A detailed guide to help you plan, create, manage, and fulfill your Kickstarter project.

A Kickstarter Project on “How to do a Kickstater Project”

Pledge $20 and get the $29.00 Video coarse free


This post is to invite YOU to be a part of this Kickstarter project. The Kickstarter companioin book. We are looking for $20 pledges to help Heidi create this How to Guide in video form. The course will cost $29.99 when it is made available this October, but will be given to our $20 pledgers for that pledge. DEADLINE: Monday, March 31st, at 11:59 PM CDT.

Kickstarter is a Crowd Funding Website 

Kickstarter has become a valuable resource for many creatives looking to raise money to fulfill their dreams and ideas. It’s a crowd-funding website based on a  fixed-funding model which means, unless a project reaches its funding goal during the duration of its campaign, no money is taken from backers. So you could go through a lot of effort and receive no money. Or you could go through a lot of effort and get the money you need plus more. Kickstarter is also project based; some thing must be produced at the end of the campaign and given to backers as rewards for their pledge money. That thing can be physical (IE: a book, CD, art print, etc.) or electronic (EX: PDF, MP3, FolioAcademy courses, etc.). A Kickstarter project is a fabulous opportunity and great responsibility when it succeeds.
Heidi Berthiaume
My name is Heidi and since 2009, I’ve backed over 80 Kickstarter projects. I love how Kickstarter allows creators to connect directly with the people who would most want their creations. I promote a lot of Kickstarter projects and get a lot of questions about Kickstarter. But I could only answer questions from the perspective of a backer, which is quite different than the perspective of a creator.

In order to be able to give more thorough answers, she ran her own Kickstarter project in June, 2013 – 1000 Origami Wish Cranes.  Thanks to a $25 funding goal and over 260 Backers from around the world, her project funded over 6000%.

She wrote a book to answer all those questions and more

After her Kickstarter success, she received a lot more questions about how to run a Kickstarter project. With over 15 years of experience with information architecture (Organizing stuff and writing technical documentation for non-technical people, like artists), she’d not only backed a lot of Kickstarter projects, she had analyzed them and was able to provide a lot of detailed answers. So she wrote a detailed guide to help people plan, create, manage, and fulfill their own Kickstarter project and called it the Kickstarter Companion book. She ran a Kickstarter project to raise money for the editing and ebook formatting, and to print limited edition copies which contain the names of all the backers who supported her project. The Kickstarter Companion Kickstarter project reached its funding goal on March 29th, and we’re currently working our way through some reasonable and attainable Stretch Goals before the campaign ends on Monday, March 31st, at 11:59 PM CDT.

Get the $30 online video course by pledging just $20 now.  

One of the add on items we’re very happy to offer backers of her project is access to a video tutorial based on the Kickstarter Companion book which will be available at the Folio Academy website in October. Different people learn information differently, so she wanted to make this information available not only in print, but also as a video course for those who prefer that kind of format. Backers of the Kickstarter Companion can add the video tutorial for an additional $20 to their pledge, compared to the $29.99 it will cost when it is released this fall.




Whichever crowdfunding website you use for your project, We wish you great success in achieving your ideas and dreams. ~Heidi Berthiaume.

Should I Go To Art School Or Take Art Classes Online?

Should I take college art classes or learn online?

Advice for beginner artists.

I get this question a lot so I posed the query last week in hopes to get you all thinking on your own and now I am going to give my answer. This may take awhile so you may want to pack a lunch or put on a pot of coffee.

Let me just start by saying that it is really an unfair comparison, it is like the old apples and oranges thing. But let’s compare anyway.

So first, let’s look at cost.


Online, you could probably spend anywhere from $1000 maybe even up to $5000. With that amount of money and a little digging around on the internet, finding a few systems or mentors that work for you, and applying yourself, you should be able to get all the schooling you need to become a genuine artist and get started as a pro. Compare that to a state college where you could spend from $25,000 to $35,000 and that’s if they even have an illustration program and if you are close enough to go to that school. Compare that to an bonafide (bow-nuh-fide) Art School that can cost well over $100,000.

What Kind of Artist Are You?

