5 Tips For Beginning Digital Artists

5 Tips For Beginning Digital Artists

No matter your skill level when it comes to art, switching to a digital medium is no easy task.
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No matter your skill level when it comes to art, switching to a digital medium is no easy task. There seems to be a common misconception that digital art is cheating or easier than traditional art methods. While there are features that make creating art easier, (using layers, opacity, unlimited color options, erasing, etc.) it still falls on the artist to put effort into their creation. You aren't having a computer create your piece; you still have to draw it.

1. Use layers

One of the first things you should learn how to do in your art program is how to create new layers, and how to use them. It can be incredibly beneficial to break down your piece into different parts and separate the parts. When you have to make changes to a specific part, it'll be set aside from the rest of your work, making it easier to edit.

2. Invest in a tablet

If you start out using a mouse to draw, you'll start to compare yourself to other artists. There are some things that impossible for you to do with a mouse, such as pen pressure sensitivity. It'll make your journey in learning how to draw digitally a lot smoother if you get a tablet as soon as possible. I personally don't recommend investing in the most expensive tablet right on the get go. It's possible to find cheap starter tablets that are under $100! Just make sure to get one that has positive reviews. Once you're more comfortable with the transition to drawing with a tablet, it won't be as daunting to invest in a more expensive tablet.

3. Try a variety of programs

A lot of people seem to think that photoshop is the only program to draw with. PaintTool Sai is also a popular drawing program, but it isn't free (legally). While having knowledge of photoshop is great for a career, if you're drawing for fun, it's not necessary to drop money on it. There are lots of other art programs available online for cheaper, or for free, that are simplified/more streamlined for artists. Start out using free use programs as you learn, such as GIMP or Fire Alpaca, to avoid sinking more money.

4. Save multiple files

As you get used to drawing, be aware of how you're saving your files. Having an organized naming system and folders is great, although most artists have a hard time keeping up with it. If anything, I recommend making sure you know what types of files you're saving your pieces as. Make sure to save unfinished pieces as a .psd/.sai/.mdp (usually whatever the default is in whatever program you're in) so you can go back and edit. This way, the layer information will be saved, and you can pick up where you left off. If you're unsure if you want to go back to a piece, it doesn't hurt to save multiple versions, either.

5. Don't quit!

When I first started digital art, I had a preconceived expectation that it would make me a better artist. I was discouraged when I realized it was going to take me a while to adjust to drawing with a tablet. Drawing digitally versus traditionally doesn't automatically change your skill. It's simply another method that you can use as an artist. You'll grow as an artist from trying any new medium, but it takes persistent practice! Even if it seems difficult, the more you try, the more you'll learn!

Below, I'll attach a few images showcasing my progress as a digital artist over the years. I didn't catalog my art over the first few years, but the first few images are from 2011, 2012, and 2013. The last image is from the current year, 2017.

Cover Image Credit: Jennifer Morrow

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5 Gifts to Get the Theatre Fan in Your Life

Break a leg with your shopping!
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With outreaching shows like Hamilton and Dear Evan Hansen, it seems like Broadway is more prominent than ever. As a result, you may have a lot of theatre friends. If you're not as interested as they are, you may be unsure what to get them as a gift. Not anymore!


1. Opera Binoculars

Listen, good seats in theaters are expensive. So, buying balcony seats aren't at all uncommon to buy. However, opera binoculars allow you to see everything that's going on the stage much more clearly; thus making it a more enjoyable experience!


2.Playbill Binders

Playbills the programs that we get at the show, tend to hold a special place in our hearts. Binders are a great way for us to store them and ensure that they're kept in great condition. Even if we already have one, we always need room for more.


3. Playbill Pajamas


These adorable PJ's have designs from some of the most famous Broadway playbills! A perfect way for a theatre fan to show their love.

4. Comedy/Tragedy Necklace

Unlike the playbill pajamas, this is a more subtle gift. But that doesn't make it any less cute.


5. Broadway Tickets

Bonus points if you're able to score us tickets to Hamilton.

Happy shopping, and break a leg!

Cover Image Credit: State and Bijou

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40 Things I'd Believably Rather Do Than Sit In Class These Last 3 Weeks

I'd rather do a lot.
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There are two to three weeks left, the weather is (on occasion) getting warmer, and the absolute last thing that anyone wants to do is sit through class. At this point in the semester, it feels like even the most unpleasant activity is a way better alternative than going to class, and you just know that it's gonna get so much worse as finals week creeps up. When the pool opens up and it's sunny out, but yet here you are spending hours in the library studying for finals and then going, class.

There are hundreds of things that I would rather do than go to class at this point in time so I will share 40 of them.

1. Get punched in the face by John Cena

2. Have someone pour hand sanitizer on a paper cut that was just given to me

3. Run a 5K in 100º heat

4. Go to the dentist and get a filling without novocaine

5. Sit through standstill hour-long traffic

6. Cut 10 onions with my eyes glued open

7. Be forced to watch curling

8. Eat ONLY baby food for a week straight

9. Get so sunburned I can't move

10. Clean a public mall restroom with no gloves

11. Come in contact with a hungry grizzly bear alone

12. Shave not both, but only one eyebrow off

13. Eat a live cicada

14. Have holes on my big toe cut in each one of my socks

15. Crack my iPhone screen and have it cut my finger each time I swipe to unlock

16. Be limited to only watching Teletubbies for the rest of my life

17. Get shampoo in my eye whilst showering

18. Fold endless amounts of laundry

19. Stub my toe five times over

20. Copy the dictionary in cursive writing

21. Slam my hip on the kitchen counter

22. Go through my entire day with wet sleeves

23. Hit my head against the drywall multiple times

24. Read Shakespeare backward aloud

25. Eat a Tide Pod (lol jk)

26. Pay for an uneven haircut

27. Be forced to drink pickle juice

28. Accidentally swallow a spider in my sleep

29. Take a freezing cold shower

30. Be forced to listen to a class of third graders play the recorder

31. Have a dog lick peanut butter off my right foot

32. Get a hug from a sweaty sumo wrestler

33. Step on a Lego

34. Squirt a lemon in my eye

35. Fall asleep with one nostril clogged

36. Order and eat pineapple pizza

37. Memorize The Declaration of Independence word for word

38. Stare at pictures of Tom Cruise's asymmetrical face

39. Write a 10-page paper about why I love glue sticks

40. Be locked in a room and forced to smell dog farts for hours

Cover Image Credit: NBC Universal

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