• Send me your tips.
    Art and design

    Art Block and creative walls: working around a slump

    Art block. Everyone hates it. Everyone gets it at some point. It’s like the herpes of the creative world. Not life threatening but certainly a pain in the neck. So what do we do when it strikes? How do we get rid of it and get back to creating or being productive?   Use prompts in your sketchbook or near your workstation   There’s nothing worse than getting all your materials ready, opening your sketchbook and hitting a blank on what to draw. One way of getting over this is to have a list of prompts on the front or back page. Don’t know what to draw? Just check the…

  • Art and design

    Carving: How learning a new medium helped me grow as an artist

    For the past 4 months I’ve been trying my hand at lino carving. You take some carving tools and carve out a print on a linoleum block. You then reproduce however many times as you want and then you destroy the block. My first experience with Lino carving was at an art workshop. I was hoping to get some one on one time with the instructor who was well known for black ink illustration and watercolour, my two mediums at that time.   After 3 hours of carving out patterns on erasers I was hooked. My wrist was aching from holding the knife at the wrong angle, my back was…

  • There a re more ridiculous holidays out there
    Blog posts,  Rough Rat

    Holidays: the pros and cons of holidays and your brand

    Until a few years ago I was really adamantly against celebrating most major holidays. I hated having to drop all my shit because of some traditional holiday or Christmas and Easter especially. Now that I’m a bit older and only really spend time with family or friends during the holidays I love them. They bring people together and I’m all about that.   Of course as a brand we need to keep on top of the holidays because they are usually the best times to post content and push products. We at Rough Rat don’t really push the whole holiday thing but we have dabbled in it to some success.…

  • Blog posts,  Rough Rat

    Print-on-demand: why we went with third party printing

    Our store operates through spreadshirt and all our designs are sold print-on-demand. While other brands go the whole hog we opted to instead operate this way and have a purely online presence and sell through a third party printer and shipper. With this in mind, it’s the ideal set up for us. Print-on-demand offers us freedoms that we wouldn’t have if we we involved in every aspect of the store. Below are just a few reasons why print on demand works for us.   We don’t have to invest heavily in manufacturing, storage or delivery   If we were in charge of everything then we would be responsible for printing,…

  • Art and design,  Blog posts

    Comics I can’t stop reading that you should be reading

    Comics are probably one of the biggest influences for my drawing and for my art. I’ve been reading them for years and I’ve read a lot of them because I’m a loser like that. They’ve always interested me. One of my earliest memories is sneaking into my uncle’s room when he was still in college to read his stash of Spider-Man comics. I was too young to read but I could get the jest of the story by looking at the art. I was hooked. Still am.   I have comics I love, and comics I hate but I also have a select few that I need to read. There’s…

  • influencers suck
    Blog posts,  Rants

    Influencer culture: self centred or helpful?

    Preface to the below article: I don’t actually hate everyone who is an influencer. That’s silly. Don’t be silly, I can do that well enough for both of us. My gripes not with influencers who have influence from a place of passion. I hate every influencer who has a massive following just for no reason. The one’s who act like they deserve free shit for nothing. Do whatever you want but if you go online fishing for free stuff then get to actual fuck.   The internet’s a big place these days. Everyone has social media now and as a result every platform now feels like my high school canteen.…

  • Inktober is rough
    Art and design

    Inktober 2018: what I learned from my first art challenge

    This year I did my first try at the Inktober challenge created by artist and illustrator Jake Parker. The challenge is simple enough, every October you do a drawing a day with a prompt list either from the official site or of your own making. The challenge is intended for traditional medium artists with a focus on inking but over the years that part of the challenge has become optional. This was my first real attempt at an art challenge and I learned some stuff over the past month. If you’re considering taking on a challenge or are just curious about my time with it then read on.   1…

  • advice
    Blog posts,  Rants

    Advice I wish someone told me sooner

    I started designing and selling my own products on a whim. I was lucky to enjoy drawing so much but I wasn’t as lucky with the rest of the process. What I thought would be an easy way to make some beer money soon became an uphill struggle trying to get my work noticed, let alone purchased. During the first year however I have been fortunate enough to make plenty of low risk mistake that have awarded me with valuable lessons. If you’re considering starting your own business or pursuing a passion project then feel free to read on. This is everything I wish someone told me before I began.…

  • Rats read books
    Art and design,  Blog posts

    Books on art worth reading

    Like so many other self taught artists drawing enthusiasts I got my start by learning from books. I’ve read a few and have some thoughts on them. Here they are.   Fun with a pencil – Andrew Loomis   Andrew Loomis is possibly the godfather of art and illustration in the modern age. His methods are still widely used today by numerous artists and if you don’t think he’s worth looking up then you’ll never get beyond the fundamentals of art.   Fun with a pencil is just one of many books Loomis published to teach art and drawing. Out of all of them it’s not necessarily the best but…

  • A visual summary of how we handled our brand
    Rough Rat

    What we’re doing differently with the brand

    I’ve already touched on the failures of our brand in a previous post. We haven’t given up on our brand. There are a lot of fuck ups. After writing that initial post I gave myself some time to think about how I wanted to go forward with the brand and decided that tackling each thing on the list was probably a good start. I haven’t gotten through the whole list yet but I have made some decent enough progress that I think it’s worth sharing.   So what are we doing differently now?     1) Actually having a backlog of content (kinda)     One of the biggest problems…