Resources For Aspiring Artists
I’ve found that when I give portfolio reviews I repeatedly end up recommending the same selection of resources for aspiring artists to check out. To simplify this (and save me from writing it down every time), I’ve collected a number of these incredibly helpful books and websites here.
The first books I always recommend for their excellent discussions on storytelling in comics are these:
For Anatomy and Composition, I highly recommend these books:
There are also a number of other helpful “How-To” books out there:
Now, while reading and researching techniques, theory, and tools are an invaluable part of improving your craft, there is no substitute for becoming part of the artistic community. The advice, camaraderie, and feedback you get from your peers is just as important. Attending conventions is a great way to meet other aspiring and professional creators, but these trips can often be expensive and only last for a few days. There are a number of online forums where artists and writers gather to discuss their work, and are great places to post your work for critique and build a network:
I encourage you to start attending comic conventions to socialize with other aspiring comic creators. Go to Artist Alley and speak with working professionals about their art and careers. It’s important for me to note that while most artists will be happy to speak with you, we often become incredibly busy at cons which for us are really business trips. There will be times that we simply can’t devote the time or energy to give in-depth portfolio reviews. Please be patient and understanding if a creator is busy or just needs some time to recharge or focus on sketching.
Lastly, Twitter has become a defacto discussion board for many comics professionals. I’d encourage you to follow creators you admire as they often will throw out random thoughts, advice (often with the #makecomics hashtag), or links that may be helpful to you. And, while this should go without saying, please be courteous when interacting with creators (or anyone at all, really), whether online or in person.