Art Superstar


Get creative with Stan from Proko

Stan Prokopenko
San Diego, California
Artist, Instructor

Have you always been creative and what’s the earliest work you can remember creating?

I’ve always enjoyed creating things. As a really young kid I liked drawing random things around the house in a sketchbook. Very random things like cups, fork, even a stick from the backyard. I tried to draw the stick as realistic as possible. I sketched with a pen, so it forced me to be accurate with each stroke.
Sometimes I would pause a TV show that I recorded on a vhs and draw my favorite cartoon characters.
I also liked building legos and programing simple computer games. I got into computer programming at an early age. I think around 11. My dad got me a book about programming with Visual Basics. I made a quiz game called “Who Wants to Win $1” a spoof of Who Wants to be a Millionaire. Most of the time I spent was trying to make the game look good..

What's your studio like and how do you keep organised?

I clean it every few months, but it gets messy quickly. I don’t put my toys away after playing with them...

Where do you look for inspiration?

Everywhere! Nature, books, music, others’ great artwork, yerba mate tea! Usually in the morning I make some tea and take my dog for a walk while listening to an audio book or podcast. When I
get home I’m always full of energy and excited to work on something. When I feel a rush of inspiration I get to work right away. Those moments are precious.

Whats in your pencil case / camera bag?

Pencil case – a bunch of conte pencils, graphite pencils, and a kneaded eraser Camera bag – Canon 6D

Any tips for someone suffering from creative block?

Go do something else. Read a book (or listen to one while walking outside), exercise, watch a good movie, experience something new. Inspiration comes at random times. But, professional artists should do their craft regularly, not just when you’re feeling inspired. I heard a good quote recently “I only work when I’m inspired, I just happen to be inspired every day at 8am”

Do you do any other crafts and what are your hobbies?

Other than drawing/painting I enjoy and dabble in animation, film making, graphic design and programming. I did competitive Karate for 10 years, but stopped to focus on art. In my free time, I hang out with my fiancée.

Is there anything else you'd like to add?

A lot of students starting out in drawing doubt themselves because they don’t see immediate results. It’s important to remind yourself how much time it actually takes to get good. The greatest artists that we all look up to have been doing it for decades. It’s often said that it takes 10,000 hours to master something. I agree with that. 3 hours per day for 10 years gets you at about 10k hours. Learn to be patient and don’t be too hard on yourself. If you’re not as good as you want to be it’s not because you don’t have enough talent. Talent has little to do with it. It’s because you just need more time to develop your skills. Gain momentum and don’t stop. Learn to love the process of drawing. If you love the craft then 10k hours won’t seem like a chore, but an adventure! You get to spend 10k hours doing what you love!

Make sure to follow Proko on

Stan Prokopenko
Latest Tweets
Facebook Posts
  • false Drawing
  • false Painting
  • false Photography
  • false Mixed-Media
  • false Sculpting
  • false Comic / Manga
  • false Installation
  • false
  • false
graphic design, animation/film

What's your favorite...

TV Show
Breaking Bad, Lost, The Office, Modern Family, Family Guy
Coldplay, Kings of Leon, Black Keys, Depeche Mode
New York, San Diego
Ratatouille, Incredibles, Dark Knight, Inception, Heavyweights
Magazine / Book
Ilya Repin, Morgan Weistling
Oil, Charcoal
Tool or Product You Couldn't Live Without