Working Smarter, Not Harder

I am currently working on my own as a cartoonist.  I have my webcomic Bear Bear, a 30 Day Drawing Challenge, and other steps that I am making to make cartooning sustainable for my daily life.  I am proud of myself that I have come this far. I have debuted Bear Bear Comics, and I have been consistent with my 30 Day Drawing Challenge on Instagram.  As I continue creating, I realized that it is okay to pivot to make the work easier and more fun for myself.

Everyone is limited on time and resources. I was trying to draw Bear Bear daily in the current style with lots of hash marks and complex backgrounds.  I realized it took more time than I anticipated. As a result, I simplified my rendering, and I was able to save time putting the comic together. I was able to save my time for other projects or looking for work too.

I had to be aware of my own limitations, so I could make the necessary changes. I am working on a learning curve because I am creating Bear Bear using Photoshop only. I never have used computer software for my art from start to finish. Although Photoshop is different for me, it’s make more sense for me to use it to make cleaner changes to my work. Another benefit is that Photoshop lets me save money on paper.  The benefit of working in Photoshop does justify the time it takes to work out a comic. I am giving myself space to let the changes in my procedure work for me.

As I am working, I realize I need to make small steps to realize my larger goals for my art.I would love to have an epic, long running, graphic novel series like Inuyasha. I want to make animated TV shows for PBS, animated feature films for Disney, and more. Luckily for me, it’s early in my cartooning career.  All of those dreams are one stroke of the pencil at a time.

I can make the necessary changes now to make myself successful for the future.  I can learn the conditions for my success, and put them in place now. Down the road I want to be able to successfully deliver my work when it  involves a publisher, studio, or collaborators. I can add more details to my pieces or create larger projects as I get more comfortable. For now it’s all about developing good habits while I have enough time, space, and grace.

Edited by: Momma Bear


Stay Warm Series

Here is short series of digital paintings that I created. It had been a while since I painted in photoshop. I made these because although it is cold outside, I wanted to make scenes that made me and others feel warm on the inside.  I made these animals as an experiment in using different kinds of lighting and color. Each animal has a story and they just want to stay warm during the cold weather.

I am so happy to debut these three illustrations. They were a lot of fun to make. They were a great way to flex my art muscle. Let me know what you think. I am open to critiques and praise.  Thanks so much for your support.


Cozy she-bear warming herself up with a cup of tea and her favorite cookies, scarf, and hat.



Two young lovers with just their love and a fleece blanket to keep them warm and Netflix to keep them entertained.


What better way to warm up than with a fireplace. This buffalo is lovingly knitting something for his partner who is away.



Three Youtube channels that got me inspired about coloring comics

You can find almost anything on the internet, but finding useful information makes all the browsing worth the time. As I continue on my journey as a comic artist I am finding some great resources along the way. The more I practiced my art the more I realized I needed help building my skills in digital coloring. Luckily, I was able to find three great youtube channels that have tips and tutorials to make my process smoother.

1. Lavender Towne:

Lavender Towne is Haley Elizabeth’s comic art channel. She shows you her step-by step process for her art. Haley regularly posts art challenges she has completed, and how she works on her comic Unfamiliar. I appreciate her videos that show her art evolution from when she was 13, and digital art pitfalls to avoid. It’s been a great reminder for me that my own style and skills have evolved immensely since I started drawing. Not only do I find inspiration watching her create, she has a very pleasant speaking voice.

2. Coffe Table Comics:

Coffee Table Comics is made by Jason Brubaker. Brubaker was apart of Dreamworks’ visual communications department, so he brings a lot of his experience from a major studio to the masses. His channel has tutorials and interviews that cover all parts of the comics process from concept to color pages. It was here I discovered flatting and using textures to make my comic work have more depth. I like his long format interviews because he goes deeper in the minds of other artists, and I can discover other comic artists too. He makes more difficult aspects of creating comics like “How to get started…” easy to understand and apply to my own art.

3. K. Michael Russell:

K. Michael Russell has been a colorist for major comic publishers like IDW and Topcow. His whole channel is dedicated to coloring comics. He has short videos with tips to use in Photoshop, and longer videos showing the comic coloring process from start to finish. It is through his channel I have learned that color doesn’t matter, but the contrast does. He says that in almost every video, but he is so right. I feel more aware of the contrast and mood of the colors rather than choosing the right pink or blue. I setup my laptop and work along with his videos. It’s like having a teacher in my workspace guiding me each step of the way.

I have spent just about a month of watching these channels and others, I have already seen an improvement in some of the art I have been making. I encourage you to support and check out these artists. They have some great content that may inspire you to make comics.

Edited by: Brother Gator