How did you become an artist?
This question is surprisingly difficult to answer in text form (haha)! Manga and anime were a huge part of my life when I was growing up in Taiwan. However, Taiwan’s education system did not encourage artistic pursuits back then, as we were under heavy academic pressure. I did not start drawing more regularly until moving to Canada at the age of 15. Drawing was my escape for a while before deciding it was the path I wanted to continue. I applied for Emily Carr and Capilano’s IDEA (Illustration Design Elements and Applications) Program, both esteemed local post grad options for art, and was accepted into both. I ended up attending IDEA Program, as it was a career focused, highly competitive and tightly structured program, thinking it would solidify my foundation.
The program itself was fantastic and I learned a lot from it, but the intensive 3 years left me extremely burnt out and insecure about my skills. I eventually gave up on art and got various jobs at retails, cafes and restaurants scenes. Even though I helped my partner at the time with his art and passion projects, I personally did not pursue art for the next 8 years and had no plan to return.
At the end of 2015, due to unexpected life events, I had an opportunity to stay home for a while. A friend lent me a Wacom Intuos 3 and I started practicing digital art to fill my free time. My then partner suggested I try Twitch streaming. I figured, “why not?” and started streaming my art practices with a $20 webcam. The rest is history.
From 2015 – 2020, I went from living an isolated quiet life, to growing an online community who supports my craft. I’d say I became an artist due to finding out that the passion never left me after all these years, and meeting people who believe in me.
Where do you get inspiration?
I am inspired by eastern cultures a lot, the histories, costumes from different eras, music and dance. Art Nouveau had a ton of influences on my art earlier on, as well as Ukiyo-E. Aside from that, a trip years ago where I visited the small galleries in Montreal. The textures traditional artists, such as Josef Kote, are able to put into their art really moved me. It was an experience I never feel would have the same impact through looking at an image online.
What’s your hardware setup?
Currently, my PC parts are
Mobo: Asus ROG Strix B550-A
CPU: Ryzen 9 3900x
GPU: EVGA GTX1070
RAM: Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro 32GB
Tablet: Wacom Cintiq Pro24 mounted on Flex Arm
What do you like best about Clip Studio Paint?
I’m trying not to be cliché and say everything, but the truth is there is just a LOT I love about it. Everything from how compact and focused it is, how everything is designed solely for drawing and painting, how uncomplicated it is, to how every feature helps speed up my workflow tremendously.
Brush engine – Extremely streamlined. Every brush in CSP is designed within the same parameters, making it much easier to learn and diversify.
3D models – One of the best things about CSP. I build all of my references with default 3D models, that alone saves me hours of searching for perfect references on the internet.
Vector layer – CSP puts a ton of effort into comic book creations and the vector tools is unparalleled in that regard. Doing lineart on Vector layer is insanely fast and flexible. I stuck with raster layers for the longest time due to not knowing the differences. I wish I had known earlier.
Close and Fill – This is THE fastest way to do flats. I used to do flats in another program and let’s just say that it’s a difference between 5 hours and 5 minutes for my style.
Honestly, I can go on, but I don’t want this to take forever to read or sound like a commercial LOL… Did I mention that this is all provided at an incredibly affordable price for a perpetual license? OK I’M DONE I SWEAR.
How long does it take you to make a single illustration?
It really depends. I do both traditional and digital art, and they can range from 1 hour all the way to 40, 50, even 100 hours depending on the subject and medium.
One thing I sincerely advice aspiring artists to do, is to stop worrying about the time spent on anything illustration. There is a purpose in each piece of art. Every minute you take in any piece is an experience. You need to spend more time in order to spend less time. Don’t let the speed of how fast social media refreshes dictate your perception of time.
If you feel like you lose motivations easily when working on a big piece that would require many many hours, do something small. Draw a face, draw a hand, give yourself a small win, that’s 100% ok. Artists only become faster through repetitions.
Would you consider Clip Studio Paint an industry tool?
It absolutely is an industry tool. The amount of features it packs is ridiculous, especially for comic book/manga/Webtoon artists. I’m sufficient in the other “industry tools” and I can honestly say that CSP is a real competition in the illustration world, and will be staying for a long time.
Would you like to promote some recent project?
This is actually not a recent project, but I’m very passionate about tech and sharing what I know. I would love to share the CSP tutorials I’ve made for Wacom. It is an 8 episode series and covers various features in CSP I love and people may be unaware of or understand.
Also, I've created my first brush pack for Clip Studio Paint emulating traditional media called Sumi Brush Pack and you can purchase it on Graphixly.
Where can we follow your work?
I am @TheOneWithBear on IG/Twitter/Artstation/FB/DeviantArt but I’m the most active on IG.
I also stream regularly on http://www.twitch.tv/theonewithbear on Tues, Fri and Sat at 1pm PST. If you have further question, please feel free to ask me when I’m live. I’d be happy to help.
*** Sarajean is doing a #Giveaway with us! Reach her post on Instagram, follow her, follow @graphixly and leave a comment. Winners of Clip Studio Paint Pro will be announced on December 28, good luck! ***