Wacom eStore - official Onlinestore Wacom InfoChannel http://eu.shop.wacom.eu/wacom-infochannel 2018-08-15T04:16:48Z Dragones de Latinoamérica – Comparte tu talento con Dan Katcher y gana http://eu.shop.wacom.eu/wacom-infochannel/dragones-de-latinoamerica-comparte-tu-talento-con-dan-katcher-y-gana/1161?c=2213303 Dragones de Latinoamérica es un concurso internacional, así que invitamos a todos nuestros amigos mayores de 17 años que viven en México, Centroamérica o Sudamérica a participar.

Dragones de Latinoamérica – Comparte tu talento con Dan Katcher y gana

¿Sabias que Dan Katcher, el “Padre de Dragones” para la exitosa serie Game of Thrones anda de gira por Latinoamérica en septiembre? Como parte de la gira, Dan también será juez del concurso de dibujo que llevaremos a cabo en las redes sociales a partir del seis (6) de agosto al doce (12) de septiembre.

Dragones de Latinoamérica es un concurso internacional, así que invitamos a todos nuestros amigos mayores de 17 años que viven en México, Centroamérica o Sudamérica a participar.

La intención del reto es mostrarle a Dan Katcher el talento creativo existente en Latinoamérica tanto a nivel amateur como profesional, y ofrecer a los participantes la oportunidad de que el propio Dan Katcher examine y critique sus obras. Habrá dos categorías de ganadores, a) amateur y b) profesional, cada una con premios distintos.


a) Categoría amateur

1° premio – Intuos Pro Large
2º premio – Intuos Pro Medium
3° premio – Intuos Medium, BT

b) Categoría profesional

1° premio – Cintiq Pro 16
2º premio – Intuos Pro Large
3º premio – Intuos Pro Medium


1) Crea tu propio dragón en 2D o 3D en tu estilo. No es necesario crearla con productos Wacom, pero si lo hiciste cuéntanos que herramienta usaste J

2) Comparte tu obra de arte en redes sociales con el hashtag #DragonesWacom

3) También envía la obra de arte por correo electrónico a social@wacom.com con el asunto «Dragones de Latinoamérica» incluyendo tu nombre, país de residencia y si participas en la categoría amateur o profesional. ¡Si eres estudiante, por favor incluye el nombre de tu escuela!


Para los términos y condiciones completos, haga clic aquí.

Ayúdanos a mostrarle a Dan Katcher el maravilloso talento que existe en América Latina!

¡Buena suerte!

Mon, 06 Aug 2018 12:22:59 +100
Cartoon Network and Wacom: Empowering Creative Vision http://eu.shop.wacom.eu/wacom-infochannel/cartoon-network-and-wacom-empowering-creative-vision/1160?c=2213303 If you’re interested in seeing how one of the big animation studios works, and want a sneak peek inside their beautiful office, check out this video.

Cartoon Network and Wacom: Empowering Creative Vision

As a company, Wacom aims to create the best products possible to help you create your artwork. As people, we at Wacom love geeking out over the people who use our products.
In this video, the amazing artists at Cartoon Network show us how they use Wacom products to create the animations for the TV shows we all know and love.

We’ve really enjoyed getting to know how the products help them to streamline their work, and how each of the different creatives in the animation process use our tablets in so many different ways. One particular scene sticks in our minds: one of the artists zooming around on a hoverboard while drawing on a Wacom MobileStudio Pro… it was both hilarious and anxiety-inducing!

If you’re interested in seeing how one of the big animation studios works, and want a sneak peek inside their beautiful office, check out the video below.


Cartoon Network’s creatives, and their thoughts on creativity and tools

"There's something about drawing that's so exhilarating. There's this rush you get when you make something that wasn't there before." – Sarah Gencarelli, Animation Director

Sarah Gencarelli (Animation Director) working on a sketch animation on her Wacom Cintiq

"The best tools you can use when you're a creative person are ones where you don't have to think about what the tool actually is. It just flows right from your brain through your hand right on to whatever you're working on." - Nick Cross, Art Director 

A colleague works on a Wacom Cintiq to create some of the first steps in the animation process

"I got into art because it was viable, because Wacom products made it viable." – Dave Alegre, Storyboard Artist 

Dave Alegre (Storyboard Artist) creating storyboard sketches while chilling on the couch with his MobileStudio Pro

You always have to be improving and getting better, because you don't grow otherwise, and Wacom grows with artists. Sarah Gencarelli, Animation Director

A colleague zooming around the office on a hoverboard while using a MobileStudio Pro

Mon, 30 Jul 2018 19:25:34 +100
Let’s Talk Art | Representation, Perseverance and Growth as an artist: Duches... http://eu.shop.wacom.eu/wacom-infochannel/lets-talk-art-representation-perseverance-and-growth-as-an-artist-duchess365s-journey-so-far/1159?c=2213303 Next in our Let's Talk Art series, PosterSpy founder Jack Woodhams interviews Olivia, the amazing artist known online as Duchess365. Find out the story behind her online name, how a further education in art helped her to grow, why she is determined to combat the lack of repres...

Representation, Perseverance and Growth as an artist: Duchess365´s journey so far

Welcome to the latest Let’s Talk Art interview, my name's Jack and this time I’m joined by the wonderful Olivia, known online as Duchess365. I met Olivia briefly at MCM Comic Con in London this year and was really struck by her artwork. I instantly fell in love with her portraits so had to find out more about her. 

Find out the story behind her online name, how a further education in art helped her to grow, why she is determined to combat the lack of representation in art, and the benefits of doing the 365 drawing challenge in this exciting addition to our interview series.

So, Let’s Talk Art!








Olivia, thank you for being part of the Let’s Talk Art series. Your online identity is kept pretty private, so we hugely appreciate you being part of this. Can you tell us a little more about yourself?

Thank you very much for having me be a part of this wonderful series! Well, as you know, my name is Olivia, and I’m an illustrator based in London.

A little bit more about myself… I love cats. I’ve loved them for many years. I remember being 8 years old and writing my own comic called “The Strong Cat” which was about a yellow domestic cat with a decent amount of strength, who would always save the day in his community.

As a teenager, I used to really be into photorealistic pencil drawing [I have a folder of old pencil drawings which you can insert if they’re relevant]. I only began losing interest when I started pursuing digital art. I also remember finding artists like Mark Ryden and Sas Christian when I was at school. They remain within my group of favourite artists. Artists like Ryden and Christian made me realise that it was detail that I’ve always loved as opposed to realism. I habitually look at art every day.

I love to look at concept art, manga, animation and historical portraiture. Some random things about me: my favourite films are all animated (Cats Don’t Dance, Alice in Wonderland [1951] and Coraline), I think potatoes are my favourite food, my favourite colour is purple and my favourite video game is The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (the GameCube version).

Collection of portraits by Duchess365

Your online name is Duchess365 and I’m hoping there’s a fun story behind it - is there?

There is! Well… I’ll let you decide if it’s fun – but yes there is a story behind it. “Duchess” is my mum’s nickname for me. She’s been calling me duchess since I was very young – possibly all my life. My older brother and sister she would affectionately call “Prince” and “Princess”. Duchess has always stuck and some of my extended family and family friends still call me duchess as well as my mum.

The ‘365’ comes from a drawing challenge I did back in 2015 through to 2016. It consisted of drawing every day for a year and I decided to do it after seeing the artist @picolo complete it. I decided to document my challenge on Instagram and at the time ‘duchess’ wasn’t available as a username on Instagram so I whacked ‘365’ on the end. I’ve since thought about changing the 365 to something else. But I don’t have any ideas (that aren’t already taken).

We met at MCM London Comic Con, where I was blown away by your booth. It was wonderful to see so much art revolving around black culture. What drives you to create art with this focus? 

