How to Become a Professional Artist:

Do you know what you want to do with your life? Have you ever felt your dreams and goals of becoming a professional artist are nearly impossible? Today’s article is going to try to help you make that dream a reality (or, a closer reality if you’re too young to have a career). We’ll be talking about the technical sides of having this as a job (classes you need to take, degrees you need to earn, etc.) and the more motivational side such as how to earn a good living with this job.

First off,  there are a couple classes you need to make sure you take in high school. Although it depends on which course you take exactly in the arts/fine arts section, most of them require you to have a 30 level Pre-Calculus or Foundations Math course, and a 30 level English course. You also need to have your high school diploma to get into these courses. Along with all these things, most of these courses require you to put together a portfolio showcasing some of your artwork. The University of Saskatchewan and the University of Regina both offer great courses in the arts and fine arts field of study.

Now that you know the specifics of getting the job, the next goal is to stay motivated and figure out how to earn enough money in your job. One of the greatest things you can do with the job of an artist is be weird! Originality and weirdness is the one of the best qualities an artist can have as it makes their work different and unique when compared to others. This attracts people, and in the end it will probably make you earn more money. Another big thing an artist needs to have is the right mindset for the job. There are quite a few challenges that come along with a job like this, and you need to be prepared on how to handle them in a healthy way! You need to be able to take constructive criticism in a healthy way as well, as this will help you learn and grow in your career.

In the end, this article was only a small glimpse into what the job of an artist is all about, but I hope it was able to give you some valuable information about the skills and academic elements you need to follow this career path! There’s a lot more to being an artist than what meets the eye, and it takes a lot of skills and dedication. It’s definitely a challenging road, but the benefits to this job and getting to do what you love every day is worth it!



Struggles of Being an Artist:

Everyone struggles with things in life and artists are no exception. Being an artist is actually a lot harder than it looks as it takes a lot of creativity, skill, self discipline, and motivation. Sometimes when artists struggle it’s a dark time because they feel all alone. Therefore, I thought I could put together a small list of struggles that every artist will go through at some point, so you can see that it isn’t just you in these struggles!

  • Envying another artist’s skill:

It seems as though everyone always envies another artist’s skills, even though they’re an amazing artist themselves! It can be frustrating and upsetting because you put in a lot of effort, but you always seem to find someone better than you. Just remember that there’s always more learning to do and you can always grow as an artist! It’s suggested that instead of envying other artists, turn that into inspiration.

  • Some people don’t take you seriously:

Every artist will come across someone that will laugh when they hear about your job choice. Art is usually looked at as a hobby and not a profession, and some people just don’t understand what being a professional artist is. Just smile and keep doing what you love, even if others don’t understand you!

  • People don’t understand the struggle:

Non-artists will never truly understand the struggle that being a real artist is. A great deal of people assume making art is extremely easy and anyone can do it with no skills at all. However, they don’t see all the training you’ve done to learn different techniques, new skills, and how to make high quality art! Many people think you can pick up a paintbrush (or any other medium you like to use) and learn instantly, but that isn’t the case at all.

To conclude, these are a few of the top struggles that artists go through, and I’ve gone through all three myself. It can be rough, frustrating, and tiring, but remember why you love art so much and keep going! Things will get better, and remember that you’re a truly amazing and unique artist!



5 Best Places to Buy Art Supplies:

Last week’s article talked about alternatives to some of the highest quality markers on the art market. As you might have noticed, most of these markers are a bit on the expensive side of things, and the story with other art supplies is no different. So unless you’re a millionaire – and I envy you if you are – you’re probably a bit worried about your budget when you buy the supplies you need.  With this in mind, I thought this week’s article should be about great places I’ve found to get the art supplies you need both online and in real stores without spending a small fortune in expenses.

1. Michaels:

Michaels is both an online and real store you can visit in places like Regina and Saskatoon. They stock many types of art supplies, and they also stock many crafting products as well. You can find high quality brands such as Copics and Prismacolor here, and even some smaller less expensive brands. They put on sales that can save you tons of money, and they also have coupons for you to use.


