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Magic Wand


That’s what I say when I wave my pencil over a blank sheet of paper. Then the lines magically appear. There’s a bit of a flourish when I say the word, and I say it loud like I mean it.

I wish it were that easy. I touched on this in my last post, but I get a lot of questions about my style and what kind of tools I use to draw. There’s genuine curiosity there, but baked into the question is the hope that there is a magic wand, a shortcut to a final product. Again, there isn’t (Unless you count AI. In which case, bugger off).

I don’t want to be too hard on people. In truth, I’ve done this too. I’ve asked plenty of illustrators what they are working with, and… I’ve bought about everything they use. Here’s the real tip though, my work never improved from those pens, pencils, or papers. I never became Skottie Young because I used the same brush pen. You won’t either. And that’s a good thing. I’ve said it over and over again, but the world doesn’t need the next [fill in the blank with your favorite artist], it needs the first you.

I’ve gone through several phases in my life. One where I was convinced I’d be a real outdoorsy-type. So, I researched and bought a backpack, a watch, survival gear, hiking shoes, and so forth. I had all of that stuff, and I was as much an outdoorsman as Bubble Boy. All that kit did me no good, and I could have been the adventurer I dreamt of by simply stepping outside and starting to walk.

Back to the magic wand. For anyone who wants to know, I sketch with a Prismacolor Col-Erase Colored Pencil, Blue (20044). You can easily find these on Amazon or wherever. The blue is easy on my eyes, I like the density of the lead, the way they feel in hand (especially as they wear further down), etc. I know this because I drew a ton with it and other implements.

But it’s just a pencil. There is nothing magical about it. The name seems like a misnomer. Magic Wand. The wand is merely a stick. After all, Harry was a wizard (yer a wizard ‘arry) before he ever got the wand. The magic was inside him. And it’s in you too.

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