Thank you so much. Yes, we did meet and it was lovely meeting you! I’d say what drives me to create a lot of black centered art would be my childhood. Growing up as a little black girl, there wasn’t much out there in children’s entertainment (video games, cartoons, animated films, toys/dolls, books etc.) featuring characters that looked like me. I can recall this negatively affecting how I saw myself.

As I grew older and became more interested in art and drawing, I would look at other artists work that I loved and I still wouldn’t see people who looked like me. The work I created in those years reflected that. It was only during my 365 drawing challenge (after receiving backlash on Tumblr for painting Susie Carmichael from Rugrats many shades too fair) that I realised I didn’t really know how to paint dark complexions.

I also realised that I wasn’t doing anything to combat the lack of representation I’d been made aware of when I was younger. I don’t want other little girls to feel the way I did. So I began painting more black people and it just stuck. And even though I’m no longer a child, I still get excited whenever I see black people being represented (accurately) in entertainment.

WIP by Duchess365 of "The Frank"

One thing I’ve noticed is the sheer amount of young, black women identifying with your art. It’s remarkable. How does this make you feel as an artist knowing that your art is inspiring and resonating with so many people? 

It means so much to me. To know that other women and men of colour have felt the same way as me in terms of representation is a relief but it’s also sad at the same time.

It was a very personal thing for me growing up, so it sometimes shocks to me to learn of other people feeling or having felt the same way. At conventions I’ve been to over the past year, people of all shades whom I have met have seemed to take kindly to the fact that a lot of my paintings are of black people which is encouraging. Perhaps it’s part of the reason why some people who come over to my stall express interest in purchasing my banner.

Ultimately, seeing little black girls/girls of colour identify with or enjoy my work is just… it’s like looking at my younger self – it’s really heart-warming.

Instagram is currently your primary platform for sharing your art. I love that Instagram has enabled so many artists to become so “popular” online. Do you ever feel a certain pressure to post for your 75,000 followers?

Yes, sometimes I do. Because I’m a freelancer and my online presence is where the majority of people find me to then hire me so you feel a certain amount of pressure, as a freelancer of that regard, to make sure you’re putting out more work – and preferably new work! At the same time I can’t force myself to create personal work… perhaps this is normal? It’s something I noticed back when I was completing my 365-day drawing challenge.

I found that I couldn’t make myself draw every day funnily enough. I ended up finishing the challenge quite late!

Colour sketch of lisa 'lefteye' lopes by Duchess365

Your art focuses primarily on portraiture. Is there any other kind of art that you’d like to explore? 

I would love to explore animation more. I have a few ideas for different animation projects but I don’t currently have the knowledge to execute them all. So I was thinking of just creating concept art for some of them instead – which is an entire avenue I’d like to explore in itself.

I need to flesh out my story ideas. I would also love to explore landscapes more and general scenes. I recently finished work on a children’s picture book and painting scenes for that was a lot of fun! I have a couple of book ideas of my own so hopefully I can get to working on them some time soon.

What do you do currently job-wise? And do you have any tips for a good work-life balance?

I’m a freelance illustrator at the moment. I’m still working on how to find balance in terms of being able to work on my own stuff at the same time as client work. It’s been under a year since I started freelancing full time.

Some tips I’m trying to follow myself are,

1) Creating timetables (really helpful I reckon), where I can allocate specific times to do things including making my personal art work.

2) Taking breaks is another tip, because burning out really isn’t fun. Leaving work at work, so that you can enjoy the time that is yours. I enjoy painting so I’m trying to be stricter with my working hours so that I can have more time to paint. Sometimes I keep working from morning until it’s time for bed (which isn’t good!).

3) Another tip I’m trying to follow for balance is being patient with myself. Some days when I do finish work on time, I simply don’t feel like painting anymore. I’ll play the Sims or listen to music or sermons onYouTube and that’s okay too!

WIP by Duchess365 - in memory of Selena Quintanilla

You studied graphic and communication design at University - how do you feel a further education helped you to grow as an artist?

My course wasn’t illustration-centered but that was partially a deliberate choice. I initially wanted to study fine art but I ended up going with graphic design. And I think for the style of work I create it was definitely a better avenue for me. My lecturers were great and they encouraged me to weave illustration into my design projects – particularly in my final year. Another amazing thing which came from my course was the opportunity to work for a year in industry.

For my year in industry I interned at Disney as a designer. However, my wonderful manager at the time, who had seen some of my illustration work in my interview, would often put me forward for illustration jobs that needed doing.

At the end of the year I went on to freelance as an illustrator there for a couple of weeks here and there over the period of a year. My colleague at the time had put me forward for an exciting Disney Channel project where I’d paint portraits of various Disney Channel stars for them to react to (such as Zendaya and Cameron Boyce) – using a trusty, giant Wacom Cintiq pen display! The series was called “Disney Channel Star Portraits” and it’s on YouTube if anyone wants to see any of them.

My university would also have guest lecturers come in to talk to us weekly/bi-weekly. They would be design practitioners and they’d talk about their journeys; how they got to where they are today and what sort of things they’re currently working on. I always looked forward to seeing illustrators come in.

I think all artists have a “dream job” they’d love to do, whether it’s working on a particular project or at a particular company, or both. What sort of work would you love to do if you got the chance? 

I’d love to work on my own animated film. I have an idea that I haven’t fully fleshed out yet. It may only be that I create concept art for it for now but I would love to do more with it if I ever get the chance.

Since I was in school I’ve dreamed of having an art exhibition. We had an art exhibition at the end of A levels which was the first and only one I’ve had so far, and I thoroughly enjoyed it! I love painting details and a lot of it is lost when I post my work online.

Another avenue I would love to explore would be designing/ creating dolls! I have no idea where to start with that but I know that’s something I would so love to do. I also have a couple of art book ideas. Both are to do with natural hair; my experience with my hair and some of my observations. There’s a lot I’d love to do. I could go on forever!

"a little girl i coloured in when i was 5 who i have since been informed is actually a boy with his head on a pillow." - Duchess365

You had your art shared once by Taraji P Henson, which gained over 75k likes on Instagram. Social media “likes” certainly aren’t the most important thing in the world, but how did that feel, knowing so many people including Taraji’s fan’s liked your work?

It’s a wonderful feeling when the person you have painted or a loved one of theirs approves of the piece. Especially if it’s a painting of someone you don’t know personally because you’re painting them from a photograph without having met, known or seen them in person before. It’s a similar feeling to working on personal portrait commissions. I also love Taraji and her work, plus her Instagram posts often put a smile on my face. I have in mind to paint her a second time. I keep a list and she’s on it!

A couple of years ago, you did a drawing every day for 365 days. That must have felt fairly exhausting! How did you manage to maintain that and were there any times you felt like stopping?

How did you overcome that feeling?Yes, it definitely was exhausting. I went through numerous art blocks and on certain days I didn’t draw at all because I just couldn’t bring myself to do so.

I think I may have also chosen a bad time to carry out the challenge because it fell within my final year at university which meant I became quite overwhelmed with things to do. However, it also enabled me to build up a portfolio of illustrations which I could then use to look for work upon graduating! I was also able to improve my digital illustration skills which is part of why I did it in the first place (they were pretty much non-existent when I started).

As exhausting as the challenge was, it was also incredibly fun. I loved (and still love) talking to people who began to follow my journey on Instagram. I’d often take requests from them or ask them their favourite anime or TV show characters and it was fun to carry out their requests. That was a great way to overcome times when I felt like stopping. I also I briefly did something fun which I called “Follower Fridays” where I would paint one of my followers every Friday.

They became like my friends during my challenge. I would definitely recommend the 365 challenge to anyone who wants to improve in any media! (Just maybe don’t do it in your final year at university).

