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A few quick questions from a Dad trying to help.

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  • A few quick questions from a Dad trying to help.

    My daughter loves to use the Photoshop to do graphic work. She is a talented artist but does not really know how to get started in the business or if it is even feasible. Characters are what she like to do best and right now she hand sketches them, takes a picture and uploads them to Photoshop where she finishes them. Here are some of the questions I have.

    ​Looking at a new computer where she can sketch on the screen. Which One?
    ​Is there other programs that she needs to acquire and learn?
    ​Are there jobs available where the work is done online?
    ​How about some good solid advice for a beginner?

    ​I give a bit of background. She had art in the state art fair each year in high school and did well. She received her associates degree in computer technologies. She is also on the Autistic Spectrum so her social skills are not great. She can take care of herself and all, she is just perhaps a bit to "honest" for some settings.

    Any advice would be very much appreciated.


    ​PS: Here is some of her work. More of it is at

  • #2
    I'd be more apt to go the Wacom route rather than one of the computers that allows drawing on the screen. You over-use a wacom, you get a new wacom. You over-use a screen, you get a whole new computer. There is a bit of a learning curve with the wacom but I think it is more versatile than any of the gimmick screen-drawing laptops out there right now.

    Your daughter has a couple of distinct styles that are all related. The illustrated novel is intriguing. I had to go look up the link and read a few chapters. Nice stuff! As far as working though, illustrating takes some back and forth and a willingness to do what other people need rather than what you want to do. She has really excellent inking/coloring skills as well as comic art layout skills (still mostly in the eye-level view though. Maybe open that up a bit to add some different view perspectives.) I don't know the genre well enough to know how well it would sell. It's not the kind of art I contract out, and I'm not a game writer.

    Would your daughter be able to enter into a working contract, or would you or someone you trust be willing to act as her agent and perhaps as go-between if working from home?
    Does she have skills other than manga? Any interests other than Pokemon-esque storylines?
    I'm honestly not sure what advice to give on where to look.


    • #3
      She is working on some drawing for a game currently. This is the line art.


      • #4
        She is quite capable of working with a back and forth to get stuff correct. She has also created some Logo's and A web page mock up or two. She has a good eye for color and I am pushing her to do something with photographs. She is very high functioning, so she does her own banking, cooking and stuff. She will tend to freeze up if pushed too hard or too roughly, that's what I worry about.


        • #5
          If she is in a situation where people understand, whatever the disability may be, things can be worked out to avoid the worst of any sort of confrontation.
          We've had guys here on the spectrum. You let them work to their ability and keep an eye out for them.
          Your daughter has talent. I wish I had some info for you.
          You can check out the GAG (Graphic Artist's Guild) or any number of illustration societies and organizations to see what they might offer.
          Here is a short list I found of some of the top picks, looks like it has the organizations' mission blurb as well. Some aren't suited for illustrators, like the AIGA, but the others may be helpful.
          Good luck!



          • #6
            When it comes to computers that allow you to draw on the screen, I'm most familiar with Wacom Cintiqs. I have a Cintiq Companion 2, which is a computer and drawing tablet in one, but a typical Cintiq is just a screen tablet that you would connect to your computer like a standard wacom tablet. I enjoy mine and it's been really convenient and would be good if she needs to be able to work on the go. The downside is they're expensive, and the fan can be pretty loud if you think that might be annoying for her. I know others use Ipad Pros or Surface Pros, but I don't know much about them. I would say maybe to start out by getting a standard tablet, but I assume she's already been using one for her digital work.
            I use Photoshop for illustration as well, but if she wanted to explore other programs I’d suggest Corel Painter, or maybe something like Clip Studio Paint/Manga Studio based on her style. To get a feel for working back and forth with others, maybe she could offer commissions on her deviantart page. If/when she’s feeling ready to aim for professional clients, she could start researching companies where she feels her work would be a good fit and try reaching out to art directors. Typically it takes a long time to “break into” these fields and rejection is a part of it, so I’d let her know it’s something we all go through and not to feel too discouraged if work doesn’t come in as quickly as you hope. Illustration is largely freelance, so that’s a “working online”/work from home situation. For information on the business side of things, I’d recommend the book “Graphic Artist’s Guild Handbook of Pricing and Ethical Guidelines”, it has sample contracts and invoice templates that she could use, even if just for reference.


            • #7
              She doesn't currently use a tablet but we have several. I did not know there were app that worked well with them. As of now she literally draws the figure on paper then, takes a picture and uses Photoshop to redraw the work using the mouse. I am just trying to expedite her process.


              • ShannonS
                ShannonS commented
                Editing a comment
                Wow, I never wouldv'e thought that was done with a mouse! Wacom Intuos Pros are nice, that was the last tablet I had. I started out with a Wacom Pen & Touch, one of the smaller tablets that I'm not sure they sell anymore. I'm currently not familiar otherwise with what else wacom has, my only suggestion would be to not get something too small, it's usually better to give your wrist room to move around more. If you do decide on a standard drawing tablet, I'd say to go for the medium size option.





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