I get asked many questions and it can be hard for me to answer them all, so I have compiled a list of questions which I'm often asked in the hope it is of interest to some of you
Where did you learn?
I've taught myself. My Secondary (High) School art teacher told me 'cartoon are not art' and so I had no interest in perusing 'art' classes any further. At about 13 I began to draw every day, less studying, more drawing what came to mind, creating characters and worlds and getting my thoughts and feeling onto paper.
I joined deviantART at 15, and the feedback and critique I've gained through sharing my art online has helped a lot in my improvement. I wasn't born with any 'gift', unless you count functioning hands, I learned through practice. My early drawings are just as bad as everyone elses (I keep them as proof) I am nowhere near finished my learning, and now I actively study more and look to develop my skills further.
What are your influences?
I've always enjoyed creation; to draw something into existence from imagination is intoxicating.
When I first started to draw I was certainly intrigued by the the anime style, with those big emotionful eyes and expressive features, the simplicity and boldness captured me as soon as I saw it, and still I think the style holds much wonder. As I progressed I began to work more form life, and try other things, though my roots are in the cartoon side, and I love combining the two. Growing up I always enjoyed artists like Mucha, and the whole art nouveau movement. Check out my favourties on deviantART to get a taste of my tastes
How long does each drawing take?
For a fully painted and coloured piece it takes at least 20 hours usually, and anywhere up to 40 hours. Generally I have little pressure on me when I draw, so am not particularly fast. I'm not great at doing things right first time, and often make a lot of revisions to try and stop things looking wrong. Honestly it's less pure skill and more perseverance until it looks okay XD
What program do you use?
Mostly I use photoshop CS6, with a little Paint Tool SAI. Almost all the art I post online is done digitally from scratch now.
This is by far the question I get asked the most, so I urge you to remember a program will only draw what you tell it to! Practice will get your further than any expensive program can.
I use a good old mechanical pencil and cheap sketchpad for my doodles and practicing, I take it everywhere I can and draw as much as possible.
Where do you get your ideas/ creativity from?
I have an overactive imagination~! I also take time to explore things I find interesting from the world around me and my internal thoughts and emotions.
Creativity is an active thing, to get better at it you have it exercise it! Sketching, Doodling, writing; for creativity to happen you need to create. Keep it in your mind you want to make something more unique than 'pretty girl standing there' and you will.
My inspirations come from all over, a lot of my drawings relate to my life in some way, and my experiences and observations.
How come you art is so emotive?
I think an artist often speaks about themselves and their life through their art. Like most people, certain aspects of life has been pretty rough, when I started drawing both dark and light things I experienced crept into my drawings. When a particularly tough situation developed in recent years, while I was trying to stay strong I developed depression. It's hard to explain what that felt like... to have hell come inside your own head. But I came through it, and am through the worst of it now. It's developed me much as a person, and as such has had a influence on my artwork.
Don't let some of my darker work fool you; I have an optimistic outlook and I enjoy so much of life. During the hard times I used drawing as an escape, a way to vent and put my story on paper, to be constructive with the destructive thoughts. It helped so much.
Through the hard experiences I can truly appreciate happiness and how many blessings I genuinely have. I don't dwell on the painful, but I do let it influence me to create.
Why don't you upload things more frequently?
I have always wanted to produce quality rather than quantity, I prefer drawing one thing which has a clear message and is created to the best of my ability, than two which are unclear and rushed. Please never think I have quit drawing or left DA, I won't, this is my online home and drawings in my soul, you just have to wait a little for the next creation. I put a lot effort and detail into each piece, and that takes time, I only hope you stick around if you think new drawings from me are worth the wait
Do you do animation or have you got a comic?
I never studied animation, have tried it a few times, but I have the same issues with it as I do with comics - Drawing the same characters and things again and again! It doesn't vibe with me, and I like colouring in too much. I prefer making single artistic pieces, so while I do have many stories, please don't expect a comic from me anytime soon I love watching 2D animations, and own a ton of comics though XD
Can you teach me how to draw?
I wish I could personally teach everyone, but alas that is not possible! What I'll do below is outline my process and techniques, so hopefully that should serve as some insight and guidance that you may use now you wish
How do you plan out drawing?
It starts with the idea, sometimes it's fully formed, sometimes just a seed.
