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Episode #35 | Jumping from Comics to Animation with Roy Burdine

Do you have what it takes to tackle comics and animation?

Do you have the skills to handle digital and print thousands and thousands of times over? Can you love what you do, even when it means leaving work just long enough to shower? Did you love 90’s and 2000’s hero cartoons? Then you’ve got to listen to the all-around-awesomeness of the 20-year comic/animation veteran Roy Burdine.

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Roy Burdine

Roy is different from a lot of guests we’ve had before. Many comic peeps I’ve interviewed previously fell into the passion as a teenager or even later. Not Roy. He knew he wanted to be a comic artist from the beginning and never looked back. For Roy Burdine, it’s always been about constantly moving forward and adapting while staying in love with your craft no matter where the industry takes you. Trust me, he would know. He had the courage to send in his own character creation as a child and get rejected by Stan Lee himself… sort of. Either way, rejection never kept him away from the desire to live his cartoon joy full-out. This drive eventually landed him a spot working on the beloved X-men animated series in the 90’s and the rest is history.

TMNT – Roy Burdine

Roy Burdine has been through the ringer. Animation is all about deadlines and staying in the room until you get it right. Over the years, styles, settings and job titles may change but the passion never falls by the wayside. That’s the kind of steadfast love it takes to spend so much time on a project that night and day no longer exists. In this episode, we learn about the true meaning of dedication and the evolution of the artistic process. We learn what comic artists and writers can learn from animators and visa versa. Talking with Roy puts you right in the animation studio. You can feel all the hustle and excitement that comes with the job with every recorded word. His love of art is only surpassed by his admiration of story as we learn about his transitions throughout the industry. We talk about the importance of storyboarding. We talk about the value of going digital. We talk about the dangers of staying inside a box of “purity” versus the value of being multidimensional. We talk about “finding the frame” that matters the most in comics versus drawing thousands of frames for animation. Most importantly, we talk about what the internet has done for the lone creator. Indie is the new jump to lightspeed for a career at Sony, Image, or Dreamworks if you’ve got the care, wherewithal and artistic heart necessary for the journey ahead. Bottom line: Big two or no big 2- people care about indie and they are looking for you.  

AfterMen – Roy Burdine

Don’t forget to check out the links below for information on Roy Burdine  


Webcomic Twitter: @aftermen_comic

Instagram: Royburdine

Roy Burdine IMDB:

Twitter: @Royburdine

Facebook: Royburdineauthor

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Episode #33 | How to Love Everything Forever with Spencer Scott Holmes

Wanna learn how to do a million things at once? Wanna fall in love with your craft every single day? Wanna learn how find the good in every practice? Wanna learn how to never have a bad day? Look no further than the B-12 sunshine rocketship that is Spencer Scott Holmes, the man who does everything.

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Like many kings and queens of nerd life, Spencer’s love of creativity began in an introductory class to audio/video work way back in elementary school. Spencer also fell in love with music and began playing in bands in high school. His love of film never waned, and he eventually turned all that love into a passion for scriptwriting, filmmaking, animation and even podcasting. Take all that creativity, add an unparalleled zest for life and an unstoppable, infectious nerd joy and you’ve got the creative genesis genius machine kind enough to do this episode of Adventures in Interviewing with us. He manages to work out, eat pizza and enjoy retro gaming in his “spare time”- as if he had any. He’s managed to write 4 issues of his debut comic Pizza Boyz in a year, he works out as a hobby, and somehow manages to maintain an awesome relationship at the same time. What’s your excuse? Yeah, I thought so….

