Ep.94: Drawing every time you can with Amber (Dav Kro)

By Iva Mikles •  Updated: Jan 19, 2018 •  Interviews

Hey, guys! In this episode, I am chatting with Amber, aka Dav Kro, a self-taught artist from Georgia, US. She is the Grump head and portrait artist for the Let’s Play web series GameGrumps, and a story artist for Gameoverse!

Get in touch with Amber

Key Takeaways

“Keep drawing, just keep drawing, don’t listen to the haters. I believe in you!”

Resources mentioned

💡 Please note: We are supported by our readers. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you! For more info, please read our disclosure.

Special thanks to Amber for joining me today. See you next time!

All artworks by Amber Dav Kro, used with permission

Episode Transcript

Announcer

Creative, artistic, happy! That’s you. There are endless possibilities for living a creative life. So let’s inspire each other. Art Side of Life interviews with Iva.

Iva Mikles

Hello, everyone, and welcome to the next episode of Art Side of Life where I chat with inspiring artists five days a week. My name is Iva and my guest today is Amber also known as Dav Kro, you will learn about why it’s important to draw every time you can to get better.

Amber Dav Kro

There were times where I just didn’t feel like I had time for art so I wasn’t making it and I learned that you always have time for art even if you can, eventually you can do is a little scribble in a notebook before bed like that’s that’s it that’s enough just just make time for it

Iva Mikles

embodies a self portrait artists for the letsplay web series Game Grumps and a story artists for gamers. You may also have seen her art in the hardcore series on peanut butter gamers channel. So please welcome Amber also known as them grow, and let’s get to the interview. Hello, everyone, and welcome to the next episode of Art Side of Life. I am super happy to have me here. Hi. I’m so happy to have you here and just to share some of your experiences and some of your artistic story. It’s an art career. And maybe we can start with your background or do you remember something? What do you drew as a first time or something your parents don’t do like maybe drew on the on the wall or something?

Amber Dav Kro

Oh, man. Okay, so the first thing I ever do, and I remember this very clearly because of my best friend who have had since I was five. But I remember the first things that drew was a Powerpuff Girls drawing. Yeah. And it was a I believe it was like the amiibo boys. And they were like littering. And one of them was just going with a little finicky word bubble that says lettering on it. And then the girls just look really appalled on the other side of the picture. And the thing I remember the most though is one of them was flying down going yo blogger some I don’t know how I spell blossom blogger, some but it said blogger SEM and it’s been an in joke for the past what like like, like 20 something years. Because she found it and she was like, this is the best thing. So that’s like one of the first things I ever drew. And yeah, I did used to draw on the walls of

Iva Mikles

like a favorite color or you know, used all the time or nothing. But

Amber Dav Kro

I don’t remember what my favorite color was when I was a kid. I know it’s red now. And it might have been red and green back then. But I just I think I just pretty much grabbed whatever I couldn’t use it. I don’t think I had a favorite color yet.

Iva Mikles

Do you remember, like, first conversation with your parents when you decided like I want to take this professionally.

Amber Dav Kro

I don’t I don’t even think I ever like properly said anything. I just kind of did it on my own in China. I went around and I just decided I’m going to do art. And then I guess I kind of figured it out. And they’re like, I guess she wants to do this. And my mom. My mom was very supportive. She was always very supportive of my art. And, and she got married. And a stepdad was very skeptical. And he made things really hard. And she kind of changed her mind a bit, but I proved them wrong.

Iva Mikles

So how did you motivate yourself? You know, just to continue if there were like people around you who doubted you as well, you know, just to keep yourself going, what did you do?

Amber Dav Kro

It just made me happy. I just wanted to do it made me happy. And I’ve you know, as shy and nervous as I am, I’ve always been someone who just kind of still did what made me happy and did whatever I wanted for so like, I just kept it up. And it whenever they had problems with it, I would just go away. Go away. And there’s times where I had to leave the house and everything and I was just like, I want to do what I want to do. And that’s that’s the art. That’s how I want to do it. I want to do art. Yeah. And here’s all the people who are successful about it. I can do this.

Iva Mikles

And how was it when you were like choosing what to study or how to study? Do you have like, you know, like, go to Resources or you know, like, when you want it to improve or just like the whole progress.

Amber Dav Kro

Yeah, the last few years, I’ve dedicated like, my life to art. I’ve gotten really serious with it. And I figured out what to study by just being annoyed by my art. So I’ll draw something and I’ll be like, Wow, okay, I can’t I don’t understand this head angle very well. I really want to learn that and so I’ll just google image, you know, like head angles. And then I’ll just draw them and study them. But pretty much just if anything annoys me about my art, I can’t even sleep if I have not tried tackling it. And I’ll just draw as much as I can and try to study it, find pointers, whatever. But just Google Image searching, anything that I’m looking for, really, I don’t know,

Iva Mikles

if maybe also like favorite books, or some like online courses, or it was mainly the Google search when you were like, directly, like either the head or hands or whatever.