To know if it's going to work and how to best convey my message I draw thumbnails, tiny canvases where I block out the main elements of the drawing. I do quite a few variations to see which translates the best. When I'm happy with overall layout I do a quick rough sketch keeping in mind composition and flow.
What size canvass do you work with?
3000 pixels or there abouts, that should be big enough for most print media, you should work large as you can always scale down for web later, but it's harder to scale up as you lose detail.
How do you make your lineart?
Carefully! I zoom right in and using a hard brush carefully draw in the lines. I recently discovered SAIs 'smoothing' tool, where the cursor drags behind your stroke a little and gives a really nice wobble-free line. The trick to getting clean lines generally is taking your time.
How do you choose colours?
In case you haven't guessed I love colours! Choosing the colours of my piece is often my favourite part.
I play around a lot, I start by splashing colour all over the canvass leaving no white patches, then build up from there, I often zoom out and look at how the piece works as a whole. Coloures are relative to each other, so always think about how they work together. Remember to critically asses your colour choices, just because she has a red top and blue jeans doesn't mean you can pick any red and blue and it'll look good, see how they work together and with the background and lighting.
Colour is very important for establishing mood. Do you want a light airy and pastally piece, or darker and grungier theme? Think about what your colour choice says. I use the 'Adjustments' sliders in photoshop to edit colours at this stage, see how it might look if I added a blue hue and what not. Establish where the light is coming from early on, then play around!
How do you make things glow like that?
I really enjoy adding glowing elements and interesting lighting to my work. To have a successful glow you probably want a darker background so the light stands out, have a bright center of the glowing thing; it's light gradually fading to the darkness as the light emanates. To make it convincing you need to have your glow interacting with other elements, say it's a girl holding a glowing flower, it's important to not only make the flower glow but to have the light emitting hit her face, subtly casting its colour over her features, and stronger glows may even create shadows.
How many layers do you use?
Depends. With my drawings where linearts involved I always keep that on a separate layer and generally have a new layer for each different part 'hair' 'skit' 'shirt' ect
For drawing where it's more painted I usually use two layers, one with the main painting and one as a 'working layer' which I paint onto, then I merge that layer onto the main canvass when I'm happy with whatever I'm developing at the time.
Do you use references?
Think of an ant. I mean, really imagine an ant, what it looks like. Close your eyes. If you've got a pen draw one, go on
Now look at a picture of an ant: core-company.com/wp-content/up…
How similar was it to the one you imagined? You probably got that it had a body and 6 legs and antenna, but did you remember it has three parts to its body, with the legs coming from the middle, an the shape the're angled at, and its pincers?
But you know what an ant look like right?! Recognition is a basic thing we are all pre-programmed with, however recreation isn't, what with it not being an essential skill, back in the day it was important to recognise an ant so you didn't sleep on a nest, it wasn't so important to be able to draw them. I digress...
This is why practicing from references help, often you think you know how something looks when you don't, this is especially true for the human body. I recommend doing some life drawing studies, there are tools like this: artists.pixelovely.com/practic…
and Posemaniacs which give you people posing and a set time to draw them in, they can really help deepen your understanding!
Usually I don't work from an exact photo for proper painting, just if I'm struggling with a pose or hand I get my boyfriend to take a photo of me in that pose and have a look at how a real body works!
I spent my first years in art never drawing from life, I found it boring and probably would have dismissed my older selfs advice, but that's cool. Draw what you enjoy!
How did you get your 'style'?
'Finding your style' seems to be a common worry among new artists. I urge you all to experiment as much as possible, don't worry about settling on something as you naturally will. And then probably once your there and have done a few drawings in that style you will want to move on as you've plateaued and want a challenge.
You work will probably be identifiable as yours even when you don't consciously 'style' you art.
What Brushes do you use?
Mostly the round default photoshop brush! Or if you can see brush strokes in the piece, then it's probably the default chalk brushes with the settings adjusted to how I want them. You just have to play with them to find out what you like! Fancy brushes don't do the work for you,
Which drawing tablet do you use?
I use an Wacom Intuos Pro 5 Medium size, which Wacom gave me since I judged a competition for them
There is becoming a wider range of choice in the tablet market recently, but for beginners I usually recommend Wacoms range the 'Bamboo'
Do you have any tutorials you learned from?
I did look round the net for tutorials as I was learning, though often the quality of them was not great.
