I just want to give you a solid, firm handshake for how you answered that last ask, because I'v seen people blowing that kinda stuff out of proportion for a little too long. Give no fucks and keep being cool.
Hey Rob. I'm curious about your position on this whole sexy girls in video games is sexist drama. As a person who plays video games and shows appreciation of the female form, do you think women are right to feel offended by 'unrealistic' portrayal of girls? Would you like to see more women in a nice comfy tee and faded jeans? What do you like seeing in lady characters or what would you like to see? Is your portrayal of the ladies you draw what you like to see?
This is a super-loaded question and will most likely steer some people away from me, even though they are my personal views (being that we’re on Tumblr); but I have to give a disclaimer to state that I feel that everyone, male or female, has a right to be offended by anything, and also to have an opinion. That is their right and to take that from them would be undue censoring. So now that that’s out of the way, here’s my stance:
I’m a straight guy. Appropriate to my nature, I’m attracted to a woman’s body. And appropriate to my natural gender makeup, I have visual instincts when it comes to sexual preferences. (It’s not always the case as a whole with my makeup-group; there is always an exception to the norm.) Therefore, I see nothing wrong with liking sexy things. It’s pretty natural, even beyond my gender. What I draw is enjoyable for me at the time, simple as that. Yes, that includes pin-uppy imagery of scantily-clad women at times. Does that mean what I draw reflects my view on what I want to see or don’t care about on a social level? Not at all.
I feel that the video game industry (within games themselves, NOT the corporate aspect, which is troubled with sexism and misogyny), though we all know how saturated it is when it comes to the portrayal of female characters, shouldn’t be scrutinized for this. It is similar to the remarks made about mass murderers being linked to video games having too much violence. It _could_ have an effect, but it’s far from the reason a murderer commits a crime. They’re just crazy, demented people, at times with health issues and lack of proper social upbringing. I feel that fiction relates to reality in some instances. However, I also feel that fiction should be primarily seen as fiction itself.
An outlandish and provocative outfit in a fantasy world where nothing else makes sense shouldn’t be taken at all seriously, just as much as a Playboy (or Playgirl) photo should be taken seriously. It serves a purpose: to entertain in some way or another. Whether someone finds whatever entertainment from anything is up to that person individually and is really no one else’s business.
This is the problem where some are fuzing two instances together:
You can be a socially inept, basement-dwelling dude with a hard drive stacked full of porn and whack it 10 times everyday, and jump on the couch at primetime where your preferred gaming choice is a night of Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball 2, and end it off with your favorite 18+ dating sim before bed, but that DOES NOTgive you the right to mistreat any living, breathing, woman-who-has-very-human-feelings-not-unlike-yours, you see in the street or online. It also doesn’t give you the right to assume a real-life, breathing and free-thinking woman, if she’s dressed with a tight-fitting red dress with her cleavage showing to be disrespectfully ogled and cat-called. That’s just plain common sense. Yet, there are tons of men who do this anyway. *sigh*
Games don’t make people do anything. I saw my first naked gal when I was 7 years old with many naked girls since from that time, and I think I turned out pretty okay. I love and played many, many, many video games in my lifetime. I have a dad and mother who both carefully taught me right from wrong and that there’s a time and place for everything “socially acceptable”. I have a wife who I love dearly and would always drive myself to compromise for her feelings if she felt uncomfortable about anything. And I love drawing female characters, scantily-clad at times. (I have a bad draw-too-much habit, though… And I can get messy at times… Can’t be perfect, I guess.)
As for what I’d like to see when it comes to female characters in video games: I want more diverse female characters, and for them to be seen in a positive light! Heck, my own first game is starring a strong, smart female character and is driven by primarily a majority-female cast! But should every girl wear a comfy tee and faded jeans? Not at all. There is nothing at all wrong with being or dressing sexy. I even threw folks for a loop with Bliss’ design by making her young (she’s “18 and legal”, I assure you), flirtatious, and voluptuously sexy but majority of the time keeping her fully clothed with no skin showing, in contrast, I made Esmy have the most revealing outfit IN CRYAMORE but you don’t think of that when you see Esmy act in character. She comes off as intellectually “cool” more than sexy because of it.
