artist guidance

Over the past few years, Rebecca Sugar has learned to steer a very large spaceship. Five seasons in, Steven Universe, her Cartoon Network show – the channel’s first created by a woman – is enormously popular with both kids and their parents, attracting a vast, fierce fandom. (It’s frequently at or near the top of the various rankings on Tumblr’s Fandometrics page, and has a large following all across social media platforms.)

The series is consistently lauded for its emotional intelligence, its musical numbers (including songs sung by Estelle and Patti LuPone, who Sugar wooed with roses), its nuanced character development, and especially its insistent queerness – one major character is the literal and metaphorical embodiment of a lesbian relationship, and almost no one in its central family is related by blood.

With her mop of black hair, indefatigable smile and seemingly boundless energy (she’ll turn 30 in July), it’s not hard to see Sugar in her creation. But series protagonist Steven – a relentlessly kind, goofy boy at the center of a millennia-old galactic war between the Earthbound Crystal Gems (Garnet, Amethyst and Pearl) and the parasitic Gem Homeworld – has a lot less going on in his life than his creator.

Steven Universe isn’t just a TV show: It’s a sprawling, many-tentacled property that includes comics, an upcoming console video game, a just-released soundtrack album, a New York Times best-selling children’s book and merchandise recreating most of Steven’s clothes. Most of these run through Sugar personally in some capacity – she wrote The Answer (the children’s book), made editing passes on the companion volume Steven Universe’s Guide to the Crystal Gems, oversaw the tracklisting and remixing for the album, and contributed dialogue and artistic guidance to the game, Save the Light.

The scope of her job both excites Sugar and, occasionally, pains her. “When I don’t have time to be really involved, it’s definitely strange to see something come into existence and know that I…” She cuts herself off. “But it’s hard to stay away.” Letting anything go is difficult for Sugar, whose life and relationships, in a sense, are the show.

Steven is something of a tribute to Rebecca’s brother Steven Sugar, a background designer on the show. The show’s exploration of romantic relationships (particularly in the character of Garnet, the living embodiment of a romantic relationship) is informed by her own with long-term partner Ian Jones-Quartey, a former executive producer on Steven Universe and the creator and showrunner for upcoming Cartoon Network series OK K.O!. “My time with them is trapped inside the show,” Sugar says. “That’s what makes it special.”

Read more at Rolling Stone

anonymous asked:

how tf is that a tutorial it's just a sketch then shading then more shading. tutorials tell you how to do something. that's just 4 pictures. useless af

Not every reference posted is necessarily going to walk you through every single step, that isn’t something I’ve ever guaranteed to have in each tutorial I share and I can’t control how much guidance the artist included. 

I still post tutorials with less annotations because there’s still a lot to be learnt from observation and it’s a key skill every artist needs to have, it’s up to you to study these references and learn from them. 

Otherwise if you need extra guidance feel free to look for it elsewhere or even ask the creator of the tutorial, instead of complaining and accomplishing nothing. 

Art Critique PSA:

I’ll preface this by saying that I am pro critique.  I wouldn’t be where I am today without countless artists redlining my work and helping me make it better.  This post is not about the merits of critique.  This is about something that bothers me on a personal level, which is the habit some people have of attempting to offer critique (or being flat out negative in a useless sort of way) after a piece has been finished.

When you come across a finished piece of art on someone’s blog or in their gallery, then you’ve officially missed your opportunity to offer negative criticism critique.

Originally posted by plumkat

So unless the artist asks for your opinion, consider the following before leaving your comment:
  • Is it T.rue?
  • Is it H.elpful?
  • Is it I.nspiring?
  • Is it N.ecessary?
  • Is it K.ind?

Originally posted by nnnewtscamander

If you see a finished work that you like, tell the artist!  It makes them feel happy and encouraged.  But don’t leave negative comments, because the artist is no longer working on that piece.  So telling them what you don’t like about it only accomplishes two things.  One, it gives you a false sense of authority on the matter, and two, it discourages the artist and can make them feel like failures who should just give up.

The piece is done.  There’s no changing it.  So why point out what’s wrong with it?

Believe me when I say that artists are their own harshest critics.  If there is something technically wrong with perspective, proportions, etc., they already know, and probably reached a point where they needed to just be done with it.

