Ep.81: How to start and succeed as full time comic author and illustrator with Raul Trevino

By Iva Mikles •  Updated: Jan 02, 2018 •  Interviews

Raul Trevino is a comic book writer and illustrator originally from Monterrey, Mexico, now based in Chiba, Japan.

He has been making comics for the last 15 years, and his specialty is to create fun worlds full of adventure. He wants to have a dialogue with his audience through his stories.

Raul also worked as a colorist for Marvel, DC, Dark Horse and European publishers such as Humanoids, Glenat and Norma Editorial.

He won several national and international awards and nominations, latest in

In 2014 he got awarded the Best Writer for his manga Tinkers of the Wasteland which also won best graphic novel at the Butze-Vargas awards for Mexico’s best comics.

Raul also collaborates with other writers, last collaboration was with the writer Justin Jordan;  on SOMBRA, a four issue mini-series published by BOOM! Studios. Also, he collaborated with John Stork on the webcomic Tomb Busters

He is currently working on his new comic LIVE FOREVER.

Get in touch with Raul

Key Takeaways

“Time passes like thunder, let’s create!”

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 Raul for joining me today. See you next time!

All artworks by Raul Trevino, 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 Raul Trevino, and you will learn about how to start and succeed as a full time comic author and illustrator.

Raul Trevino  

The first steps that I did was overlapping my work that paint appeals with my passion, because once you kill your passion, there is no way back. There is no return.

Iva Mikles  

Tao is a comic book writer and illustrator originally from Monterrey, Mexico. Now based in Chiba, Japan, he has been making comics for last 15 years. And His specialty is to create fun the world full of adventure and he wants to have a dialogue with his audience through his stories. Rao also worked as a colorist for Marvel, DC, Dark Horse and European publishers such as humanoids, Glenna and Norma Editorial. He also won several national and international awards and nominations latest in 2014, where he got awarded with the best writer for his manga thinkers of the Wasteland, which also won the best graphic novel and Bootsy Vargas award for Mexico’s best comics. Rao also collaborates with other writers latest collaboration was with a writer Justin Jordan on Sombra and four issue miniseries published by boom studio. Also, he collaborated with John store on the webcomic tomb busters and he’s currently working on his new comic live forever. So please welcome without Trevino. And let’s get to the interview. Welcome, everyone to the next episode of Art Side of Life. And I’m super happy to have Rowley here. Hi.

Raul Trevino  

Hey, thank you so much.

Iva Mikles  

I’m super happy that you took time from your busy schedule and joined us here and share your artistic story.

Raul Trevino  

Well, now, thanks to you for all your efforts you are doing for spreading the word of other artists and it’s really, really nice from you to do these kinds of things. Thank you so much.

Iva Mikles  

Oh, thank you. I mean, like I’m super happy that people enjoy then it can bring some value to someone who wants to learn and or just design their artistic life. And let’s start directly with your background. And maybe you can tell us a bit more about how was it to move to different countries? Why have we why you actually move then maybe just like, we were like, first creative outlets when you were a child.

Raul Trevino  

Okay, well, um, the reason I moved to Japan was because my wife is Japanese. And after living in Mexico for two years together, the end we decided to come back here to come here to leave and, and develop our lives. So the reasons were, there’s a bunch of reasons is merely the lifestyle of our marriage is more relaxed is better. She can move around by herself. In Mexico, we have some limitations, insecurity issues, or different different kind of lifestyle. So I’m here well is a country full of creativity, innovation, technology tradition, that is nourish me, my life is nourishing my life and making me feel inspired. So it’s really I live in Chiba. So it’s like, one hour and a half from Tokyo. And I just been one hour and a half to go in Tokyo and then I return inspired. Like a magnificent city. Like what I heard is like five times New York. So it’s like really wow is in south point could be overwhelming, but it’s really, really inspirational.

Iva Mikles  

Do you have like a favorite part of Tokyo?

Raul Trevino  

Well, I have a bunch and there’s a lot of places and Shinjuku is fun. There is a big big store called SEC Kira is like a sixth floor so of our supplies is like a Disneyland for me. So yeah, but is she bought it depends on your tastes. Akihabara, of course is full of technology manga monitor is really beautiful places to visit here around and for all kinds of tastes.

Iva Mikles  

Yeah, so you have all the resources to cool tools like pens and inks and all of the Japanese stuff. Yeah.

Raul Trevino  

Yeah, because sometimes I was working in Mexico like I need ink, which is whatever white or I need to wait like a one week to get in right now I just crossed the avenue and this is a place to get it and then okay, cool. Cool is really super fun. The scoring tool.

Iva Mikles  

Yeah, because their shops are so giant with so many tools, right?

