Wednesday, September 7, 2011

GUEST BLOG: Soto on the Intro to Comic Book Coloring Course

In this guest blog, Soto (aka Chris Sotomayor), professional colorist on countless Marvel titles (Spider-Man, X-Men, The Avengers, etc.), and Instructor of the Comics Experience Introduction to Comic Book Coloring class, shares his thoughts on the course. Classes will be held live, online, beginning October 3, 2011.

Before I start this guest blog about how awesome my coloring class is, and why it's better than any of the other Comics Experience classes (D'oh! I can hear the typing of angry e-mails from Andy, Rob, and Dave), I'd like to quickly explain how it got off the ground.

Andy already had Comics Experience off to a good start by the time he and I first started fantasizing about how to expand it to include a coloring class. Our first brainstorming session found more hurdles than solutions, but Andy and I share two important things (besides our love of good comics, which I guess would make it three things):
1. Sharing knowledge;
2. Innovating.
When Andy made the move from New York to San Diego, it became apparent to us that technology was going to be the missing link to proper expansion. With that, Andy and I came up with Comics Experience's best first online class (the one that started it all) -- Introduction to Comic Book Coloring.

We designed the class with slightly differing, but complementary, goals. Andy wanted a coloring class that he would be excited to take, and would instruct anyone in the steps necessary to coloring a complete piece from the ground up.

I wanted to design a class that was an art class first and foremost (seeing as how my background is in illustration), in order to properly teach how to use the computer as a tool, because I want to see good art and good comics.

What we came up with was one bad-ass class that's an unmatched experience in comparison to anything else available. It's completely interactive and in real time -- meaning that any time you have a question (or want to discuss a particular topic) during any of the 2-hour sessions, you can ask it and get an immediate answer. (Ever try to ask one of those DVD tutorials a question?)

We've had students from all over the U.S. (and the world) enjoy a carefully crafted curriculum that teaches the art of painting and color using Adobe PhotoShop as the tool of choice. Every student comes in with a different skill level--some already professional working artists, and some never having used PhotoShop before. And everyone comes out having learned way more than they thought possible.

Students complete homework assignments using sample artwork from the top comic book publishers, all in an effort to complete a fully realized portfolio at the end of the 6-week course. But one of the best things about the course is the supplement of the private-access forum, where the discussion and learning can continue far past the 2-hour weekly session. Plus, you get one month's free access to the very popular Comics Experience Creator's Workshop, which is a great place to hone your skills and discuss comics, creativity, and art with all the other Workshop members.

Everything that's packed into this class makes it as exciting to teach as it is to take. I've had many students contact me after the course is over, or meet me at conventions, and tell me how fun and informative the class has been. Some have even contacted me to tell me about the paid coloring work they were able to get, based on their completed coloring portfolio.

But be warned: I'm very honest in the class--sometimes to a fault (but not my fault). I don't pull punches, but I do name names. This is a no-nonsense class where your feelings may be hurt, but you will make good art in the process.

Above all else, I enjoy working in comics. It's exciting and rewarding, and I love the idea of sharing my love of comic books, art, and the business side of it all.


The next session of the live, online Introduction to Comic Book Coloring class begins October 3, 2011. Enrollment is still open, but seats are limited, so sign up now!

If you want to make comics, write or draw comics, or improve as a comics creator, you'll find like-minded friends and colleagues in our online workshop and courses. We hope to see you there!

Posted by Rob Anderson
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