Ep.7: From Dreamworks to successful Kickstarter campaigns with Jason Brubaker from Coffee Table Comics

Jason Brubaker is a visual development and story board artist living in Idaho with his wife and two kids, producing graphic novels full-time. He began his career as an artist in 1996 represented by Famous Frames, a storyboarding agency in Los Angeles, where he drew hundreds of commercial storyboards for film and television. Some of his credits include Blade, Pitch Black, and Van Helsing.

In 2002, Jason began working as a traditional animator for motion design studios in Los Angeles and New York and was soon art directing animated commercials. In 2009, he began working as a Visual Development Artist at Dreamworks Animation on the Kung Fu Panda trilogy as well as many other animated movies.

He also created a comic titled reMIND which won the Xeric Award in 2010 and was placed on the Great Graphic Novels for Teens list 2012 (GGNT). With the success of his comic publishing, he was able to quit his full-time job at Dreamworks Animation in December of 2014 to fully pursue publishing his own comics.

In 2015 he moved to Idaho with his wife and two kids and produces graphic novels full-time.

Get in touch with Jason

Featured course

Knowing how to use Color and Light in your artworks is one of the best skills to learn as an artist because it will help you take your artworks from good to great.

Key Takeaways

“Find the thing that you wake up wishing you could work on and finish it. If you finish work you are passionate about then doors will open up for you. If you finish work you are not passionate about you get jobs you don’t want to work at.”

  • Jason is a completely self-taught artist. He was inspired by Garfield, Calvin & Hobbes, Spider Man – he used to imitate it and get better
  • You can be discovered anywhere. He went to San Diego Comic Con – an agent from Hollywood had a look over his portfolio that he was showing to a DC Comics editor and he told him “If you move to LA I can get you work every day in storyboarding”
  • One of his biggest decisions was leaving all his studio work. He can’t be contempt about working on projects for studios he is not passionate about. It’s about working for someone else’s dream, agenda …
  • There is nothing bad about LA – that was his art and business education (getting better, learning about working with clients and with deadlines), but now he is back in the real world, creating his own projects
  • Huge tip for running Kickstarter projects. You need to ask for much more money you need to than you need. Try to always double the amount of what you need to cover unexpected fees, shipping, taxes. It’s a business – e.g if you need to print 1’000 books for $5’000, your goal needs to be $12’000
  • Video explaining why he stopped his Kickstarter campaign for his book Cognitive Drawing
  • Quote by Neil Gaiman about Personality, Quality of work and Deadlines for freelancers

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Resources mentioned

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

All artworks by Jason Brubaker, used with permission

Click Here For The Episode Transcript

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