Raul Trevino  

Wow is amazing is Lika I dare to say like, each month, you can discover a new tool, really the new something new came up. He’s like, Ah, now we’re promoting these pen. Maybe he’s not 100% related to art. But usually like stationery department. I mean, it’s full of new innovation, like a new pen, new inks, new, whatever. I mean, a lot of things that I knew is really often to see here. Yeah, do

Iva Mikles  

you have like a favorite tool now what you just discovered recently, which is amazing.

Raul Trevino  

Well, one of the tools that I discovered years ago, because this is not my first time in Japan, I’ve been coming here to visit my wife when she was my girlfriend, I discovered a tool that I loved some masking fluid that it can cover the paper but the it’s not like a bottle and then you apply with a brush. Now this this is like a pen kind. So it’s really really versatile. So you can use it with ruler and you can make some different kinds of effects with these like a pen Latics masking fluid is really super fun. I use it with a bunch of illustrations two days ago. And it was super interesting how what kind of effects like you can do that.

Iva Mikles  

Because then you work also with different types of inks, right? So you’re like different brands, and then you’re combining it with the this masking fluid, right?

Raul Trevino  

Yeah, you just cover in the paper and then you can use it with watercolors or black ink. And it’s the results are really amazing.

Iva Mikles  

Oh, nice. Nice. Let’s go back maybe to your like big round as well. How did you get to art? Or maybe what was the story there?

Raul Trevino  

Oh, since I’m a child, I’m just drawing I all the time. So much I remember, but in making comics was when I was 18 years old. I found in comics platform to express my feelings to express what I think like what I what I believe. But yeah, it seems I’m a child, I’m just trying to even when I was a child, I remember a I participate in a contest of drawing your dad and your father and we can be here. So if you or if you win the contest, you can get a surprise, like shaver like a brown shaver like electric shaver and I wanted like all my guys was really encouraging me a lot. That’s kind of things. But well, of course, I participated in our counters and I failed. But I The important thing here is I never stopped drawing, since I’m a child.

Iva Mikles  

And did you practice every day? Or did you have like periods where you didn’t draw?

Raul Trevino  

Every day every day is Well, what I when when I couldn’t draw when when I broke my arm. I was riding a motorcycle. And I stopped drawing for 40 days and it was like a hell for me because 40 days with the arm full of means you cannot move and you have to go to rehabilitation was really hell. But then later I just like I recharge my energy to create more so it’s like I was craving craving for for draw and create something that once I get killed I got better I just started doing so. We don’t know stop.

Iva Mikles  

Did you write like down the ideas? What do you want to draw when your hand will be okay again?

Raul Trevino  

Yeah, I had a lot of a lot of ideas in that moment. I just I learned to ride with my with my left hand, because that was their requirement that school in the school told me okay, you are broke, you broke your arm, but you have to keep going. So, okay, so I learned driving the left hand in that time right now. Maybe I’m gonna be a disaster. But in that time, I needed to do it by necessity.

Iva Mikles  

And how did you choose the school to study? Like, what was the decision process when you were just like, you know, growing up like, Oh, should I study on this school or the school or, like following your artistic passion

Raul Trevino  

is always fully I mean, always looking for artistic schools or in that time. I mean, I come I’m coming from from the north and Mexico is Monterey as a city and there is really no choices not so My choices, their distinct feel is really in that time was worse. And let’s don’t you don’t have so many options to study art, because Monterey is a city. Where is that an industrial city? So a lot of factories, a lot of people lost to work, people worked hard, but it’s nothing related to art is just like, no big necessity. So though that kind of things are, were against me, right? Like, I can make progress, or I can or people doesn’t believe in them, Believe in me, family, friends, whatever, does what that was was one of the challenges I face. Like proving that I can live doing this. So I just chose graphic designer, and I graduated from there. And I was planning okay, but Oh, in my university, I discovered comics. So I was like, I want to I want to do these comics. I want to do comics. And then I talked with my parents. I said, Okay, I graduated from school, I got the diploma you want it? So let me let me let me have one year doing comics, practicing comics. So I can I can I can live doing that. So I can ask for a job in Marvel, DC. I want to draw comics, would you would you would you let me do it. No, go go out for work. Oh, Jesus. So I needed to go out for more. So it was really hard. So I overlapped my my studies. And then my work. And that time as I arrived the designer, with the desire to do a comics to make comics. So I wasn’t working maybe eight hours at work, and then arriving at home working four to six or eight hours more. So I just caught all this social life. I was just focusing on I really want to do comics, I really wanted to do this. I want to prove it can be possible. So and then another of the challenges was the language. So I needed to learn English because I knew if I can, if I want to get a job, I need to speak English. So it wasn’t God Jesus when I was a child studying, but when you’re in a tie, like a handyman and you are like, I don’t care. Let’s study right. So then I read like, Oh, Jesus, my dream is stuck with this. I mean, I couldn’t I didn’t study at the time needed. Boyd Well, I saved money, I pay a school going to Canada to polish my English. I studied there for a while. And then until I reach my dream. So that’s just my little my background.