Amber Dav Kro

Yeah, it’s mainly been Google searching. It was always hard for me to find any books on what I wanted, I would go to like the art section. And it’s really hard for me to focus on because they have so many, like, like Barnes and Noble or whatever. So I’m just looking at it. And I’m like, I don’t know where to start. And I get incredibly overwhelmed by all the books and not knowing where to start looking. So I’m like, Okay, I’m just gonna go to the internet, I can get an immediate like, result there.

Iva Mikles

So how do you search for inspiration? You know, for example, if you would want to draw I don’t know male character, or you want to have like, specific outfit? Would you search for some some style or some, either the music video or movie or something? So how do you find your inspiration?

Amber Dav Kro

Yeah, I guess just just really specifically searching a style or whatever I’m looking for. But my all the inspiration, a lot of inspiration to get comes from just actually other artists just looking at a my, the the feed on Instagram. I’m always like, I’m constantly following new artists, because I keep finding really talented, so many talented people out there. But there’s so much inspiration just looking at your dash on like Instagram or Twitter. Yeah, mostly Instagram, and Pinterest.

Iva Mikles

Yeah, because you mentioned Instagram now. So I was wondering like maybe, do you have some like, tips or whatever, how to engage with your community or your followers or something you will learn over the years from Instagram,

Amber Dav Kro

or YouTube trying to be social.

Iva Mikles

Just talking with your followers, and

Amber Dav Kro

pretty much like sometimes I’ll, I’ll ask a thing in a description. But mostly, I’ll just, I just throw something up there. And if someone says something, and I have a response in mind, I’ll respond to them. Sometimes I try to thank everyone, but it’s hard to keep up with sometimes, but I don’t want to ignore everyone. Yeah, because you try my best. Exactly. Like

Iva Mikles

hard to keep up with like, everyone all the time, because you want to talk with everyone. But yeah, so not enough hours in the day.

Amber Dav Kro

I Yeah. And I just I just get nervous talking to people. But I try every now and then I’m really brave. And you’ll see that I’ve responded to everyone in this post. No one in this post. No one in this post. Everyone in this post happened people in this post. It’s inconsistent.

Iva Mikles

How do you do networking, maybe on the events we talked about the tiny bit before the recording if you can mention maybe some events you go to, or something just to find new friends or new people.

Amber Dav Kro

Really, I seem to just find people by posting something up and checking my feed and then finding another person and I like their stuff. And then they like my stuff. And that’s just kind of how it’s always gone. I’ve never like sought out to contact people. It’s just we’ve always happened to talk to each other and like each other and then we’re like, Hey, your person, your person too. I like your stuff. Let’s talk. This is kind of how it’s been. Just keep sharing your art and engage with other people just let them know. Hey, your stuff looks nice. Oh, yeah, definitely

Iva Mikles

nice. Just to also just ride maybe what do you like about their post ride or whatever their art? No, no. What about the events? Do you go to sell some of your artworks?

Amber Dav Kro

I know I mean, there’s only one convention I go to and that’s anime weekend Atlanta, because it’s convenient to get to so there’s only there’s only just one anime convention a year that I do. And I do it art table. They’re starting now I’m doing art tables again there and they go really well. But you know, I mean, a lot of people there too. It’s really cool.

Iva Mikles

And what about like, because you have to make money to make art right? So what do you leave from what is your main income source? Is it the Commission’s or you know, like selling your art prints? Or how do you combine your incomes?

Amber Dav Kro

It’s definitely commissioning work. I do want to do more of like just selling my art or doing other things that you know is completely based off like what I’ve made for me, but also for you. But it’s mostly commissioned work like I’ll open up commissions or the Game Grumps will give me a work. It’s just really like that, like anyone I’m kind of like, partnered with will commission me. So that’s where most of my living I think storyboarding really helped So let’s start recording on game overs. And we already finished that. So not getting anything from that now, but there’s usually always someone else that needs me for something. So that’s kind of how

Iva Mikles

it goes. And how was it to find maybe the first commission or when you start with, like, like the first job, you know, like, how did you find that?

Amber Dav Kro

Oh, first random commission, I think I was like, in high school, and I was on TV and art, and I saw people were opening something called commissions. And I was like, what’s that? You can make money by having people tell you what to draw. And then so I just kind of identified that and I it was just some anime stuff that I that I was commissioned to draw. And then I guess the first like, job, any job I guess would just be Game Grumps actual job at jobs. They needed any data, dedicated portrait artists, so that’s me.

Iva Mikles

Perfect. And did you have maybe a mentor or someone you follow maybe on deviant art or someone who inspired you as a person when you kind of just starting off the art coding?

