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Super Obvious Secrets That I Wish They’d Teach In Art School at Phil McAndrew Illustrations & Comics
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Super Obvious Secrets That I Wish They’d Teach In Art School

I get a lot of emails from illustration students and young cartoonists. Sometimes they ask to interview me for a class assignment, sometimes they’re recent graduates looking for advice on how to transition from art student to professional illustrator/cartoonist. I get emails asking about how I promote my work, how to “break into” illustration or comics, how to find clients, how to gain a following on the internet, etc.

I usually laugh a little as I read all these emails because I myself am still really struggling to make ends meet as a full time illustrator and cartoonist. I’m still figuring out what works and what doesn’t. But things are definitely improving and getting easier, slowly but steadily.

I understand the daunting feeling that comes with the end of college or the decision to leave a day job and take those first steps towards a career as an illustrator or cartoonist, having gone through it myself not that long ago. It’s good to talk to people and learn from those that have been at it already for a few years. I myself have learned a ton from emailing and talking with more experienced illustrators and cartoonists. I still ask colleagues for advice all the time. I’ve also learned a lot of things the hard way, by trying and failing. I don’t have all the answers yet (I never will), but here are a some important things I’ve learned so far. Most of it seems like obvious, common sense stuff. And it is. I hope some of you find this useful!

If you don’t enjoy drawing enough to want to do it every single day then you should probably find another line of work! I don’t know about other freelancers, but I work seven days a week.

Creativity is a muscle. If you want that muscle to stay strong you’ve got to use it every day. If you fall out of the habit of drawing every day it can be really tough to pick it up again. Muscles weaken much faster than they grow. So don’t stop drawing ever! Take a sketchbook with you everywhere. Keep a sketchbook next to your bed. Keep one in your backpack or hand bag. Delete Angry Birds from your phone and spend your time doodling while you’re waiting in line at the bank or riding the subway from 181st Street to Union Square. Drawing is your religion.

Draw something that you don’t think is within your ability to draw. Try drawing a comic without penciling anything first, go straight to ink. Pick up a cheap set of watercolor paints and play with them until your eyes turn into little hearts and you love them and they love you back and everyone is crying happy watercolor tears and embracing. If you don’t think you can draw a motorcycle then draw a motorcycle every day until you’re good at drawing motorcycles. Go to a life drawing session and draw some naked people (it’s fun!).

Again, creativity is a muscle. You won’t end up with gigantic tough guy muscles if you’re afraid to try lifting more than five pounds.

You don’t grow by staying within your comfort zone. You’ll be a stinky stagnant little pool of moldy potential with little insects buzzing around and having desperate sexy times and laying eggs all over the damn place. You need to get your creative juices flowing like a big majestic waterfall! Force yourself to draw something that you know will be difficult. Force yourself to draw something you have no interest in at all and find a way to make it interesting. I used to suck at drawing backgrounds and scenery. I was more interested in drawing people and I avoided backgrounds as much as possible. I decided to spend a year really focusing on drawing awesome backgrounds.

Now I love drawing scenery just as much as people and I’m a more powerful, versatile illustrator than I used to be.

A lot of the opportunities and jobs and exposure that have come my way have been a direct result of talking to people and being a nice guy. There have been a number of occasions where illustrator friends have been really busy and have sent assignments my way that they had to turn down. I’ve befriended cartoonists who have gone on to find incredible success and was then lucky enough to have them link back to my work sending loads of new readers my way. Don’t be dismissive of people who enjoy your work and definitely DO NOT take them for granted. It really stinks when you get to meet an artist you admire at a convention or a book signing and they can’t even make eye contact or smile or look up from their sketchbook to show that they are appreciative of the fact that you enjoy their work and would like to give them your money. When working with a new client do your best to accommodate their needs and to be a pleasant person. They aren’t going to send more work your way if you were a pain to deal with. Say “thanks” a lot. And mean it! Be thankful that someone is paying you to sit at home and draw pictures! If no one is paying you then be thankful that we weren’t born without arms.

Don’t trash talk other people’s work even if it really does suck. I can think of plenty of cartoonists who are way more successful than me who, in my opinion, consistently produce dumb, boring, crappy comics. But talking shit about their comics and comparing their success to my own isn’t going to benefit me in any way. It would only be self destructive. It doesn’t matter how many twitter followers you have. But be nice to the people and spam bots that do follow you.

My best work, the work that I get most excited about and that other people seem to enjoy and respond to the most, is usually stuff that I draw purely for fun. My big mental art breakthroughs usually happen when I’m mindlessly doodling. Sketchbooks are where you get to draw whatever you want and where ideas are born. Set aside a little time every day to doodle and explore. Draw for YOURSELF.

Did you ever sit on the floor and draw as a kid? Most kids do it. Do you remember how fun it was? It was really fun. It didn’t matter what the drawings looked like when you were done. It was just a fun thing to do. I remember drawing monsters and spooky castles with my brothers. It was one of our favorite things to do. We could sit and draw monsters and spooky castles for hours. We were drawing them because monsters and spooky castles interested us and because the act of drawing is super fun. Don’t forget how fun drawing can (and should) be. Do forget about impressing anyone. Just have fun. Don’t pressure yourself into thinking you’ve got to draw something amazing because if you sit down and think “I’ve got to make an amazing drawing” then you’re just going to end up staring at a blank sheet of paper. Just start drawing.

Want to draw a graphic novel? Then do it. Stop talking about it and do it. Don’t wait until you have more free time or more drawing skills. As you get get older you will find yourself with less and less free time. And the only way to improve your skills is to draw a lot. Like, several graphic novels worth of drawings. So set some deadlines for yourself and draw a graphic novel. Deadlines are CRUCIAL. Right now I’m working on a project that at first seemed extremely daunting. I sat down and figured out that if I draw three pictures every day the project will be done in about a month. So every day I know I’ve got to get three drawings done and if I fall behind or miss a day I’ve got to make up for it the next day. Being organized and tracking my progress is helping and actually makes being productive kind of like a fun game. I made a spreadsheet to map out my progress. I get to fill a little section in with color every time I complete a drawing or finish coloring a page. Being able to visualize my progress is awesome and gets me excited about finishing a big project. Also I tell myself that if I don’t have this project done in a month I’ll have a mini freak out and then my face will shrivel up super fast and I’ll disintegrate like that Nazi fellow at the end of The Last Crusade. DEADline! Eh? Get it? *nudge nudge*

Whether you’re digging for treasure in the yard or hunched over a drafting table, it’s important to take breaks every so often! Breaks help keep your mind (and body) fresh.

I like to take short breaks often. Draw for an hour and then walk around the block or have a quick snack or just sit and stare out the window for a few minutes. Reward yourself for working hard!