"jhené aiko" by Duchess365 #spotlessmind remake process

Like MCM London Comic Con, do you attend a lot of conventions and do you recommend other artists to try to exhibit and sell their work? 

I don’t attend a lot of them, I started last year and I’ve sort of been testing the waters to find out the ones that work for me and the sort of work I create. Currently, MCM London has been the best one for me out of the 3 different ones I’ve been to. The other two were more suitable for those who strictly sell fan art.

I’d recommend other artists go to conventions because it’s definitely a unique experience. Depending on the type of person you are they can be a bit socially exhausting but I find them to be more rewarding than anything else. It’s so wonderful to have deep conversations with passers by; find out how they’re doing, how they made their costumes, talk about art with them or whatever comes up in conversation.

It’s also great to speak to other artists and creators and drink in all the sights the convention has to offer. I try to stick to London ones as I’m new to conventions it’s where I’m based. I am, however, venturing out to Manchester Comic Con for the first time this year.

Black and white version of "@badgalriri" by Duchess365

What is your current set up? What do you use to create your art?

Currently I use a Wacom Cintiq 27QHD which is connected to my MacBook Pro via display port (I did a lot of searching online to see if you can connect 27QHDs to MacBook Pros via display port! I was very excited to learn that you could). I work in Photoshop CC using one of the default dry media brushes (a chalk brush) and I use the “pressure for opacity” option.

The pen pressure on the Cintiq 27QHD exceeded my expectations. It’s such a smooth painting experience. Prior to getting the Cintiq 27QHD in April of this year, my main hardware was a Wacom pen computer (Cintiq Companion 2) which I got back in 2015 whilst I was at Disney and still completing my 365 challenge. I loved taking it out and about with me or even simply going downstairs to sit on the couch and draw with it whilst spending time with my family. I ended up covering it in stickers over the course of owning it. I still use it, it’s now my backup tablet!

The Cintiq 27QHD was a massive upgrade for me (unintentional pun). I had wanted one for years but I promised myself, whilst I was on my year in industry, that I would only ever buy one if I were to practice illustration full time. So it’s a landmark piece of hardware for me and I think I’ll keep it for a very long time. It’s perfect for the work I create too because I can add more detail to my paintings with it and details are my favourite thing to paint next to eyes.

Olivia´s illustration of Janet Jackson on her Wacom Cintiq 27QHD pen display

You’ve done a lot of ‘before and after’ style illustrations recently, taking older pieces of your own work and re-creating them. Obviously your skills have developed a lot. How has creating these helped you as an artist?

Recreating my childhood drawings has been both fun and helpful because they aren’t very detailed so there is a lot of room to make things up and exercise my imagination.

Drawing from my imagination was something I desperately struggled with when I first started my 365 drawing challenge. I can recall a piece I’d worked on for hours and hours at the start of my 365 challenge of an imaginary girl which took me so long that I became frustrated. Looking at the painting however, it looks like a sketch.

I wouldn’t say it’s easy now but I’d like to think there’s been an improvement. Recreating my paintings from recent years has been helpful for me in that I am able to reflect on my artistic growth, whether that’s growth in terms of style or the ability to capture a person’s likeness. That’s always going to be something I want to improve on – without going fully photorealistic.

"redrawing of a girl i originally drew when i was 10" - Duchess365

Besides being an artist, what else would you say you connect with? Do you have any other serious passions and do they affect your art?

Being a Christian I would say. There’s actually a project I’m still in the planning stages of which is partly influenced by my faith. It’s one of the two I mentioned previously – to do with natural hair. I’m still fleshing it out as I want to do my best to get it right.

Sometimes it’s difficult to get across what’s in your head. Aside from that, I’m trying to learn to trust God more with my career and efforts. That helps me to relax when I’m stressing out.

Sometimes if I’m really struggling with a drawing, I’ll pray about it which always helps me. I also like to listen to music while I create. I recently bought a CD /tape player and it sits right beside my desk, so I’m often switching out CDs and tapes to listen to throughout the day. I often end up painting musicians whose music I enjoy so I suppose that’s a way music affects what I create. I actually want to paint Michael Jackson soon – and Gwen Stefani. As I mentioned before, I keep a list and they’re both on it!

Your work is often in colour, with very little greyscale artwork. How did you personally study colour theory and what would you recommend to artists struggling with colour in their art?

I actually did a couple of optional colour theory modules at university which were helpful, I was able to learn more in depth about colours that work well together and why. However, when it comes to application of knowledge, a lot of the time with my colours I just go by eye. Sort of like playing music by ear?

I don’t know if that’s what a lot of artists do too. I want to learn more about how to utilise colour with proper thought behind it – consciously choosing colours. I downloaded a couple of colour wheel tools but I don’t really know how to use them. I think there’s more I can and want to do to enhance the use of colours in my work. I have a lot more colour theory to study which excites me.

Looking at other artist’s work helped me to get to the stage I’m currently at – digital artists too considering that’s currently my main media. Sometimes watching digital art time lapse videos can be quite helpful to see how the different artists go about choosing and using colours.

Very early on in my 365 drawing challenge I mostly painted in black and white, and my coloured pieces were quite unsaturated. This was because I was afraid of colour and unsure of how to choose and use them digitally. I would say now that my work is much more saturated.

"Luka" by Duchess365

Thank you for reading!

We hope you enjoyed this interview with Olivia. We certainly enjoyed finding out more about her artwork and her experiences as an artist.

See you next time!

Follow Wacom to not miss the next #LetsTalkArt episode:
Facebook - Twitter - Instagram - Youtube - Website 

Follow Dutchess365

If you want to see more of Olivia’s work in the future, be sure to follow here on the links below and if you’d like to purchase her artwork visit her Society6 and Tictail stores.

Instagram - Tumblr - Society6Tictail

Wed, 25 Jul 2018 19:55:03 +100
The World is Your Canvas: Limitless Boundaries and Endless Possibilities of D... http://eu.shop.wacom.eu/wacom-infochannel/the-world-is-your-canvas-limitless-boundaries-and-endless-possibilities-of-digital-stationary/1158?c=2213303 Digital Stationary Consortium - Digital Stationary is the fusion of the traditional stationery world –physical paper, pen, and ink – with a universal, digitalecosystem, reinventing the way people create,innovate, and collaborate.

The World as Your Canvas: Limitless Boundaries and Endless Possibilities of Digital Stationary

Digital Stationary Consortium - Digital Stationary is the fusion of the traditional stationery world –physical paper, pen, and ink – with a universal, digitalecosystem, reinventing the way people create,innovate, and collaborate.

What can we do with digital Stationary?

Using the universal digital ink framework WILL™, companies can develop newdigital stationery experiences that enable users to freely communicate andcollaborate across hardware, software, and cloud-based ecosystems.

Who uses digital stationary?

There are 7.5 billion people in the world, and half of them are online, thanks todigital connectivity. Digital stationery takes that a step further by enabling people tofreely express themselves across boundaries.

How will digital stationary connect across markets?

As a member of the DSC, your digital ink innovations will become part oftomorrow’s universal digital stationery kit. Manufacturers, designers, developers,and innovators in these five categories represent just a few of the markets lookingto innovate and cross-collaborate as part of the new digital stationery market. Join now.

Tue, 24 Jul 2018 17:48:28 +100
Let’s Talk Art | With Pop-Culture Illustrator Dan Mumford http://eu.shop.wacom.eu/detail/index/sArticle/1157/sCategory/2213303 The first ever Let’s Talk Art video interview released, PosterSpy founder Jack Woodhams visited Dan Mumford, a prolific and freelance illustrator. Dan talks about his freelance career, his favourite pieces of work that he’s created and gives advice for artists looking to get t...