So I’m all for diverse portrayals of women IN the actual video games. I’m A-OK with Samus kicking massive butt in her rocket heels just as i am comfortable with her kicking massive butt in her Varia Suit. It’s fantasy. You take it as is.
As for the douchebags who find themselves getting off to touching and mistreating women in public conventions and venues because you find them personally “hot” or because they’re cosplaying Mai Shiranui or Morrigan (or not), you can go kindly screw yourselves, because you are socially backwards and a disease to society. Keep it in your fantasies.
That’s my stance. Sorry for the long-windedness! I hope no one hates me after this! ^__^;
Hi Rob, i'm a HUGE fan of your work its really inspires me, you are one of my favorite artist ever, i have a question, i am about to graduate college and i want to be able to try to become a freelance artist and sell my work at conventions and etc, i was wondering if you can help me out explaining what it take to taking that huge step and anything else i need to be a successful freelance artist?
That’s awesome! I’m sure you are happy that the long road in college is almost over and should be proud of that! Kudos!
This means that you should have an upper hand if you play your cards right! I didn’t go to college, so it was quite a struggle for people taking me ‘seriously’ when I applied for jobs even when I had an, hm, “ok” portfolio. What I did is pretty simple: I just picked a local convention, purchased half of a table, and just got out there and did it. Been doing it ever since.
The first time will probably suck (that sounded like something for a different topic…), so here are some things that you should do to help bring a bit of balance into that, as well as general freelance basics that have helped me:
Be observant! You are there to promote your work, most importantly, but chances are you won’t “hit the nail on the head” on your first go. So take note of what other artists are doing at their table; the things they are drawing/offering, the types of work that seem to be getting attention, etcetera.
Be social! We live in a social media world right now and that’s important; always having a few different avenues where people can see and follow your work online is very important to thrive as a freelance artist. But this applies in real world too. Talk with everyone who comes by your table! Talk to your table neighbors and ask them about tips they found beneficial to them if they are vets. This business all relies on how well you communicate with others, and it’s a big struggle the more you get into it and the busier you get, but it’s definitely necessary.
It doesn’t end at college graduation! I’m sure you are well aware that art is a lifelong achievement. The thing you felt proud of achieving today can be a travesty a year from now. There’s always room for improvement, so always focus on improving! Even if things start out rocky because you may not have that “certain appeal” with whatever art you do, it’s not the end of the world. People who are consistent with their work and visible improvement eventually get work as a reward. As long as you try to move ahead, and reinvent yourself as an artist over and over, you will gain enough skill to be able to do any kind of art job. It all goes into your personal study and application.
And lastly, stay positive. The life of an artist, as many who aren’t artists aren’t aware, can be very lonely, demanding, and depressing. Coupled with the final boss, Life, throwing you a punch every now and then, this can be a critical hit to your mental health. Don’t let it be. You will get rejected. People will be stuck-up and not as outgoing as you are. Some will try to slight you and step on you to better themselves out of jealousy. Don’t take it personal. You keep doing you, and stay positive. And I promise that things will come full circle in the end.
That’s all I have to say about it! Hope that helps!
I don't know if it's possible to have a favorite artist, but when it comes to sketches, yours are my favorite. You just put such a great sense of weight and motion into everything. They're so expressive and alive. Thank you for sharing your art.
AWWWWW thanks for the kind words! I’m happy that you enjoy it. I’ll continue to keep it up as long as I can.
So I picked up one of those fancy new Wacom Bamboo Stylus Finelines from Best Buy a bit ago for 60 bucks. It’s a new stylus for drawing on an iPad. And it’s the best kinda stylus for the iPad yet released. Ever.