We all have particular artists that we love and have been influenced by. But one of the worst things you can do is to get stuck on those artists or to try to imitate them. Yes, it’s good to study other people’s art and learn from it but don’t just hone in on one or two artists that you really admire. Study LOTS of people’s work. If you only allow yourself to be influenced by James Kochalka you’ll just end up as a poor man’s version of James Kochalka. No one draws like James Kochalka better than James Kochalka. Why would anyone care about your work when they could just go look at a James Kochalka book? James Kochalka is an awesome cartoonist and you can learn a lot by studying his work BUT make sure you learn something from a lot of other artists too. If you’re drawing comics, try ignoring other people’s comics for a while. Find inspiration in novels or nature documentaries or old videos of Etta James on Youtube or poetry or newspaper articles. Your comics will be much better if you do this. You won’t find success if your only sources of inspiration are other comics that are already popular. A thousand other people are already trying to make something just like that one comic you love and chances are most of them aren’t going to find much success either. It’s also important to go outside and experience new things and interact with people. The world will feed you new ideas and new sources of inspiration. If the only thing you are able to write about or joke about is video games then may the good comics lord have mercy on your soul.

If you want people to respect your work, take you seriously, or pay you to draw things then do not trash talk your own work. Why would you expect someone else take your work seriously when even you, the person that created it, are openly talking about how much it sucks? If you want people to get excited about your work (and to hire you to draw things) then you need to show them that YOU are excited about your work.

Here’s a little story about how I learned that you should be excited about your own work: When I was 20 years old I had one of my comics published for the very first time by New Reliable Press in the first volume of You Ain’t No Dancer. Some of the other artists in that book were Jeffrey Brown, Nicholas Gurewitch, Hope Larson, Jim Mahfood, Bryan Lee O’Malley, Lilli CarréDave Cooper did the cover. I was in very good company. The book debuted at SPX, which I attended that year for the very first time. I was lucky enough to meet and talk to a lot of the other artists in the book, artists who I really, really admired. I was understandably a little nervous (my first convention! My first published comic! In a real book! With some really, really great cartoonists!). I met Bryan Lee O’Malley and asked if he’d sign my copy of You Ain’t No Dancer. He was happy to do so. As he was doodling in the book I sheepishly mentioned that I too had a comic in the book. He perked up a little. “Oh yeah? Which one is yours?” he asked as he began to flip through the book. Feeling totally intimidated and terrified I looked at my feet and said “Oh… uh… it’s… um… it’s not that great…” When I looked up I immediately knew I’d said the wrong thing. Whatever interest he might have had had in my work had completely disappeared. And so a creator who’s work I admire and who I’m sure would have been a good person to be friendly with probably thinks very little of me and my work if he even remembers me at all.

Everyone has off days or stretches of time where they just aren’t happy with any of the work they’re producing. It happens! And it’s okay! But just because you’re going through a bit of a rut that doesn’t mean you should stop drawing. You aren’t going to beat the rut by not drawing anything. Just accept that not every drawing or comic you produce is going to be awesome and keep working. Spend some time with your sketchbook. If you’ve lost excitement for a project then ask yourself why it’s not exciting anymore. What can you do to make it exciting again? Change something!

I’ve tried many different methods of self promotion. I’ve sent out postcards in the mail, I’ve tried shmoozing at conventions, I’ve sent cold emails and have considered cold calling art directors (I’m still considering it). The most effective thing I’ve done has actually been the simplest: Draw awesome stuff and put it on the internet. Do this for a while and good things will happen.

Wow! This is a long blog post. I’ve got to go catch up on all the drawing I should have been doing instead of writing this! I hope someone out there finds this helpful.

(Check out my website and the rest of my blog or find me on twitter, tumblr and flickr, where I regularly put awesome stuff on the internet)

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221 Responses to “Super Obvious Secrets That I Wish They’d Teach In Art School”


  1. 1 Josiah

    Thanks for this! I’m going to art school next year, so I’m pretty terrified about everything, but this is all really great advice! I need to get more art done, and more practice in. Thanks!

  2. 2 Pete

    This was brilliant sir, it really helps get me and I’m sure others motivated, and I’m not even an artist.

  3. 3 Werner Fismer

    Thank you for this!
    I’m quite lost with my creative endevours at the moment, and what you’ve shared here (and how you’ve shared it) really means a lot to me. (Especially the bits about having fun and dealing with ruts.)

  4. 4 CheyAnne

    This is a great article and one I really needed to read right now. Wonderful how that works, yes? Anyway, I just joined Tumblr and learning my way around, I found your inspiring post. Love your illustrations as well. Especially the great big beautiful blue room.
    Great background, those people must love that room. Thanks for the reminder to DRAW every single day. I really, really want to get serious with my art, but once again, I’m making excuses and not following thru. Thanks again
    peace n abundance,
    CheyAnne
    http://cheyannesexton.etsy.com

  5. 5 Max Hancock

    Great post! I think everyone knows these things but it’s always good to have a reminder. The couple of years before I went to art college, I would draw for hours per day. Now that I’m in college, I barely draw. Once a week maybe. Although it’s slightly because I’m learning 3D instead, I still could have drawn a lot more. I have had some success but it feels like I’m still coasting on the progression I made prior to college, haha. I’ve always known I need to draw daily if I’m going to get better again. Time to shut up and do it.

  6. 6 protowilson

    Great advice! I must make sure my students see this. I will also print out it to look at when I feel glum about my work/drawing habits.

  7. 7 Dominic Bugatto

    Wonderful post , so bang on about a lot of things .

  8. 8 Brhillman

    Genuinely enjoyed this :) Daily doodling is definitely vitamins for artists.

  9. 9 Grace Oris

    Great advice, and it’s not just for art school too. The principles can be applied in other disciplines as well. Thanks for the reminder!

  10. 10 Anne Lessing

    I’m not an illustrator (I’m a writer), but I found this post inspiring and helpful. Everything you say here can be applied to writing as well, and this post is so well-written and funny that I couldn’t help but read it. Excellent work, and thank you for writing this!

  11. 11 Samantha

    Great blog post, definitely worth the long read. They definitely feel like common sense, but it feels good to be reminded how important it is to simply enjoy the act of drawing.

    I find it helps to keep a personal “secret” sketchbook that no one sees for when I need to draw ‘for me’. Separate from all the work-share-post ones. This way I can just have fun, and not think about if it’s looks cool in the end. If it does sweet, onto the internet it goes, if not, it’s my happy little secret :)

  12. 12 Chris Kennett

    Thanks Phil, that is one of the greatest blog posts I’ve read in a long time. I agree with you 100% If I may add another heading “Patience”, I’m 35 and have just had my first children’s book printed. A lot of kids ask me similar questions (to the ones they ask of you) and they all have one thing in common, they want it NOW! Success NOW! I couldn’t have created my book at 20, even 30! A little humility and Patience and things will happen when the time is right.

    Thanks for sharing :)

  13. 13 Michelle Kondrich

    Really great post, Phil. Thanks!

  14. 14 VERWHO?

    This is just too damn true and too damn beautiful, so I’m gonna pass it around a bit.

  15. 15 Rabbit Town Animator

    Wow! This is a great read. I am a 2D animator/illustrator and what you wrote was informative and really enjoyable to read. I have a weakness in backgrounds…best get on to making some I think ;)

  16. 16 Kwatkins_artist

    A great kick in the butt…and inspiring too! Thanks! Wishing u amazing success!

    Live. Laugh. Be At Peace!

  17. 17 Tomas

    I didn’t read the article but the kid slide cartoon is one of the most original jokes I’ve seen in the long time.

