NEW FAQ IS UP!
I'm really sorry I couldn't answer all of the questions that people left me in the previous journal (SO MANY, HAND IS BREAKING 휴益휴) but I tried to pick out the ones that I get asked the most. I'll add more to this as more questions come, but I think the covers many of the questions that I get a lot.
Hope this will be able to answer some of your curiosities! ART Q: What do you use to create art?
A: I use a 0.3mm mechanical pencil to sketch, various Copic multiliners (size 003) to ink, and Copic Sketch markers to color. I usually work on A4-sized manga manuscript (Deleter brand, type B paper) for Copic drawings. I edit and adjust scanned drawings with Photoshop, and sometimes Ill also use that to flat color some sketches to make it look a bit more complete. I have a Wacom Intuos 3 and a Bamboo tablet, but I use my Bamboo the most because its small and portable. Q: Where do you buy your material?
A: I usually buy my Copics and refill inks online at this website called Carpe Diem (www.carpediemstore.com ). They sell Copics for around $4 which is the cheapest Ive seen so far, and they go on sale often. I get my multiliners there also, and sometimes at a Japanese bookstore (Kinokuniya) when I need them fast. I buy my manuscript paper at Kinokuniya, but theyre available online as well if you just google it up. Q: How do you manage to get such clean scans of your art? What scanner do you use? Do you think it makes a difference?
A: One of the most frequent misconceptions that I see is people thinking that I have a scanner capable of producing a perfectly adjusted scan that I can just post on dA as is. This isnt true at all. I used to use a Canon MP210 (a scanner and printer combined), but I just recently bought a flatbed Canon LiDE 100. I got it on sale for thirty bucks, which is pretty dirt cheap for a scanner, and you can get it anywhere. Both of the scanners I have had worked fine for me, so nope, I really dont think which scanner you use makes much of a difference. The raw scan (straight from the scanner) will just about ALWAYS look pretty horrible, but thats where Photoshop comes in. Its a long process, but in summary, I level out the contrast, black/white levels, saturation, and color balances so that the scan looks like how the drawing looks in real life. Its hard to explain through text, but Ill try to make a picture tutorial for how to edit scans on Photoshop sometime! Q: How long does a drawing take?
A: It really ranges depending on the complexity of the drawing. I can take anywhere from 6 hours to 60 hours to complete a drawing. I draw very slow and take my time with a lot of stuff, so the hours just drag on orz;; Generally though, its around the 20-30 hour mark for a complete piece with more than one character and a background. Q: How often you draw?
A: Not very often TAT;; Especially with college courses getting more demanding and time-consuming. I try to doodle as much as I can when I have the time, but there are a lot of times when I dont feel like drawing because drawing takes energy and I just want to flop around on a bed. Im trying to be more consistent now though, so I made a sketch blog and try to sketch something at least every other day because I really do need the practice orz;; Q: Do you have any tips for clean lineart/coloring?
A: I get asked often on how my sketches come out so clean, but dont think I have any good tips to give on that OTL;; Because all I do is erase, draw, erase, draw, until I have the exact line that I want. I clean up all the unnecessary lines by erasing them, and its pretty time consuming. Some people might think I can get the exact lines I need for a clean sketch on my first stroke, but not at all. I probably spend more time erasing than actually drawing, which is why sketching takes me the longest to do out of the entire drawing process orz;; Q: Do you sketch your drawings and trace them later to line art, or just draw right on the paper you will color on?
A: I ink and color directly onto the sketch /lazy Q: Do you use any guidelines or do you draw straight as it is?
A: I never learned how to use guidelines when I first started drawing, so I dont have a habit of doing them now. I usually just eyeball it, and if theres anything that looks weird or out-of-proportion, I fix it until it looks right to me (even though sometimes its still not right;;Q: How do you get over an art block?
A: When Im stuck on what to draw, Ill usually try to inspire myself by looking through art books or browsing pixiv/dA. Theres also times when nothing I do comes out right, so then I just take a break and draw again some other time.Q: What is your favorite thing to draw?
