Will Your Personal Project Make Money?

Maybe you want your illustrations to attract the attention of a big, sexy studio like Pixar or Riot Games… Maybe you dream of making indie comics or self-published children’s books full-time. Maybe you’re one of the thousands of full-time freelancers who long for the freedom to fire your bad clients… Whatever your plight, let’s assume […]

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Interview With Wouter Tulp – Illustrator, Character Designer & Caricature Artist: ArtCast #67

“I have to be really honest with myself and I have to be open to my own critique. One rule that I live by is that when I see that my work can be better, I have to make it better.” -Wouter Tulp Wouter Tulp is one of the most truly versatile artists I’ve ever […]

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Are You Good Enough? Tough Truths For True Artists: With Will Terry :: ArtCast #66

I’m going to ask you a question and I need you to be honest with me… Don’t hold back. Whatever the answer is, I can take it… Am I good enough? Do I have what it takes to succeed as a professional artist? Artists ask me this all the time. …and not just young, aspiring […]

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Why Giving Up Won’t Solve Your Problems

Sure, there are good reasons for quitting. My friend Akiko Crawford (She’s an environment painter at Disney) said that when we’re just starting out as painters, we often learn more from starts than we do from finishes. So if you’re half-way through a crappy painting and you’ve learned everything you’re going to learn from it, quitting […]

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Oatley Academy Announces New Teachers and Courses At CTN-X!

I’m buzzing with excitement as everyone arrives in Burbank for The CTN Animation Expo (CTN-X) this weekend. I’ll get to hang out with a bunch of OA students I’ve never met before, reconnect with the many students I’ve met over past year and a half, and catch up with all my colleagues from the animation industry. At The […]

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Health Insurance For Artists: ObamaCare & Beyond

For many artists, health insurance is an unimaginable luxury. Some of you are covered by your employer and some of you have a spouse, domestic partner or parent whose coverage extends to you. …but many professional artists I know are completely uninsured. By  January 1st, 2014, the Affordable Care Act - colloquially referred to as “Obamacare” – will […]

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The Death Of Freelance Illustration, Passion Projects & Why We Quit Our Dream Jobs :: ArtCast #65

Why is freelance illustration so painful? …because we’ve never had much of a choice. …until now. A few months ago, epic illustrator Noah Bradley and I teamed up for a live podcast + Q&A called “There Are Easier Ways To Become A Professional Artist” which, fortunately, inspired many artists to question the status quo in […]

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The Art Of Drew Struzan: A New Documentary, Interviews & Other Inspirations

The mental images from the childhood memories of millions of geeks have been rendered in Drew Struzan’s atmospheric painting technique. Though Drew Struzan might not be famous by name, his iconic movie poster illustrations are among the most famous commercial artworks ever created. I’m with Pan’s Labyrinth director Guillermo Del Toro in believing that “For people […]

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Should Digital Painters Upgrade To Photoshop CC? Guest: Matt Kohr of Ctrl+Paint :: ArtCast #64

Adobe Photoshop is the standard digital painting software in the animation, games and publishing industries. In most studios, big or small, digital painting in Photoshop is considered a basic, entry-level skill for concept artists. If you’re a professional digital painter of any specialty, it is very likely that you use Photoshop for digital painting. Needless […]

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Interview With Character Designer Brett “2D Bean” :: ArtCast #62

“It’s tough. You have to have to relax a little bit. You have to kind of let yourself wander and play a bit. …but then you have to have a purpose for the character.” -Brett Bean At age 10, Brett “2D Bean” wanted to be a rock drummer but his Mom told him to become […]

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Why Won’t Anyone Pick You?

I rarely re-blog anything here at ChrisOatley.com. …but this Creative Mornings talk by Seth Godin might just be the most important 20 minutes of your entire creative career. If you feel like your boss, your clients or your skills are holding you back, you need to watch this video. Read on to watch the video and […]

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Make A Beautiful Mess: 5 Inspiring Texture Brush Tutorials For Photoshop

Texture can infuse your art with a sense of humanity and increase the connection between your illustrated, visual stories and your audience. Traditional painting is almost always defined by texture. Gessoed canvas, watercolor paper, palette knife impasto, the irregularity of real brush strokes and what the painting-spirit-guide Bob Ross referred to as “happy accidents” all combine to create a finished […]

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Characters & Competition: Interview With Animation Legends John Pomeroy & Tom Bancroft (Part 1) :: ArtCast #61

You could power the entire Walt Disney World Resort with the passion that was captured in this podcast episode. My plan for this episode was simple: Get these two living legends in a room and press RECORD. And that’s all I had to do… John Pomeroy started animating at Disney just a few years after Walt died.  He […]

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There Are Easier Ways To Become A Professional Artist: Live Q&A With Noah Bradley :: ArtCast #60

It’s never been easy to become a professional artist, but most young artists make it way more difficult on themselves than it has to be. Yesterday, I was a guest on Noah Bradley‘s Livestream and we covered what seemed like every hot topic that professional and pre-professional artists are facing today. Is a traditional, brick-and-mortar […]

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The Technique Trap

A perceptive (and talented) art student by the name of Chris Campbell recently asked me this impressive question: “What do the animation industry pros say about us when we’re not around?” He elaborated… “Have they noticed any common mistakes or bad habits in current student portfolios?” “What do most pros think we need to work on?” Obviously, […]

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When Jobs In The Animation Industry Disappear…

Anyone who has worked in the animation industry knows that layoffs and studio closures are just standard occupational hazards. …but times are especially tough right now. 350 employees at Dreamworks Animation were recently recently laid-off and the creature effects powerhouse, Rhythm & Hues just filed for bankruptcy. …and let’s not forget that Digital Domain’s brand new feature animation studio in Florida was shut down […]

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