Iva Mikles  

Yeah, but it’s amazing. Because then so as you mentioned, you did like a graphic design jobs like designing logos, or like company leaflets or something like that, during the day at the time, because they was easier maybe to find that other animation because there was not much animation, as we mentioned. And then the working in the evenings on your own stuff. Did you already work on your stories at the time, or it was more just learning how to pose a character or like other, you know, perspective and these kinds of learnings?

Raul Trevino  

Yeah, since the beginning, when I got into comics, I was wishing to tell my stories. Like you’re creating my own characters. And, but at some point, I discovered that was a really hard feel. I mean, that it was going to be a really hard path. Because it’s my own characters. Nobody knows them. So I was okay, maybe I can work for Marvel, or maybe we can work for Dark Horse from DC. Maybe I need that first. So I was never I mean, in that time, I was thinking that could be the right path. Right? So yeah.

Iva Mikles  

And how was it the to find the first job? So within the the comic industry or gaming industry? Did you prepare portfolios and you send it out? Or what would you advise young people to do now like just to follow their dream?

Raul Trevino  

Oh, well. It’s because Well, depends what do they want to do? I mean, I can talk to you about being an alpha coming out, because I never never submitted any kind of portfolio of to any animation company. Well, just one time when the first time that I went to CTN. I just sign up for a portfolio review for animation studio in Canada. They revived my portfolio and happened to interview what’s really nice people. I didn’t get a job there, but they were interested to work with me as a freelancer, but nothing happened. But I, so I never work in any company as it’s really difficult for me at some point right now, especially, to do something for someone else. I mean, I’ve been working on my own stuff for years, more than 10 years, more than almost 15 years. That at this point is like, I don’t know, if I don’t know, if I’m interested to work in a studio, you know, I can maybe be maybe I don’t know, party actor, or, I don’t know, but but I’m being getting used to do my own stuff. That is really difficult for me right now to give him advice on how to make in that field. Because I don’t have a similar experience, I have serious prints in that field. But I can say how to try to live doing what you love, right, which is, which is my case, a comic outdoor, and I lead 100% doing this. So it’s just like, the first steps that I did was overlapping my work that paint appeals with my passion. Because something really important here is I discovered in that time, if I there, or I risk myself to try to fully work doing my own stuff, since the beginning, I made kill my passion, because it didn’t work. So I could be make a big mistake, trying to learn to live doing what I like what I love. I mean, risking do you get you have a lot of things to lose, if you can make it because once you kill your passion, there is no way back. There is no return. You kill your passion is that is gone. So a lot of people is like, I tried to be an artist I couldn’t and I quit and I and that’s the story is does a lot of sad stories are about that. Like they tried to do it. But they couldn’t make it because they were believing they could live doing it. The the thing here is they proceeded badly, you know, they didn’t plan well. So I think the best thing here is overlap your work right now maybe isn’t related, maybe is not related. But the most important things here is to have a sponsor, like your job was paying your bills. And then as aside, in your side, you are working on your passion. So at the same time, you are like overlapping. And then and then you’re like, like, Okay, I am ready, or I can do I can make the first step to try to, to bet during my mind my own stuff. So it’s really important to not jump to do not skip that step.

Iva Mikles  

Did you have like, I don’t know 80% of the job and then going to 20% then you level it up to 5050. And then you did the smooth transition? Or was it like always just like a part time job or full time job and then working on your comic books?

Raul Trevino  

Well, in my case was working for Marvel comics as a colorist. I did a lot of books there. It was helping me to pay the bills, and my studies in English in Canada. So, so I was working on my own projects. And then I won a contest international contest in Spain and I probably had three logy Bay. At the same time, I was still working for Marvel. And then I got a job in DC in the licensing products that demanded less time, and they paid way better. So I just like I quit Marvel and stay with DC Comics in good doing less job in the coloring field. And they had more time for my own work. So I was like, Okay, I’m balancing here. So I’m getting the same amount of money that I was getting before, but doing the less work. And then I can have more time doing my own stuff. So I was fortunate, I think so and then after that I’d reached a point like Okay, I think this is the time to quit fully and really quit coloring comics, and then focus 100% of my time doing my own personal projects. And I did that I did that. And then then later I got sponsored by the Mexican government is really important. incentive is a three years deal. And they give you money for doing what you like. But you have to prove your professional, you have awards. You have been doing this for years. There is this help from the government is when your are more than 35 years old. So once I prove that I was working hard that I got some awards and nominations that I’ve been doing this for years and then this is my field if they approve me and they emails, this, this incentive ation, like so I am receiving this money from them monthly. And then plus that my current project and I got to publish it with our company, which is publishing comics in Internet, and they’re gonna pay me monthly, a monthly base fee, I mean, I know you’re gonna get to two sources of incomes. So it’s like, everything is related to what I’m doing right now. Yeah, my own my own personal projects. And I want to, I will, I will like to use this time to just focus 100% of the time on my own stuff. So to keep going doing as the I am going to die, is something that I wish I could do just create a freedom is my my, my goal, like having also having all the time, this creative freedom, which is really important, for me really matters a big thing for me, like having creative freedom to do whatever I want.

