Cover image of Pencil Kings | Inspiring Artist Interviews with Today's Best Artists

Rank #198 in Visual Arts category

Visual Arts

Pencil Kings | Inspiring Artist Interviews with Today's Best Artists

Updated 6 days ago

Rank #198 in Visual Arts category

Visual Arts
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The Pencil Kings Podcast interviews today’s top artists to uncover the story behind their work. These interviews are created for you - the Aspiring Artist, the Hobbyist and the Professional Artist. If you are looking for inspiring and insightful interviews from artists all over the world, you’re in the right place to learn the behind the scenes stories of how these artists got started and how they turned their passion into creative art careers.

Read more

The Pencil Kings Podcast interviews today’s top artists to uncover the story behind their work. These interviews are created for you - the Aspiring Artist, the Hobbyist and the Professional Artist. If you are looking for inspiring and insightful interviews from artists all over the world, you’re in the right place to learn the behind the scenes stories of how these artists got started and how they turned their passion into creative art careers.

iTunes Ratings

86 Ratings
Average Ratings

I Love Pencil Kings!

By Halikadito - Nov 27 2018
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I’m so happy Mitch is back. Great interviews, valuable information, boat loads of inspiration.

Great for creatives

By Spartrage - Jul 31 2017
Read more
Insightful and inspiring! Great for any creative

iTunes Ratings

86 Ratings
Average Ratings

I Love Pencil Kings!

By Halikadito - Nov 27 2018
Read more
I’m so happy Mitch is back. Great interviews, valuable information, boat loads of inspiration.

Great for creatives

By Spartrage - Jul 31 2017
Read more
Insightful and inspiring! Great for any creative

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Cover image of Pencil Kings | Inspiring Artist Interviews with Today's Best Artists

Pencil Kings | Inspiring Artist Interviews with Today's Best Artists

Updated 6 days ago

Read more

The Pencil Kings Podcast interviews today’s top artists to uncover the story behind their work. These interviews are created for you - the Aspiring Artist, the Hobbyist and the Professional Artist. If you are looking for inspiring and insightful interviews from artists all over the world, you’re in the right place to learn the behind the scenes stories of how these artists got started and how they turned their passion into creative art careers.

PK 159: How to Become a Better Just 4 Months!

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“With what I’ve produced at the Evolve Art Academy, I’m very confident I could submit a portfolio to a prestigious art school and get accepted. Because that’s how much progress I’ve had.” ~ Michelle Lopez.

Want to know how to become a better artist...but just don’t know where to start?

Whether you’re a complete beginner or someone who wants to take their art skills further, we think you’ll find this week’s interview pretty interesting…

Because you’re about to hear how Evolve Artist student, Michelle Lopez, went from being a novice artists to one who gets paid for portrait just four months!

Interview Chapters


Introduction and Overview

Your host, Mitch Bowler, introduces today’s guest, Evolve Artist Student, Michelle Lopez. In this chapter, you’ll hear why listening to Kevin Murphy’s Pencil Kings podcast interview inspired her to quit her job as an IT consultant and enrol at The Art Academy...and how she made incredible progress during her time there.


Why did Michelle Want to Learn how to Become a Better Artist?

Deciding upon a change of career can be pretty daunting at any stage of your life, but even more so when you’re taking a leap into the complete unknown. So what made Michelle decide to swap repairing computers for becoming a realistic painter?

In this section, you’ll hear how Kevin Murphy’s art program helped her develop confidence in her abilities and make real progress as an artist.


Why did Michelle Think The Art Academy was Right for her?

Like many aspiring artists, Michelle had already tried various college courses and community art groups to help her develop her creative skills...but they’d all fallen flat. So what made her decide this course was right for her...and did it meet her expectations?


How did Michelle Know This Course was Right for her?

Thinking something is right for you and knowing something is right for you are two very different how long did it take for Michelle to realize she’d definitely made the right decision by enrolling in The Art Academy?


How far did Michelle Travel to Take This Course?

Enrolling at The Art Academy wasn’t exactly like joining a class at her local community college for Michelle. Instead, she had a 10-hour journey to make from her home to New Jersey before she could get started. So, what was this experience like for her?


What Were Michelle’s First Weeks Like at The Art Academy?

Starting something new can feel like a daunting experience, but the team at The Art Academy made Michelle feel welcome from the moment she walked through the door.

So what were her first few weeks studying with Kevin like? In this chapter, you’ll hear how she want from drawing basic shapes and learning shading techniques to creating a fully-rendered drawing in less than two weeks.


What Were the Beginner Exercises Like for Michelle?

Because Michelle had already had some art lessons, you might have thought the beginner lessons would be too basic for her.

However, she discovered that she’d actually missed out on learning many of these fundamentals in previous classes...and that learning to be meticulous and patient was one of the best ways to improve her art skills.


How Many Hours did Michelle Study for Each day?

Once you really get into making art, it’s amazing how the hours fly by without you noticing. So how many hours each day did Michelle dedicate to drawing and painting while at The Art Academy?


Michelle Worked Hard...but did she Enjoy Herself, too?

Hard work and enjoyment don’t always go hand in hand, but Michelle found she had a completely positive experience while pushing herself to improve as an artist. You’ll find out why in this section.


Were There Ever Times When she Wanted to Quit?

Even though she had a positive experience, there were times when Michelle felt the pressure and wanted to quit.

So how did she get over this? And how did Kevin and his team help her push through those roadblocks and make real progress?


Why is This Program so Effective?

Kevin Murphy’s art program has a 100% success rate. So what makes his methods so much more effective than all the others out there?


What was Michelle’s Study Schedule Like?

Michelle made incredible progress in less than four months at The Art Academy, but what was her study schedule like during this time?


How Much Progress did Michelle Make?

Michelle entered The Art Academy as a beginner artist and left with a portfolio of work which she’s confident would get her into the most prestigious art schools in the country. Find out how she did it in this chapter.


How do People React to Michelle’s Work now?

Some of Michelle’s friends and family were sceptical at first when she first told them she was going away for a while to study art.

So what are their reactions like now? In this chapter, you’ll hear why Michelle now feels she’s on the right path to develop her career as an artist and has even started taking commissions for her work.


What’s Next for Michelle?

So, with four months at the Art Academy under her belt, what’s next for Michelle? In this section, you’ll hear how she plans to develop her skills further and work on her art career.


What Does Michelle Think of the Evolve Artist Realistic Art Program?

Michelle left her home town for four months to study at The Art Academy, but this just isn’t practical for everyone. So that’s why Pencil Kings has teamed up with Kevin Murphy to create the Evolve Artist Realistic Art Program - a new way to study that incorporates all the elements of his art education from the comfort of your own home.

But does Michelle think this will be just as effective for other people who want to know how to become a better artist? In this chapter, you’ll find out why she’s also decided to join this program and where to see examples of her progress on Instagram.


How to Find out More About the Evolve Artist Program

Ready to find out more about how to become a better artist by joining the Evolve Artist Program? This final chapter contains everything you need to know.

Sep 13 2017



PK 146: How to Become an Illustrator.

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“You have to do the legwork. I strongly believe you have to go to the conventions and physically meet people.” ~ Kensuke Okabayashi

Want to know how to become an illustrator?

This week, we speak to Kensuke Okabayashi, creator of the bestselling book, Manga for Dummies, and an artist who has worked on all kinds of projects, including Magic The Gathering .

So how did he get started in the industry and get his first big break?

In this in-depth interview, you’ll get a fascinating insight into what it’s really like to work as an illustrator and commercial artist in the fast-paced world of game studios and advertising agencies.

