Wacom eStore - official Onlinestore Wacom InfoChannel http://eu.shop.wacom.eu/wacom-infochannel?p=2 2018-03-22T11:07:43Z How to Draw and Animate With Weight with Storyboard Artist Mike Morris http://eu.shop.wacom.eu/wacom-infochannel/how-to-draw-and-animate-with-weight-with-storyboard-artist-mike-morris/1114?c=2213303 The Simpsons storyboard artist Mike Morris shows how you can add gravity to your work by applying implied weight to characters and items large and small.

How to Draw and Animate With Weight

We've seen Mike Morris demonstrate how to draw solid characters by "drawing through," but illustrating with mass in mind is just one component of fleshing out a 2-D drawing to give it a 3-D feel.
This time the Simpsons storyboard artist shows us how you can add gravity to your work by applying implied weight to characters and items large and small.

Using Photoshop, Mike demonstrates how considerations in draftsmanship and posing make all the difference in how light or heavy characters appear on a page. There are a number of things to think about in order to not only add weight, but also distribute it through a drawing properly to achieve a convincing relationship between a character and their environment.

Is a character wet or dry? How dense is the character's physical makeup? What kind of materials do they consist of? Answering these questions with your art makes a massive difference in portraying implied weight.

See Morris explain how to illustrate with implied weight below:

Mon, 06 Nov 2017 17:32:20 +100
Coming home to LICAF http://eu.shop.wacom.eu/wacom-infochannel/coming-home-to-licaf/1113?c=2213303 From the 13th to 15th October 2017, the Lakes International Comic Art Festival celebrated its fifth year by taking over Kendal, Cumbria in England. The small market town celebrated comic art from across the world, with over 70 special guest artists, writers and creatives from ...

Coming home to LICAF

From the 13th to 15th October 2017, the Lakes International Comic Art Festival celebrated its fifth year by taking over Kendal, Cumbria in England. The small market town celebrated comic art from across the world, with over 70 special guest artists, writers and creatives from North America, Europe, Australia, Japan and Finland.

Manga and comic artist Mikiko was one of the lucky ones to be able to experience the festival for herself and she quickly felt at home in this little town by the Lake District.

Watch Mikiko´s adventure or read about it below.

(Don’t forget to check out the end of this article for a little surprise ;) )


The event was spread out over several venues, which seemed like a long walking distance on a map. I worried that it might be a bit tedious to get to them. Luckily, once you arrive, you realise that the town is actually very compact and it’s easy to get everywhere within minutes. After one day, I knew exactly where everything was, who to meet in which corner of town, and what to see in which building.

Although the main events were in specific venues, the entire town was involved in the festival - shop windows were decorated all over town with handmade artwork and there were plenty of activities for families and children. 

Comic books in various shops

LICAF was a little bit like "coming home to see old friends" to me, even though I had never met anyone and everything was new.

The locals were really friendly - I particularly loved spending time relaxing at Joey’s Café, where Joey and Ania kept me well entertained. The familiar atmosphere really is the charm of this event, and I came home with many news friends indeed!

Joey’s cafe (c)

On Friday, I worked with five other artists on Cintiqs to produce a six-comic anthology on the theme ‘starting’, which was printed to be sold the next day.
We shared a little room above a café to work on it together, and we had just 4 hours to produce each of our 4-page comics.

The proceeds were later donated to OCD Action, LICAF’s partner charity. I was really looking forward to it, and it didn’t disappoint!

Mikiko giving a live demo and Q&A

In terms of the program, there was so much to see, I didn't even get around to visiting half of the talks or shows. Granted, most of it starts Friday night, so there's some prepping still happening before the grand opening in the evening.

The focus was on the Moomins this year, so there were lots of artworks, models and videos about and inspired by the world of Tove Jansson.

I visited the Archipelagogo Exhibition in the Wildman Gallery to see some adorable creations by the talented Jonathan Edwards and Louise Evans, commissioned for this event. It took everything in me not to take one of them home with me!

Archipleagogo (c) exhibition

By far my favourite part was how friendly and open everyone was. The ease with which people talked, helped and connected with each other left a big impression on me.

Finally, it was amazing to see the big stars such as Sergio Aragones and Stan Sakai just casually walking around Kendal, enjoying themselves and open for casual chats. I loved my time at LICAF, and I hope to go back next year, to see my 'old' friends again.

Special Giveaway!

As I mentioned earlier, on Friday six artists collaborated to make the comic ‘Starting’ which was sold at LICAF a day later, with the money from its sale going to charity.

If you were disappointed that you couldn’t get your hands on it, I’m happy to say that 6 lucky winners will be able to receive one completely free!

Keep an eye on the Wacom Facebook page to find out how!


Part of the comic-book cover of Starting


Follow Mikiko on social media:

Instagram - Twitter - Facebook - Website

Fri, 03 Nov 2017 12:25:04 +100
Let´s Talk Art | How a Digital Workflow has Aided Robert Bruno´s Career as an... http://eu.shop.wacom.eu/wacom-infochannel/lets-talk-art-why-digital-painting-should-be-your-preferred-method/1112?c=2213303 Welcome to the next episode of Let’s Talk Art. In this interview we talk to Robert Bruno, a commercial illustrator living and working in Brooklyn, New York. Robert mainly works on projects in the sports and entertainment industries. He shares with us important reasons for work...

How a digital workflow has aided Robert Bruno´s career as an illustrator

Welcome to the next episode of Let’s Talk Art. In this interview we talk to Robert Bruno, a commercial illustrator living and working in Brooklyn, New York. Robert mainly works on projects in the sports and entertainment industries. He shares with us important reasons for working digitally and networking.

This interview series is produced by Jack Woodhams, the founder of PosterSpy which is an online showcase platform for poster artists. We would like to thank everyone who has responded positively to this series so far and hope you enjoy what´s to come.

So, Lets talk art...

(Robert Bruno with actor Michael Rooker who plays Yondu in Guardians of the Galaxy)






Tell us a little about yourself, when did you first know you wanted to be an illustrator?

I guess I knew I wanted to do some kind of art as a career from a young age. I was always drawing as a kid and i became more and more interested as I grew older. High School was significant as I was fortunate to have a teacher/mentor that helped me plan for college (Pratt Institute) and then the possibility of a career in art.

I shifted my focus to illustration primarily when I reached my sophomore year at Pratt. I really enjoyed drawing and painting, this combined with the possibility to freelance and work for myself doing commercial illustration was incredible appealing.

Colour and brush strokes are a big part of your work, which give it a nice, traditional look. Are there any other styles you’d like to experiment with?

The style you’re referring to was actually several years in the making. I took several years of the History of Illustration and other art movements in college. The style I've tried to establish is a mix of many different artists and schools that came before me.

While, I work mostly digitally on my commercial work now a days, I try to keep it as organic and painterly as possible. The new products and software make this very possible for illustrators and designers.

Robert Bruno´s artwork for the Star Wars franchise

You’ve worked for a lot of huge clients including Disney, ESPN and Olympic Boxing. Is there any client you’d love to work with and haven’t already, and why?

I'd love the opportunity to work with just about any studio, sports team, or brand. Off the top of my head, a collaboration with Nike would be a main goal.

One of my favorite projects is coincidentally also my first 'big break' project. A collaboration with the Philadelphia Eagles back in 2014. I'll preface by saying that at the time, I had really been struggling to gain any kind of momentum or traction with the art. I was coming up on 2 years out of Pratt and beginning to have doubt and also pressured into possibly pursuing a different career. It was when I closest to diverting careers when the Eagles contacted me. The creative department tasked me with creating the key artwork for the season ticket holder packages. This included a montaged cover illustration with several of the key players, in additional to several single player illustrations. The work was used on the program covers, interior pages, as well as the actual tickets.

Another was job I did for 'Pytchblack' an agency based out of Texas for ESPN and Lockheed Martin for the Armed Forces Bowl Game. This was quite an honor as I was tasked with creating illustrations depicting both football players and uniformed service men and woman to go on billboards, bus stop ads, and various advertising material!
A lot of artists stick to one kind of genre, whether it’s sport, film, TV, music or general pop culture. You tend to work in all of these.

Robert Bruno’s artwork for the Philadelphia Eagles Season tickets

Do you feel that expanding your range has helped you grow as an artist?

I think expanding ones range and style is important and necessary for any artist. It forces you to keep learning, keep developing and expanding your overall skillset. For me, working in both the entertainment and sports worlds constantly keeps me on my toes.

I’ve often times taken a motif or specific style/palette/composition I’ve used in one industry and incorporated in a future project in the other. Aside from that, I always try to read up on and stay up to date with current design trends and work that companies are using and producing!

Currently you are an entirely independent artist, no agency, no agent. Do you find this beneficial?

Yes, at the moment. I personally love the daily hustle. In my own words it’s a 'good constant stress.' As a freelancer, there is no limit to opportunities, as long as you put the work in. I also really enjoy talking to and communicating with clients directly. In my experience, information gets lost or miscommunicated when it goes through a middleman or third party.

Do you have any recommendations for artists wanting to go solo, or for artists who don’t have an agent and want to find work?

It really comes down to how bad you’re willing to work for it. As a freelancer without an agent, its entirely up to you. No one is going to hand you anything. That being said, we live in the best possible time for any freelancer. So many opportunities can be found on the Internet. Use every single social media platform that’s available, get your work up on behance, submit to blogs, create a mailing list, open an online store etc. Attending trade shows and conventions is another great way to network and promote your work.

Robert Bruno’s artwork of the Philadelphia Eagles

How long does a portrait usually take to complete and talk us a through your process.

A typical portrait takes around 25-30 hours, broken up into several sittings.

I work just as if I were painting on a canvas. Once I have a concept or idea in mind I start by blocking in the background, then paint in broad shapes to begin defining the form. I then gradually develop the lighting and overall mood with shadows and highlights, then finally build of the detail.

How many hours per day do you spend illustrating?

Monday through Friday I’m typically working for 8-10 hours, usually late into the night/morning. Not included in that 8 hours is time spent printing/packing/shipping prints, answering emails, and managing/updating social media platforms.

Your work is mostly done on a Wacom MobileStudio Pro; do you often take it with you to work away from home?