Iva Mikles  

Yeah. And when you mentioned, you know, like this sponsorship, or like different types of income, what is your experience in finding new sponsors or new paid projects, so to level up your, you know, like patient and paid project.

Raul Trevino  

Okay, in the first case of the getting this help from the government was every year, and they throw through to the public, this, this call, so they are calling professionals, artists, and painters, and dancers and filmmakers, all the old the old expression of the art expression, fields and the work and jobs. So you apply. So you apply you said, Okay, I’m men, whatever is your name, this is my background, and this is my project, and here it is, and then you wait for a couple of months, and they say they give you or they usually they just contact you, they give it to you, right. So it’s everything is about internet, be aware, like a Wayne is released when the the release is calm. And then the the other part of of, of my incomes from this, what I’m doing my personal projects, comes with attending to conventions. So because I learned later that the the way. The way to make it in this in this career is not just staying at home drawing and doing your own stuff and forget about the world, you have to go out. So 50% is just working on their stuff, and the other 50% are contracts. So you have to go out and then I as a Mexican, it was really difficult for me going to conventions, because the dollar is more expensive. Also the culture in some way. And also, nobody knows me, you know, it’s like, well, I color comics for Marvel, but but nobody cares. Just like galleries. So I was like, well, that’s my case. I was like I even I was I didn’t have a recommendation with that. So it’s just like, Okay, I I’m, I’m a newbie here. And they’re rookie here. And I know, buddy, so but I have to try. So I decided to invest, attending to convention. And there. You have a lot of contacts, you make a lot of contacts. Because honestly, maybe it doesn’t look like but I’m really shy. I mean really introverted. So it’s really challenging for me to approach to someone to ask something, especially at the door, like I’m really, really oh my gosh, how can I, I don’t want to bother. I don’t want to give things that I’m just looking for an opportunity to have, like, I’m really like, Oh my god. So what is the best way to do it, just show my work on the table and receive people and talk to them. So I did that. Because for me, what’s really like, easy, you know, is they’re like, Okay, I pay for half table, I show my work. And I’m here if you’re interested, I’m here to welcome you know, so a lot of heavy doors, I’m going around, and they met a lot of you just like that. And then got a lot of commissions, like a lot of jobs like that. So it’s really important to attend to conventions. And, and that’s, that’s the thing, I it worked for me, I met these these these editors who believed in me, and then they made it work. And then I made contacts to sell my own projects or, I mean, agents or whatever, you know, it’s really important to go out. So that’s the way

Iva Mikles  

Yeah, but it’s a really interesting insight that Yeah, it’s hard. like to just approach someone and if you’re more introverted is like, Hi here is like here, my buddy, if you have a table, you’re there and people come to you. So that’s really good advice. And can you mention some of the conventions which you attend? And we talked about it a bit more before the recording. And so maybe also what was the first one you visited?

Raul Trevino  

Well, the first one, I think I was WonderCon. The first one, and then I attended two, c two e two and Chicago CTN as well in Burbank. These dear I’m going designer con in November. I also attended to New York Comic Con, which is what amazing, really amazing. A lot of people, a lot of contacts, really nice event. Every all of them are really nice events. But New York is really big.

Iva Mikles  

And you hit the table on that one as well. A New York Comic Con.

Raul Trevino  

Yeah. I’ve been I’ve been attending all these events as an exhibitor. And I think that’s all in Mexico City as well. Yeah. Lamar laid the concave, which are the big ones. Yeah, but mostly United States. I’ve been attending. And I’m sorry, I’m attending to two panels on two events in comic conventions. Tokyo Comic Con, is my first time. So it’s gonna be really interesting to see how you how you’re going, how he’s going there. So it is the My first time Yeah, I

Iva Mikles  

guess that’s what I wanted to ask as well. Just if you are doing for exhibitions also in Japan. And so these are actually most of them in Japanese, I would expect so how do you plan to communicate with people? How is your different needs?

Raul Trevino  

Of all my Japanese talks really bad? My Japanese My Japanese is really bad. I’m learning and learning but no, I need I need to work hard on that part and not a husband. But my wife is so Japanese. She’s She’s working more like an agent kind. So she applied for me. She called the people representing me. And that’s way easier to do but even I mean, Tokyo Comic Con has Inglis applying for and I think gyaan manga fest as well, I’m not sure but they have like an English submission. Before they did, it was way impossible to do any of you don’t speak Germany, because all the rules are in Japanese. And when I try that time, my wife told me no, it says they you don’t speak Japanese, you cannot apply. Because if you don’t speak Japanese, that means you can read the book the rules. And if you cannot read the rules, you can follow the rules. So it’s like you cannot apply. But then they seems like they translating them at least some events to English, so it can be reachable for internationally. More more people can apply their international artists.

