Book Signing his Picture Books – LA

Book signings are a lot of fun for authors and illustrators

My good friend Will here is just loving the opportunity to meet his fans and attending a book signing. One of the things you will love most about being a children’s book artist going to the book signings and meeting fans and signing books that they can’t wait to take home and read to their kids. If you look real close at our blog and our website, you will soon see that my good friend, Will Terry is the more talented and more famous artist here. I, Wayne Andreason, the other Folio Academy guy, don’t have hoards of peeps asking me to sign anything yet. But I like road trips and fortunately Will and I get to do a lot of cool stuff together. Bro time, if you will.

Book Signing for artist and author at the CTA

Will Terry and Helen Ketteman at the CTA Book Signing in LA

A few years ago, Will was invited to attend a big convention and book signing op for the CTA (California Teachers Association) in L.A. Two years in a row they chose one of his picture books as their spot light book I guess.  He was chosen to be the CTA illustrator in conjunction with “Read Across America” and the CTA chose Armadilly Chili to be their “RAA” book for the state of California for 2010-2011. It was such a great gig because they print up posters, conference folders, pencils, stickers, and for Armadilly – mugs, T-shirts, a plush Tex, and even an apron. Also, Helen Ketteman the author of Armadilly Chili was there to sign books and she’s a hoot. That woman has more energy than the sun!

Sun shining through the city-scape of LAWe were lucky enough to go hang out in LA and eat good food. An awesome road trip on the tax payers dime.

We signed books that evening, well his book signing deal not mine, but I was there helping get books out for people, keeping the line steady, crowd controlling and that. It wasn’t quite like a Justin Bieber concert but it was busy. Then were up at the crack of dawn to sign books all day Saturday. About 1000 teacher reps fly in from all over the state for their council meeting and most of them buy the books to take back to their districts for the upcoming read across America day on March 2nd.

“I was so lucky to get this opportunity!” ~Will Terry

Wayne In font of a cool old vacant diner in or near Vegas

I was so lucky to go too and to share in the fun. We stopped in Vegas to visit family and eat. It’s hard to believe it was so long ago. ~Wayne Andreason

A Little Art Assignment With PhotoShop

A Little Art Exercise with Photo Shop

Digital painting class –

Rules: Use Photoshop – add a cabin and appropriate lighting for the landscape – one brush – one layer – no tracing – no undo – no eraser – no eye dropper – no tools other than the brush – paint too dark? tough – paint light values over your mistakes.

Give yourself 3 hours… GO!

cabin assignment





-Cost: Free, just do it.

-Consequences: Learning……the groans and moans will be worth every penny! 

The Pose-able Wooden Artist Doll Has Come a Long Way, Baby.

The Pose-able Wooden Artist Doll Has Come a Long Way, Baby.

Meet the new!

poseable 2

Meet the old. 

Every artist has contorted their hand and looked in the mirror trying to figure out how to draw different poses. The wooden doll was a great invention for capturing gestures of the basic human figure.

Now for around $300 plus shipping you can get the S.F.B.T-3. WOW! This doll has few limitations.

Manufactured in Japan by Dolk Station, the S.F.B.T-3 is made from ABS resin, which is stronger than the colour range used in the first version. Priced at US$300, orders can be shipped internationally.

Ten years in the making, this girl has 80 moveable parts in her body, allowing for an unprecedented number of poses and anatomical designs. We take a look at the doll’s amazing details and see how it performs in some popular anime poses for the illustrator’s eye.

▼ The lines and shadows in the hands give you incredible detail when it comes to gun-holding scenes. All that’s left to do is load her up with the weaponry of choice.


▼ The flexible torso allows for increased movement and more precision when it comes to the natural angle of a back arch.


▼ The eyes can even be manipulated to face left, right, up or down.



▼ The forearm twists with the hand to provide an accurate silhouette.



▼ The toes can be adjusted for accurate running and leaping movements.



▼ Although able to support herself in a number of poses, a stand is included in delivery.



▼ The attention to detail is enhanced thanks to over 200 parts used in her construction.



For more design details check out the video below or visit CrabFu Blog for a full review.


Don’t Let “THEM” Define YOUR Success!

Don’t Let Them Define Your Success!

A Self Defeating way of thinking. 

Too often I hear up and coming illustrators, animators, and comic book artists say, “Hopefully I can make it someday and get freelance work.” This is a self defeating way of thinking…if you never get hired does that mean you didn’t make it? Is there a such thing as all or nothing as an artist? Is this easy for me to say because I make a living with my art?

Keep Creating even if you aren’t “working”.

I don’t think so because I remember those very discouraging times when I wasn’t getting work. But more importantly I would be creating art even if I wasn’t getting hired to complete freelance assignments. I don’t create for my clients – I create for myself. My publishers get to publish my work. I own it and stand behind it and even though I work closely with them they don’t own it – I do. I take responsibility for the quality of my work and place a higher standard for myself than my clients demand – therefore – it’s mine.

Do Commissions Equal Success?

The problem with thinking that assignments equal success is that you let forces outside of your control define your value. It’s a dangerous game to play because at what point to you throw in the towel and say, “well, time to quit – nobody hired me.” Success can be defined in many ways and I understand the need to generate income with your craft. I think it’s important to remember that some artists start earning a decent income within a year after school. Some might take 1-5 years. Some much longer.

What if you don’t find work right away?

I once had a student who stated, “I need to start earning money with illustration right after graduation.” I didn’t know quite how to answer that and I failed to give a good answer at the time. What I would say today is this: “So, what if you don’t? does that mean the past four years was a waste of time? What if you could see the future and you are able to generate more money than you could imagine but it takes you 10 years to get to that point – is that worth it? Do you have the commitment to make it through the 10 years of below expected income levels? What if your experience was like my friend who struggled for 4-5 years after school and then was asked to illustrate: “A Series of Unfortunate Events”? Would that be worth it?

