Sunday, December 17, 2017

How to Draw Comic Stye Hair for Male Characters - Video Tutorials


Next lessons on How to Draw Comic Style Hair for Male Characters are LIVE!!!


Welcome back everyone! 

In this class you will learn how to draw these 3 hair styles. We will cover basic form and rendering techniques that will apply to not just these but lots of other various hair styles as well. This should give you a basic understanding of how to design your own favorite hair style for your cool characters!

You will start with a male face that I have created for you. This allows you to simply focus on the hair drawing and not worrying too much about the characters face. Try creating lots of variations over the same pose. See how much you can change the characters look with a new hair style! Have fun with it! :)

You can get these lessons either on my Gumroad ( Which gives you lifetime access to the content. ) Or on my Skillshare which is a monthly membership site.

Here are the links and good luck with your art!

Skillshare -

Sign up to my Newsletter for more updates and FREE content --

Thanks for your support! ;)


Robert A. Marzullo
Ram Studios Comics

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Testing the Clip Studio Paint App for the iPad Pro

Clip Studio Pro App for the iPad

Here is a quick demo of the inking and coloring from the Clip Studio Paint app on the iPad Pro. I must say it functions just as it should. ( so far! ) Everything is extremely similar to the desktop version. Probably the most difficult thing to figure out was the import/export of the files. ( Quick note - if you are running Manga Studio 5 EX you can open your files on the iPad but not from the Clip Studio Version back to MS5. Just use PSD's until you get the updated software for your desktop as a work around. )

Really nice to be able to sit back on the couch and work on any of my fully layered MS5 files. Will definitely help with the Blackstone comic. That alone will justify the monthly costs I guess but still not happy with it. I just feel too many of these companies are trying to justify monthly memberships. I don't want to get on a negative tangent about that but I think they should do a one time purchase where you would either pay for major updates or a monthly subscription where all updates and support is included. Just my 2 cents of course!

I will keep testing this app out and let you know what I find and videos will be on the way. I must admit I am pretty impressed with its ability to run like a full blown program on the iPad Pro. I imagine others such as Photoshop will follow soon. I will also say that Procreate does handle the sketching process a bit better in my opinion but it is still a bit early to be sure about that. The inking and watercolor brushes on Clip Studio Paint are just as amazing as they are on the desktop version so that is pretty freaking cool!

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!! 

Good luck with your art and more on the way! ;)

Robert A. Marzullo
Ram Studios Comics

Want to learn how to draw and paint using Manga Studio 5 ( Clip Studio Paint )

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

How to Improve Your Creature Design Drawing - Step by Step - Now on Skillshare

Creature Design Course on Skillshare


How to Improve Your Creature Design Drawing - Step by Step

In this class you will learn how to draw a variety of creature concepts. I will walk you through all the techniques that I use to draw imaginative creatures every day. This class is good for traditional and digital artists.

You will learn how to draw various studies to improve your knowledge and gain inspiration. We will cover break downs of specific areas in the creature anatomy to better understand how their bodies work.

You will learn to draw and study the spine since it is the foundation of almost any creature you will draw. I will walk you through creating lots of different concepts in this class. 

Here is a break down of the Lessons that are currently available -

L1 - The Spine Says it All - In this lesson you will learn why studying the spine is so important and follow along with me as I illustrate a few examples.(Run Time - 13:09)

L2 - Thumbnailing the Concepts - In this lesson we will thumbnail 11 different concepts. This is an integral part of the design process. By keeping the ideas loose and the sketches quick ( 5-6 Minutes ) you can express a lot of concepts to work from.  (Run Time - 8:54)                                                                           

L3 - The Brain Box - In this lesson you will learn how to draw various heads for our creatures. We will talk about some of the differences that define predators and prey. (Run Time - 9:19)

L4 - Creating Variations in Your Concepts - In this lesson we will draw 6 creature designs but focus on making each one very different from the previous example. This can be a great way to stretch the imagination.     (Run Time - 12:00)

L5 - Animal Leg Studies - It is important to study various parts of animal anatomy to gain perspective on your creature designs. Here we will draw 3 examples from animals and adjust them slightly to look more imaginative.  (Run Time - 7:57)

L6 - Merging Concepts Together - In this lesson you will work with me as I draw 6 different creature limbs. Each will have at least 2 various traits mixed together to create the design.  (Run Time - 11:04)

L7 - Adjusting Proportions - In this lesson you will learn how to create a creature concept and then adjust the proportions to make a very different version of that same creature. This can be another very useful exercise in developing a unique creature design.  (Run Time - 11:03)

