How Do I Become a Penciller?

Dan Cavallari

In order to become a penciller, you will need to develop a passion for drawing and other artistic endeavors. A penciller is a person who draws the layout of pages in a comic book or graphic novel, and he or she will need to have developed drawing skills as well as a keen imagination. He or she will lay out the pages of the comic book in most cases, passing the final works along the inker, who will create the final colored drawings of the book. You can begin developing skills that will help you become a penciller by drawing frequently and developing skills and techniques used in all forms of drawing.

Pencillers should be familiar with creating comic books and graphic novels.
Pencillers should be familiar with creating comic books and graphic novels.

No formal education is necessary to become a penciller, though some college art programs will give you an advantage over the competition by teaching you all the skills and techniques necessary to perform the job, and by allowing you to develop relationships and connections within the industry. In many cases, however, the artist's portfolio is the most important selling point when you begin looking for a job. You should begin developing a portfolio, or collection of your best work, as early as possible so you can showcase your talents to potential employers.

The portfolio is the most important tool you will have if you want to become a penciller. Keep your drawings protected in high-quality sleeves that will prevent smearing or other damage. If possible, build a website that will allow you to showcase your work on the Internet as well. You can bring your portfolio to comic conventions or job fairs to show potential employers your skills and talents. If no such events take place in your area, you can research different comic book companies on the Internet and find contact information. Send your portfolio to those companies by following submission guidelines outlined on the websites.

It helps to be familiar with the process of creating comic books and graphic novels if you want to become a penciller. Study the workflow process of the comic book creation, and if possible, try to make your own comic book by teaming up with an inker. Creating your own comic book is a great way to boost your portfolio and become familiar with the comic book making process. Employers will want to see your skills in a tangible form, and the investment to create your own comic book can be quite low.

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