Tag Archives: education

Figure Drawing Foundations – Proportions

Figure Drawing Proportions
Figure Drawing Proportions

Figure Drawing Foundations – Proportions by Clayton Barton

Hello fellow comic art guys and gals. I have a pretty cool offer for you if you find yourself wanting to get better at drawing comic book hero proportions. We have all struggled in that department a time or two and it never hurts to work on that subject as much as possible. So here is just the thing to get those mental gears working on that topic.

Figure Drawing Foundations – Proportions by Clayton Barton. Clayton has done a stand up job at breaking down the barriers when it comes to understanding proportions. He goes into great detail on this subject and sheds light on this tricky topic. He also gives you a nice variety of tiers to choose from. Since one size doesn’t fit all, you can choose from a few packages to suit your level of interest for this topic.

In the various packages you get video walkthroughs, PDF’s, access to a virtual classroom, and lots of finely crafted lessons. I have been drawing a long time and I must admit that I am finding some great tips and tricks in here that I needed to learn. He has done an excellent job at covering all the bases to understanding body proportions and character designs. He breaks it down in an easy to follow manner which is so valuable when doing these types of studies.

So if you need that level up on your character work this is the course content to check out. And please share the work. Clayton is an amazing teacher and to keep him creating great content sharing the work is essential!

You can get his content here and good luck with your art!

Robert A. Marzullo

Ram Studios Comics

www.ramstudioscomics.com

Can I Make a Living as an Artist

Can I Make a Living as an Artist?

Can I Make a Living as an Artist
Can I Make a Living as an Artist

So let me first say that I feel it has NEVER been a better time to be an artist or illustrator. Whether you create comics, clip art, video demonstrations, or you enjoy digital painting, the resources available to generate a living from your art have never been more accessible. You can create video courses, custom brushes, print on demand services, clip art sites, create game art, app designs, online mentorship, and the list goes on and on.

So this has been a question for us all at one time or another.  “Can I Make a Living as an Artist?” Often it is also a source of negative debate so I wanted to give my views on the matter. I have been a working artist for most of my life now. Sometimes as more of a designer and other times as more of a business man when I ran a small sign shop for 15 years. ( It was called Ram Studios Signs 🙂  Although I ventured out in the name of making money I was always and artist at heart. I probably would have never started a business if I have not listened to the negative comments from people telling my that I would struggle financially to be a comic book artist. It ultimately led me to think of other products and services that I could market to my local area. Which at the time was Flint, Michigan where I grew up.

I learned a lot from starting and running a business but nothing more important than what I came to the conclusion of. I need to create art on my own terms. Sounds selfish right? Maybe it is but I had spent years creating designs and projects for everyone else. I needed to get back to creating my own ideas, my own comics. To tell you the truth I probably would have kept going if I was at least drawing comics or storyboards but I couldn’t bare doing graphics anymore. I was quickly coming to the realization that I compromised who I set out to be.

I had let the negative comments stick with me by thinking that I may not be able to make a good living if I didn’t have my business. It was time to venture out again and start over. This time putting art in the front seat and money in the back seat. ( Notice money is still in the car though. ) We all have to pay the bills but money shouldn’t be the driving factor. Money is a by product of a successful and happy lifestyle. If you spend your time doing something you love then you will have lots of opportunity to share that with the world and the money will follow. Besides, how many times have you heard about people making lots of money that are utterly miserable. The trick is to make a good living and be passionate about what you do. Then you will never get tired of putting in the time needed to be successful.

After putting in lots of years as a business owner I was ready to move on and finally just be an artist. So that question reared it’s ugly head once again, “Can I Make a Living as an Artist?” The thing that was now different from when I started my business was that there were so many ways to share the journey of art with my fellow creators now. That is what gets you ahead in life in any profession, sharing knowledge. That has never been easier than now with social media, Youtube, blog posts, and digital downloads. As an artist you are in a unique and very powerful situation. You have the ability to create on a level that most cannot so it is extremely easy for you to share you message. Others have to hire someone like you to help create that visual display.

