Interview with Ludovico Serra

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Ludovico Serra is the author of Clip Studio Paint by Example, we got the chance to sit down with him and find out more about his experience of writing with Packt.

Q: What is/are your specialist tech area(s)?

Ludovico: Everything that can range from a comic page and an illustration. Unfortunately English is not one of those, because it’s my second language. So, sorry in advance for possible errors.

Q: How did you become an author for Packt? Tell us about your journey. What was your motivation for writing this book?

Ludovico: I was contacted by Packt, after they’ve seen my Clip Studio Ask work. In which I answered to question that the community would have. Clip Studio Paint gave me a lot and I thought it was a good way to give something back.

Q: What kind of research did you do, and how long did you spend researching before beginning the book?

Ludovico: I used CSP for roughly… 8 years? It was still Mangastudio 3 I think. So I’ve a pretty deep knowledge of the software. After this I’ve looked around to see what kind of feature are a little undiscovered, like the 3D applied to Clip Studio Paint for creating a penguin dice.

Q: Did you face any challenges during the writing process? How did you overcome them?

Ludovico: The main challenge was the simple fact I’m not an English speaker. Fortunately Packt helped me a lot on this front. The second challenge was creating a book that wasn’t a recipe book, in which they gave you all the information and there is no room to experiment. I want the reader to have that “AHA!” moment.

Q: What’s your take on the technologies discussed in the book? Where do you see these technologies heading in the future?

Ludovico: I think Clip Studio Paint is right now the best paid illustration software. And I hope they will implement a little bit more the 3D side of the software, because it’s one of the most innovative thing I’ve ever seen.

Q: Why should readers choose this book over others already on the market? How would you differentiate your book from its competition?

Ludovico: Well… I’ve tried to find all the undiscovered or “unused” feature of CSP that can help other users. I’ve found out Clip Studio Modeler, how to implement 3D, is completely a mystery for the western users. Or… how to use CSP for concept art…Or how to use the group work feature. There are a lot of those little things that are not so much known. For an example like creating an unicorn brush.

Q. What are the key takeaways you want readers to come away from the book with?

Ludovico: That you can use CSP to fuel your creativity and there is a lot of depth in this software.

Q. What advice would you give to readers learning tech? Do you have any top tips?

Ludovico: My top advice is failing and passing 99% of the time on google to find answers. Take small projects, fail something, learn from those mistakes, go on google to find a solution… rinse and repeat.

Q. Do you have a blog that readers can follow?

Ludovico: I’ve a personal website called lennybunny.com in which you can find everything.

Q. Can you share any blogs, websites and forums to help readers gain a holistic view of the tech they are learning?

Ludovico: There is Clip Studio Ask, a free service in which if you have problems the community helps you. Clip Studio Tips in which the community shares tutorial and tips… The community of CSP it’s one of the best community I’ve ever seen. For the rest is all about learning the basics, like anatomy, composition etc.

Q. How would you describe your author journey with Packt? Would you recommend Packt to aspiring authors?

Ludovico: Yes, they helped me a lot and they were absolute human in their approach to me. I just warn you that you will use templates with Word or similar word processor… And they’re a little bit tricky to learn if it is your first time.

Q. Do you belong to any tech community groups?

Ludovico: I could say Clip Studio Ask… If it counts…?

Q. What are your favorite tech journals? How do you keep yourself up to date on tech?

Ludovico: Uhm… that’s a tricky question in a way. Because I’m Italian and I think a couple of magazine are not Globaly sold. If you’re a beginner Clip Studio Tips and the e-mail they send you are a good reference materials. The newsletter of Blenderguru is another good way to stay up to date with the recent 3D tech. Marco Bucci, Adam Duff, Borodante are good references YouTube channels in general for artist. There is Artstation… Regarding journals there is Imagine FX and if you’re Italian there is Linus. Another undervalued way is looking at the contest winner of illustration contest like the Andersen Award or the Hugo Award.

Q. How did you organize, plan, and prioritize your work and write the book?

Ludovico: It’s based on the total number of hours I can possibly give to the book and after that I divide those hours for the days I can work and I told myself: “Ok, I need to give 2 hours daily to this book, and I need to work 4 hours daily to my Illustration exam for my University etc.” And I stick with it… But truth to be told I never count the weekends as work days because I use them to relax.

Q. What is that one writing tip that you found most crucial and would like to share with aspiring authors?

Ludovico: Daily works beat talent.

You can find Ludovico Serra’s book on Amazon by following this link: Please click here

Clip Studio Paint by Example Available on Amazon.com