What Was Your Gateway Into Drawing?

Every artist and creative has that one thing that really kickstarted their creativity. Maybe it was the first time you read about HogwartsMaybe it was the first time seeing the T-Rex in Jurassic Park thunder-walk onscreen. Or maybe it happened when you looked at a color-by-numbers page and went, “I could do this way better…”, or while you were bored in class and doodling on the sides of your notes.

We were curious about what sparked the creative light in our artists, so we talked to everyone who had their work printed in the past month and asked them: what (or who!) was your gateway into drawing? Check out their answers below!

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Trappist 1” by Claudia Santos.

For reasons I cannot explain, I’ve always loved expressing myself by drawing. It’s a necessity, ever since I was a little child. I’ve followed artist studies too, although after I graduated, I stopped drawing completely for a decade. A few years ago, economical crisis hit the country and I had to change. I had the chance to ‘come back’ and start drawing again…so, that was it, that opportunity. I accepted the challenge and, although the world had evolved a lot and I did not even remember how to open a Photoshop file anymore (true), I decided to do it. And it was the best thing I could ever do. So thanks, crisis :D




Cláudia Santos (@clsantos82)
Worth the Weight” by Gulshan Kishor & Nicholas Ginty.

A huge influence for me is my Nan, June Blacker. She’s an amazing artist and as a kid, she had me exploring art and always had the coolest art stuff. Tonnes of fun – thanks, Nan!




Nicholas Ginty (@Gintron)
Stay in School…” by Perry Beane.

When I was four I went with my mom to pick up my brother from a painting class. They weren’t quite done, so the teacher gave me some brushes and a canvas to doodle on. She liked what I was doing so much, she asked my mom if I could join the class. So now you all know who to blame. :)



Perry Beane (@BeanePod)
Extraordinary League of Dimwits” by Victor Calahan.

I’d say my gateway was a combo of things, from stumbling as a kid in the late ’70s and early ’80s on my older brother’s issues of Metal Hurlant (Heavy Metal) where I discovered the amazing work of Moebius or Crumb comics and others, to the cover artworks (and music) of his record collection that I loved. He was also in art school at the time, and he and his friends had badass looks, rad bikes, metal flakes helmets and that cool rock’n rollin’ attitude that made me think: “wow, I want to be a part of that, one way or another!”




Victor Calahan (@v_calahan)
Emergency Kosplay” by Ian Byers.

When I was five years old, I won a drawing contest for the local newspaper. Seeing my artwork in black and white and feeling that sense of accomplishment is a still a vivid memory I have, and one that drove me to be an artist.




Ian Byers (@ibyes)
We Are Not Alone” by Grant Stephen Shepley.

Some of the first characters I ever drew were from the Looney ToonsI would draw Bugs Bunny and Tasmanian Devil whenever given some scrap paper. As a kid I also loved cars and used to draw a lot of cars from magazines, and then also designed some of my own cars.




Grant Stephen Shepley (@Gamma-Ray)
Running Wild” and “Dead in the Water” by Cody Weiler.

There are two things from my childhood that really inspired me to start making things. First, I have to give credit to all of the ’90s cartoons that I watched as a kid. Shows like Hey Arnold, Doug, Rocko’s Modern Life, Angry Beavers, etc. got me drawing at a really young age. For the longest time I wanted to be a cartoonist, and still do on some level haha. The second thing that got me thinking creatively was The Joy of Painting. Watching Bob Ross make it look so effortless inspired me to take painting classes, and ultimately opened the door for me to appreciate many different types of art.




Cody Weiler (@csweiler)
Snide Effects” by David Olenick.

As a kid I was obsessed with the rock group KISS, who performed with really cool graphics on their faces. I did a lot of drawings of them, and I’m sure I absorbed an appreciation for the power of design to connect with people. That, along with my dubious taste in music, continues to this day.




David Olenick (@DRO72)

What got YOUR artistic gears turning? Let us know in the comments!

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CategoriesArtists Speak
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Carlyn Hill

Dad joke aficionado, cartoonist, & contributor for sites like HelloGiggles and The Mary Sue by night. When I'm not writing or drawing, you can find me in my cave of a room hanging out with my boyfriend, Netflix.