With today’s means to quickly share you work and find an audience you can make a good living easier than ever. You can even take a very small niche and grow your audience very quickly if you work hard at sharing the work. You can grow that niche to a large scale because you are working off a global market now! Here is a run down of what has worked for me so far –

1. Help others learn what you know. They will appreciate you and help spread the word for you because of it. Create FREE content! Not everyone will share your paid promotional stuff but if you share what you learn, others will share it too. You help others like yourself and you get some free advertising in the process. 😉

2. Market yourself. You love your art, right? Quite worrying if someone else doesn’t. Share your work and develop a thick skin. You cannot make it in a competitive industry like comics/illustration without taking criticism like a pro. Learn what it is to actually market your work. You can have amazing art but if you don’t know how to sell it then you might as well just do it for fun. Here is the definition of Marketing, “Marketing is the promotion of an idea, good, or service that benefits individual and or organizational objectives.” So the key word here is “BENEFIT.” Learn who your work benefits and that is where you need to focus your energy on marketing.

3. Always have an empty cup! You ever hear the phrase, “Can’t fill a cup that is already full.” If you think you know it all, you have already failed and it is time to empty your cup. Only when you realize that you know nothing can you truly begin to grow. To be a successful artist you have to get better than the competition and there are lots of hungry amazing artists around the world that you now need to compete with. Luckily for us there are also a bunch of lazy artists that think they know it all already. Don’t fall into that category.

4. It’s a real job! Work hard at it if you want to succeed. Don’t think you can create an amazing piece once a year and get the proverbial fat cash! We now live in a fast pace hi-technology age of information. So don’t think people will wait around to see your amazing art next year. They have attention spans that can only be measured in nano seconds. You have to put out lots of content if you want to make it as an online artist or a production artist of an kind. Quality is king but speed is queen and you can’t have one without the other.

So there are lots of things out there to think about when it comes to being an artist in todays world but I assure you that you can make an excellent living as an artist these days. If you are still wondering how to do this just study some of these sites and what they have done for lots of hard working artists.

Patreon – Kickstarter – Udemy – Gumroad – iStockPhoto – Amazon – Youtube – FineArtAmerica – Twitch – Etsy – RedBubble – Society6 – Envato – CreativeMarket – Skillshare – and so on….

There are tons of great resources out there for artists like never before and this is only going to grow. Just remember that as an artist you can create a visually impactful statement that transcends language barriers. That alone is extremely powerful and very marketable. If you work hard you can make a living at anything you do so why not choose something you love?

Good luck to you can keep up the good fight!

For my video where I talk about this topic, please visit here – https://youtu.be/qLqWP2sHvfY

Please leave your comment and share your thoughts on this as well. It helps other artists to grow and learn from each of our experiences.

Robert A. Marzullo
Ram Studios Comics
http://www.ramstudioscomics.com

Visit my Gumroad to see some of my digital products that I have created for artists that want to learn how to draw comics and digitally paint – http://www.gumroad.com/robertmarzullo

Teaching Art Courses on Udemy

Teaching Art Courses on Udemy Image
Teaching Art Courses on Udemy Image

Hello everyone! Robert A. Marzullo here and I just wanted to give you all an update and my inside opinion about my experience with Udemy thus far. As you may or may not know I have been creating video courses for a few years now. I have created hundreds of Youtube videos and then got offered to work for Tuts Plus of Envato. I created about 6 full courses for their company for which they paid me outright for. I will admit the pay was pretty good but I no longer own those courses. They belong to Envato. Not a bad thing mind you, it did help pay the bills while I was creating them. That eventually ran its course when they started cutting back on art courses and I still had lots of ideas to offer so I started to look around.

I then made some of my own video lessons and uploaded them to a site called curious.com ( Which I do not recommend. ) Not a bad bunch of people but the return on investment for me was very small and they do not allow you to remove your content freely. They claim they are trying to protect their students that have already paid for the lessons but that unfortunately will lock you into a bad agreement if the return on investment isn’t good for you and you want to repurpose your content. Which should be your right. It is your digital product after all. Oh well, live and learn seems to be my motto in life.

