Five tips on creating illustrations

Five tips on creating illustrations

Illustrations exist everywhere today. They tell stories, appeal to the reader and even make the read a more interesting and aesthetic one. They have reached almost every sphere of our lives as they depict life’s different aspects. Illustrations are used in books, to promote brands through posters and other different artworks. I believe anyone can learn how to illustrate, there exist free and paid sites online as well to help you become the artist/designer that you wish to be. Once you adopt a systematic approach to learning the skill, then you are already on your way to getting better.

Illustrating is a fulfilling and fruitful career, need I say, with the skill comes high demand but at the same time, unannounced competition. For the first part, organisations are looking for ways to improve their brand and they call to designers to help reflect the nature of their brand. For the latter bit, there are thousands of illustrators with great talent and as a result, they look to drive buyers in many ways, therefore, illustrations need to stand out in order to set a designer apart.

Now, let us dive into some tips on creating illustrations. The first tip is getting inspiration. Getting an inspirational idea is the first step, it is something basic and unique that will help you to work on the illustration. It is vital when it comes to creative works. Luckily, many options exist that you can explore in this regard, illustrators visit pages such as Instagram or Pinterest pages of reputed illustrators to observe and explore in order to cultivate their taste for illustration. You can also browse through different book genres, magazines, billboards and banners et cetera for inspiration. Viewing different colour combinations, themes and techniques and combining them with your own personal experience can help to form an illustration idea.

The second tip is to organize your idea. Make it a habit to track your ideas, as you may have many of them accumulated over some days or weeks. When you look back at those ideas, it can be useful as you start working on a new illustration. You can record your verbal or text descriptions in order to recall what you were thinking of before. Another way of recording can be to make a quick sketch of how that illustration should look to your audience, therefore, keep your ideas organised.

Making a sketch is the third tip. Go through a sketch phase before starting to create illustrations. Some illustrators prefer to work on the drawing straight from the design software using a computer while others prefer to use a piece of paper to sketch their drawing. It is advisable though, to do a quick sketch of the drawing in different proportions. You can also do a mix of hand sketching and computer sketching.

After you complete your drawing and refine your idea, make your illustration stand out. Making an illustration stand out ensures it stays unique as you submit it to your client or the online store, as you submit it, the work should make you proud of your talents and efforts. Therefore, as you create it, think of ways to improve it. Look at it from the buyer’s perspective and ask yourself how he/she will be as they use the illustration.

As you make it stand out, have in mind the details, depth and framing. Make sure it looks natural and contains depth. Follow the rule of thirds, which is a composition technique about placing the key elements in the frame strategically. Here, your key idea as well as the element of the illustration should be placed at the grid lines’ intersections. In terms of details, they are important to make it more attractive. Keeping an eye on the details ensures that the idea is explored in fine detail and remains authentic. As you work on your illustration, do some research about the character in order to include those key details. Finally, create your illustration as a clipping of a bigger picture in terms of framing; know that it can be trimmed by the buyers to be put in a frame.