Featured Interview: Stan Prokopenko
Tutorials are a big part of Cubebrush and when it comes to anatomy and traditional drawing techniques, Proko's definitely got you covered. We wanted to take a moment and get to know the man who runs the show: Stan Prokopenko.
Stan is an artist, an art teacher and an entrepreneur - we were lucky to have him answer a few questions for you all in this short interview. Read it below and don't hesitate to leave us your comments!
Q. When and how did "Proko" begin?
A. I started by making blog tutorials on my personal website stanprokopenko.com. Some of the head drawing tutorials started getting a lot of traffic and I slowly built up a following. Around that time YouTube was getting really big, so I decided to convert my blog tutorials into video tutorials. I published my first YouTube video on August 16, 2012. The video took off the first day thanks to Kekai Kotaki sharing it on Facebook. I was overwhelmed with excitement and at that point had a lot of pressure to keep making more videos. One video at a time, Proko has grown to a team of 15 people.
Q. What was your biggest struggle as a young artist?
A. The biggest struggle was making a decent living as an artist. I entered the fine art market around the time of the financial crisis in 2008, which made selling artwork even harder. I was able to get by with occasional portrait commissions, random side businesses, and teaching at Watts Atelier.
Q. If you could tell your younger self, what is one thing you would definitely recommend or warn against?
A. I would recommend that younger Stan paint more, start posting on YouTube a few years earlier, and don't be afraid of hiring people to help make videos. I don't miss staying up 30-40 hours straight, trying to finish a video every week on my own.
Q. Since you teach art for a living, what are your thoughts on art school? Essential or not?
A. Not essential, but a good art school or mentor makes it much easier and faster. A bad art school can do more damage than good. Most art school are not good, so be cautious and research the teachers.
Q. Do you have any tips or alternatives for those who want to pursue art as a career but can't afford the tuition?
A. I personally think ateliers are better than universities for learning how to draw and paint. They're also much cheaper and have flexible schedules. You can afford the tuition with a low paying job. On top of that, read books, watch online videos, and practice a lot at home.
Q. Light or dark side?
A. Light :)
-Visit Proko on Cubebrush here.
-Visit Proko's YouTube channel here.
-Visit Proko's website here.