Iva Mikles  

Yeah, because definitely, that’s interesting, because some people also from our audience, they are interested in living in Japan or just going for conventions. Can you mention some of the things you learned from like moving as an artist to Japan?

Raul Trevino  

Um, well, something that I learned was that I haven’t met a lot of Japanese artists, just a couple. And I was really surprised to know that they were complaining I would the rates, like they really bad. And I was really surprised because I was thinking, okay, Japan is a first world country, they have a lot of industry, a lot of men, the illustration, art field is huge. But I never thought like, that was a bad thing in some way. Because it’s so huge. There is tons of competition. And it’s done people working for a rate that maybe you cannot, cannot work with, you know, it’s like, wow, so it’s just like, they’re really hard workers, that maybe in order to pay the bills, they’re working 18 hours a day or whatever. It’s like, wow, I don’t know, you know, I cannot beat that. So, so I was really surprised with that. Like, being a manga is not that well paid. Unless you’re an alpha you know, like I’m you have a successful manga or whatever. So it’s really hard. is very hard to work here as a manga artist, I have never tried. My intention, honestly is not staying at home, working all day long CDM from my desk, I don’t want that kind of life working all day long and no, I’m more like, I enjoy what I do. But I always try to have a balance. So I can spend time with my wife spend time with my family, my friends, reading a book, learning something new, nourishing my soul, I’m traveling or, you know, I don’t want to be a slave on my work. I just want to leave to imagine my job. But when, when meaning, you know, like a nourishing my life as well.

Iva Mikles  

So how do you plan your your day, week or a month because you also have really popular YouTube channel, then you create your own books. And so they’re like many things you do. And so how do you put everything together?

Raul Trevino  

Well, it’s really hard. It’s really hard. I mean, I said previously, that I don’t want to leave my job. But that doesn’t mean I’m wrong. I’m not working hard. I mean, you need to be organized with your time. And you have to plan well, like what kind of things hang on I do in order that everything is running. But yeah, I mean, I I make time. No, it’s just like, sometimes we said, Why don’t have time, NBC. So I just get rid of that, that we’re busy. And then just trying to one because when we say we don’t have time is they don’t care about anything, you are saying you don’t have time. Like, if you really care, you put that force on that. So that’s the way so it’s like trying to find planning, writing on my plans, like I’m making a structure to with words. So you can I can visualize what kind of things I have to do. In order to accomplish my my objectives, you know, my goals, which some of them I reached, and some of them I didn’t. So it’s like I’m still keep going trying to reach some goals and that I haven’t or I couldn’t do it before. And then some goals I reached that I that are in my past right now. And I learned a lot from them. So

Iva Mikles  

and do you have something which simplifies your life, like the planning tools, or I don’t know, like your favorite printer or something you use like Bailey and this is like, Okay, I cannot live without this.

Raul Trevino  

I use a lot of Scrivener, Scrivener and application software is really nice, because I can put all together all the project, all the files that are related to this project. Since scripts, text like word word, files, kind of Duck, duck, duck, duck, duck, look at word like that. Yeah, but uh, unite, and I mean everything in one place. And you can put even websites like pages that you want to use for references. We can put images, a lot of stuff. So that’s my main main tool for planning and because writing is really, I realized that that writing is really important for my life. So I’ve been I’ve been doing it. And using this tool, like writing all my ideas and my thoughts, so I can visualize them. Or today, a friend of mine was sharing with me like, amen. The you feel overwhelmed when you have a lot of things through that you feel depressed? Do you feel sad? Because you couldn’t make the law? And I wasn’t? Yeah, I do. I do. And sometimes it’s really hard. But what it what it helps me a lot is writing. So because when I’m writing, I can. And the first thing that I can notice that I can visualize my problems, I can visualize my vote, and then my possible solutions. And then once I get I can see them on the paper or on the file. I can feel like, okay, I threw them out from me, and you know, like, they are out right now for me. So I don’t have to worry about that. About that as the same way I was doing it before like race to sell and make money quieting my mind. I don’t want to do so when you write it down. It’s like you’re talking with somebody, you’re talking with you. So it’s like okay, and I’m sharing these on this file. And that means I’m sharing these with the war. So I take it out from me. So right now you can see it. So that’s really helpful for me when when when they ride All my thoughts and brain on my planning, because right and fiction is refused could be, could be refused could be something that, that helps you to forget everything in your life and you’re happy in a temporary moment. But it’s not a solution, there’s a solution, you have to work on your issues, you have to throw out all your stuff, right in them. So you can have answers.

