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Art Tips to Help You NOT STRESS

Updated: Jan 27, 2022

In other words: Don't do what I'm doing.

Okay, so you read in my last post that I'm selling art at Comic Fest in March! That's really exciting, but also nerve-wracking because that means I have to actually... well.. WORK!

That sounds terrible, obviously I've been drawing all the time, already. But until now it's just been for fun, or to practice or build a portfolio. I'm going to have to make stuff to sell, now! That's an entirely different practice.

Make a portfolio. (Or more than one!)

One thing I've noticed as a cartoonist/illustrator is that there is no such thing as ONE portfolio. This always stressed me out in college. We were told to bring one single portfolio with all our best works to every place that's hiring. Good idea, yes. But when you are the type of artist who works on many different projects, art styles, stories, etc. It can be very difficult! It's okay to have multiple portfolios dedicated to different jobs. But just now this also means writing different cover letters, too! (You should be writing different ones, anyway)

I'm sure just looking through this website, you can understand what I mean!

So when it's time to sell somewhere, you have to research the place you're selling at. Who are the other artists that are going? What did past events look like? What are the type of people that are going? How old are these people?

ComicFest is full of nerd propaganda, but mostly classic, retro, original stuff. Not many young people will find it as entertaining as the adults and grandparents would.

If something like this happens to you, just do some research. Watch movies, read comics, look up documentaries, search through fanart online... anything to help you come up with an art piece.

Another thing is to schedule everything out VERY specifically.

It's hard to suddenly graduate and have to live life without a schedule to follow. For some people, at least! I enjoyed having the 9am-4pm schedule with an hour break inbetween when I was at college. Since getting a normal job, it's kept me from following it exactly, but as long as you have certain times of the day to get your work done, you won't go mad.

Some people can't create everyday, and that's fine! Instead, make it work in the week itself. Like working three days a week, or one full day a week.

As long as you're working, you're keeping that creativity fresh!

If you have a VERY TIGHT deadline...

Like what I have, for example, you're going to have to plan for that as well. But also be prepared for the stress and exhaustion that might come with it. Depending on your living situation, preparing meals for the day can help save time from cooking. If you're an artist who listens to stuff when working, getting a playlist prepared before the project begins can help from taking time away to search for something.

Depending on how quick the turnaround and how detailed the project is will depend on how you schedule your process. If it is due tomorrow then there is no such thing of preparing, basically, haha just GO FOR IT.

But usually you want to have a very strict schedule to follow. For example:

Monday - have sketches done

Tuesday - start inking

Wednesday - finish inking

Thursday - Start colors

Friday - Color more

Saturday - Finish colors, start word bubbles

Sunday - Final touches

Monday- Submit

Just know that the first couple of times it's going to be hard to understand and get a grasp on how EXACTLY you should be doing this. It might even take years! When you become really dedicated about your job, you'll figure out your rhythm and by that time, you'll be smart enough to know what projects are going to work and which ones won't! You are your own business and you need to treat yourself as such. Don't work on anything you wouldn't want under your name. Don't work on anything that feels suspicious (even if it's under a company! It's okay) Don't beat yourself up if you don't do something right the first few times.

Being an artist and making it a career is tough! I don't even know what I'm doing. But I'm here to help if anyone needs it! And if anyone has any tips of their own, feel free to comment below :)

Off to finish my comic! Whew!

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