Spencer and I had a tremendous conversation regarding the nature of complaining. More importantly, we talked about why complaining is a bunch of BS. All the technology, all the information, all the connective possibility, and yet many creatives are still unhappy. They find ways to make excuses instead of progress. For Spencer, that just doesn’t compute. He does odd jobs to get buy while focusing on the projects that give him meaning. As long as he manages to exercise in the morning, he’s able to devote the majority of his energy towards the projects that he values most- mainly creating comics. He talks about the difference between a hobby, a job and career and the importance of that divide. Make no mistake, if you wanna learn how to multitask without being overwhelmed; If you wanna learn how to focus, and refocus multiple times a day; If you wanna redefine your life around not what you make, but rather, how you make it then put your nerd boots on. This dude is gonna kick your creative juice into a brand new atmosphere.

Don’t forget to check out the links below for information on Spencer Scott Holmes

Creative Website:

Twitter: @SpencerSHolmes

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Episode #24 | J Adam Farster


On this weeks episode of “Adventures in Interviewing” Chris Hendricks interviews  J. Adam Farster

“There’s probably gonna be a robot.”

Join Chris while he finds out makes the delightfully inspiring and motivating creator of the Humalien series, J. Adam Farster tick! Adam, Indie Comic creator, graphic designer, Kickstarter, and one of the founding members of the Indie Comic think tank and collaboration group, “The Lab”, shares his own personal origin story, how he creates his comics and drops some mad wisdom for new and wanna’ be creators along the way. So turn it up, put your brain on “soak in” mode and let’s meet J. Adam Farster!

 “Don’t be afraid of failing, because the entire process is about failing.
Even when you’re succeeding, you’re probably failing somewhere”. – J Adam Farster

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Connect with Adam

Twitter  |  CXC Profile


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Episode #18 | J Francis Totti

j francis totti_podcast

On this weeks episode of “Adventures in Interviewing” Chris Hendricks interviews our 2017 CXC Inktober Contest Winner!


Join Chris and our 2017 CXCInktober Winner J Francis Totti as they delve into the comic illustrator’s creative process, work habits, the social impact and importance of “Friends” in the UK and why Joe self-identifies as a Chandler.
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Connect with J Francis Totti

Twitter   |  Instagram


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The Red Hyena Dragged Me Into The 21st Century!

red hyena doktor geraldo

Digital art fascinates me.

I usually work in traditional media, such as pencils, multiliners, copic markers, coloured pencils, watercolour, and gouache. I use apps on my phone to manipulate my drawings, making alpha layers and background layers, and scaling and making panels. Then I transfer to my laptop and use Photoshop to build pages and arrange the lettering. That’s as far as I venture into the digital realm.

I decided to draw a pinup of The Red Hyena, a great character from Project Shadow Breed. I started with a pencil drawing, outlined it, then blocked in the areas with flat layers using copic markers. I would normally render with markers, adding shadows and depth, then highlight areas with coloured pencil or gouache. Instead, I uploaded the drawing to Photoshop and decided to finish it digitally.

I was so absorbed in the process that I forgot to save the separate stages, but the last image in the strip was the final result!

Issues 1-4 of Project Shadow Breed are available at ComixCentral.


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Jared Muralt: The 2-Dimensional Illusion of a 3D Life

jared muralt

Welcome weird wunderkinder!

How’s your creative genius treating you this morning? Mine has gone into hiding, thanks to the mental magnificence of Swiss illustrator, Jared Muralt. I had the pleasure of interviewing this tremendous talent and it was clear to me that the content of his character is as colorful, multifaceted and exceptional as his body of work.

Whether he’s doing freelance work or running the business rails of his Blackyard Studios, a co-founded Swiss design collective, he really has a people-first approach to his craft. It’s so interesting how microcosm moments, like a young 5-year-old mind crashing headfirst into a sci-fi adventure comic book, can create a relationship with life that no one would’ve seen coming. I’ll let him give you the gritty details, but Jared dispels the illusion of easy art with joy and grace. His tone is playful, yet serious. Much like his style, his insights come alive with a sense of innocence, vulnerability and an undeniable respect for the craft. Join me as we jump off the page and share in Jared’s love of Moebius, Star Wars, nature, and Indiana Jones (except Crystal Skull of course).