Now for you enthusiasts who are into drawing on the iPad, you may have heard this many times before, with so many different styli out there that prompted this kinda response. Lemme explain:
This thing’s nib is practically the same width as a standard Intuos/Cintiq/Bamboo pen; you know, the one you draw with on your desktop? Wacom has somehow managed to make a bluetooth-powered stylus that doesn’t require a fat nib. Crazy, right?
I played with it for about an hour and I already came to the conclusion that this is hands-down, the best kind of stylus for the iPad. It’s literally not much difference than drawing on a Cintiq, and I live on my Cintiq. Even more so than the Galaxy Note I’ve been using to doodle with off and on. Wacom is gonna release a similar, more “professional” version, which is the Intuos Creative Stylus 2. It’s not out yet, but for 20 bucks more, it will have double the pressure sensitivity of this one, ending up in maybe the most 1:1 feeling to a Cintiq yet.
The only downside right now is app support. You can only draw with the Bamboo Paper app at the moment (and Sketchbook Pro but with no pressure sensitivity), but Autodesk is working on a new Sketchbook Pro for iPad which will be able to utilize these new pens. I’m sure Procreate and the rest will jump on support ASAP. I did a quick 5 minute test doodle above. It felt very natural, no offset, etc.
It supposedly lasts on for 26 hours on a 2 hour charge. (I couldn’t wait 2 hours after unboxing it to test it out.) Coupled with the iPad’s great battery life, that’s a keeper in my book. I’m most likely going to consider selling my Galaxy Note eventually as the more support this thing gets.
This pen may very well be the iPad’s answer to Samsung’s Galaxy Note…
I have a question about the SKABROUS SKRATCHWORK book too! For those of us that purchased the " Part of History" and "Rapidly Reasonable" will you be contacting individuals about our illustration requests?
Yup, I already contacted Part of History peeps a month ago. Rapidly Reasonable peeps will be contacted when I receive the batch to ship out, as those are traditional sketches in the book~
Hey Rob, Did you color that Lili is Photoshop or Sketchbook Pro? It looks like you used some masking and, if it was SBP, I was curious how you did it. I know there is some masking with selections but you can't make group or layer masks, can you? Thanks
Yeah, she was colored in Photoshop, just utilizing the Clipping Masks. Those effects that are applied after on the shading/highlights are just Layer Styles applied to the layer(s).
The only masking you can do on SBP is just Transparent Pixel locking, unfortunately; no Clipping Masks like in Photoshop. So you just gotta do things the hard way when coloring in SBP, lol…
Hey Rob, I've been stuck in a rut for the longest time, and I've been trying my hardest to get back into the groove of drawing again, unfortunately I noticed I've gotten so impatient and maybe demoralized when I can't get my ideas down. Any advice of how I can get out of this funk?
I remember when I used to often get impatient when I realized that I couldn’t grasp something specific that I really wanted to grasp right that moment. I don’t know exactly what you’re impatient about (a certain technique? Anatomy? Coming up with your own style? Conceptualizing/creating new characters?), but whatever it is—
When that happens, man, it is best to just not focus on that very thing you’re impatient on. Try to tackle something that you never tackled before, like some backgrounds or try painting a landscape, or even better: just scribble around with no intent on making a finished sketch or piece of art. You don’t even have to be making anything intelligibly fantastic; it could be the most ridiculously abnormal thing. Or, you can even play it safe and just draw things you enjoy drawing. You don’t have to show anyone everything you do. I have tons and tons of sketches and scribbles that NO ONE has seen (and for good reason too).
You’ll soon start finding yourself wanting to finally create something outta nowhere. Don’t let a lack of ideas mess you up! I hope that helps! :)
Do you look down on other artists? Does it frustrate you seeing an artist that never seems to get any better? Or a popular artist who isn't that great or seems to get progressively more lazy? Do you feel bad for aspiring artists knowing its a very competitive field and the pressure to be better then others to get a job is there even though its not very fair? (in short what do you think of other artists?)
Do you look down on other artists?
No! I never look down on other artists just for the sake of looking down on them. That’s malicious.
