Becoming an Artist 2

Now that you have some supplies – what is the next step?

It really is the magic formula. No amount of great supplies will help without this.


After you wear your elbow out drawing, you might want to get another supply of elbow grease. artadvice5

There is a phenomenal amount of work that goes into figuring out your craft. In one of the books I’ve had recommended from folks at Pixar the author/artist expects no less than 15 hours of drawing for each section of the book. There are 25 sections. That’s nearly 400 hours, or ten full time weeks, of drawing just to cover this one man’s instruction. This is some serious business. Are you ready to draw like that for longer? GET STOKED

Having good resources is the best way to optimize your drawing time.


I have put some references at the bottom of the post. They are fairly cut and dry material. And if you’d like more references for a certain type let me know and I can refer to more for animation, storyboarding, and design.

But you should also get reference that makes you excited.

You need to fill your soul.

What makes your eyes shine? What gets you excited to draw? What gets you excited? Make sure you draw that, too.



Becoming an Artist 1

I’m heading to a Girl’s Summit in Provo to talk about becoming an artist tonight for girls ages 8 – 12  and  I am very excited about it.  What an awesome idea! There will be many girls there and there’s a high chance I won’t be able to speak to all of them so I made this little post.


List of things to get to become an amazing artist:


Pretty amazing. A ream of paper, and some pencils.

But what about a subscription to Photoshop? A $2000 personal copy of Maya?


Don’t worry about expensive programs.

They DON’T help you become a better artist like an instant fix. They are just tools.

Giving yourself fancy car will just make them look cooler while they drive terribly.

You will indeed look cooler, but early on it can be a distraction from the basics. You can get caught up in using the photoshop cloud filter instead of learning how to create. (Not that I ever did that.) Computer programs will give you MORE LIMITATIONS than help at the beginning. You need to draw a lot, all the time, and being stuck at a computer isn’t going to do it.


A great car will be important later when you are in the races. As you are gearing up for getting a job, you will want to be savvy with the programs of your art field. And it will be awesome. But have patience.

Art supplies can be expensive, but they don’t need to be. As a college student these were my main supplies. They still are. Simple pens, pencils, paper.

The great thing about reams of white paper is that they are so darn cheap. Burn through two hundred pages? No problem. And a great problem to have. In fact, TRY TO HAVE THIS PROBLEM.

You can even get the different weighted paper once you start having a preference. Fancy!

Do you think just pencils and paper sounds too simple? Could it be that easy? …. That’s because I didn’t tell you ALL the secrets of pencils and paper. Mwahaha. You are in for some surprises. My next post is coming soon.

Sneaky Storytelling with a Chair

We had a new adventure release today!

I am a lead artist at Wildworks where we make a game called Animal Jam. I am responsible for a great deal of the content for the Adventures. Hence why I am excited for the Adventures release.

I don’t create the characters. I’ve been working with everything else but them in the adventures. Homes, trees, hidden treasure. Environment work. The sneaky storytelling.

llama and post office

You say, Rose, are you sure you aren’t a llama?

Yes, I am sure. I am actually an owl

llama and post office2

(I have a particular fondness for this adventure if you can’t tell.)

I love the Adventures because it has story. There isn’t much written story in the adventures. There are cue cards: NPC’s who tell the players what to do. (Like the wise owl above.)

But a lot of our audience doesn’t read, or doesn’t want to. The players just hurriedly click through. So where’s the story? How do we lead the players? How on earth are they supposed to know what to do? How to feel? If there’s no text,

Where’s the story?

It’s the door. Or the other “stuff” in the game. The environment. In the Adventures, the environment is one of the only things we have control over. The hero of the story is the player, and they get to do whatever they want. Their job is to explore. Our job is to lead them.

bunny burrough

Come right this way. Come to this adorable, friendly door.

That prop becomes pretty important.

The environment should say everything without saying anything at all.

In games, the environment should give most every bit of information. What’s happening. Where to go. Is this dangerous? Playful? Important? The heart of your game is set in those environments. The shape. The color. The light.

Here’s a great example from AnthonyE using the light of the environment to create different moods.


Environments can be undervalued. Big mistake.

The environment is the perfect way to parallel and bring out the themes, the atmosphere, and tell us about the characters and plot.

There are so much symbolism and subtlety to use. Get those descriptive items in there to help the mood. Meeting the boss? Describe his desk. The type of chair. In the animated film The Incredibles this is brilliantly done when you meet Mr Par’s boss.


Perfectly aligned pencils on his desk.The four clocks on the wall with the same time. The boss’ chair is way too big for him and the slant of the back is an extension of his angry eyebrows. Confining. Precise. Bob is way bigger than his chair. Uncomfortable. Cramped.


By the end of this scene, you can feel Bob nearly bursting from the seams with this job that is just far too small for him. 
When he does finally burst, smashing through several walls, you understand why. And it feels really good.

Choose your environment wisely. The old but charming truck for an old but charming farmer. Two characters are divided by class and have dinner with a long table between them. Underplay a scary villain with large, playful shapes to get a laugh. Loose, flowing curtains with white natural light in an ethereal scene.

Your visuals are going to frame your characters.

Either because they fit well or because of contrast.

To finish, Tony Zhou uses this specific item to explains this concept in a beautiful way. This is a fantastic short.