No one has ever done this before. I am the first human to ever consider writing a book that is (at least partially) sharing propaganda. But all good books are partially propaganda (feel free to debate me on this; I won't respond.)
In all seriousness, this is what most of my "free" time is devoted to while I sit around like a goon, waiting to hear back from agents on book queries. This has taken a lot longer than I expected it would, but since I didn't know (and still don't really know) how to "do art" I had a ton of catching up to do.
That is mostly what this post is about, I suppose. I wanted to say thank you to a few folks on Youtube whose expertise I found extremely helpful during this process. But first, of course, I need to thank Eric Smallwood for talking to me about this stuff one on one and for doing such a killer cover for Battle Rattle and Other Stories and for being an all-around good guy all the way back when we were in The Dead Cardinals together up until now.
If you are at all interested in learning how to draw or paint or whatever, then you can go to Youtube and get hundreds of hours of tutorials for free. You don't have to go to school to learn. If you are motivated, then you can create your own curriculum, you can buy books (I bought a few), and you can ask people for help. I mean, they're out there, those helpful people. I am not claiming that I'm a professional artist on the same level as any of these folks who I am going to post links to, but what I am saying is that when I started out, I did stuff like this:
And now I can do stuff like this:
The image of the soldier there isn't done, and I used a reference, and on and on and on. But if you would've asked me a few months ago, I would've told you that it would've been impossible for me to learn how to do anything that looked anything remotely close to that good. All right. Anyway, if you or someone you know is interested in learning about art and you or they don't have the time or money for art school, then here are a few places that can help bridge that gap (or completely eliminate the gap depending on ability and motivation.)
Draw With Jazza! He's kind of my go-to guy.
Proko! This guy has some great free stuff too.
Robert Marzullo! Another site with great tutorials.
All of these guys helped me a ton. And there were some other random videos out there for when I was working on specific things (I have a lot more for animation, and I will talk about that soon enough, I'm sure.)
The final image of the post is this one from the book in progress. Thanks a bunch to all those people out in the world taking the time to help others to make art. Maybe one of these days I'll get around to sharing some of the stuff I spent over 100k dollars learning in school before I graduated and was hired by my wife as a househusband.