What Should I Be Focusing My Spare Time On?

So, as crazy as it sounds – I’m not actually “in the mood” to create art very often.

*Audience gasps simultaneously*

I know, I know. How could an artist NOT just want to create ALL THE TIME. Isn’t that why you’re an artist?

Unfortunately, no. And sometimes even when I want to draw, I don’t have the inspiration to push me towards creating something. I’ll often just sit there and stare at a piece of paper or canvas and think to myself – “man, I am really hungry”.

Although, I guess I’m always thinking that.

The point is that I’m rarely prepared to create something, which is why you haven’t seen much come up on the website lately. There’s been a lot going on, with a new job, a new dog (She is seriously just the cutest thing), and just trying to figure out what exactly to spend my spare time on.

I think I spend more “spare time” trying to figure out what to do, then actually DOING something. Do I spend it on creating art, writing a blog post, editing the website, building backlinks, creating YouTube videos, how to take over the world and rule with an iron fist… There’s just so many choices.

Anyways, I got a little off topic there. I really do want to create awesome artwork, but I’ll often decide to work on something else instead.

What would YOU as a reader/viewer prefer? Should I try to focus all of my time on more drawing? Or should I divide my time into a few different things such as blog posts and YouTube videos?

Let me know in the comments and I’ll do my best to deliver!

P.S. – Here’s a picture of my adorable dog, in case you wanted to see.
Adorable Dog

Dreams of an Aspiring Artist

Everyone has dreams, right? Some dream of becoming a renown singer, or perhaps a musician. Others dream of “making it big” as an actor, or even a director. Some want to be writers, others want to be all-stars, but all of us have dreams, don’t we? As for myself, I’m an aspiring artist with abnormally large hopes and dreams.

My Dreams As An Aspiring Artist

Pencil Drawing of Thumbs Up - Dreams of An Aspiring ArtistTo some, explaining what their dream is can be as simple as saying “I want to be [My Dream]”, and then the point has been made. But I feel my dreams as an aspiring artist are a little more complicated than that. I don’t just want to be a great artist, because saying such leaves a plethora of unanswered questions such as “Why do you want to be a great artist?”, “What kind of art do you want to master?”, “Do you have a time-frame?”, “Is that what you want to do for a career?”, etc..

So instead of simply saying “I want to be a great artist“, I’m going to give a bit more of a detailed explanation as to the why’s, how’s, and when’s.

A Master of all Mediums

Crazy, right? It’s difficult enough as it is to gain expertise in one medium, let alone all of them. It’s an immense goal to have, but that’s the point. I never want to reach a point where I’m content with my skills as an artist. I would much rather continue to grow so I can look back and see the progress I’ve made throughout the years. I feel significantly more confident in my skills today than I did a year ago, and I hope I can say the same with each passing year.

A Web Comic

If and when I do create a web comic, I’ll probably want to create another website to which it’s dedicated. I’ve brainstormed some ideas for a web comic, and I’ve even created one or two test strips, but I haven’t found an idea that I’m willing to proceed with just yet. I might even consider creating several, just to see which ones take off best. I love clean humor of all shapes and sizes, and creating a web comic would be a way for me to express both my love for art and humor. How could I go wrong?.. (don’t answer that).

I’d love to hear suggestions if there’s anyone out there that has a cool idea for a web comic. It’s going to be clean, though. So vulgar suggestions probably won’t be considered.

Fame and Glory

I might be exaggerating a little bit, but in reality, I want to be recognized as an artist. This doesn’t mean I have to be the most famous artist that ever existed, or even famous on a national level. I want people to see my artwork and tell me what they think of it, whether it be praise, critique, or hate, it will all help me to continually improve.

Of course, I also want to be known enough to make a living off of what I create. Whether I sell my original artwork or prints on websites such as Zazzle.com, or I create my own products such as coloring books, I want to be able to call it my full-time job. If becoming a full time artist is my job, then it’s likely that I’ll never feel like I’m working a day in my life.