Let’s Talk Art with pop-culture illustrator Dan Mumford hosted by Jack Woodhams

In the first ever Let’s Talk Art video interview released, PosterSpy founder Jack Woodhams visited Dan Mumford, a prolific illustrator who has been a freelance artist since he graduated from University over a decade ago. We don’t want you to miss out on his incredible knowledge and experience with the industry, so check out this interview!

Dan has created work for some of the world’s biggest franchises including Star Wars, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Batman, and more. Aside from pop culture content, Dan has also created album covers, gig posters and t-shirts for popular bands.

During this interview, Dan talks about his freelance career, discusses the pieces of work that he’s enjoyed creating the most, and gives advice for artists looking to get their foot in the door of the industry. 

To enjoy the full 18 min video, click here. If you want something lighter, you can enjoy the clipped segments down below.

So,  Let’s Talk Art! 

EP1 - Composition



EP2 - Set-up and Tools



EP3 - Staying Fresh



EP4 - Favorite Work



EP5 - Discovering your style


EP6 - Rough sketch to final piece


About Dan Mumford

Dan Mumford is a freelance illustrator working out of Studio 100 in central London, UK. He uses his Wacom Cintiq 22HD and Adobe Photoshop to create his illustrations.  

Over the past 10 years, Dan has worked within the pop culture and music scene creating everything from album covers, branding and screenprint's to new interpretations of classic film posters and albums.

Clients include Disney, Sony, Iron Maiden, Wizards of the Coast, Icon Motoports, CBS and many many bands and record labels from around the world. 

Dan has had several gallery shows in America over the past few years and spoken at many festivals and events around the world, including Adobe Max, Offf Festival, Bump Festival, Various universities around the UK and more

Follow Dan on social media

Website - facebook - twitter - instagram

Thu, 12 Jul 2018 16:48:53 +100
EPIC Games and Wacom: Enabling Creativity and Vision http://eu.shop.wacom.eu/wacom-infochannel/epic-games-and-wacom-enabling-creativity-and-vision/1156?c=2213303 Watch how the team at EPIC games describes the role that creativity, vision and inspiration play in producing some of the world’s most utilized technology and experiences.

EPIC Games and Wacom: Enabling Creativity and Vision

Wacom is here to make the world a more creative place and provide the necessary tools for artists. It brings us so much joy when we are able to hear stories like this one in which EPIC Games tells us how Wacom gives their creative process reliability and efficiency.

EPIC Games is an amazing company that has been at the core of this convergence between creativity and technology. They push the gaming industry forward by employing top artists and using the best tools available to ensure that their games hit the market on time, and are as refined as possible.

Watch how the team at EPIC games describes the role that creativity, vision and inspiration play in producing some of the world’s most utilized technology and experiences.


Hear from EPIC´s leading team members

"Basically what the Wacom does is it allows me to start blocking out in 3D with my art director looking over my shoulder. It shows what the end point is going to be about a month and half before you get to the end point. And for a concept artist that is huge." - Jay Hawkins, Senior Concept Artist at Epic Games

Jay Hawkins (concept artist) and Chris Perna (art director) team working using Wacom Cintiq

"One of the great things we love about Wacom is that artists don´t have to lose that sense of interaction that they have with their art, with their craft. We always want to keep the artist touching and being involved with the content that they create." - Daniel Kayser, Product Marketing Manager at Epic Games

EPIC focus going on right there. Using the Wacom MobileStudio Pro

"Tools are very important to an artist. Tools help creativity flow. They help imagination come to life. It´s like driving a car or a bike - it just becomes reflex." - Chris Perna, Studio Art Director at Epic Games

"Integrating Wacom products in our production environment is seamless, it´s easy, it´s as plug and play as it can be." - Dillon Smith, Desktop Admin at EPIC games 

Dillon Smith (Desktop Admin) at his desk working with a Wacom Cintiq

Thu, 05 Jul 2018 11:08:27 +100
Inspirational Manga | The Winners of the European Comic Schools Contest 2018 http://eu.shop.wacom.eu/detail/index/sArticle/1155/sCategory/2213303 The European Comic Schools Contest 2018 took place this year and many students from different schools entered. The winners were chosen for their interesting stories, varied composition and beautiful artwork. So, we would love to share these with you as we hope you can also be ...

The winners of the European Comic Schools Contest 2018 

The European Comic Schools Contest 2018 took place this year between January 31st and May 10th and students from many different schools participated for the chance to win a Wacom Intuos Pro and a Celsys Clip Studio Paint Pro Licence. 

There were some amazing entries and the choice was very difficult, but the winners were chosen for their interesting stories, varied composition and beautiful artwork. So, we would love to share these with you as we hope you can also be encouraged by what these students have created.

Assignment and judges

The students had to create either 1) a monochrome or colour comic, or 2) an illustration with the theme ‘Buddies’. There were over 250 entries, and the winners were chosen by a panel of event sponsors and the two comic artists Ken Niimura and Yoshiyasu Tamura after an initial public voting period.


'The Sketchbook' by Sara Marino

The first of the winners for the Comics category was Sara Marino from Scuola Internazionale di Comics Napoli, Italy, with the comic ‘The Sketchbook’. ‘The Sketchbook’ had very little direct dialogue between the main characters, as Marino seemed to choose to express the characters’ complex relationships through a beautiful combination of monochrome with splashes of orange.

The author describes the story: ‘Terence is a painter who decided to bring his little memories in one of his exhibitions, to show people about his personal life, hoping they would get that someone's existence is also made of details from the past and that the people who are connected to them contribute to make us who we are today.’

Read the full comic

'The Sketchbook' By Sara Marino

'Cool Cops On The Case' by ingaliburmester

The second of the winners for the Comics category was ingaliburmester from Kunsthochschule Kassel, Germany, with the comic Cool Cops On The Case. This story was filled with tension as the two main characters attempt to find out the identity of a murderer, with a very unexpected plot twist to finish the story.

Ken Niimura commented that ‘The story flows really well from beginning to end. I was won over by the characters, who are interestingly written, and very alive thanks to their expressiveness.’

Read the full comic

'Cool Cops On The Case' by ingaliburmester 

'Robotetlawebstar' by Roquette

The second of the winners for the Comics category was Roquette from Human Academy Europe, France, with the comic ‘Robotetlawebstar’ (Robotandthewebstar). ‘Robotetlawebstar’ is set in a future world where humans have robot servants that help them in their daily life.

The author writes (English translation): ‘Paris, in the near future. An urban rumour: Some Golgos (humanoid robots) have disappeared after killing their owners. Léo Gloria, a rising webstar is in search of Page, his Golgo who has vanished…’. The story includes some great moments of foreshadowing and pace, and the relationship between the main characters is very well shown and enjoyable to read.

Read the full comic

'Robotetlawebstar' by Roquette 


'Goodbye, my friend' by LenderShell

The first of the winners for the Illustrations category was LenderShell from Scuola del Fumetto Palermo, Italy, with the artwork titled Goodbye, my friend. The art is very beautiful and the artist managed to capture a very nostalgic and moving feeling. CELSYS commented ‘We were moved by this unexpected setting… The illustration as a whole has a lot of careful details that really make it feel like a Japanese grave.’

'Goodbye, my friend' by LenderShell

'Halloween Tales' by Miriápodo

The second of the winners for the Illustrations category was Miriápodo from O Garaxe Hermetico, Spain, with the artwork titled ‘Halloween Tales’. The artist used colours and composition with a lot of skill and the characters are varied and interesting.  Yoshiyasu Tamura commented ‘The way the eye is led around the page is really excellent… It feels like you could create a story just from this illustration.’

'Halloween Tales' by Miriápodo 

'Anges Noirs' by Koralia

The third of the winners for the Illustrations category was Koralia from Human Academy Europe, France, with the artwork titled ‘Anges Noirs’ (Black Angels). The author describes that characters’ relationship (English translation): Two young angels, cronies since forever, one rowdy and the other shy, sometimes helping humans (and sometimes not) but always helping each other.

