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Illustration & Drawing Tips : How to Become a Comic Book Artist

73 Comments



If you want to become a comic book artist,
there’s really only a few things you need right off the bat if you really want to get
started and become serious about pursuing your career. You will need, obviously art
supplies, art work to be able to show people, and then finally a professional binder or
portfolio. One thing to keep in mind when you’re applying for a job is most comic book
publishers and distributors look for three major things when they’re hiring new creative
talent. First of all they look for the ability to tell a story visually. To be able to capture
people with your images. That’s one of the biggest things. To be able to tell a sequential
story. Number two, they look for your ability to create interesting visual landscapes and
panels. And number three, they look for you to able to draw a wide variety of movement
and expression within the characters and objects that fill up your panels. Those are the three
major things. Learn how to get those down and you’re well on your way. So the first
thing I propose to do is first of all know what your skills are. Know kind of where you
fit into the comic book or comical artist family. Whether it be the person who comes
up with the conceptual designs, just a free thinker who know how to get ideas down on
page. A sketcher, someone who takes someone else’s ideas and gives very different variations
to one central idea. An inker, someone who comes in and meticulously goes over the sketches
in black permanent ink and is ultimately the one who’s job is, you know, probably the most
stressful I would say. Or, you know, doesn’t even have to be art related. You could be
the person who writes the, the scripts, and the panels, and the story line. Someone who’s
involved in more of the creative writing process. Basically, pick what it is you think you’d
be best at and then really strive to get up a big amount of material to show what exactly
you can do in that area. So obviously the next step then would be to create a portfolio.
And in doing so what you’re going to want to do is take the very best examples of your
work. Whatever that particular work may be. Whether it be sketching, inking, writing,
whatever. Take the very best of the best of the best. And take your time to accumulate
enough material to fill up this catalog of your best work. Really work hard to get a
good example of what you can do and then finally what you’re going to want to do is get a binder.
Obviously this is a smaller one, but they come in all shapes and sizes and levels of
quality. And you’re going to want to fill this up with all of the different ideas and
best examples of your work that you have. They’re professional. They have clear plastic
for each individual page. And that’s the best way to showcase your work. Especially when
you’re going to interviews. You’re going to want to take this with you everywhere. So,
when you’re actually applying for a job, here’s the steps that you’re going to want to take
beforehand. First and foremost, find out everything you can about the publisher that you’re applying
to. And then submit a letter or an email asking if they have any specific requirements for
the candidates and artists that apply for the different positions. Find out as much
as you can beforehand. Do your homework, be prepared. The next step would be to create
a cover letter, specific cover letter for that particular comp, particular company and
the, and the, and the person you’re going to interviewing for. Put together your resume
and portfolio and send that in with your cover letter. And, you know, they will most likely
at that point take time to review your work, contact you back and set up an interview.
I’ll tell you right now, it would be very, very helpful to see if you can find anyone
that you might know personally, or that knows of you on any capacity who works for these
companies already and that can maybe get your foot in the door for you. It helps to be able
to have those types of references. People that can vouch for your talent. And then lastly
what you’re going to want to do is just listen to any feedback that they offer you and accept
their criticism whether it be, you know, good or, or bad. If it happens to be not what you
were hoping for, then just take it as a lesson. Go back to the drawing board as they say and,
you know, move on. Find that next job. If they say they love you, then hey there you.
You’re on your way to becoming a comic book artist.

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73 thoughts on “Illustration & Drawing Tips : How to Become a Comic Book Artist”

  1. robo885 says:

    although I am young, this video has taught me what to do if I wish to persue my dream. Thank you!

  2. residentmagnum says:

    great video

  3. Jason McCormack says:

    i think he's assuming you already have some talent and background in art.

  4. danagamer says:

    And lastly, stretch your arms out because you might get cramped while flipping those hamburgers all day- after you realize there are no 'comic book artist' jobs out there that can support you.

  5. dfool06 says:

    Cool series of vids,

    Question, On an interview are you required to submit your portfolio? If yes, can you get it back?

  6. ScarecrowsAsylum says:

    Your supposed to copy the originals and keep your originals, just incase they dont give it back.