A YouTube Sensation

YouTubeOh Youtube. A collection of videos from all over the globe where people express themselves in ways photos and words never could. I’ve slowly grown in subscribers over the years, but creating videos as an aspiring artist can be hectic. Recording is easy – Editing is not. And so my goal is to create a large variety of videos in advance, so I can consistently post videos on a weekly basis.

I love watching other artists post time-lapsed videos of their creations. It fascinates me to see all the various styles and mediums thrown together to create amazing works of art in a matter of minutes.

A Great Husband

With all the goals listed above, one would think I would need to dedicate every waking moment working towards making them become a reality. Staying up late, getting up early, work, and more work. But there’s something much more important to me than all of the dreams listed above: my amazing wife.

Does this mean I won’t work towards my goals? Of course not! But I already have everything I need to make me the happiest man alive. Everything else is just icing on the cake.

I’m sure it’s the cheesiest thing you’ve heard of today, but it’s true. Hopefully this little post will help others realize there’s more to life than just “me” and “my dreams”.

Charcoal Pencils Review – Starring Anakin The Manikin

Thanks to my ever-increasingly phenomenal wife, I now have brand new charcoal pencils to play with, as well as a brand new friend whom I’ve taken the liberty of naming Anakin… Anakin the Manikin. I know, It’s remarkable how clever and original I can be.

Charcoal Pencil Review

Manikin Drawings - Charcoal Pencil ReviewThe charcoal pencils I’ve now been using are “Master’s Touch Fine Art Studio woodless charcoal pencils”, and thus far they’ve been great! When using basic pencils with various hardness such as H, 2B, 4B, etc.. I can rarely darken my artwork to my liking. That’s not a problem when I’m using charcoal pencils

The Mess

Unfortunately, they’re also messy. But as soon as I purchase some cheap hairspray to use on each finished piece, I should be fine. You can buy professional sprays to keep charcoal from smudging, but hairspray is a good substitute if you’re not working on a commission or gift. I recommend at least the hairspray though, otherwise the charcoal drawings will definitely smudge all over (I speak from recent experience). Also, gently brushing off leftover charcoal dust is a bad idea. Just saying.

The Fun

Just because it’s messy, doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy it, In fact, I LOVE my new charcoal pencils. Most of the reasoning behind my new love for charcoal is simply because it’s new to me. I love trying new mediums, but it’s also much easier to make drawings “pop” with charcoal, which has been a struggle for me. Having utensils that are generally darker than most other mediums is helpful in overcoming my “not dark enough” issues. They’re also great for drawing on walls… (don’t tell my wife).

These pencils can do impressive work, but I’d recommend looking around the internet for a few pointers on how to use charcoal pencils appropriately. There’s a lot of work that goes into learning how to use them.

The Bottom Line

I think every artist should have them. They’re a unique tool to advance your knowledge of the many diverse methods of creating new art. I’m still getting used to them, but even without experience, I already love them.

Anakin The Manikin

Anakin The Manikin Waving To Camera - Charcoal Pencil Review

And now, a few words from my new friend Anakin.

“My fellow Amanikins: ask not what your artist can do for you–ask what you can do for your artist”

-Anakin Pinewalker

Haha, oh Anakin. It’s good to see you like puns as much as I do.

Using A Mannequin For Sketches

Anakin the Manikin here has been helping me understand the human form a little better. He’s not as good as an actual model would be, but unfortunately my desk isn’t big enough to fit a life sized model. He’s a very convenient size, and impeccable at staying still for prolonged periods of time. I’ve considered using him as a canvas for art and turning him into Darth Manikin, but for now I like him just as he is. His poses are limited, of course, but he’s still useful for learning the many methods of transferring 3D objects onto a 2D piece of paper.

Using A Mannequin as a Toy

Don’t do it

Using A Mannequin As A Canvas

I cannot know for sure yet, but I see much potential in young Pinewalker.

I’m sure you’ll all be seeing much more of Anakin as he joins me to rule the galaxy.. of art.
Thank you for reading! If you liked it, then please share with your friends!

How To Make A YouTube Channel

YouTube Logo

Although I haven’t exactly “made it big” on YouTube yet, I felt compelled to write about the process of how one goes about creating a YouTube channel dedicated to drawing and/or other forms of artwork.

What You’ll Need To Get Started

You’ll need a few things before you just jump in (like I did :P) to make sure you’re headed in the right direction.

  • A Google+ account
    • I know that you don’t want one, and neither did I, but you simply can’t continue without one. Getting an account set up is easier than you think, and should only take you a few minutes.
  • Basic Computer Knowledge
  • A Computer
    • Well that’s just obvious. Although, if you’re currently on a computer that isn’t yours and you need a really cheap but effective computer to get you started, I recommend something as simple as a Chromebook or Windows compatible tablet.
  • An internet connection
    • Also obvious, but it does help to have a decent connection. You won’t get very far if you’re using dial-up (which barely even exists anymore). A High speed internet connection will save a ton of time in the long run.
  • Some Kind of Recording Device
    • I started with just my phone and a means of propping it up to record, but if you can get your hands on something of higher quality for a decent price, I’d recommend that route.
  • Spare Time
    • Believe it or not, you have some. You could be working on a video instead of watching the latest episode of The Walking Dead. Browsing social media can be a huge time waster if you’re not careful. Use your time wisely.
  • Video Editing Software
    • If you haven’t upgraded to Windows 10, then Windows Movie Maker works perfectly for the needs of a new YouTuber. If you HAVE upgraded to Windows 10, then you’ll have to scour the internet for decent video editing software. Currently I’m using the free version of Lightworks, but it goes tremendously slow compared to Windows movie maker.
  • A Channel Theme You Can Commit To
    • My YouTube channel is based on various forms of artwork from how-to’s and tutorials to just quick videos that show my latest time lapsed drawing. What you DON’T want to do is create random videos that aren’t related. People subscribe when they want to see more of a specific thing.

Create Videos

Here’s some tips for creating YouTube videos that I looked to when I was still a YouTube newbie

  • Be Yourself
    • If there’s one thing that you have that no one else has, it’s your personality. Just be yourself in your videos and it will bring new subscribers.
  • Practice Makes Perfect
    • Your first video isn’t going to be perfect, but that’s ok! The longer you continue to make videos the better you’ll get! Don’t be discouraged by a few failed attempts. Just keep going.
  • Subscribe To Channels Similar To Yours
    • What better way to learn than to watch how the pros do it? If you like how a YouTuber executes their video, take some notes and add it to yours (Not the content.. That would get you into trouble ;D).
  • Keep Your Videos Short
    • Unless you have something to keep your viewers constantly engaged it’s best to keep video length to a minimum. Otherwise viewers will skim through the video, Or worse…. they’ll click away.. *GASP* D: The HORROR!
    • Note – If you make a video of you creating artwork, just speed up the video so the total video time is between 1 ~ 4 minutes.
    • Tutorials and How-To videos are examples of what would keep the viewer engaged long enough to make a video longer

Get Subscribers

There’s a myriad of ways to increase your subscriber base, but I’ll list the ones that I’ve found most helpful for me thus far.

  • **Collaborations!**
    • It’s practically like posting two videos at once, with the same amount of work. How? Because many of the people that view the associated collaboration video will want to see the other part (hint: That means more views for you!). Collaborations are also a great way to build relationships to fellow YouTubers, and these relationships can be greatly beneficial to the success of your channel.
  • Create a Good Channel Trailer
    • Many channels I’ve come across don’t even have one, which is an instant turn-off. What a great opportunity to show people what to expect if they were to subscribe to your channel!
  • Use Social Media
    • I’m sure you have a Facebook account, but what about an Instagram? How about Pinterest or Tumblr? If you don’t have them, you should. Pinterest alone has increased my YouTube channel visibility significantly, and I’m sure has been one of the leading causes to new subscribers.
  • Have Your Own Website
    • Not only does it make you look more professional, but it allows subscribers to know more about the channel they’ve just committed to. A website can also be a great way to build mutually beneficial links to your channel.
  • Links
    • Links are VERY important to the visibility of your channel. The more links pointing to your videos and channel throughout the internet, the more views (And ultimately, Subscribers) it will bring. The links should only be coming from related websites, otherwise the links could harm your rankings in Google and YouTube’s search.