Since getting the MobileStudio Pro, I take it with me EVERYWHERE. Whether it be a weeklong trip, weekend convention, or a quick day trip. You never know when you might have to get a quick sketch or proposal into a client. Point in case, this past June I was attending a convention in Charlotte. While I was there I was approached by FOX to do a 6-part campaign for the then upcoming show 'The Gifted.' As this was a very tight timeline, the only reason I was able to take on the job was the Mobile Studio.

Having the freedom and mobility of the MobileStudio Pro allows me to be on call 24/7.

Robert Bruno’s set up with the Wacom Mobile Studio Pro

Disney commissioned you to produce some artwork for the latest Pirates of the Carribean film Dead Men Tell No Tales/ Salazars Revenge. How was that experience?

This was easily one of the most enjoyable projects I’ve been fortunate to work on.

I was commissioned to create six character illustrations of the main character from the new Pirates film. After several conference calls with the project managed we wanted to achieve a slightly darker palette to add a grittiness and drama to the characters.

The project took roughly 6-8 weeks from beginnings discussions to the actual creation of the artwork to the approval process and then printing. I created a hand embellished one off of each of the six and sent them off to Disney. They were then framed and displayed in the Dolby Theater on the night of the premiere, which I was fortunate enough to attend.

Robert Bruno’s six illustrations for Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales 

When you sell your artwork, you often add something extra like hand embellishment, why do people like this?

Great Segway! Yes, for the last year or so I’ve been offering hand finishes or embellishments on select prints. This allows for a more personal touch, and for a 1/1 print at a more affordable price then say a full graphite or ink original. It has also offered me a creative outlet to bring back and incorporate many techniques and methods I’ve learned over the years with paint, leafing, ink, and fire.

As you often work digitally, what would you say are the top 3 reasons digital is your preferred method of working?


Time is easily the biggest reason. In today’s fast moving advertising and commercial world we (artists) are constantly under tight timelines for projects. The ability to 'paint' digitally helps compensate for some of this. I dont have to worry about paint drying and meticulous time spend scanning, packaging, and shipping original artwork.


Revisions would be the second reason digital is my preferred method. If I were to create a traditionally painted illustration for a client, I might finish the artwork and submit for final only to have a client request a revision/s on an area or specific color. With traditional paint on a canvas, i would have to first gesso over the area first and then redo each brush stroke with the desired revisions.

Reproductive capability

Lastly, the reproductive capability is another huge asset. In so many projects, clients hire me to do work for use in digital advertising and on their respective social media platforms. When I complete the illustration I save and send to them via email in any file type they need. Its also efficient for myself making prints of my work. I have to adjust some of the levels, and values through 1-2 rounds of test prints and then I'm good to go.

Robert´s work desk

How do you best manage your time between work your social life?

I'm very fortunate to do something I absolutely love. Often times I don’t even feel like I’m 'working.' That being said, the beauty of being a freelancer and being your own boss is the flexibility that comes with it. I don’t mind taking a night or even several hours off any day/night because I know I can make up for it the days before or after! 

You currently live in New York and often travel to comic conventions to sell your art and meet fans. Would you say that’s an integral part of your illustration career and would you recommend other artists attend comic conventions?

I don’t know if I would say its integral for everybody, but it is certainly a valuable component for me. I love interacting with fans, meeting new people, and exploring different cities. Now that there is essentially a comic or horror convention in every major city, I’m able to do just that!

Robert Bruno’s illustration for Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

For any artists not sure what to prepare for a convention booth, what would you recommend?

There are a couple essential items that I'd recommend:

1. Photographty stand / black backdrop - great for displaying prints and signage
2. Industrial strength magnets - great, compact option for hanging prints
3. Poly bags and cases (Various sizes) - this is what I use to pack up each print/order at cons
4. Stand / Stackable cubes - Nice option to display smaller items and for storage
5. Card Reader - I use paypal, super simple.

You’ve often had your artwork seen by the people you painted. Recently, you were able to show Michael Rooker your Yondu painting. How does that feel knowing your art has been seen by the subjects?

It’s a really great feeling, especially as the majority has been incredibly positive in their response. In Michael Rooker’s case, his agent literally found me in artist alley explaining that Michael had been signing my Yondu prints all weekend and relayed how much he liked them. He then asked if it might be possible to get one for Michael, to which I replied 'Heck Yes.' I ended up gifting one to

Michael the following day and he then insisted on signing one and taking a picture with me!

Robert Bruno´s painting of Yondu in Guardians of the Galaxy

After years of work you’ve built quite an online fan base, what advice would you give to artists looking to build their own fan bases?

Create groups in addition to pages. Facebook and instagram have ever changing algorithms for small businesses but having a group seems to be a loophole and opportunity to reach my audience and fans more directly. Mailing lists are also an effective tool.

Finally, where do you see yourself being in the next few years, do you plan to stay a freelance artist or is there something else you’d love to pursue? 

I'd like to stay exactly where I’m at for the next 2-3 years. I love talking to all my clients directly and traveling frequently. Beyond that, I will most likely look into getting and agent to help bring in work.

Thank you for reading

If you enjoyed this article, be sure to share #LetsTalkArt with your friends! And follow Wacom across the social platforms so you don’t miss the next Let’s Talk Art!
Facebook - Twitter - Instagram - 
Youtube - Website 

Be sure to follow Robert to stay up to date with his projects:
Instagram - Facebook - Twitter - 
Linkedin - Tumblr

Let's Talk Art series is written by Jack Woodhams, founder of PosterSpy.
Twitter - Website

Wed, 18 Oct 2017 10:24:38 +100
3 Months of Daring | How to use HSL in Adobe Lightroom http://eu.shop.wacom.eu/wacom-infochannel/3-months-of-daring-how-to-use-hsl-in-adobe-lightroom/1111?c=2213303 Nature photographers Donal Boyd and Benjamin Hardman cover a few Adobe Lightroom tips and tricks on how to make adjustments using the Hue, Saturation, and Luminance (HSL) panel within the development module in order to fine-tune the color balance of your images.

Tips and tricks on how to use HSL in Adobe Lightroom

In the theme of "3 months of daring", Wacom is offering an Adobe Creative Cloud membership until 31 March 2018 for customers in Europe.

To celebrate this great collaboration, we´ll also offer free tutorials of Adobe CC´s most popular apps, for the next three months. Starting with: Lightroom.

This article is written by Donal Boyd and Benjamin Hardman, two nature photographers living in Iceland. For a combined 4+years, they´ve been exploring their local sub-arctic and arctic regions whilst documenting adventures along the way. Over the past few years they´ve utilized Adobe Lightroom on a daily basis and it’s been a quintessential program in their jobs as full-time wilderness explorers and visual creators. 


Adobe Lightroom and HSL

Hi there, Donal and Benjamin here. In this article, we cover a few Adobe Lightroom pointers on how to make adjustments using the Hue, Saturation, and Luminance (HSL) panel within the development module in order to fine-tune the color balance of your images. 

The HSL panel is so powerful because it conveniently divides color into eight groups giving you the ability to select certain colors or groups of colors specifically and alter their visual appearance individually. 

So, what exactly does each of the terms mean in HSL?


Hue is defined as the color shade or specifically the dominance of one color related to others on the color wheel. If you think of all colors directly associated to only two other colors in a gradient it becomes simpler to explain. For example, yellow is related to orange on one side and green on the other. Likewise, purple is related to blue and magenta.

Now let’s take a real-life example such as the grass on the sides of Fjaðrárgljúfur, an ancient canyon formed by many millennia of erosion in the Southeast region of Iceland. 

Notice how the grass in this image, captured in the early summer is green. Though, if you inspect the color further you’d notice it’s “hue” is actually more of a yellow-ish green with subtle tones of orange. 

Take the same canyon several months later (image below) during the height of the Icelandic summer after ample rain & sunlight has led to fertile growth and you’ll notice a shift in the hue. The orange tones have mostly disappeared and the subtle yellow tones have transitioned to a more true green.

Now, it may come as a surprise, but the two photos of the canyon are actually the exact same. In first second yellow-ish example, the HSL panel has been used to adjust the hue of yellow-ish green to a more true green, thus altering the appearance of season. 

In order to make this kind of adjustment using the HSL panel, you can use the hot-key Shift-Alt-Command-H on a Mac (Shift-Alt-Control-H on PC) to bring up the color picker tool. By hovering the color picker over a certain color, clicking + holding, and dragging the cursor up and down you can adjust the specific hue selected. The color picker can also be selected by clicking on the icon in the upper left corner of the adjustment panel.


For example, by using the hot key to select the yellow-ish green in the original photo of the canyon and clicking+ dragging up, the yellow tones are shifted into more greenish tones. 
You’ll notice as you drag further and the color begins to shift more rapidly, the sliders in the panel adjust accordingly. Similarly, you can also simply select any one of the sliders individually and fine-tune them to your liking without using the color picker. 


Likewise, the yellow-ish green hue can also be shifted closer to orange by pushing the sliders to the left or again using the color picker and dragging the cursor downwards. Notice how drastic the results can be below.

The modification of hue can drastically alter the perception of a scene.


Saturation is simply the overall intensity of any color and the same methods of adjusting the hue can be applied to eight basic colors of saturation. Altering the saturation will impact the overall mood of an image whereas a saturated image with bright and intense colors can elicit a sense of excitement or happiness while a desaturated scene could depict a more mellow and moody environment. The hot key for the color picker tool is Shift-Alt-Command-S (Shift-Alt-Control-S on PC).


In the two examples above only the green and yellow saturation were adjusted.



Luminance is essentially the brightness of a color. To adjust color brightness, you can follow the same methodology as Hue and Saturation in using the color picker via the Hot Key Shift-Alt-Command-L (Shift-Alt-Control-L on PC) or simply make the adjustment using the sliders.



Considering all these adjustments you can create completely different images with the same starting point. See some other examples below of images with the same starting point that have resulted up vastly different.


Additional Tips

Hot Keys

A quick way to switch between Hue, Saturation, and Luminance for rapid color adjustments, involves holding down the keys Shift-Alt-Command (Shift-Alt-Control on PC) and toggling between H-S-L using the color dropper (Press H for Hue, S for Saturation, and L for Luminance while holding down the other hot-keys).

