Shop Mobile More Submit  Join Login
About Digital Art / Professional Senior Member Eric ProctorMale/United States Groups :iconclash-of-the-titans: Clash-Of-The-Titans
The Titans Of DA!
Recent Activity
Deviant for 10 Years
Premium Member 'til Hell freezes over
Statistics 303 Deviations 36,921 Comments 1,090,819 Pageviews

Newest Deviations

Commission Status

Next Kiriban

TsaoShin's Video Resources

TsaoShin's Daily Deviations

Fire Witches
Suggested by Augusata
Featured by KovoWolf
Given October 31, 2014

Bella No
Suggested by Kida-neechan
Featured by Ry-Spirit
Given April 22, 2014

Given September 6, 2013

Given December 22, 2012

Given December 24, 2011

Avatar - I See You
Suggested by 8-BitGirl
Featured by TommyGK
Given April 22, 2011

The Creation of Mario
Suggested by Jace-Z
Featured by rydi1689
Given June 20, 2010

The Duel
Suggested by zayyad1453
Featured by archanN
Given January 30, 2010

Night Flight
Suggested by meihua
Featured by aunjuli
Given June 8, 2009

Questions and Answers

Journal Entry: Tue Jan 20, 2015, 12:37 PM

News by TsaoShin


I realized the other day that I get quite a few notes with really great questions.  Some of the information seemed like it would be useful to others so I figure I would share a handful of them on occasion.  The names have been removed and some of the notes have been edited down from the original.

Q: Do you agree with quote that talent is 1% and time spent on drawing, and practicing it is 99%?

A: It's really hard to quantify something like the percentage of talent vs practice when it comes to the quality of your final drawing. I see talent as something more interwoven into someone's ability rather than a "gift" that automatically makes them have a higher degree of skill. For example, someone may grasp an artistic concept faster than others or they might have a better feel for spatial reasoning but they may struggle with other things like color temperature or brush work.

Artwork itself is a multifaceted skill set and there are opportunities within every pocket to have talent. You might be adept at anatomy, or lighting, etc but all of these things will require that you practice them since nothing comes without a degree of effort. You may excel in any number of these things faster than your peers and they might interpret that as talent.

I don't think anybody is just born with the ability to draw like a master. How fast you can achieve your goals will differ from person to person but the bottom line is that it all requires practice, repetition, and a passion to improve.

Q: Seeing as you are a professional, I thought you'd be a good person to talk to. I see you have a BA in Studio Art, but focus primarily on conceptual illustration. I was wondering if you could help me out with some questions?
  • For any art degree, would an Associate's degree limit my job opportunities in the future? Obviously a Bachelor's is better, but in the art field, does it matter which one you have?
  • Does getting a degree in a certain field of art limit you specifically to that area of expertise?
  • Did you know exactly what you wanted to do when you were in school?

A: I'd say having a degree in art is pretty critical for your future career endeavors. The debatable part of it is whether you get it from a University/College or from a technical school. I think it might be worthwhile to consider getting an AA first then going to finish your degree in a technical school. It might be more economically sound and you'll get the same sort of comprehensive education that you'll need for the field.

Art is a pretty competitive field, so any program that gets you closer to having a relevant portfolio or reel is going to make you a better candidate when it comes to your interviews. Pick a school that prioritizes getting you closer to the kind of work you'd do in your career. I see a lot of schools sort of ushering artists through their degrees in a way that doesn't actually prepare them for real world careers.

Despite how important an education/degree is, it's still pretty much a bullet point on your resume to most interviewers. The strongest part of your submission to any job will be your portfolio so make sure you prioritize your relevancy to the field, technical abilities, and how you market yourself as an artist.

I did an interview with a number of other professional artists on the question "Should You Become a Professional Artist?".  It has a lot of great answers to similar questions:

Should You Become a Professional Artist?Community Week
Do you enjoy art passionately and are considering doing it as your job, but have some worries such as;
        :oops: Will I enjoy it as much as a job?
        :oops: Will it be hard getting a job?
        :oops: Will I become a starving artist?