  18. 18 Zack

    Great piece! I’ve been plugging away at my own webcomic for the last year and this was just the breath of fresh air I needed to keep the spirit alive.

  19. 19 Ridge Rooms

    I want to give every paragraph here a big sloppy kiss. I’d say I’ve struggled at some point in time with every single issue above. Thank you for this post! I’m especially gripped lately by the part about losing excitement for something you’re working on. I have a piece I keep putting aside because although I know it’ll kick-ass in the end, the process isn’t really grabbing me. I thought maybe my instincts (about its eventual kick-assness) were off, but I’m following your advice to try and rethink how to make myself excited about it again.

    Thanks, Phil, for being so candid about all of this! I think I may need to print this post out and paper the wall above my drawing table with it for a while until I get some kinks in my process worked out. I’ve worked with many famous artists & cartoonists over the years, and most were aloof about their work … it always makes me believe if I’m struggling with some of the above issues sometimes, then I’m not a pro artist. Now I know that’s not true.

    -ridge.

    p.s. and you’re absolutely right about if-you-put-it-on-the-Internet-they-will-come

  20. 20 Courtney

    Fantastic post with great tips and awesome drawings! Thank You!

  21. 21 Tom Sexton

    Good stuff. It all comes down to love of the craft.

  22. 22 Chris Otto

    Excellent advice! After reading through the tips, it’s all things that seem so simple, but we often forget them. Oh yeah, I’m supposed to be having fun with this! Seems obvious, but it’s hard to keep it in mind all the time.

    I’ve only just started drawing comics, and it quickly became something I look forward to doing every day.

  23. 23 Renee K

    This is a damn good post, Phil. This is good for college grads and seasoned professionals alike. Never get lazy!

    Thanks!!

  24. 24 Stephen

    Thanks, Phil. I’ve had a super crappy, self-loathing kind of week, and this was some fresh air. Henceforth, I will try to have a lot more fun. :-)

  25. 25 hotcreosote

    I do not draw at all. This is excellent advice for anyone in the art world (broadly defined.) Thank you, sir!

  26. 26 wings

    thanks for this. especially the part about art ruts.

  27. 27 James Burks

    Great Advice. Thanks for taking the time to share.

  28. 28 Amanda

    Thanks. :) This came to me at just the right time, and is much appreciated. Best of luck to you!

  29. 29 Dan Wolfe

    Great post. As everyone else has said, really good advice applies to all sorts of things not just illustration (obviously substituting drawing for whatever it is you want to do!)

    I do love the mental image of the deadline meltdown! :D

  30. 30 susie g

    phil, this is so awesome & totally inspiring! you rule.

  31. 31 Matt

    This was awesome. Thank you! There was a lot of really great advice and good positive things for me to think about. Seriously, thanks a ton!

  32. 32 Tali

    That is just brilliant!
    By the way - it is REALLY hard to find old videos of Etta James on Youtube.. I’ve tried before!! Where are they all hiding?!

  33. 33 Marinn

    I fall for this post. Soo-damn-true!
    Thanks for the reminder.

    PS: you are a great writer too :)

    Cheers..

  34. 34 Phil

    Tali: This one is my favorite!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WzibSiJv8hc

  35. 35 jackie

    Brilliant piece. I get asked the same question so many times and have been thinking about putting something similar on my website so that I can stop repeating myself.
    And there are lessons in here that I have forgotten after 30 years of working as an illustrator, so thanks.
    Will link to this piece when I have written mine.

  36. 36 John

    a great read to start my morning and keep me motivated! thank you very much for writing this and posting it on the internet ^^

  37. 37 Lee

    Wow, fantastic bits of advice here, thanks alot!

  38. 38 matt

    Thank you so much for playing hooky from your three daily drawings to write this post! It’s very much appreciated. Still working the day job and trying on freelance illustration in any free time I have it’s easy to get bogged down. To read so much good advice in one spot is tremendously invigorating. I feel I could draw tall buildings in a single bound ;-) Thanks again illustration guru!

  39. 39 Penny

    Fantastic inspirational reading for anyone, not just budding illustrators. Completely hit the spot on several fronts, thanks!

  40. 40 Björn

    Great post, really inspiring (to a degree that I felt compelled to comment on your post which I hardly ever can be arsed to do)! Obvious but none the less important things to keep in mind (and be reminded of every once in a while) when working in the creative field. If I may I would also like to post yet another advice here: I have found it very useful at times (especially when you’re pitching your work to clients who for one reason or another may not be that experienced in buying illustration work, design work or the likes of it) to try and put your finger on and explain how your work will translate into value for your client. For example; If you want to illustrate for a magazine or newspaper you would explain how editorial illustration can be a great alternative to photography at certain times - for instance when publishing an opinion piece or something similarly notional where a photograph just won’t provide the desired impact (or just is’nt an option at all). It is important to keep in mind that many “buyers” of your work are people that feel more at home with figures, diagrams, etc. and hence can have a hard time in understanding the value of something as abstract as art. And I’m not saying this is something that goes for every comissioner because I have, and I’m pretty sure you have too, had the pleasure of working with people who understand the value of artistic freedom as well as the importance of a decent paycheck, but none the less - I think this is something that helps a lot when communicating with clients. Again thanks for a great post, I really like your work as well. Peace.

  41. 41 Jacques Nyemb

    Thanks so much for posting this! It’s really helpful stuff!

  42. 42 Aisha Thani

    I should do that spend a whole year drawing backgrounds thing…
    all awesome advice I think everyone should follow ^^

  43. 43 Andy Fanton

    I’ve read a lot of words in my time, but none more wise than these. Excellent, excellent article!

  44. 44 Joel Christian Gill

    I teach at an art school and this sounds a lot like a speaker we have come down from CCS Center for Cartoon Studies in White river Junction Vermont Alec Longstreth you can see is version of this here: http://www.alec-longstreth.com/comics/comics_love/

  45. 45 Joel Christian Gill

    I teach at an art school (NH Institute of Art) and this sounds a lot like a speaker we have come down from CCS Center for Cartoon Studies in White river Junction Vermont Alec Longstreth you can see is version of this here: http://www.alec-longstreth.com/comics/comics_love/

  46. 46 Darryl Ayo, who is VERY good, thank you

    Phil, I love you man. You are the best doodly dude! I’m so glad this post of yours has reached so many people!

    And dang this post hit home like whoa. Time to stop moping and start mopping (as is mopping the pages with ink). You’re a great dude, an inspiring figure and a mean ink-slinger. Can’t wait to see your BOOK, man!

  47. 47 Tykayn

    yay good advices :)
    i would advice to draw outside and with some friends who love to draw too, to travel to see new things and keep drawings that are not good, to see how you evolved and to point what you have to improove instead of acting like you never did anything wrong.
    the important is to stand up!
    and enjoy :)

  48. 48 adam

    wow, awesome stuff! thanks for sharing.

  49. 49 eozberk

    I skimmed the other replies and didn’t notice any mention to the amazing drawing of the kids on the slide. Made me laugh pretty hard.

    Your point about the internet is right on. I found this post through tumblr.