CELSYS describes it: ‘The symmetrical composition is very pleasing to look at. There’s a good contrast not only with the colours but also with the different elements of the painting. They really captured the different essences of light and dark. We certainly want these two characters to become good friends.’ 

'Anges Noirs' by Koralia 

Tue, 03 Jul 2018 12:49:44 +100
Wacom Presents | Let’s Talk Art with illustrator Bartosz Kosowski hosted by J... http://eu.shop.wacom.eu/wacom-infochannel/wacom-presents-lets-talk-art-with-illustrator-bartosz-kosowski-hosted-by-jack-woodhams/1154?c=2213303 Part 2 of the Let´s Talk Art video series is here. We visits prolific artists to explore their everyday lives as creatives working in today’s industry. In this interview Jack talks with Bartosz Kosowski, a Polish illustrator based in Łódź. Bartosz is well known for his movie p...

Wacom Presents: Let’s Talk Art with illustrator Bartosz Kosowski

Part 2 of our Let´s Talk Art video series hosted by PosterSpy founder Jack Woodhams is hereJack visits prolific artists to explore their everyday lives as creatives working in today’s industry.

In this interview Jack talks with Bartosz Kosowski, a Polish illustrator based in Łódź. Bartosz is well known for his movie posters and editorial illustrations. Focusing primarily on portraiture, Bartosz has an eye for capturing incredible details whilst creating thought provoking and aesthetically pleasing images. 

Using a Wacom pen display, the Cintiq 27QHD Touch, Bartosz creates his illustrations either entirely in Photoshop or sometimes by mixing hand drawn illustrations with digital.

Bartosz working on his Cintiq 27QHD Touch

Here’s what Bartosz had to say about the series:

"I'm Bartosz Kosowski, an illustrator and poster artist from Łódź, Poland. On a daily basis I create posters, portraits as well as editorial and advertising illustrations and I have been lucky enough to work with such clients as Canal +, Legendary Pictures, "The New Yorker", "The Economist", "Politico", "The New Republic" or "The Hollywood Reporter".

Recently I've had huge pleasure to meet Jack Woodhams, the founder of PosterSpy here in Łódź where we talked about my work, daily routine and inspirations. We also took a closer look at the creation process of one of my recent movie posters. I am really happy to be part of Let's Talk Art series so I hope you'll like the interview."

The interview

Enjoy our 20 minute documentary or the short clips and find out more about Bartosz´s work, his influences, tips for aspiring illustrators and more.

The full interview



Lolita clip

In this clip Bartosz discusses the creation process for his incredibly successful poster for Stanley Kubrick’s Lolita for Spoke art.



Inspirations and early beginnings clip

In this clip Bartosz discusses his early inspirations, including the work of Franciszek Starowieyski and Waldemar Świerzy.


The people involved

Bartosz Kosowski - artist

Website - Behance - Instagram - Twitter - Facebook - Tumblr

Jack Woodhams - Director and video editor

Twitter - website (posterspy.com)

Matt Fairbrother - Videographer

Filmed with the support of LUMIX UK and Manfrotto UK cameras.


Want more Let´s Talk Art?

Click here to watch our previous interview with 3D artist Alexia Rubod.

Mon, 02 Jul 2018 15:42:20 +100
How to build a stylised character with Painter Essentials 6 and Wacom Intuos http://eu.shop.wacom.eu/detail/index/sArticle/1152/sCategory/2213303 Wacom had the opportunity to work together with Polish artist Magdalena Proszowska and company Corel on this great video tutorial series in which we take you through the full portrait creation of a stylised character using the Wacom Intuos. This character, created by Magdalena...

How to build a stylised character with Painter Essentials 6 and Wacom Intuos

Wacom had the opportunity to work together with Polish artist Magdalena Proszowska and company Corel on this great video tutorial series in which we take you through the full portrait creation of a stylised character using the Wacom Intuos. This character, created by Magdalena, is also the cover art for the latest Corel software: Painter Essentials 6. Painter Essentials 6 is a great software for beginners or artists who would like the chance to get used to the software before checking out the full Corel Painter version.

This tutorial series is made of 4 episodes which you can watch below. We´ve also summarized some important tips from each episode for you. 

So, let´s paint a character!

Painting a full character

In this first episode, Magdalena teaches you how to create a character, starting with a few sketches to visualize different ideas and compositions, making colour choices and finishing with adding the final details in this video. 

During the sketch stage, she discusses how to carefully draw the line art to get rid of anatomy problems from the start, but says that the sketch is still a work in process and will be changed throughout the creation process.

She recommends flipping the canvas regularly to keep eye on symmetry issues and to see the image with fresh eyes.



- Take your first sketch and use different colour versions to get an idea for what looks good before deciding on the final colour composition.
- Use layers to be safer so you can get rid of bits you don’t like if you make mistakes.
- The fewer brushes used, the more consistent the picture.
- Flip your canvas to keep an eye on the symmetry and anatomy of the picture, and to get a fresh look.
- When colouring, use one base colour to fill the whole canvas and harmonise the composition, then build up the other colours until you are happy with how the colours work together.
- Choose colours that contrast each other for effect. 
- If you focus on the details too soon, the painting will suffer.

How to paint flowing hair

In this video, Magdalena gives you some tips on how to paint flowing hair using Painter Essentials 6. She discusses using a sketch to make sure that the shapes are correct, before blocking the rough colours and primary shapes.

To get realistic looking highlights and shading in the hair, Magdalena says that you should imagine that the hair works like ribbons. The bits that are directed upwards will catch light and those facing downward will be shaded.



- Add some light shining through hair particularly at the ends of the hair so it doesn’t look fake.
- Hair will put shadow on the face so don’t forget to add that in.
- When drawing, start to draw from the bigger shapes to the smaller shapes. This means you should start by using a big brush and slowly use smaller and smaller brushes to add details.
- Think about the ribbon effect. Which direction is the motion of the hair, and what is the direction of the face? Use this to get the shading right. 

How to paint realistic lips

Magdalena discusses how to draw realistic-looking lips in this video. She recommends putting some references as floating windows on your desktop to constantly use a references throughout the process. She discusses the shape of the face and how you can use ovals to understand how shading and highlighting works around the lips and chin.

One of her main tips is to always block out the colours before focusing on the details, and don’t rely too heavily on shadows to create the wrinkles in the lips. Later on in the process, you can add wrinkles using highlights in order to make the image more realistic. 


- The chin is an oval shape. A second oval comes from top of the nostrils, touching the corner of the lips and touching the top of the chin’s oval – these two ovals are separate shapes and are highlighted differently. Shade between the ovals to give the highlight and shadows.
- Direction of the corner of the lips is towards light so they will be highlighted.
- Teeth are in the shadow of lips so will not be white, but will be darker grey.
- Flip your canvas to check the symmetry of the lips
- Don’t use white for highlights – go for a warmer colour first, and put white on very few spots at the end. Using white desaturates the other colours so avoid it as much as possible.

How to paint realistic eyes

In this video, Magdalena teaches you about the secrets behind painting realistic eyes and why certain shadows and reflections are necessary to give an impression of reality.

She talks about using references such as makeup tutorials to create the style of the make-up on her character’s face, and keeping a mirror nearby so she can use her own face to get references for lighting and shadows.

She also discusses hard and soft edges for different parts of the face, and which colours and brushes to use to achieve these different edges. 


