What do you want to learn?

  • Ok this isn't exactly a class, but one thing I would love to have avaliable periodically on SVS would be portfolio reviews/critiques. Currently there are illustration critiques and the Third Thursday critiques for individual illustrations, which are great. But once we (hopefully!) get to a certain level where we're ready to start finding work, having some guidance on putting together a solid portfolio would be great.

    What I'm imagining would be a pretty similar format to the critiques already done for individual illustrations, but for the portfolio instead. Point out which pieces you see as being the strong ones, which are weak and need to be cut or edited. End with suggestions of subject matter or principles to use inf some future pieces which would round out or otherwise strengthen the portfolio. Or whatever format works, that's just what I'm imagining.

  • I thought it would be very nice if we can have a class of How to illustrate elements like water, earth, fire, and wind from different instructors. It would be amazing to see how they handle those in their own unique way. Water = rain, snow, vapor, waves etc. Earth = dust, sand, mud, rock. Fire = heat wave, flames, sparkle. Wind = storm, gust, fart >.> i'm kidding.

  • Great suggestions...
    I would like to learn from Pascal Campion, Mel Milton, Loish....
    Thank you for the hard work...

  • I would like to see some layer by layer, thorough demos for either Manga Studio 5 or Rebelle (I especially like the demo of Rebelle I have). My daughter has Manga Studio 5.

    I would like to improve on figure drawing and perspective.

    I'd like to see some more traditional artists techniques.

  • I agree with Deborah, having Mel Milton weigh in on some classes would be sweet.

    Also anatomy.

    Maybe a class on how to create appealing cartoon/simplified characters and objects, I don't think I've seen a class like that anywhere else.

  • I don't know if you guys are still taking suggestions, but I would like to add my two cents to the pile.

    • A typography class!! I have felt the need to understand word design/placement/everything about letters since I started getting into comic work. Like, how do I make sound effects not look cheesy?? Haha, but also really just like words on a page for children's books, titles, etc...

    • I second the business class plea. Taxes, marketing yourself, and figuring out how to be a savvy self-employed person in general is daunting.

    • Graphic design. I don't know about the rest of you, but I get asked to do logos all the time and I am just...not confident in that area. I try, but they tend to always look very illustrative. While no one has complained, I would love to be able to design something sleek and simple...also just the mechanics of how exactly to do that in photoshop.

    • To continue on from the above, a class on using Illustrator would be excellent. I hear people say things like mask, raster, vector, etc and my mind just goes blank. I feel like illustrator is made for making sleek logos and the like though, so I'd love to understand it.

  • I second this!

  • I see that I'm just a little late (5 months), but I figured I'd chime in for the next round anyway...

    1. a) I'd love to learn how to create environments and backgrounds that are convincing and that don't make it look like my characters were just cut and pasted in. I'd also like to know how to create blurry backgrounds.
      b) How draw animal fur and feathers in non-digital mediums
      c) How to draw plants, trees, etc. convincingly in non-digital mediums (how to draw them in foreground, distance, etc.)
      d) How to draw clothing on animal and human characters
      e) How to draw faeries, gnomes, ogres, etc.
      f) How to do storyboarding
      g) How to create fantastical environments

    2. I'd like to see a class on how to create animal characters that have human qualities (walk, wear clothing, etc.)

    3. I've just started here, so I'll have to come back when I've taken a few courses.

    4. Omar Rayyan, Jeremy Hush (they're fine art illustrators & I'm torn on whether I'd like to do traditional illustrating or if I want to do fine art illustrating)

  • I like that this site has a clear focus on children's illustration. I am not sure if broadening that focus would make the site any better. There are a number of other schools out there that focus on the entertainment art side of commercial art. I like that with the focused site you get several like minded individuals willing to help each other work toward a common goal.

    I think a focused course on the business side of things would be great. How to find work, expectations for beginning in the industry, agents, contracts, etc.

  • @Nor said:

    Hey Jake!

    I'd really like to get better at cartooning. I've read a lot of books but they're not the same as learning by seeing, especially art. I would love to see you guys teach how to cartoonize things. I came from a comicbook background, learning to draw the Marvel way and tend to make things more realistic. I have a hard time making things cartoony. This is something that would be great to learn. I know you guys touched on it a little in dynamic poses and the children's book class, but a separate class focusing on cartooning would be awesome.


    @Jake Parker - that's it in a nutshell. I was in a bookstore yesterday and there were tons of books on exploring your creativity, or using a particular medium, even those horrible how to make a face out of geometric shapes books... but that's not what I'm looking for.

    I'd love a class on using simplification more effectively, on collage stye coloring, on what styles in the industry are too popular, and which ones are unique like Will Terry's...

