Ep.75: Kerby Rosanes on why you should never quit drawing!

By Iva Mikles •  Updated: Dec 18, 2017 •  Interviews

Kerby Rosanes is a Philippines-based illustrator who works mainly with ordinary black fine liners to magically illustrate his “doodle” world. He considers his art as a personal hobby which turned out to be his part-time freelance work after being recognized by various design blogs, international magazines, and online art communities.

Most of his works are characterized by whimsical lines, patterns, characters and little elements that are spontaneously combined to create massive compositions depicting his everyday inspirations or scenes from his quirky imagination.

In 2014, Kerby left his job as a graphic designer in a local company to finally pursue his passion: creating more art for personal projects and for various clients while collaborating with other artists and design agencies around the world.

At 25, Kerby has published five books including The New York Times best-seller, Animorphia in 2015, which is now available in 29 language editions in over 40 countries. The success of his books paved the way for him to travel the world while making art and attending events including live TV appearances on BBC World News and ABC’s Good Morning America in 2016.

Get in touch with Kerby

Key Takeaways

“Never quit drawing!”

Resources mentioned

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Also have a look: Best Markers for Coloring Adult Coloring Books in 2022

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

All artworks by Kerby Rosanes, 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 Kerby Rosanes is also known as sketchy stories. We chat about publishing coloring books and valuing your fans and community.

Kerby Rosanes

I wouldn’t be as successful aside as I am right now if it’s not them, if not to them. So, yeah, you should be you should always approach them. I mean, if they approach you, you should always should always treat them as your friends.

Iva Mikles

Kirby is Philippine based illustrator who works mainly with ordinary like fine liners to magically illustrate his doodle world. His work has been recognized by many design blogs, international magazines, and online art communities. Most of his works are characterized by whimsical lines, patterns, characters, and little elements that are spontaneously combined to create massive compositions. The big thing is everyday inspirations, or scenes from his quirky imagination, a 25. Kirby has published five books, including The New York Times bestseller, and he morphia in 2015, which is now available in 29 language editions in over 40 countries. The success of his books paved the way for him to travel the world while making art and attending events, including live TV appearances on BBC World News, and ABC Good Morning America in 2016. So please welcome Kirby asanas. And let’s get to the interview. So welcome everyone to the next episode of Art Side of Life. And I’m super excited to catch up here. Hi.

Kerby Rosanes

Hello, thanks for having me.

Iva Mikles

I’m super thankful that you took time from your busy schedule. And yeah, because now we are like a superstar online and everyone knows you. So that’s super cool.

Kerby Rosanes

No, that’s not true.

Iva Mikles

And maybe let’s start at the beginning. And you can maybe share some of your stories how you got to our door, or what fascinated you on doodles and drawings?

Kerby Rosanes

Oh, well, it’s, it’s, it’s a long story. Well, I started drawing, my mom told me I started drawing since I was three years old, four years old, I realized that I am good at drawing when I was seven, when I was in kindergarten. And yeah, I think I think knowing how to draw at that time is quite normal for me. I mean, for me, it’s normal for a kid to do that. But then my teachers would say, Oh, this is not normal for for a kid at seven years old, you can now draw dinosaurs. You can show houses and stuff like that. A seven year old kid cannot do that. I mean, they can draw, but they get a job as good as that. So. So yeah, my Mum My mum was was also good at drawing. I mean, the family are, the family is actually good at any forms of art. So my brothers love music. I have relatives who do sculptures, lettering and stuff. So the family is kind of accelerated in the art field. So but None None of us, none of them actually did art professionally. I’m the only one who did it. But I did not studied art. I studied information technology in college, for one very reason. And the reason is that the university that was very close to our house was not offering any art related course. So I took information technology because it was in demand, you know, you get you get a job after college. Job. Yeah, the normal job and everyone in everyone in our town in our community says that there is no money in art. I mean, there isn’t there’s there’s no one in in the province, who made it as a as a great artist, I mean, who earned a lot of money and, and, and entered fame or be famous about art. So art is not an option for someone like me who will just enter the college. So I did information technology, but then again while studying it, I cannot get out of the artistic field. I mean, I join art clubs, I join art competitions, and sometimes even even though I don’t like it that much before my mom would always say you should join this one. I’ll buy materials and stuff like that. I’ll borrow money from your aunt’s from our neighbors too. by you to buy your art materials just to join this contest and stuff like that. And then so yeah, I kept going, I just drew. And then doodling was the best way for me to express myself in our casino during boring math classes, especially calculus, I hate calculus. So during calculus, my notes were filled with, for with doodles and drawings of my favorite cartoons and anime, not about calculus, stuff like that. So yeah, I started like that. And then after I graduated, I tried online marketing. So my very first and my last normal job was internet marketing, and some sort of design, some sort of digital design, I did marketing for printed products. So I also design business cards, brochures, so most mostly about Photoshop, and stuff like that. And then, in 2014, after two years of working in that corporate job, I, I, I jumped in into freelancing. So I did art full time. Yeah. So