You’ll hear why traditional skills such as drawing and oil painting still form the foundations of a successful career as an artist, and why actually getting out there and meeting people is just as important as keeping your social media channels updated.

Interview Chapters


Introduction and Overview

Your host, Mitch Bowler, introduces today's guest, Kensuke Okabayashi. In this chapter, you'll hear about his work on Magic The Gathering, creating the Amazon bestseller, Manga for Dummies, and his current career as a storyboard artist in the fast-paced world of New York’s many design agencies.


Kensuke on his Latest Graphic Novel Project, The Foreigner

When he’s not busy working on storyboards or book illustrations, Kensuke has found time to work on his graphic novel project, The Foreigner. After successfully funding this title on Kickstarter last summer, he’s now adding the finishing touches with a view to publishing it in the next few weeks.


How did Kensuke get Started in his Career as an Artist?

Incredibly, Kensuke didn’t actually go to art school at first. Although he always loved Manga comics as a kid, he couldn’t find enough support in his native Japan to further his career as an artist.

So, after an initial attempt to join the studio team behind Star Blazers as an apprentice fell through, he decided to ‘play it safe’ and opt for a career in childcare. However, it wasn’t too long before he felt burned out and expressed his real dream of going to art school and becoming an artist to his parents...


What was art School Like for Kensuke?

Soon after deciding to pursue a career in art, Kensuke enrolled at the School of Visual Arts (SVA) in New York. What was his time there like and which fundamental skills did he learn?

In this chapter, you’ll hear how his enduring passion for oil painting started, and why he came to the conclusion that focusing solely on Manga and comic books wasn’t necessarily going to be the best career option for the future.


Why is it so Important to be Adaptable as an Artist and Develop Your Own Style?

Although many people dream of becoming a rock star comic book artist, the reality of working in this industry is often quite different.

In this chapter, you’ll hear why Kensuke believes it’s so important to be open to lots of different career routes as an artist, and why developing your own signature style is a great way to stand out from the crowd.


How is the Manga Industry in Japan Different to the Comic Book Industry in America?

While the American comic book industry is dominated by huge studios such as Marvel and DC, the Manga scene in Japan offers a wide range of scope for artists. In fact, you can buy a Manga comic on just about any topic you can imagine!

In this chapter, Kensuke shares his insights into the Manga industry, and explains why he feels it offers much more potential for creative growth than the more rigid framework of the big American companies.


What did Kensuke do After Art School?

After leaving art school, Kensuke was fortunate enough to land a book illustration gig via one of his tutors. From there, he made sure he went to as many comic cons as possible, which is where he met the art director behind Magic The Gathering.

After this, he continued to reach out and make contacts, which is how he got a foot in the door of New York’s bustling advertisement and entertainment agencies and continued to grow his career...


How did Kensuke get Noticed at San Diego Comic Con?

Although Kensuke’s art career sounds incredibly easy and straightforward so far, he naturally had to prove himself to art directors and other clients first.

In this chapter, he reveals how he first landed the gig working on Magic The Gathering, and why it’s often a great idea to step out of your comfort zone and put everything you have into something you might not have tried before.


How did Kensuke get his Graphic Novel Project Finished?

Creating a graphic novel is a huge undertaking. Not only do you have to have a great story to begin with, you’ve also got lots of other things to consider, such as editing, typography, coloring, illustration and much, much more. So how did Kensuke even begin to put his project together?

In this chapter, you’ll learn a lot about the importance of teamwork and reaching out to fellow artists. You’ll discover why it’s ok to admit you’re not the greatest at absolutely everything. And, you’ll also hear why keeping in touch with your old buddies from art school can pay dividends when you start working on a big project.


How do you Promote a Graphic Novel?

The business and promotion side to an art project is equally as important as the creative side. But how do you even go about promoting your art to others?

In this chapter, Kensuke shares his experiences of putting together a graphic novel, and reveals why overcoming social awkwardness or shyness is one of the key ways to help get your creative project out there.


What’s it Like to Work in the Advertising and Entertainment Industries?

These days, Kensuke often works in the relentlessly fast-paced world of New York’s many advertising agencies. Although it can often be a high-pressure environment, Kensuke has picked up many tips along the way to help him rise above the stress and get his work done.

And, in this insightful chapter, he shares many of them with you.


What’s Next for Kensuke?

Kensuke has packed so much into his creative career already, but what’s next on the horizon?

In this chapter, you’ll hear what really inspires him, and why he feels there’s still so much he wants to explore as an artist.

You’ll also hear why Kensuke believes social media is so important for artists, but that it’s only truly effective if you combine this marketing strategy with going out and meeting people face-to-face.


Conclusion and Where to see Kensuke’s Work Online

Mitch wraps up today’s interview, and Kensuke tells you about all the places you can see his work online.

So, whether you’re a fan of Manga or just want to learn more about how to become an illustrator, this final chapter should give you everything you’re looking for.

Jun 14 2017



PK 020: Oliver Dominguez talks about becoming a freelance artist right out of school.

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Oliver Dominguez talks about becoming a freelance artist right out of school, illustrating books for children, and how he's managed to make a name for himself with historical art. 

Aug 27 2014



PK 142: Why drawing with force may be the most rewarding way to learn figure drawing.

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Full show notes at:

Are you looking for a way to learn figure drawing...

but have been put off in the past by scary math formulas and endless anatomy diagrams?

Or perhaps you're just looking for a way to put the fun back into drawing and create sketches full of life and action?

As a teacher with more than 20 years' experience, Mike Mattesi has seen the struggles aspiring artists go through and the hurdles they face.

And that's why he developed Drawing With Force - his own unique method of drawing figures which captures all the dynamism of the human body...without getting all bogged down in the science and technical stuff.

So, if you've been looking for a way to capture movement and form using just the power and beauty of line, we think you'll find this week's interview super interesting...

And the best part? You won't need anything more than the cheapest art materials you can find to get started!

Interview Chapters


Introduction and Career Overview

Your host, Mitch Bowler, introduces today's guest, Mike Mattesi, who gives you an overview of his career as an artist, tutor and senior art director at Zynga games. You'll also find out what Mike decided to develop his Drawing Force method to help other artists.


How did Mike Mattesi Develop his Drawing Force method and get it Published?

Mike Mattesi launched his Drawing Force method 10 years ago, but how did he develop this unique way of drawing and make it accessible to artists of all abilities? In this chapter, you'll learn about how his book came to be published...and the impact it's had upon the lives of artists and art education ever since.


How is Drawing With Force Different to Other Figure Drawing Methods?

Drawing with force is very different to many other figure drawing methods you may have seen. In this chapter, Mike explains what excites him about drawing figures this way...and why using these techniques can really help you understand how the human body works.


Why Mike Believes Making Art Should Always be Fun

One of the key elements of the Drawing Force technique is having fun. In his many years of teaching, Mike observed that students learn best when they feel truly engaged in a subject, so that's exactly what he decided to incorporate in his own techniques.


How Can Drawing With Force Help Animation or Concept Artists?

Mike's Drawing Force methods may seem like they come from a strictly fine art background, but these techniques actually work really well for artists working in all kinds of industries. In this chapter, Mike explains why teaching his students these techniques has helped them go on to have rewarding careers as concept artists, animators, and many more roles.


What do you Need to get Started Using the Drawing Force Method?

Unlike some art programs, you don't need expensive materials to get started with the Drawing Force method. In fact, all you need is a soft, stubby pencil and cheap newsprint paper! In this chapter, Mike explains why he feels the cost of materials is a real issue for many beginner artists, and why he's committed to making art accessible to all.