Iva Mikles  

Yeah. So this also helps you with the motivation on like, when you have a down day and you want to be like, okay, so how do I motivate myself? So you can learn, like, look at your notes or write something new as well?

Raul Trevino  

Oh, yeah. For motivation I have, I have like, like a formula, let’s say, this formula is, is about look, look for myself expression expression, and do something to get inspired. Because as humans, we have the necessity to talk. As an artist, we have the necessity to express ourselves. So if there is no necessary necessity to express what you feel, or think or believe, you are not going to do anything, you aren’t just like, staying in that hurricane of bad thoughts and I don’t know I’m not inspire I feel bad and I have motivation. So it’s really dangerous. So if you don’t feel a great need to, so you will not create and or drought practice. The most common symptoms are like a procrastinate on procrastinating their motivation. And we blame this state of wish which we are. So what aspirants ignore is that we everyone so for these kind of things in a greater or lesser extent, even professionals. So So but what gets you out of these states, like a negative aspects is the need to express something. So it is like talking. Like it or not, you have to learn how to talk how to write, because it’s a necessity to express. But at the same time is, is the same for an artist, you have to have the necessity to express something. So if you if you connect, if you link your necessity to express something, you’re gonna proceed to look for the tools you need to learn, or to draw whatever you want to draw because you want to express something through your art. And it’s something I’ve been learning for years is, is like inspiration is not the source of the doing. So is the route of doing is something is in the doing itself. For example, you read a book, and when you watch a movie, and you feel inspired during a building to be inspired, you watch videos like these, the artists you admire and you feel inspired biographies, you read a biography and you feel inspired. What was before getting inspired, before was doing something bad you was doing watching a video or reading a book. So you have to deal with this formula, like just trying to connect when you want to express and then connect that on doing something. Okay. I read a book usually every every day, because that’s the main source of inspiration for me. So if I know Rena book, I feel like oh, I didn’t have any ideas today. It’s just like, it’s really important for me to consume something to spark an idea. Like, okay, I can I can I want to I would like to express it something like this. So is the main source is the necessity to express something.

Iva Mikles  

And do you have like a favorite books you read maybe over or something you would recommend to as an inspiration?

Raul Trevino  

Well, I read fiction and nonfiction. Right now I’m reading a story. The peculiars story, the I don’t think it is because I’m reading in Spanish. But right now, I don’t know exactly the name in English. But it’s this movie about the peculiars children. Yeah, but But it’s but it’s not the movie itself is another book that the same author date about short tales about these peculiar children. And it’s really fun. It’s interesting. Some of them are really surprising and really interesting. Also, a documentary that I saw was the minimum First, and it’s really, I connect with them a lot. Because it’s long time ago, I used to be really practical, I used to be trying to get to do simple things, and effective in an effective way. So I connect a lot with their philosophy that I, I’ve been seeing a lot of documentaries, but none of them have been inspiring me so much as this one. This one has a lot of meaningful and meaningful messages. Really, because it’s related to us, it’s related to us as humans, and how you can have a meaningful life with less things. So well, as you can see, my background is nothing, and in this room is nothing. So it’s just I’m just trying to have with this move into Japan, that was the perfect opportunity to get rid of a lot of things that I don’t want in my life. And maybe I know I even half is like, Oh, my God, did I hide this or I didn’t remember I have this. So it’s just like, I never use them anymore. And so I is applying the rule of 90 days, if you four by 90 days, you’re not using a journey, just like trying to get rid of things that I really, really don’t need. And just keep the things that are really meaningful for me, and then really helpful for my life. really meaningful.

Iva Mikles  

Yeah. And how did you find this the inspiration and motivation? How to basically live life? Or did you have someone who inspired you do have like, simplistic live and finding inspiration in like books and movies, the things you talked about? Or it came kind of over time?

Raul Trevino  

I think a mix of both is like at the beginning, do you don’t know when I mean, when I’m a teenager, I was a teenager, I know exactly what I want in my life. So I think Little by little, you are discovering things that resonate with you, like, not on other things that you reject. So it’s like, okay, this is not my thing, this is my thing. And then you’re trying I mean, you are wielding your personality accordingly. I mean, by the by the time. So I’m just as I said, this documentary was really useful for me really meaningful for me, and give me a lot of value a lot of sense light of my life, kind of what kind of life I would like to have. I’ve been printing books, I’ve been traveling to conventions. And people maybe you Dawson imagine, dun dun imagine how hard it is to travel with books from one country to another. And he’s not the same that you are living United States and the event is in the United States. No way. I mean, traveling from Mexico, is wow, like four languages. And they are trying to do everything correctly. It’s like a wall man, this is how to work. And I’ve been trying to find a way to get rid of that physics items, and provide them in digital, because since I bought the iPad, as my favorite device, because they saved my life, I have tons of books in there that I’m not carry with myself. I have applications that I use for reference to draw, like art balls are handy, which is really great for drawing hands. So I use a lot I use it for writing in the mornings, when I just preparing to get to run, I ate something and in that 30 minutes of waiting for my intake, I’m writing and then I go out to Ember on and then come back. So it’s really useful for me, I read a lot of books or comics, I watch movies TV series. So he’s like, the, one of the best inventions and my best purchases that I’ve been having. Because it’s simplifying my life a lot. And because I read a lot of books, so it’s like, wow, this is amazing. I have them in digital and right away, I can buy them, download them and read start reading them. So it’s like, Well, I hope I can stop printing at some point. Of course, people still love to smell the book, have something to buy physically buying watching at home, that is also have its own magic.