Amber Dav Kro

I never had a mentor. But there were a lot of inspirations. And I think a lot of them happened to actually be like Japanese users that are influenced by western style. Those seem to be my favorite. Like, like, like gushy, gushy and Sinmun? kodoku 21 Like all those are like, fantastic. I can’t really remember what inspirations I had back in the day. It’s it was a while ago, but but I know those are still I still consider them my inspirations. Yeah, they’re crazy. Yeah.

Iva Mikles

Yeah, because I need to check out more of the I have this list of artists with recommendations and I’m like, Okay, going through all of that. It’s just amazing.

Amber Dav Kro

It’s it’s pretty great. And then my friends I a lot of art friends that inspired me. Yeah, maybe you can

Iva Mikles

mention some of them as well if you

Amber Dav Kro

I don’t know how he’s doing now. But I remember like demise, man was he that was his name. I don’t know if he changed it or anything. But the minds man was one of my good friends and then kind of borrows her name. Now. She’s a friend of mine. And she still inspires me. She’s She’s awesome. Nana mortise all of them. They’re just they’re just they’re just too talented.

Iva Mikles

Yeah, definitely. You just need to work on us round ourselves just to improve all the time.

Amber Dav Kro

Yes, yes. With no life. Just keep drawing,

Iva Mikles

and no other life some projects you’re working on now? Are you working on something exciting, or you want to do something in the future, like a book or, or something?

Amber Dav Kro

Well, right now I just got done with having a nice break. I haven’t had a break in like a year. And I went from straight from one thing to another to another to another. And I just had a break. And I’m trying to get some stuff like, you know, oh done. But whenever I get comfortable and get all that done there, there is a comic I’ve been wanting to make and and I just I’ve been trying to hold back on. Working on it, I’ll put away all my inspiration, all my inspirations are like hidden away, because I know if I look at any of them, I’ll just want to work on it. And that will distract me from work. So I’m ready to soon take all that stuff down and start working on this comic I’ve been wanting to make for like years. Oh, perfect. Yeah. And so I keep drawing that dude you mentioned earlier because he’s the main character. Oh nice

Iva Mikles

nice I didn’t know that. And so the already have the story and everything.

Amber Dav Kro

Yes, it needs it needs a lot of work because there’s there’s a lot of concepts that are old that I need that are obsolete that I need to pull out and some new stuff I need to fill in. But you know, once I start working on it, I’ll be able to get all that stuff figured out but there there’s just always been the the core of it hasn’t changed everything around it as Oh no.

Iva Mikles

And the you know, maybe when we can see maybe next year or hopefully

Amber Dav Kro

a good yeah, I just I didn’t sooner I get to work on it, the better and I’m pretty quick. But I want to make sure everything is figured out on every I can draw everyone just right. James, that guy has been a huge challenge. I’m drawing him constantly because I’m just trying to learn him so bad.

Iva Mikles

Yeah, just to get comfortable throwing like every angle and just yeah,

Amber Dav Kro

yes, it’s important. And he’s just such a weird looking guy.

Iva Mikles

It was really cool. I haven’t just opened right here. It sounds like really interesting story.

Amber Dav Kro

Oh, thank you. It’s something

Iva Mikles

and do you want to have it like a black and white If you’re in color, or you don’t know yet,

Amber Dav Kro

see, I really liked that really heavily inked black and white style that makes everything look like it’s got like some high contrast going on. But I don’t know, because sometimes it’s, it’s just really hard for me to simplify colors like that. I’m always trying to put too many layers into coloring and everything. So I haven’t thought about it. But I think black and white with maybe one other color is probably the best compromise with that.

Iva Mikles

And what is the most important thing when you’re creating your stories, you know, like, what there is, there’s like an ingredient you want to have there all the time, you know, like, I don’t know, something special

Amber Dav Kro

feeling. There’s always gonna be a feeling. I don’t know how to explain it, but an emotion or a feeling or a reason. I don’t know, like something to make someone feel

Iva Mikles

some like emotional connection with the with your characters that you can maybe see something from your own life as well. And,

Amber Dav Kro

yeah, there’s always like detailed characters that can almost come off as real. So I’m always throwing so much into them. And I think it’s so important to have, like, you know, incredibly detailed real characters or relatable characters or, but yeah, I’m always focused on having a feeling. And I want to express that so that when someone reads it, they can feel what’s going on. They can feel the feeling I put into it. I don’t know how to explain it, but that’s what I mean.

Iva Mikles

Oh, perfect. Yeah, totally makes sense. Because, you know, like, you want to have the emotional connection with someone who is reading the book and just kind of have that like, oh, maybe I can experience this or I know how the character fields.

Amber Dav Kro

Yes. Important experiences are important. And if you have to get an experience from reading some other experience from some character in a book then so be it.

Iva Mikles

How do you work with with creating the characters? Do you work with ink and sketches first, or do you go directly to digital stuff? Or do you combine or what are your tools?

