What is Pencil Kings All About?
In a nutshell…
Pencil Kings was created to cut through all of the noise in the Art Education industry, and give aspiring artists exact paths to get from 0 to 60 in whatever skill set, as taught by the best artists in the world, all in a community of like-minded people around the world.
My name is Mitch Bowler, and I’m the founder here at Pencil Kings.
Just like you, I’ve gone through all of the ups-and-downs that artists go through:
The mountain-top highs when you recreate the EXACT art piece that was in your head…
…To the self-doubt, the criticism from friends and family, and the trying to figure out how to live well while still doing the art you love.
Most people never go through that, so will never understand the heart of an artist.
I went through all that while growing up in a 700 person village (yup, not town… village) in Canada. You can imagine how that worked in a really small place.
That’s exactly why I created Pencil Kings back in 2010 – to give artists around the world world class art education, whether they’re trying to get back into art or are a working professional, surrounded by a like-minded and encouraging community that can help you progress faster.
World Class Instruction
Instruction comes in the form of complete courses taught by professional artists who’ve worked for some of the biggest names in the industry, such as Warner Bros., Dreamworks, Sony, EA and Activision.
Of course, we know there are lots of other places you can learn from, but here’s why we think our material is different:
1) EXACTLY What You Need to Know
Most artists will learn by watching hours of YouTube videos, reading forums, and trying to piece together knowledge from all over. This leads to a jumbled mess of information. We will take a particular skillset, and lay it out from Step 1 to Step 100, giving you ALL of the information you need along the way. This alone will save you YEARS of time and increase your progress faster.
2) Learn at Your Own Pace
Instead of spending $50,000 per year at art school, and trying to follow prescribed deadlines for your projects, we allow you to take all the classes at your own pace. We know that sometimes, a project just needs more time to get it right, so we won’t rush you.
3) Learn by Doing
Each of our courses is designed around an actual piece of art that you will create as it goes on. We teach all of the individual skills along the way through individual bits and pieces, but tie it all together holistically with the final artwork, so you can see what it’s ACTUALLY like to create that – not just a bunch of techniques and theory.
Meet Your Instructors
Calgary-based artist and illustrator, Laurie B!, describes herself as a ‘kick-ass human being’ and we’re certainly with her on that!
Canada-based storyboard artist and 3d layout artist, Brian Wong, has become famous for his work at Nelvana Studios.
As founder of Pencil Kings, Mitch knows how it feels for artists starting out and he’s here to reach out whenever you need him.
India-based digital matte painter and photographer, Sourav Dhar, is a true master of concept art and creating atmospheric environments.
Michigan-based artist and illustrator, Francis Vallejo, knows a thing or two about teaching – it’s his full-time gig (apart from making art, that is)!
Canada-based artist, Sycra Yasin, is already a huge hit on YouTube, so we’re thrilled to have him on board at Pencil Kings!
Sergio Paez has worked with the world’s biggest animation studios, and he’s happy to share his wealth of storyboard art knowledge with Pencil Kings members.
Loish (Lois Van Baarle)
Better known to her scores of online fans as Loish, Lois Van Baarle is one of the most exciting digital artists working today.
French Canadian concept artist, Mikael, always blows us away with his awesome speed-painting techniques and digital art skills.
Michigan based artist and illustrator, Kirbi, always puts a smile on our face with her infectious enthusiasm and epic skills in traditional and digital media.
Community of Artists
Make new friends, make great art!
You don’t ever have to feel alone. Our members are always talking to each other and posting work inside the private community forums. You can make new friends and much, much more.
Community events, challenges and coaching calls give you the chance to interact as much as you like. It’s your call.
You can participate in live discussions or work together with the Pencil Kings team and your fellow community members to push yourself and your art to new heights.
Dedicated Artist Success Team
And, because this community is only available to Pencil Kings members, you can rest assured that only our community manager, Michaela, and your fellow Pencil Kings members will see your work.
You’ll also get super-useful advice and tips through our regular blog posts, artist interviews on our Podcast, and regular mini email courses designed to target even the most pressing issues you’ll run into as an artist.
We all need a little support from time to time, and the Pencil Kings community is your secret weapon to help pull you through when times get tough.
Say Hi to the Pencil Kings Team
Mitch – Creative Direction
Mitch originally founded the site and now helps set the tone and direction of things going forward.
You can regularly hear him interviewing artists on the Pencil Kings Podcasts. And, when you hit customer support with a stumper of a question, it’s usually Mitch you’ll be hearing back from!
Michaela – Community Manager
Michaela is always on hand to help you with any questions about your art or the Pencil Kings site and community.
As a keen artist herself, she’s the perfect person to go to when you need some motivation or simply want to chat about your ideas.
Perry – Customer Support
Need help with any technical issues or your membership plan?
Perry is the man behind the scenes working hard to take care of any account issues or support questions you might have, so don’t hesitate to get in touch if you need his dedicated help.
Lorraine – Project Management
Lorraine is like our very own Superwoman and uses her super powers of organization to keep this train running on the tracks and on time.
When not recruiting new artists for us to work with, she’s making sure all the team are always kept in the loop.