If you're like me, you're asking yourself those questions and are letting them give you a hard time deciding whether or not to pursue art professionally. My health teacher told me, as we digressed from our topic of smoking, that to know whether or not you want to do a job, you have to hear what it's like from someone who's already doing it. That's why I decided to do an interview with professional artists on dA to give me, and hopefully many others, answers to these burning questions and an idea of what it's like to be a professional artist.
Okay, well let's get to it then :la:
This is quite long so if you'd like to jump to a section, here are the questions I aske

Q: I wonder if you would take the time to tell me how you got to where you are now? How did you gain your popularity? How did you and your art grab the attention of so many people? Is there any advice you could give to another dedicated yet less experienced artist?

A: Unfortunately, I wish there was something more formulaic about art exposure but of course if there was an easy way, everyone would be popular XD

It took me 9 years on deviantART to achieve my first 100,000 page views (in September 2012). I had worked hard over the years to make lots of drawings, improve, and reach out to people. Despite all of that effort, it was a single drawing that brought me more exposure in a single week than I had in 9 years. My Grumpy Cat Little Mermaid drawing.

It's funny how life can throw you a curve ball you weren't expecting but that's the joy of the unknown. If there's one thing I think I learned from my experience, it's that you never quite know what the future holds.

If I can boil down my evaluation of my own artistic path to some bullet points, here is that list:

1. Open yourself to all social media platforms. Twitter, Facebook, tumblr, etc. Don't limit yourself at all. You may become popular in one place and that popularity will spread. Each social media entity has its own age groups, interests, focuses, and what have you. If you limit yourself, you might be missing out on the audience that would have been interested in your art.

2. Show your followers that you appreciate them. Nobody likes an aloof and lofty artist that distances themselves from their fans and the people who want to learn from them. They want to feel appreciated also so let them know that you are paying attention to their comments and their favorites.

3. Show your process. The more intimate you are with your followers, the more "human" you are. People like to know how artists create their work. It shows that there IS hard work there and that it's not magic. They will appreciate you for being a person that grew and improved.

4. Crosslink your drawings. Put your social media links in your comments. Put thumbnails of your other relevant art in the deviation description. I was really surprised how effective this was at giving exposure to some of my older artwork to my new followers.

5. Examine the interest of your followers. This is always a delicate balance of doing what you want and responding to the want of your followers. It's easy to get wrapped up in fan service and lose your identity and own desires to the horde but it's also a good way to make sure you keep people hooked on your artwork.

Thanks for all of your great questions!  If people are interested in this, I'll do them more often.  I've also had people invite me to comment on their WIPs and finished drawings.  If you're interested in having your artwork displayed with a critique on my journal, shoot me a note that says you're OK with me showing your drawing here :)

Features by TsaoShin

Playful Grendel -GiftArt- by HawkHeart-Tea
Playful Grendel by HawkHeart-Tea

TsaoShin by Raccoonlife101
Grendel by Raccoonlife101


Eric Proctor
Artist | Professional | Digital Art
United States

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What programs/tools do you use?
A: Adobe Photoshop CS5 and CC, 9x12 Wacom Intuos 4, and a Wacom 24HD Cintiq.
Q: How long have you been drawing? Did you go to school for art?
A: I have a BA in Studio Art and focused primarily in traditional painting until 2002. I made the switch to digital painting shortly after.
Q: Do you work professionally as an artist?
A: I am a conceptual illustrator and designer for a research laboratory.
Q: How long does it take you to make a drawing?
A: It can take anywhere from 4-25 hours to make a drawing depending on the complexity.
Q: Do you use custom brushes in Photoshop? Can I have them?
A: Download my basic brush set here:
Q: Do you do any tutorials?
A: I have some resources in my gallery on my process and I have written tutorials for Fantasy Artist Magazine. I also have lots of video resources:
Q: Do you do commissions?
A: Yes I do – please check my commission schedule for availability:
Q: Do you draw requests?
A: I’m sorry, my schedule is extremely tight and I do not draw requests.
Q: Can I use your art for my Facebook cover, art feature, etc?
A: Sharing my artwork is perfectly fine as long as folks aren't trying to sell it or take credit for it. Giving me a credit shout out and link back to my dA page is always appreciated!
Q: Can I buy prints of your artwork?
A: Yes! You can either catch me at a few of the east coast conventions where I sell my work or head over to my online stores:
Q: What breed is your black cat?
A: Grendel is a Highland Lynx. His tail is naturally short, his ears are curled, and he has 26 toes. He's basically a miniature black bear. You can see videos of him on youtube:

Complete FAQ here:

For commercial commissions, work offers, and permission to display my work in commercial media outlets please contact me at: tsaoshin[at]

