Art, Painting, and Drawing Should be Fun

Art should be fun, so Draw or Paint something just for fun

color sketch of a man, by Will Terry

A quick Color sketch I did Just to have some fun with my art

When you Make your money with Art, it can become a job

Art is my career and believe it or not, It gets boring, stressful and even difficult at times. OK a lot of times. It was so fun to draw and color, and take the heads of of Barbie dolls, as a child. And I was terrible at the three R-s, so I wanted to be and artist. But, little did I know, that when you are drawing, coloring, dealing with committees and art directors and other clients for 4-18 hours a day. (Deadlines can push you into overtime mode) It can get boring.

Don’t get me wrong, I still love being and artist, Art is my dream job and I feel very fortunate to be an artist. So there! All my teachers who discouraged me from being an artist. But some times you just need to sharpen the axe. Take it easy, and draw, paint, or sketch just for fun. Have fun! your an artist for crying out loud.

Pencil Sketch of a man with a mustache art by Will Terry

Black and white sketch of the art I did for fun

So I did some artwork just for fun

I decided to avoid working on the projects that pay real money and do something just for fun. I painted this in Photoshop last night sitting in our new recliner watching “The Thing” (1982 John Carpenter version) with my boys. I rendered it on my little netbook just to see how far I could take an image on that little $248 computer. Technology is getting really affordable for everyone.

Italian scene with an arch, photo

Background I took to slap into the back ground of the sketch I painted.

So I’m a copy cat, This is my art, for me, for fun

I combined the background photo (google images) with my rendering to save time. FYI I would never do this for a paying client – I don’t like confrontations, threats, law suits, etc. I don’t condone Plagiarism, but we all copy.

What I’m saying here is, if you are doing some art just for fun, sketching, drawing painting, what ever, go ahead and do what you gotta do. Borrow, copy, look to the masters.  Art should be fun, once in a while if not always. Besides, you are practicing, learning, sharpening the saw. So copy away, learn and have fun. But don’t plagiarize, that’s when you steel someone else’s work and try to pass it off as your own. Where was I? Oh yeah, HAVE FUN!   :)









Photoshop Speed Painting of a Damsel in a Tower

Fairy Tale, Digital SpeedPainting of a Beautiful Girl in a Tower

Video looks better with the right music


This little speed painting is set to a Tori Amos tune that makes this little digital speed painting look a lot nicer. It’s funny how the audio can make the picture that much nicer. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, watch this again with out the sound. Notice when you are watching a movie trailer or preview, the sound makes you want to watch the movie. try watching a few previews with the sound off, you will see what your not hearing. It isn’t as pretty.

Painting (with Photoshop) Just for Because!!!

I love my work and I love the projects I’m working on but sometimes I get an urge to create something different and that feeling will gnaw at me until I stuff it with a free painting day.This was a sketch I did while in church (of course I was listening – shut up and just don’t ask what the sermon was about) and I thought it would be fun to record it and set it to music – I was right. I’ve always loved this Tori Amos song too and it makes the speed painting look a lot nicer. I’m still loving Photoshop… but it made me want a bigger, badder, meaner, stronger, faster, (six million dollar) computer… and a Cintique. Which by the way, I now have. And I am loving that too. And since it is for my (art) business, it’s tax deductible. (I am not a tax pro and this is not tax advice, please contact your tax professional for any tax deductions of which, you may be entitled. And there are a lot. I think) That being said, be self employed, it’s worth it, I guarantee it. (that is not a guarantee)

Your friend Will Terry of Folioacademy, art lessons online.

Artists take it on the road

Artist Road Trip to Chicago

This was awhile back but I hope you’re jealous 

So..’m not going to apologize for taking time out of my busy life and driving off to Chicago with two of my good friends. – I’ve been busy – but hey, the guys need a road trip once in awhile. Poor Wayne stayed home there just wasn’t room for the little guy.

Famous children’s book author Rick Walton, the man who wrote Gary’s place, Illustrator Guy Francis, and I drove to the American Library Association Conference back there. We went to promote ourselves to librarians since they recommend books for awards and consumers. It’s an amazing conference/Expo – anything and everything that is used in a library, and a lot of stuff that is not, is being pitched, sold, recommended, hucked, and pushed. From furniture to books it’s all there – and so were we.

We stayed with Eric Rohmann and Candy Fleming in the suburbs the first night – thanks guys for being such wonderful hosts – they invited publicists, editors, authors, librarians, and a few illustrators to a party – Rick gave schmoozing demos.