    Meanwhile, I’m no artist but I’ve toted around several sketchbooks since highschool. Great advice Phil!

  50. 50 brad

    thanks for the great read! good insight and i have always enjoyed your work!

    cheers!

  51. 51 ShadowXEyenoom

    Thank you really much for posting this :) This are going to help me alot ^_^

  52. 52 lesley

    love it. simple and goes the same for designers.

  53. 53 riflow

    I love you.

    I’m going to bookmark this and use it as a pick me up for when I feel depressed, inferior, unmotivated….you get the idea.

  54. 54 pam wishbow

    you totally just got me out of my rut :)

  55. 55 tyler

    thanks for saying what we all think but never take the time to write down. reblogged/reposted in every way I could.

  56. 56 Joy Mallari

    Thank you for taking a break from drawing and writing this! These are super obvious secrets but only made more powerful by the fact that someone else is experiencing and articulating them as well.

    We go to art school because our entire lives we’ve enjoyed making art: drawing during school lectures, on road trips, even at the kitchen table. It’s always a refreshing reminder to post grads that we chose this line of work because it’s fun. FUN!

  57. 57 Dustin Cantos

    You know, this is the second time I am reading this. Why?
    During the first reading, I stopped halfway…I stopped because I had the incredible urge to draw again right then and there. So now it is the next day for me, and I just finished reading.

    Thanks so much for the super obvious tricks that I wish I did learn in college. I wish I did learn them then, but I am glad I know now.

    So now I ask, since I’ve read your article, maybe you can look at my artwork as a fair trade? =)

  58. 58 John Platt

    “I’m growin’!”

    I love that!

  59. 59 Jason A. Quest

    Great advice. One thing I would add is to surround yourself with people who will encourage you and challenge you. Not sycophants who’ll tell you your shit smells like roses, and not toxic slime who’ll make you hate yourself, but fellow creators who’ll be honest with you. I’m a lone wolf by nature, so that’s been hard for me, but I found an online community (click my name) that helps with that and I’m starting to make some real progress in getting art made and even getting readers.

  60. 60 Jason A. Quest

    Or since the link in my name didn’t work: http://SequentialWorkshop.com

  61. 61 Paige Keiser

    This article hit the nail on the head - beautifully written and illustrated, thank you! Hope you don’t mind my linking it from my blog.

  62. 62 Julie D'Arcy

    Thank you for taking the time to put this all down. You are completely right.

  63. 63 Tracey

    I stumbled across your post when Google Reader suggested it, wow, do they know me!
    Awesome advice, I especially like the bit about being nice. That is so true and starting to seem like a rarer thing on the internet now a days.
    Taking breaks, another thing that seems obvious but really essential I think to the creative process. Sometimes ya just gotta walk away from what you’re working on and stare out the window or get a coffee or something. Maybe it helps slow the hands down, so they can do their best and not rush through, or let your head get around the whole idea so you don’t lose sight, I dunno. But I agree, taking breaks, yaaaay!

  64. 64 E.D. Lindquist

    Not an artist, but it’s good advice for any creative pursuit. Plus, the pictures make it more fun to read. Thanks for sharing. :)

  65. 65 Rio Aubry Taylor

    Hey, great advice! I especially like the part about not putting down your own work. I once heard a well respected cartoonist go on and on about how much his art sucked. Though I didn’t know much of his work before the lecture, what I saw of his I thought was very good, and there were definitely students there who loved his comics. I felt like putting his art down was a bit insulting to anyone who actually thought his work was good. Kind of like saying they don’t have good taste or something. I often feel that cartoonists are too self-deprecating, to the point of almost being a detriment to the medium. Anyway, thanks!

  66. 66 Rene van Belzen

    Great post. However, it seems only half the work. There is not only art, but story as well. Do you have any good tips on becoming better at storytelling?

  67. 67 leonardo

    thanks a lot for this dude, the stuf that you talked about in this post worth as much as artbook.

  68. 68 Tom Dell'Aringa

    Amazing article, Phil. These things can’t be said enough, and it really shows in your work. Bravo!

  69. 69 Leslie

    Thank you! I needed to hear…ALL OF THIS. :D

  70. 70 John

    Brilliant! I’m 55 years old and it re-inspired me. Regarding Rene’s question about getting better at storytelling: read short stories. The shorter the better. I recommend Lydia Davis (she is AMAZING), Raymond Carver, Hemingway of course, and Wodehouse’s Jeeves and Wooster stories. Read anything by any of these people and then start designing characters. Then comp up some storyboards. Learn a lot and have big fun.

  71. 71 Buzatron

    This is some fantastic advice! Great stuff for aspiring artists and creative people in general!

  72. 72 blossom

    Thanks for tsking the time to write these words of wisdom. I think that they apply to creative people in other fields as well.
    Cheers

  73. 73 Ben Rankel

    I really needed this.

    Thank you so much.

  74. 74 Joe Mills

    Really great post…as someone not right out of college who is trying to drum up some freelance illustration work, it was a much needed kick in the pants.

  75. 75 wwwjam

    Best advice I’ve read in a long LONG time.

  76. 76 Leroy

    Thanks for sharing your experience Phil.
    Love your work.
    Regards
    Leroy.

  77. 77 Yaku

    Thank you so much for posting this! I’ve always felt torn about drawing… the thing is I don’t like doing it every day because I find my own skills lacking and even though there has been a lot of improvement in the last ten years (have the crappy high school drawings for comparison), I still find my work lacking. I’ll follow your tips and try to do it every day, although I still feel my work is crap.

  78. 78 Greg Pfister

    I’m not an illustrator / artist and have no plans or desire to be one, but I do write (two technical books, major name publisher). I’ve been, basically, screwing around not getting anywhere on a third, and this really hit the mark with me. Got to go just do it, work it hard, and damn the interruptions and distractions.

    Thank you!

  79. 79 Andro

    The best thing I’ve read in a while. Kudos for this :) Time to draw!

  80. 80 J. Edward Edens

    Thank you for this.

  81. 81 Dave Flodine

    Wow, this is a great blog post that more artist’s need to read. I don’t think i found one thing i disagree with. Thanks for sharing and good luck to you :)

  82. 82 Jess

    I think the most helpful thing for me that you’ve said is not to trash talk yourself. I’m sort of in the habit of doing it, since I don’t want to appear pretentious or anything, but I never really stopped to consider that there may be a difference between being pretentious and having pride in your work.

    It’s also sort of comforting to hear that other artists go through periods where stuff they draw just turns out like crap. I feel like I almost go through a monthly cycle of this. Like art PMS.

  83. 83 Kenny Grady

    This was really helpful and inspiring. Thank you for taking the time to share your knowledge.

  84. 84 Adam

    This has helped and inspired me no end. I feel like I often need a little kick in the right direction when I get side-tracked, although that kick is being needed less and less and I get older! This is what I intend to be my last kick I need.

    Hope to see you at a convention some day! Keep up the great artwork, by the way. You are on TOP form!

  85. 85 Kevin John Ventura

    Inspiring. Reminds me to be more creative and to grow.

  86. 86 dimaks

    I used to draw a lot when i was in high school, then in college. upon stepping out of the academe, I kinda stopped and concentrated on my office work which is more on research works and dang! you are right, it is hard to pick up the drive again.

    but thanks for this inspiring article. very well written.

