Marketplace Success Story: Stéphane Wootha Richard

Freelance concept artist & illustrator, Stephane Wootha Richard, has always had a passion for learning things his own way and keeping things fresh.  While he considers himself to be still learning, he found a way to make money on the side by sharing his knowledge and resources with aspiring artists on the ArtStation Marketplace.

An Uncommon Path

In his early education, he found himself struggling to learn under the constraints of the school system. He recalls spending time in class daydreaming or drawing and learning by reading from encyclopedias instead of doing homework.  “I dropped out of school quite early at around 16 years old. I hated school and school hated me back. I wasn’t the kind of kid for whom school, as an institution, is built for.”

In his pre-artist career, he worked a variety a jobs including chef, software developer, farm hand and musician. His turning point came at age 36 after attending a Comic Convention. He was so profoundly affected by the work he saw from some of the artists that at that moment, he realized he felt the need to pursue his childhood dream of becoming an illustrator.

A few months later, he left his job and started devotedly studying and learning all the skills he would need to become a professional artist. After the first year, he started receiving freelance contracts. By day, he would work for the French publishing companies and continue studying concept art and illustration until late at night.

Making Income by Sharing Knowledge

In 2016, he started developing his online education program as a secondary source of income. For Wootha, creating his tutorials is one of his personal projects where he can give back to the community and continue to learn at the same time.

“I’m always looking for some sort of independence that would allow me to keep a healthy balance between production work and personal work. From experience, I know that in order to be creative and proficient in production, personal work is key. Without it, I can quickly fall into habit and boredom, two of the worst things for creativity. The ArtStation Marketplace offers an opportunity to make passive income and gives me spare time that I use to study and learn new things that I try to give back in my tutorials and in my production work.”

After having built a strong following on ArtStation over the past couple of years, his tutorials shot straight to the top of the ArtStation Marketplace Trending board soon after they were uploaded.  See Stéphane’s ArtStation Storefront > 

“I was a bit surprised to be honest. I didn’t expect such a strong response from the community. Results were much better than I expected. When I first received emails about the ArtStation Marketplace, I was a bit skeptical about yet another online content publisher for artists. But now, I’m glad I joined.”

On how he creates valuable content, he says that it’s not usually purposeful. “I just record something I feel enthusiastic about in the moment and try to give as many tips and tricks as possible. I focus on what was and what is fundamental in my learning and creative processes, as they are both intertwined. Technique is important, but it’s such a small part of what makes an image. Though I cover technical aspects, I also emphasize high level creative points, such as composition, design, symbolism, and overall message-crafting elements.”

Plenty More to Come

Wootha is continuing to develop his tutorial series on composition, environment design, architecture and illustration and is also planning for a new series on character design and on the physics of light and materials. Keep a lookout on the ArtStation Marketplace and follow him so you’ll know when they’re available.

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About the author

Sierra is the Editor of ArtStation Magazine.