Why Mike Mattesi Still Loves Figure Drawing More Than Anything Else

Despite having taught for more than 20 years and worked at some of the biggest art and gaming studios, Mike still loves drawing figures more than anything else. So what is it about life drawing that really gets him excited? And how can you take the first steps towards getting that same sense of excitement from making art? Also in this chapter, you'll hear how to take advantage of Mike's exclusive discount for listeners to the Pencil Kings podcast!


Where to Find Mike Online and Learn More About Drawing Force

Mitch wraps up today's interview by letting you know where to find Mike online and learn more about his Drawing Force program. You'll also hear about Evolve - an exciting new art program which you can sign up to and get early access!

May 17 2017



PK 148: What Does it Really Take to Make it as a Fine Artist?

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PK 148: What Does it Really Take to Make it as a Fine Artist?

“It takes application and it’s hard work, but that’s no different to building any other kind of career. Nothing comes easy!” ~ Barney Davey.

What does it really take to make it as a fine artist?

In this week’s interview, Barney Davey from shares some of the biggest insights gained from years of experience in the art market and holds nothing back as he dives deep into what it takes to make a career as an artist.

So, if you’re keen to start building a career as a working artist (but don’t know what your next steps should be), then prepare to be enlightened.

Because the advice and information in this interview might just be what you’ve been looking for all along...

Interview Chapters


Introduction and Overview

Your host. Mitch Bowler, introduces today’s guest, Barney Davey, an expert in the art industry with more than 30 years’ experience helping artists make sales. In this chapter, he explains how he does this, and why his website has developed over the years into an indispensable resource for artists all over the world.


What Kind of Artists Does Barney Work With?

Over the years, Barney has worked with a wide range of artists to help them develop their careers and market their work to the right markets. But what kind of artists are most likely to go to him for help? You’ll find out in this chapter.


Why Barney Doesn’t Subscribe to The ‘Starving Artist’ Myth

Many people believe it’s impossible to make a living from art and refer back to the image of ‘the starving artist’ to make their point.

But is this really the case...or is it just a myth we need to move away from in our careers? In this chapter, Barney explains why he believes any artist can turn their creativity into a sustainable business with the right approach to marketing and networking.


What Type of Art Should You be Making to Have a Successful Career?

The fine art business can be confusing at first. On one hand, you see abstract or controversial works changing hands for millions, while on the other, you see artists struggling to get their work accepted in galleries or make sales.

So what kind of art should you be making in order to make a good regular income from your work and which kind of clients should you reach out to?

In this chapter, Barney shares some of the key takeaways from his extensive career in the art industry...and reveals why you may not need as many customers as you might think.


How Should You Price Your Artwork to Generate a Good Income?

Some artists make the mistake of pricing their work low in a bid to attract customers, but Barney believes this approach is counter-productive.

And, in this chapter, you’ll hear why he feels finding the right audience, working hard, and building your art career are more important things to focus on for long-term success.


What Are The Most Common Stumbling Blocks For Artists?

Does Barney’s approach work for everyone….or do you need to have a certain mindset to success in the art market?

In this chapter, he reveals many of the pitfalls he’s experienced from years of working with artists, and explains why he believes there’s a certain trade-off between the work you want to make for yourself...and the work that’s actually going to start bringing the dollars in.


Is Becoming a Professional Artist The Right Career Choice For You?

Even though you love making art, becoming a professional artist and carving out a creative career might not be the best route for you to take. Why? In this chapter, Barney explains how to be honest with yourself and establish whether you have a viable art business or not.


What if You Aren’t Prepared to Market Yourself as an Artist?

Love making art but don’t want to market yourself? Then here comes the cold water. In this chapter, you’ll hear why promoting your work to others is the crucial difference between professional and hobby artists, and why marketing doesn’t always have to feel ‘icky’.


How Does Barney Work With Artists And Help Them?

Barney’s website is already a treasure trove of super-useful bounty for artists, but what are the new ways in which he’s working with people to help them get the most from their creative careers?

In this chapter, he talks about the idea behind his new Art Business Book Club, and reveals what motivates him to keep helping artists reach their full potential. You’ll also hear about where to find Barney online, and how to take advantage of his free initial consultation service.



Mitch wraps up today’s interview, and Barney offers some final thoughts and advice for any artists who are keen to take the next step in their careers.

Jun 28 2017



PK 166: How to Promote Your Art on Instagram.

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“Even if you don’t know what you want to do, just keep doing, keep trying, keep learning. Listen to yourself, listen to your heart, listen to what you love...and eventually the pieces will come together.” ~ Donna Adi.

Want to know how to promote your art on Instagram to gain followers and attract the attention of the kind of clients you want to work with?

In this week’s interview, we talk to Donna Adi, a mixed media illustrator from Los Angeles. After working in the fashion industry for several years, she felt the urge to combine her love of fashion photography with illustration and animation and develop her own style of art.

And, since posting her work online since January 2017, she’s seen her audience on Instagram grow to a huge 75.8K followers, with clothing designers and many more clients approaching her for her fun images, which bring an animated twist to photos of people in various situations.

So, what motivates her to make art? And how did she overcome self-doubt and all the other hurdles faced by artists to carve out an exciting career doing what she loves?

You’ll find out in this week’s’ podcast...

Key Takeaways From This Interview:

  • Why liking what you do...and loving what you do are two different things
  • Why the moment when you discover what you really love doing is the moment when things start changing for you as an artist
  • How to stay focused on your art - even when others don’t take your dream seriously
  • Why copying the work of artists you admire can often be a great place to start
  • Why you should make today the day you start following your true passion
  • How to find your own voice as an artist - even if you’re just starting out
  • Why inspiring others with your art can help fuel your own creativity
  • How to promote your art on Instagram and other online channels

Nov 01 2017



PK 074: What's Really Stopping You From Making Art?

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Do you want to be more creative...but always find there's something stopping you?

In this podcast, Pencil Kings founder, Mitch Bowler, talks about his own battle with creative block and how he overcame it by learning how to have fun again with his art.

Listen to his story now and see how you can shake off the rust and start believing in yourself as an artist again.

Jan 27 2016



PK 086: Why do creativity and depression often go together for many artists?

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Creativity and depression often go together for many artists, but overcoming them isn't always as difficult as you might think. In this interview, concept artist Jonah Lobe talks openly about how he learned to control his anxiety attacks, and how artists can learn to beat their fear of failure and follow their true creative dreams.

Apr 20 2016



PK 047: How do you get your first job as a digital artist and what kind of opportunities are even out there? Morten Jaeger talks about the path that he took to work on feature film projects.

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How do you get your first job as a digital artist and what kind of opportunities are even out there?  Morten Jaeger talks about his journey and the path that he took by getting into an unrelated field before trying to work on feature film projects. 

Jul 15 2015



PK 157: Creating Your Own Comic Books and Breaking Into the Industry.

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Complete Show Notes at:

“For the people who come to me and say: ‘how did you do it and how can we do the same?’ I say find your partner. Find somebody who already has a foot in the door of the business and bring him or her something to the table.” ~ Fabrice Sapolsky.

Ever wanted to know more about creating your own comic books?

In this week’s interview, we speak to Fabrice Sapolsky, co-creator of the Spider-Man Noir series published by Marvel.

You’ll hear how he went from growing up as a French kid who was crazy about American comics to working with highly-acclaimed fellow writers and artists such as David Hine and Carmine Di Giandomenico.

But this interview is not about becoming an overnight success story in your chosen creative field. It’s an open and honest account of what it’s really like to work in the comic book industry, including the many struggles and hurdles faced by most freelance creators.

