Published by Nick Welch on


I know I promised an article on Quantity vs. Quality this week. But that article is still working itself out. And this weeks particular subject has been burning hot in my mind. So, I decided to follow my Muse. I’m sure an artist like yourself can appreciate that. Check back next week for a banging Qvs.Q article. But until then…LET’S DO THIS!

These days, blogging is often reduced to creating Facebook shareable lists that are nothing but clickbait fodder. So, for that reason, I’ve set about early to not be a “list maker”. This also explains my satirical post from a couple weeks ago: “ACHIEVING YOUR GOALS IN 73 EASY STEPS“. Which you should read if you haven’t already. <(That was a hint that you should go read it.)


This week…I’m making a list.

Ugh. Yeah. Like, fer serious. Right? OMG.

But my dear fellow artists. You. Need. This. List.

Across the Live Streams, Chats and Comments sections of the interwebs there are tiny voices crying out. They beg and plead. They cry out to Vloggers, Social Media Master Artists and Pros. And if only their tiny voices could be heard. It’s the greatest commotion of painful voices since Alderaan became a war memorial. Those voices have begun to rise. And as they join together, murmuring in harmony, I can hear them and their singular message:

“What pen are you using?”

Let that sink in.

As artists, we have a Keeping Up With The Jones’ problem. We have inadequacy issues. We have pen envy. And it’s a problem. We’re desperate to find out how the “pros” work—find out what tools they use. We’re desperate to emulate their success. Jake Parker created a page on his website with links to the products he uses BECAUSE HE GETS ASKED ABOUT IT SO FREAKING OFTEN.

“But I just want to know how the professionals do it,” I hear you say.

“Who gives a turkey?,” I hear myself say. I want you to listen to the words that are coming outa’ my keyboard.

You can make great art with the stuff you’ve got on hand.

You don’t need fancy art supplies or expensive programs. All you need is the will to succeed!

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.” ― Henry Ford

So here’s a list of 5 THINGS YOU DON’T NEED TO BE A GREAT ARTIST. Because tools do not the artist make, my friends.

1. You don’t need Copic Markers.

I don’t have any Copic Markers. So I guess this is easy for me to say. BUT I KNOW that it’s all about how you use your tools. I mean, this guy with Fat Tip Crayola Markers: Tom DesLongchamp  How awesome would a comic made like this be?

2. You don’t need an Intous or Cintiq.

Many folks make their way without displays like the Cintiq. But without a tablet at all? Andrew Maclean of Headlopper fame confirmed for me in a tweet that he colors with a mouse. Does that mean he doesn’t own a tablet at all? Not Necessarily. I can’t assume that. But If he can color without one, so can you! Work it out!

3. You don’t need Prismacolor Premier Soft Core or other expensive Colored Pencils.

Because these folks with Chalk on Sidewalks. I know you’ve seen this stuff before. But if artists can do this stuff on the street (Asphalt, a forgiving canvas if ever there was one…Not.) then you can do magic with colored pencils on copy paper.


4. You don’t need expensive graphics software.

Because this guy doing a mad crazy Ryu illustration in Excel. I know. Excel costs money. But you get my point!!! If he can do it in EXCEL, then you can do it in Paint. Or whatever’s free.


5. You don’t need good art supplies at all. Just a will to succeed.

In 2010, David Litchfield began doing a drawing every day for a year and posted them online for the world to see and critique. Since then his 365 images have been exhibited in galleries around the world and he’s gone on to become an illustrator full-time. From what I’ve seen, it appears that he simply used whatever he had lying around. (I’m pretty sure he says that in this video.)


This week I’m putting a challenge to you, Havocbringer. What can you make with the supplies you’ve got? Stop waiting for the cash to buy the whatchamajig. So tell me, how are you going to make some art? Post it up, down below.

A revolution is coming. A wave of self-employed art creating monsters reeking Havoc across the social media web-o-sphere. Will you be part of that havoc? Go forth and do Art!


Nick Welch

Nick is loudmouthed storm of havoc working on a number of projects that will see the light of day sooner or later. In the meantime, he's writing motivational and inspirational articles for sequential artists and writers.


Mike sikes · September 22, 2016 at 8:12 pm

Hit the nail on the head with this sir. I am one of those who want the next big thing… but in reality, paper and pen work just as well. Better in most cases.

Nick Welch · September 22, 2016 at 8:19 pm

Thanks, Mike! I’m guilty, too. No question about that. In fact, that’s one of the reasons I wrote the article. I think getting to fast into the computer, at least for me, takes me too far away from the planning process of a composition etc. So right now, I’m going to use whatever I’ve got, and get something finished!

Kirsty · March 23, 2018 at 7:19 am

Yes! People need to hear this.

Those crayola marker pics are great – it’s all about working WITH the medium you’ve got – using its particular strengths & weaknesses – instead of being frustrated because it’s not something else.

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