Amber Dav Kro

Okay, you don’t both like I’ve been doing a lot of traditional lately, but sometimes I’ll just straight up do digital, but I don’t normally do the sketch traditionally, I don’t do the hybrid thing very much. It’s either all traditional or all digital. I don’t do the hybrid too often. And so

Iva Mikles

do you have like a favorite ink or paper when you work traditionally

Amber Dav Kro

I’m trying to get to know Bristol paper better it’s just ink seems to have trouble like drying out very quickly unless it’s like you use a paint brush and ink it looks like I don’t know. But I don’t know I have so many different sketchbooks and types of paper but I think smooth paper any smooth paper that can handle a marker I guess because markers are good for shading and stuff

Iva Mikles

and do like a Copic markers or other ones

Amber Dav Kro

I use any marker I can get a hold of I Copics artists law Windsor Newton chart pack I use all of those just whatever is the right color in nearby

Iva Mikles

Okay, you go like do art supply store and do you have like a color in mind you want then you just look in doesn’t matter which brand and just you just pick and choose and combine? Yeah, I’ll

Amber Dav Kro

test them all out and see which one like matches what I have in mind the most or what I liked the most and I’ll just get them and it just matters if they perform well really and for sketches really doesn’t matter but for I guess like beautiful detailed completed artworks and kopecks are usually the best to go with

Iva Mikles

oh cool cool yeah because I need to try also different markers as well so I’m wondering like oh well this like good but as you mentioned I do it also with with the traditional tools like I could really go out or squash or what the colors when I like the color shade, then I’ll just think of

Amber Dav Kro

them. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Malama pink palettes are mixing large just mixed like there’s at least five different brands and like a paint pass on my little custom paint palettes because it just mattered whether or not the colors were good.

Iva Mikles

Yeah, just like because it just to make the shade you want all the time. That’s like a pain sometimes. So just to find something do you have like a favorite some of the the watercolors or watchword you mentioned like maybe some of the brands you use.

Amber Dav Kro

I think it’s called simile, the French watercolors and then the shoemaker. I really like as well. I’ve gotten really into those but the brightest, the brightest ones that really seem to make my art pop would be the shin Han and Holbein or Holbein. I don’t really know how to say I think that those are fine I think well mine looks like it. It’s a it’s a Japanese paint apparently, so I’m not sure. Like I know how to pronounce you. If I did not know that?

Iva Mikles

Yeah. Do you like Japanese artworks? I mean, like ActiveX tools?

Amber Dav Kro

Yes. They seem to make a lot of really good tools. Yeah. Yeah, like, like their frickin markers. But it looks like like every country has like, like, like, cuz dish maker comes from Germany. And then those paints are really like fantastic. They’re so expensive, but they’re really fantastic. And then Japan has, you know, the kopecks, and those are friggin amazing, but it does look like most of my tools seem to just be coming from Japan.

Iva Mikles

I also like some of the Japanese brands, especially because of the colors. You know, like when I was in some of the shops, I was like, Oh, I like this one. I like this one. So he was just full of art supplies.

Amber Dav Kro

Oh, that’s awesome. That sounds like the dream

Iva Mikles

was nice. But then you know, when you go with someone who is not interested in art, and they’re like, can you just go?

Amber Dav Kro

You don’t have time to look, you don’t? Even if they tell you it’s okay. Just look around you just in your mind. You’re like, they’re upset with me. We’re so bored. I feel so bad bringing them here. I just want to spend five hours here. They don’t even want to spend five minutes.

Iva Mikles

Do you also maybe sketch outside, you know, because I just kind of reminded me when I go somewhere with other people who are not sketching, you know? So then they’re like, Okay, we have to wait for you. So do you also go sketch to some, you know, cafes or when you go for walks?

Amber Dav Kro

Yeah, I pretty much just bring a little backpack with my sketching tools. Anywhere I go, just in case there’s downtime. And I don’t want to just sit around or stand around. So I’ll just use that time to draw and but I guess the one I do go to coffee shops that I will go out of my way to go to coffee shops and draw there and just drink coffee. Normally jittery Joe’s it’s like a little local place. And it’s just really, it’s really great. And then just

Iva Mikles

then you throw people or the location.

Amber Dav Kro

I haven’t done that very much. I usually just work on some stuff that I already had in mind. And I’ll just do it there. Because for some reason, it’s just easy to isolate yourself and work on something while you’re there, I guess because you’re isolated from all these other distractions, but I should I get shy about sketching people that are

Iva Mikles

like, I’m not drawing you know, I’m, oh, you didn’t use the sunglasses, you know?

Amber Dav Kro

But they’ll notice me. I’ll always look it up at the direction maybe? I’m just like, what did they what did they get so far? And that they’re just like, looking at me for

Iva Mikles

things so I’d never happened to me.