So, if you’ve got an idea for a comic book that you’ve been itching to bring to life, you’ll find stacks of straightforward advice in this interview to relate to.

Because, sometimes, you need to take a few risks to get your ideas out there to the people who matter...

Interview Chapters


Introduction and Overview

Your host, Mitch Bowler, introduces today’s guest, comic writer Fabrice Sapolsky.

In this chapter, he talks about growing up in France, and how his love of American comics led to him working in the industry, co-creating Spider-Man Noir, and eventually moving to the USA to further his career.


What Made Fabrice so Determined to Work in the Comic Book Industry?

Lots of young creatives dream of working in the comic industry, but how do you find the determination to turn that dream into reality?

In this chapter, Fabrice reveals what kept him motivated during his early years, and eventually led to co-creating Spider-Man Noir - one of the highlights of his career so far.


How Did Fabrice Turn his ‘Impossible Dream’ Into Reality?

Having the dream and working hard to reach your goals is one thing, but there are often many other factors to consider when carving out a career in the creative industry.

In this section, Fabrice expands upon some of the key points in the previous chapter and reveals how the comic book industry has changed since he first started working in it.


Why Does Fabrice Believe Creator-Owned Comics are the way Forwards?

Having worked in the mainstream comic book industry and seen how it’s changed over the years, Fabrice is now a strong believer in the creator-owned comics movement.

In this chapter, he explains more about this exciting initiative for creatives, and how online platforms such as social media can open up new doors and possibilities for you if you’re thinking about creating your own comic books.


How can you get Started With Your First Creator-owned Comic?

Want to start your first creator-owned comic project? In this chapter, Fabrice shares stacks of useful advice to help you get your ideas out of your head and onto the paper.

You’ll learn about the importance of developing a strong work ethic, and why networking with a supportive community of fellow creatives can open up all kinds of possibilities for you as an artist or writer.



Mitch wraps up today’s interview with Fabrice Sapolsky, who offers even more gems of advice about creating your own comic books.

You’ll find out where to find him online, hear about which comic cons he’s attending...and you’ll also be the first to hear about the exciting news for fans of the Pencil Kings podcast!

Aug 30 2017



PK 077: We deconstruct figure drawing to its basic elements with Jon deMartin.

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Jon deMartin has spent the last 20 years exploring figure drawing and he's just released a book on how to draw figures using the same techniques as the classical artists.

In this episode you'll learn about Jon's approach to figure drawing and how it's much different than the path most people take.

Feb 17 2016



PK 139: How to Break Out of Art Jail - Interview With Chris Oatley From The Oatley Academy

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Want to know how to break out of art jail and finally move forwards with your creative career?

Do you long to leave your day job but just don't know how to make progress as an artist?

In this interview, Chris Oatley from The Oatley Academy reveals the simple changes you can make to really start pushing things forwards.

Drawing on years of experience with students of his hugely popular online courses and community, he highlights the most common roadblocks faced by aspiring artists, and what you can do to get past these and finally start working towards a more fulfilling career.

It's not about becoming a rockstar artist, and it certainly isn't about having overnight success. What it really boils down to is your willingness to keep working and learning from your mistakes.

And, in this week's interview, you'll find everything you need to help you do just that.

Interview Chapters


Introduction and Career Overview

Your host, Mitch Bowler, introduces today's guest, Chris Oatley, from The Oatley Academy, who reveals how he quit his job as an artist at Disney after five years to become a full-time educator helping other artists break into the creative industries.


How Chris Oatley Changed His Career...And How You Can Do The Same

In this chapter, Chris talks about why he decided to leave behind a stable, reliable career as a Disney artist and make the leap of faith to go it alone. It was a risky move and a steep learning curve with many mistakes made along the way, but Chris made it through to the other side. How did he do it? Listen up to find out.


What Do You Do When Things Don't Go To Plan?

If you're determined to become an artist, it's highly likely things won't always go to plan. In this chapter, Chris reveals how he picked himself up when things went wrong, and why finding the motivation to keep going is a huge part of winning the battle.


How Can The Oatley Academy Help You Reach Your Goals as an Artist?

Constructive critique and support are vital if you want to progress as an artist. In this chapter, Chris talks about nurturing talent in his community, and why it's a safe haven for any aspiring artists who want to improve. He also describes the numerous creative workshops and sessions at The Oatley Academy, and why he's constantly inspired by the progress his students continue to make.


Why is Trust Vital to Your Artistic Growth?

To develop as an artist, you need to trust the person mentoring you and be able to give an honest appraisal of your own abilities and progress as an artist. In this chapter, Chris reveals how he works with his students to give them encouragement and provides honest, constructive feedback to help them take the next steps.


Can You Really Make a Career as an Artist?

Many aspiring creatives abandon their dreams after being told there isn't any money in making art. However, the creative industry offers all kinds of opportunities for artists of all abilities. In this chapter, Chris reveals what those opportunities are, and why the artists working behind the scenes on projects play an equally vital role as the big names who get all the attention.


What Are The Most Common Obstacles Faced by Artists?

Whether it's family life, work, or the constant fear of not being good enough, there are all kinds of obstacles that can get in the way of pursuing a creative career. In this chapter, Chris outlines some of the most common ones faced by his students and shares some useful steps you can take to overcome them. You'll also learn how to avoid falling into the rabbit hole of social media and video games, and how to track your time to work more efficiently.


Why There's No Growth Without Risk

Becoming an artist isn't always an easy option, but it can be a truly fulfilling choice for those prepared to take risks. In this section, Chris reveals the big takeaways he's learned from his own experiences, and how you can find the strength to take some risks too.


Conclusion and Where to Find Chris Oatley Online

Want to find out more about The Oatley Academy and what it can do for you? Here's where you need to be!

Apr 26 2017

1hr 3mins


PK 115: How YOU Can Become a Great Artist in Just 2 Years

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There's an art school out there that has been nicknamed 'The Charles Xavier School for Gifted Artists' and today we talk with its founder, Kevin Murphy.

Some of his students have, quite literally, gone from drawing stickmen to becoming accomplished artists in under 2 years.

Why are his methods so effective? Because they simplify the drawing process down to the core essence of observation, and put 100% of the responsibility for learning onto the students themselves.

Kevin doesn't hold back on any of his techniques in this blockbuster interview. So if you have been wondering how to approach your drawings, or even if you have what it takes to become a great artist, you'll find plenty of inspiration here.

Because, as Kevin himself says: "Great artists aren't born - they're taught."

Nov 09 2016



PK 100: The best bits from the Top 10 Pencil Kings interviews compiled into one handy podcast.

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To celebrate reaching our 100th episode, we've taken the best bits from our most popular interviews and compiled them into one handy podcast.

Hear invaluable advice from artists working in all areas of the creative industry and get the answers to all your questions, such as:

  • How to develop your own style
  • How to land your dream creative job
  • How to promote your art effectively and land more clients
  • How to stay motivated and make real progress in your art career
  • How to make the kind of art that really inspires and excites you  

Featuring interviews with: Sycra Yasin, Will Terrell, David Luong, Ahmed Aldoori, and many more.

Jul 27 2016

1hr 5mins


PK 060: How do you change careers and become an artist? Matthew Griffin tells his story of how he successfully made the jump to becoming a full time artist.

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Listen and learn the steps to go through when you're ready to make the jump and begin your career as a professional artist.  You'll also hear about what to do when you get knocked down, who to turn to for advice and what to ask them to kickstart your own creative career. 

Oct 14 2015



PK 075: What are the fundamental skills that an artist needs in order to get started with their career?

