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What kind of experience should a person have who is serious about making it in the graphic novel industry? Would college help or are there better ways to go about gaining experience? #graphics #novels

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Robert’s Answer

Hey Benjamin,


First off you have to realize that the graphic novel industry as a whole is on the decline. Most artists create works in their spare time and have another artistic job that pays the bills usually doing concept art or storyboarding. Look up MoCCA, they have an indy comic convention every year, talk to some or the artists there.

There are the successful comic artists that 'make it' but it takes years to progress that far. The best advice I can offer is you need to want to work in it because its your passion, not for the money. Second draw a lot, computers are a distraction, put all that away and keep a sketchbook, observe life and people. You should also consider nude drawing classes also called life drawing as a key in comic art is anatomy. I would also spend time jotting down ideas and keeping notes of good ones, learn to write well and tell stories. You can do all of this before going to college.

As for college I would look for a school that focus's on art as your major, a liberal arts school usually makes you take 75% less art studio credits than an art focused college so the degree you want is a BFA. Some really good ones in the Northeast include School of Visual Arts (my alma mater), Pratt, Parsons, FIT, MassArt, RISD. Go to your library and read up more about the industry, On your summer break take some art classes. I would stay away from learning how to draw cartoon or comic books, learn the basics first, learn to draw, draw the human form, paint and for god-sakes don't use a computer. When you get to college you can worry about your technical knowledge, for now just learn to love drawing.


I hope this helps
Rob

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