Iva Mikles

how was the transition for you? What was going on in your head when you are deciding, like going from full time to freelance? Oh, it

Kerby Rosanes

was held. It was held in such in such a way that I have no idea what will happen to me. If I just jump in into art. And then you know, you don’t have the you don’t have the or they call this the security, job security, in a sense that, although I’m already doing some side freelance illustration, freelance at that time, it I don’t think it’s enough to sustain my lifestyle at that time. But then again, yeah, I, I always get reminded by my mom, that I, you should always do this and do this. If you think it’s good, then do it. Don’t be afraid to fail. So I tried it, and it work.

Iva Mikles

Oh, perfect, then. So how did you deal with when you were transitioning? Did you save up some money before? Or did you have some part time job on the side still? Or you mentioned you already had some clients?

Kerby Rosanes

Yeah, I did. I think it was my last year on the company. I was doing illustration projects at night after work. And then I wanted to balance it to balance the two do the day job and the illustration work at night. Because I love my day job. I love the environment of that office. So it was really hard for me to say goodbye to them and just pursue art. But then again, when when, when lots of people started to email me about how can you do this for us? Can you Can we hire you for this one? It’s it’s a tough decision. I mean, I have to make a choice between the day job and the freelance job. So what I did was, you know, I’ve been I’ve been doing the day job for two years. And I can say that I enjoyed it already. So why why not just take the risk and do the illustration job, which is what I like the most.

Iva Mikles

Yeah, and you can always go back to the job if it doesn’t work. Exactly. And so how did you get noticed at the beginning? Or was it through because you started on Facebook? Right? And that was going like crazy growing when people started to share it. But so most of your first clients were like locally in Philippines or it was from social media.

Kerby Rosanes

It was from social media. I mean, my very first clients were were this private, private commissions, like private individuals who would who would request you can you do this for for my aunt’s birthday, or find my girlfriend’s birthday? Something like that. So it started like that. And then I realized that oh, this can be a good source of income. So and then, yeah, everything was history then other other big, big brands are coming in and then yeah, that’s how it started.

Iva Mikles

Oh, nice. And what was maybe the best advice you ever received over the time because you said also maybe from your parents because they were supporting you so much.

Kerby Rosanes

The best advice oh it’s probably don’t be afraid to fail. I mean, if if you have the opportunity to do something that you have that you have always loved for your entire life then do it. It’s always gets there’s always a chance there’s always a second chance but but if equal opportunity comes then there will be and then you you just let it pass then that opportunity might not come again. So describe it. Perfect. I like it.

Iva Mikles

What about your your brand or your? Let’s call it art style, because everyone is asking about art style all the time. So what is your biggest inspiration? Or maybe like the geometric beasts or anamorphic all of these, like, where do you like take it from?

Kerby Rosanes

Well, I’m developing an art style is, it’s quite, it’s quite difficult. I mean, from the beginning, I started working with lots of mediums like watercolor, oil paints, oil painting, I did mural painting back then charcoal painting as well. But then none of those worked out for me. I mean, I got bored. And then I want to try and I want to try something again. And then. And then of all, all of those, all of those trials, I discovered that there’s one, one medium, and one style that I really enjoyed, and that was doodling. That was the that was that was the type of artworks that were on my notebooks every single time. So So I started sharing them on Tumblr, and then everyone liked it. I really don’t call it to the art before, but then people online will will comment, oh, nice doodle art. So it kind of I kind of accepted that term for the style. But I would say, my, my style is mostly about ink drawings, and mostly black and white, because I’m not good at coloring at all. That’s why I do coloring books. So let people color it for me. And then yeah, that’s it mostly about nature inspired fantasy images. Yeah.

Iva Mikles

And do you go maybe to nature? Or do you have like these other forms of meditation you do daily, which contributes to your success? Maybe?

