Online Fomms

You can read all the books and visit all the sites I suggest in this chapter, and it hopefully helps build your knowledge of creating comics. But knowledge can be nothing without application, and what better way to find out how well you're applying what you've learned than by getting real-time feedback from a group of your peers?

Sprinkled throughout the comics community are many message boards devoted to sharing art with others, with users ready to give critiques to anyone brave enough to step up. Some can be cruel, others more forgiving, but all are ready to let you know exactly what you've done wrong and what you've done right.

It's easy to feel intimidated when you check out one of these places for the first time. There's definitely a "new kid at school" vibe when you first start out, and you may be very reluctant to post any kind of messages there, much less your artwork. My suggestion is to spend a few days checking out the community and how the users interact with both newbies and regular users. That way, you can tell whether the iorum is a good fit for you, personality-wise. Then, if you're serious and confident enough in your work to take critiques, politely introduce yourself and post some of your art.

1 suggest being gracious and polite as you start off in a new forum. If anything, you want to show the regulars there that you aren't an obnoxious user who's just going to be a jerk while you're there. I'm not saying you should kowtow and grovel at their feet or anything; just be nice and polite, and you'll get the same in return. (Well, there are no guarantees, really. Some people are just jerks. You just have to roll with the punches with those people.)

This is also a great way to prepare yourself, should you decide to show your work to professionals or potential employers at one of the hundreds of various anime and comic conventions out there. It's possible that the people you meet could be extremely tough on you, and it can be discouraging at first. If you start showing off your work in some of the comic art forums, if anything it's a great way to thicken your skin for the convention circuit. If you can survive the feedback from your peers, you should have no problem with a few editors.

Some of the sites you can check out include;

V Digital Webbing (www.digital-webbing, com) Penciljack (www .pencil j ack. com)

V Ten Ton Studios (www. tentonstudios. com) Okay, in full disclosure, I'm a founding member there. But it's still a great place to hang out... honest!

So, what are you waiting for? Start posting some work!

Chapter 17

Ten Ways to Improve Your Manga Studio Experience

In This Chapter

Improving your productivity through comfortable surroundings ^ Purchasing the right equipment for you

Reducing repetitive stress injuries by properly setting up your workspace Making sure to take breaks

Saving time by taking advantage of Manga Studio tools Avoiding overburdening your system Saving your work ... repeatedly

Alleviating artist's block by drawing in a different medium ^ Having fun with your work

7he title of this chapter is probably a bit misleading, as only three of the tips actually involve Manga Studio itself. The rest of the chapter cover things you might not think of while working on the computer, ideas and suggestions that will help you feel comfortable both mentally and physically. When you feel comfortable, nine times out of ten you'll feel more creative. And when you feel creative, lots of art gets drawn.

So, here are a few ideas that I think will help your Manga Studio (and digital art in general) experience go a bit more smoothly.

Freehand Sketching An Introduction

Freehand Sketching An Introduction

Learn to sketch by working through these quick, simple lessons. This Learn to Sketch course will help you learn to draw what you see and develop your skills.

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