The tendency is to want the rewards with little sacrifice. If you really truly want it you will have to dedicate your life to it – this is good news for most because you’re in control of it! You have many years ahead of you of hard work! Embrace it. Fall in love with it. Cherish the time you have with your craft.

What does “success” mean to you?

If being successful means being chosen to work for someone else – you might be disappointed if your work is easily good enough but you aren’t being seen by the right clients.

If being successful means earning enough money to pay your bills – you might be judging your potential before your work is marketable.

If being successful means winning awards – you might be creating art that is unappreciated by the trend police.

If being successful means selling a certain quantity – you might be disappointed if the right audience never sees your product.

The previous is inspired by Seth Godin who says we’re now living in a time where you can’t afford to wait for someone to pick you – rather you must pick yourself.

Nobody hired me to make ebooks but I picked myself and published them.

Nobody hired me to make video tutorials and online classes but I picked myself and created them.

Nobody hired me to run my youtube channel but I picked myself and publish videos every month.

Nobody hired me to write this blog but I picked myself and now I have a place to share my ideas.

If you set attainable goals you can be successful every day, month, and year. It starts with a commitment to excellence and improvement. It ends when you die. I can promise you that I will be creating art until that day. I don’t work -I create. I live and breathe knowing that I have much more to give. I am successful because what I create makes me happy. Do you want to be an artist? Then be an artist and be successful by your definition, not THEIR’s.

Art for beginners, try Zentagle, No Art Experience Necessary

Zentangle a cool art form for everyone

Zentangle Example

“Discover your inner creativity!” We have 3 new courses by the funloving, certified Zentangle instructor/ photographer/ artist, Ellen Darby, on Zentangle at FolioAcademy where you find all kinds of art lessons online.

What is Zentagle? Good question.

Zentangled Heart

Zentangle is an easy to learn art form, it is fun and relaxing. With it you create beautiful designs through the use of repetitive patterns. It’s like doodling with direction.

Zentangle art ideas are limitless

Zentangled House

Zentangles canbe used in endless ways—from greeting cards, creative journals, and ceramic tiles, to business logos, therapeutic self-expression, and corporate team building.

Zentangle is Fun and Easy to Learn

Zentangle Process

No matter how you choose to express yourself, Zentangling is a fun, soothing, invigorating, affordable, portable, and personal way to be creative. No background in art is required!

ba vid pg img 512x392

Why Does My Artwork SUCK? Why Most Adults Draw Like Children

“I would do more art but my art sucks.”

I hope that doesn’t ring familiar to any of our readers or followers here, but I have heard this and similar complaints quite a bit over the years.

Anyone can be an artist. Especially you!

Anyone can learn how to draw and how to paint. “Even me?” Of course you. It doesn’t matter if your not gifted, with tons of natural drawing ability, most of us aren’t. (And we HATE those who are. Well we don’t hate them, some of them are my best friends, but we are often jealous.) Like anything else, it takes study and practice. It helps to enjoy it however and the sad thing is, it is hard to enjoy it when you suck at it, so then it’s hard to practice, and then it’s hard to improve. It can be a vicious cycle of procrastination.

Do you ever wonder why most adults draw like children?

It’s because they stopped drawing while they were children. It’s not because you need to be gifted, or blessed with some amazing ability to draw and paint. It is simply because most adults stopped drawing while they were still children. If you stopped drawing at the age of six, you are probably still able to draw like a six year old. So if you want to draw better, draw more. If you want to paint better, paint more.

Why does my art suck?

Why does my artwork look like a child drew it? No wonder I stopped drawing when I was six years old, I was drawing like a six year old.

A lot of children play piano better than I do. Do you think that since I’ve never studied or practiced piano, that that would have something to do with it? Of course it would. Why do I play piano like a five year old?  I believe that with the right instruction and practice, I could learn it, and if I wanted it, and enjoyed it, I would do it.

Children have an advantage when learning art.

They don’t care if their art looks like a child did it. So they don’t get frustrated as fast when it doesn’t turn out. Their moms and dads are more likely to post their work on the fridge and compliment their little heads off too. You won’t get that from family and friends and critics at your age. But we adults can take criticisms and we can also learn.

So get started, don’t worry where you are, but look where you’ll be.

It is a new year and a great time to resolve. Get a sketch book and a few pencils and start now. When you draw something and it sucks, and if your like me, a lot of it will, especially if you are as critical of your own work as most of us artists are. Take your sketch book with you and draw. When you are wondering what to draw, don’t worry about making some master piece, just draw. Copy the dishes, the cel phone, the tires while you are in the waiting room at the tire shop. Draw the magazine rack while your in the Dr’s waiting room.

Warning! Don’t draw the people there, they will want to see your work and then wonder why a full grown artist, with a sketch book and every thing, is drawing like a twelve year old. Doodle, work on your line quality, draw a few circles with a template if you want, then decide on where the light is coming from and model (shade) them into spheres. Copy other artists drawings. Have fun with it and keep learning.

sketch of spheres and a light source.

Draw some circles then model them. Render them later when you don’t know what to draw.

And oh yeah, don’t scribble out the “bad ones” in a fit of rage just because you don’t love ’em or they don’t turn out perfectly. They are just sketches, they’re not your children, so they don’t have to be perfect. Don’t tear out the pages that you hate, yet. Every year or so, go through and take out the ones you do like and compile them into you real sketch book. That’s the sketchbook you’ll let people browse through and wonder why YOU are gifted with such a wonderful,  natural ability.

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!