Kerby Rosanes

Ah, well, I watch anime. I watch anime every single day. And yeah, I do travel a lot. For the past two years, I started traveling, I started to enjoy traveling. And it, it’s kinda it’s kind of a huge, not not really not really something that would inspire your work, but it’s a good it’s a good way to bring back creativity to your system. I mean, you just you just forget some of those things about work about your art, and then just enjoy nature just enjoy experiences while we travel. And then you go back to your desk, feeling inspired, feeling motivated. Feeling recharged. So

Iva Mikles

yeah. So do you use traveling or going to nature to re motivate yourself as well? When you have like, yeah, days? Yes, definitely. Are the animation as you mentioned, do you have like a favorite anime? Like, I believe music like the movies, not museum?

Kerby Rosanes

I have. I have. I love to be asked to check in with films. I think I’ve watched all of them. I love Dragonball Z. I grew up I grew up in the 90s. So Dragonball Z was like, one of the best the coolest thing ever. And right now my favorite is one piece. It’s an anime show one piece or even collect figures action figures out to them. So yeah, that’s it.

Iva Mikles

Oh, nice. I haven’t seen that. I have to watch that. But yeah, definitely.

Kerby Rosanes

Yeah. Whenever Whenever Whenever I whenever I tell them. Oh, you should watch one piece. It’s the coolest anime ever. And then they weren’t they wanted to watch it. And then they see that they see like it’s already 800 plus 800 plus episodes, they would quit. So yeah, good luck.

Iva Mikles

Yeah, because we have to find time to also watch movies sometimes to get inspiration. But yeah, wait. But how do you design your day or week? Do you plan ahead? Or how many hours a day do work and split for hobbies? Or how does it look like?

Kerby Rosanes

Oh, well. I don’t have a definite plan in a sense that I can work anytime I want. So I can sometimes I work at night sometimes I work early in the morning, but but the the actual the actual planning comes in. When I start I start doing an artwork or a sketch on a sketchbook for like 30 minutes for one hour. Just about something that I like to draw something very personal something that some an idea that has been stuck in my head for for the past few days. And then I just want to join it right now. Even though I have a lot of things to do. Then after 30 minutes or one hour that that kind of energy from doing that personal artwork. I use that to create for the work that I was paid for so for the projects instead. So yeah, that’s it. So always Yeah, it’s actually one one of the one of the best advice I did when I met an art professor back then in college is to always start something for yourself especially enjoying just something for yourself in the morning or before you actually do the work so that that would that would keep you motivated and energized or Yeah,

Iva Mikles

yeah, that’s perfect. Yeah, because it’s like the Miracle Morning if you heard about that one is like just to spend time with yourself kind of in the morning when you do like five mins With meditation, you work on their own stuff. And yeah, so perfect. And when you said also like the planning or planning new project, can you share maybe some projects they are working on now or something which is not confidential or something which in the future.

Kerby Rosanes

I’m working with a new coloring book right now. It’s I actually just signed a deal last week. And it’s going to be a two book, two books released in the USA, and a book released in other parts of the world. My publisher is Penguin, penguin random books in the US and Michael o’mara in the UK, which will be the the main publisher for the books. And then aside from that, I’m working with other brands that I can’t say right now, but some pretty cool stuff. So I’m personal guidance, and some personal projects as well. So a lot is going on.

Iva Mikles

Oh, perfect. And maybe you can share some recent projects, which are already out maybe for our audience if they don’t know what they worked on recently, something exciting.

Kerby Rosanes

Oh, well, one of the exciting things I did recently was my project with Ubisoft. Ubisoft is the gaming company who does Assassin’s Creed watchdogs and stuff like that? So yeah, it was I was actually on vacation when I receive an email from them. And I was I was a bit bored with the location of our my friend’s vacation, and then I received that email, I was energized, I want to go home and work on this project. So it was cool project. It’s it’s 360 illustration for a loot box, the loot box we’re in, it’s a huge box for wherein they put all their call this games and then send it out to their customers. So it’s a pretty cool thing. It’s also my first time to explore the 360 standard 60 photo feature on Facebook and stuff like that. So it’s pretty cool. Yeah.

Iva Mikles

Oh, nice. Nice. Yeah. Because I saw some of these drawings are amazing. So congrats for that project. Super cool. Yeah, thank you. And let’s talk about your books maybe. And if you can share some of your learnings with you kind of found out on the way or when you first wanted to, like publish your book, or the first one and the whole process how you found the publisher and all these, like, maybe ups and downs.