Furthermore, the main advantage of using the color picker is that you’ll be able to adjust more than one related color at the same time based on the specific area that is selected. In some cases, you’ll be able to adjust both yellow and orange at the same time with the color picker because both colors exist in a selected area, versus only adjusting one or the other if you just use the sliders individually.

Copy Color Settings

To apply the same color settings from one image to the next you can copy the HSL settings by holding down the hot key Command-C (Control-C on PC) on the image that you’ve made color adjustments and then selecting the following check boxes in the panel.

When you’ve finished, click on “Copy” or press the Enter/Return Key. Scroll to the image in which you hope to apply the same color settings and use the hot key Command-V (Control-V on PC), which will implement the same HSL adjustments that you’ve just copied.

Thanks for reading

Hopefully this article helps you get started using Adobe Lightroom and you’ll be able to take your editing to a whole new level with color specific adjustments!

Good luck at transforming your skills,
Benjamin and Donal


Mon, 09 Oct 2017 10:27:47 +100
Redesigning a brand with Intuos Pro | Coffee roaster tells company story on b... http://eu.shop.wacom.eu/wacom-infochannel/redesigning-a-brand-with-intuos-pro-coffee-roaster-tells-company-story-on-brand-new-coffee-bag/1110?c=2213303 The Portland-based roaster Nossa Familia Coffee has just launched a new bag design, with illustrations created by graphic designer Phoebe Low on a Wacom Intuos Pro. A brand redesign story.

Coffee roaster tells its story on brand-new coffee bag - with Intuos Pro

The Portland-based roaster Nossa Familia Coffee has just launched a new bag design, with illustrations created by graphic designer Phoebe Low on a Wacom Intuos Pro. A brand redesign story.

Ready, set, go:

The Portland-based coffee roaster Nossa Familia Coffee has recently launched a new bag design for their full line of coffee products. The new illustrations on the bag were created by graphic designer Phoebe Low, using Wacom Intuos Pro.

Nossa Familia new, sustainable bag design

But what does it take to redesign a coffee bag?

The story behind the process is special in its own right: Established in 2004, Nossa Familia has put much effort into truly being a sustainable, family-oriented and democratic company, ordering coffee beans mostly from small family businesses and letting their staff have a say in most company decisions. In that vein, Nossa recently received a “B Corporation” certification by the nonprofit “B Lab” – the organization certifies for-profit companies that meet certain standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.

Its sustainable philosophy led the staff to also decide on a new, more environmentally friendly material for their bags: a biodegradable material called Biotre, which is made from wood pulp, with polyethylene lining. All of the material is compostable.

Old vs the new Nossa Familia bags 

Show your sustainability

The new bags now also needed an updated design...however, Nossa had just recently already rebranded their product with Portland agency Caffelli – they had given it a sleek and modern new logo and a color palette, switching from dark black and browns.

The logo was changed from a rustic brown lettering to a bright white and red, with clean lines and icons of bean, leaf, and flame - signifying the steps of the coffee process.

The marketing team hoped to update the bag in the redesign process to communicate even more about the family story behind the coffee, a brewing recipe, and information about their new sustainability efforts and B Corp Certification.

Adding character to the bag

Phoebe has been with Nossa Familia for several years and knows the company inside out. The former Studio Art & Art History student from Vermont first started working at Nossa Familia in Portland, Oregon, as a barista. At one point she was asked to hand-paint signage for the espresso bar.

Next thing she knew, Phoebe was designing sandwich boards, working on some digital design and photography for Nossa. “And then – boom – I somehow managed to be a full time in-house designer! It’s been a fun and exciting journey.”

Phoebe Low at work in her studio on the Intuos Pro

Phoebe often creates or works on her drawings with Intuos Pro. “When I first got my tablet, I created simple illustrations of brewing devices”, she says. “From there, the illustrations just started to bleed into many different types of projects.” Today, the graphic designer runs social media outlets for the company, creates signs, menus, email campaigns, printed ads – and then, of course, she makes the new packaging design come to life.

A new brand identity in images

The first things for Phoebe to focus on were the coffee bag sticker labels. She kept them simple and clean: “The package has several fonts and seven colors. I didn’t want to overcomplicate things by adding even more design elements.”

<Add pic of the new labels or Phoebe working at the computer>

Her next task was necessary due to a change of the bag itself: The old retail bags were folded, not sealed, whereas the new bags can be heat-sealed, in response to new food safety regulations. The challenge was to let the customers know – in a playful way – that they now had to cut open the bag instead of simply unfolding it.

Simple, yet unique design elements

Phoebe incorporated further, personal drawings to give the bag its new unique character: “We wanted to keep additional design elements fairly simple, so they would work seamlessly with our branding”, she explains. “I added color to the drawings very sparingly, and I’m in love with the off-registered look, as it feels humble, gives a human presence and a little personality.”

Phoebe´s cute sketch on the Nossa Familia coffee bags

Finally, a modern coffee bag came to life that everyone on the team is proud of and that communicates the company story, using mostly color, fonts, and imagery.

The Nossa team put a lot of work into the new design, Phoebe feels, especially when considering it is “such a small and unassuming bag”. But it was well worth the effort, the graphic designer says: “There’s a lot of pressure to get the brand’s identity across without saying it in too many words. But who wants a bag totally covered in text?”

Some trivia about Nossa Familia Coffee

The company is a Portland, Oregon-based coffee roaster whose goal is to deliver exceptional specialty coffee through deeply-rooted relationships. It was founded on the notion of family (‘Nossa Familia’ means ‘our family’ in Portuguese) by Augusto Carneiro, who began the company importing beans from his family’s Brazilian coffee farms.

In 2004, Augusto first started having coffee FedEx-ed from his grandfather. Since then, the company has started sourcing coffee also from countries such as Guatemala, Nicaragua, Kenya or Rwanda. However, they still source mainly from family farmers and smallholder cooperatives.

Want to know more about Phoebe Low’s work and life philosophy? Check out this video:

Social media following:

Follow Nossa Familia on social media:
Website - Twitter - Facebook - Instagram

Follow Phoebe Low on social media:
Website - Tumblr - Pinterest

At one point she was asked to hand-paint signage for the espresso bar.
Thu, 21 Sep 2017 12:09:47 +100
Behind the Scenes with Oil Painter Krisztián Tejfel http://eu.shop.wacom.eu/wacom-infochannel/behind-the-scenes-with-oil-painter-krisztian-tejfel/1109?c=2213303 Wacom goes behind the scenes with Hungarian painter Krisztián Tejfel, who openes up to us about his creative process and his artistic origins in oil painting. You might recognize his work from the relaxing but mysterious process videos on social media. (Special gift inside)

Behind the Scenes with Oil Painter Krisztián Tejfel

Wacom goes behind the scenes with Hungarian painter Krisztián Tejfel, who openes up to us about his creative process and his artistic origins in oil painting. You might recognize his work from the relaxing but mysterious process videos on social media. 

Get his personal brush set - coming soon:

Many of you asked us about the brushes Krisztián uses. So he´s made a couple of his personal brushes available for you.

Coming soon we will have a tutorial about creating oil-painting brushes, but for a few lucky winners we release these brushes early through a competition.



So we sat down with Kristián and asked him some questions about what life as a self-taught painter is like...

What is a normal work day like for you?

I usually start the day around 7 o'clock. I think it's important to have an early morning, because in the morning it is easier to think about what to do that day, or how to plan it according to my mood, I believe.

If I can, I go for a run. After that, I set out to paint or make reference photography or just make sketches, put down ideas. In the meantime, I answer emails, look through social media and carry out marketing tasks. Then, if I am still in the mood, I get back to creating.

As painting is affected by my mood, there is no rule when I take the "brush" in my hand. But my day looks like this, more or less, until 5 pm. Then I ride my bike, skateboard, meet buddies, play or watch movies ... You know, just the usual stuff.

What is the most important thing to remember when painting portraits?

Each face is different, each face has a different impact on the viewer. This is important to keep in mind, even to reinforce it, as this may be very important to the project.

There are no two identical faces, no two identical stories, that’s how we are wonderful. It is very important for me to feel some kindof emotion with the person I work with ... maybe this is the most important thing.

What hardware and software or other tools do you prefer to use?

I'm currently using a Wacom Cinitq 22HD Touch. The paintings are made in Photoshop.

I also paint with oil paint and I often use these traditional paintings as backgrounds or textures for my digital works.

Do you still practice (analog) drawing (alongside your digital work), and why?

Of course! If I can, I paint or doodle every day. Sometimes this is how a new idea or color harmony comes to life. An artist must always develop and there’s always where to develop. It is important to innovate, to try and strive for new techniques, to cross our own borders.

Making a lot of studies has another advantage over technical advancement: it helps you find yourselves. It’s because you are much more open to experimenting when doing a study.

What do you enjoy most from being a freelance painter?

The freedom! That nobody tells me what to do and how to do it. Today I paint a realistic portrait, tomorrow I come up with an abstract expressionist picture. Of course, freedom is always comes with sacrifice!

What is the difference between working freelance and working in an office studio?

This is very difficult to answer because I have only worked very little for a studio, as I'm not an illustrator. I'm a painter! Of course, I like to paint for a good magazine or brand if there’s a mutual  liking and they don’t interfere too much with my work.

But coming back to the question, if you work for a good studio, you have a solid background, a secure monthly salary, inspirational environment and colleagues if you are lucky, this is definitely an advantage! If you are a freelancer, then there’s the freedom I mentioned, that you can set your own schedule, you can choose what job to accept, what tools you use and how you work.

Of course, there is the shady side of this, too, because with a company all you need to do is work, while as a freelancer you have to find new customers, deal with marketing and lots of other things that are not related to art. This is important for everyone to think about carefully.

How did you become a self-taught artist?

Creation has always been part of my life, I've been drawing and scribbling since my childhood, but I did not plan to be a self-taught artist. This cannot be decided, it just happens that way. I did not study painting or drawing at school.

When did you decide to pursue on your passion?

I can not say exactly when, as you are constantly working on it, even in your subconscious. I don’t think this is a planned thing. You don’t just become an artist or a creator overnight, but you become one with due endurance, humility and talent as time passes. When you realize this, that’s the time to start working hard on your dream consciously.

Do you have any advice on how anyone can start learning to draw?

I learned a lot from reading books, there was no Internet or Youtube when I started painting.

