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Art Q and A #7

Manga Art Questions 7

How can I become a professional fine art painter?

I would love to be an fine art painter. I have a passion in art. I have many people that buy my art for charity and I would love to do for a living, but where do I start?.

You’d probably be best-off finding a fellow Fine Art Painter to give advice how they got started. Most of my art career has been geared more towards the design and illustration side of things, but if I were you, I’d get together a portfolio of my work and knock on the doors of local galleries to see if they would be interested in displaying and selling your art. Or perhaps ask local restaurants or coffee shops? Possibly starting an online Etsy store might also be something worth looking in to? With this kind of thing it’s something you’re going to need to continue to built up gradually over time- both to build your artistic skills and to find an avenue to market and sell your art. It’s hard to be specific with the best venues or online platforms to sell at since different selling strategies will work for different people with different styles of art. It will need to just be a case of trying a few things and see if one turns into a business you can sustain and grow.

How do you make money with art?

Are you making any money on your great artistic abilities? How old are you now? What kind of artwork are you doing nowadays??

Thanks. I do. I sell my art prints online and at conventions here in the UK. I also sell my work through Print on Demand sites like Spreadshirt and Zazzle. I take on commissions for companies who contact me through this website- usually in the form of mechanise art, designs for ad campaigns or book illustration. Plus I work part time as a tattoo artist, which takes up about 2-3 days of my week. I think most artists these days need to consider multiple sources of income and opportunities for their work unless they specialise in one are and have one or two clients who can provide a regular stream or work.

As I write this, I’m 36. Nowadays stabbing people with tattoo needles takes up a fair amount of my time. The tattoo designs I create typically aren’t manga characters, but I still lean more towards an illustrative and comic book style.

I talk more about money and work in Art Q and A #6 and other articles on my blog.

What Graphics Tablet do you use and what should I get?

I’m thinking about investing in a tablet and saw what your using. Would you be able to share what you use and anything else I need to get started? Thanks Ben 🙂

I’m using a Wacom Cintiq 27QHD Touch screen-based Graphics Tablet for most of my digital artwork. I also have a XP-Pen Artist 15.6″ screen-tablet which is a little more portable and fits in my laptop bag. While Wacom make some nice products, I wouldn’t necessarily advise beginners to start with a 27QHD. The price tag alone means you’ll need to be seriously committed to digital art to make it worth your while. My first graphics tablet- A Wacom Intous 1 served me well for over 10 years before I upgraded to a Cintiq 22HD and then the 27QHD and having the built-in screen/monitor isn’t necessary to be able to create good digital art on the computer. It all depends on budget and what you can afford, but starting with a cheaper tablet regardless and getting used to it is definitely the way forward before shelling out thousands on something like a Cintiq.
In my books I always recommend Photoshop as my software of choice but there are low-cost and free alternatives.

How do I draw manga hair?

Like with anything you want to draw, it’s a case of looking at examples of existing manga characters you can use as reference to figure out how other artists are doing it. Usually it’s a case of simplifying and grouping clumps/bangs of hair together into sections or spikes, then considering gravity, wind and how that will effect the direction the hair is moving. If you’re a beginner to drawing manga, I’d suggest checking out one of my How-to-Draw books such as ‘The Artist’s Guide to Drawing Manga‘. Read it cover to back, and if you’re still having trouble with anything specific, let me know and I’ll do my best to answer.

Will you be my art mentor?

Sure! I’ve taught 1-1 in person several times locally (Kent, England) and if you’re interested in this, let me know and we can arrange a plan. This is something I charge for on an hourly basis.

However, I’m somewhat sceptical of this request as it often comes from random users of social media who want and often expect me to give them my time for free. I rarely have time to give, especially for nothing in return. If you’re serious about improving your art, you’ll need to pay for your education- be that in the form 1-1 tuition or critique, purchasing tutorial books, classes or downloadable resources. And if money is an issue, you’ll need to make do with any resources you can find for free online.


If there’s a question you’d like answered relating to art, or digital illustration, feel free to contact me or leave a comment.

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Art Q and A #7


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