2. Hobby Lobby:

Hobby Lobby is another store that you can purchase products from either online or in store. The only downside for us Canadians is the fact that Hobby Lobby is a US store only. However, they have a couple of stores scattered in North Dakota (such as Minot) which isn’t that far from the border! Whether you’re looking for art supplies or crafting materials, this store is sure to have it! There are many coupons and sales here, so you’re sure to save some money on something too (and I mean really, who doesn’t like to save money?). Hobby Lobby has a 90 day return policy both online and in stores.hobby_lobby_logo_detail_long

3. Blick:

Blick is one of the most popular online art supply stores among artists. They offer a ton of art supplies that include their brand along with other professional art brands. This store also has special limited time offers such as free shipping on orders over $160, 15% deals, and more. When you order online, you can pay with Paypal, Mastercard, Visa, American Express, etc. and they have a 30 day return policy.


4. Jerry’s Artarama:

Jerry’s Artarama is another huge online store for art supplies. They stock a variety of art materials (oil paint, canvases, pastels, paper, etc.) and they have a large resources section that includes online art contests, art tips, product demo videos, product reviews, and more. When you order things from this store, you can pay with Paypal, Checks, Visa, Mastercard, etc. and they have a 30 day refund policy. Jerry’s Artarama also has a newsletter that you can sign up for and receive discounts and promotions.


5. Utrecht:

Utrecht is a simple online art store that sells specifically art supplies. They offer many different professional brands along with their own brand of supplies. Utrecht also has sales on, and they even have coupon specials! They have a 30 day return policy as well.


There you have it! These are the top art stores I found that most artists like to use. I’ve heard many great things about these stores, and I’ve purchased items from most of them. I hope this list was able to give you some places to shop and save a bit of money. See you next week!


Alternatives to Copic Markers:

In the world of art, the quality of the materials and tools you use will greatly affect how your final piece looks. However, some of these things cost a fair amount of money which isn’t something everyone has. One of the biggest coloring methods artists use is coloring with Copic Markers. This technique makes the finished drawing colorful, crisp, and clean. Unfortunately as I stated before, Copics are one of the tools that can cost quite a bit of money. Therefore, in today’s article we will be looking at different types of markers artists use as alternatives to Copics, and the pros and cons of each!

Before I tell you about the other markers, I should probably give you a little information about Copics first. Copic Markers are alcohol-based, dual ended, and available in a variety of different colors. They are refillable, you can easily mix your own colors, the nibs can be replaced, there is little odor, you can’t see overlapping lines, and they dry quickly. However, Copics are hard to find and they’re expensive to buy. Copics usually cost around $7.99 for one marker.

1. Prismacolor Markers

Prismacolor Markers and Copics are two of the most popular brands for artist’s markers. They have rich colors, the ink flows smoothly, double ended, easy to find, and the shape of the marker makes them easy to hold. On the downside, Prismacolor Markers have a bad odor, you can see the overlapped lines, the marker nibs can’t be removed or refilled, there aren’t as many color options as the other brands of markers, and the nibs can get worn down easily. It usually costs around $5.99 for one marker.

2. Promarkers

Promarkers function a lot like Copics do, and they share the similarity of being double ended and alcohol based. With that said, you’ll get nearly the same results with these markers vs Copic Markers. These markers are a lot cheaper than Copics, and the sets are themed (Spring, Summer, Christmas, Pastels, etc.), It’s been said that they also hold around 30% more ink than Copic Markers do. Promarkers also have a chunkier build, which can be both a pro and con depending on the style of marker you like. A couple downsides to these markers are that they aren’t numbered like Copic Markers are, so it might be difficult to match certain colors, and they aren’t refillable markers. Depending on where you buy them, Promarkers can cost anywhere from $3 to $5 for one marker.

3. Twin Touch Markers

Twin Touch Markers are also highly comparable to Copics. These markers are alcohol-based, refillable, the nibs can be replaced, there are 204 colors to choose from, the color name and family are on the cap of the marker for easy reference, and they’re easy to find. The disadvantages of these markers is the fact that they seem to be a bit dryer than Copics, and the brush tip seems to be gummy (meaning that it wants to stick to the page). Twin Touch Markers can cost anywhere from $3.40 to $5.80 for one marker.

        After looking at the pros and cons of each of these markers you can see that each one is different and unique in their own way, but they’re all good markers! Truthfully, the best marker out of the ones listed really depends on what you’re planning on using them for and what your budget is. It also depends on how big of an area you’re planning on coloring, how often you’re going to use them, and more. Nevertheless, I hope I was able to give some helpful information on these different types of markers!