L8 - Project Ogre Thumbnails - In this lesson you will learn how to work from a script like a real pro does. This is a fun and important exercise to do so let's get to it. We will start by drawing out our thumbnails to this concept.  (Run Time - 17:02)

L9 - Cleaning up the Concept - In this lesson we will draw one more thumbnail and make our decision on what to keep and what to pitch. We will then start to clean up our sketch.   (Run Time - 17:08)

L10 - Refining the Drawing - Now the heavy lifting has been done and we will start to refine the line work and make it pretty for the client or our portfolio...or both!  (Run Time - 18:50)


To get started with this class just visit this link -

More lessons are on the way and I am here if you have any questions or feedback for me. You also get access to all of these art files to study from.

Robert A. Marzullo
Ram Studios Comics

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Learn to Draw and Paint an Ogre Concept in Manga Studio 5 / Clip Studio Paint

Learn to Draw and Paint an Ogre Concept in Manga Studio 5 / Clip Studio Paint


Welcome back everyone! I have some new course content to share with you today. It is on drawing and painting an Ogre character concept in Manga Studio 5 / Clip Studio Paint. In this course I will walk you through the entire process step by step while explaining the tools I use within this program.

Drawing and Refining the Concept

We will first start with the rough sketch where you will learn how to define the overall proportions of this creature design. You will learn a series of techniques to adjust and add to the existing line work to get the desired look of the character. Then I will show you how to clean up the line work and get it ready for the digital painting process.

Adding in the Flats and Separating the Work

In the next lessons we will go over how to add in the flat colors while segmenting the work. This will help us visualize the direction we are heading and aid in the painting process later on. Segmenting the work on complex characters or scenes can help you to retain a solid feel to the artwork until you build the confidence to no longer need these steps. Some artists use this method on every piece of artwork they create and others begin to use less and less layers over time as their skills with editing become more effective.  It is for you to decide what works best in your workflow.

After we have put all the foundational information in place we will begin to add in our digital painting effects. We will be using some custom brushes but not many. I have puposely created this artwork with a minimal set of brushes to show you that it can be done effectively with just a few good brushes. Amazing paintings can be done with just one brush but you will spend more time creating the effects you might be looking for. All the brushes I have used will be included with this course.


This course consists of 19 step by step narrated lessons showing you how to draw and paint this character design. You get the art files and custom brushes to work along with. The total course is 
4 Hours 29 Minutes long.

So I am excited to know what you think and if you decide to take this course I hope you gain a lot of valuable techniques for your workflow. I am here if you have any questions!

You can get this entire Course on my Gumroad here -

Robert A. Marzullo
Ram Studios Comics

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

How to Draw Cool Character Designs - Mech Warrior on Skillshare

I have a new class on Skillshare -
"How to Draw Cool Character Designs - Mech Warrior."

In these videos I will walk you through the process of drawing the character you see here. I go over how to sketch out the proportions of your character. Then I talk about how to construct your character design by using basic primitive shapes.

This is a beginner to intermediate class and it isn't specific to any type of software. It is for traditional and digital artists to learn from.

I will also be adding more character designs so be sure to let me know what you would like to see in the future. I will do my best to make it happen.

If you have any questions I am always happy to help!

Right now you can use this link and get 2 months free of Premium on Skillshare. So watch all you can and really up your art game. There are tons of great instructors on that platform! :)

Robert A. Marzullo
Ram Studios Comics

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Digital Painting in Manga Studio 5 - Character Design - Course

Digital Painting in Manga Studio 5 - Character Design

In this Course you will learn How to Create a Fantasy Art Character from the rough sketch all the way to the finished paint work. We start with the drawing process and I explain how to make changes to the concept and not get too worried about everything being perfect in the beginning. There are lots of ways to edit the work and keep pressing forward within Manga Studio 5 / Clip Studio Paint.

We will then cover how to lay in the base paint work and use that to create and save our selections. You will learn how to use the layers to aid in your painting process, as well as how to work in a non-destructive approach.

Once the foundational information is in place we will begin to apply our digital painting effects with a variety of brushes. ( You will get access to all the brushes I use in this Course. )

You will also learn how to create and apply a texture effect for the chain mail on the characters armor. We will be using the "Distort" and "Mesh Transformation" features to accomplish this.

Through this course you will learn how to use : Layers and Groups, Combine Modes ( Blending Modes ), Custom Brushes, Hard and Soft Edge Shadows, Layer Masks, Quick Masks, Blending Brushes, Tonal Correction, Mirrored Windows, as well as General Drawing and Painting Techniques.