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Today Shane Madden joins us to talk about which skills you need to get start in a creative career. The answers we come up with will likely surprise you because it has nothing to do with being the best artist that you can be. The skills you need are actually far easier to acquire than you may have thought possible.

Feb 03 2016



PK 091: The best advice from hundreds of artist interviews with Carl Olson of the Digital Convervence Podcast

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What's the best way to start when you're just at the beginning?

Talking to hundreds of artists seems like a good place, and that's exactly what Carl Olson has been doing for the past six years with the Digital Convergence podcast.

Here's the interesting thing however... while he set out to learn more about skills, what he actually found along the way were some amazing business opportunities to use the skills he was learning in unique markets.

May 25 2016



PK 037: Thinking of starting a creative business? Comic artist Derek Rodenbeck walks us through the mental game of starting a t-shirt company.

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Thinking of starting a creative business?  Listen to the first steps that comic book artist Derek Rodenbeck is taking to get his t-shirt company off the ground. 

Apr 15 2015



PK 049: From creating your own style, to going to a top tier art school, and seeing the world through new eyes - we cover it all in this week's episode with concept artist Brandon Pike.

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Are you struggling to come up with your own style of art?  Brandon Pike outlines how he got started, and the unique way that he sees the world that has enabled him to come up with a great cartoon style.   

Jul 29 2015



PK 093: Understanding the reality of a freelance art career

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There are a lot of misconceptions around the topic of making money with your art. Today we talk with Shane Madden and start to explore some of the common ideas about getting paid to create art that aren't true and hold you back.

We explore the difference between the life of a studio artist and a freelance artist and how a freelancer career gives you the opportunity to really be in control of your life and schedule.

You will explore the idea if you are ready to start making money with your art now, or if you really do need to go back to school.

Jun 08 2016



PK 194: The Journey to Building a Large Body of Artwork

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Arthur Haywood is working to creating art that inspires people to learn and want to read about the stories behind what the viewer sees. He is a classically trained painter and has created an incredible body of work for his book, The Great Library.

In this interview, we talk about Arthur's journey and how he learned from several different schools to develop the skillset he now has.

1:30 - How Arthur and Mitch met at Artistacon when Arthur was showing his book of work 2:55 - Arthur describing his book covering scholars from the ancient library of Alexandria and what inspired him to undertake such an ambitious project 7:00 - How video games can allow us to get a glimpse into the past and experience locations like the Great Library of Alexandria 8:52 - Arthur discusses the time it takes to create his paintings which are done in the classical style 11:00 - Discussing the time it takes to create great work and the mental shift that has to happen to fully understand the art-making process 25:00 - The difference between "Owning" knowledge vs only having theory 29:50 - What's next for Arthur


Links mentioned in this Episode: Artistacon: Grand Central Atelier: Maryland Institute College of Art: Caimbridge Street Studios:

Check out more of Arthur’s Work at: Web: Arthur's Book, The Great Library:


Looking for a fun, easy-going approach to learning art?

Want to learn to paint like Arthur?

Grab Mitch's Book: Digital Artist Career Blueprint Physical Book: EBook:

Apr 12 2019



PK 193: How to Unlock Your Full Creative Potential

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Rayna was stuck for 15 years... and then 3 questions changed everything.

The questions allowed her to see her life from a completely different view allowing all kinds of amazing opportunities to come her way and now she helps other artists do the same.

This fascinating conversation continues on with the creative coaches we've been speaking with to dig even deeper and see just how crucial your mindset is to everything you do.

If you’ve felt like you’ve been held back, or that everyone else around you is making easier progress your own mind could be the only thing holding you back.  As you listen to this episode ask yourself where you may have your own mindset blocks that need attention.


1:07: Rayna's Introduction

2:19: How do you explain mindset and how has changing your own mindset led to better results in your life?

4:38: How long did you stay stuck with a mindset that was holding you back?

10:05: When you switched your mindset after 15 years, did the change stick?

12:58: How to get past the firm belief that anything in life worth doing requires hard work?

17:06: Using your mindset to allow for more time in your life so you can be in flow and allow things to happen naturally

21:28: Moving past judgment of yourself and of others to be creatively free

23:29: Does your mindset allow you to only bring good people and work into your life?

28:20: An example of where mindsets can be created as a child and stick with you for your entire life

30:20: An example of what happens when an artist switches their money mindset issue

33:46: What stops us from moving forward towards our goals even when we know it's safe?


Links mentioned in this Episode:

The Big Leap Book:

Check out more of Rayna’s Work at:





Looking for a fun, easy-going approach to learning art?

Want to learn artistic mastery?

Grab Mitch's Book: Digital Artist Career Blueprint Physical Book: EBook:

Mar 20 2019



PK 191: Do you Love your art?

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In this episode, Mitch talks about how you feel about the art that you are making and why if you aren't loving it, you could be in for a very rocky road.

But even if you don't love it and still want to do it there is hope!

The reason why it's important to realize this is that the people who really love what they are doing are actually quite rare, and this love can take you very far in any direction you want.

However, where it gets dangerous is when you are the person who doesn't have the love for what you are doing and you are taking advice from someone who does have the love and passion... in this case, no matter what you try to do to follow the advice it's going to be very difficult because you're missing the key ingredient - LOVE!

But what if you don't have or can't find the love?! Does this mean you should just give up? Not at all! If this is you, then you can use careful selection to find the program that will give you the end result you want or keep trying different creative projects until you find one that lights you up.


1:00 - Needing a foundation before any art advice can be applied to yourself

2:30 - Understanding the journey to find what you love in art

4:45 - Try different creative areas quickly and painlessly to find the one you love without spending any money

6:57 - How to determine if you love something or not by trying several different things

14:19 - The difference between people who have a love for their craft and everyone else

15:32 - When you try to do creative work, do yourself a favor and turn off your phone to avoid distractions

16:47 - How to become a working professional if you don't have or can't find the love?

20:28 - How to use the Digital Artist Career Blueprint book to chart your own creative career path


Links mentioned in this Episode: Looking for a fun, easy-going approach to learning art?

Want to learn artistic mastery?

More Videos and Interviews!

Digital Artist Career Blueprint – Get your copy today! Physical Book: EBook:

Mar 14 2019



PK 191: 3 Simple Steps to Start Your Art Career

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This interview with Catherine Orer from was like a rapid-fire Question and Answer session all around the topic of how do you take the next steps to build a viable art career. You'll also learn how artists make the process harder than it needs to be so you can get onto the fast track instead of being stuck.

If you feel like you aren't making progress OR if you've always wondered what your next step should be - listen up because it's all covered in this interview!

Catherine helps artists all over the world develop their entrepreneurial strategy which goes far beyond just selling their art. She works with artists on their long term vision and then helps them to turn that vision into reality.

One idea that has come up several times in past interviews is 'going all-in' on your art. While that may be the fastest way, it's certainly not the only way. Going all-in makes sense when you have a clear vision, a proven plan and the support network to make it all happen. However, without those key pieces it can be a tough road and as you'll hear - it's completely OK to take it slower.