At the age of 10-11, I copied and "analyzed" the works of Picasso and Rembrandt from albums. I found Cubism, the blown up forms interesting, but I also liked realistic portraits. I practiced a lot, scribbled everywhere.

I also did graffiti, so I was interested in anything that had to do with creation. Of course this was not yet conscious ... I just enjoyed it, it came natural to me.

What was the coolest experience you had as an artist?

My work reached a lot of people. My art has been shared and published by magazines and websites that I could never have imagined. I have been able to participate in many great and exciting projects, and I am expected to be involved in many in the future, too, and that is because of my art exclusively.

Did you struggle finding your first job?

No, because I did not think of it as a job, and I still don’t. The opportunities always found me, - but of course, I did a lot and worked hard for them. I believe that hard and enduring work will have its fruit.

What was the most difficult experience you had in your career?

Perhaps this is not exactly the answer to the question, but perhaps the most difficult thing is to believe that you are good at what you are doing, to grasp the small and big successes and to handle them as thy are, that dreams are fulfilled ... And how art has its ups and downs like everythig else.

Despite these statements, I’d say that I am a very optimistic and ambitious person and I believe in myself - in a healthy way, of course.

Where do you see your career future heading?

I feel like my art is transforming, where this stops, I cannot tell. One thing I'm sure about, I would like my paintings to get in high-quality places and I want to reach more and more people through my art. I would like to paint in huge dimensions, mix digital and traditional techniques.

What is the best advice you ever got for your career?

1. Follow your dreams and always do what you want, do not let external influences decide what to paint!
2. Do not be an artist, be a famous artist!


About Krisztián

Krisztián Tejfel is a self-taught Hungarian painter, focussing on classical portraits.

His works reveals the darker side of life, exploring emotions such as melancholy, depression, sorrow, and loneliness. He skilfully portrays these feelings behind the facades of strong, beautiful women. Often their faces apper incomplete.

Tejfel’s works carry hints of surrealism, usually particularly visible in the details around the models’ eyes.

All of Tejfel’s portraits balance between realism and its deconstruction. Whilst firmly rooted in classical art, creatingtraditional-digital hybrids.

Follow Krisztian on social media:
Website - Instagram - Twitter - Facebook - Youtube

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 10:06:55 +100
Let´s Talk Art | Balancing a Full Time Job with Freelance Work - Maria Suarez... http://eu.shop.wacom.eu/wacom-infochannel/lets-talk-art-balancing-a-full-time-job-with-freelance-work/1108?c=2213303 Welcome to the eighth episode of Let’s Talk Art. In this interview we talk to freelance illustrator and graphic designer Maria Suarez Inclan who currently works for top global agency Saatchi&Saatchi. In this interview we explore her illustration style, techniques and Maria giv...

Balancing a Full Time Job with Freelance Work

Welcome to the next episode of Let’s Talk Art. In this interview we talk to Spanish illustrator Maria Suarez Inclan about her experience working in Madrid and London, her illustration style and her techniques. Maria currently works as a designer and illustrator for global agency Saatchi&Saatchi. In her spare time she applies her skills and knowledge to her own personal projects, which has led to official work with some of the worlds biggest brands.

This interview series is produced by Jack Woodhams, the founder of PosterSpy which is an online showcase platform for poster artists. We would like to thank everyone who has responded positively to this series so far and hope you enjoy what´s to come.

So, let´s talk art...









You used to work in Madrid for Saatchi&Saatchi as a junior Art Director and you now work for Saatchi & Saatchi in London. As a young, aspirational artist how was this experience working for one of the world’s biggest agencies?

Yes, It’s been fine so far. As an illustrator working in a big agency it has been really helpful to find out what Art Directors look for in illustrators’ work. Also as a designer I’ve had the chance to work and learn from other professional designers.

Sea Hero Quest VR © Saatchi&Saatchi / Maria Suarez Inclan

You juggle your illustration work with your full time job, social life and everything in between. Would you like to be a full time illustrator one day? Or do you prefer to keep it as a hobby?

I don’t know if I would like to be a full time illustrator, I don’t think I’m keeping it as a hobby either though as I’m getting professional commissions and I take it really seriously. I think that having a job in an agency has lots of perks and I really enjoy the type of work we do.

I guess the main issue is the stability that an agency gives you and that’s something freelancers lack. Also the opportunity to work for different major clients is great. I think it’s nice to come into an office full of different people from other parts of the world that have their unique creative perspectives, I think it’s way more inspiring than working on your own.

I have to admit that organizing your own work and working with flexible hours and not having to cancel plans to stay late working in an agency sounds great though.

Havana Club © Maria Suarez Inclan

Do you have any tips for good time management?

Back in the day I studied two universities degrees (Design and Psychology) at the same time, I remember one semester when I had more than 10 subjects, so I had to learn to manage my time in the most effective way.

When I have a tight deadline, I forget everything else and I focus on finishing what needs to be done sooner. In these situations, good music, lots of coffee and having a clear idea of what you want to do is essential for me. 

When I have lots of projects to work on I think it’s better to focus on the biggest one or more difficult one and finish it before starting the others. Multitasking is a myth, of course everyone has his or her own tricks but I think it works for almost everyone. Also I make lots of calendars, sometimes it’s just for a busy month. I include social and work stuff in different colours to get a bigger picture of the month’s schedule and prepare stuff ahead.

You grew up in Spain and now live and work in London. Have you noticed much of a cultural difference and if so, has this affected your art?

I do notice lots of cultural differences; this is completely fine though. I like that it’s different and new. I miss lots of things from Spain but it’s amazing to experience new things, meet new people and explore different parts of the world. 

Work wise, one of the things that I think that has affected my art, is that in England people take politeness to the next level, they just cannot say in a direct way that something is bad or needs to be re-done while in Spain art directors are way more harsh and perfectionist, they give you creative freedom but they are involved in the process and want to get the best out of it.

In Spain I was doing design and art direction simultaneously so I didn’t have as many steps above me, as I do here. To have something approved it needs to be reviewed by lots of people that have different opinions (people who sometimes doesn’t even have a background in design or creativity) that affect the final artwork.

Crash Bandicoot © Maria Suarez Inclan

For many people, the idea of leaving behind family and friends is a scary concept. What would you say you enjoy most about living and working in a different country?

I enjoy being completely independent and to be able to do whatever I want. I love London, it’s been more than a year and it still feels new. You can do literally everything here, there are new places every week and the amount of creative people you meet here is insane. So I would say meeting new people is what I’ve enjoyed the most about living in London.

Your illustrations have a beautiful, gritty type of style, whilst remaining fun and charming. What tips would you give for adding texture and depth to digital illustrations?

I think that exploring different texture brushes is always good, I tend to use lots of splatter brushes to add texture. To add depth I often use color, to add this depth I explore different tones of the same color and use more desaturated ones for the backgrounds to make the first elements of the scene stand out more. 

Léon The Professional © Maria Suarez Inclan

Hollywood Kits” is a series you created exploring the films of famous directors and showcasing famous props and iconography. Tell us a little bit about this series.

This series was commissioned by Curioos. It’s a NY based company that makes prints and merch. They saw the Wes Anderson illustration I did for “Bad Dads”, the art show inspired by WA movies that Spoke Art does every year. They asked me to do 8 more film directors and I ended up doing Tarantino, Coen brothers, Scorsese, Spielberg, George Lucas, Fincher, JJAbrams and Sofia Coppola.

I think I learned a lot doing this project. As the main idea of the Wes Anderson print was to focus on the stuff he choses for his famous iconic film sets, I had to rewatch the movies and take special attention to details.

The project took several months as even if I had watched one movie I had to rewatch some scenes to remember the most important items. It was a long journey but I’m happy with the final poster and I think it was worth it.

Hollywood Kits © Maria Suarez Inclan

This series eventually led to your official “Kit” poster for Michael Mann’s Heat which was commissioned by Fox. How did that feel?

This was totally unexpected, someone posted the Hollywood kits on twitter and this guy who worked for Fox Home Ent saw it and loved it. He put me in contact with another person who was organizing Heat’s anniversary DVD launch and asked me to do an official poster for the fans of the movie.

The experience was great! They were really helpful providing the movie and making suggestions about what should be on it. I’d love to do something like this again soon!

Hollywood Kits “HEAT” © Maria Suarez Inclan

What other directors would you love to work with and why?

I’d love to work with Spielberg, he is a legend; He’s done some of my favourite movies like E.T. and Jurassic park, a master, mixing the ordinary with the extraordinary. He is probably one of the top ten directors of all time.

There is something special about Spielberg movies, after you watch them you feel like you’ve watched something important and epic, a feeling of completeness. I simply love the way his films made me feel when I watched them. How they have been made, from the sets, soundtracks (amazing John Williams), the camera angles to the casting.

Your current studio set-up includes a Macbook Pro and a Wacom Intuos Pro. How long has this been your go to set-up and is there a reason you chosen tools?

This has been my studio set up for almost 6 years now. When I started studying design I realized I had to save some money to buy a nice computer that allowed me to do all the work they would ask us to do. After the first year at University I had enough money to buy a MacBook or an iMac. It was a tough decision; I ended up buying a laptop, as I knew I was going to be most of my time in University and moving from building to building.

I’m actually dying to get a cintiq, I think it has to be really nice to feel like you’re drawing on paper but with all the perks of digital art (control and speed). 

Maria´s den

Before starting an illustration, do you go start digitally or do you begin with sketches on paper?

I always start sketching on paper; at least I do a couple of little thumbnails or schemes, just to start setting up different layouts and compositions. There have been some occasions when I was in a rush and the deadline was incredibly tight so I would start digitally, but it’s really rare for me. I like the natural feeling of doodling on a paper, it way more fluid.

Your career as an illustrator has been very successful, even more remarkable given your age. Do you feel there’s anything special you did that helped you to get where you are now?

I think one of the things that has helped me the most to get where I am was to join a collective of illustrators in uni (Guts). This was a huge step for all of us, because each of us had different experiences with illustration and we only knew that we all were really motivated and wanted to get better and to do exciting things.

When you find people that are passionate about the same thing you are, is when exciting projects are born. The main objective of Guts was to develop our styles, have fun and grow as illustrators as they didn’t teach us anything valuable in University, so we learned from each other. We published 5 issues of an illustration zine and we got our first professional clients like Heineken. We learned how to deal with clients, promote our work in an efficient way, how to read briefs and how to commit to projects.