Amber Dav Kro

Yeah, I don’t like I so what I think is I’m like, everyone seems to be able to get away with it. I don’t think anyone would mind. So I don’t know why I’m so incredibly terrified.

Iva Mikles

I think that sunglasses might help. All right, well, I’ll

Amber Dav Kro

do that. Oh, wear sunglasses or horrifying mask? We’ll see. Maybe that will help. Yeah. Because the scary bunny mask because

Iva Mikles

what they did like, it’s like when you’re sketching and someone comes behind you instantly look at your stuff. And you’re like, oh, and I’m like, did you draw? Like don’t look at

Amber Dav Kro

Arms pick a corner and nobody can really like, see me so no one’s really approached me about it. And like the last year I’ve been doing it. Yeah.

Iva Mikles

Oh, good. Good. And how do you like find new projects to work on? You know, like when you mentioned your project you want to work on later that’s like the idea. But what about like, you know, like new paid projects or new Commission’s like, what would you advise young starting artists you know, like they want to find new jobs or or new Commission’s where should they start?

Amber Dav Kro

Hmm. So that’s complicated, because like, I’ve always just found work by just putting my stuff out there and saying, I’m available for it. And then connecting with people like having friends definitely helps. Because, like, sometimes those friends are going to end up needing work in the future. And this is kind of how it’s ended up happening with me, but I would just say like, keep putting yourself out there. Keep working on it. And, you know, whenever you’re available for work, just make it known. And make sure you also have you know, good connections like it’s good friends, I can help spread the word and I’ll know

Iva Mikles

you go through like these kinds of like sketch meetups you know just to meet other people or do you do more than networking like oh, let’s just go for a coffee or I don’t know other activity like playing video games and how do you do the networking with others?

Amber Dav Kro

Or haven’t Oh, I really the the I can only recall something like that would with the Ross. The guy who’s making game overs like me and him would We’d get on a call and just draw together. We’d get on Skype now it’s discord and or Google Hangouts before discord got screensharing. And we just kind of withdrawal together. And that’s kind of what we did for a while. And then eventually he pulled me on to the team for for game reverse, and it was great. That’s great. Okay, that’s it. I’m just, I’m so shy and I don’t like bothering people. Or feel like I am.

Iva Mikles

No, definitely not. Then this the thing is, like, when you mentioned like for the social media, maybe that’s a better approach. If someone is shy, right, then you don’t have to communicate right away, like maybe on the conventions. So you’re working on your stuff, and just, you know, sharing your artworks?

Amber Dav Kro

Yeah, I mean, I, I just, I just do what I do. But I make myself I try to still seem approachable so that anyone who is, you know, more bold than me can come up to me be like, Hey, let’s talk and I’ll be like, yes. So I just, I tried to make myself open for conversation, or anything, or networking or anything like that. But I mostly just keep to myself, I just, you know, I don’t explain it. But you know, I just keep doing what I do. And I do what I want to do. And you know, whenever someone has approached me, I let them.

Iva Mikles

Yeah, yes. So following your passion and just creating what you want to create.

Amber Dav Kro

Yeah, I just want to I just want to draw, I just want to draw and put it out there, because I’ve just been doing that for so long.

Iva Mikles

So how many years? Are you like sharing your artwork? Who do you say?

Amber Dav Kro

Oh, think I’ve been putting online since I was like, 14. It’s so cool. Yeah, it was really young. And it was only a few pictures, because I kept getting banned from the internet, because they’re just like, No, you’re just a kid, stop, stop being on the internet, get away from the internet. What’s this website you went to? And stuff like that? And but then, I think like in high schools, when I started actually, continuously posting it up online, and I just, that’s how I made friends. So I’m just conditioned to post almost everything I draw, because I’ve just connected with

Iva Mikles

people. Yeah, because you’re already used to it from like, such a young age. And just Yeah,

Amber Dav Kro

I made a lot of friends. And it’s just, you know, it’s interesting. It’s kind of like getting a voice out there. So it’s just important to me.

Iva Mikles

Yeah. Because you always find your community, you know, like of people with the same interest, right? Yeah. In the schedule. So when you were at like school, and just during the lessons and all the time? Oh, yeah.

Amber Dav Kro

I have like spiral bound, like just notebooks full of art, because I would do my work real quick. And then I’d flip over to the next page and just draw on all like 10 pages until the teacher was done, or until we were moving on to the next. And to the to the next assignment, it just any any downtime was just me drawing, and even whenever they’re like, doing notes on some done already caught up with the notes, or drawing over here, just a little bit. Okay, more notes. So we’re drawing over here. And I didn’t do well in school.