Does it frustrate you seeing an artist that never seems to get any better?
Not really, everyone goes at their own pace. And when they do finally noticeably improve, it is pretty great to see how hard they persisted and weathered the storm to achieve it!
Or a popular artist who isn’t that great or seems to get progressively more lazy?
This I do have an issue with, though it is their choice to be lazy or not. They have every right to cut corners and be lazy, set up camp on their plateau (and that’s even if there’s a lot of success still flourishing their way on said plateau) and not try to advance in their work. However, I don’t recommend doing that, personally.
Do you feel bad for aspiring artists knowing its a very competitive field and the pressure to be better then others to get a job is there even though its not very fair?
I never thought much about this, maybe because I’m privileged to not still be “struggling” when it comes to getting work in the industry. But the only thing I can tell you in response to this is that the reason I’m not struggling is because I put the work and effort into getting where I wanted to be right now, and I have a bunch of artist friends and acquaintances who have also put in the work and effort and received.
With that said, you really get out what you put in. If you as an artist or another artist is still “struggling” to find your voice/work in the field, then there’s just something you’re not doing right yet, or something you haven’t learned how to do yet, but that doesn’t at all mean that all hope is lost. And there isn’t a magic trick to learn to get in the field, it’s really based on a number of circumstances and situations. The advice I give out here on my Tumblr is only things that I learned and discovered myself, as I’ve been through it already. I would never advise what I do not know and I give that specific advice to try and close the threshold for other artists to “make it”, hoping that it would work for them, even if they have other criteria to meet in their goals, skill, and aspirations. So I don’t feel bad, but I feel very hopeful for these specific artists. :)
As for other artists in general, I love viewing other artists! I find it as a big source of inspiration! I can learn from and be inspired by even an artist who may not be capable of drawing an anatomically sound piece but can do something totally cool with lines or the way they render hair or something! We all feed off of each other creatively; it’s in our nature to bounce ideas off of each other anyway! It’s just a good mindset to be in when it comes to a field that can be very competitive at times. :)
With Rob providing you links to galleries of his old work, know that at the time of said link provision, the floodgates of hell will open and wrath will unleash upon the Earth, burning all of man to a crispy but very-burnt Pop-Tart that is undesirable from an edible standpoint. Be warned. None of this can be reversed, and eternal slumber will fall upon ALL and Rob will be forced to watch the chaos spread right in front of his eyes. And god forbid, DO NOT GO INTO THE SCRAPS LINK, unless you have absolutely no heart for life in general, for it will destroy every alien in the universe. They will also become burnt Pop-Tarts with the eternal curse of not even being wanted by a very famished person who has been fasting for a week. If you have no problem committing Rob to this horror, then proceed.
You're awesome bro. I wish I was as good as you. :(
I had a visitor last week.
He said he was from the past. 10 years away. It was me, and he said the exact same thing to me and I told him “You’ll get to my level one day”.
Then last Sunday, I traveled to the future and I met my future self and he was wayyyyy too good. Started feeling like you are now. I sighed longingly and afterwards, told him, “I wish I was as good as you.” He replied, “I oughta’ slap you. You know better than that.”
Long story short, keep drawing and practicing and then you’ll have to deal with your past and future self as well.
I’m not just telling you this story to prove a point. This actually happened.
First of all, I want to say : your work is awesome and it's a unlimited source of inspiration for me ^^ ! Especially your sketchs, so full of life :). Now, the question ! Will you plan to go in a convention in France one day? I'm sure I'm not the only french guy who prays to see your for real ! haha! Cheers and continue to make us dream Rob' !
Haha, thank you!
It’s not the first time I’ve been asked if I’m going to attend a French convention and one of my wife’s big wishes is to go to Paris one day, lol; so I wouldn’t rule it out completely! Practically almost every French person I talked with online has been very nice and welcoming, so I definitely would love to attend a convention one day!