If you are really serious about studying and want to learn, I suggest picking up a published book. My learning shelf looks like this:
'Perspective made Easy' Norling (You will need to know perspective to draw pretty much anything successfully)
'Imaginative Realism' Gurney (drawing things that don't exist, but making them look real, great resource)
'Complete Guide to Life Drawing' Bammes (life and figure drawing, even if you work in cartoons, is good root being able to stylise the body)
'Drawing from Life' Bridgeman
'Atlas of Human Anatomy for the Artist' Peck (Good for finer anatomical details, but best used after you've digested the two previous books, or else your figures could look stiff)
'Colour and Light' Gurney (can't recommend highly enough for learning how light works and use of colour in a scene)
Everything by Andrew Loomis. He is one of the go to guys for instructional drawing, a warm encouraging manor, and more helpful instructions than you can shake a stick at) try him first if you're wondering where to start.
I have yet to find a really excellent 'How to draw Manga' type book, though the original Japanese ones were the best I've found.
It's only relatively recently in my artistic journey I've begin properly studying and learning from references like these. For about 10 years I had no interest as I just didn't enjoy it. I would almost certainly be a technically a better artist if I used them earlier, but I was worried my stuff would lose my stamp and heart if I was learning fundamentals from others. I think it probably wouldn't have. But now I have the drive to improve as it's my career, not just my hobby.
I'm not sure weather to study art, would you recommend I go to college/uni to learn?
I have never formally studied art, so am not the best source of information on art schools!
What art schools will give you is time to focus on drawing, and guidance. Now these two things are key to an artistic career. But time to focus on drawing, and guidance, are things which can be achieved without art school. It depends of your drive and situation. One good thing about school is the resources; paints, brushes, tools, teachers, it's a great source of stuff. Also the contacts you might make, as you are all artists together, and have shows and galleries put on for you. But your success is never guaranteed whatever path your choose. Ultimately a client will select you based on your portfolio, that you went to art school is inconsequential if your drawings aren't good enough for them. I don't think anyone would decide not to buy a print of mine they liked because I didn't go to art school. I am proud of the fact I'm self taught, and think it shows my genuine love of drawing. You just have to decide what works for you!
How did you get your art known online?
I've been on deviantART for 11 years now and being active in the community helped, commenting, chatting, critiquing and being generally involved led people to my page and then perhaps they liked the art they saw there. Their feedback then helped me improve.
In truth, I don't really know why just so many people enjoy my art, I'm just glad they do, so sorry but I have no secret formula to share! XD
If you want to get feedback on your art you can do things like swapping critiques, post in thumbshare forum, or join a critiquing group.
I think its important to remember not to judge yourself or your art by the amount of favourties or comments it gets online. Foremost you should enjoy creating, that way once you've finished a drawing it's already a success
You get a lot of comments on your art, do you read them all?
Every single one!
(I love so many of you guys more than you'll ever know)
I comment on your drawing but didn't get a reply, why not?
The main sadness I have with my art getting so much love and support is that I can't thank or answer everyone individually. I read every comment and adore so many of you for you kindness and taking the time to write. I write this FAQ in hope it will answer the many questions I'm asked, and be like me talking to you directly, which it is
I don't reply to some questions because the answer is here in the FAQ, so I don't have to repeat myself many times.
Do you post your art on any other sites?
These are my other official sites:
Any other page posting my art is an unofficial 'fan' page -even if they claim to be me! (which they sometimes do)
I don't like your art.
I am humbled by all the support my art gets online, and not by a long way arrogant enough to think everyone who drops by my pages likes what they see. Art is highly subjective, and I know I draw things not everyone enjoys looking at, and I know am lacking in skills in certain (large) areas; I am trying to improve and everyone has different tastes
I am very open to critiques and love to hear honest opinions.
Do you sell prints online?
Do you do requests?
Sorry, I don't.
Do you do Commissions?
I do not. I create art for the love of it and to communicate, if someone else is controlling my pen with their wallet I just don't enjoy drawing.
Can I use for your art for a school project? Will you answer some questions for me?
Of course you can!
You are more than welcome to use my art for your school project! My heart is warmed that you would want to do that
Though I am sorry that I do not have time to answer each persons questions individually. But please do make use of this FAQ, as I hope it answers many of the things you want to know.
Will you review my art?