Sammy the Dog doing art

Maybe a better question here would be, What kind of student are you? This makes a lot of
difference. Are you super motivated? Do you love to draw? Do you love to paint? Are you a
self-starter and can you push yourself. This will make a lot of difference. If you are self
motivated, like most of us are NOT, then you will most likely do better any way. If so, you
could become a professional artist/illustrator and do well without any college or formal
education. When people really want to learn something, they usually figure out a way to do it. Libraries, stores, teachers/mentors, internet etc. That is probably fewer than 3% of us, but if you really made up your mind to be one of those 3%, I believe you could. I believe you CAN. I KNOW YOU CAN. I also know you probably won’t. (just sayin)

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speed painting a GIANT just for fun

 An old Painting I Did For Fun

I wanted to do a painting of a dream that I had as a kid….
make sure you watch the ending  : )

A little lesson in acrylics but watch fast because it goes fast. 

The worst (and best) thing about painting with acrylics

0007 giant

The worst thing about painting in acrylics is that it dries fast. The best thing about painting in acrylics is that it dries fast. The worst thing about painting in acrylics for me while doing THIS painting was filming it and working around the camera.

Notice the painting process, Start with the Darks

As you can see, or could see, or did see, if you actually watched the video, I first tone the canvas, (AKA gessoed board in this case) with a dark yet rich color. Then I paint in a little more dark, and you will note that the dark acrylic colors are transparent, while the lighter colors, (aka colours) are opaque. And that is a good thing, so you can see you lines, a little, and transparent shadows are nice. Plus it is good to cover up what you want with those light colors.

Slowly build it up with lighter and lighter paint

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Online Art Schools vs University

Art Lessons Online or University?

lizard SVSsm








– I’ve been asked about the difference between online courses like we have at Folio Academy, interactive online schools like SVS and attending an illustration class at a University or art school -(I will give you my opinion next week, March 28, 2014) – I’d love to know what you think. One thing I will say is that we have quite a few art teachers at art schools and Universities using our videos to enhance the learning experience. We aren’t any better than those teachers, and they aren’t any better than us, well not a lot better. Often teachers want their students to hear the same things from other teachers and in different words. I do the same thing when I’m at University – I often show videos from other artists and teachers to reinforce the principles I’m teaching.



Illustrations & Artwork for My Own Book

writing and Illustrating my Own Book

“Get used to disappointment” ~Dread Pirate Roberts

These are some character and environment sketches for a book I wrote and tried to get published. I’ve already scored one rejection on. We learn by our failures right? But in the publishing world you need many many failures, rejections, refusals, dis-approvals, and disasters in order to be a success right? (just say yes) I’ve written many a children’s book my friend and so far the score is, Publishers 15 – Will Terry 0.
Enjoy it while it lasts publishers – for one day I shall laugh at you for buying one of my manuscripts…MWAA HAA HAAA!




:) folioacademy is awesome.  (<<< subliminal message)

Another Billy Goat, How Gruff.


Artist Jim Madsen’s take on the three billy goats gruff. 

bully goat by Jim Madsen

So I was trip trapping on Facebook last night and my best friend Jim Madsen had posted a digital painting he did of the 3 Billy Goats Gruff, and boy did he make a big troll. He says don’t worry about the little goat.

Don’t feel sorry for the goat. Remember that killer rabbit from Monty Python’s Holy Grail? This goat has the same amount of whup arse as him. My dad used to tell the 3 billy goats gruff story nightly to me and my brother… never got old. ~Jim Madsen


Since we just posted a Billy Goat blog, and we said, use a big troll, and we also posted on that post, a Jim Madsen illustration, a twist on the old NC Wyeth’s, Blind Pew, and then I saw this, I wanted to hurry and put it on the blog. Nice work Jim.

Making Our Story App, “GARY’S PLACE”, Was it Worth It?

Is it worth it to put all that time and effort into a story app that probably won’t sell?

It’s Time to reveal the sales for Gary’s Place, my children’s story app.

garys place 01Twenty some years ago when I was going to school, the illustration students had an ongoing debate with the fine art students about money and art. The illustrator’s argued that illustration was art in spite of the commission and art direction. The fine artists said “By nature an assignment takes the artist out if their vision – so it’s not art that’s being created.” I think both sides were right and wrong depending on the individual project but I think it sets up an interesting way for artists to evaluate the value of their work.

 We’ve only sold a few hundred apps at $2.99

This is the blog post where I reveal my sales for my Gary’s Place children’s story app. Even though we have gotten a handful of 4-5 star reviews –  we’ve only sold a few hundred apps at $2.99 each in the past two months. This is no doubt disappointing for many of you who are planning on making an app and retiring, and I won’t pretend it’s not a little disappointing for me too but it’s only part of the story. Okay more than a little, but…

Since 2010 I’ve sold over 60,000 e-books.