So while this experience was going on I continued to look for some better options. I started a Gumroad with my content and added lots of neat stuff for my Youtube followers, such as custom brushes and templates for Photoshop and Manga Studio 5. Some of those have actually done very well. And Gumroad has a pretty nice pay structure. They payout once a week and it automatically hits your account like clockwork. The fees are reasonable considering there is no actual operating cost other than production. And they do market your products somewhat. As people purchase similar products your may get recommended so you generate a few extra sales that way. They take an additional 10% discovery fee but hey, it’s still an extra sale so I’m good with that! One thing I will note about Gumroad is that they have a free and a paid option. Be careful because the paid option goes up as you gain a customer base. Your monthly amount will increase as you get more customers to support. That can burn you if you are doing some free products to drive your customer growth. So do your research before going to the paid subscription model. Either way, I am still a big Gumroad fan. It has been great for my digital business thus far!

Here is my store on Gumroad – http://www.gumroad.com/robertmarzullo

I still needed to get more income and improve upon where I was at. Besides, I knew that if Envato was willing to pay me thousands of dollars for a course there must be some real value in what I was doing. Although my courses were selling on Gumroad, I still had to drive the main portions of the sales and that is another job all in itself. Setting up promo videos, blog posts, social media, networking, etc, etc, etc. Not that I don’t enjoy that but I just shut down my sign business of 15 years to pursue art, not be a marketing guru. So I needed some help in the marketing department. That is what led me to Udemy. I researched a few others like Teachable, Skillshare, Thinkific and so on but they all had a few quirks that eventually led me to try Udemy. So I uploaded one of my courses on Udemy and BAM!! Nothing happened. I know, very sad. I was extremely hopeful and I really needed to make some financial progress. Storyboards illustrations weren’t coming in as before and I was starting to think I needed a real job. So the next few months went by and I studied how to promote my courses and kept adding products to my Gumroad like a good little artist. Then I find out that it is extremely helpful to have multiple courses on Udemy. Which makes total sense anyways. Who wants to buy your product if you only have one product and very little reviews. Students want proof that you are good at what you do and that means more than one product. So I uploaded my next course and sales started to increase. Then I got some good reviews and sales increased again. I then got off my butt and did some promotional videos with course coupons leading to my content, and sales went up again. I won’t talk numbers because we all need very different amounts to survive and be happy but I will say this, within less than a year Udemy is now my biggest income for my digital products. It now generates new sales every day without me lifting a finger. I am approaching 2000 students and growing every day as well as getting lots of great reviews and feedback from the students wanting more. So guess what, I am making new courses right now!

Now also take into account that I don’t put all my eggs in one basket. I use a few revenue streams with my digital content so that if one or two start to decrease I can analyze what is going on and make changes accordingly. If it is something that is within my control. The wonderful thing about this type of business model is that you are now gaining income over and over again on the same product with no operating costs. And it is very sustainable because all content is going to video and digital books. You do have to continually respond to students and update your courses over time if you want them to remain valid in the marketplace but nothing is entirely perpetual without some force behind it. Nothing I am aware of anyways.

So the main thing I want to share is this, you can do it if you keep working hard and don’t give up. Almost all things start very slow and need momentum to be successful. That is usually why most people don’t make it. During that slow period we think of reasons why it might be failing other than how we can make it succeed. Look for growth even in small numbers because that will tell you what to do next as well as what not to do when the numbers decline. Just don’t give up! You don’t have to be the first one across the finish line, just make sure you get there!

Thank you for your time. I hope you found this information helpful and if you want to learn about art in the way that I teach it, here is my course coupons on Udemy –

Digital_Painting_Course_in_Photoshop
Digital Painting  Course in Photoshop

Digital Painting in Photoshop – Create Amazing Concept Art –https://www.udemy.com/digital-painting-in-photoshop-create-amazing-concept-art/?couponCode=RAMSTUDIOSCOMICS101

Digital Painting in Manga Studio 5 - Working in Perspective
Digital Painting in Manga Studio 5 – Working in Perspective

Digital Painting in Manga Studio 5 – Working in Perspective – https://www.udemy.com/digital-painting-in-manga-studio-5-working-in-perspective/?couponCode=RAMSTUDIOS

how_to_improve_your_figure_drawing_cover_image
How to Improve Your Figure Drawing Step by Step

My Figure Drawing Course – https://www.udemy.com/how-to-improve-your-figure-drawing-step-by-step/?couponCode=RAMSTUDIOSCOMICS101