  87. 87 dren

    I was enlightened by this post. Thank you!

  88. 88 Mattias Adolfsson

    I just got a mail from a struggling artist and have spent the last half hour trying to answer it, now i found that you already had answered it for me.
    great post I couldn’t agree more!

  89. 89 jim

    Yes sir! Thanks for this. Any professional artist of any stripe would do well to read this. I’m a musician and replacing “draw” with “play” throughout pretty much works, and the other advice translates directly.

    i.e. Play something that you don’t think is within your ability to play. Force yourself to play something that you know will be difficult. Force yourself to play something you have no interest in at all and find a way to make it interesting.

    I do these things. But I’ve never played a motorcycle. Must try that.

  90. 90 cyrus

    Brilliant post. and I think I stumbled across it at just the right time.

  91. 91 Alex

    Hi Phil, I found your blog post by way of drawn.ca and I have to take a moment to thank you for writing it.

    I’m in the process of leaving a day job to take some first steps towards a career in animation on the other side of the country. I’ve been losing focus amidst the day-to-day preparations of the move, but reading these points have reminded me why I’m making the change in the first place. :)

  92. 92 Peter

    I’m a programmer and this is actualy great advice for programming too. Sure, some of the advice takes a bit of creative thinking to apply to my field, but its good anyway.

  93. 93 Richard Thompson

    Thank you, Phil, it’s good to hear this stuff. Even if I might’ve known it already, I forget some of it too often.

  94. 94 radiant

    Hey Phil, thanks for writing this awesome post. It’s a good reminder for things we’ve forgotten.

  95. 95 Falynn K

    Phil! I saw this posted on FB by people who dont know you! Your internet famous! as if you werent already that is :)
    (PS good stuff here)

  96. 96 Luisa Felix

    This is the best posting/blog you ever done. Valuable information and illustrations.—- But you did not mention that some people have the disease Rheumatoid-Arthritis in their hands and there are some days they can’t even grip the pen or pencil. And to down tons of pain pills can ruin their liver or kidneys. Some people drawing production is sometimes limited to their health problems. — But it is nothing to be ashamed of, as long as one continues to draw WHEN THEY CAN DO IT. Please make mention of this. Cartoonists are NOT MACHINES. —- Luisa Felix

  97. 97 CreativeMind

    Thanks.. really useful advices :)

  98. 98 Kate

    Excellent article, really good ideas, and your illustrations make it even better :)

  99. 99 andrewwales

    Awesome advice! Thanks for this.

  100. 100 Mateusz

    Thank you for this post! I know my answer will not cover how grateful I am for putting this together, but it sure did motivate me. It helps to visualize the goal better. It just makes sense. I am personally so angry that us artist must learn the hard business, while usually art eats us all leaving not much energy for business itself. Sometimes it kills the fun, but thinking of it as another challenge forces us to stay on ground and to grow as a man. Thank you a lot for your thoughts!

  101. 101 Bianca

    I learned lots today! Thanks~

    -Bianca

  102. 102 maura

    hey Phil - great article! i have passed this onto my students to read. lots of great points in here, all of which are so important. thanks - hope you’re doing well :)

  103. 103 Christina

    Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    The things I need to hear most tend to come at times when I least expect it. Thanks so much.

  104. 104 Juan

    sweet post.. very well appreciated since i just graduated… it is very obvious stuff.. but it does kick my butt a little bit and makes me want to try harder.. i just opened my sketchbook now… see…

  105. 105 t

    poo slide . . . brilliant.

  106. 106 Lindsay

    Just another silly artist here saying thank you. Thank you!

  107. 107 Cynthia

    Love the blue room! Reminds me of my favorite animated Disney movie, 101 Dalmatians. Great article as well :)

  108. 108 fajas colombianas

    Draw and draw, dont let others influence you. Draw to your hearts desire.

  109. 109 Raziel Azzan

    Wow i just wanna say thank you so much for putting all of this it opened my mind on art if i ever become a better artist its becaus of you again thank you so much

  110. 110 Wally Littman

    I love the work. Thanks for sharing.

  111. 111 RojaMitchell

    Thanks for this :]

  112. 112 HaleyJ.

    Wow! This really inspires me a lot.
    Thank you so much for spending your time to share this!!

  113. 113 Tati

    THANK YOU so much for posting those amazing tips. They came at the right time! I was feeling bad about my art and professional career.

    Thanks, thanks, thanks!

    Hugs and greetings from Brazil,
    Tati

  114. 114 JessC

    the last one is what I think the most powerful :D
    thanks for this sir! stumbleupon sent me.

  115. 115 Ben Thompson

    Nice….however, (not to be picky) but regarding the last, sum-the-blog-up thought, didn’t people came here for your words, not the illustrations/cartoons?

  116. 116 eyesberg

    thank you very much for this!
    It was really inspiring,
    you know I really hate myself but…
    I think I should try to love myself

  117. 117 Zeb

    Thanks for the fantastic tips, Phil! Really down to earth and useful for my career! All the best!

  118. 118 Bryce Hallett

    Awesome!
    It’s always great to read or hear what other freelancers have to say. It’s inspiring and a good moral booster to read the thoughts of another doodler, drawing away, trying to make a living at what they love.

    Makes me feel creative too and go “yeah! That’s totally right on! Must draw more now! RRRAARRr! ”
    thanks for posting!
    cheers!

  119. 119 Kiara Domit

    Thanks for you words! Very helpful, even for those who live in the hardest place to be a cartoonist ever: Brazil.
    Anyway, got me thoughtful and I’m pretty sure it’ll get me working harder!

  120. 120 A. Katia

    I’m so happy I found this. I’m kinda sad that a lot of this came as a smack to the face for me. I really need to start drawing more again. This page made me remember why I love drawing so much! Thank you! I’m going to end up reading this many more times in the future!

  121. 121 Natt

    Perfect! Thanks!

  122. 122 lauryn

    thank you.

  123. 123 Lee Ferguson

    Great advice! Although I like to draw and create art/illustrations I don’t consider myself an artist. However, as an aspiring writer, this advice also works and it really gave me a boost to keep on working hard towards my aspirations! Thanks for taking the time to share and inspire!

  124. 124 Alia

    Hi Phil!

    Just thought I’d let you know that I’ve posted a link to this blog entry on our facebook fanpage. Hope you don’t mind!
    http://www.facebook.com/SoYouWantToBeAnArtist

  125. 125 Sara

    I think that all the replys said how this post is incredible and help us ::)

  126. 126 Matt

    Good and solid advice. I have something to add though. It kind of relates to not shit talking about other peoples’ stuff and being nice to other artists. A lot of people criticize others harshly in the art world. Not to say that critiques don’t have their place. We need critiques, just not the unnecessary aggression that sometimes comes with them. Some people seem to have the belief that if they don’t like it then it’s complete and total shit and because you’ve created such a thing you’re a disgrace. I have had this done to me and seen it happen to others as well. The best way to deal with this is to just brush it off. Take what useful information you can to further develop your work and ignore the rest. Most of these people care more about looking and acting like ‘artists’ than creating art.