I’ve sold tens of thousands (60k to be exact, well, to be close to exact) of my ebooks starting back in 2010, and that, I concluded was mostly due to market timing – aka “luck”. Now that we’ve had about 4 good years of story app and e-book creation, the marketplace has obviously gotten a little noisy or crowded. But, most of the noise is coming from e-books and low quality story apps.

I still believe that an audience can be cultivated over time with a great story and good art. My long term game plan is to keep working on the series of Gary apps and Rick and Aaron are equally committed. Each new app released points back to the earlier ones and thus each new app becomes a marketing piece for the early ones and the early ones will hopefully intrigue consumers to purchase the new ones.  The total project should gain traction over time. (I hope)

Why would an Artist take such risks with their time and effort? 

Over the past 6 months I’ve received questions such as: Will you be able to make enough money? Aren’t you worried that your self publishing will be looked at as a downgrade in the publishing world? Seems like a tough road are you sure this is a good decision? Many people aren’t recouping their time and costs what will you do differently? The marketing seems like the hardest part – are you ready to spend twice as much time marketing your apps? What’s wrong with you? Are you mad?

These are all good questions, all but the last two, but none of them address the most important aspect of creating art such as: Are you having fun with it? Are you creating the art you want to make? Do you think children and parents will respond to what you’re doing? Are you committed to doing this for several years? If it doesn’t make any money will the enjoyment be enough compensation? The answer to all these important is YES!

We artists need to ask ourselves the right questions. 

I don’t think most people ask the right questions of themselves in regard to their art. They’ll question my decision to venture down this road while they themselves have been working for years trying to get picked by a publisher – that sounds like a tough road too. They’ll question how much money I’m making with my apps while they aren’t making much or any money with their artistic ventures. One question I’m never asked is: What are you doing different to engage parents and children? I think people don’t ask this one because they are afraid that they can’t create something remarkable. I’m afraid of that too and we do spend a lot of time discussing it and working on it!

It’s not a successful climb unless you enjoy the journey. ~Dan Benson

I can’t think of many successful companies or products that came from following a proven method. Most success stories share a lot of personal struggles and negative criticism. Apple came from a couple of guys following their dreams of tinkering with computers the professionals insisted that thought nobody would want a personal computer. Stan Lee kept Marvel comics going when everyone told him there was no market for comics. If U2 hadn’t won a $500 contest and had the guts to risk it all on their art, they wouldn’t have been able to record their first demo tape. The stories of artists working on their dream projects and finding success with them years down the road is endless. Yes I hope to be one of them. I’m a dreamer. I work to be able to afford to work on speculative projects.


Should an artist even be talking about money?

But what am I talking about money for? I’m in this for the sheer joy that it is to find time to tinker with a new medium that allows me to express creative ideas in so many new ways! That’s the gold! I just wish you could spend that at the grocery store. lol.

But perhaps this kind of speculative project is in my comfort zone because I’ve had a few successes with my own projects in the past. Starting a freelance illustration business was supposed to be nearly impossible. Making my ebooks was a total unknown in 2010 but has generated a tidy profit. Making and selling illustration video tutorials on my website that lead to starting Folio Academy with Wayne, which has been a wonderful addition to my income. That has lead to starting SVS online teaching with Jake Parker which is also been an amazing project. Each one of these projects has been born out of a labor of love. I love creating art and teaching.

Trust me, you don’t want it to be easy. 

There is no such thing as great talent without great will-power. ~Honore’ de Balzac

So can money corrupt your art? I think so – if you base your artistic decisions on money you may never explore the projects that your audience will love the most. If you play it safe your art will be more predictable. If you follow the “proven” method you’ll find yourself competing with many who can do what you can…that seems risky to me. You are unique. You have an artistic fingerprint that nobody else can generate. I’m not willing to make all of my artistic decisions based on financial compensation. But I have to consider it in order to maintain my art ventures.

If this thing we call art was easy it wouldn’t be of much value. If it were easy to make lots of money as an author or illustrator it wouldn’t be special. Trust me – you don’t want it to be easy.

I will keep you posted on Gary’s sales. 

We should be releasing Gary’s Worms sometime towards the end of March! I’ll continue to give updates on sales throughout the year because I do think that it’s valuable information if not to understand the potential both for risk and reward. I’m a realist. I know you have to eat to live but artists also need to create to live. The trick is to make sacrifices to afford the time to create in your down time.