This course is 9 Hours and 17 Minutes total run time. 35 Individual Lessons.
You get the Layered Art Files and the Custom Brushes to work along with.

I am here if you have any questions or feedback for me to make this a better Course for everyone. So please feel free to let me know!

I hope you find this content to be extremely informative and good luck with your ART! ;)

Get access to the course through my Gumroad here -

Robert A. Marzullo
Ram Studios Comics

Sunday, June 4, 2017

My Next Lesson on Digital Painting in Manga Studio 5 - Character Design!

Digital Painting in Manga Studio 5 - Character Design

I am currently working on my next lesson for drawing and painting in Manga Studio 5 / Clip Studio Paint.  This fantasy art piece will be what I demonstrate from start to finish while explaining the tools I use within Manga Studio 5.

In these lessons you will learn how I draw out a concept like this one and continue to make changes until I am satisfied. Then we will move to applying the paint effects. You will learn how I use layers and groups, combine modes, custom brushes, quick masks, mesh transformation, and pretty much everything it takes to bring this artwork to completion. You will even learn some cool post processing techniques that I use to get my artwork ready for the old portfolio!

You will also get some cool custom brushes to work along with as well as a copy of the art file.
I will keep everyone posted on the release of this next lesson so be sure to follow me on my Gumroad here -

Thanks for your support and good luck with your art! ;)

Robert A. Marzullo
Ram Studios Comics

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Learn to Draw Action Heroes Book by Robert A. Marzullo

Learn to Draw Action Heroes!

My new book is now completed and off to the printer! Super excited to share this with everyone. I have been working on this for months and I had to keep it under my hat which is tough for someone like me that likes to blab a lot!

The book is "Learn to Draw Action Heroes!" It is a 144 page monster with all kinds of step by step examples. I did my best to break down all the parts that go into drawing dynamic action heroes.

It is being printed and distributed by Impact Books. It is also available for Pre-Order on Amazon. The actual book will be released on September 13th 2017. Get your copy here -

I put a lot of work into this one and I would love to know what you think of it if you decide to get a copy. As with any of my products I am here to help if you have any questions. Feel free to leave an honest review so others will know what they are getting.

If you like you can also watch a video of this cover being inked and colored here on my Youtube channel -

I will be sharing some samples pages real soon.

Thanks for tuning in and good luck with your art! ;)

Robert A. Marzullo
Ram Studios Comics

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Learn to Create Character Art Step by Step in Photoshop - Course on Udemy

Digital Painting in Photoshop - Create Amazing Concept Art

Is now available on Udemy!

I have been teaching on Udemy for just over a year now and I really enjoy the platform. My course on "Digital Painting in Photoshop - Creating Amazing Concept Art is now LIVE!

You can get it here with my discount code - Click Here to get this course

You also get my ( 50 Set ) brush pack and the art files to work along with. As well as any bonus lectures I add to this course. By purchasing you get LIFETIME access to this course.

I think this one is going to demystify a lot of problem areas for up and coming digital painters. I go into detail about the various tools in Photoshop for creating these paintings. Things like Liquify, the Warp Tool, Blending Modes, Adjustment Layers, Quick Mask, Creating Custom Brushes, and the list goes on.

It is a more structured approach than most artists take when painting but the purpose is to show you how to itemize your work for more edits through the process. This will also help you to work through the complex scenes without getting frustrated.

I am eager to hear your thoughts if you take this course. Please remember to leave your honest review on Udemy so I can continue to improve my lessons.

You also get a 30 Day money back guarantee with any Udemy course. No questions asked!

Good luck with your art and thanks for watching! ;)

Robert A. Marzullo
Ram Studios Comics

Promo Video of this Course

#digitalart #lessons #digitalpainting #photoshop #course #learntopaint #characters #concepts

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Digital Painting in Photoshop - Create Amazing Concept Art - Course Offer

NEW! Digital Painting in Photoshop - 

Create Amazing Concept Art (Course)

Dear Students!

Would you like to improve your digital paintings using the powerful features within Adobe Photoshop? Do you want to create amazing character designs? Then this is the course for you!

In this 6.8 hour course you will learn how to use Adobe Photoshop CC to better create your digital art. This course has 27 lessons that move you through the entire process of creating a fully rendered character concept.

In the first section you will learn the tools  that I use and how I use them. You will learn about the layers and groups, the selections tools, dodge and burn, custom brushes and settings, blending modes, adjustment layers, layer styles, quick mask, and much more.

You will then move through the illustrative process with me from the rough sketch to the digital painting. We will start with a pre-drawn pose that I have supplied and we work out the concept from there.  You will learn how to rough sketch your ideas without jumping in too fast with refinements.