  127. 127 Kennie Starks

    Thank you for taking the time to write that cool blog. I dont really like to read, I almost just skipped the words and stared at your art… good thing I read it too.. haha.. Peace

    Kennie/FBC

  128. 128 Pants | Bree Mateljan

    Hey Phil!
    LOVE this write-up! Loads of great advice - I actually passed it on to a few illustrators as well as bookmarked it myself.
    Keep drawing :)
    -Bree/Pants

  129. 129 Xiaine

    Thank you so much. You’ve basically said everything my best friend has said XDDD this is a very amazing post. So appreciate this!! ;w;

  130. 130 Alex

    That really motivated me! just missed the times i used to drawn everyday and have fun with it! nowadays i’m a motion designer but i’ve always wanted to work with illustration and stuff, but as i work only animating things that are already illustrated, i just forgot to keep doing my own drawings. Thanks for remembering me, that i can drawn and that i love it!

  131. 131 Lizzie Buell

    Very fond of this post. Thanks for sharing your insight from one artist to another, it is extremely motivating and uplifting.

  132. 132 Caroline

    this is truly enlightening.

  133. 133 Darshita Panchal

    WOW !! Its was just amazing to read i mean know that i m not the only one going through. Thanks for posting it .. Its truly inspiring :)

  134. 134 Dapoon

    “Don’t trash talk yourself” That’s what got me! Very inspiring article!

  135. 135 Noel

    I gotta agree with everyone else who commented before me - this is amazing and inspiring and makes me feel all bubbly and ready to go out and just… draw.

    My best friend is in Art School right now for Graphic Design and I’m all antsy to show her this. I feel like this is one of those things all Art Students or anyone really needs to see. There’s not a whole lot like words of wisdom to kick start you into wanting to just go for it c:

  136. 136 Matthew C.

    Nice advices. It’s really motivating. Thanks

  137. 137 pooja saha

    wooooooooooaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :D :D
    That simple huh? I am quitting my rut-NOW!!
    Thank You :) :)

  138. 138 Anonymous

    Fuck you, Phil McAndrew. I will never delete Angry Birds off of my phone!

  139. 139 Siaarn

    I’m glad I stumbled this, I’ve been in that whole “I can’t draw, I’ll never learn, IF I DRAW I FAIL SO I MIGHT ASWELL NOT TRY!” mood for way too long, I needed a little something like this. Thanks for taking the time to write this blog, it’s really helpful, I’m sure every artist would agree. <3

  140. 140 Samantha

    This was a great article, thanks for writing it. :) It was really helpful and I learned a lot of things I didn’t know!

  141. 141 Borealis113

    this is really helpfull! now im gonna draw sumthin coz my heart beats faster than its normal beats! Thanks for enlightening us!

  142. 142 Demon Hanzo

    Awesome list. That tree comic had me laughing for a good few minutes. It really made my day.

  143. 143 Kyle T Webster

    This is a great list and very fun to read. All illustrators should read it, in my opinion, regardless of their level of success. Thanks for posting it!

  144. 144 Hanna J.

    Thankyou for posting this, I am a young artist (14 ^.^) and the sooner I learn all of this, the better :)

  145. 145 Kelly

    I am extremely glad I read this! I’m a very young inspiring artist and most people don’t take me seriously when I say I want to be a cartoonist.
    I have been continuously dissapointed by my drawing to te point where I pretty much stopped. To add to that, a close friend of mine is a very (very) talented anime artist. It’s really intimidating, and disheartening when everyone looks at my drawings and says “Thats good!” then looks at hers and says, “WOW, THATS SO AWESOME!” (and she’s prideful about it but I won’t get into that)
    Your post has cheered me up immensely and has inspired me to finish the comic book I felt was a lost cause. Thanks (:

  146. 146 c

    thanks for this (:

  147. 147 Doll

    So, I found this really helpful.. I also see that I have a lot of problems with a bunch of stuff… Like, I don’t think I’m that great and I get in art ruts… and stuff… Yeah..

    But, I am an illustration student! And I do try hard.. But I always worry about not being good enough to do stuff.

    I guess what I’m trying to say is thanks :)

  148. 148 HolyGray

    I am a Math grad student and everything you just said here totally applies to me… in another sense. This article is SO HELPFUL to every person striving to better their own passion.

  149. 149 livila

    What a great post! I was an professional illustrator for 7 years, had some great years, then had the worst year. My confidence was knocked sideways, and I haven’t picked it up again. This is what I needed to read! I need to start drawing again. I’m not me without drawing.

    The paragraph about not trash talking your work is particularly good. Thanks.

  150. 150 Mark

    You draw everyday and you’re drawings still look like shit. Man you must suck.

  151. 151 Mike Moskaliuk

    YES!!!!!!! thankyou andy ristaino for sending me here!

  152. 152 Mark Armstrong

    Flat out one of the best blog posts I’ve ever read. Certainly the best advice for illustrators and cartoonists I’ve ever read. And as others have mentioned, you’re an excellent writer in addition to your drawing skills.

    Was very impressed with the bit about the inevitability of “ruts,” and the need to accept and work thru same, and especially impressed with your emphasis on simply being nice and respecting the work of both others and oneself. Heck, I was nodding my head thru the whole thing– brilliant, all of it.

    Will just add that I loved your About page, and that I’m from good ol’ Upstate New York myself. Hats off for a great post, wishing you all the best, sir!!

  153. 153 Abe

    Wow! Great post! I’ve been designing for over 10 years, and your suggestions are as relevant to a seasoned artist as it is to a novice. We need to remind ourselves the value of being artists, or no one else will. Thank you, really needed this…

  154. 154 Jesse Campbell-Brown

    \m/

    great advice here, thanks a million!

  155. 155 Paul Morris

    Great advice for artists, writers and I think, even more so, brain surgeons…

  156. 156 tex

    Hi, this is a great post. i only do drawing for fun and maybe one day get something published for the heck of it, but i think this is going to be very useful. thanks a lot :D

  157. 157 Carmen

    This is awesome and so true! And I do love all the images completing the message :)

  158. 158 Rob

    A very nice post to read.
    Inspiring.

  159. 159 Jacob

    Hear! Hear! Great stuff! :D

  160. 160 Liz Fraser

    I left Art College almost thirty years ago, but even now your comments still ring true. I still have to bite my lip to stop telling everyone what’s wrong with my painting. You need to learn to keep those thoughts to yourself and act on them when you tackle the next painting.

    I’m a botanical artist, but always look at a broad range of artists and artwork as I never know what will inspire me next.

    Loved the cartoons.

    Thanks Liz

  161. 161 Kusha

    thankyou

  162. 162 Shakti Saran

    Hi Phil, Thank You for sharing! I’ve shared it on the StudyLearnAssessTrainEmploy http://www.facebook.com/groups/309232032777 group. Best! Shakti Saran

  163. 163 Marisol

    that was a great post. Thanks for the advice.

  164. 164 Amanda

    Thank you so much for this! A friend of mine was kind enough to share this with me, and it helped to make me a little less fearful/more hopeful. I’m an art student beginning to see how close I am to graduating, and the thought of leaving the comfy school atmosphere that I’ve been in for years to face the real world is a little daunting.