- It’s very important to understand the anatomy of the eyes in order to make it look realistic – the eyeball is a sphere and the iris is a cavity
- Eyelids surround the eyeball, so they follow the geometry of the sphere.
- Keep a mirror nearby to look into and get different references for the surface of the facial feature you are painting.
- Use stroke direction to emphasise the surfaces that you are painting.
- Eyelids have a thickness, so the top eyelid will drop a shadow on the eyelid and the bottom eyelid will reflect light.
- The eyeball itself is not white.


About Magda Proski

Magdalena was born and raised in Tarnów, Poland where she finished OSSP (Middle and Secondary school with art profile).

Currently she works as a Senior Concept Artist at Ubisoft Blue Byte in Dusseldorf, Germany.

Magda considers art her career and her hobby and she spends every possible moment cultivating it.


Follow Magdalena on social media:

Behance - Artstation - Youtube - Twitter - Facebook - Tumblr

Fri, 29 Jun 2018 17:21:45 +100
Corel Painter and Wacom Tablet Best Practices http://eu.shop.wacom.eu/detail/index/sArticle/1151/sCategory/2213303 At Wacom we often work together with Corel® and we figured there are some best practices we can share with you that you might not know about.

Corel Painter and Wacom Tablet Best Practices

At Wacom we often work together with Corel® and we figured there are some best practices we can share with you that you might not know about.

For beginners and hobbyists, we offer Corel® Painter® Essentials™ 6 in a bundle with our new Wacom Intuos pen tablet. Available for you are a wide variety of painting styles, award-winning Natural-Media® brushes and photo effects to create an authentic, hand-painted look.



Corel® Painter® supports working with gestures to simultaneously pan, rotate, and zoom the canvas when you enable multi-touch for your Intuos Pro tablet and Painter®.

Try this:

Enable touch input in your tablet properties. Now you can rotate and move the canvas at the same time by moving two fingers in a circular motion while simultaneously swiping them across the tablet. You can also rotate and zoom by moving two fingers in a circular motion while simultaneously pinching the fingers together, or pulling them apart. Just double tap to reset the canvas.

Brush Tracking

When you draw with traditional media, the amount of pressure that you use with a tool determines the density and width of your strokes. Using a Wacom tablet with Corel® Painter® gives you the same kind of control.

Because each artist uses a different strength or pressure level in a stroke, you can adjust Painter® to match your stroke strength by using the Brush Tracking preferences.

Try this:

If you notice abrupt changes in the width or density of your strokes, you need to adjust your Brush Tracking preferences.

In Painter® preferences go to Brush Tracking. Apply a typical brushstroke, such as a wavy stroke, to the scratch pad. Corel® Painter® then uses your stroke to calculate the appropriate pressure and velocity settings for all brush variants. You can also apply custom settings to specific brush variants for even more control over brushstrokes.

Tilt and Pressure

Many of Painter®’s brushes respond to the stylus tilt and direction and produce thick to thin strokes that may also express the selected paper texture depending upon the media chosen.

Try this:

Select the Thick Paint – Grainy Fine Rake variant and stroke the canvas from top to bottom with the stylus held vertical. This produces a thick stroke.

Now tilt the brush and stroke the canvas from top to bottom. This produces a thin stroke. Experiment with varying pressure along with tilt and pressure and you will notice the resulting strokes are highly pressure sensitive and will exhibit the currently selected paper texture in the areas of light pressure and also vary from thin to thick based on light to hard pressure.

Stylus Direction

Many of Painter®'s brushes respond to direction and will flow paint in the direction the stylus is pointing.

Try this:

Select Particles - Flow Fur Tail 2 and create a squiggly stroke to experience the fur flowing in the direction of the stroke. Now select an Airbrush and watch as the paint splatters in the direction you are pointing.

Power User Tip: Expression

Painter® lets you control brush effects along the stroke based on a number of real-time input factors. For example, many brushes vary their opacity or size in response to changes in stylus pressure, which is their default setting.  You can modify or add expressions for brushes to suit your painting needs by using the Expression settings. 

Try this:

Select Chalk, Pastel and Crayons - Oil Pastel. Then open up the Advanced Brush Controls from the Property Bar. Create a stroke on canvas that varies from light to hard pressure. The resulting stroke does not vary the size of the brush but does show more paper texture with light pressure and less with hard pressure.

Now click on the Size tab in the Brush Controls and switch Expression to Pressure. Change the Minimum size of the brush to 15%. Stroke the canvas with light to hard pressure and now the stroke size varies in width based on pressure.

There are too many brush expressions to mention in a tip but we encourage you to experiment with the wide variety of options.



Thank you for reading!

We hope these tips were useful to you. Remember that we have a great creative communities on Wacom´s social channels:

Instagram - Twitter - Facebook - Youtube


Fri, 29 Jun 2018 16:19:27 +100
Let´s Talk Art | The Road to Success: Mikiko’s take on internet fame, focus a... http://eu.shop.wacom.eu/wacom-infochannel/lets-talk-art-from-the-first-manga-to-internet-renown-mikiko-s-guide-to-fame-focus-and-fans/1148?c=2213303 Welcome to the next episode of Let’s Talk Art. Mikiko chats about what it means to be a comic artist, from artwork creation to engaging with her fanbase. Her down-to-earth style and relatable comics made her a perfect fit for the Let’s Talk Art series.

The Road to Success: Mikiko’s take on internet fame, focus and fans

Welcome to the next episode of Let’s Talk Art.

I’m Jack, founder of PosterSpy, and this time I’m chatting to illustrator and comic artist Mikiko known for her quirky comics and manga art, including her hit book “Mini Comics". I actually met Mikiko at MCM London Comic Con, where she stopped by the Wacom booth to do some live drawing.

Mikiko chats about what it means to be a comic artist, from artwork creation to engaging with her fanbase. Her down-to-earth style and relatable comics made her a perfect fit for the Let’s Talk Art series.

Hope you enjoy this interview. 

So, Let’s Talk Art!










Welcome to the Wacom Let’s  Talk  Art  series, Mikiko. Firstly, your online pseudonym ‘Zombiesmile’. Is there a story behind your online alias?

Hi! Thanks for having me.

Well ‘Zombiesmile’ is not exactly my online pseudonym anymore, but about 13 years ago I signed up on Deviantart when my favourite comic was called Zombie Powder. One thing I especially liked was the use of a deteriorated smiley face as a logo of sorts, and so I ended up with ‘Zombiesmile’.

Over the years I used it a few times on various social media, but eventually as my art became more professional, I started using my own name instead. By now websites offered name changes and my fan base grew considerably, so silly teenager usernames had to go!

Deviantart unfortunately did not have ‘Mikiko’ free anymore (it’s taken up by a dead account), so despite it one of my most viewed profiles with nearly 4 million clicks, I’m stuck with this name for now.

You create many different artwork types, like comic, concept art,  storyboards, character design, and more.  Is there any particular one that you like the most and is there a type you would like to focus on more?

Yes, comics/manga are by far my favourite.

Comic page from Crash'n'Burn web comic by Mikiko

It’s simply what I started with and where my passion lies! There are many many fields I’d still like to explore, like animation for example, and I tend to go into experimental phases for months at a time, but whenever I come back to comics I realise this is what makes me truly happy.

A close second is probably illustration and character design. I think the area I feel most lacking and would like to explore more is environments and backgrounds. I truly admire artists who can create a sense of vastness and scale in their artwork!

You work both traditionally and digitally and have a great guide to your tool list on deviantart. What’s your favourite thing about traditional and digital mediums, respectively?   

Personally I find traditional art to be much more relaxing to use, meditative even. I really enjoy just switching my brain off when I ink an original piece or colour a gift for someone.

Traditional piece of art by Mikiko

Nowadays it’s very rare for me to use traditional media simply because my job demands things to be edited a lot during the process and speed is crucial. Another problem with traditional media I find, is scanning the work afterwards. It always seems off, the colours not right, etc. Something that bothers me greatly as a bit of a perfectionist.

