Spotlight on SketchBook artist Ian O'Neill

My name's Ian O’Neill, but mostly everyone knows be my online moniker, EzJedi. I’m a freelance Illustrator and Graphic Designer from Poole, on the South Coast of England. I was always scribbling away as a youngster, inspired by the early TMNT comics and my friend’s stash of super violent 2000AD Dredd books.

Back in Primary School some friends and I produced a short series of comics called ‘The Killer Eggs’. It was so popular that one of our teachers would actually use the school copiers to distribute copies around the various classes- despite the questionable content and obvious inspiration/plagarism of the Killer Tomatoes (which was pretty hip back then)!

After that I strayed away from art for all of my late teens; you might say I went through a rebellious phase as a young man. Thankfully I met my girlfriend who settled me down, only for me to rediscover my passion for comic and videogame art in my early 20’s. I actually felt so rusty when I first picked up a pencil again that I had to practice for what felt like forever just to get back to the standard I was at age 11!

Since then I’ve been working hard to refine and improve. I’ve no formal training or art education, so I’ve just tried to be logical and approach my weaknesses one at a time. With the wealth of resources on the web these days, anyone with the right level of determination and self-awareness can learn almost anything, as long as you’re honest with yourself about what you’re good at and what you aren’t.

I find inspiration pretty much everywhere these days; the obvious things like videogames, movies, anime and comics. But I’m also often inspired by music I hear, or locations I travel to. Most often my ideas start as stories, even for something that becomes a single illustration. But we’re all different, you just have to find a source of inspiration that gets you brimming with creativity! Although it’s taken me a long time to get it back to art, I have quite an active (read: childish) imagination. I create stories and visualise imagery in my head inspired by places I visit and things I see.

I’m also pretty interested in science, ancient history and geology, so I watch a lot of documentaries! These are a frequent source of knowledge, that often sparks some element of an idea for me. And of course, I get a lot of inspiration and motivation by seeing what the artists I look up to are producing. It’s important to not be too influenced by the ideas or style of others, but I’m an art enthusiast at heart. Nothing gives me more pleasure than enjoying the fruits of another artist’s labour.

If I could give advice to other artists, I’d say “brace yourself, this is gonna get rough.” Being serious, I think the best advice I could give to those trying to improve and take their art seriously is to learn how to be resolute. For me, the journey of improvement has had it’s ups and downs. A lot of downs. It can be maddening when your hands won’t seem to obey your brain and put on paper/screen what you can visualise in your head. But you have to stay strong, no matter how frustrated you get. Take a deep breath, take a break, then try again. And again, and so on.

Also I’ll save those artists a lot of time and pain with this little tip: don’t compare your work, style, skill, ideas, etc, to the artists whose work you most admire! Unless you’re a freakishly gifted natural, it’s a surefire way to kill your morale and self confidence. Those artists you admire spent years, decades in some cases, refining their skills and practicing day after day. Instead, compare everything you do to what you did last. Then to what you did around the same time last year. As long as you’re improving and building confidence in what you do, the gap between the artists you love and admire and yourself will close eventually. If you do anything every day, you’re going to better at it. Eventually you’ll get good at it. After 10,000 hours you’re supposedly a master at it. I’ll let you know about that someday... 

I guess overall what I’m trying to say is that although it isn’t easy sometimes, anything worth doing rarely is, so stick at it!


Sketchbook 3.3: Update for iOS Users

Last week Apple released iOS9, the next generation version of their operating system for iPhones and iPads. We always try to expect the unexpected with any big release of a new operating system, but inevitably there is a small detail we don’t anticipate.

iOS 9 Issue [SOLVED!]

During this Apple iOS 9 unveiling we saw reports from users about SketchBook 3.2 crashing on iOS devices that are used in conjunction with a Wacom stylus. We identified a quick workaround: 1) Disable Bluetooth; 2) Restart SketchBook; and 3) Disable Wacom as your Pen Connection in the Preferences menu. Doing that removed pressure sensitivity, but you could still use your stylus. 

That workaround is no longer necessary as we were able to rush a new version into the iTunes App Store by the end of the week. So if you are an iOS user and your Wacom device is near and dear to your heart (as they are to us), head to the iTunes App Store and update to SketchBook 3.3.

Windows Wacom Issue [Ongoing] 

If you’re a Windows user, we’ve seen some users report “pressure spikes” that we’re investigating. If you experience any difficulty with your Wacom device one option to consider is reverting to an older version of the Wacom software that drives your stylus or device. You can download all of their old drivers and read the release notes for each download on their site here: It’s generally a good idea to uninstall the driver you want to replace before installing a different driver. And, rebooting is always a good idea before testing your new set-up. 

As always, if you’re having trouble with SketchBook — whether it’s related to a device or stylus or anything else — shoot us a message at our support site and we’ll do our best to get you back up and sketching. 


Amy Hashim & SketchBook at KL Converge! 2015

SketchBook user & digital painter Amy Hashim was a featured speaker at the KL Convergence in Malaysia. This conference is centered around the latest in digital art expression and technology! Not only did she give a three hour class in SketchBook, based off the prolific Susan Murtaugh's works, but she showed her own amazing paintings in a gallery of 20+ pieces.
We chatted with Amy a little bit about her process and inspiration. Check out the interview & profile below!