    I may not be fully happy with how my art is right now, but one can only improve, right? The part that helped most is the part on backgrounds. I’ve wanted to draw a good background for so long…it’s about time to kick myself in the butt and do it right?

    They really need a course in art school for how to prepare for the real world. This may be part common sense, but we need more of a reminder for what to do when we reach the real world than those silly “intro to college” courses when you begin dorm life. Now THOSE are plain common sense! Thank you so much for this wonderful blog!

  165. 165 Allan

    I think everyone knows these things but it’s always good to have a reminder. The couple of years before I went to art college, I would draw for hours per day. Now that I’m in college, I barely draw. Once a week maybe. Although it’s slightly because I’m learning 3D instead, I still could have drawn a lot more. I have had some success but it feels like I’m still coasting on the progression I made prior to college, haha. I’ve always known I need to draw daily if I’m going to get better again. Time to shut up and do it.

  166. 166 pablo

    Thinking it… You´re rigth this is obious and they should be thiching it at the schools… Another education fail

  167. 167 SOPHIA

    I reallllly loved this post. Thank you so much!

  168. 168 Nightmaresky

    Amazing stuff. Thank you so much for the advise!

  169. 169 Hansballas

    I was ready to accept failure until I found this article, thanks so much for this. Hope, once again you come a knocking at my door…

  170. 170 Ben Padstow

    As someone who rediscovered my love for drawing later in life, I just wanted to say thank you for your inspiring words!

  171. 171 Heather

    Your words are SO inspiring! My daughter is 8 and LOVES to draw. She draws everyday, anywhere and everywhere. She has written and illustrated many short stories. She wrote one last year (still 8, then in 2nd grade) that I wouldn’t mind putting on the internet (as you suggested) - but where? Shall I send it into PBS Kids or a children’s magazine (Cricket)? Just think it would encourage her to keep drawing (though she doesn’t really need any encouragement). I’m looking for some guidance and you seem to know what you’re talking about. Thank you!

  172. 172 lily

    Your advices are is very inspiriting; I would make a great effort to follow your words.
    Thank s for sharing your input and for the positive guidance.
    You inspire me.

  173. 173 Jim Fogarty

    Excellent advice, and I have to admit that at least one of the ‘Never Do’s’ you advise against above, I tend to do to all too often. That being to talk down my own work! So thanks for taking the time to put this advice together …….. and keep up the great work!

  174. 174 Tim Hilario

    I’m a photographer but can so relate to this! Thank you thank you thank you..

  175. 175 Lisa

    I’m not a cartoonist, but I am an artist and I found this really helpful! Thanks for the advice!

  176. 176 peter

    Thank you. I teach high school and will print this out for a discussion with my classes on Monday. Just what they need to hear.

  177. 177 Norman Petersen

    I just stumbled on to this (thumbs UP!).

    Your list is awesome and as a working artist I have to keep all this stuff in mind pretty much every day.

    In a way, I just posted about this on my blog. Only one tip, though: LOOK MORE. Please give it a read but then come back here. This site rules.

    N.

  178. 178 Jeroen

    Thanks! Reading this was really useful!

  179. 179 kominki

    My wife and i have been very delighted when Chris managed to finish up his inquiry from your precious recommendations he gained using your blog. It’s not at all simplistic to simply choose to be freely giving tips and hints that other folks could have been selling. And we remember we now have the website owner to be grateful to for this. The type of illustrations you’ve made, the straightforward web site menu, the friendships you will make it easier to engender - it’s many fantastic, and it’s facilitating our son in addition to us feel that this idea is thrilling, which is certainly extremely serious. Thank you for all!

  180. 180 GREG.D

    I couldn’t have stumbled upon this blog at a better time as now. I really needed to read something like this. Thanks :)

  181. 181 Lauriem

    Right on point.
    Right on time.
    Might actually produce some work this year!

    Thanks for a well written,
    Well illustrated article.
    Most generous!

  182. 182 Carlos Pupa

    Bookmarked! Thanks for an amazing post, will read your others posts.

  183. 183 Hobert Sunkel

    Superb editorial. Remember to keep up the excellent work.

  184. 184 Henrique Athayde

    This text is great. I think you talked about everything every young cartoonist/illustrator need to know.

    Thanks for this. I think I’ll print this and put it on the wall behind my desk. It is really really inspiring.

  185. 185 Squir

    Wow, this is so useful I’m putting this as my homepage! - so I’ll remember to draw every day.

    Your stuff is really great and inspiring, and pretty whimsical at that! I’m so glad Google led me to you.

  186. 186 karen

    Thank you so much for taking the time to do this! It did help a lot!

  187. 187 Muay Thai Kick

    Nice man, even thou I usually write about Martial Arts, I still enjoyed this post.

  188. 188 MONIKA

    Great article, I am a holistic health practitioner and this article is an inspiration to me! Good job! : )

  189. 189 Joyce

    I started to draw a motorcycle. :0

  190. 190 Flora Lynn

    I’m extremely pleased to find this page.

  191. 191 Shawnte

    Interesting read! I agree, I am a freelancer artist and I work 7 days a week as well. It just comes with the territory.

  192. 192 Gannonman

    Wow, I am one term away from graduating a small and rarely heard of art school and the further along I went the more depressed and uninterested in art I became. Their whole program is focused on training their students to produce future graphic design projects for corporations like letterheads and corporate indexes and envelope covers and they only had one teacher who encouraged us to do creative things and even she said that it was probably the last time we would be able to do it. I have not drawn or painted much of anything for the past year and a half because of this and yes you are right my creative drive has weakened so much because of this combination. I was seriously considering just giving up completely until I read this and I CANNOT THANK YOU ENOUGH!!! PLEASE DON’T STOP REACHING OUT WITH ENCOURAGING INFO LIKE THIS FOR PEOPLE LIKE ME.

  193. 193 Christopher Crawford

    Wonderful thoughts, inspiration and driven words. Superb.

  194. 194 batasfana

    thank you so much for writing this! appreciate your thoughts!

  195. 195 Will

    I didn’t read all the comments so this may have been said already, but I think this applies to more than illustrators, but to any kind of artist in general. I’m an aspiring drummer, and I’ve been given the same sort of tips many times.

  196. 196 kate

    thank you for this! :) i found your advice to be very useful x

  197. 197 BB

    THANKYOOOUUUUU!!!!!!! Yes, even though this does seem super obvious, it is important and helpful for us lil bebe students to be able to get this reinforcement from someone we admire!!!

  198. 198 Patty

    Thanks for restating those things I tell my high school art students all the time. Some of us are trying to teach this stuff, we’re just having trouble getting students to pay attention. Maybe I need better illustrations!

  199. 199 Iliana Segur

    hahaha, loving the vids :)

  200. 200 Ethan Anarchy

    Overwhelmingly inspiring.

  201. 201 Liz Heller

    What a great post to read after an all nighter working! I’m an illustrator working to bust out of my night job situation, and took a lot out of this post of yours. It’s charming, down to earth and offers a load of insight and encouragement, and its put me in a good place. I am now invigorated and excited that when I wake up tomorrow I’ll have plenty of time in the day to just DRAW and play for fun and for serious in the studio. Thanks for your time and for the sweet and inspiring message to all us cartoonist/illustrator folk!

