The Art of Ryan Francis

The art website of Ryan Francis

New Affiliations


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A New Affiliation

I’m now an affiliate for Dick Blick Art Supplies and Utrecht Art Supplies. It’s another way you can support me and my work outside of buying comics from my Etsy store or commissioning art from me.

As an artist, I buy art supplies from Blick stores in the Chicagoland area often and I do what I can to write articles about the tools and supplies I used to make my traditional art and comics, so that anyone else who’s interested can also make comics and art as I can.

As of this post, all the links I post to Dick Blick or Utrecht are affiliate links. When you order any supplies I recommend or other supplies from their online store through their affiliate links, I’ll get a commission of up to 10% for any sales that come to them from my website.


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Tiny Tips to Help You Improve Your Life as an Artist

Making art is easy to me, I just draw the thing and be done with it. Being an artist is hard, I draw the thing, show the thing, get people to know the thing exists, convince people to pay me to draw more things so that I can use that money to live somewhere where I can draw the thing, or get rejected when no one wants to.
It takes self-discipline, self-awareness, and self-esteem to be an artist. Some days, you feel like a fountain of ingenious creations, but more days you feel like a worthless loser who doesn’t want to do anything and regrets ever having interests or thoughts. This is usually the life of most artists, musicians, actors, and every other “creative” professional.
This is a list of tips that I’ve trying to follow for myself for the past few years as I try to become more of a professional artist. I don’t know if this will help anyone else, but these tips seem sensible enough to make being an artist less frustrating.

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Let’s Make A Comic Story: Index

In case you’ve missed my posts for my development process for making Incident at the Game Store, here’s an index of links to all the parts in the process. I hope that any aspiring comic makers will look through my articles to learn how to make comics themselves. Good luck and keep drawing!

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Let’s Make A Comic Story Part 9: Final Finishing and Publishing

The inking is done, the lettering is done, everything is nearly done! Now it’s time to put it together for printing and showing off!!

At this point I can go two ways: I can set up the for printing physical copies or I can set it up for sharing and downloading online, phones, or tablets. For the moment though, this is how I set it up for full resolution 300 dpi printing and general purpose use.

So when setting up for printing, I use Ka-Blam for printing my comics. I make sure to adjust and build my all of my comic pages to their specifications. They’re even nice enough to provide a template they use for printing and cutting.

Arrange your art to this template and shift and scale the edges of your panes; to the edge of the live and margin area. Keep all of your pages in that same document so you can use the Multiply Blending Option or Lowering Opacity to keep the panels and art uniform in proportions between pages.

I have all of my pages gathered from the start to export. First, I begin in Manga Studio by Exporting a Single Layer as a PNG file.

Make sure you make a New Folder somewhere you can find it and name it something consistent and memorable so others can find it and access it for printing out.

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Good News Everyone!

I finally arranged my art files to get printed from Ka-Blam Printing! I can officially declare this comic…DONE! Other than finishing my articles and portfolio edits, I can finally take a short break, rearrange my stuff, and reassess my points and skills in my life as an artist until my next comic!

I should expect a print release sometime around the Middle of April! I’ll announce that it’ll be on sale on my Etsy store then! Stay tuned!


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Let’s Make A Comic Story Part 6: Screentones

This was originally going to be in the digital touch ups step of my series of articles of my comic process, but it was getting a bit long, so I broke this into a separate article!

It’s time to utilize Manga Studio to do something personally experimental. I’ll be adding screen tones to give some of my art a grey tone with only black and white dots. I’m mainly working from a tutorial on screentoning from Whyt Manga. Also check out his comic, Apple Black!

In Manga Studio 5 EX there is a Material Tab. It would be in the default UI but if it is not, it can be accessed from Window>Material>Material[Dot]. You will find a variety of textures and screen tones from this tab, and you can make custom ones, which is what I’m doing.

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