My Favorite Artists
Understanding what influences and inspires you can spur your creativity. I have a LOT of favorite artists. You have to love art and appreciate art in order to draw and get better. My favorites artists I mention here will be limited— just because there are so many, but they will be the ones that influence me the most.
1. Lisa Frank— I loved the stickers growing up and the stationary and the folders and just EVERYTHING. So even though my art style looks nothing like hers, I still love it.
2. Vincent Van Gogh— do I need to say more. I have always called his art the beginnings of animation. There are not many painters that can make movement with a single image, so he's my favorite— even if he was a little odd.
3. Daniel Conway— he's more of a lesser-known artist in Europe, but his work is absolutely gorgeous. He's like two or so years older than me, but he's eons ahead of me. I don't recommend comparing yourself to other artists— each person is unique with different hardships and experiences. You are expressing yourself as an artist, so there's no comparison needed.
4. Hayao Miyazaki— probably should be higher on this list, but I'm not trying to put the super famous at the top— just the most influential to me. He is a modern-day Walt Disney, but he does it all. If you don't know him and haven't seen his movies— you are really missing out. My favorites are: Spirited Away, Howl's Moving Castle, Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, and My Neighbor Totoro. However, I recommend all of them.
5. Glen Keane— you may not have heard of him, but if you watch Disney, then you have seen his work. He was the lead animator for The Beast, Ariel, Aladdin, Pocahontas, and Tarzan. It's probably very true that we admire the people we will probably never catch up to and this guy is scary good at drawing. Don't be intimidated by your hero's.
So I used to have a lot more books than I have now (I had all 56 Inuyasha manga, the Twilight series, the Harry Potter series, and a bunch more). I moved so much that it was getting difficult to tote and haul all of my books around, so I limit the amount I actually own now.
I have enough to keep me occupied. There are a few ways you can get better at drawing. You can take a class, find a mentor, or you can find drawing books that push your knowledge. Either way I have found a few books that have helped me and there are many, many more out there.
Cartooning the Head & Figure by Jack Hamm is an older book. I have found it useful for variations of characters and to simplify noses. I drew anime a lot in high school, so I basically only learned how to draw one nose. This book helped to break out of that habit.
Another book that got me out of my artistic rut during my depression was How to Use Creative Perspective by Ernest W. Watson. My sister Aleya was studying at Herron and she got me into their library and I found this gem.
What this book was great at was general perspective, but it helped me develop my mind's eye further so that I could understand curves and circles in perspective.
There are plenty of drawing books that can help you to cultivate your drawing skill. Never stop learning.
I have had many drawing teachers through the years because I have just taken so many drawing classes through school. There are a few that stand out and have been instrumental in developing my skills.
Raymond Melevage— he is a master at drawing. He is so good that I was petrified of failing his class and when he looked over my shoulder, was the most gut-wrenching thing ever. He was my teacher in my senior year of high school.
I drew this in his class:
Dan Baldwin— this is the guy I learned how to digital paint. It ended up being my favorite thing ever and I owe it to him. He is really good but he is also very approachable. I had many of his classes when I was in CGT. I took illustration, storyboarding, and a bunch of other courses from him.
Chris Oatley— he did not directly teach me, but I learned a lot from his tutorials. He is a character designer at Disney.
Learning How to Draw
It's difficult because ultimately you learning to draw and get your ability to where you want is up to you. It is completely dependant on your ability to find your own flaws.
There are three videos on Youtube I will leave you with. They can definitely direct an aspiring artist better than I can.
Understand learning to draw is a process, but you will ultimately get better with drawing if you work out your weaknesses.