A: I looove coming up with new designs and clothes for characters. I used to want to be a fashion designer when I was small, and although I dont anymore, theres still a big part of me that loves creating clothes and accessories and hairstyles for characters. I like drawing girls the most, because most of my guys come out looking like girls anyway orz;; I also love drawing flowers, leaves, and nature-y stuff in general /hugs a tree O3O Q: At what age did you start to get interested in art?
A: My interest was peaked at a pretty early age, around 6-7 I think. I didnt actually start to draw more consistently until I hit late elementary/middle school though. Q: At what age did you start to get "good" at art?
A: Whats good is a pretty subjective thing, but I think my biggest spurt of improvement happened when I was around 14 years old. That was when I started working with colors using color pencils for the first time, and I (slowly) started drawing things that looked a bit different from each other. Before then, all of my drawings were like carbon copies, not even kidding orz;; Q: Did you ever take art classes?
A: My parents sent me to some art classes when they discovered I had some smudge of artistic ability when I was around 12, but I didnt learn much from the classes. All I remember doing was drawing like 5000 apples and oranges and plants, and failing to understand any of the foundation basics that I was supposed to learn from it. Q: Did you ever switch styles often in search for your "own" style?
A: Im not sure if I even have a defined style of my own because I think my art overall is a pretty generic anime/manga style, but Im comfortable with how my drawings come out to be so I dont really try to draw in any way thats drastically different. Occasionally Ill try techniques that are different than usual, but nothing too far off because then it just looks like Im trying too hard to imitating another style. Im not sure how my style right now came to be either. I think after a long time of drawing, it just eventually developed on its own and came out to look like this;; Q: What are your favorite color combinations for clothes/hair/backgrounds/ect?
A: In general, I like soft colors more than bright, saturated colors. Most of my fanarts are bright and colorful mostly because the characters are already designed that way, but my own designs in original art usually have much more muted colors. I like black, gray, and brown color schemes for hair the most because they look most natural, and blond is my least favorite because Copic has a pretty crappy selection of yellows. As for backgrounds, Ive taken a much bigger liking to abstract and pattern ones instead of environmental/setting-type ones. I think I just like design-y things more than realistic backgrounds. Q: What seems easier, digital or traditional? Why?
A: For me, traditional is waaay easier than digital because Ive had much more experience with traditional mediums than digital. I do want to learn how to CG some day though, but Ill never switch over to digital completely because I love the feel of actual brush strokes too much :D Q: Are you happy with your art? Are you at where you want to be?
A: Im comfortable with my art. Theres a lot of artists who are amazing, but always seem to look down on themselves, which I think is kind of sad. Im happy with what I can produce most of the time, and I think Ive came a long way since I started out, but Id like to improve more, as always. Q: Do you plan everything before a drawing or make it up as you go along?
A: I usually have a general idea of what I want the drawing to look like beforehand, and as I sketch, I refine the idea even more. I formulate some kind of color scheme while sketching also, so Im not at a loss with what colors I should use by the time I need to color. Many times, Ill plan the drawing out according to the color scheme I want it to have. So for example, if I wanted to draw something with soft, desaturated colors, Ill design the characters and setting so that they look like they would fit into those colors
if that makes any sense o3o;; Q: What sketchbook do you use?
A: I use a 5x8.25 Moleskine sketchbook. DEVIANTART Q: How do you feel about all your loving fans?
A: I feel very, very fortunate. I never thought Id get this much attention when I first joined dA, and it surprises me still. I am very lucky to have so many people who follow my art, provide me with encouragements and feedback, and support me in whatever I draw even though I only post on dA like once in a blue moon. I dont often reply back due to the volume I get and time constraints, but I want you guys to know that I read every single one of your comments and messages! Thank you for all of your support, I appreciate it so, so much ;u;Q: If you could change your username, what would the new one be?
