I am not reinventing the wheel. I get lots of help from people who write books, make tutorials, or are otherwise willing to share their knowledge. Here is a selection of the materials that help me grow into my new profession. Mostly it’s books, because they are the first place I go to, when I want to learn something. Just ask my husband! He always knows, when I am into something new. He can judge what is going on by the height and topic of the bookstacks in our house. I’ve read much more, but the ones listed here have had the most impact. And "Thank you!" to all of them! You help me so much!
Chris Guillebeau: The 100 Startup: Fire Your boss, Do What You Love and Work Better to Live More - this encouraged me to search and dream about what I want to do. Really want to do. And to look for ways to make it happen.
Danny Gregory - By now I have read nearly all of his books, and each one of them is a little gem of encouragement. I think, the first of his books I read was "The Creative License“. That one got me dreaming. It took a while until the seed started to grow visibly, but grow it did! Even more, Danny Gregory was a great starting point, when I was looking for inspiring artists on Instagram. And then there is Sketchbookskool, where he is co-founder. His books „Illustrated Live“ and „Illustrated Journey“ are providing wonderful sneak peeks into the sketchbooks of other artists. Something I am very grateful for, as this is something I rarely get a chance to do in real live.
Dan Price: How to make a Journal of Your Life
Betty Edwards: Draw on the right side of the brain - this book taught me foundations and most important, helped me to overcome my first hurdle and instilled more confidence in me. As I’ve been interested in the way our brains work since I was a teenager, this hit right on the spot. It gave me a way to understand what happens in my brain and then act accordingly.
Jonathan Jackson: The Mystery of Art: Becoming an Artist in the Image of God - this is just an absolutely profound and inspiring illumination of the relationship between artists and god.
Tom and David Kelley: Creative Confidence - very helpful to shift my thinking off the beaten track, and start asking the right kind of questions. It is the kind of book one re-reads from time to time.
Carol Marine: Daily Painting: Paint Small and Often To Become a More Creative, Productive, and Successful Artist
Felix Scheinberger: Illustration: 100 Wege einen Vogel zu malen - I spent a wonderful week of holidays with that book. Drinking capuccini, hand gesturing with the italian landlady, and savoring the insights Felix Scheinberger gives in this great book.
David B. Goldstein and Otto Kroeger: Creative You: Using Your Personality Type to Thrive - one of the most helpful books I have read in the last year. It helped me understand how my personality influences the way I make art. Understanding this helps me to eliminate all the ways that do not fit for me. Very helpful!
Daniel Coyle: The Talent Code: Greatness isn't born. It's grown. - Very encouraging to put in the work necessary. And it shows how!
Telling stories is very exciting. And I consider illustrations as a form of storytelling. So, when someone offers more insight, I am there!
Dan Roam: Blah blah blah: What to do When Words Don’t Work
Nancy Duarte: Resonate: Present Visual Stories that Transform Audiences
France Belleville-Van Stone: Sketch! The Non-Artist's Guid to Inspiration, Technique, and Drawing Daily Life
I did not know a thing about Adobe Illustrator, or Photoshop, or any other digital image editing software. I just knew, that as an illustrator I will have to work digitally, too. No way around this. So, first I needed to figure out, how to spend my limited budget and make the most of my bucks.
This is where I found Terry White very helpful. I am not a tech person, but he bridged the gap for me. His tutorials helped me make decisions that work for me - and my budget.
Then I had the equipment and still no clue what to do. I took a correspondence course for Photoshop. Oh, dear. The class was very well, but very general (and more geared towards photography). I had the feeling, that I couldn’t translate what I learned to the stuff I wanted to do. I did learn something, but it did not engage me and before long I dropped out. Then I tried the training material from Adobe, which is quite good, but still it didn’t click. I learned, though, how important the presentation of the content by the teacher is for me. There are teachers to whom I cannot listen for more than three minutes without drifting into lala-land. So I learned to look for teachers, whose voices and mode of speaking are enjoyable to me. Even better, if they have something else that engages me. So, finally, I decided to take Daniel Coyle’s advice: I chose a tutorial about some little project in Adobe Illustrator that interested me, and a teacher who spoke slowly enough to catch everything she said, and who was patient enough to explain everything she did. Then I spent about a week with this 7 minutes tutorial from hikeart. As described in „The Talent Code“, I started over and over again, until I could recreate the little project. It was watch 5 seconds, do what she did, check if it was correct, and then either correct, or go for the next little step. Sounds tedious, but it IS very effective. So, concerning Adobe Illustrator I like the tutorials from Hikeart, and Jenn Coyle. For Adobe Photoshop my choice is Phlearn. Phlearn strikes my funny bone. But important with all of them is: They don’t make me feel like a total dork. Having to learn all about the digital work is demanding enough, so I cannot tolerate feeling dumb on top of it. I am sure my selection of teachers will increase, but right now, that’s it.
Aka Sketchbook Skool Klasses. This is my absolute treat. It is not because I need to do them, but because I just enjoy them so profoundly. There are teachers I like tremendously, the material is great and very inspiring, and if I want, there is a ton of awesome fellow artists I can connect with. It is like a gigantic, encouraging playground and I enjoy it thoroughly.