I wish you all the best with your artistic journey. But I can't review everyone's art who asks, or I would never get any drawing done myself XD I do enjoy browsing a commenting on dA just like everyone else, so I might stumble across your work that way
Do you have any tutorials?
There should be some tutorials on the way!
Can I draw something inspired by you?
One of the things I love most about sharing my art with you is that people want to draw things inspired by me. yes
you are very welcome to! Feel free to be inspired, re-imagine an idea of mine, re-create in a photo any artwork, draw it again, be influenced by my colours. I request if you post your inspired piece online you credit me for the inspiration
I created a folder where I save artwork which has been created with
inspiration from me: destinyblue.deviantart.com/fav… It's one of my favourite things to look at when I need cheering up
Is this your job?
I am an Artist with a capital A now
That really means I spend a lot of my time looking for my pencil.
Heh, well really it means I travel all over Britain (and the world now) to events and conventions where I sell prints of my artwork and meet fantastic people. Like I said, I don't do commissions, so it's harder making a living, but I never every wanted this to be about money. It really is the best job ever
Are you coming to X/Y/Z convention?
Check out my main page for a list of conventions I'll be making an appearance at. If you would like me to come to one not listed let me know, or better yet let the organisers of that convention know, if enough people request it I might be able to be at the event and do talks and workshops
I'm a convention organiser, would you like to come to our Convention as a guest/ speaker?
I'd probably love to! I do talks and workshops on many aspects of art and creation.
I'm selling in an Artists Alley, do you have any general convention tips?
Selling at conventions is very different from being behind a computer uploading your art onto the web. People want to meet you.
So be friendly and smile, even if you are nervous (which you will be) remember people are probably nervous to meet you to, sitting behind your big table
A great thing to do is make friends with your artist table buddies, if you go on a tea or lunch run, ask if they want something picking up (I love it when people do this) Remember the artists around you aren't your competition, they are your friends and colleges, they are in the same position you are. The artist community is very small, so don't be silly enough to bad mouth another artist behind their backs, you wouldn't want anyone doing this about you, so extend the same courtesy.
I adore the atmosphere on the British Convention Scene, there is so much support between artists and I really want to harbor that. You can help build a strong community by helping people out and showing support and caring. It feels really nice
Oh and don't under price yourself, you art and time is worth something.
Can you help me with this specific convention issue? Can you recommend a convention to me? How do you get into conventions? What should I bring to an Artists Alley to sell?
I get asked a lot about a lot of different conventions!
Each conventions is different. I'd just go onto google and look at the convention your interested in going to XD I had no insider knowledge when I started. Most of it is about research, which you just have to get on and do yourself. There are some really excellent Artists Alley 'tutorials' on dA, like this fav.me/d50z3qu
or just search, they'll help you more than I can
Your prints are really nice quality, where do you get them done?
I invested in some great quality equipment, a large format Epson printer, archival inks, heavyweight premium paper. I do the printing myself, so I can be sure of the quality and in full control of the colour output.
I would recommend when your start to find your local independent printers and get your first batch done there, as they already have the equipment and knowledge, and will be very happy to help you print what you need. Only invest in equipment when you know it'll be worth it.
How do I become a professional artist?
There are many factor involved with being able to make a living off your art, where you live, what kind of thing you draw, do you want to freelance or have an employer etc. I wish I had the answer for everyone, but you have to figure out what works for you. I have little insight into the so-called 'real' art world.
The dream to become an artist often starts long before the skills for that goal are anywhere near ready. Be prepared to work for your goal, it will probably take years, but don't let that put you off. Ask yourself where you would want to be and then make small steps to achieving that. Drawing well will be at the heart of your success, if you are serious about a career you should practice as much as possible so you art stands out.
I want to be an artist, do you have any tips for the future?
Heh I've got a few random tips:
Enjoy the drawing process, as you will always find mistakes in the finished result.
Have a positive attitude, if you see mistakes, note them and work out how to not make them in the next drawing.
Drawing is very sedentary, so getting an exercise routine going helps stay fit, it will also help stop back and arm ache.
You don't have to sell fanart
Try and conduct yourself in a professional manner, there will be times when annoying or illegal things happen to your art, deal with them in a calm and private manner where possible.
One of the most important last: Don't do work for free. You de-value yourself and the industry you want to get into.
Can I use your work for tubes?
Can I use your art for my avatars or icons?