How to Develop Your Own Drawing Style

In today’s article, we will be talking about one of the most daunting questions every artist asks at some point in their career: how do I develop my own drawing style? I’m sure that by now you’ve probably realized that when you look at different pieces of art, each one has some type of quirk or addition that makes it unique to that artist. Whether it’s the way they draw certain things or the way they color in their art, every artist creates in different and unique ways in their own style. The bigger question is, how do you find your style? Hopefully, this article will give you some valuable information on how to do that.

Now, keep in mind that these steps don’t guarantee that you’ll find your art style in the blink of an eye, but instead it will give you a strong foundation to build on as you learn through drawing. A couple years later you’ll notice that your style has changed and refined itself for sure, but the transition will look natural because of the foundation you started with. So, let’s get to it!

  1. Choose three artists or art styles that you particularly enjoy.

First things first, you need to pick three artists or art styles that you really like. Make sure to think about this one and don’t just pick three random things for the sake of it! These things will eventually become key components in your art style, so make sure they’re things you really love. Try to make sure that any of the artists you may pick don’t have similar styles, the best thing to have in this step is variety. Think about artists you admire and art styles that you love.

  1. Choose an image for each of the three things you picked that best represents each of them.

Now, for each of the three things you picked, you’ll pick one thing that best represents it. For example, say you picked anime for an art style. Therefore, you’d pick your favorite anime picture. If you picked Vincent van Gogh as your favorite artist, then you would pick your favorite painting of his. In this step, it’s important that you only pick one picture, so take your time and pick images that you really love, and images that you would buy from others.

  1. Study each of the images you chose in step 2.

It’s suggested that in this step, have a pen and paper ready so you can write down your observations. In each of the images you chose in step 2, there’s one element in that image that makes the picture stand out and look amazing. Your job is to find out what that is and write it down. Study it and figure out how it works. There are no such thing as wrong observations, just make sure you’re specific. Instead of writing down “I like how they colored this picture.” figure out why you like how they colored it. Is it the color palette they used? Is it the way they shaded their picture?

  1. Combine the artistic elements you identified in step 3 together into an original drawing.  

Finally! This is the last step. Now you need to combine the elements you found in step three into a single original drawing of your own. Just to be clear, you aren’t combining the subject matter from the images you chose, you’re combining the artistic elements you chose (coloring, line-art, etc). The subject matter is up to you, I’d recommend drawing something you’re familiar with. Here’s an example: Let’s say you always draw characters from popular TV shows, and you’re deciding to draw your favorite character. For your artistic elements, we’ll say you chose artist A’s line-art, artist B’s coloring style, and artist C’s shading techniques. Start off with a simple sketch of the character, the same way you’ve always drawn it. Next, when you do the line-art you’ll do it in the style of artist A from earlier. When it’s time to color you’ll use the color palettes of artist B, and the shading technique of artist C.

That’s all there is to it! As I said earlier, this isn’t a guaranteed way to suddenly find your own art style, since it does take time to refine. However, using this process will definitely give you a strong base to work off of and make unique art!

Drawing Styles.jpg

Here’s a picture I found where someone drew in many different styles from TV shows. It’s interesting when you compare the styles and see their differences and similarities!


The Ultimate Guide to Drawing Faces:

In my opinion, drawing the face of a character is one of the hardest things to do correctly – mostly because the proportions are rather specific. There are a couple of basic guidelines that are always good to follow or at least keep in mind, and once you practice this process becomes easy! Today I’ll be giving you a few helpful hints and tricks to draw those dazzling faces correctly.

After you’ve drawn the basic shape of the face, something I highly recommend is lightly drawing in some guidelines along the face. These will help you figure out where to place features such as the eyes, nose, and mouth. This picture ( explains the guidelines rather well using diagrams and drawings. Two things to also keep in mind are that the eyes should be around the halfway point on the face, and the ears should be just a tad lower than that.

Now that we have the foundation of the face drawn, it’s time to add some life to our drawing! One simple way we can do this is by using different facial expressions. Although drawing different expressions can look intimidating (pun intended) it’s actually pretty simple! This picture ( is one that I found on the internet a while ago, and it’s helped me out a lot when I’m trying to find the right facial expression for my characters. As you can see in the picture, if you start with a neutral expression you can transform it into almost any emotion with one simple change. Eyebrows play a big part in facial expressions, along with different mouths. After you’re able to convey an emotion (such as sadness, happiness, worry, etc.), you can even take them a step further to deepen the emotions! The picture illustrates this well, and you can see that with a small change you can turn facial expressions of happiness to overjoyed, sadness into depressed, and so on.

