I started going to college a little over three years ago, and it was a tough decision bc if anyone was around at the time you might remember there was a pretty strong anti-art school sentiment from the last generation of web animators (and I mean the LAST generation amirite?) Anyway the prevailing argument was that studios care more about quality work than qualifications, and everything you learn in school is stuff you can find on the internet anyway. Despite all this I went to school, and I found out that they were only half right:
YES, just about everything you need is online for free.
BUT, where the fuck is it?
I lied a little bit, I didn't go to school for art, I went for game design, and I learned a lot more about programming in my first few weeks than I ever had looking up tutorials online. The book we used was called "learning processing," and it rocked my fuckin world. I coulda bought it on Amazon and saved myself $10,000, but without having a guy to point me in the right direction, I probably never would have found it, and I would probably still be pretty bad at coding.
Anyway if you're an animator/artist, get FUCKIN ready cause here's how to get all the shit everyone told you was out there but no one told you how to find:
Alright if you're like I was two years ago, you probably thought 4chan was for weird nerds and that kid who knew about porn before everyone else when they were like 11. WELL boy was I surprised to find out there are more boards than /b/ and they actually have some smart guys on 'em. The sticky on http://boards.4chan.org/ic/ has links to a TON of useful art stuff, so get that bookmark button ready:
2. Tumblr - Ask
If you've been around the Tumblr block you know that maybe like 70% of the people on there have an "ask" button that lets you send in questions. If there's some aspect of art that you want to get better at, just find someone who does it well and ask for advice! As long as you aren't going up to super-famous guys with 20k followers, most everyone will write back, and if you didn't know, you can ask stuff anonymously. I've done this a bunch and have found some pretty great resources that way. (Most guys don't get a ton of engagement anyway, so go make some artist happy!)
This one wasn't about anything specific, but just some guy that I found that I liked! Here's his blog.
Alright you know how they say you go to school to make connections? You can make connections on Skype and Discord, and you can really get the same constructive/competitive environment you'd get out of school. I met most of my guys in a NATA-based group a while ago. See if you can find something like that I guess? (Hey if someone wants to help me out with some discord links that'd be great)
If you have a library anywhere near you, get a card and start checkin out books! A lot of the time you'll find some shit you've never heard of that inspires you more personally than the more general reccomendations people tend to make on the internet. If it weren't for my school's french-speaking population, I never would have discovered the works of Andre Franquin, who I really think might have been the greatest cartoonist who ever lived.
There are also a few big repositories of art instructional books online. Now most books are copyrighted, so I'm gonna have to slip you this one under the table
^Tons of good shit in the 4th and 5th links. There are other ways to download books for free, but I think there's a rule on NG that says I can't tell you how to do that.
5. Reddit - How to learn anything imaginable
My brother showed me this one -
Think of something you'd like to learn, eg "game development," "watercolor," or "piracy"
Head on over to google and search for "_____ reddit" (or "learn __ reddit" or whatever works)
Usually you can find a sticky thread at the top or an faq in the sidebar, which will usually include a link on where to get started! Here's what I found:
I didn't really read any of these I was just trying to make a point. Actually I read one of them. Maybe.
6. My own collection
Alright so this post was mainly geared towards how to FIND resources and not any specific ones I use, but here's a few of the guys I swear by:
John Ks Blog Probably the best free resource specifically about cartoon drawing
Animation Resources Stuff to read when you run out of John K
Proko Fine art instuctional vids
Animator reels Tons of these on youtube, highly recommend the ones on Hayao Miyazaki, Rod Scribner, Fred Moore, Koji Nanke, Jim Tyer, Milt Kahl, Tissa David. I'd link to them by name but I'm getting tired and I have to get up tomorrow
BOOKS (these are all amazon links cause yeah we get it "swoosh")
If you're just starting out and you want to learn how to draw, read both of these (yea both)
These two embody two pretty different approaches - observational drawing vs construction. If you liked the first one better, keep lookin at stuff and keep practicing. But if you liked the second one better, try the other Loomis books, and Cartoon Animation by Preston Blair
Understanding Comics is super easy to read and tackles some really cool theory stuff. It's the kind of thing where once you've read it you really think about what you're doing more deeply and analytically.
The Little Book Of Talent is good for general meta-learning stuff. Good bite-sized info for you "tips" guys
Did you think I was going to link the Richard Williams book? Get real ya fuckin nerd. Last thing cause I really gotta go to bed, here's some general advice:
lil amendment - be careful around shady websites, ok? don't be stupid!!!!