Online Animation Courses for Aspiring Animators, Comic Artists, Character Designers and Illustrators

A website made by artists FOR artists to learn and improve their skills.

We, just like you, have seen how hard it is to break into the artistic industry of your choice.  The hurdles seem nearly insurmountable.  The high cost of art schools (and lingering debt that comes with them), the competition to get into your artistic “dream job”, finding experienced professionals to give you artistic guidance, getting your portfolio together and making it the best it can be – these are obstacles we all face!  We believe we have the solution!  While there are great websites that have either: inexpensive lessons, top professionals, or video lessons that you can watch on your own timeframe – none of them have ALL THREE!  We do.  Our online animation courses feature short video lessons that are project-based and taught by artistic industry giants!


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Online Character Design Course

Teaching Philosophy

After working at Disney feature animation for over 11 years, lecturing at art schools, video game and animation studios, and writing some of the best-selling books on the subject of character design, Tom Bancroft, President of Taught By A Pro, had a few ideas about how WE learn as artists. 

We believe that we learn by Listening, Watching, then Doing – then Doing again, and again.  We believe that we learn best in a HEAR, SEE, DO style. We need to HEAR an experienced instructor explain a concept, SEE he/she illustrate that point, and then DO it yourself via an assignment given by the PRO. We add to this philosophy by also having the PRO do the same assignment so you can see how they apply their experience to the same challenges YOU faced.  Seeing an experienced artist face the same challenge you did is one of the best ways to learn!   Second to teaching YOU, the artistic student, our goal with Taught By A Pro is to create a site where previously untapped PRO artists can pass along their knowledge onto the world.  We want to do this in the same way we buy music on iTunes: rather than buying the entire album, you can now buy just one song, and then create your own playlist made up of your favorite songs!  Our online animation courses are based on a similar idea.  You learn from the PRO artists you want and about the subjects you want.  There are no prerequisite classes that you have to take before you take the one you WANT to take.   There is no having to take an online course that lasts 12 weeks and costs hundreds or thousands of dollars.  Taught By A Pro brings PROs to you 24/7, on your schedule, and at an affordable cost!

Online Animation Courses

What’s Next?

As you can see, we have big plans.

Step one is to get as many – ultimately hundreds- of PRO instructors from every area of artistic media to teach YOU all the tips and trade secrets we can cram into each video lesson!  We have ideas for step two and three but it will depend on your feedback.  Let us know what pros you want learn from, what subjects you want to learn, and any other suggestions you have for us.  We know where we want to go with Taught By A Pro, but this site is for you, so we want to hear what YOU want. Subscribe to the site, register and take lessons and share your thoughts on your social media sites. Draw from the heart.


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Online Illustration Courses

What to Expect from Our Online Animation Courses

The goal of each Taught By A Pro course is to teach an important artistic concept at a reasonable price. In order to meet that objective the courses follow the format of Hear, See, Do, See, Do. In the introduction, the instructor provides an overview of the concepts and skills to be taught during that course. In the first part of the lesson, the pro instructor describes concepts and demonstrates them in preparation for the assignment. The assignment is then given to the student.

After completing the assignment, the student uploads the assignment for review by other students. Students are encouraged to comment on the work that has been uploaded. In the second part of the lesson, the teacher does the assignment while further explaining the concepts. The student should be making notes to determine how to improve on the first assignment.

Finally, the student completes the assignment again applying what they learned in the second part of the lesson and uploads it for peer review. If done well, the student will have portfolio quality artwork at the end of the course. In order to keep the prices down, pro instructors generally do not comment on the uploaded assignments. In the future, we will likely be adding premium services where students can pay for pro review
Below is an outline of the Taught By A Pro online animation, character design and comic courses. Except for a few “lecture based” lessons, most of our video lessons will follow a structure similar to this.

  1. Introduction: a couple minute introduction to the pro and overview of what will be taught
  2. Lesson Part 1: a 20-40 minute video lesson describing and demonstrating concepts being taught.
  3. Assignment: a couple minute video explanation of the assignment.
  4. Upload Assignment: After completing the assignment, the student uploads the artwork and makes comments on other students’ work.
  5. Lesson Part 2: 20+ minute video lesson where the pro completes the assignment and describes concepts in more detail. Student makes on how to improve their assignment
  6. Upload Updated Assignment: After reworking and improving the assignment, the student uploads the new or updated artwork. Ideally, this pieces would be portfolio quality.
Animation Training Online


For Instructors – The Pros

We will take care of almost everything: (including video taping and editing your videos, if need be) getting your lesson up on the site, advertising it  (along with you spreading it amongst your social media outlets), regular royalty payments, and more.  You develop the lesson(s) and work with our curriculum board to make sure it meets our expectations of format and length.  Once approved, spend a day or two videotaping and editing it and you’re done!   (NOTE: If you videotape and edit them yourself, your split of the royalties is much higher.)  From there, you own the content (we have the copyright/exclusivity of the video form) so you can still write your “dream” art instruction book later!   You get the significant share of the royalties as your classes are purchased over and over and over again.  It’s like iTunes but for art instruction.   Additionally, we plan to have a PRO PAGE for you that has a video bio, blogs, updates, and other book/project links for people to purchase other merchandise from you.  We want that page to become your “instructor class hours” where registered students can contact you and find out what other products you have for sale.  We know this: there are people ALL OVER THE WORLD that would love to hear your thoughts/teaching about the art form you have mastered.  Our goal is to get as many of this and the next generation to learn from master artists from your generation.   You have wisdom to pass on, but haven’t because of lack of time/ lack of technology know-how/or you don’t know the best way to get it out there.  We’ve built Taught By A Pro for that purpose; you just teach.   If you are a Professional artist (minimum of five years) in “drawing/painting” industries of comic book, comic strip, animation, graphic design, cartooning, video game design, illustration or related, please contact us so we can give you more information on being a part of Taught By A Pro!
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About Taught By A Pro

The mission of Taught By A Pro is to provide a way for aspiring artists to learn their craft while providing professional artists with a way to pass on their skills and knowledge.  Taught
By A Pro features short video lessons that are project-based and taught by artistic industry giants!

Why Choose Us

  • Instructors with DECADES of professional experience!
  • Learn anytime, anywhere!
  • Inexpensive pricing!
  • New Pros, new courses continuously added!

From the Blog

Animation Podcast 140 – Mindy Johnson & The Women of Ink and Paint

In this episode, the Bancroft’s speak with author and animation historian Mindy Johnson about her book “The Women of Ink and Paint” as well as how things have changed and evolved for women in Animation through the years. Enjoy! The Bancroft Brothers Animation Podcast is presented by & sponsored by & The Bancroft Brothers Animation Podcast is […]