Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Insta Toon (or Virus Roulette)

I’ve seen ads for “turn yourself into a cartoon” sites before. Normally there something like this:

The styles vary but they look artsy illustrator, not the kind of image some computer program would just whip up from a photograph.

Today I saw this ad:

What? What is that? I’m not sure if it’s more accurate to how an insta cartoon program would work, or if they are just paying less to the freelance artists who make their advertisements.

I clicked on it to see how there website worked. It wants you to download a "program." I was getting major virus vibes, plus the only way I've seen someone turn a photo of themselves into a really sweet looking cartoon was with, you know, real art.

I did some more research about this program (ie I went to their facebook page). This was my favorite review someone had given them:

"It's infected with viruses! It works, but you get a whole load of shit for it too!"

Monday, January 24, 2011


Today I finally had a chance to watch the DVD it came with. I wish they gave you a series of DVDs, maybe one for each section – mostly I wish this because of how great this one was.

It was about 45 minutes long, and a little dated (they talk like you are watching it on a VHS). But the content is really great. Some of the advice he gives seems straightforward when he says it, but it is very different seeing the techniques broken down. It is really inspiring getting to watch someone so talented draw.

Two quick sketches for the homework.

The one on the left was done before watching the video, the one on the right was done after. I’ll definitely be watching it again as I continue to work on the assignment.

Friday, January 14, 2011


I just finished watching a DVD, and as PowerDVD popped to it's ending screen I noticed something for the first time. Now maybe it's just the lack of sleep talking...but that girl is making Jesus face. Seriously. Why is she holding her hand like that? What is with the glowing halo?

On that note, I should probabley head to bed.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Correspondence Course Arrived

My class course arrived today. YAY! The Ups man, upon delivery said, “Wow, that looks like something fun.” Yes, it does, Mr. Ups Man. Yes it does.

So, just some initial reactions before I run off to work. While on the invoice the art supplies is priced at $50 (my guesstimate when gauging expense), a savvy buyer could definitely get the art supplies for much less. But, it is everything you need to complete the assignments, it’s professional quality, and some of the items would be harder to find in physical stores (depending where you live).

Also, I quickly flipped through the book. It looks like there will be some great assignments. I would say it assumes very minimal base in art and comic art. It also focus solely on drawing and technique, there is no Scott McCloud comic theory here. That said, it appears to be built to work with any skill level, and help you grow and improve no matter where you start. I also suspect the homework critiques will help target where you need to grow as an artist, and the types of comments will vary depending on where you are already at. I guess we will see : )

Monday, January 10, 2011


I wonder if Shatterstar misses his old hair. Yeah, it was an explosion of lady lovely locks proportions, but who else could have rocked a mullet-ponytail with braids? Oh, the nineties what would we have done without you.

Also, X-Factor is fresh baked cookies amazing. Peter David is one of those writers who knows his comic continuity, lets the characters develop and be affected by the plot, and he has a wicked sense of humor. Can’t wait to read this month’s issue. Rumor has it Rictor’s going to finally find out he’s not that father of Rahne’s baby…oh and major battle of the God’s in Vegas…with Thor. You know, just a normal day in the lives of the X-factor Mutants.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Joe Kubert Correspondence Courses

While trying to decide whether or not to sign up for one of these classes, I did a lot of research (ie google searches) on the topic. A question I saw frequently come up was whether it was too expensive for what you got. Some people seemed to think $325 was a huge sum for a class that would end up being largely self motivated. So, I decided to make my own break down comparing costs.


What you receive:
1) Course Book
2) Boards
3) Art Material
4) Mailing envelopes (for assignments)
5) Practice Pages
6) DVD

The class is split into 5 sections (basically $65 dollars per section), each one ending with a Professionally critiqued assignment.

Breakdown of Costs:
Course Book & DVD (from website): $175
All Art Supplies (lets pretend you’re a savvy buyer and say): $50
5 Professional Critiques: $100*
Total: $325

*Essentially you are paying $20 dollars per assignment to have your work critiqued and drawn over by a professional.

How it compares to the cost of other Schools:

Community College:
At the community college where I live Art classes are normally 3-4 credits, meaning they cost around $265-$350

A non credit art class (of which if you are lucky a comic variety might appear) tend to be $100 + supplies.

Academy of Art:
I was attending the Academy of Art online (I already had by BA, but hoped the extra schooling would get my portfolio to the point that someone would hire me)

As an online student you would log onto a website, watch videos, read assignments, then turn in homework. The homework was personally critiqued by the teacher, but what counted as a critique varied. This meant that one of my teachers had weekly video chats where he would draw over students work live, and demonstrate techniques. While a different teacher would simply write a short paragraph emphasizing practice (which I needed) and something along the lines of: your proportions are off, bones can’t bend like that, pay attention to detail. etc.” (I am someone who learns better with visuals.)

Cost of a Class:

So, are the Correspondence Courses worth it? I don’t know, $325 (or even the $245 I ended up paying because of the holiday sale going on) is a lot of money for a starving artist. But it seems like a good deal to me (considering the debt hole the Academy of Art was, despite the classes I loved and the experience I gained).

I guess we will see. I will be documenting my progress as I take the Penciling course, hopefully my improvement will prove this a wise investment in my artwork : )


(and for those who don't know who Joe Kubert is, nerd it up a bit, he's famous*)

Update (feelings after finishing the course)