Thursday, December 27, 2012

How To Price Your Illustration For Clients

I've been wanting to make this video for quite sometime. I get asked all the time by students, people at conferences, and visitors to my blog - how should I price my work? In this video I share my opinions about figuring out exactly how much to charge and how it can vary depending on many factors that are happening in your life. I realize it's a bit lengthy but I didn't want to leave stones unturned. I wanted to have a detailed answer that I can email out whenever I get asked this question in the future.

If you've even wondered how much to ask for on an art project I hope my ideas help you.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Nice To Take A Little Break

WOW! I can't believe this year is coming to an end so soon. I've been so busy - this year went by in a blink!

I started this little painting in class a few weeks ago and decided to finish it for fun. I love Christmas imagery - I've always wanted to make a Christmas children's never know :)

I wish all of you the best of luck on your art projects in the coming year! ...and have a wonderful holiday with your families and loved ones.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Experimental Demo

I painted this as a demo in my media techniques class a few weeks ago. I'm not very proficient with watercolors so I decided to combine it with photoshop for a hybrid traditional/digital piece. I really like some of the accidental textures watercolors (or watercolours for those across the pond) provide. The pooling water and pigment dry in some unique patterns that are nearly impossible to generate digitally (unless you have a smoking machine).

You can see that the texture is a little heavy in the original but I was able to "tame" it using opaque layers of digital paint in the final.

What I really wanted to accomplish was the texture in the larger areas...hmmm...I might want to do a few more this way.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Are You Killing Your Blog? - RANT!

Ok from time to time I make a nuisance of myself and do a little video rant. Spoiler alert I'm going to type it out as well for those using google translate - so watch the video or continue reading...

This is going to be pretty short but basically it's like this:

Sometimes before I get going on my own sketching or designing I like to blog hop other illustrator's sites to get some inspiration (aka creative borrowing). Inevitably I'll find my way to an image that really stops me and I get totally absorbed in it's amazing qualities....and sometimes I'm moved to leave a comment to compliment the creator. Most of the time I say a few words and move on but every now and then I run into a blog (usually composed in Wordpress) where the blogger has made it extremely difficult to leave a little comment. Upon typing a few complimentary words I'm smacked with: "You must first login to leave a comment on this site". Hold up. Back up. What the? Are you kidding me?

I'm not going to sign up for your blog. I like you but lets get something straight. I want to give you something. I want to tell you how awesome you are. I'm not going to jump through hoops to do so. I'm already feeling like I need to get to work.

If we were to meet at your gallery show and I found myself diggin your art and I finally get to meet you and tell you how much I love your art - are you going to put stipulations on how I do it?...then why do it online?

I already know the want to be able to spam me later when you have a new "fill in the blank" for sale....sorry...I care...but not enough to jump.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Buy One Get One Free - Folio Academy!

For the month of Dec Folio Academy is running a buy one get one free! (equal or lesser value)

How it works: If you already bought a video(s) or if you buy a video at Folio Academy in the month of December 2012 you can simply go on the Folio Academy website and send an email to Folio Academy asking for your free video. Just make sure you specify which video you would like to receive for free and it needs to be of the same value or lower than the video you purchased.

We're working hard to increase your video library and we just got this one (Learn To Draw Cartoon Zombies)  in from Justin Cook - our friend from across the pond.

Friday, December 7, 2012

New Photoshop Tutorial Makeover

I'm happy to announce that I just finished another tutorial and this one is a re-make of "Digital Painting in Photoshop". I bought better screen capture software so I decided to make another tutorial that displays higher quality video so viewers can see the settings more clearly. If you've already purchased the old version of this tutorial - you get this new one for FREE! You can still view the old version but you'll now notice that this new tutorial has replaced the old one. To view the old version you'll have to click the link at the top of the Digital Painting video page at

In addition I demonstrate how to actually make several physical textures - scan them - and manipulate them to be used in digital paintings.

I begin with a sketch and describe how I begin adding value and then work into color.

I also made a sped up version of the painting and put it up on my Youtube channel. I love making these tutorials because I get to paint something I love - and talk about it - I love helping others unlock their potential!

Note: This is not a general "how to" in Photoshop - rather it's how I use textures to paint illustrations in Photoshop. You can purchase the tutorial here!

Also, we are doing a buy on get one Free (of equal or lesser value) at for the month of Dec.! More on that in my next post but if you want to take advantage of it simply purchase a video and then email us from the folioacademy website which video you would like for free and like Christmas Magic it will appear in your account!

Monday, December 3, 2012

The Secret To Your Success

How's that for a title? Like I have the answer right?

I often run into budding artists either in person or online that ask me what I think they can do to be successful. Aside from portfolio advice, going to school or getting tutored, blogging, sending out promos, making awesome art & products, etc (all of which are super important) here's what I think the most important thing is:

Drum roll....

I think you have to be committed for life. Some plan on writing and/or illustrating a book but if it doesn't get published they'll move on and find something else to do. Some plan to apply for studio jobs but fall back on something else if it doesn't pan out. Just the other day someone told me they were going to try making a story app to see if it will sell. I think this is the wrong attitude. What if it doesn't sell? Does that mean you didn't learn something valuable for your next one?...and the one after that?

One thing I've come to realize is that the truly successful artists have been and continue to be - committed for life. It's all they want to do. It's all they live for. It's what they do. It's who they are. If they have a set back they accept it as part of the journey. I dare you to show me a successful artist that doesn't have his/her fair share of bumps and bruises. I can't count the number of time I've had to lick my wounds - but they scab up over time and those scars become great stories later on.

Stan Lee - creator of Spider Man said, "Mine is the longest overnight success story of all time!"...he was committed even when his comics were being canceled by his publisher - he stuck it out...what if he had quit? Think of all the super hero movies he's responsible for...

The piece above was a pretty crappy demo in class but I love working on art so much I came home and played with it in Photoshop for two hours. I love art and I'll be making it for the rest of my life.