Kerby Rosanes

Well, the books, or doing the books was a roller coaster ride. I mean, I mean, I started my career, I was I was focused on doing client work, doing personal personal projects, doing projects for brands, and the books was not part of them. I mean, I’d never seen myself doing books. But then again, when it started, when I started sharing this project, it’s called the most number of skin doodles projects. It started in Tumblr and in Deviant Art. And then it got featured on several blogs, and websites. And then a publisher, my current publisher, Michael O’Mara, so one post on a website, and then emailed me about, hey, Kirby, we we are you interested in doing something about coloring books and stuff like that? And then I say, yeah, why not? It’s it’s that it’s just like a normal project. For me. It’s nothing, nothing special. So I did, okay, I’m going to earn something out of this. So I’ll do it. So we did the books. And then it was it was published into the UK. And I have a creative director, I have an editor. And it’s like one of the first time that one of one of the very first few projects we’re in you are working with someone who directs you on the kind of work that you’re going to do. It’s pretty draining for me, because you know, you don’t have as much freedom as you can have on the other projects. But it’s cool. It’s a really good experience. So yeah, the book was published in 2016, I think around to June or July. And then in August, it became a New York Times bestseller. So I was like, What the hell is happening? What is this? I didn’t expect that. If, if, if, if I expect it in the first place. I would I would I always say that if I know this book is going to be a New York Times bestseller. I should have done better. I mean, I could have done better this because some of the pages were like, Okay, you’re like butterflies, okay, I’ll draw butterflies for you and stuff like that. I’m not really thinking about maybe this one should be better like this one or this one. But it became near Times bestseller. So the publisher signed me and other sign me for two more books. And then, yeah, I made several tours in Europe, in the US and in Asia. So it felt like it felt like I was on a global tour, signing books and stuff. I was I was feeling like I was JK Rowling signing books. And it was it was so funny because I’m not very comfortable with meeting people that I don’t personally know. And then we’ll just say, Are you Kirby blah, blah? And then can you sign my book, bub, I’m not very comfortable with that. I mean, I mean, with a stranger, just recognize you out of nowhere, and then just just, you know, just take a selfie with you and stuff like that. So it’s not very comfortable. But, you know, I, I got used to it. So it’s really cool. I because of the books, I got to travel, and yeah, that’s, that’s start where it started when I enjoyed traveling. So I traveled as much as I could whenever I got time, because because of the books. So I met lots of people, I received lots of emails, asking for me, okay, can you do an hour book? Can you do another book for us? Can we invite you for a coloring party or some sort? And it’s pretty cool. It’s been amazing. I mean, the books change the trajectory of my career, for a

Iva Mikles

fact. Yeah. And so it wasn’t your plan from the beginning. And it was just cool. But yeah, so that’s really nice. And then you can hopefully do more books in the future. So I’m looking forward to that. Because I see them everywhere on every airport everywhere I go. So.

Iva Mikles

Oh, perfect. Yeah.

Iva Mikles

And when you mentioned when you went traveling, and meeting new people, like a lot of people from our audience are shy, and they are also wondering sometimes like, Okay, how do I approach new people? Or how they go for convention? So how did you learn to, you know, accept all of these like, audience and just, you know, the having, like, crowds coming at you?

Kerby Rosanes

Oh, well, I didn’t really accepted it, it’s just that you have to do it. I mean, you, you actually you, you, you got into this into this business. So you have to be to do it. You don’t have a choice but to do it. I mean, if if you if you don’t, if you don’t do it, then that could be a negative thing for your fans for your followers. I mean, I wouldn’t be as successful as I as I am right now. If if not them, if not to them. So, yeah, you should be you should always approach them. I mean, if they approach you, you should always should always treat them as your friends. So yeah, I didn’t really accept that. It’s just like, it just got into my system that okay, I have to do this, even though I’m sick or in some sort of, I’m not I’m not really well on at that time at that moment. But, you know, they they actually exerted effort to approach you. So might as well give back.

Iva Mikles

Perfect. And what about the networking? Maybe what would be your advice for young artists or starting artists how to get noticed or make new connections? Because you mentioned you entered some competitions? And then you go for conventions I get? So what is your advice there?