This course can be completed with any drawing tablet. I am using a Wacom Intuos 4 to create this art and although I will be mentioning things about that device you can use any tablet with pressure sensitivity. Mainly so the brushes will react in the way that I explain them.

I have designed this course to be a basic approach for beginner and intermediate digital painters to learn from. I created in the way that I would want to learn. This will not teach you everything about Photoshop but it will give you a firm understanding of how I use it to create my digital paintings every day.

Bonus Content - With this course you get all the art files, textures,  and my full Photoshop custom brush set ( 50 Pack ) to work along with. 

I am here if you have any questions and I would value your feedback so that I can continue to create better products for everyone. Please leave your honest review so others know what you gained from this course. Thank you for your support. Good luck with your studies!

Get Lifetime access to this course for a Discounted Rate of $12 -  

Robert A. Marzullo
Ram Studios Comics

Monday, April 24, 2017

Digital Painting in Manga Studio 5 - Conceptual Elements: Course on Skillshare

Digital Painting in Manga Studio 5 - Conceptual Elements

Get my classes on Digital Painting in Manga Studio 5 / Clip Studio Paint on Skillshare. Learn to paint with this awesome program. This is a basic step by step approach to get you started in digital painting.

We start with basic conceptual elements to learn the interface. Then we move into weapon design.
More lessons are being added now so sign up and get studying. Can't wait to see what you come up with! :)

-You also get custom brushes and art files to work with and I am here if you have any questions.

Get Started Here --

Robert A. Marzullo
Ram Studios Comics

#digitalpainting #mangastudio5 #course #lessons #tutorials #digitalart #illustrations #conceptart #learn

Saturday, April 15, 2017

How to Draw Comic Style Hair - 3 Ways - Lesson on Gumroad

Here is my next lesson for Drawing Comic Style Hair 3 different ways.

This started as a request from one of my Patreon supporters. I have done some other tutorials on my Youtube channel but this one is a more in depth look with art files to work along with.

I have struggled with getting the right look for hair for many years so I know what others mean when they say they just cannot seem to draw it properly. It is one of those things you will always be studying to get better at. Just like hands, faces, and feet. ( Yuck! I hate drawing feet. lol )

So don't beat yourself up in the process and just take your time. Draw from as many resources as possible to gain your perspective on the subject. Great artists are not made overnight. It takes lots of time and lots of studies!

In this lesson I will walk you through my process step by step in real time. You will see how I built up the shapes and design the hair style I am after. I then show you how I place the shadows and add in the render lines or texture of the hair. I also talk about the importance of simplifying the process for your comic book style art.

So I hope this lesson will shed some well needed light on that subject matter for you and keep in mind that I am here to help. If you have any questions or requests for future content I am listening!

Get this Lesson here -

Robert A. Marzullo
Ram Studios Comics

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Teaching a Comic Figure Drawing Class on Skillshare

Skillshare Comic Figure Drawing Class

I am now teaching a class on Skilshare. The current class if focused on Figure Drawing and Comic Character creation. I will be adding more lessons each week so let me know what you want to learn and I will make it happen! I want to teach some techniques for breaking down the poses and reconstructing them with confidence. My classes are more for aspiring comic book artists but they can be translated well for fine artists too. The same basic principles apply and a lot of what I will be teaching can apply to other things in your art.

I hope you find this content valuable and I am interested to hear what you think. There will be exercises to make sure you are learning what you need to. That is one of the things I find pretty neat about Skillshare. As well as the lessons being smaller bite size segments, unlike my larger courses on Udemy and my Gumroad.

Sign up for my Skilshare classes here and I look forward to helping you with your ART!!

Robert A. Marzullo
Ram Studios Comics

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Drawing Comic Style Art - Wacom Intuos Tablet - Narrated

In this video I am using a Wacom Intuos 4 Tablet to pencil, ink, and color this Hulk FanArt. I talk about the benefits of using this type of device compared to the more expensive units such as the Cintiq and iPad Pro. You can accomplish everything you want with the more affordable devices with practice and patience. 

This artwork is created with Manga Studio 5 / Clip Studio Paint which also works very well with this type of device. I have more videos on the use of that program on my channel as well! ;)

Get your own Wacom tablet here with my Amazon Affiliate Link - 

Follow me on Gumroad for more Video Lessons and Custom Brushes

I now have a Artist Mentorship program on my Patreon!

