In this case study, I will show you how Gustavo Zesati went from being stuck for 9 years in a drawing-skill level of 1 (no drawing skills), to level 5 (decent) in 9 weeks.


In 9 weeks he achieved what he couldn’t achieve in 9 years.

In this Case study, you will learn:

  • Why he was stuck on level 1 for 9 years.
  • How he changed his mindset to think it was possible to improve.
  • How our strategy helped him improve in 9 weeks.

His current goal

Today, he is currently working on improving his way up to level 10.

I will update this case study and let you know how he improves in the next couple of months.


How did he boost from level 1 to level 5, with no background in drawing?

The first step was:

To break the limiting belief that he wasn’t born with it, and change it to the belief that he could do it.

Once he believed he could improve, he started practicing a series of exercises and following instructions that will help him develop his special intelligence used to draw the human figure and faces with the correct proportions.

He followed a linear process that gets you from point A (no skills) to point B (decent skills) just by following specific instructions.

This is what we are working on, and it will all be released soon as a training program here at 2DAnimation101.

In this case study, I will share with you the results he is getting, and why.

First, we need to understand:

Why was he stucked for 9 years drawing daily and getting no improvement?

He started with a deeply engrained belief that he was not able to draw better.

He thought he was just stuck in his current drawing skill level, because he has no significant background in his genetic code with history of recognized talent.

He has an uncle who makes a living drawing realistic portraits.

His uncle has some awards, but for Gustavo at least, he always felt he didn’t really have that in his genetic code, his friends are not good a drawing, and he only sees that some people on the internet are good at it, but not him.

And that was that.

The dilemma was that he wanted to tell stories because of his imagination.

So, he decided to create short stories using characters that were easy to draw and that required no skill at all.

Not because that’s the way he wanted them to look like, but because it was all he could do with his skills.

He told me:

“After watching a behind the scenes of Farily Odd Parents when I was a Kid, I started dreaming of creating an animated series for television. But when I tried drawing, I realized I was limited, so I opted for using simple characters. Not because I wanted to, but because it was what I could draw.”*

*The interview was in Spanish, but this is the translation in English.

In one of his envisioned episodes, he had a character called Reese Demond, an illustionist inspired by Criss Angel, but twisted into a comedy in which he tried to do the amazing illusions but failed with fatal results.

One of his first strops was the water walk fail, in which Reese died drowning.

He liked the joke and the idea, and his friends liked it, but he just used simple drawings because that’s all he could achieve at the time.

But then, the idea…

We decided to work on an anime project here at 2DAnimation101, and then show everyone how to do it, and he wanted to be part of it, but sadly, he could not do it because of his lack of skills.

Sad story.

BUT! I insisted that he could improve, and because he wanted to be part of this, I insisted he should commit to upgrade his drawing skills, bit by bit, day by day.

This is where our newest research in 2DAnimation101 comes in…

A training we are designing to help anyone develop drawing skills to be considered talented enough to start making money with this skill.

So, who is this Gustavo Zesati guy?

Gustavo Zesati is a young video editor and aspiring director who is helping in the editing of the courses inside 2DAnimation101.

He has dreams of becoming a Film Director, working with actors and extras, and someday, create an animated series.

Big dreams.

As mentioned earlier, his first dream of the animated series started when he was in Elementary school after watching the behind the scenes of Fairly Odd Parents.

Elementary School Years

In class, when the teacher was giving a super boring explanation, instead of falling asleep, he would take out his notebook and draw some stories.

Middle School Years

In Middle school, he did the same, when the class was boring during school, he would draw.

High School

In High school, same story.

And he experimented with digital drawing, using his mouse. This drawing took him hours to complete, because it was created with his mouse using references from the internet.

After High School

In 2016, he started working at a Wedding Videography business as a video editor, saved enough money, and bought his first drawing tablet.

This drawing was created that year.

NOTICE that there has been NO SIGNIFICANT IMPROVEMENT, even though he was drawing daily.

Now, in 2018, we talked about him helping in the Anime Project, and for that, he needs to improve a grow.

But how?

Isn’t he supposed to be stuck in level 2 because that’s what his genes gave him?

I mean, he has been drawing like that almost daily for 9 years with no significant improvement, that is evidence that you can’t improve right?

YES! You can’t improve if you believe you can’t improve.

And you if you believe you can improve, then guess what, you can!

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you are right” – Henry Ford

Truth is, your brain and your genes change with time when you learn new things every day.