Make Money

Whaaaaat? You can make money off of YouTube?? Why do I even still have a day job?
Well sadly it’s not as easy as it might seem. You get paid for the amount of times an ad is clicked or viewed before or during your video playback, but only a very small percentage of views will result in a clicked ad. Each click is often only worth between $0.01 and $1.00 (this can be much higher depending on the advertisement, but the odds are not in your favor), so how could you possibly begin to make money off of YouTube?

    • There’s Strength in Numbers
      • The more videos you make, the more money you’ll make per video in ad revenue. And that keeps going as long as your videos keep getting viewed.
    • Sponsors
      • If you get enough subscribers, people will pay you simply to recommend their products or service. There’s plenty of places to find sponsors over the internet, but most will want you to have at least 1,000 subscribers to sponsor.
    • Donations
      • There’s a donate button that YouTube now offers YouTubers to put onto their channel. If you have a strong enough fan base, someone is bound to offer you some money just because they love your content!
    • Affiliate Marketing
      • This has potential to be your biggest money maker, since you get a portion of whatever it is you help to sell. Affiliate marketing is when you provide links to products that are offered by someone else. When someone purchases that product or service through your link, you make a profit! Affiliate marketing can make you a lot of money if you play your cards right.

Now, it’s unlikely that you’ll become a millionaire off of YouTube, but it’s possible to make a decent amount of side-income to supplement your current income. Although, if you stick with it long enough, it’s very possible that you’ll be living off the work you do now, with the money it will bring in the future.

I hope you enjoyed this article! If you did, please share it with any of the social buttons on this site. Also, here’s my YouTube channel trailer as an example of something you could do for yours.

A Great Start To 2016

Richard GartlandIt’s already 2016, and what better way to start off the year than with some resolutions! But before I get too far I’ll explain why I decided to draw Richard Gartland today. My beautiful wife has just recently started at her new job working for H&R Block for this upcoming tax season! How exciting! They’ve made an excellent addition by hiring her and her sister for these seasonal positions.

But as I was saying before, new resolutions! I’ve never really been into making resolutions for each New Year, but with some motivational gifts given to my wife and I on Christmas, I figured now would be a better time than ever to start. One of the gifts that inspired a New Year’s resolution for me in particular was a daily sketch journal given by one of my sisters-in-law, which is partly the reason as to why I drew my Gartland today. The other two gifts were given by my father-in-law’s parents, which is a daily devotional by Dr. David Jeremiah and a notebook with a goal of listing a “Joy, Sorrow, and Hope” of every day of the year.

My Daily Sketch Journal

It’s only five days into the year, so I only have five drawings at the moment, but I’m crazy excited about how such a simple book has motivated me to set aside at least some portion of each day to draw. I really struggle to find time for my artwork lately, so having a little more motivation is not only exciting, but greatly appreciated. I don’t have each of my drawings posted yet, but I’m going to be setting up a page to showcase all of my daily drawings for 2016. I’m sure there will be a day or two where I’ll inevitably be unable to complete a drawing, but I’ll certainly be doing my best to do it whenever I can.

The Upward Call

The devotional given to us is titled “The Upward Call” by Dr. David Jeremiah, and was made specifically for 2016. Each devotional is only one page in length, and is labeled by the day you would be reading it (ex: January 5th is the fifth devotional). Even though all of our Christmas gifts this year are greatly appreciated, I’m sure that this gift will certainly be the most beneficial to the both of us.

Even though we’re only five days in, I already know that this year is going to be great. I can’t wait to see what each new day will bring!