Robert A. Marzullo
Ram Studios Comics

Monday, March 27, 2017

My Review of the FlexiSpot M2 35" Sit/Stand Desktop

My Review of the FlexiSpot M2 35" Sit/Stand Desktop

I am currently reviewing the FlexiSpot M2 35" Sit/Stand Desktop. It is an amazing product for people that are at their workstations for long hours. As artists and designers we find ourselves in this situation a lot.

I have been known to draw for 14 hours on some days when deadlines are looming and a setup like this can be a lifesaver. Whenever my lower back would start to hurt I would have to stop and walk around for a while before I could get back to drawing but now with this setup I can simply adjust it to stand up and alleviate my back pain. The health benefits to a product like this one are huge and the productivity is amazing as well because you stay in the moment of creating longer.

It has a huge range of lift to the unit and the real benefit is that it lifts everything together in one motion and it is completely stable so that you can draw and work without the distraction of your devices moving.

They also gave ample room to the work area and the keyboard tray to house multiple devices like you see here. I have my Mac keyboard, mouse, and Intuos 4 with room to spare. They even incorporated a slot for your phone or iPad to sit. Kudos! ;)

This is the FlexiSpot M2 35" Sit/Stand Desktop. They have larger and smaller unit to suit your needs. They are built well and there is only a small amount of assembly that took me about 15 minutes to complete. I give this product a 5 star review from my perspective as an artist/designer.

If you are interested in this device you can get yours here - 

I am here if you have any questions about this product and good luck with your art!

Robert A. Marzullo
Ram Studios Comics

Friday, March 17, 2017

How to Improve Your Figure Drawing Course -- Update

-- How to Improve Your Figure Drawing Course Update --

Quick update on my Figure Drawing course on Udemy!

If you have taken the course ( or possibly thinking about it ) you might be happy to know that I added 3 NEW lectures to the course. Adding another full hour of video content. These new lessons are on drawing and shading muscular arms. These are a little more geared for comic artists but I still feel it can be a great exercise for most art styles.

I will also be adding a few more lectures on drawing female arm poses since I had a student mention it would help to make the course more well rounded. I am always happy to get feedback to make these products better for everyone.

Like all my other content you get the art files to work along with. If you have any questions about the course content I am always here to help!

Here is the link with the discounted price to the course and good luck with your art! 

Get the course here - 

Bonus Lectures will cover these illustrations from start to finish.

My next course is on the way and it is How to Improve Your Figure Drawing 2 - Characters in Action! It will be pack full of great content so hope to have you back for that one as well.
Thank you and I am here if you have any questions about the course! 

Robert A. Marzullo
Ram Studios Comics

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Figure Drawing Foundations - Proportions

Figure Drawing Foundations - Proportions by Clayton Barton

Hello fellow comic art guys and gals. I have a pretty cool offer for you if you find yourself wanting to get better at drawing comic book hero proportions. We have all struggled in that department a time or two and it never hurts to work on that subject as much as possible. So here is just the thing to get those mental gears working on that topic.

Figure Drawing Foundations - Proportions by Clayton Barton. Clayton has done a stand up job at breaking down the barriers when it comes to understanding proportions. He goes into great detail on this subject and sheds light on this tricky topic. He also gives you a nice variety of tiers to choose from. Since one size doesn't fit all, you can choose from a few packages to suit your level of interest for this topic.

In the various packages you get video walkthroughs, PDF's, access to a virtual classroom, and lots of finely crafted lessons. I have been drawing a long time and I must admit that I am finding some great tips and tricks in here that I needed to learn. He has done an excellent job at covering all the bases to understanding body proportions and character designs. He breaks it down in an easy to follow manner which is so valuable when doing these types of studies.

So if you need that level up on your character work this is the course content to check out. And please share the work. Clayton is an amazing teacher and to keep him creating great content sharing the work is essential!

You can get his content here and good luck with your art!

Robert A. Marzullo
Ram Studios Comics

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Drawing Castlevania Game Art in Sketchbook Pro 8 - Narrated Video

In this video I use Sketchbook Pro 8 to draw fan art for our last Youtube contest winner. This is Simon Belmont and Dracula from the Castlevania game. I created this one with a comic art style. Next I will be adding the inks and colors so please stop back to see the finished product if you like!

Robert A. Marzullo
Ram Studios Comics

I used a Wacom Cintiq 22 HD to draw this. You can get the same
device here on Amazon -

Monday, February 20, 2017

My Manga Studio 5 Digital Painting Course is also on Udemy!

My course on Digital Painting in Manga Studio 5 - Working in Perspective is now available on Udemy as well. In this course you will learn the basics to using the very powerful perspective tools inside of Manga Studio 5 / Clip Studio Paint. You will also work along side with me as we create this futuristic cityscape illustration step by step.