Rick put Eric’s Caldecott to good use – it was just collecting dust after all.

The view from our hotel – thank you Albert Whitman for putting us up.

We found Laura Seeger signing her books. She is awesome!

My cat allergy wasn’t that bad in Chicago.

Guy finally found a hat that fit.

Rick was almost arrested for public intoxication – we convinced the authorities he was writting a book about poles – a sequel to Holes.

I got to sign in the Albert Whitman booth.

We found Kristyn’s book and took a really stupid picture with it – I don’t really know what the purpose was other than to look really stupid – sorry Kristyn – we un-cooled your cool book. But hey, we pulled off stupid.

If your in Chicago go here – you can start out your day feeling like you just had breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Why did we go here on a Sunday? and stand in front of this sign? To get our picture taken, why else.

This is why we didn’t have any women in our group!

I got to sign again at a party.

At the Caldecott banquet we heard from Beth Krommes and Neil Gaimon – great speaches on their medals.

Me and Beth – She asked me what I thought of her limited palette – WOW – she….asked me! I hope I said something lever yet intelligent.

Neil was very excited to have yet another photo taken with two strangers – PUT UP WITH IT NEIL!!! HAHA.

Me and Uri Shulevitz….WOW!

We came, we conquered, ….we stopped for nothing!!! NOTHING I TELL YOU!!!
(It’s 1:30 AM)

We thought we had seen it all – then on the drive home…….

Folio Boys go to So Cal

I am lucky to be Will’s best friend

This video isn’t that great but it is cool to see Will Speaking to Millions of peeps.
Since the California Teachers Association (CTA) loves Will’s artwork for children so much, he has been able to represent the CTA two times so far. So they paid for him and his wife, or if she was too busy or not feeling well or what ever, He was able to take some significant brother. That’s me, Will’s best friend, Wayne. So we loaded up the truck and we went to Beverly, LA that is, swimming pools, movie stars.
Well the next thing you know, Old Will‘s on stage up there, over the weekend he was a celebrity, he got to represent the California Teachers Association again with his Armadilly Chili Book. He had a blast and he even got to say a few words in front of the group. That’s him up there.
I couldn’t believe how they crammed more than a million people in the ballroom.

We SOLD OUT on Saturday afternoon – We couldn’t believe it! Over 500 books! They even made a plush out of Tex the tarantula, – you may still be able to buy it here. Author’s note, Not Terry the tarantula who was slow roasted to death in a jar, but Tex, a character in Armadilly Chili. 

They took very good care of us – too good!

On Sunday we drove down to visit illustrator Steve Gray in Hermosa Beach. He’s a great guy and a decorated illustrator – he won the Grand Canyon Reader award last year for his Coyote book.

Steve uses one of those nifty Cintiq Tablets to render his illustrations. He used to do quite a bit of advertising illustration back in the day and his studio walls are decorated with many impressive and recognizable work.

Pick up a copy and enjoy his wacky drawing and wonderful color and Jennifer Ward’s great story.

You can’t go all the way to the beach without actually getting your feet wet right? I’m the short one on the right.


I guess we weren’t the only ones having a good weekend.

No this is not how we found Will’s wife’s car upon our return, they are still happily married. We saw this car outside of “The Mad Greek” Near Vegas, where we stopped for one last overdose of gluttony on our way home.


10 Things I Learned at SLC Comic Con 2014

Great for Artists/Illustrators, SLC Comic Conference 2014

Ten Things I learned at the SLC Comic Con last week, or so:

1. I was supposed to geek out on the famous firefly insect Adam Baldwin but I don’t like insects much.

2. I take really good blurry pictures. Most people struggle with this technique – not I. Here is Corel Painter, artist, Don Seegmiller better known as Neil Young. Maybe I should take a Photography class at Folio Academy.

3. I enjoy meeting online friends in person like these Disney interactive artists; Mathew Armstrong and Jason Kim

4. Reconnecting with my blurry friends like Disney artist Ryan Wood.

5. …and gopher turned Japanese poster artist Jed Henry (google Ukiyo-e Heroes)

6. That Ty Carter is trying to bulk up for his next career as an MMA fighter…

7. …and Jake Parker is already an MMA fighter…so don’t disrespect.

8. Oh – and that Bjorn Thorkelson created the “Accurasee sketch caddie” the BEST product I saw at comic con! It’s an art tools carrier that fits over the cover of your sketchbook. I was blown away by this nifty device. Many of you know that I mostly sketch on my iPad now but I had to have one of these for the times when I take my sketchbook out. I remember what a pain it was to try to carry everything I wanted – no longer! Check it out at his website.