A: I think Ive made it pretty known that I DO NOT LIKE MY USERNAME
So if I could change it, it would be like a Christmas miracle for me, but I dont really know what Id change it to either. Ill probably just use the same username I use for twitter and sketchblog, which is myrollingstar. Katamari OST ref for those who didnt know o3o Q: Is there any scheduled time that you do live-streams, or are they random for when you have time?
A: Theyre totally random orz;; I hold them when I actually have something interesting that Im working on (instead of just doodling), and I can only sit down and draw seriously when I have spare time thats not hogged up by school D: Q: How many people do you watch and how many watch you?
A: At this moment, I watch 647 people and 30,297 watch me. LIFE Q: What's your real name?
A: Joanna, but most of my friends call me Jo so much that Joanna sounds strange and too formal to me now o3o;; Q: What are you like? Personality and physical appearance?
A: Im 20 years old, Chinese born in California, tall, and twiggy. Im pretty reserved when I meet new people, but I act about 9 with people I know well. Thats probably not a good thing orz;;Q: What do you study in school? Why did you decide to go into that instead of the art field?
A: Im studying radiological sciences in college. I decided not to go into art mostly because I dont think Im cut out for it at all. Right now, I can draw what I want, when I want, and that often just isnt possible if you want to survive in the art industry. If I keep art as a hobby, I can continue to have that freedom and flexibility. Also, I didnt pursue the art field because I value stability very much when considering my future, and I know art isnt the most stable career. I always liked sciences, mainly biology, and Id really like to work in a hospital setting, so I picked a field that could be all of those things. Q: How do you balance art and school?
A: Its hard, but I just try to draw when I can. A lot of times Im just too tired from schoolwork to draw, but when I do feel like drawing, I try to take advantage of it and produce as much as I can while the drive lasts. Q: Do you listen to music while drawing? What do you listen to?
A: ALWAYS. I cant draw without music. I listen to a lot of Asian music, especially K-pop. I like instrumental songs of anything also, like game/movie soundtracks and Yirumas piano albums *Q*Q: What are your inspirations?
A: Music, fashion, art books, life situations, and a lot of other things. Inspiration can come from anywhere!Q: How are you able to afford your large amount of tools (such as your Copic markers)?
A: I sell at cons (AX, Fanime, etc) to make money that take care of my personal expenses, including all of my art materials, throughout the year. Now that I have a large enough collection of markers to produce just about anything I want already, I dont need to spend much money on materials anymore unless I want to try out new colors. I buy refill inks for the markers that I use the most instead of buying new ones whenever an old one runs out, so that saves some money in the long run also. Q: How would you describe your clothing style?
A: I like loose clothing a lot, not like baggy shirts and pants, but things that arent glued-to-your-skin tight. I like clothes that are more girly than boyish, and I hate pink (peach is ok, and yes there is a difference). White, beige, grey, and pale colors dominates most of my closet because I dont like bright, eye-catching colors /BORING Q: Does your family have a history of being artists or are you the only artist in your family?
A: loool I remember when I was small, I went through all of my closer family members and demanded them to draw something for me because I wanted to see if any one of them could draw well. As far as I know, Im the only one in my family who draws. My parents dont have a lick of artistic talent orz;; Q: Are you going to make an art book in the future?
A: I definitely want to! Its one of my goals for sure. But first Ill have to have enough original art pieces so I can make a decently sized book out of them. I also havent found any good printing places yet (I think the best ones are in Asia TAT;; ), so gotta look for that. Q: Tips for first time convention sellers?
A: BRING LIKE TEN ROLLS OF TAPE because youll need them for everything, and people will probably borrow yours because they forgot theirs. Also bring seat cushions, lots of change money (all people seem to carry are $20 bills), and food. Also, its a good idea to have a PVC pipe display stand even if its your first year because everyone has one these days, and your table will probably get lost in the crowd if you dont. Q: What is eeCAFE?
A: eeCAFE is a circle of friends that Im a part of. Most of us are artists, and we usually attend large cons such as Anime Expo together as a studio. About half of us are in California, half are in Canada. We get together as often as we can to hang out. Theyre the best and most crazy bunch of friends Ive ever had