    Happy doodles!
    -Liz Heller

  202. 202 lilz

    These are really good tips! I normally hate everything I draw but maybe not any more! This could also probably apply to writing and other creative arts!! This post definitely helped me!

  203. 203 Rachel

    Amazing post-every single bit of it! Am off to do some drawing now..

  204. 204 MOGOFE MMAUPA

    I want to be a cartoonist i need an advite from you to help me.

  205. 205 MOGOFE MMAUPA

    PHILINTHEBLANKS.COM

  206. 206 MOGOFE MMAUPA

    I want to be a cartoonist.

  207. 207 Simon Shawn Andrews

    Wow…some of the best advice for artists I’ve read. I see amateur artists trash talk their own art quite a bit - they don’t realize how it affects how others perceive them.
    Something I also hate is when I am talking with another wannabe artist and they are always name dropping successful artists to me, implying that what they are doing is more worthy of what i am doing. My biggest peeve.
    Btw, your illustration is fantastic

  208. 208 Miwa Lee

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!! I have been thoroughly enlightened. I’m so glad I stumbled upon this post (I think it was from C.H. Greenblatt’s tumblr page, which I also stumbled upon). I’m just now starting to realize that I really want to pursue an art career so I’m doing my research to figure out how to do it right so I can rub it in my parents’ face (just kidding… but I am going to do my best to not to end up like the starving artist they said I’d be)! But you’re not kidding when you say “Super Obvious” because I’m dealing with a bunch of the problems you mentioned and problems I didn’t realize I had (like having that need to always impress).

    Thanks again! I loved the illustrations, too!

  209. 209 portal lubartów

    I’m still learning from you, but I’m making my way to the top as well. I certainly love reading all that is written on your website.Keep the information coming. I enjoyed it!

  210. 210 Wynne Marshall

    Phil, oh sage one, this was excellent, sound advice. Great blog post.

  211. 211 Vanderboom

    Terrific paintings! This is the type of information that are supposed to be shared across the net. Disgrace on Google for now not positioning this publish higher! Come on over and talk over with my web site . Thank you =)

  212. 212 Denise Farinsky

    Wow! I really needed to read this today! Thank you! I was a high school art teacher for 12 years and now I am pursuing my dream as an illustrator. I wish I knew in college what I know now, but being a late bloomer is okay with me. I just gotta take it day by day :)Thanks again! Shared it with my FB page :)

  213. 213 andre saroba

    Great advices man! Thnks!!

  214. 214 northierthanthou

    Some of these lessons would be good for other creative jobs as well.

  215. 215 reem

    i want creative idea to start a job from my home to all over the world, even if the salary is cheap..

  216. 216 What to draw

    Don’t limit your influences resonates with me, though you can say that about a lot of things sometimes inspiration comes from something that you never would of taken a second look at. Thanks for sharing.

  217. 217 JennyB

    I keep coming back to read this, especially when I need to buck up a bit. Thank you!

  218. 218 Pervyetti

    thank you for this i feel motivated in a way….

  219. 219 Rahul

    I really appreciate this post. I recognize that it is written for younger children, Thanks for the advice.

    Rahul

  220. 220 nicole

    I only just found this-better late than never! Everything you say is so true, I wish I could have read it sooner. I’ve been letting the fear of not being good enough overwhelm and stop me from doing what I love. Not anymore! I am going to go and draw everything, and draw and draw until i love the results. Thank you so much for taking time to write this!

  221. 221 Dragonvale Hack Tool

    yehhhh,wow thanks a lot sir,mah all doubts cleared,a very very very thanks .Hattss Off :)?

  1. 1 Obvious secrets we should know
  2. 2 faces sketched while in class | Seen Blog
  3. 3 Super Obvious Secrets That I Wish They’d Teach In Art School | Illustration.org
  4. 4 Mental Transfer Relay » Phil McAndrew Advice
  5. 5 Super Obvious Secrets That I Wish They’d Teach In Art School « rippling books
  6. 6 odds and ends « Teachable Moments
  7. 7 The Webcomic Beacon | Episode #190 – Newscast for May 22nd, 2011
  8. 8 Super Obvious Secrets That I Wish They’d Teach In Art School « escadesenho
  9. 9 Super Obvious Secrets That I Wish They’d Teach In Art School at Marvelous Mustache Factory « Spiral Bound
  10. 10 Newscast for May 22nd, 2011 | The Webcast Beacon Network
  11. 11 Art & Story 185 – The Big Redbook : Art & Story: The Show That Digs Deep Into The Craft Of Cartooning
  12. 12 Citric Comics - Street Drawing Practices
  13. 13 Super Obvious Secrets That I Wish They’d Teach In Art School « Annie Batten Illustration
  14. 14 Open Thread and Link Farm: Secret Gender Pole Dancer Edition | Alas, a Blog
  15. 15 Advice on Creativity | Literary Abandon
  16. 16 In which there are frogs « Reaction Formation
  17. 17 Free Art Instruction: A Few Good Links » Ragged Claws Network
  18. 18 Weekly Journal May 29 – Jun 4 2011 | STLWebcomics.org
  19. 19 weekend pickthrough- writing binge edition. « broke 207
  20. 20 Open Thread and Link Farm: You Know What The Meat Drawer Is? Edition | Alas, a Blog
  21. 21 [kozoklikanje] Doslovno nevjerojatno
  22. 22 a few helpful links « the doctor dave
  23. 23 Art workout | The Art of Daniel K. Lorentsen
  24. 24 Lindsey Wiebe » Delightful Advice for Artists
  25. 25 Como fazer sua História em Quadrinho (HQ) dar certo? « Carjes
  26. 26 Inspiration « juliahummel
  27. 27 Mail Bag « Gibbo Comics
  28. 28 Wonderful Wednesday!!! » Alex Beadon Photography
  29. 29 All Muscles Require Exercise « Informal Introspection
  30. 30 Phil McAndrew helps us out | FSU COMICS
  31. 31 Super Obvious Secrets That I Wish They’d Teach In Art School « xomartynxo
  32. 32 Inspirations | Pearltrees
  33. 33 PIZZA PIZZA: The Phil McAndrew Interview | STUDYGROUP blog
  34. 34 briarpatch | Pearltrees
  35. 35 May 10 Whisper: ‘Stagnant Little Pool of Moldy Potential’ | Defining Audacity
  36. 36 May 10 Whisper: ‘Stagnant Little Pool of Moldy Potential’ | Defining Audacity
  37. 37 So you want a creative career… « Design Sorbet
  38. 38 Phil McAndrew | MAXIM NORTHOVER
  39. 39 So you want a creative career… | Design Sorbet
  40. 40 Inspired. | Uma
  41. 41 The Whimsical World of Angela Oster | GoMediaZine
  42. 42 The Whimsical World of Angela Oster - Articles in IT and more | Articles in IT and more
  43. 43 The Whimsical World of Angela Oster | WordPress Coders - Articles
  44. 44 Today is Friday | gusrweatherington

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