If you're just starting out here are your next 3 action steps, it's right at 21:38: - Get a consistent body of work - Figure out what your story is - Look at who is around you and start surrounding yourself with the right people who can support your vision and journey

Highlights: 2:50 - How artists have a blind spot that is keeping them back from being able to make forward progress 5:00 - How to start challenging everything you do, so you can start getting different results 6:40 - The biggest hurdles that keep artists from growing 9:20 - What roadblocks to we are artists create for ourselves to prevent us from being able to really 'lean in' to the life that we want 14:45 - Why treating your art like you treat your day job often leads to poor results 15:35 - Why artists are so good at making their journey into a confusing mess 17:40 - The difference between creative and technician work 21:38 - What are the first steps for someone to take who has never sold or shown any of their work, but aspires to grow as an artist 31:20 - How to explain your story as an artist, and what to do if you think you have nothing interesting to say 37:00 - Quick recap of the 3 action items to take the next step with your art career 38:54 - Details on Catherine's upcoming workshop on March 14: "How to grow your art business in 2019 without sacrificing your creative practice"


Links mentioned in this Episode: You won't be getting a Medal for this: Simon Sinek: Start with Why - The Artist's Way Julia Cameron:

Check out more of Catherine’s Work at: Web: Resources: Instagram: Facebook: Lab: ** March 14, 2019 Workshop:


Looking for a fun, easy-going approach to learning art?

Want to learn artistic mastery?

Grab my Book: Digital Artist Career Blueprint Physical Book: EBook:

Mar 07 2019



PK 190: Artist Business Insights with Suzanne Redmond

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Suzanne Redmond has been interviewing artists for the Left Brain Artist Podcast just like we do with the Pencil Kings show and in this episode of the show she comes on to share a lot of the wisdom she has gained.

Formerly being an accountant, Suzanne brings an interesting voice to the creative conversations because she has the business background that when combined with artists can see things in a different light.

You'll learn from 3 separate stories Suzanne has discovered where artists are using to live more creatively, as well as how she approached the huge project of getting her podcast off the ground and how you can use the same framework for any project you would like to start.


0:30 - Why Instagram is so good for artists

1:30 - Where the idea for the Left Brain Artist podcast came from and how Suzanne went from being an accountant to getting heavily involved with artists

5:32 - Suzanne's excellent mini artist-business episodes

9:34 - What are some of the big insights you've had from your interviews that you can share with the Pencil Kings audience?

9:50 - How to get back into art by setting a goal to make one piece of 7 days

12:01 - Thinking outside the box to come up with creative ways to overcome financial challenges as an artist

14:04 - Finding other ways to generate income with your art other than simply selling what is on the canvas

17:30 - How changing your thoughts on what you can sell can lead to new, more lucrative ideas

23:27 - How to break into new types of art (for example doing murals) by collaborating with or simply helping out other artists by offering to be an assistant

24:34 - Overcoming the challenges of taking on a big personal project and in the process becoming an expert in the process

34:00 - When you're approaching a project you've never done before how do you estimate and plan your time?


Links mentioned in this Episode: Wellington Art Society - Jennifer Love Gironda - Carrie Schmitt - Craig McInnis -

Check out more of Suzanne’s Work at: Left Brain Artist Podcast: Suzanne's Instagram:


Looking for a fun, easy-going approach to learning art?

Want to learn artistic mastery?

Grab my Book: Digital Artist Career Blueprint Physical Book: EBook:

Feb 27 2019



PK 189: The Future of Art Education with Mike Mattesi of

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This episode was originally recorded in early 2018 and has just been released. In this episode, Mike Mattesi and Mitch explore different ideas for the future of art education, how to focus and how niching-down can lead to becoming world-renowned.

Highlights: 2:00 - What's new at 4:00 - Thinking forward to using VR in the classroom and teaching his method without being in the same classroom 7:30 - A business idea for the evolution of model photography and reference for artists 10:10 - Where are you seeing students having the most success in the 'new' virtual format of distance learning 18:18 - The challenge of millennials and motivation 25:00 - The fear of going niche vs trying to do everything 27:35 - Using style to really stand out as an artist 32:00 - The idea of being a world-renowned artist and focusing on just one thing 35:20 - How to accomplish the most important things in your life when you have a big list of things to accomplish 38:30 - Laserbeams vs floodlights in drawing, art, and life

Links mentioned in this Episode: Brian Fraud - Richard Mcdonald -

Check out more of Mike’s Work at:

More Pencil Kings Podcast Episodes:


Looking for a fun, easy-going approach to learning art?

Want to learn artistic mastery?

Feb 21 2019



PK 188: Deep Dive into the Journey of an Animator

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Sand is known to the other Evolvers as having a unique ability for keeping the live homework rooms always full of energy and she did not disappoint in this interview!

We covered a lot of ground in this episode talking about education, life as a working professional and the passion and drive it takes to make it as a full-time creative.

For me, the big insight from Sand was exploring those who choose art as a career vs those who create art for a hobby. I was never able to understand why people who were 'better' than I was at art would choose what seemed to me like a career path that would be unfulfilling, but Sand helped me to really understand why this is, and it completely makes sense.

For some of us the goal is creative expression but that is just our goal, and each person has their own goals an motivations... for example if your goal is safety, security and high pay, then choosing a creative career could seem really scary compared to other options.

To put it another way... there are a lot of people who enjoy singing and playing instruments who have no intention of ever being in a band or performing. This doesn't mean they can't still enjoy music and even be amazingly skilled at it - it's just that their goals and priorities aren't in alignment with being a professional musician.


07:45 - Accidentally walked into a workshop on animation which completely set Sand on a new direction

08:22 - What parents really think when you tell them you want to pursue a creative path

09:40 - What the animation college taught Sand, and how she filled in the gaps with her education

11:50 - Physical depression from not making art

12:20 - The dark side of college (designed to take your money)

17:19 - 5 Second shorts and becoming an artist who loves the craft so much they desire to learn everything they can about it

19:48 - Why it's so important to create your own projects and do the work you most want to do

22:40 - Why travel and networking is so important for artists, especially those wanting to work in the entertainment industries

26:23 - What pushed you to start with Evolve?

41:00 - Exploring the idea that artists absolutely must create (or risk extreme unhappiness)

45:56 - What is your strategy for getting your artwork done?

51:00 - Why there aren't any shortcuts in art - at some point you have to lean in and earn the experience

55:00 - What advice would you give to someone who just started with Evolve today?

59:00 - Exploring the difference between the creative path and other less creative ways of living *This question was a real eye-opener for me personally to help explain why us creatives do what we do, and why people who have high creative skill don't end up doing anything with it.

1:06:48 - The best part about making art is that you don't lose out when you make art

1:07:39 - Best places to find Sand online

@sandmcunicorn - industry-specific

@pudgypudymcunicorn - Youtube, twitch and hobbies and philosophy

@spookymcunicorn - horror and macabre

Want to learn serious art skills? Check out:

Looking for a fun, easy-going approach to art? Check out:

Feb 13 2019

1hr 13mins


PK 187: Finding Bliss While Learning to Paint with Jan from Evolve

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Jan rediscovered her love of art when she found some old paints at a garage sale. The last time she had done any art was when she was 6 years old and took an art class for a month.

Those newly acquired paints brought art back into Jan’s life, but even though she was enjoying learning to paint on her own she wanted the mentorship and system to follow to take things to a whole other level to really see how far she could go with her art.

That’s when she first heard about the Evolve program, but like many people, she believed that the program was too good to be true.

She thought it was silly to think of herself as a more serious artist, and that’s when her husband encouraged her to go for it.

Since starting, Jan has been flying through the program and hasn’t looked back.

In this interview, you’ll learn: - How she’s able to always find time for her art - Why she was reluctant to show her art to the other students - How painting gives Jan a blissful feeling that keeps her motivated and moving forward


1:20 - What did your art study look like before the program?

3:50 - How did you get back into art?

5:20 - Jan heard about Evolve but thought it was too good to be true

6:25 - Why Jan almost didn't sign up

8:05 - What does your family think of your work now?