  • i want to learn everything you know!! 😉

  • @Kasey-Snow regarding your third point about wanting to learn graphic design - to be honest, I'd be a bit offended and put-off if the SVS instructors did a class on graphic design/logo design. There's a reason graphic design is a whole other specialty (and it doesn't have to do with illustration). I'm a graphic designer myself in my day job, and I went to college for it. Branding is complicated and best taught by a professional graphic designer.

    If you're asked to do logos for people you should refer them to a graphic designer instead. And logos are best done in Illustrator, not Photoshop. Logos are the one thing you'd want to be vector so that they're scalable and can translate well to many applications.

    Your typography class request falls under the graphic design realm too - but I can see where there's crossover appeal, especially for those illustrators doing their own publishing and need to typeset themselves. Again, typography is very complicated though so if SVS did a class on this I would hope it's with a professional typographer or graphic designer, not an illustrator who does type decently.

  • @DanetteDraws I can definitely see how that would be off putting for you, that wasn't my intention. They just asked what things we were interested in learning and those are the biggest needs I find that I have. As someone without the money to go to art school, if I could take even an introductory course online that would really help me out a lot as a freelancer. I take the logo jobs because I don't know any graphic designers (I guess I know you now though! 🙂 ) and am loathe to turn down any work since I am just starting out. I just make sure they understand that they will be getting a drawing and not a graphic, though I definitely work in a massive file/resolution size so that they can use it for whatever.

    Again, sorry if I upset you with my request, it was just a genuine, probably naive, class suggestion.

  • @Kasey-Snow No worries at all - I may've come across as more offended than I actually am (damn lack of emotion online! Sorry!) but I do have strong feelings on it.

    Since you have an interest in it, I do think you can definitely take an online course on it without having to go to art school. I don't think SVS is necessarily the venue for it though since illustrating is a very different skill set. I wish I knew of online courses to recommend you to, other than there's some pretty great classes on sites like Lynda.com and Skillshare that you pay a low monthly membership for, just like SVS. And they have classes that are more in the graphic design realm (amongst other creative-industry-related topics like photography, business for creatives, web & game design, etc. - they're pretty robust sites).

  • @marcusmattingly I agree with all of these suggestions! And I'd love to see Gary Lippincott or Omar Rayyan as guest teachers here!

  • @Kasey-Snow as a former illustrator who became a graphic designer in college. I have an idea of what you're talking about... when I switched mid sophomore year from Illustration at Parsons to Graphic Design. I was lost. This is back in the day before computers, but even back then, they all " thought " a different way, worked a different way. I was playing catch up...

    You might have those feelings looking at a logo you know you can create the idea for, but your client might be used to getting a graphic done in Vector, the reason being they can resize it at will without resolution loss. Your high resolution work will only be good for print at best, but would it work on a billboard? Vector guarantees that, because it's done mathematically to allow for almost infinite resizing.

    So while you might think graphic design is what you want to learn, and it couldn't hurt. Vector is probably what you're really looking for in order to compete. The industry used to rely solely on Adobe Illustrator or Corel Draw to do that kind of work. But this new program Affinity Designer is so much more affordable and AS capable as those old work horses. I'd advise you to give that program a look, and yes Lynda.com would be a good place to start. It's a big learning curve...

    My wife is a vector artist, but she's had years and has been at it since Illustrator version 6 to transfer her normal art into vector art. I've only been at it briefly since 2006, but almost like a once a year thing cause frankly it's never been my thing. You can do a lot of amazing even photorealistic work in Vector (thru meshwork) that would be great to have as a skill set, like all mediums, it's the effort you put in.

    Good luck in your pursuits.

  • This is late, but here are my requests:

    I use Corel Painter. Do you know any children's book illustrators who also use this software? Several online tutorials scratch the potential of Painter, but that's it - and not many come at it with a focus on children's illustration. I'd especially love insight on creating special effects in Painter that look like children's art (instead of looking like a photograph).

    Aside from that, what has helped me most is when you critique and give visual demonstrations of how you might alter things or where things aren't working (rather than just talking about it). I feel like that in itself has elevated my work many leaps in the last month.

    Thanks for all you do! I'm overwhelmed by your generosity and great advice.

  • @Kasey-Snow there's a great Graphic Design & Typography magazine/video/teacher online called Before & After: http://www.bamagazine.com

    He has a series on Lynda.com that's worth the price of admission. Here's the link: http://www.lynda.com/Design-Color-tutorials/Before-After-Graphic-Design-Best-Practices/365959-2.html

    Hope that helps!!

  • Great first time on the SVS Third Thursday tonight. A bit of a bummer I didn't place at all. Any advice for the future?

    It seems I need to learn it all. I love these classes. I learn more from these than art school. It seems in retrospect that art school didn't really do anything for me.

  • @carlossketches @Kasey-Snow just found another free course on Udemy: https://www.udemy.com/introduction-to-graphic-design/

    (haven't watched it yet, but the reviews are great)

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