Creating Comic Book Faces for Beginners
Creating Comic Book Faces for Beginners

My Course on How to Draw Comic Book Faces – For Beginners – https://www.udemy.com/creating-comic-book-faces-in-sketchbook-pro-8/?couponCode=RAMSTUDIOSCOMICS101

Robert A. Marzullo
Ram Studios Comics
www.ramstudioscomics.com

How to Draw Superheroes Step by Step

How to Draw Superheroes Step by Step

Welcome to Ram Studios Comics.  Here you will find step by step instructions on how to draw superheroes.  The lessons on this site will be easy to understand.  I will cover all the basics of drawing comics and the  characters within them.  I believe that anyone can become a great artist if they love to create.  It is the passion that drives us not the talent.  If you love to create comics then you can do it!

On this site you will find simple drawing methods.  Sometimes they will appear to be basic and maybe even boring at your current level of artistry.  But, I assure you it all serves a purpose.  By studying the basics we can make the complex drawings easier to accomplish.  Superhero drawings are complex when we try to draw them at first.  After learning about the smaller parts to the whole, it becomes much easier to do.

You can also head over to my Gumroad and get my course on How to Improve Your Figure Drawing Step by Step here –

http://www.gumroad.com/robertmarzullo

 

how to draw superheroes

How Long will it Take me to Learn Superhero Anatomy?

I get this type of question all the time.  How do I learn figure drawing?  How long did it take you to learn how to draw superheroes? And the list goes on and on.  There is no quick answer to these questions and there is no quick road to success.  It takes years to develop the skills to draw the body well.  I also cannot proclaim to know if you will learn quicker or slower than I did.  All I can tell you is that drawing the human form properly is hard work.  But, like I said previously, “The passion drives us, not the talent!”  The talent is a by product of the passion.  So be ready to work hard and also be thankful that there is not an easy road to success.  This is what makes your desired profession out of the reach of so many others.  Like the old saying goes, “If it was easy, everyone would do it!”

To get started, head over to our step by step section where you can find study guides.

Step by Step – Drawing Lessons

More lessons are on the way and let’s us know what you think of the site.  As well as what you need help with in your own superhero drawing process!

 

 

 

Drawing and Painting Courses on Udemy – Learn to Draw

Drawing and Painting Courses  on Udemy

You can get access to my drawing courses on Udemy as well as the art files to study from.  As a digital artist trying to make a living with my new studio setup I was looking around for better ways to do this.  I love to draw commissions but I never seemed to get enough of them to stay busy.  But I noticed through my Youtube channel that I was getting a lot of people wanting to know how I do what I do.  I was first approached to do online teaching by Tuts Plus of Envato and though it was a very amazing opportunity to work with those guys the work started to slow after a few courses.  They started to make cut backs and I needed to keep pressing forward.

How to Improve Your Figure Drawing Step by Step

drawing courses on Udemy how to improve your figure drawing
How to Improve Your Figure Drawing Step by Step

Click Here to Visit this Course on Udemy – My Discount Code

Digital_Painting_Course_in_Photoshop
Digital_Painting_Course_in_Photoshop

Click Here to Visit this Course on Udemy – My Discount Code

So as I searched the endless space that is the internet I found Udemy.  I also found a bunch of others but I ultimately settled on Udemy because they do so well at helping you to promote your content and they have an extremely active Facebook group that all seem happy to help the newbie’s which is huge.

So I started making course content for them and because you retain rights to your work I also offer the same content through my Gumroad as well.  The best thing about Udemy is that students are going there specifically for learning so they are willing to spend to gain that instruction.  I don’t have to try to sell them on anything because they are already there with that intention.  I don’t mind the occasional sales pitch but it does conflict with that I would rather be doing and that is creating art and teaching others how to better create their art.

Creating Comic Book Faces in Sketchbook Pro 8

Creating comic book faces in sketchbook pro 8
Creating Comic Book Faces in Sketchbook Pro 8

Click Here to Visit this Course on Udemy – My Discount Code

So Here are a few of my courses on Udemy.  I hope you enjoy them if you decide to take them and fee free to ask any questions if you have them.  They have a great question and review setup as well.  I want to know if you find something that could have been better.  I am continually trying to improve what I do so please let me know!

 

-Robert