Guest Blog: How To Become A Comic Book Artist

The comic book industry has seen a significant boom over the past few decades and has paved the way for a lot of aspiring artists to turn their hands in the art of creating a comic book. Becoming a comic book artist is not a very easy career path to take on. You have to go through a lot of challenges before you can even be recognized as a legit comic book artist. It takes more than good drawing skills to survive this cutthroat industry. If you’re thinking how comic book bigwigs such as Stan Lee, Steve Ditko, Greg Capullo, Jack Kirby and others became famous, then read on.

As with anything in life, every journey to success starts with a burning passion. If you are aspiring to become a comic book artist, you must have the passion and enthusiasm for this particular career. People were often led to this profession because it’s either they are good at drawing or good at storytelling, which is often the case with people who work for comic publishing companies. If you aim to self-publish your works, then you really have no choice but to be good in both.

Anyone can be a comic book artist, but there are several things that you must possess in order to make it in this highly competitive industry. Apart from an innate artistic ability and a natural knack for storytelling, you also need to have a good sense of imagination, interpersonal skills, and unlimited motivation.

Discovering Your Own Style

A comic book artist must know how to draw, that’s a given. Sure, you can create your own comics even though your visuals are mediocre, but it will only get you so far. If you really want to be recognized in this field, then you must know how to express your story well visually.

You must learn the basics and constantly improve your knowledge in drawing to improve your craft. As a comic book artist, you really need to know how to draw just about anything – from backgrounds to human bodies and everything in between.

Comic book illustration is self taught. No formal training not even in the most prestigious of art schools can guarantee that you’ll excel at it. They say it’s either you have it, or you don’t, but as with any other thing, constant practice makes a big difference.

A Knack for Storytelling

The art of comic book making isn’t all about creating nice visuals. It must be able to tell a story and your readers must be able to follow the flow of your narrative. As they say, a good story can be easily turned into a comic, but a bad story, no matter where you look at it, makes a bad comic. Your storyline must pique the interest of your readers no matter what genre you choose to create.

Hone Your Craft

No one becomes a reknowned comic book artist overnight. Experience is vital in order to succeed in this field. Obtain as much experience and knowledge as you can and build a portfolio of your best works. It is so much easier to promote your work these days because you can simply showcase your portfolio on various social media platforms and instantly gain a following. Visit comic conventions and network with fellow comic book enthusiasts. Not only do you have the chance to meet some of the industry heavyweights, but you can also get advice on how to be a successful comic book artist. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and talk with the pros.

Starting Your Career as a Comic Book Artist

There are a couple of ways to break into the comic book industry. One way to get in is by acquiring a formal training in an art school. Although earning an art degree is not necessary, the training and experience you’ll receive will work to your advantage once you start looking for a job.

To get the ball rolling, you also have the option to either apply directly to comic book companies as a comic book artist or self-publish your work independently. Getting in big companies such as Marvel, DC, or Dark Horse may be a long shot, but there are a lot of up and coming comic companies that are looking for apprentices.

If you opt to go the indie route, then you must work doubly hard. You will be solely responsible for your storyline, illustrations, lettering, down to the comic book printing, distribution and marketing.

The craft of creating a comic book is a complex process, but it doesn’t mean that you have no chance to etch your mark in the industry. With the right skills and attitude, you’ll surely go a long way.

(This post was sponsored and written by mixam.co.uk)

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Author: thecomicvault

Short story writer, comic geek and cosplayer hailing from Manchester, England. Find my pop culture ramblings on The Comic Vault.

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