All in all, I hope this article gave you some insight and useful information on how to draw faces, along with the emotions they encompass. Remember to keep practicing and don’t give up!


4 Artists to Follow:

Last week we talked about how to fix artist’s block and become inspired. One of the things that was also mentioned was finding inspiration by looking at art done by other people. Sometimes we just need a little extra push to get the ideas flowing! Therefore, today I’ll show you some of the artists that I’ve followed over the years that have both great art and amazing tutorials!

  1. Mark Crilley:

A picture of Mark Crilley.

Mark Crilley has been a big inspiration in my life as he was the one who I looked up to and aspired to be like. When I was first learning to draw, his tutorials were what really helped me out and he presents his content in a way that I found fun. He’s a published author and illustrator, some of his notable works being Miki Falls, Brody’s Ghost, and Akiko. While his art style is mostly related to manga and anime, he does have tutorials on how to draw more realistic things such as the human eye. He has tutorials for nearly anything from facial features to properly drawing the body’s structure. I would definitely recommend you check him out if you’re interested in manga/anime styled drawings!

      2. Draw with Jazza:


The main logo for Draw with Jazza.

Draw with Jazza is someone whom I just found recently, about one year ago. I had discovered him when one of his videos on how to animate was shown in a class I was taking. He explained things simply enough that the average person could understand it, but with just the right amount of detail so you knew exactly what you were doing. He uses both traditional and digital means for his art, and he explains both well. His tutorials include how to draw in perspective, how to do animation, and he even has videos to show you how to use certain art programs! I would recommend him if you like to do a lot of digital work and if you’d like to find out how to turn your love for art into a business.

     3. Cyarine:


Cyarine’s Twitter profile picture.

Cyarine is an artist who’s work I’ve seen on the internet forever, but I wasn’t able to find her until a while ago! She uses many different mediums for her art such as copic markers, watercolors, ink, or digital programs. She uploads some tutorials on how she draws certain things in her unique style, such as lips, hair, etc. With all of the art uploaded on her channel I think it’s a great place to look for inspiration as well! Her drawings usually consist of either characters she’s made up herself or characters from popular video games, TV shows/movies, and pop culture. She’s a person I’d recommend to look at if you need some inspiration and are wanting to do digital art!


Here Come New Ideas For Art!

I’m sure you’ve probably heard of a writer complain at least once about getting something called writer’s block, but have you ever heard of artist’s block? Both of these concepts share the similarity that causes the affected person to be at a loss for ideas, but artist’s block is different in the way that the affected person(s) is at a loss for ideas in art, not writing. In this week’s article, I’ll try and give you different ways to cope and overcome artist’s block, along with some brainstorming websites you can use to get those ideas flowing again!

1. Stop and relax for a while:

Feeling pressured and hurried will definitely not help the art creating process. Take time to stop and refresh yourself, don’t force yourself to create art. Inspiration will find you when you’re ready.

2. Have a few projects on the go at a time so if you get bored with one you can change to another:

If you ever get bored with a project or are unsure of how to continue it, start another (or switch to one you have already started)! Different challenges are in every piece of art, and they will keep you interested and busy.

3. Try a new or different medium:

Exploring with different materials and mediums are a great way to become inspired and try something different in art. Plus, you might even find that you’re very good at using a medium you had never tried!

4. Get inspired by places, people, and things:

Sometimes you need to look beyond yourself for inspiration, and that’s okay! Don’t be afraid to go online or go outside to help get those creative ideas started. Try looking at other’s art, or even go to an art workshop! Little things like these can suddenly spark brilliant ideas and inspire you.

5. Don’t be afraid of making ‘bad’ art:

Remember that your art doesn’t need to be perfect! You’re always allowed to make ‘bad art’ because it’s better than no art at all. Having a fear of making ‘bad art’ usually comes from comparing your art to others, so try to not do that! Compare your art with your own older projects and you’ll see how much you’ve improved along with any changes you can make.

6. Just do it! (Be motivated by Mr. Shia Labeouf):

If all else fails, just do it! Don’t let your fears or worries hold you back and start creating. You can randomly doodle on papers, start sculpting, etc. The point is to release your emotions into your art and have some fun creating it instead of stressing over the details! You might even make a masterpiece without trying.

Here’s a video to motivate you:

Finally, I’ll give you a couple websites and blogs I’ve found that post prompts to try and inspire you to create something! (I really enjoy this website, it has prompts for nearly anything!) (This website is great if you like to usually draw things you see in everyday life.)