If you use my work for your avatar, signature or icon on dA or elsewhere please say in your signature 'Artwork by DestinyBlue' and include a link back to my gallery.
Can I Share your art online?
I love my art being shared! Please always remember to credit me and link people back to my page. You may only share my work if you provide credit.
Please don't edit or crop my work, especially never remove the watermark. Please re-blog from me rather than re-post where you can.
Can I use your art for something personal?
Yes~! You are very welcome to print off small copies of my art for your wall/scrapbook, or save files to your computer, perhaps put it on a card and give it to a friend. I'm happy for you to use it in a class project, or have it as your phone or computer wallpaper. I put my art out there for you to enjoy
Pretty much anything so long as you are not making money from it.
Can I use your art for something commercial?
No, never. My art may not be used by you for your financial gain. You may not use my art on a product you are selling or advertising. You may not offer digitally my art for sale. This includes selling 'adoptables' of my work or lineart, or traced/copied versions of my drawings. Never offer my work for sale in any printed or physical medium.
I can, and will, peruse legal action against anyone who infringes my intellectual property for their financial gain.
Can I feature your art?
How very kind of you, please feel free to on your journal, website or wherever
Can I get a tattoo of your art?
Wow, what an honor you would want my art on your body, yes, you are welcome to. I get asked if tattooists may alter the my designs a bit so it better works with the body, that is perfectly fine, and is probably better
Only condition is you must send me a photo when it's done
I found your work posted on another site without credit, what should I do?
Unfortunately this is not uncommon, there are various versions of my work with the watermark edited out and no credit being given circulating the web. I do need you guys help with this
Please could you comment on the drawing to tell the user and viewers that the work is by DestinyBlue and link them to my gallery. Simple really! Why people don't credit in the first place I'll never know! XD
Can I colour your lineart?
That's why I put them up! I learned a lot from colouring others line art, and so hope to pass on that to you.
Do you have rules for colouring your lines?
In the description there are the rules of colouring. They are fair for us both, so please be aware if you don't follow them I will ask for it to be removed.
The most important ones are to always provide credit for the lines, and never remove my text.
Will you review my finished colouring?
Sorry but I get so many I can't comment on them all, if you are looking to improve ask your friends to help you.
Will you make X/Y/Z a lineart?
Some work lends itself better to line work. Generally the more realistic pieces will never have a lineart to them as they were not created with one. I will post more lines, but as and when I get time to, so you'll just have to wait and see
Where are you from?
England. All of it. I loves it. My roots are in the capital and my heart is in the countryside.
Is your hair really blue?
All over bright aqua blue. I bought some bright blue hair mascara when I was 12, and then at 15 dyed my hair permanently blue. I'm a natural bluenette. People sometimes think my aim is to stand out, but really I do it to fit in, that is, with myself. I've had blue hair in my mind from since whenever I thought about hair, and now I have blue hair. It may seem weird to you, but it really is one of the most natural things for me.
Is DestinyBlue your real name?
Well when I was 12 I would always use this blue hair mascara and put blue streaks in my hair. My Dad started calling me Blue around then
I chose DestinyBlue (all one word) as a online name soon after that. I always liked the idea of 'Destiny'; where as 'fate' means a predetermined outcome, 'destiny' gives control to the participant. You shape and make you own destiny, I've always been a strong advocate of this; you can't choose where you can from, but you can choose where you're going to.
My legal name is Alice, which I like and answer to, though honestly, I prefer being called Blue
What would you be if you weren't an artist?
Physicist or Stand Up Comedian. Go figure
Any random facts about you?
Hehe, um, well... I go half red. Like when I exercise or get really really hot, the left hand side of my face all the blood goes there and makes it all red, the right hand side says pale. There's perfect line separation right though the middle of my forehead nose and chin. With my blue hair and bright red half face I look quite a spectacle when I go for a run! XD
Whats 'Team Blue'?
I was at a convention and a girl I was chatting with kept calling herself a 'fan' of mine. Truth be told, I've never really liked the word fan, and find it slightly uncomfortable when used toward me, though her sentiments were very heartfelt, I told her this and she said "Well I'm on Team Blue, whatever it's called"
Team Blue! I loved it!
So I invite everyone who is a supporter of mine (especially if you've just read the whole FAQ) to join me on Team Blue! There's enough tea and biscuits for everyone, oh and glowey art. Welcome