Deviousness Award

Deviousness Award
An energetic artist who brings a spark of life to all of his creations, Eric Proctor (known by the community as TsaoShin) has spawned some of the most memorable works of art on DeviantART. His Grumpy Cat Disney mashups have been seen and shared far and wide across the internet, and his creative spirit and technical ability are matched only by his good-hearted nature. To many community members, Eric is one of the most friendly individuals to interact with. All of his Journals come with good cheer, gratitude, and positivity, and he takes time to interact and spread good cheer and knowledge into the community.
-awarded December 2014

Convention Schedule

Gaylord National Hotel and Convention Center
National Harbor, MD

Gaylord National Hotel and Convention Center
National Harbor, MD

Hynes Convention Center
Boston, MA

Walter E. Washington Convention Center
Washington, DC

Here be dragons...


Add a Comment:
rockstarcrossing Featured By Owner 6 hours ago  Hobbyist General Artist
Your art is cool! Keep it coming. :)
aohoshi2008 Featured By Owner 11 hours ago
*nose boop* hi there. 
Are you closed right now?
CheddarPie Featured By Owner 18 hours ago  Student Filmographer
I have a question If you don't mind me asking, what type of computer do you have or would recommend for someone who is an artist and plans on becoming an illustrator someday? I have considered getting an imac like a 27 inch and was wondering if one like that would be good? I know I'd have to figure out what ram size and what not to get but, yeah. Btw, I love your art not only is it charming in the poses but, the palettes you use draw the eye to it like you wouldn't believe. So great job! and I always enjoy viewing your work.
TsaoShin Featured By Owner 13 hours ago  Professional Digital Artist
Thank you so much for your kind words!  Once I started using a Mac I haven't looked back.  I think it's a good solid machine for digital painting and the 27" iMac is probably going to be perfect for you :)  Even the base model has great specs and the color accuracy on the monitor is awesome.
KitzyTheCat Featured By Owner 1 day ago  New member
Hiya!! Neko Emoji-41 - (Kawaii Waving) [V3] 
YOU'VE BEEN HUGGED!! Huggle huggle <3
Spread the DA love around! (you can copy and paste this message on their userpage!)
Hug Huggle! Man Hug Tight Hug Tackling hug 5 seconds hug Squish Hug 2 -  The Eye Poke Hug Redbull glomp :hug:2 rvmp :slipperyhug: :hugs: 
1- You can hug the person who hugged you!
2- You -MUST- hug 10 other people, at least!
3- You should hug them in public! Paste it on their page!
4- Random hugs are perfectly okay! (and sweet)
5- You should most definitely get started hugging right away!
Send This To All Your Friends, And Me If I Am 1.
If You Get 7 Back You Are Loved!
1-3 you're bad friend
4-6 you're an ok friend
7-9 you're a good friend
10-& Up you're loved ^-^

(Btw, I love your art! You're amazing! *Hug*)
TsaoShin Featured By Owner 13 hours ago  Professional Digital Artist
Yay hugs! And thank you!
Ginathepuppy Featured By Owner 1 day ago  Hobbyist Filmographer
Just found you and I can say....I'm speechless... your art Is amazing!
+watch you
TsaoShin Featured By Owner 1 day ago  Professional Digital Artist
Thank you so much! Really glad you like my artwork ^^
Ginathepuppy Featured By Owner 1 day ago  Hobbyist Filmographer
Pouasson-de-oro Featured By Owner 1 day ago  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Hi !
I must tell you something, someone is selling some of your Lion King art as place mats, on the french eBay :/
look at these :…  and…
I'm so sorry :(
TsaoShin Featured By Owner 1 day ago  Professional Digital Artist
Oh wow... they didn't even remove my signature?  That's crazy.. Thank you so much for bringing this to my attention.  I really appreciate it ^^
Pouasson-de-oro Featured By Owner 1 day ago  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yeah that's just completely criminal... this kind of people are shameless -_-

You're very welcome :)
I'm myself an artist and I would be really furious if I discovered that some people tried to do money with my art...
BurgerTruck Featured By Owner 1 day ago  New member Student Traditional Artist
You are my favourite artist
please marry me... ;3;
TsaoShin Featured By Owner 1 day ago  Professional Digital Artist
haha thank you so much ^^
denplaysgames Featured By Owner 1 day ago  Student General Artist…

*slowly crawls to a corner*
Add a Comment: