a bone folder.
NOW I use a printer- primarily lulu.com (i’ve only done black and white printing) and i’m super happy with it.
I don’t do a lot of other merchandise- I’m not too confident with my design skills, but I’ve done posters&shirts& bags etc all done through society6.com!
When you’re getting ready for a convention you’ll need some things besides just the goods-
-a cash box & plenty of small bills (so you have change! sometimes convention goers will go in with large bills and it sucks if you loose a sale because you don’t have change- it’s happened to me!)
-signs! they don’t have to be big- you can get little round circle stickers but label the prices of at least one item OR write out a little card with each price
-decorate! maybe have a nice table cloth, something to make you stand out a little bit. The table cloth is one of my favorite bits, I like the feeling of how it denotes ‘these are my things, come look at them’ Makes me feel like I’m a shopkeep in an RPG or something….
-food! bring snacks & drinks, you’ve got to take care of yourself, if you have a friend with you maybe ask them to watch your table so you can get lunch- get them something too or give them one of your comics as a thank you!
-don’t forget to browse the floor! the downside of tabling is not being able to see all the other people- take a break and see what everyone is making
-trading comics- this can depend on the show and artist,it is not uncommon to simply ask ‘do you do trades’- please don’t be offended if someone doesn’t do trades! Conventions mean a lot of different things for everyone, they might be on a tight budget and can’t afford to trade their merch, they might have spent a pretty penny on their merch and don’t want to lose profit. Conventions to some people can be their sole source of income and don’t want to take a chance on not earning rent for the month just because they traded something.
Hey Madeleine, this is not really art related, so I hope you don't mind! But I'm pretty sure you live in Portland, OR? I'm visiting there with my brother at the end of next month, and was wondering about some neat places to check out, restaurants, art spaces, pretty much anything you like to do over there. Sorry if this is annoying. Feel free to ignore the ask if it is!
I live downtown so all of my favourite things are pretty much just within walking distance of each other- here they are:
If you’re in town for the first thursday of the month you’ll get to experience First Thursdays- all the art galleries are open and have free booze! It’s fun to wander around the city and pop into places and discover new art!
You're probably asked this a lot, but what kind of things do you put in your portfolio to show people? I imagine a lot of basic things but what kind of things to do put in there to show your personal style?
I guess it depends on what it’s for!
If you’re applying to art schools I think they like seeing a lot of drawings from life? I’m not an expert on that~
If it’s for jobs I use my tumblr as a portfolio! All the work you see here is what I’ve submitted to get jobs or it’s what other people have seen and hired me based on the work.
I’m not too great with knowing what goes in a portfolio though, maybe someone else has some tips??
I don't know if you have any experience with this, but here goes, homes. I'm in my first year of an illustration degree, and trying to work as often and as hard as I can, but because of temporary vestibular damage (hopefully it should heal in about half a year) I experience long periods of dizziness where it's hard to work. I've been trying to do all the work I need to do to be as good as I need to be, but I just can't seem to. I'm an older student (~25), so the pressure is super on. Any tips?
I think the first tip would be to not factor in your age at all! Age in a Creative field doesn’t matter, drive and determination does! Some people start young, some people start well after they’ve retired and had a couple of grandchildren.
YOU more than anyone know what your limits are when it comes to how much you can work and still feel ok, do your best and don’t compare yourself to anyone else in your class. It may take you a little longer to work but there’s nothing wrong with that!