In science this is called neuroplasticity.

And even after being proved by science, some people don’t change, either because they don’t want to, or because they believe they can’t.

So, the first thing we needed to do to help Gustavo, was to prove to him that he could improve using our strategies.

How he applied the strategy from 2DAnimation101

Before anything else, he had to define a clear goal of where he wants to go.

And we will consider that a level 10 drawing.

This is the specific drawing skill scale for Gustavo Zesati.

Then, he needs to go through some training and track to see if he has seen some significant improvement.

This is where our training program comes in.

It has 3 requirements that you need to follow for each drawing session:

  • Define a Goal: Establish a definite objective for that day
  • Draw: Practice Drawing exercises following step by step instructions
  • Track Progress: Measure Improvement compared to yesterday

The first drawing exercise you need to start doing, starting from today is:

Circles and Lines.


Even though I was the teacher helping him improve, it was funny to know that when we both started applying the training to improve our circles, he was way better than me. I accomplish the goal of doing 90 sets of circles and considered my training to be at level 90. And he was way better than me when he started, but still, he advanced to level 8.

Gustavo 1 – Teacher 0. A bit of pain to my dignity as a teacher, but I’ll live.

Why is he so good at circles? Well, because if you notice, due to his style of characters, he has been drawing circles for 9 years, and I usually sketch without using a circle in a single stroke.

His lines were also better, so if your lines and circles are good enough, you don’t need to do this, in my case, I needed them, so I still practice to this day to keep improving.

NEXT: From there, we started developing a strategy to help him develop the talent of drawing.

If we can figure out a way to take Gustavo from level 2 to level 10, then, it means it can be taught to others, and that will bring a lot of happiness to my life 😊

So, here is our progress so far:

First Failure: Reference Drawing

The idea was to get him familiar with drawing images from the internet.

I just told him, “pick images you like, and draw them”.

I was proud to think that my instructions were simple and clear enough, and he started drawing.

This is what he was able to do with those crappy instructions I gave him:

His reference was Mikasa from Attack on Titan, and something we both learned is that if you are barely starting, is better to stick with easier references, and after you master them, you move on to harder ones.

In any case, I was not impressed. Just like he was not impressed with my idiotic instructions.

So, I taught him how to do reference drawing, by giving him access to our Sketching course.

After learning some techniques for reference drawing, we came out with a new hypothesis.

Second failure: NEW Effective Reference drawing hypothesis.

I had a hypothesis that if you did 10 effective reference drawings, using the techniques to effectively draw references, your drawing skills will grow significantly.

Maybe not a huge improvement, but at least something significant.

And this time, we also tried an easier reference from Little Witch Academia.

This is one of his reference drawings:

The idea was that after repeating this a couple of times, something will stick in your mind, and you will be able to create a decent looking original character.

I was wrong.

This was an original character after doing some of the exercises and effective reference drawing:

I mean, compared with the other characters you can see some improvement, but not very significant, it will take a ton of time to get him to really improve something worth showing.

Of course, if he keeps on doing this, he will get there in time, but my goal is to find the fastest and most efficient way to transform your talent.

So, we tried something else:

Breakthrough: Specific step by step instructions.

Next, we had a break through, which took him from level 2 to level 5.

I found a way to take a complex drawing, and divide it into a linear process, a detailed step by step in which you go from point A (geometric measures), to point B (finish drawing) just by following specific instructions.

His end result?

I will post a series of tutorials to help you create this drawing with the exact system that Gustavo followed (so stay tuned!)

The idea here is to do this exercise 10 times, and then try to do it by memory.

He did.

That was creating a head, and he was feeling good about his growth.

NEXT: Drawing the upper body.

For this we worked on exercises to learn the human proportions in Anime

And then, he ventured to create a new original character.

His drawing skills have improved. He is still not proud, but something has happened inside his mind.

Now, he believes he can do this.

New Mindset: “Do you believe you can get to level 10?”

Now that he is on level 5, and have seen his own progress in the last 9 weeks, I asked him: “So, do you think you can get to level 10 now?”

He replied in an instant.

“Yes. Definitely. No doubt in my mind.”

And I believe him, because it’s true.

He has proven to himself that he can improve, and he knows that he can just keep improving bit by bit until he gets to level 10.

Now you.

How about you? Do you believe you can improve?

Tell me in the comments!

And if you want to get the result of our research in a form of clear specific instructions, you can support our fund raising Kickstarter Campaign to create our newest training program: How to draw anime.