I don't gush to artists I love often enough, but your art is a huge inspiration for me generally, and, if you'll excuse the weirdly specific praising, I just wanted to say how you make like, the best fanart of Daisy. She's one of those odd characters where I've noticed it's really hard to capture her unique likeness/personality when not drawing in the official Mario style but you get her spot-on; totally recognisable as your art but also totally looking totally like, well, her, every time.
There are few characters I just love expressing, and when I do, I always try to make it a point to convey the character as best as I can within my style. Just little bits like body language, expression, etc. Those things matter and I pay attention to them a lot in my work and when observing characters/people.
Hey there, Rob. Two weeks ago I managed to finally purchase a drawing tablet (an Intuos 5) and have been using it everyday ever since. I've really gotten the hang of using it, but there's one area that I seem to continue to struggle with, which is making quality lineart. Do you have any tips or tricks that can help me out?
Beats me! I’m horrible at an Intuos/Bamboo-style tablet, it’s just so unnatural for me (I use a Cintiq). But I know artists that do use it and make great lines with ‘em so I guess just keep practicing! Sorry, I wish I had more to say on that. ^__^;
I dunno if this is the kind of asks you answer but I was just wondering, how is your anatomy so good does that just come from practice or did you study it cuz it's flawless man, anatomy is one of my biggest flaws and any info would be perfect c:
Hahaha, it’s definitely not flawless. But I do have a working knowledge of anatomy to where I don’t really need reference when coming up with poses. It all comes from lots of observation of life mainly, and then studying and applying it in my work. It’s basically understanding and getting used to drawing the basic shapes and learning how it all connects.
So yeah, other than just a lot of practice, repetition, and application, I find that observation is very key, even more than just simply ‘drawing a lot’, at times.
Have you've every looked at someone's drawing and ever felt really bad because your drawing skills are far below their skills ? Do you have any tips to keep your head up in situations like those ?
Oh yeah, for sure! I can’t count how many times I’ve felt this way.
At the end of the day though, I didn’t focus solely on that. I know that it didn’t stop me from being able to draw myself, even if not better than those artists at the time. I also know that there’s always room for improvement; even on art work I finished and loved.
Just going through the material for my sketchbook alone has reinforced this for me on a great scale. I came a long way. And I have even more of a way to go. :)
Dude, your style rocks! In the earlies how many hours did you dedicate to art on a daily basis to improve?
I don’t know about the earliest, but we’ll just start from scratch.
I started getting serious when I still had a 9-5 job, so that went on for about 4 years. So we’ll count about 6 hours each day during those years, which equals on average 2190 hours for 4 years.
OK, now that we have that figured out, since I now work freelance full on and still practice and doodle from time to time (and draw for my work) everyday, I calculated my average wake time (18 hours) times the average amount of time I’m at my desk working (6 days) times 52 weeks in a year (312 days, and I’m being generous on that average day count) times 7 years so far and that equals another 39,312 hours. (O___O)
Add 2190 + 39,312 hours and we get a total of an average of 41,502 hours logged serious doodling/drawing so far in my life! If that sounds like a lot, it is.
So if you all want to improve faster, try making your drawing/studying sessions last a bit longer than 30 minutes a day. Try to lighten up on the vidya games (I get distracted from time to time myself because I absolutely love the vidya… and Twitter sometimes. Sometimes I can really get into Twitter) and other fun stuff if you really want to improve as an artist. There’s nothing I can’t stand more when some peeps come to me to complain why they’re not improving in their work when I see them doing everything else with their valuable free time and logged on playing and doing whatever, and the answer’s right in their face.
Sorry went off the tangent here but hope that answers your question! HAHA
I wanted to grab a copy of your Skabrous Skratchwork Vol. 1 at the Indie Go Go campaign but because it's closed, it won't let me pay! Is there anyway I can acquire one?
I’ve been getting a lot of requests as to if I’m going to make the book available for those who did not get the chance to hop on during the campaign. I decided that I will do a short-run order this December for the book, so you will be able to grab one then!