  7. dfool06 says:

    So you mean some companies really don't return submitted portfolios? Then there is a possibility that they can get your ideas for free. Can they do that I mean legally?

  8. ScarecrowsAsylum says:

    There is a possibility yeah.
    My friend submitted a portfolio to DC comics, and he got a email 4 months later saying there regret to inform him, he should move on, he asked for his portfolio back and too no reply.
    So all that work was gone to waste.
    I dont know if its legal or not, but i know no one has filed a complaint about it, mainly cause DC is a huge company and would win the debate, hands down.

  9. ScarecrowsAsylum says:

    Always copy your work though, and keep the originals, unless your guarenteed to get them back.

  10. handlas1 says:

    Kevin….ya I see it.

  11. fishdirt says:

    Who is this guy? I've never heard of him. In other words he's not in the industry so why is he giving advice on how to get in? There are pros that will tell you 100 different ways on how they got in and non pros (like this guy) who will tell you 1 or 2 ways.

  12. slowmatt321 says:

    ur right

    HAHAHAHAHAHA…..HA

  13. Chris Crainey says:

    an inkers job is probably the hardest. they cant erase. have u ever inked an intire pro board page? its fucken rediculas. trust me.

  14. lilmissparadox says:

    There are a lot of pencillers that only do the barest minimum of a drawing and then expect the inker to fill in all of the details. Some pencillers even leave out the backgrounds or faces and expect the inkers to go in and do them. Plus, if the pencils are really rough, the inkers have to figure out which lines need to be kept and which lines are just sketching. They're also often the ones to establish the depth, light, shadow and texture in an image, especially if the comic is black and white.

  15. lilmissparadox says:

    Yeah, well that's your experience. Not all pencillers are like that. I will admit that I have seen some inks that were 'just traced', but there are also some inkers that truly make the images. Plus if inking WAS 'just tracing' why don't all artist's ink their own work? Why don't you? The answer is that it's more difficult then it seems and inkers are truly the most underestimated and underrated artists in the field. If you don't believe me just pick up a copy of The Art of Comic Book Inking.

  16. THEDARKKNIGHT1939 says:

    Thank you I wish to become a comic book artist one day. But I'm only 15 hehe

  17. TalonZurfluh says:

    id say it depends on the tablet. if you have a small one like i do, then by drawing a line a centimeter long, it shows up like two inches on the screen. using ones like this is good for practice because it trains your hand to be sturdier and more controlled. theyre not good for proffesional work though, because theyre harder to use. so its good for practice.

  18. sirmousalot11 says:

    not to bad, but its very (but not too much) different from actual pencil drawing, and you have a pencil and paper with you more then you have your tablet

    i suggest learning both (it really helps :D)

  19. Jonathan Straube says:

    What is with the random sketching footage?

  20. handlas1 says:

    ya cuz showing that you don't give a shit about your work or your profession is a good first impression for a potential employer.

  21. djwaglmuffin says:

    I'd like to add that if you go to conventions to take your portfolio with you and keep updating it between cons. Sometimes if editors are at conventions you can show them what you can do and they can (at the con) give you a green light to send in your submissions to the company. Make sure to have their contact information as well. Good luck fello comi-artists!

  22. The Burning Sensation says:

    I used to be a storyboard artist for TV and commercials, and I have a lot of respect for comic book artists. The ones who know how to tell a story in pictures, while also composing a larger page… it's really impressive.

    It's hard enough to just compose individual panels and have the right mix of shots to keep it interesting, but to do it while keeping the larger composition in mind is like 10 times trickier.

  23. Andre Glover says:

    it is my dream to work for DC COMICS and become a legend

  24. theBoonarmies says:

    @easportsitsinthegame
    he's not going to break out his A material for a youtube video…

  25. Andre Glover says:

    @SkyRifter
    thanks sooo much for the support

  26. javiertzz says:

    I have a question…… I've been drawing since I was 3 yrs old, I know I have talent, I love to spend hours drawing, even tho I still think there's a lot I need to learn. So, if I want to become a cartoonist, a comic ilustrator, or find a job related to fine arts (drawing) am I need a degree on arts besides these tips or is it possible to make it only with my skills???