9. That many of my students from UVU although blurry, have become amazing artists and will be forces to be reckoned with in animation, visual development, and illustration.

10. And finally that Jared Salmond has become completely invisible. People loved watching his pen sign all those posters. When I had him in class he was only “mostly” invisible but through hard work and determination he has finally arrived at his present form of, well, not being there….and for his next feat he will become mute.

I Used to Struggle as an Illustrator & I Still STRUGGLE with My Art

If You only knew How Much I Used To Struggle!

 In fact, I still STRUGGLE with my art.

Fish King

To this day I still have a problem drawing in front of people. I have no problem painting in front of a group but I’m so unsure about my drawings I get really self conscious.
This fish for instance goes through a really rough loose stage that changes form many times before I start to see things I like. Often I don’t like where it’s going and have to start over from scratch – that would make a really fun demo wouldn’t it? (sarcasm intended)… and the fear of that happening is paralyzing – so I don’t often draw in front of my classes.
A lot of our artist friends that are realy good at what they do, don’t want to do a course for folioacademy because they are afraid of the camera, they don’t want the world to see them struggle.

Developing Your Art Skill Takes Time

I know I’ve talked about this before but I really want you to know two things:

1. This art thing that you want to get good at takes a long time – a lifetime really.

2. It’s really fun when you start to put all the pieces together and start creating images that gather an audience!

Assignment: Create a “Fish King Character”

King Fish line artI gave an assignment to create a “Fish King” character in my Imagination and Visual Literacy class at UVU and invited my students to send me images to post – some of them took me up on this invitation. I hope they realize that they draw better than I did when I was going to college. In fact, I was put on “probation” as a provisional student for being such a horrible artist. I was one of the few that didn’t get a studio space my junior year and I was on probation, I had to improve or I wouldn’t be in “the Program” my senior year. So I spent my Junior year being a lesser student. Yes that was stressful and depressing. And scary, to spend three years in University just to be told that “I can’t be an artist”.

Here are some preliminary sketches.

Oh yeah – it was my son Aaron’s idea to put fish hooks in his lips – credit where credit’s due!

Evolution of a Fish King.

King Fish line art c







Here’s What My Students are Drawing

King Fish line art d

I love the diversity you can see in their work. By nature artists want to be different. Artists want to show the world something they’ve never seen. Check out Dallin Orr’s and Todd wilson’s work.

I don’t mind admitting it, some of my students are a lot better artists than I was at their stage in the game.

 Here are a few warm up sketches I did.

King Fish line art b

I Love Presenting Art to Children

 Presenting is The Funnest Part of Being an Artist. 

School Visit in Katy TX

I love presenting to kids because of the honesty…like…”you’re cat sucks!”…with all the sarcasm and BS we adults feed each other – sometimes a little brutal honesty is refreshing. Painful, but refreshing.

Of course it is funner, (are funnest and funner real words? Good question, let me answer that right here in the middle of my sentence since you so kindly interrupted and pointed out my ignorance. According to “For now, the fact remains that funner and funnest are, erroneous and still considered unacceptable by many editors and other careful English users”.) to get comments like, “your cat is cool!” or You are the best artist EVER!” And some times the children say things like that too. So much for brutally honest.

So these pics are from a school visit I did in Katy Texas. Here is a little picture of a child’s work. I love the Kids drooorings.

School Visit in Katy TX Child Drawing






School Visit in Katy TX Librarian

Met some awesome librarians in Katy TX… Everything is bigger and better…and sweeter.











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.


Tips for Illustrators & Students Part 2: Why Are You an Artist?

We are Artists Because IT USED TO BE FUN!

I became and Artist cuz art is fun.

I became and Artist cuz art is fun.

I want to start this by asking you, how did you get into art?  What made you start producing art?  Was it just for fun? Were you just a kid?  Did you get into art because people asked you to draw things for them?  I honestly doubt that you got into art because other people asked you to. Most of us got into art to make cool stuff and because it was fun and fulfilling.

There is much amazing stuff out there, and we looked out at it and decided we wanted to make our own and show it to the world.

Do you want to be an Illustrator, an Artist, or an Employee? 

Art is fun.

Art is fun.

Yet so many artists who have spent so long learning, and practicing get to a certain point, like when they’re about to finish school, and they start thinking about getting out of school, becoming an Artist, an illustrator, or just thinking about how to make money with their art skills.

