I mentioned a while ago that for image editing and digital coloring, Adobe Photoshop is the gold standard software. It’s also pretty pricey, a full version of just Photoshop is hundreds of dollars, and a full version of Creative Suite (depending on the kind you got) was somewhere around $2000US. On the upside, upgrades were about $600 or so, and there really wasn’t much need to upgrade every time. Also students could get deeply discounted educational pricing.
However, this is all changing. Adobe recently announced Creative Suite 6 will be the final version released for retail sale, after that all Adobe CS apps will be switching to the subscription only “Creative Cloud”.
How it works: rather than plucking down a couple grand, you pay a monthly fee ($50/month, less for students and previous version owners) and you can download and install any and all Adobe Creative applications to your computer. They’re not web based apps that require a constant connection (like some initial misinterpretations), they’re the full applications. In addition, you get 20GB of webspace to upload your files to.
Needless to say, this suddenly and major change to the way you access Adobe’s software is getting mixed reviews, some think it’s great, others hate it.
The good points:
You can download the software to any platform: No need to select only Windows or Mac, nor hassle with Adobe customer service should you want to switch platforms. Creative Cloud lets you download whatever version you need and you can have software installed on a PC and a Mac at the same time (you still only get 2 licenses though).
It’s less money (in some case scenarios): For people looking to get CS for the first time and don’t qualify for an educational discount, yeah, $50/month is a lot easier to swing than $2000 at once. Also, a user who would want the CS Master collection and would every version will be spending less as well.
No more buying upgrades: Creative Cloud subscribers always have access to the latest version of the software.
Discounts for previous version owners and students/educators: If you check out the creative cloud page, they’re offering all sorts of discounts for the first year.
The bad points:
You have to commit to a year to get the lowest pricing: Because we all need another annual contract and monthly payment! This isn’t so bad except for the next point,
You’re renting software, and if you cancel your subscription you own nothing: When your subscription is over, your software will no longer work (meaning you can’t open your files, or have to open them in a different program and risk them getting messed up).
Many users will be paying for apps they don’t want and upgrades they don’t need: As I mentioned above, this payment model is great for a “power user” who used Creative Suite Master Collection and would buy every upgrade. But for users who really only use a couple apps regularly and don’t necessarily upgrade every time (which I speculate is the case for many, if not most CS users), it becomes less of a good deal.
The questionable points:
There’s no guarantee Adobe won’t raise the subscription rates. Or that they won’t start offering new users great deals while current users are stuck in their “contracts” (as anyone with a cellphone or cable TV can attest to).
It’s a step in the direction of the subscription-based “software as a service” trend, Microsoft Office is also trying out a subscription plan (though it says it doesn’t have plans to go subscription only any time soon).
My reaction: Creative Suite was prohibitively expensive, but at least it offered users many choices, there were several different “suites” and you could pick the one that fit your needs best. You could also choose to skip upgrades if it didn’t offer anything you really wanted or needed.
Creative Cloud is a great option, but I wish it was just that, one option out of many. The fact that your software is only useable as long as you’re subscribed is really troublesome to me. If you could buy Creative Suite and get a free Creative Cloud subscription for a year, that’d be great. If you could subscribe for a year and keep even just one software program at the end of your subscription, that’d be better than nothing, which right now is apparently what you will get after giving them $600 for a year’s subscription.
Anyway, the big $50/month question is: is Creative Cloud worth it? This article has a pretty good breakdown of who would benefit from going to Creative Cloud, and who is better off sticking with CS (Adobe will continue to sell CS6 for a while at least). Good news is Adobe does offer 30-day trials of their software so you can see if it’s what you need.
Could you possibly give some advice to a 16 year old aspiring artist who really wants to do something art-related after high-school but doesn’t really have a lot of financial backing? ie are student loans worth it? Can you get a job that pays them off if you go into art? I know you’re an animator at Disney, so I was hoping you’d could give me a few tips? Is it really hard to get a job at Disney, for example …
The short answer is: Don’t take out student loans and expect a job at Disney to pay them back.
The long answer is much longer:
Oh my gosh I can’t agree with this more and recommend everyone to read it.
Certain schools come with resources and connections, and have relationships with studios, thats true - but they do not guarantee you a job. You get the job on your own merits in the end, if you can’t afford these schools is not an indicator of whether or not you will succeed. My friend has a job at Disney animation and he went to the same school I did, a solid but fairly unknown school compared to the giants, and he did it based on his own merit and work. Dont cripple yourself with debt - the industry fluctuates so much you will most likely have to move around to find a job at one point. Contract work isint the best for paying off mountains of loans - and if you’re worried about your school not providing you with contacts , we have the internet! Its much easier nowadays then before to connect with other artists and put yourself out there.
Click the above “Read More” for some great food for thought on art school and student loans. I’m sure a compelling case can be made for taking out the loans and going to that famous, expensive art school, because it WILL give you an edge, at least initially, and it offer the connections and network that a not-so-famous (or, gasp, public) school can’t. But the fact still remains that no art degree is a guaranteed ticket for a successful career.
Anonymous asked: How does one write for a webcomic or a comic in general?
This is a loaded question. Comics combine visual art and the written word to create something unique, and it’s very difficult to give tips on how to make art of this kind without being a comics creator myself.
With those facts firmly in mind, here are my general bits of advice about learning to create comics.