Pointing out those types of errors on a finished piece just brings the artist down, and it’s condescending, too, because it assumes the artist isn’t already aware of the issues.  Trust me.  They know!

The only time it is polite to offer critical input on an art piece is when the artist has specifically requested such, and chances are they already have sought critique somewhere else.  Artists don’t generally seek out critique on their personal blogs.  Instead–and to much greater effect–they usually ask for help from artists and mentors IRL, or on sites that have designated critique areas.

And yes, I know everyone is entitled to their opinions.  But ask yourself… does that mean you need to subject others to them at all times?  The answer is no.  You don’t.  So T.H.I.N.K before you comment, and if you have any doubts, MOVE ON.

anonymous asked:

"RCA's budget is extremely thin. They're still making money, but nowhere near the profit margins they had in the past. Their marketing team sucks. Their A&R's are just not up to date. Their whole budget is spread between a few artists and they rely on them turning a profit to pay for the other artists' album campaigns. Basically, if you're on RCA and not hitting straight out of the gate, you better get used to life on the shelf." i saw this post on a forum by s/o who claims to work with them


I know exactly what thread you’re talking about from Lipstick Alley. I’ve seen the twp OP’s industry tea threads over the last few months.  The same OP has talked about Zayn briefly on a previous occasion, fwiw, and has commented that RCA has invested in Zayn but does not really know what his sound should be like, but also said that his album will be out this year (we knew that) and that it would have a heavier marketing push (fingers and boobs crossed and grain of salt and all that).  But yeah, to your point, they didn’t have many positive things to say about RCA. They basically said RCA was a goat rodeo with shit marketing (i meannnnn), shit A&R, and shit profit margins that had a history of shelving artists. 

 Huge grains of salt as it is the internet, so read and decide what you feel, if anything, has truth to it.  Behold, an additional study of meh via the two industry OPs:

The re-branding of H.E.R was handled solely by H.E.R and her team. Believe me when I say this: There is no label as out of touch with music today as RCA. They do not know what to do with anybody, especially urban artists. H.E.R has done a great job with her branding, and she’s gaining some traction with her E.P’s; however, I guarantee that when it comes to album time, RCA will jerk her around and ruin her momentum.

Bryson’s latest album under-performed in comparison to the expectations and I expect him to be on shelf in 2 years time. The thing with RCA is that they will give you a second chance if you under perform. The only problem is that the reason their artists are under performing is due to their lack of marketing and artistic guidance, and the second time around those same problems will still be there. Plus, they’ll also cut your budget as their logic says, “He/She is not performing like we expected, so they need less money to make their next album”. Therefore, just like the first time, the artist will flop. RCA will say, “Oh, we’re making a loss on him/her, they aren’t profitable”, and you will be shelved.


rule 63 kagami and kuroko meeting up at a cafe over the weekend ♥

(no kagami is not being rude, she’s texting the rest of seirin to see who’s up for some street basketball in the evening ヽ(゜∇゜)ノ )

I love that Harry and Louis are supportive of females in music. Between Louis and his band of female musicians and Harry and his collaboration with Ainsley Smart, I think we are going to really get to start to see some really interesting things from them while they are on hiatus. I looked up Ainsley through the usual public twitter/facebook/instagram accounts because I wanted to find out about who Harry was collaborating with, and she sounds like a lot of fun. She writes her own music, sing, raps, love sports like surfing, mountain biking and skateboarding, plays the drums, guitar, piano etc and speaks multiple languages. And, according to her twitter, she is about to be in a film. (I know, the sounds like an Ainsley promo, but bear with me.

Some interesting things to note, besides her album is finished and is coming out soon, is this post on her instagram after she left Sony (for the hecklers in the back who roll their eyes when we say that 1DHQ control social media accounts)


She had obviously wiped a lot of her account. From what we all read on her fb page about Sony’s control over what she says and does, it sucks that for an 18 year old, she has already seen one of the worst sides of the music industry.

 She has a good moral compass. There was this exchange between a celeb photographer and Ainsley about photographing her at a 1d show.


There is just something so unbelievably amazing about Harry and Louis trying to help females put their own music out their so they can have a voice, and don’t have to experience what they have been through. How can you not love them?!