Kerby Rosanes

Well, whenever whenever I get invited to actually talk or do a lecture on different universities here in the Philippines, I always mentioned about the power of social media, and networking. So for me, it’s it’s like, it’s always, it’s always like, if you create something and you think it’s good, then share it to people. And the best way to share it is through the internet. That’s the only way right now. That’s the only difference. It’s the first step for you to get noticed. I mean, your work get noticed. And it worked for me because I started sharing my stuff on Tumblr, and Tumblr in 2011. And then I did a Facebook page. And then I started sharing it on Instagram. I do Twitter now. So social media is a very, very powerful tool to actually reach out to possible clients, possible audience. But before you do that, before you do all of this networking, all the social media, make sure that you are open for the negative effects of it, like people are started to copy your stuff. People started to plagiarize your stuff, people will start selling your stuff. And that that is that is inevitable. I mean, it’s always been part of the internet. It’s the negative effect of doing that, which is, most young artists right now are actually the reason why they don’t post their stuff online. So that’s the main reason why they don’t post stuff. But I always encourage them to post their stuff online, in a sense that before you do that, you have to you had to find your own voice. I mean, you have to create a style that if you post it online, people will say I’ve never seen this kind of work. I’ve never seen this kind of stuff. So every time People will try to steal your work or sell it on their own websites, people will always report to you that Oh, somebody is stealing your work, I think this is your work because it looks like your work. That means you have this this thing style already. So that people will will recognize it anywhere it was posted. So that’s definite style must be must always be the the foundation of sharing your work. I mean, if you have that already, then go share it.

Iva Mikles

Yeah. And how do you go about now, kind of protecting your brand or even though you said like you to share it, but also, as you said, like people are copying it. So what would you advise people to avoid this as well?

Kerby Rosanes

Okay, um, one of the one of the most common thing I do is always upload low resolution, in role estimation. And then, if I’m not a very fan of putting watermark on my work, but if you can do it, then put watermark on your work as much as possible. And what else? Yeah, that’s basically it is.

Iva Mikles

Yeah. And when you mentioned also the scoping, that’s not definitely nice thing. And maybe you can also talk about, like, the difficult time or the mole, or like the worst time of your art career and what you learn from it if you had such a moment.

Kerby Rosanes

Oh, well, and I saw this, I saw this question from your questionnaire. And I don’t, I can’t think of anything, probably because I’m, I’ve been for I’ve been here for like, four years, just four years of my career. So I can’t think of anything that I might consider worst moment. Because everything I did was pretty cool. Pretty awesome for me. And I can honestly say that I’m afraid of failure. I’m afraid of failing, but failing is not. It’s not. I it’s really, it’s really okay. But since I’m scared of failing, I make sure that every project I do, I would end up, I would end up making it through I mean, I would end up being successful on it. So right now, luckily, so far, I can think of any, any worst or worst moment of my career so far, perfect.

Iva Mikles

Because sometimes, you know, when we learn something from what we like, don’t want to do or just like go up and down. So yeah, but definitely, and how do you decide about the project? You know, when you have many projects coming your way? How do you decide when to say no, what is going on in your head?

Kerby Rosanes

Well, it’s always it’s always about a few things, timeframe, timeframe of the project? If it will fit on my schedule, then I most probably give it a yes. And another thing is compensation, of course, compensation to pay my bills, I have to pay my bills. And then, above all, is how interesting the project is. I mean, is it? Is it something that I would I would love to include in my portfolio? Or is it something that that would challenge me, for example, the project for Ubisoft? I’ve never done, I’ve never done something about a 360 illustration. And for a gaming company, I’ve never done something like that. So I said yes to them, even though my schedule was full at that time. So I said, Yes, of course, I will do this. This is so challenging, and I love your games. So yeah, also the brand, the brand that I’m working with. It doesn’t matter how big or small the brand is, sometimes, okay, I’m a huge fan. I’m a huge fan of Nike, Nike brands, so I will say yes, if they offered me, okay, I’m a huge fan of this studio, like, let’s say Studio Ghibli, if they offered me a project, I would, I would, I would sacrifice all my projects just to work with them because I love them. So it matters. It matters. Interest matters, your your, your the type of work that you are willing to do the type of work yeah, that makes that will make you happy or make you say that, Oh, I want this on my portfolio because I love this project. Those projects, I would definitely say yes,

Iva Mikles

yes. Something you can be proud of later, like, oh, I worked on this. Yeah, perfect. And if someone would like to do what do you do now? Or just started learning or what would you advise them to maybe go to Resources? Do you have like a favorite books or like online resources to learn from?

