Our essential Introduction to Comic Book Art course with Robert Atkins begins a new session on February 1, 2017!
In this course, Robert will lead a fun series of interactive sessions, culminating in a new set of skills that you can put into practice immediately. His accessible teaching style and insightful critiques have earned him rave reviews from former students!
Enrollment is now open, and spots are limited. Visit our course page to enroll, and for more course details.
Robert joined us for a question-and-answer session to help you learn more about him and his course. Check out our conversation here, along with recent samples of his work!
What are some qualities you admire in your Intro to Art students?
I enjoy that with an online intro class, inevitably there will be a wide range of experience and ability at the start of the class. Even with that large gap, the class always comes together and supports each others’ artwork. Great comments, helpful critiques and encouragement between students have been a regular component to the atmosphere in every intro class we’ve had.
What will your Intro to Art students be able to do better by the time they complete your course?
They will definitely have a better grasp on the foundation of storytelling for comics. They’ll be able to take nearly any script and work through the professional process of doing thumbnails, layouts, breakdowns and final pencils. Students will be confident that they would be working at an industry standard knowledge of the process. They’ll also learn to avoid many of the common mistakes made by amateur artists trying to break in, which will automatically give them a leg up over the crowd.
In the time you’ve been teaching Intro to Art, have you changed anything about your teaching methods?
Initially I taught with more of a strict lecture format of set examples and set information. While I still have to present a large amount of information, I’ve found I can do more of that while critiquing student work and then I can teach the same concepts, but on a more personal level when I’m talking about student’s art. I’ve also grown to use the forums more and more over the years as I’ve found the students that are active on the forum throughout the class experience an extra level of information.
Who, or what, are some of your favorite creative influences?
I feel style is a combination of technical skill and creative influence. I had a professor at Savannah College of Art and Design who absolutely drilled into me a knowledge of figure anatomy, I’ll always be grateful for that. Learning the craft of draftsmanship is only one component though. I started reading comics in the late 80’s and early 90’s, so inevitably the big name artists of that era influence my desire to draw and my approach to style. I feel now though I’m most heavily influenced by working professional comic artist that I’ve met at cons, or become friends with. I see their regular social media posts and it always gets me excited to draw more, and push my own limits.
Outside of comics, I feel like the cartoons of the 80’s were a major influence on me loving unique characters and big action stories. Even if they are a bit ridiculous!
What are your hopes for your students after they complete your course?
I hope that my students keep in touch with me! I love hearing from students from past courses. I love being able to help them and see them improve as they continue to take courses through the Comics Experience curriculum. I hope that they will set goals and work towards accomplishing them. Eventually, I hope that at some point down the road I’m sitting next to them at a comic con in Artist Alley, they are working on a title, or selling their own story and seeing them succeed!
Introduction to Comic Book Art starts Wednesday, February 1, and runs for six weekly sessions. For details and to enroll, visit our page here!
If you want to make comics, write, draw, letter, and color comics, or improve as a comics creator, you’ll find like-minded friends and colleagues in our online workshops and courses. We hope to see you there!
Posted by Nicole Boose