How To Make A Living From Your Imagination
For the last five years, I have taught, inspired and equipped tens of thousands of professional and “pre-professional” artists from all over the world right here at ChrisOatley.com.
Through my Email Newsletter, via social media and often over the phone, I’ve directly interacted with hundreds of them.
And through it all, the most shocking lesson I’ve learned is this…
Your Dreams ARE Attainable.
Every artist whom I’ve encountered through my work on ChrisOatley.com has completely sensible, realistic AND attainable goals! Seriously.
In fact, amidst this current, unpredictable economy and the shifting sandscape of the “connected” world it is no crazier to pursue a career as a professional artist than it is to pursue a traditional “bank job.”
In FACT, I could make an argument that professional artists are actually MORE equipped to thrive in this brave new world. (But we don’t have time for that right now… Plus I’ll get all flustered and I’m trying to make a point…)
After I Got My First Big Break…
After six years of struggling post-art-school, I finally landed the dream job at Disney.
I’ve been told by people who know me well that I’m perceptive. And I think they say that because I’m always trying to find the simplest, most universal themes in my own life experiences and in the experiences of others.
That is to say that it didn’t take me long before I noticed something about what kind of people do finally break in, what kind of people stay in and what kind of people move onto even better gigs.
I Observed A Pattern.
Two simple, secret truths that every truly successful artist shared.
“Do great work and be great to work with.”
The animation industry is WAY different than I had guessed. And over the first few years of my career in animation, I observed many things that nobody ever teaches or explains. And all of those things can be related back to the 2 secret truths about succeeding in animation.
It was then that ChrisOatley.com revealed it’s purpose.
…and that purpose is much bigger and far more important than Chris Oatley.
I realized that through ChrisOatley.com I could inspire and equip those who are brave enough to follow their dreams of being professional artists… …professional dreamers.
It’s not just about getting a job in animation (although that’s entirely possible), it’s about making a living from your imagination.
I make my living with my imagination …and you can too if you don’t already.
I’m Here For You.
One of the top priorities in my professional life is to answer your questions. I want to inspire you. I want to help you through the relentless, confusing, frustrating, deeply-personal challenge of crafting and making a living from the things you imagine.
Most importantly, I will help you find your ‘visual voice, discover your creative calling & design your dream job!
- So whether you’re a seasoned industry professional who just needs help reinventing yourself for the 21st century…
- Or you’re in that weird, transitional phase at the beginning of your career where you haven’t yet found a groove, your niche or enough connections…
- Or you’re still struggling to break in…
…this site is FOR YOU.
Have You Subscribed To My Newsletter Yet?
Subscribe to ChrisOatley.com via email and you get bonus, exclusive content:
- “The Key To Great Paintings” email series. (Everyone loves it! …just sayin’…)
- Custom Photoshop Brushes that I designed to use in my own concept art.
- Industrial & Organic Photo Textures. (Available soon! Watch your inbox.)
- Additional inspirational emails with exclusive content.
- Industry job announcements! (Some newsletter EXCLUSIVES!)
- Answers to your questions about Digital Painting, Character Design & MORE!
…all completely free.
PLUS! You can respond to any of the emails and it will go right to me. I read every email and try to respond to as many as possible. (It’s one of my favorite things to do EVER!)
So ask me anything and I’ll do everything I can to help you find answers. …through my blog, podcast or in direct response to your email.
Subscribe & Get My FREE Digital Painting Kit!
What Other People Say About Chris Oatley:
“Whether it is something as small as passing along advice when I show him a character in progress or something as large as recommending me for a job, Chris has always been there for me. He is a great artist, a great mentor, and a great friend.”
Character Designer at Bento Box Entertainment
“Chris helped me to recognize and apply my artistic strengths to create a competitive industry-tailored portfolio. His professional insight gave me direction I needed to land my first industry job as a movie poster designer.”
Designer at BLT Communications
“Chris’ encouragement and teaching have given me more confidence in my work and in myself as an entrepreneur and an artist than I’ve ever had. A big result of that confidence is a 1-month artist residency in the fall where I will be working on my, as yet unannounced, comics project full-time.”
Comics Creator, Illustrator
“Chris improved my understanding of the craft of painting to a point where I am improving by leaps and bounds. I’ve always had a strong desire to share what I’ve learned, but I wasn’t always able to connect with an audience. Thanks to my apprenticeship with Chris, I’m now teaching a matte painting class to foreign students.”
Matte Painter, Fantasy Illustrator
“Chris’ newsletter is a great benefit and an inspiration to professionals or to anyone who dreams to break into the animation/ illustration industry one day. His insights cover a lot of very important subjects (like advice on painting and illustration and how to establish good working habits just to name a few) all of which have helped me grow in my career as a freelance illustrator.”
Freelance Character Designer, Illustrator
“Since I met Chris Oatley, every artistic breakthrough I’ve had has involved him in some way. His teaching spirit, refreshing attitude, and breadth of knowledge are just three reasons I hope to continue working with Chris for the rest of my career.”
Character Animator, Rhythm & Hues
About Chris Oatley:
Chris currently works as a Character Designer and Visual Development Artist on the Planes franchise at DisneyToon Studios.
In addition to his conceptual design role, he helps to improve the efficiency of the animation production pipeline by creating specialized Photoshop workflows for the art and story departments.
He also serves as a creative consultant to the technology department where he is part of two separate creative-technology task forces.
On one team, he is collaborating on the UI design for the in-house production management software and on the other he is helping to design a metadata-based tagging system which will optimize the Disney artists’ access to and management of reference images.
Since 2005, Chris has contributed artistically to various animated films, television shows, video games and music videos for companies such as Disney, Universal, The Weinstein Company, Activision and Geffen Records.
Along with IDW published creator Lora Innes, he co-hosts The Paper Wings Podcast to help visual storytellers make, market and monetize their creator-owned comics.
In 2010, Chris established the Paper Wings Apprenticeship Program to provide a personalized, in-depth art and story education to students without the financial debt and schedule restrictions of traditional art school models.
On his personal blog and podcast, Chris answers questions about Digital Painting and Character Design for Animation.
His site features an in-depth creative career guide: Concept Artist Jobs: How To Break In & Stay In, industry interviews, free Photoshop resources and Photoshop Tutorials.
Chris is also the creator of Greg The Megabeaver’s Prehistoric Sideshow a webcomic with animated and interactive elements. (The comic is currently on hiatus until 2013.)
His greatest professional achievement, however, is being considered a favorite teacher by many of his students since he began teaching at The Ohio State University in 2003 (until 2005) and online since 2008.
He currently lives in Burbank, California with his wife Angie and their dachshund Sydney.