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Top Marvel concept artist shares 6 tips for success

When Karla Ortiz gives advice on how to become a successful artist, it’s advice you want to pay attention to. The award-winning Puerto Rican creative has already ticked most of the boxes on any aspiring artists’ dream-list. In her 10 years as a concept artist, she’s contributed to several big-budget films, including Jurassic World, World of Warcraft, Rogue One, Thor Ragnarok, Black Panther, Infinity Wars, and Doctor Strange. As an illustrator, she’s perhaps best known for her work on Magic: The Gathering; while as a fine artist her work has been exhibited in major galleries worldwide. 

So when Ortiz spoke last Friday at Vertex, the sell-out event for 2D and 3D artists, we were eager to hear what she had to say. And she didn’t disappoint: in a talk full of passion, Ortiz shared a torrent of wisdom gleaned from a career full of ups and downs. Read on, as we share some of her best tips.

Also read: Art techniques: top techniques for painting and drawing

01. We all have bad days

Karla Ortiz designed Doctor Strange for the Marvel Movie… but says she’s as human and falliable as any other artist (Image credit: Karla Ortiz)

If you’re doubting your ability to succeed as an artist, then don’t worry, says Ortiz: you’re not alone. “We all have that shared emotional up and down: ‘I can’t paint this right, so I suck.’ You don’t believe you are as good as you are, because you don’t see it. But that’s okay, it’s a very normal thing for an artist. You’re not an artist unless you want to quit at least once.”

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