Kerby Rosanes

Oh, well, I’m not that kind of artists who who does read a lot of books. I actually don’t read books, but I did a lot of book covers, which is kinda scared to contrasting because I don’t like books but I did lots of I have recovers. Well. If if you start if if you decided to actually pursue something in art, then start, then start looking for inspiration. I mean, it doesn’t matter if it’s nature or its other artists, most of the time it’s you find inspiration from other artists. And as an amateur as a first timer, it’s always normal to actually emulate the work of your favorite artists. I was I was a huge fan of Jack Kirby Alex Ross. Those American artists that who works with works with comic books, I wanted to be a comic book artist but but when I grew up, I decided to actually create on my own create something on my own. I don’t I don’t want to follow the steps. I mean, the path of my of the in the people that influenced me, I want to make my own my own path. And so I started emulating their work. I did Joking, joking about color drawings about superheroes like Batman, Spider Man, some sorts of that. But then again, it’s if if I do that Jack Kirby or Alex Ross will always be above above the tree. I mean, yeah, they can always they can always they can always be the one who, who chose the best Batman or Superman, Superman artwork. So I can’t do this forever. I mean, I mean, I have to find something, I have to find my own voice so that clients will hire me of something that I something that I can only do I mean, me and I mean, you are only you can do and no other artists can do. So that’s how that’s how I think artists right now should start with is to find your own voice. I mean, be unique stand out among the crowd. And that’s, that’s actually the main the main criteria on how to make it in the creative industry. Oh, perfect. Yeah.

Iva Mikles

So at the beginning, you study other artists to see like, like about their style, and then you can implement it later to your own status. Exactly. In did someone advise you about the tools you should use? Or did you just try so many pens and markers? And then you found out?

Kerby Rosanes

Yeah, I tried. I tried so many pens and markers. No one No one, no one told me that. Oh, you should use this one. This one. This one really, really looks good. This one. This one works really good. I I figured it out myself. I tried lots of pens, lots of markers, lots of materials, and then try to actually actually find the best paper the best. Also in digital stuff, the best software, the best tools, the best tablet and stuff like that and figure it out myself. So it doesn’t mean that I see lots of students art students that Oh, Kirby uses this pen. So I must use this pen. It’s, it’s, I think it’s very wrong for I mean, it’s okay. But it’s, it’s wrong to say that if I use the same pen, I will be as good as my idol as good as this art is no, it’s it’s not the case. It I always say I always tell them that. Pick something that you are most comfortable with. So if you enjoy or comfortable in doing watercolor, then use watercolor. You don’t have to use pens because the artists that influences you use pens so yeah, it’s always been up to you it’s always been about experimenting and exploring the different tools available and then pick which one is as the most perfect for your craft.

Iva Mikles

Yeah, so just try so many tools as you can and see what fits you Yeah, yeah, but Phil maybe you can mention what they use now because you know, everyone wants to know all the time.

Kerby Rosanes

Oh, yeah. Actually, yeah, that’s that’s the most common question I receive from people. I mean, if you go if you go Instagram or if you go Facebook, most people were will ask, Which pen do you use what sketchbook to use? So I so what I did was I always put my pen today, especially especially the brand name, or the brand of this sketchbook so that people don’t have to ask it anymore. But then again, people are still asking. So I use unique PIN fineliners it’s unique in fineliners it’s pretty cheap, but it does. It does really great. I also use Copic Copic Markers Copic fineliners. I use uni Posca markers for bigger stuff. What else? I use Sharpies. For paper I use Fabriano watercolor watercolor paper. I use watercolor paper but I don’t use watercolor. I just love the thickness the texture of watercolor paper I use for sketchbooks. I use moleskin moleskin has been my favorite scene. and yeah, actually my my very first goal as an artist before it was to, to actually be an ambassador of moleskin Yeah, it’s it’s not yet I’m not yet there but they are they are already sponsoring me. So I don’t have to buy moleskin sketchbooks anymore because I have not sold stocks. So yeah, that said, I didn’t have I didn’t have really, really some sort of fancy tools and stuff like watercolor brushes. No, I don’t use brushes, paints and stuff like that. I just use pens.

Iva Mikles

So maybe you can do theories of moleskin sketchbooks, you know, like special edition.

Kerby Rosanes

Yeah, that’s probably my ultimate dream.

Iva Mikles

Cool. Any major read is like embossed or carved in wood or something.

