Resolve to improve your art skills

Happy New Year! A good time to Resolve to improve your art skills.

Female artist at drawing board

This is a good time to wish that last year you would have resolved to improve you art. And if only you would have made a plan, and stuck to it. Why? Because wishing you did that last year might motivate you to do it this year. Today is the day. It’s a New Year (well tomorrow it will be) so do it now. But what if it takes a long time? What if I do something that doesn’t turn out to be all that great? What if I decide in a year that I don’t want to be an artist, can I go back? What if I get so good that I become famous and then I am forced to leave my home and move to Hollywood?

These are all good questions, except the last three. The fact is, you will be a year older in a year whether you improve your art skills or not. I believe that you will feel better about yourself and the year 2013 if you will have done it.

making New Year’s resolutions,

You probably know that it does little good to just resolve to do better, or state that you will improve. It is best to decide exactly what you want to improve, do, or accomplish, and then make a step by step plan of action to reach that goal. It is also good to give yourself some deadlines for each step. A goal without a deadline is just a wish.

Here are some not so good, examples:

“I will paint a portrait and it will actually resemble that person.”

A worthy goal, but what steps would you take and when?

“I will sell a piece of art work.”


“I will complete an oil painting by march 1.”

Better, but not specific enough.

“I will paint en plein air six times this summer.”

It fails to define Summer, is September 22, the deadline? Can I start as late as Sep 21 and cram? Do I have to wait till June 22, to start? It said “this Summer”.

Here is a mediocre example with a good start: one we should all consider implementing:

Chalese sketching

“I will draw daily, at least five days per week in my sketch book for at least ½ hour for the entire year.”

Now here are some good examples:

“I will paint 12 paintings this year. By painting at least one painting every month. I will design each painting in the first seven days of each month and I will apply paint in the second week. I will start even if I don’t know what I am doing. I will not get discouraged if it is ugly. January I will start with something simple, like a cube and or a sphere. Feb I will paint some onions or fruit, and progressively work toward a more challenging subjects.”

Now we’re talking. There are specific goals, and some step by step actions to take with deadlines.

“I will design, draw and paint a painting of a cow for my mom who loves cows, by mother’s day. Mother’s day is on May 12 this year so I will start now. I will research cows and styles of painting and drawing. By Jan 31 I will find some great cow pictures for reference or to copy. (Mom doesn’t care if I plagiarize and I won’t tell her if you won’t) By Feb 28 I will draw at least 20 cow sketches using said reference. By March 31st I will have at least two drawings laid out on canvas to paint. By May 1 I will have finished one painting and I will finish the second, since the first one may not be good enough for mom, by May 12th, 2013. On mother’s day after everyone has given mom the usual flowers or box of chocolates, I will present my painting with my signature at the bottom, she will look at it and ask, “Did you draw this?” and I will say, “yes, I painted it too, happy mother’s day mom, I love you,” and she will cry, just a little, and I will feel wonderfully happy. Then I will write down my goal, with deadlines for the next piece I will do. I will sign this little contract and read it that I have made with myself and I will read it every day”.

Now that is a goal with a plan, and accountability.

Happy New Year, and good luck with your goals and resolutions this year, and by the way, you don’t have to set your goals on New Years Day, so if you come to this blog late, feel free to get started. TODAY!

Closing 2012, teaching the world how to be an artist since 7/20/11

Time flies when you are teaching the world, how to be an artist.

FolioAcademy went live on July 20, 2011 and even sold a few of our courses on that opening day. Since then we have added all kinds of content, made tons of new friends, some were heavier than others, started this blog, and completely redesigned our web page. Below is a pic of the old us. 

the old look of folioacademy

Art Lessons Online: Folio’s Humble Beginnings:

Folio Academy, first known as Fun Art Now, (oh how we brainstormed on that name) was started in 2010 by artists Will Terry and Wayne Andreason in Cedar Hills, Utah. The headquarters was soon moved to Provo, Utah where it remains. We soon changed the name to folio academy, short for portfolio academy, as we figured fun art sounded like a site for children. All that brainstorming for nothing.

Circa November 2010, accomplished illustrator/artist/college instructor, Will Terry was looking for a way to assist his students at Utah Valley University and Brigham Young University with a means to take home a few art demonstrations. He created a few art demos with a cheap hard to use, editing program, a $100 little digital camcorder and a microphone that he borrowed from his children’s Rock Band video game. He posted them on YouTube for his students. As it turned out, there were and are a lot of people out there that want to learn art. Not just college students but a lot of would be students that don’t have the means to attend school, and more.