Bridge of Spies – Oscar Series © Maria Suarez Inclan

Besides illustration, you’ve also done some commercial design, book layout design and logo work. What would you say is your favourite type of work other than illustration?

I love editorial design, I know everything is digital now. But I have this thing for materials, typography, nicely designed covers… There is something special in paper, a real-life interaction, when you take a book and you notice that the material of the cover feels nice or when the light reflects in a different way on the typography.

Also there is some historic aspect on print, when you’re designing a magazine or a book you know it’s going to be produced, it’s going to be an object and it may be out there for a while. You’re not going to keep a website or an app for years, while you may keep your favourite designed covers of a magazine. So the impact in an individual level is bigger in the long term.

Would you say your extensive skills and design ability have helped your career and why?

I think that it has indeed helped me. Someone that is multidisciplinary is always going to have it easier that someone that is focused just on one thing. Design and Art … they interact with each other, some elements of Design can help improve Illustration and vice versa, some elements of illustration can help make a better design.

Also both require similar skills and abilities. On the other side, Psychology might seem like it’s not related to these fields at all but It’s how crazy how Psychology has helped me develop in my career as a designer and illustrator.

Would you recommend that other designers experiment with different forms of design they’re less comfortable with?

I think that when you’re not comfortable with something it’s because it may be a challenge for you. And challenges make us move forward and actually learn and get better. We learn through experience, and only experimenting and taking new challenges we can get better.

So yes, I would say that exploring other forms of design will be helpful to have a wider perspective for future projects, and you can always apply what you’ve learned to other projects.

Spirited Away © Maria Suarez Inclan

I’m a big fan of your work, especially your use of colour. How do you usually decide on what colours to use for a project?

I usually set up some main colors first, let’s say I start exploring three colors or four colors. Depending on the briefing, I would go for a set of colors of a different one, for example I would start directly with pink, light blue, purple and red for Wes Anderson’s Hotel Budapest poster. But after setting up those colors together, I would try to find some others that work nicely with them, even if they’re not directly reflected in the movie.  

I would play with tone and saturation to get those three to work together nicely. After I have the main ones I usually play with different shades.

Sometimes I also like to think before what colors would be nice to use as shadows and lights, instead of having the same color with a darker shade maybe using a complete different one for the shadows. This usually gives the illustration a nicer contrast and a richer environment. 

Pulp Fiction © Maria Suarez Inclan

What tips would you give to aspiring illustrations that struggle to find the right colours for their artwork?

Also I would say they have to be curious about everything and specially about what other creatives are doing, keep exploring websites, going to art shows, watching old and new films and discovering new ways of doing things. You may have always drawn plants with different shades of green but then after going to a museum and see Matisse’s work, you realize that plant leaves can be blue, red, yellow, pink or black.

When watching movies, you realize color is a powerful storyteller tool, you get the subjective atmosphere the director wants to express with different lightings, and you can apply this to your illustrations as well. 

Where do you see yourself (career wise) in the future? And do you have any personal goals?

I would love to be developing my own projects and I want to be passionate about them. One of my personal goals is to have my own studio, but that is something I want to do in the future, after learning from other creatives and having more experience in the field. 

The Grand Budapest Hotel © Maria Suarez Inclan

Lastly, do you plan to live and work in another city at some point? Or has The Big Smoke become home?

London has become some sort of home for now, but you never know. I used to think I wanted to go to New York, and I think it’s still a dream I want to try.

I would love to come back to Madrid at some point as that’s where my family and where lots of my beloved friends live but creativity wise there is less opportunity for growing in a city like Madrid compared to London or New York and for now I want to focus on doing what I enjoy doing, which is illustration and design and become a better professional.


Thank you for reading!

It was a pleasure talking to Maria, who’s illustration work has a very unique and beautiful style. Hopefully Maria’s experience and advice will help your own work.

If you enjoyed this article, be sure to share #LetsTalkArt with your friends! And follow Wacom across the social platforms so you don’t miss the next Let’s Talk Art!
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Be sure to follow Maria Suarez Inclan to stay up to date with her projects:
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Let's Talk Art series is written by Jack Woodhams, founder of PosterSpy.
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Thu, 14 Sep 2017 13:27:16 +100
Illustration Tips & Tricks | The Blank Page: 7 Ways to Overcome Artist’s Block http://eu.shop.wacom.eu/wacom-infochannel/illustration-tips-und-tricks-the-blank-page-7-ways-to-overcome-artists-block/1107?c=2213303 Looking for inspiration? So is Andrew Rae. The renowned illustrator and cartoonist has worked for international clients such as NY Times and Google – yet, just like everyone else, Andrew knows artist’s block and procrastination first-hand. But he has a few tips up his sleeve t...

The Blank Page: 7 Ways to Overcome Artist’s Block

Looking for inspiration? So is Andrew Rae. The renowned illustrator and cartoonist has worked for international clients such as NY Times and Google – yet, just like everyone else, Andrew knows artist’s block and procrastination first-hand. But he has a few tips up his sleeve that he’s not too shy to share.

Here’s part one of his online tutorial series Luck of the Draw: The Blank Page.

How do you regularly fill the much-feared blank page with inspired art (and make a living with it)? Here are Andrew’s 7 invaluable tips:

Tip 1: Be your own boss

One of the big advantages of being an illustrator is that you can be your own boss. This also applies to what you wear and how you look. And, more importantly, you can choose your hours and (hopefully) your projects as well. This freedom will keep you going. It is the only possible way to keep looking at every image as a new discovery and a journey.

There are plenty of job types for freelance illustrators out there. They include editorial work that complements a text, illustrations for books (watch out, this requires lots of time and work), or advertising – which is often a quick way to make money, but it can be a hassle, too. You might also want to look for jobs in animation or live drawing in front of an audience.

llustration for an advertising job © Andrew Rae

Tip 2: Keep it simple – with pen and paper

Obviously, there are many tools for artists to create and render images. Paper, canvas, screen, felt pen, watercolor, ipad, Wacom graphic tablet, and more. All of these are regularly used by artists in an editorial and publishing as well as advertising, animation or mural context. However, amidst the abundant choice of equipment, it’s sometimes best to turn to the most basic of tools: a black pen on a piece of paper. It’s a quick and clear matter-of-fact way to communicate.

Illustrating with pen on Paper with the Wacom Intuos Pro Paper Edition © Andrew Rae

Tip 3: Get out, get inspired

Everybody suffers from self-doubt and a tendency to procrastinate once in a while. But don’t let artist’s block get a hold of you. Just get out and get inspired, as inspiration can hide anywhere – in books, catalogues, films, exhibitions, on the road or in the bathroom. Sometimes you might find that you get inspired by the things you specifically don’t like – this goes for politics and character traits as well as landscapes – rather than the nice and pretty things in the world.

Donald Trump caricature on magazine cover © Andrew Rae

Tip 4: Stop waiting, start drawing

Once you’re out and about, you might want to keep track of your ideas, i.e. in your phone or on a notepad. But be careful and don’t overwork a new idea. You want to keep it fresh and exciting for the actual drawing, with treasures to be found along the road while working it out. Otherwise the newly found inspiration might dissolve just as quickly as it has emerged.

This means: Stop waiting for inspiration and start drawing. You can always throw an image away if it’s no good. Often you will be surprised, however, as odd little thoughts often resonate for unknown reasons. If you experience difficulties bringing to paper what’s in your head (you might see or feel an idea in your mind, but it won’t translate onto paper the right way) – then still put in the effort and work it out step by step on paper. Don’t let difficulties be an excuse. You can make it work, and the result will be your reward.

“you’re nothing without a tapir” © Andrew Rae

Tip 5: Make it personal and interesting

How do we create truly interesting art? Combining images is one option. Draw a selection of symbols or simple, but emotionally loaded figures – such as a heart and a bomb and a brain and a gun. Now start mixing and combing them in interesting ways, then add character to your symbols to make them more personal. See how that works?

Playing around with symbols © Andrew Rae

Now draw something cliché like a still life, then add figures, tentacles or something unexpected to make it interesting, odd or funny. Draw what grabs your own attention. Have the image ask a question or allude to a story behind the image: Why is this character angry, what is that character thinking?

Remember: If you don’t find your image interesting, why should anyone else?

Tip 6: Find your own style and stick to it

Don’t worry too much about your style. Just let things flow, draw the way that comes to you naturally. Let your way of drawing become your “handwriting” – and just as natural and distinctive. Don’t try to copy other illustrators’ work, it will make your work less individual and characteristic. Avoid comparing yourself to other people and don’t let them tell you what you should do. Everyone is entitled to their own approach to drawing, sketching and doodling. You are your own creative machine!

"Why is he angry?" © Andrew Rae

Tip 7: Don’t overwork your art

Last but not least, one of the most vital tips for perfectionists: Stop before you overwork your art. At some point, just call it finished, and it will be.


Did you like this tutorial? Then look out for part two of Andrew Rae’s Luck of the Draw tutorial series: Don’t Polish a Turd. Coming up soon.

Rather watch Andrew´s spew his wisdom? Here you go:

Some Andrew Rae trivia

Andrew Rae is best known for his line drawing, expressive characters, playful and busy images filled with detail, as well as his sardonic, irreverent look at the world. He is a member of the multi-disciplinary Peepshow Collective, art directed the award-winning BBC animation Monkey Dust and created the graphic novel Moonhead and the Music Machine. Andrew gained special recognition in 1998 when he produced a series of flyers for the legendary club night Perverted Science in London, the vibrant city where he currently lives and works.

Follow Andrew on social media:

Website - Facebook - Twitter - Instagram - Tumblr

Tue, 15 Aug 2017 14:00:25 +100
Let´s Talk Art | Becoming a Freelancer and How it Changed my Life - Tracie Ch... http://eu.shop.wacom.eu/wacom-infochannel/lets-talk-art-becoming-a-freelancer-and-how-it-changed-my-life-tracie-ching/1106?c=2213303 Welcome to the seventh episode of Let’s Talk Art. In this interview we talk to Tracie Ching from Washington, U.S., who has been working in the illustration industry for many years. In this interview, we’ll be talking about freelancing, how to get your work more visibility and ...