Digital media on the other hand has this strange thing where a lot of things are at danger of looking  ‘too polished’ and unnatural. 

The famous ‘happy accidents’ Bob Ross talked about don’t really occur. So making things look organic and alive is much harder in my opinion. On the other hand though, editing and effects are much easier to do with little to no consequences thanks to the Undo command or image history being available all the time.

Both methods have their pros and cons, but for me, digital work has simply been more practical and useful for what I do! Even as a child, I knew that digital was the future, and I got my first  graphics tablet at age 15.

Silver Seekers: Flint by Mikiko

As an artist you attend many conventions, selling work and your comics.  How important is this to your career and do you feel that attending conventions is something every artist should be encouraged to do?

I suppose it depends on the person.

Personally I find conventions quite stressful, so I try to limit them to a maximum of 5 a year if possible. The time I spend isolated is very important to create new work, and to have new and fresh products to sell each time I go somewhere. Nonetheless, I do believe it’s very important to meet fans face-to-face.

These are the people who make my life possible by buying my work, sharing their love, giving feedback, and even reporting stolen art online for me. There’s a very special relationship going on, so signing things, shaking hands, taking pictures is the least I can do!

Seeing the joy and enthusiasm also charges me with fresh energy to sit down and create some more. 

Mikiko with fans at a Comic convention

Has there ever been a time that you lost your passion for art? If so, how did you come back from that?

Yes, I’m quite certain that there is no creator who hasn’t hit a block on the road at some point and lost motivation.

For me, being able to make a living was a slow slog. After school, I immediately went into publishing my comics through indie publishers and going to conventions as well as selling my work online. Comic art is notoriously underpaid. So for many years I lived under the poverty line as I refused to give up my dream.

One day I definitely felt it was a futile effort and set myself a deadline: if by the end of the month, nothing had changed, I would give up comics and look for a ‘real job’. The following week, Tokyopop Germany offered to work on a project, Crash ‘n’ Burn with me. It sold out within a month after release and won the 2016 Max und Moritz comic award in 2016. In the end, I was just really lucky.

Cover page of Crash'n'Burn webcomic by Mikiko

Once I had steady work I only suffered from the occasional creative low, but thankfully have the luxury of resting my mind to recharge nowadays.

I’m sure throughout the years, you’ve had some very interesting, odd or even frightening propositions regarding your art. Has there been one particular request that has stuck with you throughout the years? 

Interesting and odd? Definitely! Frightening maybe not so much, but I must admit I’m very hard to shock.

Early on in my career I would take on a lot of fan commissions, and many people requested a lot of strange fetish art. But as I’m proudly shameless and find challenges interesting and important, I never declined any work if I was getting paid appropriately.

In the end, these drawings contributed greatly to my repertoire and knowledge of anatomy. Win-win.

One of Mikiko´s favourite demoness, Ko by Mikiko.

Artists are always critical of themselves, always trying to improve and explore new techniques. Is there anything you’re trying to improve right now? If so, what and why?

Currently my main focus for improvement in comics is backgrounds. All throughout my career as a comic artist, the biggest critique I got was that my backgrounds were sparse and lacking.

Personally I find landscapes quite boring to draw, so now I make an effort into researching thoroughly for every background, as well as brushing up on my composition to make it more interesting.

Another one is colouring, but this applies more to my illustrations overall. I find colours very challenging, so it’s hard to say which part to explore further… In digital painting I feel like I haven’t quite found a comfortable spot yet, so I suppose right now, every painting is a challenge and learning experience.

What programs would you recommend for people looking to get into comics and drawing digitally? 

PainttoolSai, hands down. It’s just the right mix of carefree drawing and enough editing tools to do a decent job without overwhelming new artists. The main reason is that the brushes feel very natural, and it’s very cheap! A lot of my young students already have a copy, before even coming to me, so it’s also popular and easy to find tutorials and tips online.

´Silent Scout´ by Mikiko

Your comic art career spans over a decade. You’ve published your own graphic novels as well as having worked for studios during this time. Through these years, what is the one motivator that has kept you interested in comic art?

When I was a child, I didn’t have friends, I was awkward, lonely and an introvert. So drawing became my tool to dream and communicate.

When I was 12, I read a manga that changed my life. The expressions of the characters impressed me greatly, it was as if the art captured what I felt on the inside. Immediately I knew, I wanted to be a comic artist when I grew up.

To this day, I find it easier to express in comics than in any other medium. There’s a magic in hearing from readers the exact emotions you managed to trigger in them by ‘simply’ arranging panels and drawing characters. To me, this human connection is what truly makes me happy.

What’s your current set up like? Do you draw in an office space or are you a ´draw on the sofa´ kind of artist?

Oof! I admire sofa artists! But no, I simply could never feel comfortable enough to do that. I need a fixed workstation and all tools close by. And drawing in public is something I only do at conventions, since I need to be able to shut everything out to concentrate on my work.

Currently I have a self-built PC, a Wacom Cintiq 27QHD touch, and a second monitor. My preferred software is Paint tool Sai and Photoshop.

There are drawers by my desk that have all my traditional media stashed away, and my Cintiq is on an ergo-arm so I can make space to draw traditionally on my desk too. It’s all about efficiency of space!

Mikiko working in her studio on the Wacom Cintiq 27QHD

Although your work spans many different genres and styles, your art focuses mostly on the manga style. What manga inspires you and what are your favourite art pieces?

The first manga that pretty much made me who I am today was Yu yu Hakusho, by Yoshihiro Togashi. After that I went into a complete manga-craze. It was also one of my few means of having a cultural connection to Japan as I moved all over the world. 

Artists that influenced me most in this field were also Tite Kubo for his use of negative space and pacing, Shirow Miwa for his design work and inks, Kentaro Miura for contrasts and depth, and Yuusuke Murata for colouring, dynamic poses and perspective. There are many more, but these are the most notable to be able to pick up on whilst looking through my own work.

For artists looking for a career in comics, what is your biggest piece of advice?

This is a tough one… I would say...

1) don’t sell your rights off to anyone.

2) Research a lot.

3) Stop comparing yourself to others, everyone is different! 

4) Learn to say ‘no’.
It took me many years to learn this in particular. Be it complicated clients, low pay, or simply too much work, sometimes it’s not worth it. Saying no is okay, be kind to yourself, take a break every now and then to recover.

Self portrait by Mikiko

Are there any things you’ve particularly struggled with as an artist and managed to overcome, whether this is to do with your art, jobs or individuals?

Unfortunately, legal issues have been part of my struggles in the past. This is why I emphasize how important basic knowledge about contracts and legal matters are. Too many young artists are willing to give up far too many rights just to get published. Today I’m very strict about licensing and use of my work because I’ve made many mistakes.

Pacing myself is another one. Burnouts used to be a regular thing for me, until I set myself set working hours, just like anyone else who works in an office environment. (Most freelancers know what this is like, I’m sure!) There was an initial panic and a nagging feeling I was being ‘lazy’, but in the end it’s improved my health and emotional well being immensely.

Mini comic ´Bad Day´ by Mikiko

Your latest book ´Miki’s  Mini  Comics´ focuses on short comic strips. What inspired you to create this book?

My mini comics started out with the first strip being a simple birthday gift to my boyfriend at the time. It was a joke about how I, as an artist, struggled to come up with gift ideas.

When I shared it online, this strip quickly jumped all the way to my top most liked post of all time. So, I started posting more simple things from my daily life: cats, coffee, art, games, silly things. 

All strips are based on true events, and I was completely amazed at how much people loved them and shared their own silly little life stories with me. Today, it’s what most of the internet knows me for. 

Early 2017 I launched a Kickstarter to finance the print of a first volume, and it was a huge success! Currently I’m collecting more strips for the next volume, which I hope to have ready in a year, maybe two.