I have a little cousin that really looks up to me as an artist. She asks for guidance so that she can one day draw as skilled as me. I love to see that sort of passion in an artist. Especially ones that start at a young age. I have a deep appreciation for art and support a lot of artists. 

Looking at everyone’s own unique style. Watching them create and admiring what they created. This is one of the reasons why I insist that my followers and friends, family even, to never stop drawing.

Today’s drawing will be better than yesterday’s. Words that I would consistently tell myself so that I could push myself to improve.

Even now, as far as I’ve gotten, I still push myself to get better.

Don’t ever feel unmotivated. Keep drawing. You’re doing great.

The Cassandra Project Needs You

1.  What is the Cassandra Project?

The Cassandra Project is a planned anthology of poetry, short fiction, essays, and art revolving around Cassandra, the legendary (and legendarily cursed) seer of Greek mythology.  The goal is to bring artists of all stripes together to create a work, and then sell the work, and donate the proceeds to charity.

2.  Why a book?  And why, specifically, an anthology?

Because I personally have limited funds to donate to all the charities that are going to need funding to handle the increased workload that these next four years are going to bring.  I can shriek all day and all night about how other people need to give, too, or I can incentivize the giving by having something to offer in exchange for others’ donations.  And if I do my job right, if I come up with something worth reading and remembering, then maybe I can provide the motive for another to act.  If I can find the right words, someone else can call on them when they need courage or strength in the years ahead.

And with an anthology, it isn’t me alone.  There are other voices – a chorus, if you will.  We can be louder together.  We can reach more people together.  We can shore each other up.  Even for solitary artists and writers, community is important.  I think we need that now more than we ever have.  

3.  Why Cassandra?  

Because Cassandra saw the dangers facing the city of Troy long before anyone else did.  Because she spoke out in the face of mockery, distrust, and disbelief.  Because even when she know the odds (and the Gods) were against her, she kept speaking the truth right up until the very end.   Because she never faltered, never let herself be cowed, never stifled her gifts in favor of a moment or two of passing peace before the end.   She didn’t go quietly.  She declared herself “a Fury, one of three,” and acted accordingly.

The world needs its Furies.  It needs its angry prophets, wielding blazing torches, singing out their truth to the end of everything.  

They didn’t listen to Cassandra.  But maybe they’ll listen to us.

4.  What does the Cassandra Project need?

Writers. Artists.  Logistical advice/guidance from people who have trod this path before and know how to do it.  Full disclosure time, guys: I, @lookninjas​, am not a person who has done this before.  I had an idea, other people seemed interested, and I am now trying to realize it as best I can.  But I am teaching myself this process as I go, so if anyone out there has experience to share, I am all in favor of listening.  These ears are wide open.

We will also, probably, find ourselves fundraising at some point, but that’s going to wait until we have all our artists/writers together and a reasonable idea of how much money we’re going to need, so I’m not rushing headlong into my 501©3 paperwork just yet.  Although if anyone has suggestions for ways to do that, again.  I’m all ears.

5.  How do I get involved?

Follow this blog.  Shoot me an ask here or at my main blog, @lookninjas​. Messages work too.   Let me know what you’re interested in doing, ask me any questions you have.   Replies may not be immediate (I work retail, and it’s nearing Christmas), but they will come.  And if this idea moves you to start working on anything, then by all means, get moving.  More art is never a bad thing.

And please, share this post around!  The more eyeballs, the better.

Thanks to everyone who shared the original post, which got way more notes than I bargained for, and thanks to everyone who’s already responded to this.  The idea that anyone at all is interested in joining me is encouraging to say the least, and I’m really really grateful to you.   Let’s get some more people here, let’s get moving, and let’s see what kind of difference we can make together.  The world is darker than it was two weeks ago.  It needs our light more than ever.

Yeah, maybe, but I’m not sure they should. It’s time to revert to that great punk rocker Shakespeare and ‘To thine own self be true.’ It’s really the punkest idea of all time. Don’t do what people tell you to, just because they’re saying it real loud and like they know what they’re talking about. Make up your own mind. Do your own thing. Heal the way you need to heal.
—  Ryan Adams, re: if people look to artists they admire for guidance in troubled times (NYT Magazine, Nov 4th 2001)