Becoming a Freelancer and How it Changed My Life

Welcome to the sixth interview in the Let’s Talk Art series. We will be talking about freelancing, how to give your work more visibility and illustration software.

In this interview we talk to Tracie Ching an artist living in Washington, U.S. Tracie has been working in the industry for many years and has developed many skills during her career as an illustrator. Tracie is currently a freelance artist, challenged with new and exciting projects every day. Most, if not all of Tracie’s work is created with Adobe Illustrator.

This interview series is written by Jack Woodhams, the founder of PosterSpy which is an online showcase platform for poster artists. We would like to thank everyone who has responded positively to this series so far and hope you enjoy what´s to come.

So let´s talk art...

(© Tracie Ching at Awesomecon 2017.)






Tell us a little about yourself, how did you first get into illustration?

The story of how I got into illustration is a bit crazy. I originally went to school for Fine Art, earning a BFA in 2009 with a concentration in mixed media sculpture. It is not an excuse that the Great Recession was the sole reason I was unemployed after graduation, given the nature of my degree, but it certainly made it difficult to find work of any kind.

While I did my job-hunting I attempted to find a lucrative outlet for my artist ability, so I began teaching myself Creative Suite. Looking back, it’s seems somewhat arrogant that my plan was to just make myself into a graphic designer, but in the end that’s what I did.

Once I’d become somewhat familiar with CS I tried to diversify to help build up my skills and start gaining some real design footholds. I began doing occasional design work for VC Ultimate, an ultimate Frisbee company, and worked on personal projects to build my portfolio, specifically vector pop-culture portraiture.

What really paid the bills, was my part-time office gig. My design skills eventually landed me a full-time position at my office gig, and later I earned the title as the company’s graphic designer. Simultaneously I became Lead Designer for VC Ultimate, with whom I still work today. Those personal projects eventually created a portfolio that allowed me to work with several pop culture galleries.

I do not over exaggerate when I say that I worked 16+ hour days, every day, no holidays, for two years. Eventually I was earning enough outside of my 9-5 that I was able to become a full-time freelance designer, and the rest, I suppose, is history.

Tracie Ching and her workspace. © Tracie Ching

How is your current studio set-up like?

Despite the complexity of my illustrations, my workspace has always been very simple. There’s storage for my prints and shipping area, but the heart of the creative operation is basically just my iMac, keyboard, and Wacom Intuos tablet living incongruously alongside my antique desk and banker’s lamp.

I work almost exclusively in Adobe Illustrator, a vector graphics editor, so there’s little I need outside my computer, tablet, and imagination.

The only other accessory I’ve always had is a window. As per the stereotype, I rarely escaped my chair in the early days so the window ensured I occasionally saw the light of day. Nowadays I actually leave the house, but staring out said window has become part of the process, than therefore integral.

Your current technique for creating artwork produces a beautifully complex image made from small brush lines; how did you first discover this way of working?

When I first started illustrating I would use solid shapes of color with the occasional contour line.

The real breakthroughs came, first, when my husband gifted me my first Wacom tablet. Up until that point I was, I kid you not, using the trackpad on my laptop and pen tooling everything out.

The tablet totally changed up my game, allowing me to illustrate more organically by actually drawing rather than just placing anchor points. The second came a little later when I stumbled across a tutorial on how to create illustrator brushes.

I created several illustrator brushes, some that I still use today, that featured tapering strokes that allowed me to create smoother transitions between shapes of colors [as seen in my Spock & Kirk prints].

Over time I incorporated more and more lines and developed techniques that mimic engraving-style crosshatching to further refine those transitions.

Leia and Geordi, early illustrations. © Tracie Ching

Typography is also a big part of your work. How long does it usually take you to do this type of design and does it all start with a sketch?

There is no average for how long it takes me to design the type. Like most of what I do it often varies quite a bit from project to project.

The funny bit is regardless of the number of portraits, complexity of the composition or arabesque framework, I always feel like the type takes me the longest to figure out. (There is a reason typography is its own vocation).

Luckily my interest in antique things started early and so I have a large collection of 19th and early 20th century ephemera to source as reference for antique type. Normally that’s where it starts, looking through Sanford maps or the works of Martin Gerlach and J.M. Bergling.

Once I’ve zeroed in on a few samples and styles that I feel suit the subject matter I rough out the basic solid forms and orientation, then move on to the ligatures and inner details.

Lettering by J.M. Bergling

How would you describe your experience, so far, as a freelance artist?

For me it’s a dream come true. I never really expected to make a living as an artist, let alone do so as my own boss working with clients I’ve long revered. I have the gift of choice - from the work I do to the hours I keep - but make no mistake, those hours tend to be long.

It took a monstrous amount of work to get here, and it require an equal amount of keep things running but I’ve never shied away from work. It would have been easy to stay at my commercial design job and earn a decent, steady paycheck for work that was, shall we say, safe, but in lieu of safety I opted to chase work I am passion about, work that pushes me to learn more, do more.

It should also be mentioned it is work that has allowed me to maintain an income while I raise three children without incurring the cost of child care. Too many parents in the US have to choose between their children, their careers, or paying skyrocketing child care costs.

The work could dry up tomorrow but I would still be grateful that freelance work has saved me from that choice these last few years.

Sherlock. Created in Adobe Illustrator. ©Tracie Ching

When taking on a new project, what’s the first thing you always do before you start?

Research. When approached with a new project I often have a few ideas straight away. Researching the subject will either convince me to further develop those ideas or inspire new concepts. It also gives the subject matter valuable context while simultaneously making sure I’m not repeating something that’s already been done.

One of the best things about being known for pop culture portraiture is the research generally involves watching movies or TV shows, which is a pretty fun thing to get paid to do.

More often than not, however, research means scouring the Internet for reference materials so I can nail likenesses. A positive byproduct of which tends to be learning new things about interesting people. For instance, I recently learned Elvis Presley was born an identical twin.

Was there ever anything in particular that influenced you to become an artist?

I’ve thought about this many times and I can’t pinpoint a time, place, or person that started it all. I was accumulating sketchbooks before I was 5. There isn’t a time I can remember when I wasn’t drawing or painting, or making something. Nor a time when anyone in my family thought I’d be anything other than a creative.

No one creates in a vacuum and there are plenty of things that have influenced the artist I am today. I couldn’t do what I do without my Wacom Intuos tablet or Adobe Illustrator. I wouldn’t be working in pop culture silkscreens if it weren’t for Mondo.

I wouldn’t be who I am without the things that have made impressions on me, but I don’t know if you become an artist if you aren’t already one somewhere inside.

Spock and Kirk © Tracie Ching

During your time as an illustrator you’ve attended many conventions and sold your work at booths to fans; what is that like?

It is the best. I do sell my work at cons but the main reason I attend is the opportunity to interact with fans and meet new people. Being a digital artist, I exist largely in the digital world. This means little time to talk regularly face-to-face with colleagues, let alone some of the individuals who have supported my profession for years. At cons, I have time to do all of that as well as the ability to discover and be discovered.

It’s also an excuse to let loose and have some fun. In my experience, comic con attendees are some of the nicest, funniest, and most dedicated fans out there as proven by the recent Ice Cream Special I ran at my home town convention, Awesome Con. There were some very dedicated fans that got very creative in bringing me pints of ice cream in return for the Specials.

You’ve taken part in a few collaborative art shows including the Bad Dad shows at Spoke Art, which celebrate the films of Wes Anderson and Marvel shows at Hero Complex Gallery. How did you first get involved with galleries?

Getting involved with some of the pop culture galleries was one of my goals about 2 years into getting into the design game (again, diversify!). I pinpointed the galleries I bought from or followed personally. Galleries who carried artists I admired or followed. Once I had my portfolio together I would occasionally reach out with a note and a link.  

My first break came with Spoke Art. I’d sent them some work previously but as I’d added a couple more works I send them an update. This was about 2 months before their annual Bad Dads show and Ken Harman, the gallery’s founder, recommended I send them a rough for a piece to submit to the show. They approved the rough and a couple weeks later my Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou print was hanging in the gallery. It was an instant sell out and from that point on I’ve had a wonderful relationship with them.

A little while later, when Adam Martin was launching Hero Complex he contacted me about being in one of their shows. By that time I had been bouncing around the silkscreen community for a bit and I believe he came across my work online. HCG has a strong pop culture lean, specifically in relation to films and TV, and I believe he saw, like I did, what a good fit we’d be.

The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou © Tracie Ching

What advice would you give to aspiring artists hoping to have their work exhibited in shows like this?

You are your own best advocate. Make sure to check out galleries and find the ones whose shows and rosters mesh well with your work. Some will have instructions for submissions or occasional call for artists on their websites, but if they don’t feel, reach out via email. As long as you are respectful, there’s nothing wrong with promoting your work. Personally, I didn’t reach out more than twice a year and I landed a couple shows at different galleries.

Additionally, don’t forget that presentation is key. These are busy people and they don’t have time to scroll through your Instagram trying to find photos of your work amongst those of your cat. Make sure you have a website or some sort of online portfolio, like Behance, that cleanly shows your work.

Currently, you utilize the major social platforms. Would you say that they have been beneficial to your career?

I certainly hope they have as social media upkeep takes up a decent chunk of time. It’s hard for me to say for sure if I’ve gained work from someone stumbling across one of my feeds, especially at the early stages in my career, but I will say they’ve helped me maintain, and grow my fan base. And in today’s world I think engagement has become just as important as the actual work.

Before the advent of the internet art had these very specific outlets and artists, for the most part, you would work for an agency, company, or gallery that connects to audiences. Now, that still holds true but there are equal parts advantage and burden on the artist to put themselves in front of people, which is where social media comes in.

I don’t think you can have a career as a contemporary artist without some kind of social media presence.

Being in the public eye also opens you up to criticism and even the possibility of misrepresentation; has this ever been a concern?

In some ways, yes. Very early on I encountered a great deal of criticism from within the silkscreen poster community. Some of it was because I was a woman operating in a male-dominated arena. But most of it was due to me being an outsider and playing the game in a way certain people didn’t think was “the right way”.

It was tough when I had artist friends and clients give me a heads up when they’d received a jealous message claiming I was a thief, a talentless hack, and should be blacklisted. It was extremely distressing to be so new and insecure and have this kind of backlash but I am, if nothing, persistent, and I do not give in to bullies.