I will show you lot of ways to create and edit your work as well as how to setup the groups and layers for maximum efficiency. Creating complex scenes can be daunting if you do not organize your work properly. 

By the end of this course you will have a firm understanding of how to create this type of work!
If you take this course please leave your honest review so that I can continue to improve my lessons in the future. I am here if you have any questions or concerns.

When getting any of my courses with Udemy you have a 30 Day money back guarantee to insure that you are happy with your course!

Here is the discount code to sign up for this course on Udemy -

Robert A. Marzullo
Ram Studios Comics

Friday, February 17, 2017

Digital Panting in Manga Studio 5 - Working in Perspective

Digital Panting in Manga Studio 5 - Working in Perspective 

In this course I walk you through using the perspective tools inside of Manga Studio 5 / Clip Studio Paint. We first delve into the basics and the setup in one, two, and three point perspective. Then I walk you through the use of the  special rulers. A lot of students have expressed a certain confusion about these tools but the reason they are difficult to understand is because they have lots of options for controlling the perspective. 
I demonstrate these tools and show you how to make them much easier to work with. A few programs have now adopted perspective drawing tools but none of them are as functional and versatile as these are. The special rulers alone are huge time savers for comic book illustrators.
After I run through the basics I think take you through the entire process of creating the image you see above. ( Scroll to the next slide to see the entire picture. ) The majority of this course is all in real time with only small amounts time lapsed in areas where I have already explained the process in real time and didn't want to bore you with repetition. 
I also teach you how to setup and edit your work efficiently by making proper use of the groups and layers. As well as give you a better understanding of the blending modes.
By the end of this 5 hour course you will have worked through the entire image with me and learned what techniques I use to create my digital paintings.
With this course you get -
-19 Step by Step Video Lessons ( 5 hours of Narrated Content )
-City Scape Art File - Manga Studio 5 Format ( You can also request a PSD )
-Custom brushes that I used in this course 
Like any other products you get from me on my Gumroad I am here to help you with any questions you have. I appreciate your support so don't hesitate to ask, and giving me feedback for future lessons is greatly appreciated!

Get this course here -

Good luck with your art!
Robert A. Marzullo
Ram Studios Comics

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Can I Make a Living as an Artist?

Can I Make a Living as an Artist Image

So let me first say that I feel it has NEVER been a better time to be an artist or illustrator. Whether you create comics, clip art, video demonstrations, or you enjoy digital painting, the resources available to generate a living from your art have never been more accessible. You can create video courses, custom brushes, print on demand services, clip art sites, create game art, app designs, online mentorship, and the list goes on and on.

So this has been a question for us all at one time or another.  "Can I Make a Living as an Artist?" Often it is also a source of negative debate so I wanted to give my views on the matter. I have been a working artist for most of my life now. Sometimes as more of a designer and other times as more of a business man when I ran a small sign shop for 15 years. ( It was called Ram Studios Signs :)  Although I ventured out in the name of making money I was always and artist at heart. I probably would have never started a business if I have not listened to the negative comments from people telling my that I would struggle financially to be a comic book artist. It ultimately led me to think of other products and services that I could market to my local area. Which at the time was Flint, Michigan where I grew up.

I learned a lot from starting and running a business but nothing more important than what I came to the conclusion of. I need to create art on my own terms. Sounds selfish right? Maybe it is but I had spent years creating designs and projects for everyone else. I needed to get back to creating my own ideas, my own comics. To tell you the truth I probably would have kept going if I was at least drawing comics or storyboards but I couldn't bare doing graphics anymore. I was quickly coming to the realization that I compromised who I set out to be.

I had let the negative comments stick with me by thinking that I may not be able to make a good living if I didn't have my business. It was time to venture out again and start over. This time putting art in the front seat and money in the back seat. ( Notice money is still in the car though. ) We all have to pay the bills but money shouldn't be the driving factor. Money is a by product of a successful and happy lifestyle. If you spend your time doing something you love then you will have lots of opportunity to share that with the world and the money will follow. Besides, how many times have you heard about people making lots of money that are utterly miserable. The trick is to make a good living and be passionate about what you do. Then you will never get tired of putting in the time needed to be successful.

After putting in lots of years as a business owner I was ready to move on and finally just be an artist. So that question reared it's ugly head once again, "Can I Make a Living as an Artist?" The thing that was now different from when I started my business was that there were so many ways to share the journey of art with my fellow creators now. That is what gets you ahead in life in any profession, sharing knowledge. That has never been easier than now with social media, Youtube, blog posts, and digital downloads. As an artist you are in a unique and very powerful situation. You have the ability to create on a level that most cannot so it is extremely easy for you to share you message. Others have to hire someone like you to help create that visual display.