Chris: Hey Jared, I understand you’re from Bern.  Did that community have an influence on your style?  Did you find art or did art find you?

Jared: No, I wouldn’t really say that the community had an influence on my style, but when art found me was when I found art. When I was five years old, I found a comic book by Moebius, “Le Garage Hermétique,“ that belonged to my mother in our living room. It must have been around our house for much longer, but this is when I found it and when it found me. I was instantly mesmerized!

Chris: I understand you started with sci-fi drawings, did any early sci-fi stories influence your developing style? FYI: I came across Grand Moff Tarkin on your Instagram – AMAZING!

Jared: Again, sci-fi stories by Moebius. Of course, my early fascination and affixation with Star Wars is undeniable and prevails to this day, but I know I am not alone with this!

Chris: Tell me about your year in art school. I’ve been told it’s nothing but criticism.  You either grow from its constructive nature, learn to create despite judgment, or maybe both.  Was that your experience?

Jared: What I really took from art school was the realization that I was too young back then, too young to take life and my education and my career seriously. The following year, I worked as a cashier in a supermarket and that was much more valuable life experience than my year at art school – in that it showed me what I don’t want to do. And that I really, really have to accomplish myself and work on my skills and career unless I want to end up in a job I don’t want to do for the rest of my life. After years of school and then art school, it was this very real work experience that showed me the responsibilities that come with being an adult. It made me thing seriously about a career and how to get one.

Chris: I also understand you have a preference towards the stippling technique.  Can you share a little about what that is?  Do you find creative power in the world of dots?

Jared: To me, it did indeed start with stippling and this helped me to convey surface and structures in a black-and-white drawing. It doesn’t really need to be points – it could be cross hatching for example, but it is a good technique to successfully create the illusion of three-dimensionality in a black and white illustration.

Chris: I understand your mom gave you your first sketchbook.  How did your parents influence your art?

Jared: My father didn’t, he ran out my mom the second he found out she was pregnant, so I never knew him. My mother is herself a creative person and her creativity influenced me and I was raised in a creative household/environment. My mother supported me in living my creative impulses as best and as fully as she was capable. She once called herself my lab assistant because she was always supplying me with everything I needed to follow my creative instincts.

Chris: Do you have a favorite story or comic that has stuck with you or influenced you over the years?

Jared: “Le Garage Hermétique” by Moebius as I mentioned before. The whole Star Wars franchise as well of course. The Adventures of Tintin by Hergé. And let’s not forget Steven Spielberg’s original Indiana Jones trilogy (let’s forget “Crystal Skull“, please), just to name a few.

Chris: I also understand that you work with some graphic designer and art friends as part of your team now.  How has collaboration played a role in your success?

Jared: It very much the key point in my career. Since they are not only graphic designers but also illustrators, the creative exchange with my friends/colleges/coworkers brought me to the point where I am now.

Chris: What are your passions outside of illustration?

Jared: Walking and trekking and working in the garden and swimming in our beloved river are, though I only swim in it during the summer. Generally being outside and in nature is what I love to do.

Chris: What accomplishments are you most proud of up to this point?

Jared: Generally, that I can make a living as an illustrator – and whenever someone lets me know that my works inspire them, that makes me very proud.

Chris: Do you have any exciting upcoming projects and what is the most exciting thing in your life right now (even if it doesn’t have anything to do with art)?

Jared: The most exciting thing in my life would be my impending fatherhood – my girlfriend and I are expecting twin boys next month! And my other, (hopefully) soon to arrive offspring, my upcoming comic book series “The Fall“ should be mentioned as well.

Jared, I’m so appreciative of our time together. Thank you for your honesty. Your love of this profession gives us permission to use our imaginative energy without fear of losing our sense of responsibility. You are living proof that art is both a fountain of youth and a pool of wisdom that prepares us for life, freedom and family.