Now, after having worked with clients like Adidas, TIME, Marvel, Disney, Lionsgate, and so many more, I like to think those critics have fallen silent because they’re too busy eating their words.  

2001: A Spacy Odyssey © Tracie Ching

You currently reside in Washington, US. Is there anywhere you´d like to visit that you find particularly inspiring?  

I have been in love with the National Gallery of Art ever since my first trip to the capitol in middle school. When I decided to move to DC, many years later, I was most excited by the prospect of being able to visit regularly. I often still go there, especially in summer, to walk through the Dutch Masters collection, visit da Vinci’s Ginevra de' Benci, and sit in the cool garden courtyards.

It wasn't until later that I would find the National Portrait Gallery and that the Air and Space Museum has night showings of sci-fi movies in the IMAX theatre. You really can’t keep me off The Mall.

As a freelance artist it’s often down to you to handle your own clients. Have you ever had any really bad experiences and how did you overcome it/them?

I have been lucky enough to sidestep most of the worst freelance experiences. I’ve had nightmare clients but I’ve never been stiffed. Most of the time that’s because I instituted a deposit and contract early on, and I never released anything other than small PNGs before final payment was sent.

Word to the wise - anyone who shies away from a deposit isn't someone you want as a client.

Now I am lucky enough to be represented by Debut Art. They handle all my negotiations, pricing, contracts, and invoicing and payments. I literally could not be more grateful for the work they do and recommend finding yourself a good agent or agency if you are a designer.

You work almost exclusively with Adobe Illustrator. What would you say is the biggest advantage of using the vector program?

I did a lot of assemblage in college as part of my major. Being able to rearrange and assemble things is my natural state, something much more easily accomplished in Illustrator.

In truth I use Illustrator because it functions more closely to the way my brain works. If I gravitated more toward painterly styles and I would undoubtedly use Photoshop, but I’ve always worked with lines and blocks of solid color. I can resize, alter and move all my elements around at will without worrying about the resolution or what layer they’re on.

Mia Wallace © Craig Drake

Are there any artists in particular who inspire you? And what about their work do you admire?

No one has the time or patience to read that list. It would be too long. I am constantly inspired by artists, new and old. But for the sake of your audience I’m going to list some of my contemporaries so they can go and check them out and also be inspired. 

Right now I am in awe of Paul Shipper, the gentlemen you previously interviewed for Let’s Talk Art. Beyond being the nicest man he creates gorgeous work. His portraits have such a beautiful soft quality and I always love his color. You should check out the work he did for Star Wars Celebration. The complete incompleteness of the key art portraits made me drool.

There’s also Craig Drake, my vector buddy. Craig is what would happen if you gave Patrick Nagel Adobe Illustrator and made him more awesome. I have the luxury of burying the viewer in lines so I am always impressed by someone who can create something dynamic and powerful with the appearance of ease and/or simplicity. 

And of course I have to mention Aaron Horkey, the master of linework. He’s who I want to be when I grow up.

Aaron Horkey True Grit ©Aaron Horkey / MondoTees.

How long did it take for your work to start getting traction and how did it feel when people started buying your artwork?

It wasn’t all that long from when I started posting work to when I gained momentum. After I had developed my skills in Illustrator I started creating portraits of some of my favorite TV characters. Eventually I wanted to have one or two made into silkscreen prints, but the labor and supplies was costly for a first-timer like me with no fan base.

Fortunately, KickStarter had just come on the scene and I decided to run a campaign to print my Admiral Ackbar design. I figured if it doesn’t pan out, no big deal. The original goal was $700 with each backer getting a print or prints. I reached my fund goal within 2 days and by the end of the campaign had 103 backers pledging $5,000. That month was nothing but pure joy and those backers help launch my career.

Admiral Ackbar print, funded via Kickstarter ©Tracie Ching.

You focus a lot on pop culture at the moment in your career; what types of movies do you personally like to watch?

I live pretty firmly in the land of Sci-Fi, Action/Adventure, and Fantasy movies, in that order. My favorite thing to do while I work is watching good-bad Sci-Fi. If I put on Blade Runner, I can’t audit peripherally. Too good. I have to watch it. That’s why good-bad Sci-Fi is so important.

I can turn on Pitch Black and sporadically check in on Vin Diesel running around a desert planet fighting night monsters. Entertaining enough to keep me entertained, but not so good as to be distracting. Whereas say bad-bad Sci-Fi, like Battlefield Earth, would make me want to gouge out my eyes, which would inevitably affect my productivity.

Besides movie posters or art prints, what else do you like to work on that we may not see so often?

I think the work most people don’t see and would be most surprise by is my ultimate Frisbee apparel design. When I started out I played ultimate and picked up some freelance work with VC Ultimate designing logos and jerseys. Over the years the sport grew, producing professional leagues in the US and spreading further abroad.

This growth required the sport to invest more in it’s appearance and eventually we were handling creative for some of the biggest tournaments including the World Ultimate Championships and national teams like Great Britain, Canada, and Denmark.

Recently the PM of Canada, Justin Trudeau, was seen running in a jersey we designed for Canada’s 2015 national team kit, so technically, by the transitive property, I’ve been running with Justin Trudeau.

The Avengers:Age of Ultron showcase at Hero Complex Gallery, L.A. © Tracie Ching.

As well as being an artist yourself, you also collect art. What is your most prized possession?

It depends. My most prized silkscreen print is Aaron Horkey’s There Will Be Blood variant. I loved it instantly but I didn’t stand a chance when it dropped through Mondo. They were near impossible to find on the aftermarket, let alone for a reasonable price so

I waited… for years. Finally, I ended up acquiring mine through a very accommodating group of collectors who agreed to gift me the Horkey in lieu of payment for their private commission.

My most prized fine art print is my Hunter Zephyr by the mother of mezzotint, Carol Wax. She had a huge impact on me, especially during undergrad, and I think you can still see the influence of her deep, high-contrast shadows in my work today.

My most prized sketch is my Catwoman sketch from Adam Hughes. Won’t lie. I cried a little when I got that one.

Finally, like many artists, your artwork has changed and improved over the years, is there anything you’d like to experiment with more or try to improve in the future?

One of the things that I think has made me successful are the goals I set for myself. Whether it was getting one of my designs printed or working with a gallery, I gave myself a year to make it happen. This year’s goals are to bring in more color and motion into my work.

I’m also continuing last year’s goal which is to create more original works. Being a digital artist who creates silkscreens my focus tends to be on multiples or things that stay on the internet. I’ve also gotten out of the habit of drawing on paper with pencil so I’ve joined The Sketchbook Project and undertaken a few other projects to bring me out of my comfort zone and get my hands dirty. 

Thank you for reading!

We hope you enjoyed this Let’s Talk Art interview with the brilliant Tracie Ching. If you enjoyed this article be sure to follow Wacom across the social platforms so you don’t miss the next Let’s Talk Art! 

Be sure to follow Tracie to stay up to date with her projects:
Facebook • Twitter • Instagram • Behance • Website

Let's Talk Art series is written by Jack Woodhams, founder of PosterSpy.
Twitter • Website 

Mon, 14 Aug 2017 13:23:34 +100
Wacom Heroes & Villains 3D Contest | Announcing the Winners http://eu.shop.wacom.eu/wacom-infochannel/wacom-heroes-und-villains-3d-contest-announcing-the-winners/1105?c=2213303 We believe that having the best tools go a long way toward bringing out your creativity. Therefore we collaborated with Shapeways and asked the creative community to design a 3D model of a tabletop gaming Hero or Villain character in the Wacom Heroes & Villains Contest. The en...

Announcing the Winners of the Wacom Heroes & Villains 3D Contest

We believe that having the best tools can go a long way toward bringing out your creativity. Therefore we collaborated with Shapeways and asked the creative community to design a 3D model of a tabletop gaming Hero or Villain character in 28mm sclae for the Wacom Heroes & Villains Contest.

Contestants had a chance to win a Wacom Intuos 3D tablet which comes with ZBrushCore software® and Shapeways store credit.

The entries blew us away with their creativity and incredible detail. Thankfully, we didn’t have to choose the winners alone. With help from judges at Shapeways BHDA team, and special guest tie-breaking judge Jessica at Gameosity, we’re ready to declare the victors who’ll get the spoils. Each design is for sale on Shapeways´ Marketplace.

We’re excited to announce that the winners are...

GOLD - Space Mercenary by Claudio Setti Art

SILVER - Arcane Wizard Miniature by dsDesign

BRONZE - Rashnar, King of the Hogs by Denetariko Shop

Honorable Mentions

“Fenrix-7” Robot Knight Commander 28mm by MECHVOID ARSENAL

Extinxion in Battle Form, 28mm Scale Mini by Prize Inside by The Octavirate Forge

Eric The Viking – 28mm Tabletop Figurine by BITGEM

Dogrovan the Paladin by medunecer

Snake Monster by Terror Form Miniatures

Tabletop Game Resting Dwarf Warrior 28mm by Mostly jewelry

High Elf Dragon Maiden by Small Ox Miniatures

Half Orc Barbarian by Mistwalker Foundry

Gregario the Half-Hamster warrior by Curio Inventorium

Eye of Evil by Spectoys


If you enjoyed this article be sure to follow Wacom across their social platforms so you don’t miss out!
Facebook – Twitter – Instagram – Website – Youtube

About Shapeways

Founded in 2007, Shapeways is led by folks who've spent most of their careers in startups, and combine serious technical chops with an inspiring vision of what the world could be. We’re bringing together a passionate, dynamic team of game changers. We're having a great time working and playing harder than we ever have in our lives. It doesn’t hurt to know that what we do is changing the future as we know it.

Headquartered in New York, Shapeways has factories and offices in Eindhoven, Queens, and Seattle. Shapeways is a spin-out of the lifestyle incubator of Royal Philips Electronics, and our investors include Union Square VenturesIndex VenturesLux CapitalAndreessen HorowitzINKEF CapitalHewlett Packard Ventures, and Presidio Ventures.

Since its inception, Shapeways has been defining the industry. Join our passionate team and help create the future of 3D printing today!