There was actually quite a demand for this type of art learning platform and a lot of people, I included asked Will to make more of these tutorials and teach the masses. In the spring of 2011 Will asked me, Wayne, to join him and we set out to teach the world to sing do art, well mostly how to draw and how to paint. We teamed up with Ryan Haldeman, of Amber Media Pro, famous for their wonderfully hilarious shorts called Kid History, we found some investors, hooked up with a talented programmer who is also world traveler but happened to be renting from Will while we were getting this all started. He now lives on an island in a lake somewhere in Malaysia, where he commutes via the WWW as our web master. Ain’t the internet great. And we got started teaching how to be an artist.

It didn’t take long till we realized that we didn’t know it all. OK, it was pointed out to us right away. So we realized that in order to “teach the world how to be an artist”, we should get some real artists to help us with our quest. So naturally we approached some of the best artists in the world and then wondered why they weren’t all that interested in climbing on our little cause. We are proud to say that we have been turned down by some worlds best artists who were too busy, some pretty big names. We also learned that some wonderfully talented artists aren’t always wonderfully talented teachers. It is nerve racking to stand in front of a camera, do your art work while talking to an audience that isn’t there and act natural.

the old logo

As we got rolling however, were able to talk a bunch of wonderfully talented artists and teachers into joining our quest and we are still thankful to them. It is a little sad that the great artists out there are also the busy artists out there too or we would have more. We have also had artists approach us to get on board and sadly we have to turn a lot of them away as their art work lacks the professional quality that we need to maintain here at folioacademy.

Since going live in July, 2011, we have assisted clients in more than 30 countries around the world. We know we still have a lot to do and we plan on making FolioAcademy the best place online to learn art. So stay with us. We plan on being here to assist you while you are a beginner, an intermediate and a pro. In fact, at that point, you may very well be assisting us with our ever growing library of wonderful art courses for everyone.

lots of love, happy holidays, Wayne

PS here is a little testimonial from one of our peeps, Agy, probably our number one fan.

“THANK YOU Will Terry and Wayne Andreason! I’ve been yakking about the Folio Academy courses . . . I love the fact that they’re reasonable in price. I love there’s a LOT of great information. And I have to say I love the heart of it. I’ve had wonderful friends try to explain the Photoshop process . . . Wonderfully giving, patient, artists, but I really [diddn’t get it] and they were all so wonderful at it, I didn’t want to ask too many questions when I didn’t “get it” and appear stupid. So I didn’t “get it”. Then I found Will’s course, and he not only explained it the way I needed it to be shown, but he also did it from a similar point of view (a painter who wanted to expand the boundaries) Often he would explain a process in a similar way as painting with acrylics (one of my favorite mediums) so I really KENNED it. Now he’s REDONE the original course, because he could improve it. I just LOVE that. As someone who worked compulsively, I get and admire this. Folio has a special offer for December. Will will (hehehe, that’s just funny there!) be blogging about it, when he does, I’ll share the link on my page. I just wanted to crow a bit, and let them and the world (okay not really the WORLD, but anyone paying attention)I appreciate the effort and THANK YOU, again!”

Buy one, Get one FREE Art Lesson Videos

For the month of Dec Folio Academy was running a buy one get one free special (equal or lesser value of course)


Merry Holidays

enjoy a gift from folioacademy, 50% off all courses through December.

How it works: Just go to this link and use this promo code. w1966 and all the courses will be 1/2 off, unless you wait till December is gone.

We were doing a buy one get one free thing. It was a little cumbersome as we were having our peeps purchase one of the two that they wanted and then they had to email us and tell us which one they wanted for their free one. Don’t get me wrong, we do love to hear from our friends and fans like you. but we were pretty busy updating everyone’s account.

We finally, and I mean yesterday, figured out how to run a promo code on our website. So now we can just send our loyal peeps to our promo page with a “secret”  pass-code like w1966 and every thing is half off. COOL HUH?

So Happy Christmas and Merry New Year everybody. Thanks for being a part of FolioAcademy, and if you haven’t been a part of folioacademy thanks in advance for when you are. We will do our best to make folioacademy the ARt education site that you want it to be.





Hanging with J. Kirk Richards

What a coincidence. Will Terry and I were at the Repartee Gallery in Orem yesterday, Dec, 7, 1941 2012, and who do you think just happened to be in there signing prints, and books and meeting some of his lucky fans?