Iva Mikles

Well, you did a lot of drawing. Yeah, I did. Yeah, no, definitely. Because I mean, you’re successful if you are following your patient and do what you want. So that’s perfect. No, thank you. Did you ever have like a time where you didn’t draw, you know, like some, for some reason that you couldn’t draw for a longer time period or not? Yeah. Yeah, I used to even

Amber Dav Kro

take breaks from it. Back in the day, like, I would just take a break from it. And whenever I would just play video games or hanging out with friends. And whenever we got back to it, I felt so refreshed. It was amazing. And I feel like I don’t know it just refreshing. It was just refreshing to get back to drawing after taking a break. But lately I haven’t. I haven’t been allowing myself to take breaks.

Iva Mikles

I just want to do all the project.

Amber Dav Kro

Yeah, I just I’m, I’m just so focused on improving and learning everything. I feel like I’m just, I don’t know why I get the idea that I’m behind. And there’s a lot of stuff I want to learn to make sure that everything I am making for people comes out just right. It’s like I’ll do something for someone and I’m like, this could have been so much better. I need to work really hard so that it comes out way better next time. And when it’s not that it’s just you know, overwhelming work, but I should allow myself to take a break sometimes. Definitely doesn’t have any drawing like because last week was just a drawing break. And then I’m just like no drawing for a week play video games. It’s got persona five over there. Play it.

Iva Mikles

So yeah, definitely a new game. Yeah. Do you have also inspiration from new games? You know, like when you’re looking at locations or characters in those games?

Amber Dav Kro

Yes, a lot of inspirations came from from from video games that I played, mostly back in like high school and after high school because that’s when I played games the most, but a lot of like concepts and characters and just styles were loved. So in Spry inspiring to me and then a lot of all that actually like you can you can find in my art

Iva Mikles

so well that had like the you mentioned some of the games already do you have like like the the best games ever like we too are your favorite?

Amber Dav Kro

I do I love the Silent Hill series I think they’re really great like sand hill one through one through four and then homecoming for its monsters and then no you know, billion people will disagree with me and also go What What’s that, but this is like a trilogy is like my my top favorite game trilogy of all time. And I love it so much. And I love Zelda, love, Devil May Cry and all that stuff. But Silent Hill and Xenosaga are probably the ones that matter the most to me,

Iva Mikles

they have. They have really cool characters, right. And the reason

Amber Dav Kro

Xenosaga actually is one of an example of something where they put so much detail into the characters that it just feels like they’re all exist in an existing world plus that they put into detail the universe to like, there’s clearly rules and laws and all this stuff that they have. And it’s just so cool. I think there’s something that inspired me to like really want to try hard with my characters is that there’s all have so much detail to them. And I’m like,

Iva Mikles

Oh, perfect. So you like inspiration from games just too heavy, like similar? Feel like you have the DC Universe for your characters as well.

Amber Dav Kro

Yeah, it’s just, it’s inspiring. I’m just like, I want to do that. I want to be that passionate.

Iva Mikles

Do you work from home? Or like, do you have your home office? Like where you live? Or do you travel somewhere to some studio?

Amber Dav Kro

Now 80% of my day is spent in my bedroom. And pretty much I would like to separate, you know, work from from home in a way but it’s a little hard to go tiny apartment and I’ve got stuff set up in the living room so that I can at least relax and watch TV while I work. But I haven’t used it yet. I bet theater most of the week.

Iva Mikles

So the work is always looking at you. You know? Like oh

Amber Dav Kro

yeah, pretty much. Yeah.

Iva Mikles

Yeah, I was like considering recently just to go for these like, call up spaces, you know, where you can actually just work somewhere in a studio. But you still work on your project. So maybe that’s something for the future. Yeah,

Amber Dav Kro

I have. I have I have friends who do that. And I think that’s pretty cool. Yeah, I wonder if I should talk to him about and see if it like really does help them focus on what they need to do. Because lately I’ve just been so burned out. I’ve had trouble focusing.

Iva Mikles

Yeah, when you have other people around, do reach out or like working and you don’t really have to talk to them. But that you see that other people are working as well. That might be you know, like a motivation as you said, like in a cafe you see other people but you don’t. So yeah.

Amber Dav Kro

And you’re like, Well, I’m here for a reason. And that is for work. So I came here so I better get to work when all this way. So

Iva Mikles

mentality I agree. And do you have like some some tools which simplifies your artistic career like a favorite scanner or I don’t know planning tool or drawing tablet or something like I cannot live without?

Amber Dav Kro

Oh, I mean, what do we even have? I have like an Epson Epson V 600 for a scanner and it’s been really awesome. It’s been it’s been quite amazing. Because what mattered to me was whenever you scan like a sketchbook or anything, it doesn’t blur anything that isn’t directly on the scanner. So it catches anything that’s not on the scanner to very clearly. So that’s this was important, but uh, for drawing talent, honestly, I can use like, just about anything just as long as it does its freakin job. But I do really like my Cintiq I got a Cintiq 22 HD like a year or two ago and it’s, I mean, it’s pretty great.

