Q: i have a question do you enjoy the pain of weaboo nerds on the internet -bepsiboy

Let me answer your question with another: Does one enjoy what is essential for well being?

July 20th 3
Q: I really like your art! Where do you get inspiration from or who inspires you? -Anonymous

Thanks! I did an Influence Map quite a while ago but my current main inspirations shift around a ton (I’m inspired by a ton of art but it would take a day and a half to say it all). Here’s a giant list of current inspos under the cut (may have overlap with the influence map).

Generally, I’m influenced by really cool and smart styles, really well rendered stuff, storytelling, character acting and interaction, as well as the passion and drive of artists themselves towards their goals >v<. Not all my influences are visual based either.

Read More

July 9th 25
Q: Hello! I was wondering, how do you use gouache? I am sort of a noob at that medium... -Anonymous

Sorry, I’m new to the medium too. I don’t really know how to use it either tbh.

Here are some tutorials/processes by people who know the medium better than me




June 30th 39
Q: what's an art precollege program like? did the one you go to help you a lot? is it worth the cost? -Anonymous

An art precollege program is basically a small slice of the art college life! You get a taste of the student life by mingling, the food. You make a ton of awesome friends. In terms of workload, it’s pretty intense too! Going to precollege gives you a good idea of whether you will enjoy art school or not, as well as scoping out your school or artistic focus.

I went to a precollege program at my local college, MCAD in the comic major. I was exposed to a ton of resources I otherwise wouldn’t have had, and I gained a heightened appreciation for the comics medium. Precollege creates a perfect environment to push yourself to your limit and create your best work. It certainly is self motivated though, no one will force you to do things. Really, like any educational program, you get out of it what you put into it.

Something I didn’t expect was that Precollege also helped me establish some professional ties, with my teachers and the TA’s. This actually helped me a ton earlier this year in searching for a mentorship. It’s incredible how connected people are! But establishing relationships and networking is also something that you initiate.

The environment art college brings presents incredible opportunities. It’s your job to take advantage of them. I know people who got a lot out of precollege, and people who didn’t. It’s not necessary, but it helps. 

As for cost, I’d say it depends. if you are completely lost about art school, I’d say precollege is an excellent option. If you are more focused or more knowledgeable about the art industry, it helps, but it’s not life changing by any means. Also keep in mind how good the art school you aim for is.

May 30th 13
Q: What digital programs do you use to paint? And maybe a quick tutorial on blending colours?? -Anonymous

I use Photoshop CS6 for 99% of the things I paint now. I use Kyle’s brushes for most of my drawings. They are super helpful and well organized. For painting, I love to use Kyle’s oil brushes, which lay down opacities based on pressure and are also really easily blended. I often use his Oil Lush brush and his Oil Thicker brush (for details). 

Um! I’m not a tutorial master by any means, but here’s a quick process of how I paint. Let’s demonstrate with this nepeta (of course)


I start with an undersketch. Then I pick my palette (sometimes I don’t. there’s several ways I do things). Then I Fill in local color. I try to use the biggest brush possible and do it in the least amount of strokes possible.

After I merge everything, I do a multiply layer over my sketch and paint in the big areas of shadow, usually with just one or two colors. I dab in the darkest areas with general strokes. The way my blending works is that it’s a mix of hard and soft edges. Abrupt transitions have harder edges, while gradual plane transitions have softer edges.

 It really helps to work far away and with big brushes. Really this step is super important, because everything builds off of the general. No matter how detailed the piece will be, the main look of the shadows will always remain.

I accidentally deleted one of my steps! But basically you’ve got all the colors you need from the multiply layer. It’s just cleanup from here.  I eyedrop local colors and try to unify the image and create clarity. I define shapes that haven’t been clear yet, and I work on solidifying transitions in the face. I also work on making the hard and soft edges appropriate. Really that hard and soft edge thing, along with a little bit of light in shadow goes a LONG way. It really helps to know anatomy so you know where all the planes on the face fall.

Last step is always light and highlights. Less is more.

And that’s kinda how I do the digital paint. Keep in mind the hierarchy of value, start from general to specific. Yee

May 30th 72
Q: I was just wondering if you are happy with your art now. I've heard that some artists aren't and are constantly wanting to improve -Anonymous

Good question! It depends. I feel comfortable about certain things, more than I used to, but mostly I definitely feel the need to improve. That’s good though! I always want to be better. Seeing so many good artists around me makes me even more excited to get better because I feel like one day I’ll be able to convey what they express so well in their work in my own way. I think motivation varies person to person. If someone feels like they’re in a good spot, that’s good for them. Art ultimately suits the needs of the individual who creates it.

May 29th 11
Q: Hey Tori! So I know that you draw a lot of cartoons or exaggerated people. When you draw from imagination, how do you know how to place everything properly? Did you study the human face? Or does it just come to you? And what are some things you did to get better at art in general? Sorry for so many questions. Thanks! -Anonymous

This quote from Matessi sums up my drawing mindset

“A great deal of drawing is academic, but what finally gives it power is your reaction to the reality in front of you. This reaction is pure opinion relying on academic knowledge…The more you learn how to draw, the clearer and more powerful your reactions will be.

The key is learn how to draw before you really draw. That’s why foundations are important. I try to do a mix of personally fulfilling stuff as well as studies.

May 21st 17
Q: How do I gain more confidence in my art? Sometimes I feel like I'll never catch up and that I'll never be good -Anonymous

Confidence is about your mindset. Many artists, including myself, fall into a rut of comparing themselves to other artists. A way to remedy this is to stop thinking of other artists as competitors and instead find inspiration through their work. If they could get where they were with their hard work, so can you. Also, the feeling of never being good enough doesn’t go away. It’s up to you to decide whether you want to stagnate on that insecurity or use it as motivation to practice and get better.

