A general observation about illustration and comic portfolios:

It’s interesting how you can look at someone’s illustration or comic work and you know they’ve got genuine potential. They’re far from ready for professional work, but they’ve got what it takes to get to that next level and you can see it developing. The most interesting thing is when you talk to them, they tend to ask the right kinds of questions that will help them get to the next level. They’re looking for those adjustments and corrections that help them stay on the path. They’ve got a strong focus you can’t fake your way through.

When you see someone’s work that probably DOESN’T have what it takes, (and you can usually spot it quickly), they’ll often focus on the superficial things, or they’ll just ask the wrong kinds of questions. Questions that stray from the path and explore irrelevant or distracting things.

Improvement is a series of minor adjustments, it’s about studying and practicing, but studying and practicing the right things. Patience, perseverance, and all the cliches you see too often that end up being true. It’s never about finding a magic pill or a powerful new tool that will reveal an elevator to bring you to the next level. Those inspirational moments do occur, but they’re a byproduct of putting in the time and effort to construct them yourself.

You don’t just climb the stairs, you build the stairs.

Anyway, I get excited when I talk to young creators that understand the real joy in all of this is to learn by doing.

If you have any thoughts, please share them.