Iva Mikles

That’d be cool. Yeah, I like Cintiq as well. Some people don’t like it, but it’s uh, yeah, when it’s super hot, then it’s maybe not the best but

Amber Dav Kro

yeah, that’s that is true. It does get really warm.

Iva Mikles

Yeah, but otherwise then it’s really good. But what do you use when you travel? Is it the like physical sketchbook or do you also have like iPad Pro or like a lot of people use that

Amber Dav Kro

I’ve mostly been using traditional sketchbooks and a little bag a little bag or three bags of different supplies. But I do also sometimes carry around an iPad Pro because sketching in procreate is is just really convenient. You know, you just whip that out and do that you don’t have to worry about keeping up with a bunch of tools or anything. It’s just have a had the smaller one, which I wanted, but when I started working on it, I was like ah, it’s even though I like the convenient size. I kind of liked sketching on the big one because that’s Ron had a big one. I kind of like Schedule A big one more and I felt too cramped on the small one. But uh, maybe if I just changed my canvas size to not be like a direct square then Yeah, maybe.

Iva Mikles

Yeah because it maybe did you try it before and you know like before you bought it did you try the big one and small one but did you decide to go for a smaller one?

Amber Dav Kro

Yeah, ma see my friend, my friend Holly. She she got she got like the big one. It was weird. Me and Ross, Chris Ross frost from being grooms. Chris from oni plays. We all went to a cafe and we met a girl and Jessica, she’s amazing. And she she whipped out her iPad. She had a small one. And Chris got the try it out. But I didn’t. And I was like, Huh, that’s, that’s neat. And then I would come home and Holly’s like, Look what I got. She’s got the bigger one. And I’m like, okay, these are popping up everywhere. And I and she let me draw on hers a lot. And I really liked it and had all this space. And I just loved drawing on it. And I’m really gonna just try a small one. But I went with a small one because it would just would have been more convenient to travel with. And at the time, I was drawing smaller. Now I’m trying to draw bigger and every tiny sketchbook absolutely annoys me.

Iva Mikles

When you’re like something small and just like share,

Amber Dav Kro

I’m learning to draw bigger and out now if you don’t have all this space, I’m like

Iva Mikles

yeah, because but also when you draw small you don’t see your mistakes. That’s also good. Oh, no, no, I feel like it make more. Yeah, I feel like I like opposites. Sometimes I will draw on that small scale like, oh, yeah, it looks fine. But yeah, definitely the iPad Pro. Sounds good. I need to get that. I think.

Amber Dav Kro

Yeah, yeah, it makes it really convenient, easy to just sketch whatever you want, just as long as you charge your, your, your your Apple pencil, and it’s really it. That’s what you get, you know, there’s other pens, but like our pencil, which is really dumb, because what you do is you you take the take the pad, and then you take the pencil and you just and it’s got a little charge it just it just sticks out of your iPad and it just looks like a big square lollipop. And it’s just really weird. That’s kind of strange. It’s it’s really dumb.

Iva Mikles

Can you bring your Photoshop brushes, you know, to procreate as well? Or how do you like find the brushes you like, you know to work with that.

Amber Dav Kro

I haven’t looked for any other brushes. I don’t even know if there are custom brushes. Actually, I just I found the flat marker tool and immediately fell in love and I haven’t been using anything.

Iva Mikles

Okay, so you just use one of the the brushes, the flood markers. Okay, yeah,

Amber Dav Kro

I just I found that. And I was like, I don’t feel like looking for anything else. I like this.

Iva Mikles

Yeah, but I mean, most of the artists use like one or three brushes maximum, which you find something you like, and then you just go for it. And unless you maybe draw backgrounds and you need like, leave brush, brush, grass brush.

Amber Dav Kro

Yeah. All the more efficient brushes. Yeah, I’m, I’m too overwhelmed by having too much to choose from. So I just kind of try to focus on a few things. Yeah.

Iva Mikles

Is there something you wish you knew before you started the whole artistic career? Something you would like, advise young self?

Amber Dav Kro

There’s a lot of things I would tell a little amber, I would have just, I don’t know, I feel like it’s almost mean, but I would I would have told her like, if you want to actually do this when you take it more seriously, I didn’t actually take it seriously to a few years ago. And I I struggled for a while. And now even though I can sometimes be a little more harsh on myself, I’m more happy with what I make nowadays. And I probably would have told myself to, to how to study and what to look for and how to feel and what to think whenever doing anything art related. I probably would have told her that. Yeah. And then also said, I love you. Oh, good luck. Just just just take this more seriously. Look.

Iva Mikles

Definitely that makes sense. And so if you think about the future, you know, like, where would you see yourself in like five to 10 years what would be your dream scenario? You know, like, if you cannot fail and you’re not afraid of anything, and you just want to, like build this image like okay, this is what I want to be.