Mini comic ´A Prickly Problem´ by Mikiko

Being a popular online artist can have its drawbacks, including very demanding fans. What’s your best practice for handling a high volume of fans without shying away from your community?

It’s all about efficiency!

It might sounds strange at first, but every social media profile I have links back to my website mikiko.art, where anyone can find whatever information they might need. FAQ, galleries, portfolio, social media links. Of course, despite all that, I still get a high volume of messages and e-mails, so I simply brace myself for when I post something new. (always comes in waves, right after I upload something).

Cat Emi guarding Mikiko´s Wacom Cintiq and digital art

Usually my mornings are spent filtering messages by importance, and then I do my best to answer those that can’t be tackled by sending the people to my FAQ section. My rule is to always be nice and polite, no matter what. It may be the 36th time I’m answering this particular question that, but for the person contacting me it may be a huge deal to simply receive a reply.

Besides your comics, what else do you like to do in your spare time and do any of your hobbies tend to inspire your art?

Usually I spend my evenings gaming. I am an avid PC gamer and also am a huge D&D nerd.

Any free time I have will generally be used by getting together with friends and play something together. If it’s not online, we generally play board games. 

Aside from that, I picked up playing bass guitar when I was writing one of my manga, Crash ’n’ Burn which focuses around a rock band. I wouldn’t say I’m any good, but I still enjoy playing it occasionally.

Demon Girl Designs by Mikiko

When working on a comic, what kind of stories are you most interested in telling and why?

A lot of the times for me it’s about breaking some rules, mixing things up and giving classic ideas a new spin.

My personal favourite genre has always been fantasy, but the most important part of a story has always been the authenticity of the characters. Often they are very much inspired by real people who have intrigued me, sometimes it’s an image I saw or a song I heard.

At the end of the day, I always write stories I would personally want to read. Even an illustration can convey a lot, so I try to add hints and details that say something about the character depicted. Poses, expression, choice of clothes or lighting, all those things can tell a story. Art is a lot about dreaming and exploring to me.

Mikiko´s My D&D group, The Silver Seekers by Mikiko

Finally, is there anything you really want to accomplish in your artistic career? Whether it be simply improving a technique or even releasing another graphic novel etc.

There’s so many stories I want to write and release, but my ultimate dream would be either a video game, an animated series or a live action movie with my characters or stories.

All these sound pretty crazy at this point, but never say ‘never’, right? Until then, I’ll just keep drawing!


Thank you for reading!

We hope you enjoyed this this episode of Let’s Talk Art with Mikiko and found her insight into the comic industry as well as her experiences as interesting as I did.

See you next time!

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If you like Mikiko’s comics, check out her 'mini comics' book, available here.

Mon, 18 Jun 2018 15:02:49 +100
How to paint a portrait with vibrant colours with Maria Poliakova http://eu.shop.wacom.eu/detail/index/sArticle/1141/sCategory/2213303 In this tutorial, Maria gives a step by step process of creating a colourful portrait. She´s excited to share with you some tips, explanations and technical details, so you too can learn to draw a portrait with vibrant colours, make colour adjustments and organize your workspa...

How to paint a portrait with vibrant colours

We understand it can be difficult working with colors and lighting, so here are some insights from the talented and lovely Maria Poliakova. Maria is an artist from Kiev who sometimes goes a little crazy with the colors, to great effect. 

In this tutorial, Maria gives a step by step process of creating a colourful portrait using her Wacom Cintiq Pro 13. She´s excited to share with you some tips, explanations and technical details, so you too can learn to draw a portrait with vibrant colours, make colour adjustments and organize your workspace.

You can read each step below or watch her process in the quite extended video.


Take it away Maria!

Step 1: How to get inspiration

I believe that inspiration is not something you need to catch or wait for. This is something that you can do yourself. For example, I have a folder called References with many subfolders inside: faces, ‘sculptures’, ‘traditional art’, ‘nature’, ‘animals’, ‘bugs’, ‘light’, ‘colour’, ‘cloth’, ‘flowers’ etc. I've been collecting them for years and continue to do so.

To organize my references I usually use PureRefAnd keeping in mind the theme of the future illustration, I quickly look through some folders. I look at various beautiful sculptures, multi-coloured beetles and butterflies. I browse through the works of old masters, some beautiful photos, and then I feel how inspiration appears.

Now I see my future illustration more clearly and move on to the next stage.

Step 2: Rough sketching

While doing first sketches, I try not to get stuck in details, and I only do light flow lines and values. Everything I need now is to create simple basic forms and keep the silhouette clear and readable.

Step 3: Defining the sketch

Now, after I’ve chosen the sketch I like best, I reduce the opacity of this layer, then I create a new layer atop and draw a clear sketch with more details and refine it.

Usually I use extension Lazy Nezumi on this stage. It helps me to do my lines smoother.

Step 4: Colour sketch

The most fun part of sketching. You can open your reference folder ‘bugs’ or ‘insects’ or ‘butterflies’ and see their beautiful combination of colours. So, I take big soft brush, pick a vibrant color and start to combine colors.

Also, on this stage I often use ‘Hard Light’ blending mode.

Step 5: Prepare your workspace

Now I can start to add details, but before that I always prepare my workspace in Photoshop.

I open multiple views of my work: Go to Window-Arrange-New window for…(name of your file). Then do it one more time. To set up one of the window in B&W go to View - Proof Setup – Custom – Device to Simulate - sGrey. Now I have three windows with my picture. I place them as shown on the image. This allows me to see my work constantly from the distance and check my values and see my mistakes easily.

Step 6: Brushes

At the beginning I usually use the combination of two brushes: soft for big values and texture for details.

All my favourite brushes are from these packs: Speedpaint Brush Panel by Jonas de Ro and Kylo Watercolor Brushes.

Step 7: Using references

Proper use of references is a very important thing for an artist. They should be used as a guide in anatomy and lightning. In this work I was inspired by some face references, and also I took a photo of my hand.

Step 8: Color adjustments

For making vivid, bright colors I often use this blending modes: Overlay, Soft Light and Hard Light.

For correcting colours go to: Image - Adjustments - Selective color. Also, don’t forget about shadows, they shouldn’t be only of dark grayish colour. Pick deep and saturated colors from your color wheel.

Step 9: How to draw a face

Face is different to paint, but once I started thinking about the face as a geometric object, everything became easier. For better understanding I started with a plane head and an Ecorche head.

After I learned muscles and big shapes, it became clearer how to draw a face. Now, except for the large folder with references, I also have a mirror and a lamp on my desk, so I can check how light works on my face at any time.

Step 10: Have fun

Usually I analyze everything I paint, trying to not to do any extra work. But I also try to relax, enjoy the flowing lines, colours and see the beauty of everything I do.

Sometimes, when I'm stuck on something, I experiment with blending modes or with Color Lookup, or with Selective colours etc. I move sliders in different ways and it helps me to refresh my vision and see which places in my illustration are too dark or too gray.

Step 11: Final touches

Now, it’s time to make final touches.

I merge all layers and make a layer with Soft Light, and I do strokes with a soft brush. Sometimes they are dark strokes, sometimes colorful, or I might highlight something from time to time. I do all this to make the picture look whole. I need the viewer to look at the main object, main story and all my strokes should work to achieve that.

Also I have a small tip: if you want to see how your illustration works – send it to your phone. For some reason I immediately see all the problematic places on a smaller display. And at the end I usually add Filter-Noise-Add noise-Amount 2.5


We hope you enjoyed the read and learned something :)


Follow Maria on social media:

ArtstationBehance - DeviantArtInstagram - Youtube - Facebook - Tumblr - Linkedin

Wed, 13 Jun 2018 17:02:04 +100