May 20th 15
Q: Do you know where you want to go after Calarts? -Anonymous

I’m keeping my options open. I’d like to have my show though…that would be nice…(probably cartoon network or disney…if I’m good enough haha) but who knows! A lot can change.

May 19th 6
Q: Would it be alright if I got your autograph in my Gundam Anthology book during Animinne? ;u; -Anonymous

Oh my goodness!! Thank you so much for buying the book and supporting the artists UwU. I would be happy to sign it!

May 9th 1
Q: im in MN too o; , right now i just go to mcad for figure drawings, are there any other places you know of? also I got that scholarship for the summer program at mcad, what kind of stuff did you guys do? (I think I chose painting to focus on, i can't remember...) thanks dude! -Anonymous

Congrats on your scholarship! The MCAD PCSS was one of the highlights of my year last year. I loved my experience there. I was a comic major. My work during pcss is available here.

If I recall last year there were morning classes with art history and ideation, as well as a general drawing course for painting and comic majors, and afternoons (about a 5 hour class) were devoted to major-specific classes. We also had various field trips to local museums as well as a field day where we went downtown (and the car show now THAT was something). You really get to know your classmates well. Me and my bros would stay up super late drawing and being half dead it was GREAT.

And the feedback was from real professionals (shoutout to Britt, Jack, Amaya, and Catlin for being awesome) so it’s super helpful and there’s no bsing involved. I encourage you to engage with your teachers and TA’s because they are super chill and we kept in touch after precollege was over.

I wasn’t a painting major, but painting is awesome; the painting kids were all super motivated and had a ton of unique styles to bring to the table. I believe you will enjoy it a ton.

As for figure drawing, The Atelier offers a gesture drawing class. There’s also the Edina Art Center but pickings are pretty slim there.

If you want more insight about PCSS you can also talk with lin, rose, or conkins (some classmates) about it. But again, I was a comic major so your experiences may vary in terms of the class experience.

April 25th 5
Q: Hi Tori! So like, I'm a sophomore in high school, and I started taking art seriously pretty late compared to a lot of people (I only started taking formal art classes last year) and I feel like I'm really behind, like my art isn't as good as yours was 2 years ago. And I really want to get into Calarts and go into animation, but I'm worried it's too late now and impossible to catch up no matter what I do. Any advice? -Anonymous

Your situation mirrors mine to the dot actually. Here’s a thread from 2 years ago that I made, it’s almost exactly like your ask actually! Plenty of good advice there.

Trust me, you’ve got plenty of time. I actually didn’t consider art school until I was a sophomore too, and I prepared for a year and half for RISD actually for illustration, and actually didn’t consider Calarts (or frankly, a career in animation) until September. 

Your art skill right now has little to do with what you can do. To be honest I was definitely not prepared for art school last year with my skill level, but I put a ton of hours into just working, just sitting down and grinding stuff out, and I improved. And so will you if you put in the time and dedication.

Also remember that it’s okay to wait longer. There’s plenty of older art students, especially at rigorous places like Calarts or Art Center. There’s no stigma against starting your career later. 

Good luck man! You’ve definitely got the potential to get it together

March 26th 41
Q: love your artwork!!! :o I was wondering...what would you recommend to anyone who also wants to apply to CalArts? -Anonymous

Thank you!

For applying, bottom line: Just Draw

Begin prep as early as is realistic. DEFINITELY read the requirements well and have a good idea of what sort of material you need to prepare. 

What I did: pored over forums, looked at way too many portfolios, stressed, drew, cried a lot.

It’s super stressful but it’s rewarding. Even if you get rejected, you can always try again, use that as motivation to improve even more. If you commit, you can do it! Most of all, BELIEVE IN YOURSELF.

Good luck!

March 23rd 28
Q: i just doodle things I see in my sketchbook, how does one become an artist ; ^ ; like its hard to draw something finished or original i guess? any tips ? thanks ' o ' <3 -printaumps

Doodling is a great start! It’s so important to have a sketchbook. I didn’t realize this until I started keeping one regularly. Especially if you carry one around with you, you can always find pockets of time to draw and a place to jot down visual notes through life drawing, which will help you improve faster and obtain more ideas.

Originality starts with the culmination of a vast library of knowledge and influences. The more you go out and see information, whether that be through drawing your surroundings, learning from books and other resources, studying the work of your favorite artists online, or even in the non-artistic knowledge you accumulate.

Really, sitting in front of a blank paper and forcing yourself to make an original finished piece won’t work well. This is because you’re focusing on the product instead of your vision. Kind of like you’re focusing too much on the end instead of the process.

You can give yourself projects if you want to focus on something, but give yourself limits, because creativity operates better when you have restrictions, interestingly enough. Read some interesting stories, watch some great movies, try to make characters that build upon some concepts you find interesting. Again, the more knowledge you consume the bigger the potential for ideation.

Good luck. Don’t worry too much about end results like if you’ll have original artwork, if you’ll have a nice style, or if you’ll make good quality work. Just Draw.

February 16th 37
Q: im looking for more art blogs, do u have other friends on tumblr who also applied to cal arts this year? ^^ hope u all get in -Anonymous

Well here’s The List of people applying on AB. Many of them have blogs.

Here are some cool ppl off the top of my head YES

tang | sarah | antlor | deb | kor | gabrielle | katie | rhea | alexis | rachel | eddie

GAH they’re so good they make me so mad i could hug them all and hurl them at calarts like a burning ball of passion HMMMHMM OvO

February 15th 43