Make no mistake – Gary’s Place has cost me much more than time. I’ve turned down numerous freelance projects to afford the time to work on Gary…and now that this blog post is finished I’m going to dig in!

See the process in the previous step by step how to make a story app blogs.

Billy Goats & a Troll, Three Blind (Pew) Mice, Illustration wit a Twist

 Put a new twist on an old idea

Why not make the troll HUGE!

Troll SketchThis is an image for a fun little book project I was doing awhile ago and unless you just arrived on this planet you already know what the story is.
I had done another book project that was for a fractured fairy tale called The Three BULLY Goats. A cute little story where the goats were the bullies and the troll was kind and gentle.
I guess that led to me wanting to

illustrate another troll under a bridge with a goats story. I wanted to make an image that would bring a slight twist on the classic BILLY Goats Gruff tale and I thought that playing with the scale of the troll might make my piece more unique. I’ve always been puzzled when musicians re-make a well-known song yet fail to put their own artistry into the performance. I hope I can give this book freshness so that both adults and children can appreciate it.


Part of my process has always been to work from a warm tone over the entire surface – and then I add tone to the shadow areas. Weather I used acrylics, oils or an iPad or other digital devices, I would still go from a toned canvas, to toned shadows to to the finished piece.

I combined two different sketches to get it right. 

I combined two sketches because I was having a hard time drawing the Troll where I wanted him in one sketch. I used Photoshop to get it right…and the painting was also done in Photoshop. – Brushes that never run out of paint! Undo! Copy Paste! Endless Adjustments! Speed! No Shipping Costs!

A new look at an old illustration

3 blind (pew) mice. A  new take on an old favorite by NC Wyeth called the Blind Pew.

0003 Jim M. 3 blind mice. A new take on an old favorite painting from NC Wyeth called the Blind Pew.
Artist Jim Madsen, (Wayne Andreason is his best friend) copied “Blind Pew” with a twist. He took an old favorite by NC Wyeth, the Blind Pew and put it to Three Blind Mice.

The Blind Pew ~NC Wyeth

NC Wyeth's illustration, the Blind Pew
Compare the mouse on the left and the house in the background. And the color pallet and painting technique. Although Jim’s is a digital painting. Way to go Jim.

Alicia VanNoy Call’s Apocalyptic Nursery Rhymes

Freelance Fine Artist, Illustrator, Alicia VanNoy Call, & her Adorably Disturbing Apocalyptic Nursery Rhymes

ANR 027 to market (2)








The Zombies are coming, the town must be warned…

We salute our former student, our friend and colleague, Alicia VanNoy Call who is not only an artist/illustrator but also a writer and an all round creative person. She is truly one of those artists that is defining herself. Alicia first caught my attention with some extremely, strait out of the tube, colorful portraits of animals and family pet portraits. Dawgart. But lately I’ve been seeing her apocalyptic nursery rhymes and I was so impressed that I asked her if we could blog about her. We will get to some Q & A with Alicia and what makes her tick, but I want to start with her apocalyptic fables here to catch your attention rather than make you scroll down or read the whole blog before you see what I’m bragging about.

Zombies and Little Boy Blue 

Little Boy Blue

Wayne: W (question)- Which one started this series? 

Alicia: A- This [Little Boy Blue] was the first. You can see the difference in the art from the rest of the series. I will probably do this one over, and change the trumpet to a trombone. The biggest gripe I got from a few different viewers was that he could definitely still play the trumpet with one arm. That it’s physically possible. I think they’re missing the point. I personally don’t know that I could play a musical instrument after my arm had just been torn off, what with the pain and all.

 Jack and Jill were Eaten for Lunch

Jack and Jill

W- This rhyme made me laugh. It still does.

A- It’s one of my favorites. It’s so gruesome and funny. I went back and forth with what to do for the image. I debated showing people actually eating them, piles of bones, etc. But I eventually decided that the image would be most interesting in the moment before the tension breaks. Just before Jack and Jill lose their innocence. And everything else.



Little Miss Muffet’s city was wiped off the map

Little Miss Muffet

W- I love the relationship that she and the rat seem to have. Great design.

A- This is the one that started the series gaining attention. I think it’s just the flat out ridiculous nature of it. That and the pitiful tragedy of this kid left all alone with a rat named Dave. How sad.




