(photo) I love using Procreate on my iPad Pro. It has been a game-changer in my illustration process. Files can be exported as a Photoshop file, with all layers. The best part is that it's portable! Will Terry has an SVS course that teaches using Procreate.
I make a point to learn something new as often as possible. When I felt like my illustration style was getting a bit stagnant I decided to do something about it.
There are always fantastic ongoing challenges via Twitter. My friend and amazing illustrator, Blythe Russo (@Blythe_Russo), is doing the #100dayproject with her own take on it, #kiddosandtheirpetpals. Check her out on Twitter, IG and FB using these hashtags! Doing these daily sketches takes a certain discipline that I simply don't have. Blythe is certainly an inspiration!
What do you want to learn?
Ask yourself what you want to learn and find a platform that suits your personal learning style. I lack the initiative (or time) to do daily themed sketches, but I do know the areas I want to improve in my illustration. Character creating, drawing better composition and backgrounds, posing characters, using color, illustrating children's books...just to name a few. Signing up for online classes seemed to be perfect for me. A monthly fee meant I would definitely use it because this stuff isn't cheap!
With so many to choose from, I started with Skillshare, an online learning community offering over 100 classes and covering over a dozen categories. It's a great deal at $9.99/month. I actually signed up during a special where I got 3 months for .99 cents. Although they offer classes in a few categories I wanted, they didn't have all of them.
I have always been a huge fan of illustrator Will Terry (@willterry333). He is also founder of the Society of Visual Storytelling, an instructional site of custom video courses made to help you get the skills necessary to break into the illustration market. They also offer ongoing live courses for additional fees. SVS offered everything I wanted to improve and learn...and so much more! They are slightly more expensive - $14.99/month or you can pay for an entire year at $12.99/month. I can take the classes as much as I want. They also offer discounts if you wish to purchase a class to keep. The courses feature top notch instructors like Will Terry, Jake Parker, Lee White, and others. It has changed my work for the better!
Make learning part of your routine
I make time each week to follow through on my SVS courses. I will be going to the SCBWI LA Summer Conference in July and need to get my portfolio in order. My next SVS video will be "How to perfect your children's book portfolio".
As artists and writers, we never lose the desire to create - to learn - something new. Have you tried something new lately? Share it in the comments section!