10:27 - Explaining the bliss feeling that comes when making art

12:30 - What Jan is looking forward to painting

14:40 - When you're not making art, how are you spending your time?

15:30 - What is your strategy for getting things done?

23:30 - What do to if you think you have no time

24:47 - What would you tell someone who just started with Evolve to inspire them?

29:10 - Why were you reluctant to share your work?

Are you interested in learning to paint together with Jan and Mitch? For details on the Evolve Program:

For more podcast episodes:

Feb 07 2019



PK 186: Daniel never dreamed that he would create realistic oil paintings.

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Daniel never dreamed that he would create realistic oil paintings. In fact, he has never taken any art classes before participating in the program.

In this interview, you can see how far he has come in just a few months.

What's interesting about Daniel's journey is that while he is creative; he is first and foremost a musician and had never considered developing the skills to become a visual artist.

He will show you how even though art isn't the main passion he is still managing to find a place for art in his life, and receiving the calm and relaxing benefits that come with making art. He also stresses the importance of having a system to follow that allows for confidence to be built naturally.


3:40 - What's your motivation for doing art?

5:22 - How do your skills compare to the other students in the program?

7:20 - What makes Daniel's choice of subject matter special, and examples of his work

10:30 - How are you feeling when you sit down to do a painting?

13:20 - Having a system for art takes away the fear

14:30 - What's your strategy for time management and getting time to study art?

20:05 - What would you tell someone who started Evolve today to inspire and help them get started?

22:20 - Once your skills are at a professional level, what are you looking forward to creating?

To see the entire curriculum Daniel is following and join the program, visit

Jan 30 2019



PK 185: What it really takes to make great art with Michael from Evolve

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Have you always wanted to create art that gets noticed, but not sure if you have the talent to make it happen?

If so, you'll love Michael's story as he is currently working through Block 4 of the Evolve Artist program ( where students have learned the skills necessary to create professional level illustrative paintings.

In this interview, he will tell you that talent has nothing to do with it because it's all about putting in the work which makes even the highest levels of art attainable to anyone with the desire to learn.

When Michael started with Evolve Artist just over a year ago, he wasn't sure if it would work for him, but he knew that this could be his last real shot at being able to learn the skills that would give him the ability to create the work that he really wanted to make.

Throughout his life, he always had a creative calling and had tried a number of different ways to learn and improve but was never quite happy with where he was with his art.

He made that fateful decision to join Evolve a year ago and now he couldn't be happier.

Michael has the same challenges as most other students... there's family commitments, work commitments, and even travel commitments, but he's prioritized his painting and his results are now clearly on display for anyone to see.

This is the third interview we've had with students in the Evolve program and there are patterns starting to emerge: - Every student has had a friend or family member want to hire them to create a piece of art (well before they are finished the program) - Every student made the commitment to do the work - None of the students claim to have any special talent or ability that's allowed them to develop the mastery they are showing with their work.

So if you've always wanted to learn to create head-turning artwork, and have the willingness to put in the work, there's nothing really stopping you from taking the next step to create your own artistic legacy.

Follow Michael's Progress here:

Join Michael in Evolve Artist:

Dec 21 2018



PK 184: From starting to pro level art in 7 months - what?!

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Kristen's college professor told her she couldn't draw and after 10 years of believing that lie, she was inspired by the idea of showing her own work at an art convention.

The only problem was that she was starting literally from the beginning.

To get started with her art, she joined several different online courses and programs but kept running into the same problem...

The courses she was trying to learn from were too far ahead of where she needed to be. She lacked the foundation that would allow her to move forward and access the knowledge in the courses.

So she kept going backward to uncover the simplest techniques that would allow her to truly start right from the absolute beginning and in doing so realized the real first step she needed was learning how to hold the pencil.

About the same time as she had this realization to go back to the very beginning she began hearing about the Evolve program which promised to teach everything an aspiring art student would need - even how to hold the pencil.

But committing to something like this can be scary - unless you have one key insight that has been such a big part of Kristen moving so quickly through the program.

So what's Kristen's secret?

She knew that she could put in the work. If learning art came down to talent or having a special gift then it wouldn't work for her - but if all she had to do was follow the plan; she knew Evolve was something she could do.

After joining she got to work and has been handing in assignment after assignment, moving through the program without any hint of slowing down.

Just to give you an idea of how quickly she's been moving here's Kristen's timeline:

January: Got inspired by the desire to create work for an art convention March: Joined online courses and realized she needed to go back to discover a true starting point May: Joined Evolve and got busy December: Now working on professional level techniques and paintings

That's only 7 months from starting the program to now working on her first professional level pieces... all beginning with learning how to first hold the pencil and then applying herself every day to continue moving forward to her goal.

Dec 19 2018

1hr 5mins


PK 183: Meet Evolve Community Superstar Peggy Durant

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Meet Peggy Durant - Community Superstar and student at Evolve Artist:

Peggy is on a great path and people are starting to take notice of her amazing artistic progress, but it wasn't always like this.

About a year ago she had fallen off with her art practice and went for 8 months with doing very little. As good as her original intentions were; life can just seem to get in the way.

And her 4 hour daily commute to work doesn't help... at 5 days a week that's 20 hours spent just on commuting. It's the equivalent of having a second job just so she could get to her full time job.

Time was tight and it was looking like Evolve was going to be just another art program that sounded good, but ended up just sitting in the corner collecting dust.

Up until this point Peggy's story was just like so many other aspiring artists.

Something happens and they put the pencil down for a day... which turns into a week... which turns into a month and before they know it - an entire year has gone by and they are in exactly the same position they were 12 months ago - being no more closer to fulfilling their dreams of being an artist.

But thankfully Peggy's story doesn't stop here...

After 8 months of inaction there was a spark... a simple question in the form of a challenge.

Could she finish her homework assignments faster than another student?

That's it - just a friendly race to the finish line.

But the real change had to come from within. The change happened when, "I'd like to learn to be an artist," was replaced with "I'm going to be an artist."

That's all it took to ignite the spark.

However even though Peggy had made the decision to commit to her art, the world didn't take notice. The people around here still weren’t convinced that she would make any progress, and her co-workers didn't notice anything different.

So she got to work and after getting a little momentum she found her art was filling a void formerly crowded with activities that used to eat up all her time like shopping and going for social activities.

All of a sudden she had more time for art than those other activities, and the even bigger shift was that she was getting so much energy from doing her art she didn't want to stop.

She just kept going making as much progress as she could while still taking the 4 hours each day to get to and from her full time job.

It didn't take long for her internal fire to start burning bright as her dedication began to pay off. She could see her results and was enjoying her art at a deeper level with each assignment completed.

And then the people around her started to notice as well. Her daughter came around and said "Mom, now I believe it - you are an artist" and her co-workers are in disbelief at her new skills which seemed to just magically come from nowhere… one of them even wants to commission her to do a work.

But these skills didn’t just magically appear one day... it's simply what Peggy loves to do and all it took was a little bit of an initial push to rediscover how much she really loves art so that she could get to the point to make the commitment to herself - to finally do this and turn a lifelong love and dream into a new reality for herself.

This is just the beginning of Peggy's story... she had never picked up a paint brush (not even to paint a wall!) just 2 months before, and now she is currently working on painting her first portrait.

It's true - Peggy is a star inside the community and her personality and enthusiasm make her unique... but when it comes to her art she is seeing the same results as the other students in the Evolve Artist program were anyone can follow the same step by step process to see the same transformation as Peggy.

And it all started with a little bit of action.

Full Video Interview Here:

If you know someone who has always dreamed of being an artist like Peggy, we invite them to visit where we help regular people develop the skills and experience to create anything they want without limitation.