For more of Jared’s awesomesauce, check him out on Instagram:

Here’s a link to his design collective: and be on the look out for his new post-apocalyptic comic series, “The Fall,” to be released soon.

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Getting Started as a Comicbook Illustrator

Let’s start at the very beginning.

You’ll need to know a little bit of lingo associated with Comicbook illustration. This will help you find more tutorials, locate books and videos to help you along your journey.

Here is a simple list of terms you’ll need to know:

  • Pencils – Comicbook illustrators and the industry at large refer to the initial drawings of comicbook pages as pencils. Pencils can be “loose” (rough sketches) or “clean” (the finished pencils ready for the next stages). Pencils are often drawn in Non-Photo Pencil. This is a particular shade of blue that can not be detected by Graphic Arts Cameras or copiers. This allows artists to lay down sketch lines without the need to erase after inking.  Even if you are wishing to become a digital comicbook artist, you will still refer to the initial drawings as Pencils.
  • Inks –  The second stage of comicbook illustration is Inking.  Using a pen, brush or digital tools, the inker adds depth and shading to give the image more definition. Basically, we’re talking about the dark lines that outline the shapes in a comicbook drawing. Take a look at one of your favorite comics. More than likely you will see black lines around the objects and people, creating shape and shading. Inking was necessary in the traditional printing process as presses could not reproduce pencilled drawings.
  • Coloring – Stage 3 is coloring. Whether done traditionally (adding color by hand with markers, colored pencils, pens or paint) or digitally (using software like photoshop), coloring is, in the simplest of terms… adding color to an image. Coloring is a difficult and time intensive process with steps of it’s own. I’ll quickly lay them down here for reference:
    • Flats- adding the base colors with no shading
    • Colors– adding the shading and highlights to the flats. (When coloring digitally you might use Cuts and gradients)
    • Holds – sometimes colorists will add color to the ink layers. These are called holds.
    • FX– Special effect- adding sparkles, shining, fire… anything that is added to the top layer of the artwork.
  • Lettering – stage 4 of comicbook creation is lettering. The letterer crafts the comic’s “display lettering”: the story title lettering and other special captions and credits that usually appear on a story’s first page. The letterer also writes the letters in the word balloons and draws in sound effects.
  • Panels – Comics are created in panels. Like the frames of movie, panels depict the movement of time and show action.
  • Gesture drawing – The art of “getting the feeling” of a pose in a drawing. This is a skill all in itself. A difficult thing to learn, but will pay off big time if you have the patience to stick with it.
  • Anatomy- The drawing of the human figure.
  • Contour drawing – You’ll want to avoid contour drawing. This is drawing the outside of the shape rather than using gesture and anatomy to draw people. Resist the urge to draw this way.
  • Life Drawing/ Live Figure drawing – Practising from real life. As a model poses, quickly sketching the pose and getting the gesture. Often timed to help the artist get out of their head.
  • Reference – Reference refers to images, drawing, people, objects and animals that artists use to look at while drawing. All artists use reference. In fact a sure sign of an amateur is someone who might say, “ I don’t use reference”. Now, professionals do use reference differently than beginners. When beginning you may use reference drawings or pictures to copy directly from. You may even chose to trace images to train your brain to get the “feeling” of certain angel and shapes. As you grow as artist you use of reference will mature. You may use it look at how a nose falls away from a certain face, or how someone’s eyes seem to penetrate your soul… but you will continue to use images, pictures, drawings, real people, real scenes, movie frames and anything you can draw inspiration and accuracy from.
  • Dynamic posingDrawing dynamically is tricky. Most comic artists consistently say it is one of the hardest things to get right when drawing comics. Well, What is it? Simply put It’s the feeling of motion in your work. The action scenes that you can feel. The landed punch to the jaw that instinctively has you put your hand to your mouth. That is dynamic posing and it is hard. I would encourage you to search the term on YouTube and watch as many tutorials as possible. It’s one of those topics you can’t over educate yourself on. Every technique has it’s own little gem that might just be the thing you need to get it right!