Kerby Rosanes

Yeah, but when I whenever I go to a moleskin shop, I see this Harry Potter theme notebooks, Star Wars theme notebooks. I wonder if if one day I will? That would be cool.

Iva Mikles

Did you ask them or not yet? Yes. It’s a future project.

Kerby Rosanes

Not yet. Not yet.

Iva Mikles

Okay. I will definitely get that when that will happen. And what about like, how do you combine your income streams? Because you mentioned also like sponsor so you have your own line shop as well you have commissions or maybe not that anymore? So how does it look like how many income streams do you have? Or is it important for you to have more or you have like one main

Kerby Rosanes

Oh, well, the main one is actually commissions. So I still do private commissions. And then yeah, though, I think the biggest the biggest income stream for me, especially when I’m too lazy to do commissions is royalties. So royalties coming from shops like society six Yeah, I only have one what do you call this? One online shop which aside six I have my own shop, my own store? My own website? And what else from Yeah, that’s that’s basically it is

Iva Mikles

and why did he choose society six or because there are other options? Or what do you like about that one specifically?

Kerby Rosanes

Oh, well, six was the first shop of that kind that actually reached out to me to join them. They they even sent filmography over here in Manila, and then Film, film me doing stuff. So I was I was with them since 2011. I was wanting to branch out I mean, try other other stuff like red bubble. I don’t know what others but there is a lot of them. So I think society six, society six, I chose to say the six because I made I already made friends with a lot of people from that website. So it’s so hard to start again and to maintain something like that I have to do social media, I have to do emails, then I have to maintain a shop it’s it’s too it’s too hard to actually do that I’d rather focus on creating more art than then opening another shop to maintain so I stick stick with decide to six

Iva Mikles

Oh nice. And do you have someone who helped you you know with like social media posts or like organizing and project management on all of that.

Kerby Rosanes

I used to have one but you know it’s it’s really hard to let someone let someone do the social media thing because I think it would be much better if it there is some personal touch in it. I mean, you you actually write what you post you actually you are the one posting it you’re actually the one replying to comments to messages. I think that’s something that would that would that your fans or your followers would really appreciate it it’s the same thing for me if I’m going to comment on on on an art on an artist social media and he responded to me that that would mean a lot to me. And then if then if I if I knew that it’s not him or it’s not her and some assistant just do it, then that would be some kind of off or negative sounding for me. Yeah, so I’d rather do it for myself although it’s very it’s really hard but you know, it’s it’s worth it because sometimes you get you get all the motivation you get all the inspiration from your fans for supporting you.

Iva Mikles

Oh, nice, nice. So not even just like a project manager to help you bake do kids or something.

Kerby Rosanes

Well, it depends I in the book in the book, side, like I do coloring books there. I have I have I have publicists in the US and the UK who does all the stuff for the books like Presto or book fairs and stuff like that. Booking everything. And here in Manila. I I don’t have one I do it all, except for the financial side because I have my own accountant. So he does all the taxes and stuff, which is the hardest part? I think so. So I have no choice

Iva Mikles

just to figure out in every country is different is like frustrated. Frustrated? Do you still have time to go for like some sketch clubs in your area? Because I heard also like in Philippines, there is like a big artistic scene. But maybe that’s not true. I’m not sure. Like, Well, friends.

Kerby Rosanes

Well, there’s a lot of art events, a lot of design conferences, sometimes I get invited to talk to be a speaker on on those events. But with my schedule right now, I don’t have that much time to actually go to those events. But there are still a lot, especially those for college students studying art, and stuff like that. I am a member of a doodling community during the Philippines. And yeah, it’s kind of I’m, I’m already one of the senior stuff. And yeah, all of the members are like kids from high school and stuff, which is pretty cool. So once in a while I still hang out to them if there is time. But yeah, art scene here in the Philippines in one specific moment. It is so good. Not as big as in other countries. But But getting there.

Iva Mikles

Yeah, nice. So you can start your own sketch gloves. And in every area if there is nothing for everyone listening so perfect. And is there something you wish you knew before you started your artistic career?