After that all of a sudden we want to get hired. So we can get paid. So we can eat. We want to be employees.  We start looking for someone else to tell us what to do (or draw) so we can make a living, and so we can eat.

We get asked to draw something that isn’t fun or we get asked to do something that takes away from our vision.

What can I do To Make Money as an Artist?

I don’t want to discourage you, there is nothing wrong with working with and helping other people. I want to help open your mind to other possibilities.

It started with students across the country, and now it’s students all over the world. People want to be hired.

The main thing I am asked is, “what can I draw to make money?” I think it’s backwards, is that why we became artist? I’m not saying it’s inherently wrong, but it’s not why we started.

I’m in a position now that I can pick and choose. I’ve put in a lot of work that I ended up hating but I’ve also put a lot of work into my children’s books that I’ve really enjoyed, and I enjoyed the people I’ve worked with.


But is that the only way or are there other things that we can do? Have you ever thought that musicians, authors, actors, videographers, and gallery artists are more entrepreneurial than illustrators. Think about that, are they?

What is wrong with Illustrators.  And this is a generalization. Musicians move to Austin, or Nashville, or they record in a friend’s house, and now with the internet a lot of them are starting their own YouTube channels. Comedians are starting their own YouTube channels. Actors move to Hollywood or start YouTube channels, Gallery-Artists make something and try to get someone to buy it. Writers write something and hope publishers buy it, or they publish it on Amazon and sell it directly. Like Amanda Hopkins.

Illustrators Want to be hired, commissioned, or just get a job. 

What’s the difference between us Illustrators, and all the other artists? Ask yourself and try to answer that question. A graphic designer decided to publish his own small books. I have a friend who owns a graphic design studio, and we first started working together about ten, fifteen years ago. And he would hire me, he was getting contracts from Children’s book publishers, and he would hire me to do covers and inside spreads.

A couple years ago he hired me to do some work for a children’s book with a publisher I had never heard of before, why because it was new, it also happened to be him or his publishing company. He decided ‘you know what, I can make one of these myself’. And he’s still publishing books, and even some e-books online.

The Internet has Been a Real Game Changer. 

If you are a teenager or in your mid-twenties, you probably grew up with the internet. Not knowing life without it. I wonder if the internet is more impressive to me someone who lived without it. I can’t speak for someone who lived without cars, or plains.  But I worked without the internet. I don’t want to just assume that I appreciate something more than you, but I wonder how I ever got along without it.

There are thousands of people on YouTube who picked themselves.  People who just decided to utilize this wonderful tool. Some decided, “Hey! I’m going to broadcast the news, and I’m going to make money doing it”, and they’re doing it.

You got the guys who did kid history, (Bored Shorts) and the guys who do honest trailers, (Screen Junkies) look them up, or click the link. But don’t get sucked in, your focus is here right now.

Prank vs prank, there’s that guy from Utah “tipping servers $200”.  Video recorded it, and put it on Youtube.  By my calculations I’d say he cleared $20,000 just posting that one idea.

Now you don’t “NEED” the middle man.

You can now make a free service like Youtube, get your own channel (FolioAcademy has one right here that is grossly underutilized by the way).

My Kid History friends at Bored Shorts are talking to Disney right now, who may end up buying their channel of videos and if they do it’s going to be big.  By the way That guy who filmed the tipping video has over a hundred million views, when you do that, you get noticed, and even make money with advertising. There are tons of review channels too. Someone decides “Hey! I am going to review this product.” Have you ever noticed that whenever someone decides something they start by saying “Hey!” My friend Jedd Henry who did Yukio Heroes. Michal Dowdled who makes his own puzzles of all the famous cities.  He picked himself, Kazu who made flight, People who made their own web comics. That oatmeal guy (I love that guy) Music,  everyone in music is getting involved,  Indie Music, it’s when YOU decide that Hey! you are a musician, you don’t wait for it.

They don’t teach this stuff in public schools. 

The guy’s running public school never taught this, because so many of them didn’t create anything.

My slam on public schools, they do not teach creativity.  They teach people to obey the rules and math and language and science. And WE need that, OK we do but we also need creativity.

We have not been equipped for this world, and public schools haven’t either, our parents and friends and the world is all telling us what to do.  Go to college, get good grades so you can get a job. It makes sense, it’s safe. But ask these guys who have “picked themselves”, they don’t worry about safe.

This is starting to run long so I’m going to have to have a part 3 and maybe part 4 and more.

Okay my next posts will share some strategies, like: Things that I’ve learned, Things that I’m trying to apply now, and ways for an artist to be more entrepreneurial.