Follow Shapeways on social media:
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Thu, 27 Jul 2017 10:59:23 +100
Exclusive Wacom Masterclass Competition http://eu.shop.wacom.eu/wacom-infochannel/exclusive-wacom-masterclass-competition/1104?c=2213303 With Drink and Draw Berlin coming up on 31 August, Wacom is welcome to set up camp. And we are offering an exclusive masterclass with famous illustrators/ animators and designers. These artists will act as tutors and guide teams to complete an assignment. Not only is this a gr...

Exclusive Wacom Masterclass Competition

With Drink and Draw Berlin coming up on 31 August, Wacom is welcome to set up camp. And we are offering an exclusive masterclass with famous illustrators, animators and designers. These artists will act as tutors and guide teams to complete an assignment.

You will have the option to choose what you want to learn by picking one of four categories: Illustration, Comic, Concept and 2D Animation. So not only is this a great opportunity to gain your desired skills and network, but there is also a certificate for completion and a chance to win the new Wacom Intuos Pro.

About the competition

This masterclass is exclusive and the way to apply is through this competition and winning a seat. Please note that Wacom will not be covering the travel expenses.

Competition period

The Wacom Masterclass Competition will be running from Friday 21 July 09:00 CEST and ending Friday 18 August at 23:59:59 CEST.

How do I enter?

1)    Like Wacom official Facebook page.
2)    Choose a theme: Illustration, Comic, Concept Art or 2D Animation.
3)    Create or use an existing artwork with your chosen theme.
4)    Submit by sharing your artwork on Facebook/ Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #WacomMasterclass + a hastag for your chosen theme (#illustration/ #comic/ #conceptart or #2Danimation).
5)    Email your artwork to contest@wacom.com. Add "Wacom Masterclass Competition 2017" to the email subject line.

Entry form requirements

Everyone is eligible for one entry only. Both digital and traditional is allowed.

To participate in the Wacom Masterclass Competition: 
1)    You must be a legal resident of the European Union.
2)    You must be at least 18 years of age.
3)    You must be willing to travel to the location in Germany by own means and costs.

What can I win?

A seat in the exclusive masterclass. And during the masterclass you have the chance to win the new Intuos Pro Medium.

How do I win?

Per theme, five winning artworks will be selected by a panel consisting of three people from the Wacom marketing team and Drink and Draw.

Please also have a read through our terms and conditions.

Drink and Draw Berlin event 2016

About the Masterclass

The masterclass is hosted by Drink and Draw Berlin and will take place on 31 August. The location will be: Umspannwerk Alexanderplatz, Voltairestraße 5, 10179 Berlin-Mitte in Germany.

The masterclass will be six hours long and a combination of theory and a practical assignment. The day program will start at 10:30 and last until 18:00. Later on in the evening there will be the opportunity for networking and let loose.

See the full schedule here.

Four professional artists will act as tutors in the field of IllustrationComicConcept Art or 2D Animation. Each tutor teaches a group of 5 students. Each student works on the assignment individually and there will be one winning artwork per group. The tutor makes the call together with the group in a discussion. The winner receives the new Intuos Pro.

All participants will receive a certificate stating that states they have completed the Wacom Masterclass and acquired certain skills.

Important to note is that Wacom will provide the hardware tools (Wacom tablets). Participants will have to bring their own computer systems with preferred software.

The artists:

Josan Gonzáles | Illustration - characters, background, composition
Adrian Wilkins  | Concept Art - more details soon
Goran Sudzuka | Comic - more details soon
Raman Djafari  | 2D Animation - process leading animation, animation as experimental medium, curiosity as starting point

About Drink and Draw Berlin

Drink and Draw Berlin has been an artist collective since 2014. Its home base is the Alte Münze in Berlin. Their aim is to improve and expand the art scene in Berlin by providing courses, workshops, parties and festivals for everyone that is interested in art.

Follow Drink and Draw on social media: FacebookInstagram

Wed, 19 Jul 2017 17:11:09 +100
Let´s Talk Art with Paul Shipper | How Self Belief and Dedication Propel Your... http://eu.shop.wacom.eu/wacom-infochannel/lets-talk-art-with-paul-shipper-how-self-belief-and-dedication-propel-your-career/1103?c=2213303 Welcome to the sixth episode of Let’s Talk Art. This time we chat with Paul Shipper, who is known globally for his work with some of the biggest brands in film and T.V. Including Lucas film, Disney, Marvel, HBO, Rolling Stone, Topps and more.

How self belief and dedication propel your career

Welcome to the sixth episode of Let’s Talk Art. This time we chat with legendary artist Paul Shipper, who is known far and wide by illustrators and fans for his work with some of the biggest brands in film and T.V. Including Lucasfilm, Disney, Marvel, HBO, Rolling Stone, Topps and more. 

In this interview Paul talks about how he established himself as an illustrator, as well as giving tips and tricks on how to make it in the industry. Paul also shares his inspirations and where he sees himself in the future. 

So, Let’s Talk Art…









Like many artists, it’s taken many years for you to get to where you are now. Were there any moments in your career where you wanted to give up? How did you overcome those feelings?

There was one time when I was taken advantage of by someone who really took me for a ride. It was a really horrible place to be in and this guy almost made me throw in the towel due to trust issues. But with the help of friends and some of my peers I got through it and overcome it. Feeling a lot worldlier and wise at the end of it all.

Warcraft Poster Art by Paul Shipper

You recently did a Carrie Fisher tribute piece for Empire Magazine, how was that experience for you as both a fan and as an artist?

Working for Empire magazine was a definite bucket list job for me, and being asked to create a tribute to the late Carrie Fisher I regarded as a great honour for their 24 page love letter to the actress.

Paul’s Carrie Fisher Tribute piece which was featured in Empire Magazine

Given you’ve illustrated for various movies and TV shows over the years, is there any particular title that you love working on the most?

It’s difficult to say you have a favourite, but there are the occasional jobs that stand out as being a little bit extra special. I would have to say being asked to create the Key Art and badge art for this year’s Star Wars Celebration in Orlando was one of those special jobs.

Paul standing in front of his key art designs at Star Wars Celebration Orlando.

Growing up, what inspired you to start drawing or experimenting with movie poster art?

I’ve always drawn pictures from an early age and it was in my early teens that I was starting to gravitate to the illustrated film poster.  I collected them from my local video shop and studied them. 

Composition, style, technique… it was all there. It became an obsession and it excited me. It was from that moment, realising there was a job called an “illustrator” that I decided to follow this path.

Star Trek Poster Art by Paul Shipper

You’ve mentioned in the past that Drew Struzan is a large inspiration for your career in movie posters. What is your favourite Drew Struzan piece of art and why?

Drew’s incredible film posters were among those I collected and loved growing up. He created over 100 illustrated posters during his career and picking out one would be very difficult indeed. But the ones that impacted me the most growing up would have been his Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade art, Adventures in Babysitting, Goonies along with the Back to the Future trilogy.

There is also a poster that drew illustrated for the 10th Anniversary of Star Wars. It’s a signed Giclée that I have had framed and it has travelled the world with me.

“Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” and “The Goonies” by Drew Struzan

Although you primarily work in a digital medium, your art has a traditional feel to it, harking back to those classic movie posters that inspired you during your childhood. How have these affected your work?

I started out using traditional methods, the way that Drew Struzan worked. He was my main inspiration and became my virtual mentor by way of studying his poster art. 

It wasn’t until the turn of the millennium that I began to dabble in digital illustration. It was due to a couple of clients requesting that the artwork should be digital, that made me look into it. 

I decided that I would only do it if I could somehow replicate the traditional style that I loved so much. With a bit of trial and error I was on my way to making it happen, something which I have been continually trying to perfect ever since that time.

To create my digital art I use my trusty old Intuos Pro and my new Cintiq 27QHD.

Paul Shipper illustrating a poster for "ET The Extra Terrestrial" on his Cintiq 27QHD

Freelancing can be tough, getting clients, sticking to a dedicated schedule and for artists starting out, even paying the bills can be hard. Is there anything you can recommend for artists who are either considering freelancing or those who have just started?

It is tough, but as I have told many up and coming artists who are still employees at some place or other - you won’t regret it. It will be hard, it won’t be easy but you cannot beat doing something you love and being able to pay the bills with the fruits of your own work.

The Hateful Eight Poster Art by Paul Shipper

Do you have your own freelance daily routine?

I don’t really have a routine that I stick to on a daily basis but I do take breaks between work so I can go back to things and reflect at what I’m working on with fresh eyes so to speak. So I might play my guitar or keyboard… I like to play games on my Playstation with friends too.

Your illustrations are usually of famous faces and recognisable actors and actresses. Do you have any tips for getting likenesses right?

Likenesses are something I always strive to get right; they can be difficult. Reference, good reference is the key, as well as being aware of the actor and their previous performances.

The Thing Poster Art by Paul Shipper

Is there anything you really want to tackle during the rest of your career as an artist?

Honestly, I’m just going with the flow right now, which is thankfully keeping me very busy. The future is not known, and that is exciting. I’m getting to work with some really great and passionate people, which is a great deal. I don’t have any far flung aspirations right now, I really just want to try and be one of the best at what I am doing, and for me, that is enough… for now. 

Finally, for those reading this who want to get into movie poster illustration, what advice can you give in regards to finding the right visual cues and imagery for an evocative piece of art?

There are a lot of people trying to do this now it seems. When I was younger I almost felt like I was among the very few. The best advice for creating compositions would be to trust your own instincts and aesthetics. They will serve you well… Follow your heart always… or as often as you can (sometimes you can’t call all of the shots).


Thank you for reading!

Paul’s skill and dedication has helped to propel him through his career and hopefully some of his advice will help aspiring artists reading this to achieve their own individual goals. 

Let’s Talk Art will begin again shortly with more insights into the mind of the artist as I chat to more illustrators from around the world. Thank you to everyone who’s been supportive of this series and I’ll catch you soon.

If you enjoyed this article be sure to follow Wacom across their social platforms so you don’t miss the next Let’s Talk Art!
Facebook – Twitter – Instagram – Website – Youtube

Be sure to follow Paul to stay up to date with his projects:
Facebook – Twitter – Instagram – Website

Let's Talk Art series is written by Jack Woodhams, founder of PosterSpy.
Twitter – Website 

Mon, 17 Jul 2017 12:25:19 +100