Kerby Rosanes

Oh, wow. It’s probably more on digital art doing digital art. Because I’m, I’m, I’m a purely traditional artist, I don’t do digital stuff. Not Not until I use Photoshop or Illustrator for cleaning up my drawings. But I wish I knew how to paint digitally, or to draw digitally, I mean, purely digital. Because at the start of my career, I receive a lot of questions, a lot of commissions were in, okay, we want you to draw something about this really, really cool project. But we need it to be in vector we need it to be a fully digital. So and I always say, Oh, I can’t do this project. Because I don’t know how to use this software. I don’t know how to actually, I mean, I know how to use the software, but I don’t think I’m good enough for for for doing my work on in front of a computer or in front of a tablet. Because it hurts in my eyes just looking at the screen for hours and stuff like that. So yeah, I wish I wish I knew I wish I was better at digital art. Before I started, I started my career but you know, traditional artists still cool. So yeah, we’ll stick

Iva Mikles

with that. It’s special in some way. Always.

Kerby Rosanes

Yeah, it’s special. It’s special. In it,

Iva Mikles

do you have something which simplifies your life. Now like either the planer or now some digital tool or something which you use daily, you cannot live without

Kerby Rosanes

my phone. Well, aside from my phone, probably some apps that I use, well, I use Photoshop, I use an iPad, and the Apple Pencil. The Apple pencil is really really fun. i i At first I don’t think I can use it for my projects. But now I’m using it every time to clean up my work. I use Photoshop on the iPad I use and then connected with my MacBook through an app called AstroPad. It’s pretty cool app. It’s like a mirror. It mirrors your desktop to your iPad. So that when you use Photoshop on your desktop, you mirror it on your iPad, so you can use the Apple Pencil directly on the Photoshop critical app. Yeah, I was I was using the I was using the the normal, normal app normal normal ASP. NET app. And then I posted it on Instagram and then the AstroPad team emailed me about oh, we can when we can upgrade you. So they upgraded. It was just pretty cool. I was not expecting it. So yeah, that’s pretty cool. That’s me cool app. Yeah. Oh,

Iva Mikles

good. I have to try. Perfect. And in my last questions are about the future. And I would like to know where would you see yourself in like five to 10 years and your dream scenario? Where are you and what are you doing?

Kerby Rosanes

I would probably be climbing Mount Everest. Good. Yeah, I Well, I mean, I would probably spend more time traveling and checking off my bucket list. Yeah. So in the next five years, that would be that would be the scenario in my mind.

Iva Mikles

So what bucket list like what countries a lot of things

Kerby Rosanes

and other things. Yeah, climbing mountain Everest skydiving in Dubai. I recently checked one seeing the Aurora in Iceland. I won’t see that Aurora in Norway. What else? Other things?

Iva Mikles

Oh, nice. Yeah, I actually heard you can do dogsledding while looking at the outer border lollies in Norway.

Kerby Rosanes

Oh my god, I have to write it down. I just go and maybe visit Switzerland?

Iva Mikles

Yeah, definitely. That would be nice. A lot of hiking a lot of mountains, you know? Yeah. No, what about the far, far future? And like in 100 years, what would you like to be remembered for?

Kerby Rosanes

Oh, my God. I wish I wish I could stay alive for 100 years? Well, well, that’s a really tough question. I would say that I would be remembered for like, let’s say, let’s say my, my idol or the the artists that influenced me the most is Jack Kirby, which is a comic book illustrator, I would probably say I would remember I would, I would like to be remembered like him in such a way that the the people who follows me or are fans of me would would would consider it as something that, okay, I’m a fan of Kirby, but I don’t want to take the path that Kobe did. Instead, I will use him as an inspiration to take my own path. I mean, to discover my own my own voice, and then just be just be just be successful at something that I’m good at. It’s either it’s either art or any anything else, any field. So I want to remember through someone as an inspiration for them to actually pursue their dreams. That’s very simple. But yeah, that’s I think that’s what I think about.

Iva Mikles

But it’s perfect, because I think you’re already inspiring so many people and just to go ahead and follow the patient, so that’s perfect. And maybe before we say goodbye, you can say hello, or like share last advice or a piece of guidance, and then we will finish.

Kerby Rosanes

Last advice. Never. Okay, this one is for the starting artists or amateur artists or just decided to pursue drawing as a craft. Never quit showing. That’s three words I have I have an artwork about it. It says never quit joing. And it was shared a lot. I saw it. It was it was stolen. It was being sold in another shop. And I think I think it happened because it has a very huge impact. It’s three words, and it has a very huge impact not just for me, but for those who have seen the artwork, so it’s never quit showing.

Iva Mikles

Perfect. Yeah, I totally agree. So thank you so much for being here. I really appreciate it. Thanks for having me. And thanks, everyone for joining and don’t forget to inspire each other and see you in the next episode. 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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