Iva Mikles  

Yeah, because we’re actually talking about this in some of the previous interviews, because I heard also on other podcasts that you can actually have books through Amazon that they print them only when you order them, you know, so you don’t have to have this big stock. But yeah, I didn’t go so much into detail like how this will work. But that might be cool not to have like Overstock, you know, like basements or rooms or anything. What about the iPad? Do you have the iPad Pro where you can actually draw on or do you work on like a Cintiq or Intuos or something when you have both?

Raul Trevino  

Yeah, yeah, both I have Cintiq. And I have an iPad Pro, which I use also the Apple Pencil, right? So I draw as well with that. So it’s really useful. I’ve been seeing a lot of benefits to have one. And the Cintiq is really all with late 2008. And a lot of people why you don’t buy the new one, because they don’t feel necessity. It’s like, I mean, it’s helping me a lot still. And I because anyone is HD, whatever. And so, right now is still working, my Cintiq is working, they work on this is still doing the drivers. So I don’t have the necessity, like it’s not working or something is working working smoothly. And as always, the only thing that I can’t do with that Cintiq is really because it’s all this is I cannot wait for example, Netflix. Netflix says Now you don’t have an HD screen. Okay. That’s fine. I mean, just use draw with that. So I haven’t been I haven’t feel felt that insensitivity by a new one. But But then at some point, I will because at some point, maybe I will need. But yeah, I use both Cintiq and iPad.

Iva Mikles  

Yeah. Because primary you draw with ink on the actual paper, then you scan it, and then you adjust stuff in digital form? Or how much time do you spend on traditional and digital?

Raul Trevino  

Well, honestly, I’ve been working a lot of digital is really convenient for me, because it’s making life easier. And I’ve been working faster. I have, I think I work double faster, or even triple sometimes I’ve been thinking and drawing in less than 10 minutes. And by traditional it could take me maybe 30 minutes or 40 minutes. Of course it’s different. It’s different a session, I’m not saying one thing is better than the other. But it’s really important to manage both things moderation on digital, because it’s like speaking to languages. But sometimes I feel like okay, I need time for writing, I need time for spend time with my wife and I need time to read. Okay, I work digital, because y is gonna give me one hour more to have time to do that, you know? So it’s like, sometimes it’s a matter of balance, like I work, why do I want today? Or why do I want to achieve, I have tons of concepts in my mind a lot of stories that I want to, I wish I could tell. So the best way to improve that and make it faster is by detail. So I don’t care if I don’t have original art, or my more more important, what I what is more important to me is to ship the projects, like conclude them finishing them. And not it’s dangerous when one for five years doing one comic. It’s just like, I wish I could make three copies a year or more than that, you know, even even more than that. So for me, it’s really important the time. And he’s a mirror of that. So what is important to you, if you if your review or you are the you laugh to feel the paper to make it very emotional, because it gives you a lot of satisfaction. Do it. Just do it. If you really would like to have digital because it’s faster with just do it. Just like oh, if you want to do both do both. It’s just a matter why you want. That’s that’s the key there.

Iva Mikles  

Definitely. And do you have some advice for young self or something you wish you knew before you started the whole art career?

Raul Trevino  

Ah, well, there is a saying that there is a saying that says when we give advice, we talk to ourselves in the past. And I think that’s really true. So, when I was at the beginning, I was just thinking about myself just in my my art of all my drawings that I never thought about someone else. And then learn I learned later that art is about everyone is not just about one does not just about us or about me is about talking to people is about expressing yourself through your art. Make a dialogue we can make a talk with people now wait them emotions, talk to them, inspire them to create to this a lot of benefits. They are when you create something and because as you may know, there is two kinds of creativity that the bad creativity and the Good creativity. So, now I know a person in my city who helped a lot of children who live in really poor condition. And they pass through really hard times with families, they were beaten or whatever. And these guy, teach them taught them how to create, how to draw, how to make silkscreen, T shirts. And it was really important for them, to, to guide them to the good creativity, because everyone has creativity. And so instead of using their captivity, to make bad things, they were using their creativity to do good things. So that’s, it’s really important for me, for creating something, thinking about me, as I express myself, and dialogue with people. So we can have an exchange about the exchange there. So he’s really important. So I will say to my mean that time, like, think about others, not just about you, it’s really important to, to, to be like that. Because otherwise, you’re selfish, you’re just thinking about yourself, and you’re just about for you. And he’s not, he’s not bringing you turning where you keep that mindset. So he’s artists, like for everyone, and it’s important.