That’s all the lingo we’ll cover for now. With those terms you can search and find everything you need to get started as a comicbook illustrator. Let’s move onto some interesting choices you’ll have to make as a Comicbook artist.

Digital or traditional?

It is recommend by most professionals to start traditionally. This is for a number of reasons, but simply, your brain seems to pick up the fine motor skills necessary for illustration more quickly when the artist is using a pencil and paper. You can more easily “draw from the the shoulder’ and are also more likely to have those “happy accidents”. Happy accident occur when you make a mistake and find something awesome. A new way you like to draw lines, or the head.. who knows what you’ll find when you mess up?! It’s very exciting!

Digital is also extremely expensive to start, and the learning curve will involve getting to know both hardware (tablet) and software (photoshop). However, digital allows the illustrators to waste no paper and tracing is a breeze.

But, like everything, it’s up to you! Whatever feels good, do it. Art is all about expression, so express yourself!

Finding your style

Style is the strangest thing. It just sort of sneaks up on you. Trust me, it will find you. You don’t have to go looking for it. Just draw things you love, study art you love, trace art you love, try to get the details of things you love. Eventually all your practice will gel into your own unique style. It’s freakin’ magic, and it can’t be forced. Let go and let it happen. So zen right? Right.


Learning to draw is not a simple process. In Fact, it might one of the hardest things you will ever learn to do. But remember this. Drawing is a skill. Very little of learning to draw is based on talent. Hard work and practice beats talent every day of the week. If you commit to learning the skill of illustration… it will pay off. I promise. Most professionals recommend practising the craft at least an hour a day. But like anything, if you practice more than the recommended, you’re skill will increase faster.  There are a few types of practice. Let’s go over them now.

Passive Practice

Definition: Learning by osmosis. Watching, observing and analyzing.

Examples of passive practice:

  • Tracing
  • Watching speed paintings
  • Watching artist draw or paint in real time
  • Watching tutorials
  • Analyzing pieces of art you admire. Really look at how each artist achieves different techniques. Hair, eyes, feet, water etc…)
  • Mindless doodling
  • Stopping movies mid frame to analyse the set up the scene

Deliberate Practice

Definition: The fastest way to level up your skills is to do something called deliberate practice. That is, practising the things you find the hardest, even though it can be excruciating. Scientific research shows that the quality of your practice is just as important as the quantity.  If you’d like to geek out and learn more about it, you can do that here:

How to put Deliberate Practice into action: Let’s use the example of hands:

  • Break the hands down into parts.
  • First learn the anatomy of the hand. Learn the skeletal structure and draw the bones from every angle.
  • Then add the muscular structure. Practice drawing the bones, then the muscles on top from every angle.
  • Then add the skin and details. Focus on the study of each part – ie: finger nails, knuckles, wrists, etc.
  • Draw each part by itself until you feel comfortable with drawing it from every angle.
  • Put it all together and draw the hand until you can pose it in every direction from every angle, every age, every size and so on.
  • This whole process can take months, so be patient with yourself.. I promise you it will work!

Final thoughts

This has been a lot of information for you digest. Do yourself a favour, take it slow. Give yourself lots of time and lots of patience. Learning to illustrate is not for the faint of heart. It’s going to hurt like hell. You’re going to be embarrassed of your work, you’re going to be self critical and it’s going to take a lot of hard work and dedication to get where you want to go.

But guess what? You can do it. I know you can because you’re here. You took the time to read this which says to you have the drive and passion to get to the next level. So don’t be a chickenshit! Reach out and take what you want. No matter your current skill level, age or sex, you can become an amazing and sought after comicbook artist if it’s what you really want. So what are you waiting for? Get to work!

We’ve curated a fantastic library of tutorials in the ComixCentral ClassRoom to help you go from beginner to expert.  See Our Learning to Draw Tutorials »