 Rock-a-bye Baby, The Battle is over, we lose. 

rockabye baby

W- ?

A- I love how with just a few simple lines and some value, you can convey so much. This one is particularly creepy to people. It’s like, look at this nightmare world these babies have inherited.





Doctor Jack Horner it’s the end of the world

dr jack horner

W- How do you maintain the fresh, loose look of spontaneity?

A- One of my goals with these drawings is to keep them quick (I have an art business to run after all), and to deliver something immediately legible and humorous. I couldn’t decide what kind of monster to put in this scenario; I thought zombies initially. But it could be anything, couldn’t it? So I just went with a couple of tentacles and left the rest up to the viewer.



It’s Raining, It’s Pouring, it’s fallout.

it's raining it's pouring

W- Which one is your most popular?

A- This and Georgie Porgie are the two most popular so far. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s just the expression on his face and the ripped umbrella. Like, “I’m going through the motions of keeping dry, but really, what’s the point?” The Lady Liberty head was an afterthought.




Georgie Porgie Came out of the John

Georgie PeorgieW- What do you think this one is so popular?

A- People love this one. I think it’s the underwear, another doodle afterthought.






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Can An Artist Survive Without a Rep?

Will Terry is an Illustrator without a Rep, Still.

Today is March 3, and I, Wayne Andreason, would just like to start by saying, HAPPY BIRTHDAY Mark Andreason and Kory Kennington.  I’m Mark’s favorite brother and Kory’s best friend. And happy birhtday anyone else out there who happens to have a March 3 birthday.

Artist, Will Terry has been repless since january 2010

CampFire Boy

Q- so Mr. Will Terry, you don’t have a rep, do you starve?
A- Well Mr. Wayne Andreason, No, I do not starve, in fact if I ever suffered from anorexia, I certainly one that battle. In case you haven’t noticed, I am a big guy.
Q- So how do you make money if you don’t have an agent finding you work?
A- I’m still a free agent and in a position to negotiate my own contracts with my clients. I used to have a rep and It was a good ride with Shannon Associates but due to creative differences we have now parted ways. It was great to work with that company and we did many wonderful projects together.
Q- How long have you been on your own?
Four years ago I declared my independence, severed the umbilical cord and moved on.  I was on my own and chose to embrace the freedom it afforded me.
Funny how, in the beginning, I SO wanted a rep to get me work and keep me fed, and it didn’t come easy. I had to prove myself before they would even look at me. It was like, you can’t get an agent until you don’t need an agent. I was glad to be a part of the team and it was good for me too. Have Paints Will Terry 
Q- What’s that supposed to mean?
A- You’re the one that came up with it. And it’s kind of stupid by the way. It’s supposed to be like my artist’s credo, (like a mercenaries creed) It’s supposed to sound like, Have guns will travel. Well any way, the thing is, If you, or any one you know, has a project that you think might be a good match for me please call or email me direct – 801-368-7568. And yes, my refrigerator is running.
Q- So have you been busy?
A- Yes, off and on. More off than it seems. When I am not working on something for a client, I try to keep myself busy with a self imposed project of some type. To better my skill or to create an app or work with on Folio Academy, or an e-book. I also teach adjunct at UVU.
Q- What about the (above) picture of the boy and the fire?
A- Thank you for asking, Since I am reminiscing, I wanted you to post this self imposed assignment, of the boy and the campfire. It is one I did while getting on my “free agent” feet and trying to get a handle on Photoshop.
Q- Do you like how it turned out.
A- You forgot your question mark.
Q- Whoops, I do that a lot, Do you like how it turned out
A- Yes, I was busy at night working on this painting trying to gain more control with Photoshop and was happy with the results. I was experimenting with the texture but I think that most of the painting worked out. If you have my book The Frog with the Big Mouth you might recognize the little froggy in the lower right. I was always jealous of digital artists for the ability to rip themselves off – you know, copy and paste, now I get to do it! And I do do it, all the time. Tee hee.

Q-So the campfire boy was a “self imposed” assignment?

A- Yeah, This piece was a “just for fun” painting. I still draw and paint, “just for fun” but back then I had to in order to get ready to send out digital art examples to my clients. (note to reader: So if you’re a client or a would be client, I’d love to chat.) I love the ability it gives me to work on details and erase unwanted paint and the control over color and value are undeniable. My personal email is will at willterry dot com (it’s in code to confuse the bots).

Q- So that was Will Terry, has paints, Will terry?

A- Yes.