Comics Academy by J. Logan Carey

How we gain knowledge and learn skills from the internet through free or cheap access to information is of special interest to me. I, like so many others, went the traditional secondary education route of a four year degree program in a subject that, shocker, I'm not actually working in. I know, it's such a rare story these days. *cough*

So when it comes to the subject of learning art and how to make it, I've decided to spare myself the added weight of any more student loans than I already am paying off (curse you, student loans!) and find as many resources available to me for free or very inexpensively. Not to mention I am working a full-time job and have to fit in learning when and where I can. I think that's largely how most people should approach learning these days. It's part of the reason why I write this blog. To teach the process as I am discovering it.

In an age where people are going destitute to pay for educations that aren't easily able to provide for a living income, we need to all be a bit cost-conscious. Don't get me wrong, there is some value in some traditional classroom environments, but I believe the value of the self-discipline and the self-actualization one builds by guiding their own education is more beneficial.

On my journey to learning about how to make art and create my comic I've come across some fantastic resources and guides. But they're all very piecemeal, scattered all over the place. To really find the curriculum I was looking for I have had to search for relevant information, filter out the useless or non-applicable, and stitch it all together to help put me on the track that I want to be on. I haven't found a simple and information-rich guide anywhere really.

That's why I created a new page on called Comics Academy.

Simply put, it's a guide and jumping off point for those looking to create their own comics. I'm writing reviews of books, tools, artists, tutorials, and more that will teach you the main aspects of making comics through free or cheaply available resources.

Comics Academy is not meant to be an exhaustive resource, but it is meant to be a highly valuable place for anyone to begin the journey of creating comics. For simplicity's sake I have broken the process down into three major areas that I believe represent the main challenges of comic creation:

  • Write - How to write comic stories
  • Draw - How to draw comic stories
  • Publish - How to publish completed comics

I'm organizing each section like a traditional classroom syllabus. There are reading lists, tutorials, artists to follow, and I'll also be adding exercises that I think would benefit everyone. Think of it as "homework" ;)

Let me know if you know of any resources you'd like to see added to Comics Academy in the comments below!

Live Streaming for Artists by J. Logan Carey

Lately I've been playing with live streaming some drawing sessions. I've enjoyed sharing the process and have experimented over a few different apps and thought I would give my review of the streaming services available. 

Facebook Live

Streaming on Facebook Live for artists goes kind of like start streaming, a random assortment of friends and family that have notifications enabled or are on the site get alerted that you're streaming and some trickle in to see what you're doing. About thirty seconds later they leave to get back to watching reality tv.

Using Facebook Live for artists will probably not gain you any new followers or fans because the people that would be able to see it already are friends with you. If you want to show people you already know your work, then there you go. If you are trying to find a new audience to share your work with, it's probably not going to do much for you.

Instagram Stories Live

Streaming live on Instagram will probably get you better traction then on Facebook. Chances are that you have a lot more followers on Instagram that are fans of the art you're posting rather than people you actually know in real life. That will help you interact with an audience that's more interested in your work. Once your stream ends, your video will get prominent placement in Instagram Stories for 24 hours.

If you have your Facebook account linked from Instagram, go to the Story Setting in Instagram called "Share Your Story to Facebook", your video will then also appear as a Facebook Story in the app as well as in Facebook Messenger. For what it's worth.

Twitter Live

Within the Twitter app, inside the Tweet window is a button called "Live". Pressing this will start the live stream window. Before the stream goes live you'll be able to title the stream for viewers to give them an idea of what you're working on. Pressing "Go LIVE" will start the stream. The feed will be posted like a tweet and show viewers that it is live.

Now, if you have this connected to your Periscope account, a live streaming only app owned by Twitter, then your live stream will also appear live on Periscope. By this method, your stream will be publicly (depending on your privacy settings) available to all users of both Twitter and Periscope at the same time. From my experience, while these services have a smaller user base than Instagram, that user base is more engaged and I've seen significantly higher viewer numbers on Twitter and Periscope than any other services I've used. 

Find me on Periscope here!

After your video ends it is available to replay on your Twitter feed and your Periscope account. On your Twitter feed, the video will auto-delete after 24 hours, although you can click on the video and change this to not delete. On Periscope, your video will be available permanently to anyone who looks through your archived broadcasts.

Twitter Live also has a couple of benefits absent from Instagram. One is the ability to hide the chat from viewers or even turn it off completely. Also, when your video is posted on your feed, you can view your "Broadcast Details." This will show you detailed information such as how many viewers you had, who they were, the ability to view the profiles of your viewers and averages of time watched.

