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  • Writer's picturestephaniematard

Learning how to draw helped me to become a voice over actress.

Updated: Nov 15, 2019

Let’s take a journey back to January 2015 when I was feeling a bit lost.

I was a new mother, working full time in a corporate office, dealing with health issues, and lacking a creative outlet.

My self portrait before starting Cindy's lessons (2015)

It was a Sunday afternoon and we were watching a French documentary about painters that had the most exotic looking lifestyle. This is when I had an epiphany,

“I want to become a professional artist!”.

At this point, I realized that yes, this is achievable, but I was lacking a major foundational skill. Drawing to be exact.

PANIC! My full time job & being a Mom were already so time consuming, how was I going to take drawing classes?

I started doing some research online and I saw mention of the DrawPJ website in some drawing forums. As I was browsing their website, I realized that Cindy & Stuart Wider were really talented.

Cindy Wider's unique method gets phenomenal results (see the before and after images here;

The concept is simple. Follow the lessons and then send scans of your work to your instructor for advice, corrections, critiques, or grading.

I still wasn’t sure if an online drawing class would work. The question I kept asking myself was, “Can you really learn to draw from an online course?”, so I decided to start small with an introduction to drawing unit.

My final project for Cindy Wider's method, Unit 2

I learned so much just from this course and I could see that yes the drawing instructors can in fact give you advice from a scanned drawing because they are trained to do so.

After my trial lesson, I signed up right away for their drawing courses and have not regretted it since.

I’ve learned and enhanced my skills in patience, reflection, observation, flexibility, endurance, & confidence.
commissioned drawing after completion of Unit 3

When I was working on the unit 3 portrait lessons, I had some requests to create portraits for other people as commissioned work. I was so excited because this meant that I was now a paid artist.

You maybe wondering what happened. How did I end up in voice acting and not drawing or painting?

Two things happened

1.) I realized that to create a professional high standard drawing it was very time consuming. I would need years of drawing practice before I would be able to draw at a speed that would allow me to generate an income.

This drawing took me about 45 hours to finish
This drawing took me about 45 hours to finish

2.) Cindy's best tip for you all is to put headphones on and listen to Ambient music - no words. She teaches us to use 4 comparison skills that we already have and use on a daily basis. She says to access those 4 skills we have to ask ourselves questions about our drawings in 4 different ways. You can learn more about that here;

But, sometimes I would take a break from music and I would listen to an audio-book. The stories that I would listen to while I was drawing were narrated so well, that sometimes I would find myself just sitting there listening to the story and not even drawing! Now I know why ambient music is better!

One afternoon I did some research about voice acting and audio-book narrations.

I haven’t looked back since. Voice acting & drawing are the same because it’s about being dedicated and showing up.

I am a firm believer that learning a new skill in one area of your life can have a ripple effect on all other aspects of your life.

I had studied acting when I was at the university but I had never thought about this dimension of acting before.

If I wouldn’t have taken that first step to learn how to draw, I never would have discovered my passion for the voice over industry.

Today, I am still a proud student of and I love seeing the way my progress in drawing flows into all other aspects of my life.

Happy drawing and happy voicing!

Written by Stephaine Matard

Stephanie Matard is an American voice over actress that speaks English with a US accent and French with an American accent. Stephanie Matard has professional studio in her home.

If you are looking for an English speaking woman with a neutral American accent, then Stephanie would love to hear from you for a quote and or audition for your project. Stephanie is also a French to English translator and interpreter.

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