Using References in Art:

Have you ever tried to draw something but it just didn’t turn out exactly how you had imagined? That’s because you need to use some references! When you try to draw something without actually looking at it, it’s extremely difficult and it’s guaranteed that it won’t be perfect. I’m sure you’re probably wondering how all those artists you see in videos on YouTube make their art without looking at references, right? That’s because they most likely have a very strong visual library, meaning that they’ve drawn those things so many times that they don’t need to reference anymore! Even the smallest bit of referencing can go a long way, so don’t be afraid to look at other artist’s work or even pictures of things in real life.

Something else to remember about referencing is that instead of directly trying to copy your reference pictures, learn from them! Find many different pictures of different angles of what you’re trying to draw, whether it’s an object or a person in a specific pose. Although this process may seem a little slow, learn how the different parts of the object works because it will definitely help you in the long run! After you’ve broken down your references into pieces, draw what you’ve learned. Even though it’s probable that you’ll have to repeat this process for the first while, eventually you’ll build up your visual library enough that you won’t need to reference these things anymore because you understand how they work! Time for some examples:


I decided to draw the character Garnet from Steven Universe. In the above pictures, the one on the left is using no references and I drew this off the top of my head with my current visual library. As you can see, the drawing doesn’t look too bad. However, it doesn’t exactly look right either. The proportions are off on some of the parts such as the arms and legs, and her hair is looking a bit odd. So, I looked up a few reference pictures of different angles, and learned about them. Then, using those references I tried to draw her again as you can see pictured on the right. She looks a lot more ‘lively’ now instead of flat, and the proportions are looking a lot better. This is just a small sample of what a difference using references make!



6 Common Art Blunders Artists Make:

All artists make mistakes, but the best thing to do is learn from them! There will always be a chance to learn how to correct them and make better drawings. There are a few common mistakes that every artist makes and I’m here to tell you how you can possibly fix them! Keep in mind that not every artist makes all of these mistakes, but reading this article will also help you prevent them from being made as well.

1.Bad Perspective:

Remember to draw things in perspective as it can really change the way a drawing looks. The closer something is to the viewer the bigger it is, and the farther away something is to the viewer the smaller it is. If you’re trying to draw a nice fall scene with a field of pumpkins in the back, you won’t want the pumpkins to look like they’re 10 feet tall and take up half the page! Unless they’re some species of giant pumpkin, that would be terrifying. Just remember to make things only as big as they need to be.  


Outlines are really only an issue if you’re attempting to draw things and make them look realistic. The real world doesn’t have outlines, so they can accidentally turn your once realistic drawings into flat, cartoonish images. Outlines are useful when you’re in the sketching stage, but they should be less prominent in a finished drawing.

3.Inconsistent Lighting:

Lighting is extremely important in a drawing! Don’t forget to show where the light source is coming from in your drawings and shade them appropriately. When you shade in a light source, once side of your object will be lighter or darker than the other side.

4.Heavy Gradients:

Using gradients are a great tool to add depth and life to your drawings, but don’t add too much! There’s a time and place for them, and not every object you draw needs it. Study and reference pictures of what you’re drawing, don’t assume otherwise you will possibly make mistakes! Keep in mind that flat sided objects such as cubes don’t need gradients whereas things like spheres and cones do.

5.Sloppy Shading:

Don’t ever rush shading! Remember that artwork takes time, and there’s no way to speed it up if you want your finished piece to look as stunning as you had imagined. Resist rushing the shading process and scribbling, especially at the end. Take your time and make sure to shade carefully throughout your entire piece. Devote your time to what you’re drawing instead of trying to hurry. Limit distractions as well for it will prevent you from accidentally rushing your drawing along.

6.Inscribing Lines:

This is a mistake that I have made a countless number of times, especially when I was first learning how to draw. When you press hard on the pencil as you draw, it makes dents in the paper which are called depressions. You can easily erase the pencil marks, but the depression will stay in the paper. Therefore, when you go to color or shade it in, you get these unattractive white lines in your paper that stick out like a sore thumb and cannot be covered up. You can use these to your advantage if you’re trying to do some neat looking abstract art, but most of the time you will not want these lines in your drawing. My suggestion to eliminate these is to either try pressing lightly as you draw, or you can always transfer over the drawing onto a different, clean sheet of paper for the coloring/shading process.


Next week I’ll be writing an article on how to use references when drawing which can be very handy. Updates will be coming!


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