Amy Hashim, Oil and iPad / Mobile Painter, Malaysia

Amy Hashim (born 1971 in Kota Bharu, Malaysia) is an artist creating painting in both digital and traditional technique that allows pieces to show paintings that can be either real or abstract. A mother of 3 children,  Amy currently lives and works in Kuala Lumpur.  Amy paints and showcases her artworks through social media, talks and broadcast TV starting from her home as well as online worldwide.  On weekends, Amy cycles and she also has cats and rabbits as pets.  

Tell us about how you got started with art. 
My journey of doing arts started very early when I was about 6 years old.  It was in primary school, when my sister told me she had sold my drawings to her friends.   I didn’t take any art classes but I continued drawing in primary school, and later, when I went to college doing my Business Degree and even while I was attached to a giant Multinational company, Intel.  As a teenager I loved to write, draw and engage in scrap-booking, some of which are still kept till today.  My late father was an art teacher before becoming a banker, which was probably where the interests in arts came from. It is the birth of our third daughter that marks the end of my working career and the beginning of my journey as an artist in both Mobile and Traditional!  She was the reason I am able to resume my passion in arts!

How did you find SketchBook?
I wasn’t sure what I needed given everything was pretty new back then but I saw so many artists producing fabulous artworks using Sketchbook pro on Facebook.  I Googled and found out that it is one of the top 10 apps in the list.   I needed something to cater my hunger to sketch, color and paint and the various forever changing styles. I’m so glad that Sketchbook has never failed me since then.  And when I use Sketchbook for my mobile arts classes and workshop, I realized that Sketchbook is just a great tool for anyone to use, from beginners to professionals, and it is really worth every penny. 

What's your favorite tools in SketchBook?
You know, I love everything in sketchbook, I can customize its brushes giving me the solidness of realism or even the painterly style, and its wonderful color palate which is super easy to choose from.  Its the time-lapse recording.  The more you learn the more I realized..”woah!”… how powerful this software is and you just couldn't get enough of it.  Sketchbook team is doing an amazing job there. 
While I’m also painting using oil on canvas, I often lose my momentum.  I get frustrated easily trying to mix colors in oil so what I do is take a photo and meanwhile in Sketchbook I would throw all those amazing colors and images until I achieve what I want.   It really helps me understand the process I need to undertake to finish an oil painting.   The best part is I have more than 600 of mobile artworks and that has also increased my productivity.   

What inspires you to paint? 
My husband and my travels. My husband finds my arts and my speech entertaining, hahah!  But he speaks about something I’m not aware off but that keeps me inspired.  We also love travelling and when we travel I’m so in love with the landscape and scenery.  It was my trip to Italy in Autumn 2013 that brought me closest to Autodesk when my Venice piece was chosen to be printed in the 2013 Autodesk Guide Book Annual Conference which was held at the Venetian hotel in Las Vegas.   I enjoyed capturing sceneries and the moments when we travel so much and I could spend weeks interpreting paintings on both ipad and on canvases.  

Do you have advice for other artists?
Honestly, this Apps allows me to stay as a full time mother and at the same time optimize my creativity.   How can you not be inspired when my arts have travelled the world while I’m nursing a baby?   My works have attracted the medias and University and caused me to be invited as key speaker at a recent international forum, KL Converge 2015,  and that to me is truly life changing. 
If that is what it has done to me, the sky is the limit for you out there!  Do not live in the opinion of others, thinking art has to be on canvas using tubes of paints.  Technology moves very fast so take advantage of all the technology around you to unlock your creativity, boost your potential to help you become great!  


How to draw Captain Yeah in Autodesk SketchBook

Andrew Pawley is the creator of "Galaxafreaks" - A trippy adventure comic drawn in Autodesk SketchBook. In this short tutorial, he walks you through how to draw the main character- Captain Yeah. Download SketchBook, start your free trial today, and follow along!



September Hero Challenge: Kyle Runciman

If money was no object and technology infinite, how would you travel locally? Internationally? Intergalactically?

In this challenge, I want to see your concepts on transportation, with no boundaries in terms of type or design. It can be wheels, rail, wings or anything you can think of. 

Just show off your most awe inspiring mode of transportation concepts.  

Kyle Runciman


How do you participate in the Hero Challenge? Just follow these steps: 

Click to enlarge.

Download this, rise to the challenge, and draw in SketchBook! 

 Sign up for DeviantArt, if you're not already a member! All the fun is happening there.

Join the official Autodesk SketchBook group

Download the prompt and draw your image (left) . This month the challenge is to conveying motion in a still image. 

Draw your original artwork on the canvas using Autodesk SketchBook.

Add your entry to the DeviantArt Autodesk SketchBook group!



At the end of September, Kyle will pick the pieces that met the challenge the best, and give feedback on why they hit the mark. We'll feature that art right here for everyone to see!



About the artist:

Kyle is the Domain Expert for SketchBook and Content Lead for Digital Arts at Autodesk. He’s an Industrial Designer by trade and spends most of his days drawing cars and super heroes. Kyle has designed products in industries ranging from Medical to Power tools to Automotive. Check out Kyle’s DA Gallery here!




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