Dec 14 2018



PK 182: Meet Evolve Artist Head Instructor Piper Talladay

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As the head instructor at Evolve Artist, Piper Talladay oversees all student homework submissions. She makes sure everyone is kept to the highest standards of the program while still moving ahead at a good pace and encouraged at each step of the way.

She also has another career building her Equine Art business where she paints the portraits of horses. She uses her love of animals and especially horses to capture the special bond that humans and horses share.

This first episode of the Evolve Artist interview series will take you behind the scenes to meet some of the faces of the program and meet your fellow students.

Piper's Website:

For more information on Evolve Artist please visit:

Dec 06 2018



PK 181: Evolve Artist Update - 2 Years Later...

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A little over two years ago the original idea for the Evolve Artist program was first discussed. It took a long time to go from the initial idea of taking the proven art curriculum Kevin was using in his school to getting the knowledge online and everything ready so it could be delivered into the hands of students anywhere in the world.

It's now been a little bit over a year since the very first students have started and they are now moving into learning the same techniques that Kevin possessed at the height of his illustration career.

There were a lot of challenges to get over, especially in the beginning and the good news is the results of the home students are getting are every bit as good as the students inside Kevin's brick-and-mortar school.

The Evolve Artist program is special is because it's blending experience (the amount of time students take to complete their assignments) together with knowledge, (the actual videos that students watch). It's only when these two components come together in the right amounts that students are able to move quickly, but at the same time build the confidence to fully own their journey as they develop as artists.

In a nutshell this means that as the students progress through the program they will become stronger until they will be able to take what they know and create anything they want, without any limitations.

In this interview Kevin and Mitch sit down and talk about everything they've learned in the past year as well as the results the current students are seeing. They also talk about the special materials from Old Holland that are used in the program and why these are so important for the development of the students.

As you'll see in the video, both of the program creators are extremely excited about the consistent results the Evolve Artist students are receiving and what this means for art education in general. Really, this is just the beginning of a much broader movement to bring technical mastery to anyone in the world that wants to learn it both quickly and affordably – even if they are starting right from the beginning.

It is going to be extremely exciting watching the further development of this program and seeing the amazing results of the students are able to achieve as they continue through the program.

Dec 03 2018



PK 180: Consistently creating award winning art students with Kevin Murphy

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Learn how Kevin Murphy has been helping complete beginner artists consistently win awards and scholarships. If you've always wanted to learn, or have been trying to learn for years with limited success his program could be the answer you have been looking for.

Nov 22 2018



PK 179: Welcome back to the Pencil Kings Podcast!

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After a much needed break, we're back and here's what's been happening the past few months while we've been focusing on developing the new generation of art education with the Evolve program.  

Nov 17 2018



PK 178: Burn The Boats - What REALLY Makes You An Artist?

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It's one thing to create a beautiful work of art that's rendered to perfection, but it's an entirely different challenge to express complex ideas with your art.

Today we talk with Dorian Vallejo and explore how he approaches his paintings and the thought process that goes into applying deeper meaning to your art.

We'll also touch on why being comfortable in a career can hold you back, and what it really means to live a fully-engaged life as an artist.

Jan 24 2018



PK 177: Becoming a Children's Book Illustrator - Interview With Matt B Lewis.

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Show Notes at:

“You have to be true to yourself, you have to have 100% commitment. If you’re gonna do it, you’ve just gotta do it. You can’t half hit the mark.” ~ Matt B Lewis.

Becoming a children’s book illustrator is a dream for many artists, but how can you turn this dream into reality and actually make a decent living from it?

In this week’s podcast, Australian children’s book illustrator, Matt B Lewis, reveals how he eventually decided to take the plunge and go freelance after 18 years as a civil servant - a totally unrelated career.

Although he never went to art school, Matt has always drawn every single day. And, one day in 2017, he decided to see if he really could turn his hobby into a viable career.

Having enrolled in the Illustration Lighthouse program in September 2016, he’d already realized how important it is to find the one thing you love doing most and concentrate on that.

So that’s exactly what he did. And, by October, he’d already written, illustrated and published his first book, Monsters in the Garden - a gift to his young daughter.

Another picture book for his son followed in February 2017, by which time Matt felt ready to start taking his new creative career to the next stage.

But how exactly did he go about doing this? You’ll find out in this week’s inspiring podcast interview.

Highlights From This Podcast:

  • Why being self-taught needn’t be a barrier to your art career
  • Why concentrating on the one thing you love doing most is so important
  • How to find out about networking events in your local area
  • Why determination and putting yourself out there are key factors in your success
  • Why having a portfolio to show to prospective clients is crucial
  • How to study and develop your skills as an artist
  • How to quit the day job and finally start doing what you’ve always wanted to do.

Jan 17 2018



PK 176: How to Copyright Artwork - Interview With IP and Social Media Lawyer, Paul Lombic.

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Show notes at:

“In Canada, as soon as you write down and you create the comic strip and you put pen to paper, you have author rights - right from that point of the creation.” ~ Paul Lomic.

Ever wondered how to copyright artwork?

If you’re an artist, illustrator or any other kind of creative, there will most likely come a point in your career when you feel the need to protect your work and prevent others using it without your permission.

After all, in recent years, there have been several high profile cases of large companies such as clothing giant H&M using another artist’s work without giving them due credit, and it can be intimidating (and potentially very expensive) for an individual creator to take on the big boys.

So what can you do to protect your Intellectual Property (IP) and make sure your ideas are safe from larger predators?

Step forward IP and social media lawyer, Paul Lombic - an expert in helping individuals and small businesses protect themselves from unauthorized use of their creations.

In this week’s podcast interview, he explains how copyright law varies from country to country, and how all creatives can get essential advice on how to copyright artwork for much less than you might think.

Highlights From This Podcast:

  • Why, in Canada, your author rights begin as soon as you put your idea down on paper
  • A quick, easy and completely free way to prove you created something first
  • The complex area of trademarks and how to avoid copyright infringement
  • Why a free consultation with an IP lawyer can help point you in the right direction
  • Why protecting your IP and learning how to copyright artwork from an early stage is so important

Jan 10 2018



PK 175: Travel and Living Creatively - Interview With Freelance Illustrator, Ladislas Chachignot.

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Show Notes at:

“If you want your life to change and evolve a bit, sometimes you have to take a step into the unknown and see what happens. Because, if you don’t do anything, for sure you won’t have anything.” ~ Ladislas Chachignot.

Travel and living creatively often go hand in hand, with many artists all over the world moving to different countries to get inspiration and further their careers.

But what if you’re too scared to make that first step? And what actually happens when you take the plunge, move to a city in a different country and start trying to carve out a creative career for yourself?

In this week’s podcast, we speak to someone who’s done exactly that - freelance artist and Pencil Kings Community member, Ladislas Chachignot.

After a long career as a graphic designer in his native France, he decided to up sticks and move to Barcelona recently in a bid to meet more creative people, expand his horizons, and develop his career as an illustrator.

But how did he summon up the courage to take this huge first step…

And how is he managing to support himself and find new clients in this new environment?

You’ll find out in this honest, revealing and helpful interview about travel and living creatively...

Highlights From This Podcast:

  • Why Ladislas spent time developing his skills as an artist before becoming a freelance illustrator
  • How to use portfolio and social networking sites to attract more clients
  • Why personal projects can be a great way to showcase your style
  • How to get over the fear of making a big change in your life
  • How to reach out to clients and keep going...even when you get rejected
  • Why taking a risk can sometimes be the right thing to do
  • Why travel and living creatively go hand in hand for many artists

Jan 03 2018