Amber Dav Kro

I’m gonna be in a castle. Okay, good. No.

Iva Mikles

That sounds good with the dragon.

Amber Dav Kro

With a dragon. Yes, basically so many unicorns, but they’re all like really stylized, short, fat unicorns,

Iva Mikles

or unicorn dragon.

Amber Dav Kro

They’ll be so cute. Oh, oh, let’s see, well, I’m always living in the future. And that’s why I have anxiety but that far in the future, I would just, I think all I would hope for is that something of mine has made it out there ie like my comic like even even if I’m the only one to see it. I want to I want it to happen made I want it to happen done and and be proud of that. But maybe in a better place. That’s that Oh, I kind of like where I am. Oh, no, just I hope something of mine gets done. And I’ve improved in art. I guess that’s all I can really hopeful hope for. Yes, I’m not really driven very big. Am I

Iva Mikles

really good just to see like, your artworks out there? And just to, like, fulfill that? And did you have something like, also difficult moments of your art career or like the worst time? Because that’s also where we like learn from? And? If so, what would be your takeaway? Or what did you learn from, you know, having a difficult time?

Amber Dav Kro

Ah, oh, my difficult times were just, uh, whenever I will probably be whenever I had, like, had like a call center job, I had a job, like a job that wasn’t art related for two years. And that was before I decided to take everything seriously. There were times where I just didn’t feel like I had time for art. So I wasn’t making it. And I just like, I just don’t have time to do it. I just don’t have time for art. And I learned that you always have time for art. Even if you can, it only you can do is a little scribble in a notebook before bed. Like that’s, that’s it, that’s enough. Just just make time for it. Just freaking make time for it. And I have friends as well who like keep telling like to draw, draw, draw. You’re just sitting around if you want to get better, alright, just jokes are just like I want to draw. And I’m like because you don’t you don’t have to look for you don’t have to have inspiration. Just Just Just do it. Just drawings, a link straight from your head. Even if it looks weird. That pose doesn’t make any sense. He did it.

Iva Mikles

Just to practice something or like do studies or something like that?

Amber Dav Kro

Yeah. So like, I think my my biggest hardships have just been just been myself really just myself. When it comes to like thinking I don’t have time to work on something or thinking I can’t do something. There’s a lot of times where I’m like, I have this idea, but I don’t believe I can do it. Well, I need to work towards being able to do it. And what’s wrong with trying? Definitely I love that. And afraid to fail.

Iva Mikles

I think everyone so that leads just like yeah, just to try it, then just go for it. And maybe the last question I would like to know is like what would you like to be remembered for in like, 100 years

Amber Dav Kro

want to be remembered for my tired eyes. Um, I mean, any really any one of my projects because they all mean so much to me, I would like to be remembered by any of them. If not just for my my style. I I keep being cold and spray and you know, inspirational and influential. And I’m like, Oh, that makes me feel good. That means I’m doing good. And people like what I do, and they want to make it a part of them too. And I think that’s really beautiful. So I guess my style, one of my projects is just all on while you want to be remembered for that is

Iva Mikles

really cool, because then other people can be inspired by you. And that’s, that’s amazing. And before we say goodbye, then you can share the last piece of advice or kind of the key takeaway, and then we will like finish.

Amber Dav Kro

Keep joining. Just keep drawing. Don’t give up. Don’t listen to what all the haters say. Just keep drawing and do what you love. Just Just do it. I believe in you. I believe in you. Just like I believe in me, but I believe in you more than I believe in me. I don’t know if that helps. But I believe in you. Just keep drawing. I’m sorry.

Iva Mikles

Perfect. I allow. Yeah, guys, so inspire each other and draw every day. And thank you so much for being here. And it was such an inspiration and yeah, so thanks again. And thanks, everyone for joining. Thank you hope you guys enjoyed this interview. You can find all the resources mentioned in this episode at artsideoflife.com. Just type a guest name in the search bar. There is also a little freebie waiting for you so go check it out. If you enjoy this episode, please leave a review on iTunes, hopefully five stars so I can read and inspire more people like you. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to Art Side of Life podcast, because I post new interview every single workday. If you want to watch the interviews, head over to artsideoflife.com/youtube. Thank you so much for listening. Don’t forget to inspire each other. And I will talk to you guys in the next episode. Bye.

Announcer

Thanks for listening to the Art Side of Life podcast at www.artsideoflife.com

Hi, I am Iva (rhymes with “viva”). I am an artist, illustrator, founder of Art Side of Life®, and Top Teacher on Skillshare. Since 2009 I've worked as an illustrator, character designer, art director, and branding specialist focusing on illustration, storytelling, concepts, and animation. I believe that we are all creative in infinite numbers of ways, so I've made it my mission to teach you everything I know and help either wake up or develop your creative genius. Learn more about me.

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