A Change of Plans

A Change of Plans

As most of you know, I’ve been working on an illustration degree with Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design. I’m actually seven or eight classes away from graduating, but the upcoming first fall term had me so stressed out, just thinking about it. I was going to have to take 2 classes plus the portfolio class, one of which was the landscape painting class I dropped in the first summer term because it was too much to handle with my other class. I’ve just been a bit overloaded lately. 

They wouldn’t let me out of either class I was enrolled in this coming term, so I decided to withdraw. Maybe I’ll go back next year, but I’m not sure one way or the other. Really, I got out of it what I wanted—I got better faster than I would have working on my own. But I’m far from done developing my skills, but now I’m going to switch to focusing on media I want to learn, with the intention of working toward illustrating the two picture book manuscripts I have written and polished to some degree. 

The Plan

I’m actually going to be working on developing two skills right now: markers (with pen) and digital painting with Procreate. 


I have a book on marker work in manga that I’m working through. And I’m kind of embarrassed—I went a little bonkers and bought almost every color in Copic markers. Let’s not think about how much money I spent on these (that’s between me and my accountant, thank you very much). But it is a nice collection:

copic marker collection

I’m going to freely admit that my first forays into the lessons in the book have not been a resounding success. There is more to be done in this area.


For the past two terms in digital painting, I was using Adobe Photoshop. It wasn’t a bad setup—although there is an iPad version of Photoshop, the desktop version has a lot more functionality, so I would use my laptop and a mirroring app to paint on my iPad in the desktop version. This worked fine. But although I think I’m going to keep Photoshop (probably not the whole Adobe suite—we actually got it free through the school, but that will go away for me soon), I’m switching gears. 

I’ve instead been planning to learn Procreate, the iPad app so many people swear by. I actually bought a class by an artist name Freya and am starting to work through that. I’ll definitely report back if I feel that it’s been helpful, after I’m further along in it. 

Moving Forward

I haven’t lost interest in watercolor, and I may also work in acrylic sometimes, but I only have so much time and I really enjoyed the marker work I did in another class, so I’m curious to see where that will take me. And although I didn’t love all of my work in the digital painting classes, I think this is something I could get better at, even really good at, given my comfort level with computers. So I’m working on developing those skills and will see where they take me.