That’s right, J. Kirk Richards, the wonderful Fine Artist and Illustrator, Known primarily for his contribution at Folio Academy I’m sure. Just look at some of his stuff.

Sometimes you gotta make a coincidence happen. You see, last week while I was in that same Gallery, hanging with Scott Gustafson, they told me Kirk would be there on Dec. 7. I was expected to go to a company Christmas party with my wife, but luckily her boss took ill and was admitted to the Hospital, so I could go with Will and enjoy some refreshments and bother Kirk. (PS, Just joking when I say “luckily”, My wife’s boss is home now and doing well and I would much rather he never took Ill, he is a great person and deserves health and happiness.) Kirk Richards is a friend of mine and we are so glad to have him as one of our contributing artists at folioacademy. Several people have taken and loved his Portrait Painting courseand love it.

J. Kirk Richards is a favorite among admirers of contemporary spiritual artwork. Richards attributes much of his love for the arts to an early emphasis on musical training in his parents’ home. Turning then from music to visual arts, Kirk studied with painters Clayton Williams, Bruce Hixson Smith, Patrick Devonas, Hagen Haltern, Gary and Jennifer Barton, James Christensen, Wulf Barsch, Joe Ostraff, and others.

Kirk is a busy man, but we are glad he wants to add a few courses to the folioacademy library. He has a lot to share and he is a wonderful instructor. If you don’t already love his stuff, take a look and see if you don’t add the young and talented J. Kirk Richards to your growing list of favorite artists. PS he speaks Italian as a second language, how cool is that?

The Secret To Your Success as an Artist

How’s that for a title? Like I have the answers for Your Success as an Artist, right?

crappy piece make over in Photoshop

I often run into budding artists either in person or online that ask me what I think they can do find success as an artist. Aside from portfolio advice, going to school or getting tutored, blogging, sending out promos, making awesome art & products, etc (all of which are super important) here’s what I think the most important thing is:
Drum roll….

Be committed to your success as an artist for life.

Some plan on writing and/or illustrating a book but if it doesn’t get published they’ll move on and find something else to do. Some plan to apply for studio jobs but fall back on something else if it doesn’t pan out. Just the other day someone told me they were going to try making a story app to see if it will sell. I think this is the wrong attitude. What if it doesn’t sell? Does that mean you didn’t learn something valuable for your next one?…and the one after that?

One thing I’ve come to realize is that the truly successful artists have been and continue to be – committed for life. It’s all they want to do. It’s all they live for. It’s what they do. It’s who they are. If they have a set back they accept it as part of the journey. I dare you to show me a successful artist that doesn’t have his/her fair share of bumps and bruises. I can’t count the number of time I’ve had to lick my wounds – but they scab up over time and those scars become great stories later on.

Stan Lee – creator of Spider Man said, “Mine is the longest overnight success story of all time!”…he was committed even when his comics were being canceled by his publisher – he stuck it out…what if he had quit? Think of all the super hero movies he’s responsible for…

crappy piece made better

The piece above was a pretty crappy demo in class but I love working on art so much I came home and played with it in Photoshop for two hours. I love art and I’ll be making it for the rest of my life.

Illustrator, Artist, Scott Gustafson was in Town

My friend and one of my favorite artists, Scott Gustafson was in town.

I heard that he would be at Repartee Gallery in Orem Ut. On Saturday so I made sure to get out there and say hello, and I’m glad I did.

Scott Gustafson hangs out with Wayne.


Scott Gustafson is one of the nicest people you could meet, and if you were at the Orem City Mall on Saturday Dec. 1, you could have met him and I’m sure you would be glad you did.

He came all the way from Chicago Illinois, the silent S state, to meet some of his many fans out here in Utah.

Jame Christensen and Scott Gustafson

Two of my favorite artists, James Christensen and Scott Gustafson were in town.

In fact, his friend, James Christensen, the world famous, award winning, fantasy artist, was there as well.

Scott Gustafson’s early ambition was to be an animator, He studied animation at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts, but later became an Illustrator and a then a Fine Artist. He is an accomplished artist who was influenced by the master illustrators of the Golden Age of Illustration but as a teenager he discovered these wonderful master illustrators like like N.C. Wyeth, Norman Rockwell, Maxfield Parrish.

Way back in 1991 or 92 I read Peter Pan, illustrated by Scott Gustafson, to my children and I fell in love with the beautiful illustrations. The illustrations were better than the mind’s eye. Since then he has illustrated numerous picture books and fairytales could make your eyes salivate. If you aren’t familiar with Scott Gustafson, check him out and add him to your list of favorite artists.