  27. Janet Hunter says:

    I live in a small southern town. I worked for 8 years designing screen prints. I also prepared the color seperations. I am best at portraits but people around here don't value art and there are no jobs in the art industry around here and screen printing companies do it all on computer now and don't require artistic ability. I draw and paint for myself and have been offered $500 for a piece and that's the highest offer but I worked 3 months on that piece. What can I do?

  28. Wireheadking says:

    This isn't how to become an artist. This is about getting a job in art.

  29. Gamer X says:

    @javiertzz

    If you are confident with your skills, you can ask for referrals by professional artists.

    If you don't have that. I guess the company needs some kind of degrees in one of the form of arts.

  30. Ben Deihl says:

    The Beatles! Nice poster and thanks for the tips!

  31. TDUD3 says:

    thnks for the tips, bur u draw like a kid LOL…

  32. Original Username says:

    @getbusyliving2011 sam with me , man! i also want to be a guitarist. i would also want to work for dc, but marvel is my fav!

  33. Original Username says:

    @getbusyliving2011 same with me , man! i also want to be a guitarist. i would also want to work for dc, but marvel is my fav!

  34. Best Aatrox SEA says:

    Hey nice art work

  35. fireballxtc says:

    I honestly am in two minds about this video. While Mr Page seems really switched on and gives some good basic advice about portfolio presentation and being able to tell a story and so on, I'm not sure how qualified he is to *give* this advice, considering his work is not of a standard necessary to make it as a professional comic book artist. So yeah, listen to the advice here, but bear in mind you will have to be *better* than this artist to "get in".

  36. Timothy Harris says:

    If I see that same sketch again I'm again bawl out. lol

  37. Edward Banks Jr says:

    @straube819 Im pretty sure he is using the sketch sequence to transition to his next point while staying with-in his topic.

  38. zibtihaj says:

    can you tell me what is the best pencil types please …and paper ?

  39. Tofubrick says:

    @AIMANALI This has largely to do with personal preference. What I use exclusively is Strathmore Bristol with a vellum finish and blue Col-Erase no copy pencils. As for erasers I use a Tuff Stuff eraser stick. Theres really nothing else quite like it, which is unfortunate given that theyre becoming harder to find. For inking, a Winsor & Newton Series 7 sable is the Cadillac of brushes. Team it up with Winsor & Newton india ink aswell. Microns are a tried and true staple for technical pens.

  40. zibtihaj says:

    @Tofubrick wow thx a lot. I have to look up a lot of what you are talking about …blue Col-erase etc. Ok. Can you also tell me what type of paper ? I just use printer paper and they working fine. thx again.
    So initially I just copy stuff to learn the curves shadows etc (meaning see a drawing and copy it) and than afterwards would be able to make up something myself….is that the progression ?

  41. zibtihaj says:

    @Tofubrick Strathmore Bristol : I realized is artist paper so you did answer that question of mine. Shows how much I know uh ! thx

  42. Larry Mandaville says:

    My dream is to become a graphic
    novelist one day

  43. Emilio Velez says:

    This is helpful when it comes to getting a job involving comics. My dream is to publish my own comic book to people.

  44. ana te says:

    @iLegendaryD You can team up with an artist. You do the writing, he does the illustration.

  45. chromo48 says:

    Judging by this guy's sketches and advice, he's clearly not an expert on this stuff. He's some young college aged kid who's got quite a ways to go before his work looks professional and even further before he has the experience to be able to give out advice on this. Clearly expert village is only interested in the quantity of their content and not at all concerned with the quality of it.

  46. pablitox15100 says:

    @getbusyliving2011 nice…. me too!!!!

  47. Otto Gonzalez says:

    as a comic book artist how much i could make a year

  48. Nathan Turner says:

    Im good Im 12 but I need to find out how to apply Im going to the local comic book store tomorrow Im taking my drawing with me and I ll get my antihero critiqued by the owner and fanboys their

  49. Angelo Falls says:

    this is so educational

  50. Jace Hockenberry says:

    im best at storys because a giants wedgie or pants pulling down robot came into my head at wal amrt thinking about storys

  51. X13ful says:

    Amen brother. . . same here.