- Read comics. Read graphic novels and Sunday paper strips and webcomics. Just as reading other writers’ work can improve a writer’s style and understanding of the art, so too can reading other comics improve a comics creator’s style and understanding.
- Read The Comic Books series by Scott McCloud. The books are Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art, Reinventing Comics: How Imagination and Technology Are Revolutionizing an Art Form, andMaking Comics: Storytelling Secrets of Comics, Manga and Graphic Novels.
Understanding Comics really helped me take a closer look at the way I read comics, their function and method and form. It is an interesting, fun, easy-to-read book that is crammed with great tips for comics creators.
- Study fine art, good writing, and pop culture. Study fine art to get a grounding in the style and composition. Study good writing to find examples of story structure and the importance word choice. Study pop culture to understand what and how people consume the art around them. From music to advertisement to movies, videos, and memes on the internet, tapping in to pop culture will help you find topics to write about and a niche to nestle into.
My strategy has always been to find the story that needs to be told to your generation and hold yourself responsible to tell it. After all, only you know what that story is and what it can be. Go and share it with the world.
So, how do you learn to create comics and webcomics? To quote my favorite line in the Bleeding Cool series (see below), “You teach yourself. You find a way to put in however much time and effort is necessary to gain whatever you need to gain.” (x)
Here are a few great resources on creating comics:
- Don’t Write Comics Series:
- How to Write Comics & Other Stuff by Robert Weinberg
- How To Write A Comic Book Script and Other More Important Things by Chris Oatley
- Writing Comic Books by Barry Lyga
- Comic Book Writing How by Terrance Griep, Jr.
- Bleeding Cool Series:
- How To Write Comics And Graphic Novels by Dennis O’Neil #1 – First Class Discipline
- How To Write Comics And Graphic Novels by Dennis O’Neil #2 – Recommended Reading
- How To Write Comics And Graphic Novels by Dennis O’Neil #3 – Homogenized For Safety
- How To Write Comics And Graphic Novels by Dennis O’Neil #4 – Why Don’t You Grow A Spine?
- How To Write Comics And Graphic Novels by Dennis O’Neil #5 – Network King
- How To Write Comics And Graphic Novels by Dennis O’Neil #6 – Whoever Knows Fear…
- How To Write Comics And Graphic Novels by Dennis O’Neil #7 – A Beached Hero
- How To Write Comics And Graphic Novels by Dennis O’Neil #8 – Bester Both Worlds
- How To Write Comics And Graphic Novels by Dennis O’Neil #9 – Continuity Day
- How To Write Comics And Graphic Novels by Dennis O’Neil #10 – End Times
- How To Write Comics And Graphic Novels by Dennis O’Neil #11 – A Reading List
- How To Write Comics And Graphic Novels by Dennis O’Neil #12 – Creating A Narrative
- How To Write Comics And Graphic Novels by Dennis O’Neil #13 – The Rule Of Three
- How To Write Comics And Graphic Novels by Dennis O’Neil #14 – Serial Killers
- How To Write Comics And Graphic Novels by Dennis O’Neil #15 And #16 – Double Sized Edition
- How To Write Comics And Graphic Novels by Dennis O’Neil #17 – Making Pictures
- How To Write Comics And Graphic Novels by Dennis O’Neil #18 – Aren’t They All?
- How To Write Comics And Graphic Novels by Dennis O’Neil #19 – The End Is Now
- How To Write Comics And Graphic Novels by Dennis O’Neil #20
- How To Write Comics And Graphic Novels by Dennis O’Neil #21
- How To Write Comics And Graphic Novels by Dennis O’Neil #23 – Take Notes
- How To Write Comics And Graphic Novels by Dennis O’Neil #24 – More Notes From A Lecture Theatre
- Ten Things To Know About the Future of Webcomics by El Santo
- So You Want To Start A Webcomic… by Kitsune64
Thank you for your question! If you have any other writing-related questions or any comments about this post, hit us up!
I’d like to also add:
Study everything else on the side but if you want to make a webcomic: jump right in and make one. You’ll learn a lot as you go.
Whole bunch of great links here!
Well, it’s been a full two months since Nagranowrimo, and hopefully you are still in a habit of drawing often, but if you miss the challenge, fear not, Nagranowrimo will have a summer session in August.
I know, it’s 3 months away, but if you are like me and feel this year’s been flying by, it’ll be August before we know it! So it’s not too soon to talk about the summer session and possible changes. A couple ideas:
In February, people were free to do whatever, but the focus was working on completed pages of an original graphic novel. For August, I was thinking of opening up the challenge a bit more and include all forms of sequential art, so graphic novels, comic books, comic strips (maybe illustrated books too?).
Also, I was thinking of, either in the lead up to August, or even during August, of having mini week-long challenges. These challenges would focus on developing your characters and your drawing and storytelling skills, things like creating an expression sheet for x-number of your characters, draw X-number of pages in a certain way (eg no dialogue, have a different “camera angle” in each panel, have a very specific panel layout, or have no panel borders at all), spend a week drawing in a new medium (like brush or nib pens), or spend a week drawingsomething you normally have trouble with (like buildings, animals, types of perspective, hands, etc). If anyone is interested, how early should we start these? Any suggests for these challenges (something that could be done in a week or less).
Just throwing some ideas out there. I also welcome any other ideas or and requests for posts you’d like to see on here. Thanks for your time!
(for answers> ?)