With today's means to quickly share you work and find an audience you can make a good living easier than ever. You can even take a very small niche and grow your audience very quickly if you work hard at sharing the work. You can grow that niche to a large scale because you are working off a global market now! Here is a run down of what has worked for me so far -

1. Help others learn what you know. They will appreciate you and help spread the word for you because of it. Create FREE content! Not everyone will share your paid promotional stuff but if you share what you learn, others will share it too. You help others like yourself and you get some free advertising in the process. ;)

2. Market yourself. You love your art, right? Quite worrying if someone else doesn't. Share your work and develop a thick skin. You cannot make it in a competitive industry like comics/illustration without taking criticism like a pro. Learn what it is to actually market your work. You can have amazing art but if you don't know how to sell it then you might as well just do it for fun. Here is the definition of Marketing, "Marketing is the promotion of an idea, good, or service that benefits individual and or organizational objectives." So the key word here is "BENEFIT." Learn who your work benefits and that is where you need to focus your energy on marketing.

3. Always have an empty cup! You ever hear the phrase, "Can't fill a cup that is already full." If you think you know it all, you have already failed and it is time to empty your cup. Only when you realize that you know nothing can you truly begin to grow. To be a successful artist you have to get better than the competition and there are lots of hungry amazing artists around the world that you now need to compete with. Luckily for us there are also a bunch of lazy artists that think they know it all already. Don't fall into that category.

4. It's a real job! Work hard at it if you want to succeed. Don't think you can create an amazing piece once a year and get the proverbial fat cash! We now live in a fast pace hi-technology age of information. So don't think people will wait around to see your amazing art next year. They have attention spans that can only be measured in nano seconds. You have to put out lots of content if you want to make it as an online artist or a production artist of an kind. Quality is king but speed is queen and you can't have one without the other.

So there are lots of things out there to think about when it comes to being an artist in todays world but I assure you that you can make an excellent living as an artist these days. If you are still wondering how to do this just study some of these sites and what they have done for lots of hard working artists.

Patreon - Kickstarter - Udemy - Gumroad - iStockPhoto - Amazon - Youtube - FineArtAmerica - Twitch - Etsy - RedBubble - Society6 - Envato - CreativeMarket - Skillshare - and so on....

There are tons of great resources out there for artists like never before and this is only going to grow. Just remember that as an artist you can create a visually impactful statement that transcends language barriers. That alone is extremely powerful and very marketable. If you work hard you can make a living at anything you do so why not choose something you love?

Good luck to you can keep up the good fight!

For my video where I talk about this topic, please visit here -

Please leave your comment and share your thoughts on this as well. It helps other artists to grow and learn from each of our experiences.

Robert A. Marzullo
Ram Studios Comics

Visit my Gumroad to see some of my digital products that I have created for artists that want to learn how to draw comics and digitally paint -

Monday, January 30, 2017

Comic Book Heroes Pose Pack - RAM

Comic Book Heroes Pose Pack

I started my first Comic Book Heroes Pose pack on my Gumroad. These will consist of all of my favorite poses that I have developed over the years and a bunch of new ideas that I am working out. There will be action poses such as fighting, lifting objects, throwing, kicking, power poses and so on. There will also be a lot of the overlooked stuff like basic social interactions. Even things like sitting around drinking a cup of coffee. You need all sorts of poses to tell a well rounded story. ( You are also welcome to make requests on a pose you would like to see. ) This is just the start of this pose pack so get it early and get access to all of these as they are created and uploaded. The price will increase when the pack gets larger but for now you can get your copy at the bargain price of $3. You will get all the future updates included if you purchase now. The other benefit to this pose pack is that they will be organized for easy access. So if you find yourself in a pinch when constructing that next panel of art you can quickly reference this pack. These will be in a mannequin style drawing so that you are not hindered in your own creative process. I will include some anatomy shots but they are merely for you to study. This is not meant to replace your own drawing process but act as an aid to it. You can still jump on my Ram Studios Comics newsletter and you will get lots of free poses to work along with but they will be more gesture and style based than this pose pack will be. Join the newsletter here - If you want to try it out here is my Gumroad link - As always, thank you for your support and good luck with your art! :) Robert A. Marzullo Ram Studios Comics

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Teaching Art Courses on Udemy

Teaching Art Courses on Udemy Image

Teaching Art Courses on Udemy

Hello everyone! Robert A. Marzullo here and I just wanted to give you all an update and my inside opinion about my experience with Udemy thus far. As you may or may not know I have been creating video courses for a few years now. I have created hundreds of Youtube videos and then got offered to work for Tuts Plus of Envato. I created about 6 full courses for their company for which they paid me outright for. I will admit the pay was pretty good but I no longer own those courses. They belong to Envato. Not a bad thing mind you, it did help pay the bills while I was creating them. That eventually ran its course when they started cutting back on art courses and I still had lots of ideas to offer so I started to look around.

