What To Draw Next?
Eli Calkins says he first started drawing in the seventh grade. He says he just picked up a pencil and a piece of paper and began drawing. Recently the fifth-year senior has made the transition to digital drawing, now using his laptop and a drawing tablet.
Calkins uses Clip Studio Paint for his drawings rather than Adobe Photoshop. Clip Studio Paint is a family of software applications developed by Celys; while similar to Photoshop, Clip Studio Paint is specifically tailored for manga and comic drawing. Most notably, comic artist Fiona Staples who worked on Saga uses the program, as well as Watchmen co-creator Dave Gibbons.
Calkins says he owes his cartoon-ish style to his love of Nintendo games. His first game was Kirby and the Crystal Shards. Since then he has loved all the Kirby games, owing his love to the ‘cutesy’ style of the characters.
Calkins also draws homoerotic art, and he says he does this to show proper representation of gay men. He says he hopes to make a career drawing game art, reserving homoerotic art to his personal work.
As a student double majoring in a Bachelor's in Fine Arts and Interdisciplinary Digital Studio, in the classroom Calkins paints. Many of his sketches have ended up on a canvas. But Eli sees it as just a way of becoming versatile; allowing him to paint manually and draw digitally.
Calkins shows a piece he drew for his Patreon; a website where users can pledge a monthly amount to a content creator, generating the creator's income. Calkins describes his Patreon currently being lackluster, but hopes to improve it and turn it into a genuine source of income.