Iva Mikles  

And have you ever received, like, also the worst advice? Or if you can consider this as a good advice? Also think about others? And what do you see as a bad advice maybe around like young artists or creators that are getting or if you have ever, like, bad advice?

Raul Trevino  

Um, I don’t have something right. Now my mind, then maybe

Iva Mikles  

if you can mention, like, the heart, heart career moment, or the difficult time you went through maybe if you experienced something like this, and what was maybe the key takeaway, or what do you learn from that?

Raul Trevino  

I did something that I learned when I was studying, doing comics was I was trying to run when I shoot it work when I should work. So I was trying to make things faster. I was trying to get a job in comics, that I screwed up a lot of opportunities, professional opportunities, because I wasn’t ready. I was more into trying to get something really quick, when I wasn’t ready, that I screwed up a lot of attorneys not a lot, but a bunch of opportunities in the professional field. So for example, they asked me for a cover, coming cover, and I tried and I make this sketch. But I fail know that it or Oh is I think you could be willing to work in another idea. And then I work in another idea, and I screw it up as well. So I was like, it’s really difficult to know. Well, in that, I think it because some people ask me, When do you think I’m ready? And that’s a really difficult question to answer. Because sometimes you can say, Okay, you’re going to be ready when you feel you’re ready. But maybe it’s not. Because in that time, I thought I was ready. So I was like, and I’m ready, I drove well, so I was like I’m flying. I was like a nice grade up. But that helped me a lot later to realize that I wasn’t good at that time. And I needed to work harder. Say well, okay, okay, I need to keep going. And I’m not gonna ask for a job for the next few years. I’m gonna work on this really hard. And that’s the way I went out from that. That time, that time my life.

Iva Mikles  

Yeah. So to take time to actually strengthen the fundamentals and all of the things you need to know like light and color and just process in general.

Raul Trevino  

Especially drawing. Because coloring I was doing it professionally, but drawing, I wasn’t ready. So I in my early, early years, and this is like, I quit. And I feel like I screwed on those opportunities. Later they came up and they’ve got jobs but but at that time was really hard for me realizing that I wasn’t ready.

Iva Mikles  

Yeah, definitely. Because we want to do it right away. And it just takes sometimes years and then it’s like no, why not yet?

Raul Trevino  

Yeah, sometimes we complain like we don’t happen to unities. And sometimes we we have attorneys and we screw it up.

Iva Mikles  

And maybe we’ll let’s talk about the future and like maybe future opportunities and where would you see yourself in like five to 10 years what would be your dream scenario?

Raul Trevino  

Well do what I love and be able to help others to do the same. That could be my best. Like, just keep doing what I love with creative freedom, and teach others how to make it.

Iva Mikles  

Perfect, then my last question would be about far, far future. And what do we do like to be remembered for in like 100 years?

Raul Trevino  

Oh, well, I would like to be remembered for the next one years as an outdoor who was able to make a little change in the world. With when my story’s teaching others what I know. It is it is I consider a high honor to serve the world. In this way the artists feel negativity stories drawing. So I enjoy to inspire someone to the reflection of to create or just bringing them joy, it just, I wish I could. Still my work would still be doing that in the next 100 years. That could be amazing. So at the same time, I sometimes I read biographies from some people that I admire, and I get inspiration from them, and then to keep going. And yeah, but honestly, my ultimate ultimate goal is to keep creating, I mean, to have the creative freedom to fight for it until the damn time, then, because for me, there is nothing better than doing that my own creations. So I wish I could, I could keep that in my life and help help others and teach others how to do it, because it’s really hard. And it’s important for us as creators to share what we know.

Iva Mikles  

Yeah, definitely. And thank you so much, again, for being here. It was so inspirational. And maybe before we say goodbye, you can share last piece of advice or key takeaway, and then we’ll finish.

Raul Trevino  

Okay. Well, I think the best advice that I can, I can share is be sure that what you are making today is helping you to reach your dreams. I mean, all the efforts that you are doing right now are placing you closer to your ultimate goal. Because otherwise, we are losing time. And well, I have a kindness love unchain in my in my website that says time passes like Tumblr likes that create, and I think is really important to be aware of our time where, where we’re pulling away, of course. Yeah,

Iva Mikles  

perfect. Definitely. And I totally agree. And thank you so much again, for taking time and joining us here. It was my pleasure.

Raul Trevino  

Thank you so much. And thanks, everyone

Iva Mikles  

for joining and I’ll see you in the next episode. Bye. I 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 enjoyed 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.

Recommended: