There’s a lot of artists sharing their knowledge & art advice online for free, are you taking advantage of it?
It’s widely known that hearing art advice from someone who’s been doing what you want to do for years – and sometimes decades – can give you not only insight but also a more profound look into the industry. Furthermore, it can help you decide whether that’s for you or not.
The thing is, these artists also have really great professional art advice to share and very good lessons that might take years to learn if you’re by yourself. Hearing interviews, discussions or art topic videos/podcasts always helps you learn great lessons.
And it’s all out there for free on YouTube or podcasts! I’m gonna make a list of some of my favourites – ones that have taught me lessons since I have found them.
Keep reading to hear some of my recommendations!
This is all very personal too, you might want to go with the ones that fit the industry that you want to jump in or – as I do – get as much advice as you can from the greats, even if that’s not what you want to do exactly.
I feel like you can learn something from everyone, besides, sometimes variety in the source of your “lessons” can lead to much richer conclusions.
That said, I’m gonna write clearly what every one of these artists does and talks about, so you decide if it fits you. But I think you can learn a lot from all of them.
And just to clarify, none of the recommendations or mentions in this post is sponsored in any way, just what I believe is good advice!
*Reminder that this post contains some affiliate links. This means I might get a small commission when you click and buy something with that link with no additional cost to you. However, my reviews and recommended products are not influenced by this, I’ll only recommend what I use and what I believe is good. Click here to read the disclaimer if you want more information*
Will Terry is a professional children’s book illustrator that has been in the industry for more than 20 years and has illustrated a good amount of successfully published books.
In his YouTube videos, he mostly answers related questions that he gets on his email or addresses typical problems in the industry. He has a huge number of videos to choose from and his videos are long-formated so they can be treated basically as podcasts.
And also, there’s some occasional interview.
Personally, I love this kind of videos I can throw in the background while I work on my art, besides he has some really good art advice and touches great topics.
If you’re looking to get into the children book industry he has a lot of things you can learn on his videos. And if you’re not – or you’re not really sure, as it’s my case – I still think that many of the things he talks about apply to different sides of illustration.
Both business and mindset related. I personally have learned a lot from him and got his recent book “What they don’t teach in Art school“, which is basically filled with a lot of the advice he gives here & more!
Jake is mostly known as the creator of the Inktober Challenge – but he’s also a children’s book illustrator, worked at Blue Sky Studios for some years and recently he wrote and illustrated his own comic book.
He always seems to have a lot of projects running and a lesson to teach.
Contrary to Will’s, his videos are quite concise and to the point and usually focused on a lesson. I found that his lessons usually stick with me and have helped me to realise a lot of stuff, as well as helped me improve and work better.
- In this blog post, I talk about one of the lessons I learned from him long ago – personal projects & their importance – and have since developed with other artists opinions and my own. Click here to read it.
*I know there’s been a lot of fuss (especially on social media) about Jake around, and I’m keeping from forming an opinion till there’s more to it, cause I don’t fully believe he did plagiarise the book (from what I’ve seen it was mostly general inking knowledge that I’ve seen before in several books). What I definitely don’t want to do is throw sade at anyone without proper proof.
What I know is that I’ve learned a lot from Jake and his advice over the years, so I’m keeping this here. Feel free to ignore it if you firmly believe in the claims.
Will and Jake together – alongside Lee White – own a platform for online learning called SVS – that I’m looking forward to trying out, but it’s not the one I want to talk about now – and a Podcast called 3 Point Perspective.
The podcast has grown a lot in the past couple of years it’s been on, and covers a lot of the topics they do on their channel and more, so, it’s about illustration.
You can find it in this link I provided here – or on any other podcast app – but now they’re also on youtube and I personally like it better there! Cause you can see them as well as hear them, sometimes they’ll share something on their screen so it’s cooler.
This podcast has quickly become one of my favourites, now they have more than 70 episodes on various things on an illustrator work & life, so I’m sure you’ll find an episode that will serve you!
* Note: this podcast is really laid back and chatty, they sometimes go a bit off-topic and share certain stories (usually from the theme of the podcast). Particularly, I really like this format and laugh a lot with them while watching it, feels more as if it’s a conversation between old friends – well, it kind of it’s… – but full of awesome art advice!
Bobby’s work is mostly filled with unique creative creatures, he has worked for movies such as Alice in Wonderland as a concept artist and has his own studio – Imaginism Studios – alongside his wife and other great artists, and the online learning community Schoolism.
- I have a long & detailed review about the Online Learning platform Schoolism here, in case you’re interested.
He’s mainly a digital artist. And his videos with his little plant guys are short and awesome:
He has different kinds of videos; small and concise advice/tip videos with his little plant beings, interviews with other artists and then there are long discussion videos of a theme – that can be both with guests or himself alone.
Bobby for me is another one of the greats art advice wise, he shares so much awesome information, encouragement & it’s a big part of the comunity.
He also created Lightbox Expo a couple of years ago, an event for artists by artists. I actually have an article about Lightbox Expo 2020 – that had to be online – here with some more info + links to videos & conferences that were held!
And by the way, the Lightbox Expo youtube channel also has a bunch of videos of panels (both online and physical from 2019) from artists that are very interesting.
Tom and Tony are twin brothers that have both worked at Disney when they still did hand-drawn animation – the good old times. They have designed characters such as Pumba – Tony, Mushu – Tom, and worked on a big number of animated films.
So, on their podcast – obviously – they talk a lot about animation, life as an animator and also about the evolution of the industry. And there’s a good number of interviews both to old Disney co-workers and other really talented people of the movie/art industry.
They do have a lot of contacts!
The format of the podcast it’s also lightweight and fun but there’s also a lot you can learn if you’re particularly interested in animation.
If you’re not – I for example don’t think I’ll ever get into animation – I’d say just give it a go for a couple of episodes because as an artist you still get a bunch of general knowledge + if you’re into animated films you learn a bunch of insight and behind the scenes stuff!
Again, you can find it in any podcast app!
There are more than 200 episodes for you to choose from, so what are you waiting for?
Happy is a traditional artist that creates beautiful pop-surrealist oil paintings. She dabbles in watercolours and other traditional media too, but oils are definitely her forte.
She left her engineering job some years back and decided to try and make a career out of her art. And so, she did!
In her videos there’s usually a painting time-lapse and, in her voiceovers, she goes over different topics. There’s a lot of tips and tricks videos and she also shares a lot about her process to make it as a freelance artist.
If you’re more on the “traditional” route she might be the right choice for advice. Especially for oils. – On her Patreon, she shares more tutorial stuff for oils.
Happy it’s not especially an only “tutorial/art advice focused” channel as Will’s or Jake’s is, she’s a more traditional art YouTuber. However, a lot of her earlier videos helped me a lot to learn a bit more about an independent freelance artist making a career from home.
While we’re talking oils, I thought I’ll mention Lena because she’s a realistic oil painter & has a ton of advice about oils on her channel.
I’m not particularly much into oils, but when I wanted to try them out I remember watching a few of her videos plus a couple from Happy and I did get an overall idea about how to use them without spending much time.
So if you’re really into it, I’m sure you can learn a lot from her!
Minnie is another artist that’s more on the traditional side, and another example of leaving your job to pursue your art career.
She has a wide variety of videos – there’s vlogs, reviews and such – but today’s topic is more about instructional & other advice.
Her tips and tricks, art advice and productivity videos are really great. But the reason I really recommend her is that her videos are really enjoyable.
Her voice is really soothing and her edits are really good, and keep getting better! And I like the way she thinks and gives her honest opinions and thoughts.
She’s probably my favourite art Youtuber out there. I really enjoy this series of videos where she “commissions herself” to train for future commissions and just practice different stuff! – It’s full of great ideas too
Again, she’s really good to follow if you want more advice on how to make it as a traditional artist.
Last but not least, this YouTube channel is mostly focused on tutorials. They are really great – concise and to the point – and the tips they give are really helpful.
Sometimes I wish I discovered this channel before, cause there’s so much advice about anatomy and such that would have been much easier with their help, but still I found really great content that I can learn from.
This is probably the only youtube channel you’ll need when starting out if you want to practice and learn your fundamentals. But don’t worry, it’s never boring!
This one is actually the more tutorial-based of the list, cause I wanted to focus more on art advice and artists life advice. So, this one is best for learning some anatomy, portraiture, figure drawing and caricature.
That’s all for now, folks! I’ll probably update it in the future with a few more I’ve found more recently.
You should be able to get to every one of these channels/podcasts by clicking on the title & various links so you can check them for yourselves. This is a bit of a random list but I feel like there’s something for everyone!
I’m only sharing here podcasts & YouTubers I actually watch/have watched and have helped me, there’s probably a good bunch more of them out there that are as good or better. These all have particularly helped me in different stages of my journey and I want to share them in hopes they help you as well.
It’s always good to get art advice from different people!
By the way, shameless plug, I also have a youtube channel where I try to humbly share my art advice & things I learned. I feel it’s a nice compliment to the blog here, so I’ll leave you a link here.
Ready to start taking notes?
Tell me in the comments if you have a favourite Podcast/YouTube channel for art advice/tips! I would love to hear about it.