  52. Jim Choe says:

    Maybe this video should be titled "How to get a Job as a Comic Book Artist"? If you want to become one, it's helpful to understand not only the technical aspects of drawing, but understanding storytelling. How to break down a story into sequential art. How to make sure that people who have never read a comic will not get lost or confused while reading the comic. Remember, it's more than just drawing pictures.

  53. Acura Acqaz says:

    you're Great Teacher, Guid… and Thank you 😀

  54. Blythe Baines Fan Page says:

    dude, is this a well paying career? I would like to do this but i would want to publish my under my own logo so i could make my own company. Ive made about 3 graphic novels & like 5 comic books

  55. PTEpye says:

    I am trying to make a fan-comic.

  56. chromo48 says:

    Take what? There's practically no advice here to take in regards to becoming a comic book artist. The guy doesn't even show sequential pages in his portfolio. And his tips on getting a job or an interview lead me to believe he's never even worked for a comic book publisher, because what he describes is not how it works.

  57. X_Man96 says:

    I'm getting apprenticed to be a tattoo artist but, I'm not sure I want that anymore. I've drawn my own x-men comics since I was in 3rd grade….I dont know yet.

  58. chromo48 says:

    Are you the guy in the video? I can't imagine why you keep coming back to defend this. If so, I'm not trying to offend. It just sounds like the advice in this video is something that was gathered second hand, rather than from actual experience. What he should be talking about is networking, learning how to meet deadlines, and just finishing a book that you can show to an editor. The advice in this video is so superficial, yet we're supposed to believe he's an expert?

  59. chromo48 says:

    16 to 20 hour days, no life, poor diet and exercise, lack of sleep and changes, oh the changes. The pay isn't horrible, but you fucking work for it.

  60. chromo48 says:

    It pays well if you become exclusive with either DC or Marvel. And you have to be damn good and very well liked to get there. If you have talent, start networking at conventions and on comic art websites. Freelancing; unless you're highly sought after, good luck…

  61. chromo48 says:

    Also, if you want to roll indie from the get go, you will need to learn how to get good at promoting. You'll also have to dump money in convention appearances, setting up a booth, etc. Advertising is just as important as the quality of your content. If you make a name for yourself in mainstream comics, going indie later on will be a little easier. You'll have a fan base.

  62. chromo48 says:

    So true. There's really not much of a life for an illustrator in comics anymore. If you love to draw, make a webcomic.

  63. chromo48 says:

    If you're a talented, likable and hard working freelancer, you could make $50-60k a year. If you work your way into mainstream and get a contract, you can make over $80k a year. If you're just an average freelancer, you'll need a second job.

  64. Cali Artist says:

    Hey im trying to get in the comic book industry so if you are trying to do the same hmu on my email [email protected]

  65. X13ful says:

    No motivation though

  66. chromo48 says:

    "Expert Village"… If that's not an implication, I don't know what is.

  67. John Napadano says:

    I am going to graduate high school soon and I want to be a comic book artist, but I don't want to go to college. How get I get a career like this, you seem like you know much about these things.
    PLEASE REPLY

  68. hacker child says:

    this video help me of the most vids i saw

  69. Robert Marzullo says:

    Good video. One thing I might add, the very first thing you should do is create a full length comic book or multiple short stories. It helps you to know what you need to learn to become efficient at drawing comics but it also shows bigger companies that you are fully capable of completing a project from start to finish. So many young artist only tend to work on pinups which will not get you a job in comics. IMO. 🙂

  70. mausam chatterjee says:

    THNK U bt i m 15 years old and i want to know that how can i found any publisher to sell or publish my comicc…please expplain me …??

  71. Tommy Sea says:

    I personally want to become a writer for comic books and not an artist for them I have stacks of ideas I really think could work I just need that artist 😉

  72. justarandom avocadohere says:

    I personally love drawing as much as writing so I'd love to become a comic artist and a comicbook writer

  73. Christian Lives Matter // Crews says:

    what if I want to do all my own stuff and sell my own work

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