All in all, Twitter Live with Periscope integration seems to garner a larger audience of new viewers with more features such as sharable links and statistics. Periscope can also be viewed in app and via website as well, so for me, it's probably the best option.


Not just for gamers, there's a section of Twitch called "Creative" for artists of all kinds even cooks, crafters, and really anything you could think of. Admittedly, I haven't used streaming on Twitch. This is mainly because you have to have a computer setup to run it (annoying), people have to be Twitch users to view your stream (that's a hard sell), and frankly I find the video graphics people have customized for their streams to be so much visual barf (see for yourself). Also, since most people on Twitch are hoping to make money out of streaming, they tend to be nonstop shilling for donations, subs, or whatever the hell. It's like watching a telethon from a high school kid's basement. Not a fan. Moving on.

YouTube Live

Here's another one I haven't really played with much. It's possible this could be very cool, YouTube having such a large user base. It could also lend well as an addition to those artists who post videos to YouTube. There certainly are some very high profile artists on there that seem to have made significant headway in their artistic careers by teaching and sharing art there. But having not played with it much, I couldn't really say. Perhaps I'll give it some more attention in the future as eventually I am planning on uploading more content to YouTube.

Camera Setup

I'm a big advocate for using what you already have and keeping technical setups very simple. With that in mind, the easiest way to stream your work is from your cell phone. The best method for this is to get a mount that is made specifically for holding a cell phone over a desk or work area.

The mount that I chose is the Aduro Solid-Grip 360 Adjustable Universal Gooseneck Smartphone Stand. WHAT A NAME. It's a highly adjustable mount that easily secures to a desk and stays out of the way. There are lots of other options out there so I may find a better one in the future, but that's my top pick for right now.

I'll you guys out there on the live stream!

Social Media for Artists or Not? by J. Logan Carey

So Vero launched over the last week and artists from all walks have been clamoring to get on the app and start posting their work. Hell, even I joined it.

A chronological timeline! We're saved!

And maybe for the handful of top tier Instagram artists, this might help their exposure, but for the rest of us, I wouldn't get your hopes up.

Sadly, I think this is not going to be the savior everyone is hoping it will be. Social media isn't working for the vast hoards of artists out there, not because of algorithms, but because of people.

The truth is, social media is...disposable.

People breeze through it on the toilet or ignore it altogether. They post things on social media thinking everyone will be awed, but in reality, people just kind of want to look at their own posts.

I don't think this is evil or bad or anything. It just is what it is. Social media can be a useful tool for casting a line out into the world, but when you reel them in, you need to have some place for them to land that works for you, not for a company.

Services like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and now Vero are designed to get users to use their services, not dive deeply into your work.

People wonder why the profile sections of Instagram and Twitter are very limited...that's why. They don't people going off of their sites, they want them to stay right where they are so they can categorize them and monetize them.

The truth is, it's hard to build an audience for your work.

But that's exactly what you have to do. I think for anyone out there looking to have the world take their work seriously, you're going to have to carve out your own little area of the internet. This most commonly will look like creating your own website. Don't get scared. You can do this and you'll have to if you really want an audience for your work.

People will casually breeze through their social media feeds and hardly pay attention to anything unless it specifically has to do with them personally.

It's very...very hard to get someone's attention on these platforms.

That's whey everyone is having to pay to promote their posts to get any interaction at all. Most quality websites will have some cost associated with them. This can vary from reasonable to outrageous. But it's typically going to be worth what you put into it.

By putting your faith in people finding and appreciating your work on social media, you are placing all of your hopes in someone who is on their phone on a coffee break or something and just looking for a momentary distraction and not looking to become a true fan of your work. You also cannot control the method by which that platform will actually even show your work, as we are seeing with the rise of the ominous algorithm. Established, bonafide self-employed artists with huge followings are having difficulty on these platforms, imagine what those just starting out are competing against.

By creating your own website/portfolio site, you are creating a sectioned off corner of the internet where if someone enters, it means they actually are interested in your work. That's something you can work with.

Social media can be a valuable tool in your career, but you can't drive a tool to your destination.

You need an actual vehicle to do that and your own website is that vehicle.

Now, to be fair, we see stories of people who have full-blown artistic careers just posting their stuff on a "free" social media platform. Those people are the exception of the exception of the exception. They are also the people those platforms give the most attention because it creates the idea in our heads that we can all do it too and hence we all sign up and start posting like mad. But statistically, these people are a fluke. You shouldn't put your hard work into trying to become a fluke, you should put your hard work into your thing.

Now go and start building it already!