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.

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July 9th 16

1) For someone going into animation like me, it’s like visual note taking about human behavior. Things you notice about people but forget unless you put it down in some form. Eventually you gain muscle memory about how stuff looks and moves and interacts and it’s super helpful getting understanding from the raw source.

2) Uhhh like taking stuff from art books and kinda just copying the strokes? An early example. It’s easier to copy stuff that’s more realistic instead of trying to copy more stylized abstract stuff. For the second part of your ask, you learn the muscles and movement by studying them in books, you look for them in real life and you adjust your understanding of how they look to your own taste.

3) Thanks! Do you mean making a base skeleton? I sometimes do a really rough outline so I don’t draw my figure off the page but often I just draw directly on the page. Depends on my intent. If you’re still figuring out what works for you, experiment with many different styles! You can also alternate between drawing methods. 

July 8th 10
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 32


Anon 1:

Good question! My knowledge of anatomy comes from all sorts of places. Originally it came from copying from other artists and looking at online tutorials. I found it most productive later when copying from master artists who had learned how to correctly express anatomy.  It’s helpful to get information about anatomy before testing it out yourself in life drawing. I’m not exactly sure what the second part of your message is asking about, but I think life drawing and studying from books should work together. Over time, you can find things yourself in live models that others haven’t, which you can use yourself to make a personal style.

Anon 2:

You don’t have to do classic figure drawing to get good at drawing people. An alternative is to go somewhere where there’s a lot of people. Go to the zoo if you want to see a lot of excited kids (and animals), the coffee shop, the gym, every location has its own set of unique people and actions. The poses will be fleeting so you can try discreetly taking pictures (don’t share them) and draw from those if you want to go beyond quicker poses. You can also ask family members to lay down or do something stationary for a period of time while you draw them. If you want to see anatomy better in nude models, try getting a few books with figure drawing examples and copying from those.

June 28th 5
Q: do you have any tips for setting up/offering art commissions? -Anonymous

TBH I’m the last person you should ask for this because I rarely get commissions when I offer them BUT I’d say rule of thumb: don’t underprice your art, even if you think you don’t draw very well. The audience you attract with your prices tend to value your art at those prices.

It’s hard to judge the value of a piece of art, but if you want to start out try asking yourself how much you want to be paid per hour for drawing something, and price accordingly to how long it takes to finish something, so you have a minimum starting point. As you get more experience doing commissions you should probably raise/adjust accordingly.

Also, try having some kind of focus when selling your art. Offering way too many options clutters up the post, and doesn’t give people a good idea of your strengths as an artist. Sell a style, something that makes you stand out.

Other tips: make the post easy to read, look at other people’s commission posts for reference. Good luck!

June 23rd 5
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 11
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 71
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 38