I then made some of my own video lessons and uploaded them to a site called ( Which I do not recommend. ) Not a bad bunch of people but the return on investment for me was very small and they do not allow you to remove your content freely. They claim they are trying to protect their students that have already paid for the lessons but that unfortunately will lock you into a bad agreement if the return on investment isn't good for you and you want to repurpose your content. Which should be your right. It is your digital product after all. Oh well, live and learn seems to be my motto in life.

So while this experience was going on I continued to look for some better options. I started a Gumroad with my content and added lots of neat stuff for my Youtube followers, such as custom brushes and templates for Photoshop and Manga Studio 5. Some of those have actually done very well. And Gumroad has a pretty nice pay structure. They payout once a week and it automatically hits your account like clockwork. The fees are reasonable considering there is no actual operating cost other than production. And they do market your products somewhat. As people purchase similar products your may get recommended so you generate a few extra sales that way. They take an additional 10% discovery fee but hey, it's still an extra sale so I'm good with that! One thing I will note about Gumroad is that they have a free and a paid option. Be careful because the paid option goes up as you gain a customer base. Your monthly amount will increase as you get more customers to support. That can burn you if you are doing some free products to drive your customer growth. So do your research before going to the paid subscription model. Either way, I am still a big Gumroad fan. It has been great for my digital business thus far!

Here is my store on Gumroad -

I still needed to get more income and improve upon where I was at. Besides, I knew that if Envato was willing to pay me thousands of dollars for a course there must be some real value in what I was doing. Although my courses were selling on Gumroad, I still had to drive the main portions of the sales and that is another job all in itself. Setting up promo videos, blog posts, social media, networking, etc, etc, etc. Not that I don't enjoy that but I just shut down my sign business of 15 years to pursue art, not be a marketing guru. So I needed some help in the marketing department. That is what led me to Udemy. I researched a few others like Teachable, Skillshare, Thinkific and so on but they all had a few quirks that eventually led me to try Udemy. So I uploaded one of my courses on Udemy and BAM!! Nothing happened. I know, very sad. I was extremely hopeful and I really needed to make some financial progress. Storyboards illustrations weren't coming in as before and I was starting to think I needed a real job. So the next few months went by and I studied how to promote my courses and kept adding products to my Gumroad like a good little artist. Then I find out that it is extremely helpful to have multiple courses on Udemy. Which makes total sense anyways. Who wants to buy your product if you only have one product and very little reviews. Students want proof that you are good at what you do and that means more than one product. So I uploaded my next course and sales started to increase. Then I got some good reviews and sales increased again. I then got off my butt and did some promotional videos with course coupons leading to my content, and sales went up again. I won't talk numbers because we all need very different amounts to survive and be happy but I will say this, within less than a year Udemy is now my biggest income for my digital products. It now generates new sales every day without me lifting a finger. I am approaching 2000 students and growing every day as well as getting lots of great reviews and feedback from the students wanting more. So guess what, I am making new courses right now!

Now also take into account that I don't put all my eggs in one basket. I use a few revenue streams with my digital content so that if one or two start to decrease I can analyze what is going on and make changes accordingly. If it is something that is within my control. The wonderful thing about this type of business model is that you are now gaining income over and over again on the same product with no operating costs. And it is very sustainable because all content is going to video and digital books. You do have to continually respond to students and update your courses over time if you want them to remain valid in the marketplace but nothing is entirely perpetual without some force behind it. Nothing I am aware of anyways.

So the main thing I want to share is this, you can do it if you keep working hard and don't give up. Almost all things start very slow and need momentum to be successful. That is usually why most people don't make it. During that slow period we think of reasons why it might be failing other than how we can make it succeed. Look for growth even in small numbers because that will tell you what to do next as well as what not to do when the numbers decline. Just don't give up! You don't have to be the first one across the finish line, just make sure you get there!

Thank you for your time. I hope you found this information helpful and if you want to learn about art in the way that I teach it, here is my course coupons on Udemy -

Robert A. Marzullo
Ram Studios Comics