What job could possibly be better than being a freelance illustrator (unless you really detest drawing for some unknown reason)? They are basically people who get paid to draw all day long (apart from when they are dealing with all the work that goes on behind the scenes like admin and marketing themselves). However on the whole, it sound great, right, don’t you agree?
As I am near the start of my “Illustrator Journey”, if you want to call it that, I have gathered together my personal top 5 tips for any aspiring illustrator. Some of them may sound a little obvious, but it can sometimes be good to have a little remainder of what to do when you are completely lost. So I now present to you tip number one!
1. Draw, Draw and Draw
Okay, I know that this one sounds a bit too obvious, but it is really very important, so we cannot ignore it. Basically, it all goes down to the rule: “practice makes perfect.” In terms of art, this rule is so true, as it allows you to evolve as an illustrator. Often it is not talent, but practice which determines whether or not a drawing turns out the way you want it to.
So the point I am getting at is just drawing something everyday or as often as you can, can contribute so much to your drawing skills. Drawing daily, doesn’t mean creating a masterpiece everyday, but just simply doing some sort of doodle sometimes is as important. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes in your artwork too, because you can learn from these.
2. Be Inspired
If you are drawing something everyday, then you may find it quite hard to think of something new to draw, meaning that this is where inspiration can come in handy. Inspiration is the thing that can spark any idea for your next creation. Therefore, it is vital that aside drawing, you are constantly looking around you to find ideas and motivation.
Inspiration can come from so many different sources, which work for different people. For example, a book you have just read or film that you have recently watched could give you your next big idea. Some of my favourite ways to feel inspired are to look at other illustrator’s work to see how someone else works; drawing from life and to keep a sketchbook(s), which brings me on to the next tip.
3. Keep a Sketchbook
Sketchbooks. Probably one of the most useful tools that an illustrator can own. They allow you to experiment, explore ideas, get down your creative process and so much more. I am currently working my way through about five at once, which is a few too many, but like many others, I am always starting a new sketchbook before finishing one. I use my sketchbooks a lot (in fact one of them is actually helping me to write this blog post right now), so I really recommend them.
The best bit is that which ever sketchbook you have, you can make it your own. They come in so many different colours and sizes too (my favourite size is A5 and I am loving my sparkly pink one at the moment). Sketchbooks are also really useful for drawing whatever you like in the, because there is no pressure of anything having to look perfect!
4. Notice Your Improvement
Have you ever had one of those dramatic moments where your like: “I can’t draw,” or is that just me? Sometimes you can feel like you are making zero progress with your art, so it is important to notice your improvement over the years, months and days to stay motivated. If you think back to one of your very first drawings in the early years and compare it to your most recent drawing so many years later, you are going to see so much progress there.
If you think about it, every drawing you create helps you discover something in your artistic journey, which helps you develop your art style further. So eventually when you compare drawings that are years apart, the difference you will see is astonishing, even if you don’t see it when you often look back at your more recent work.
This last tip is mostly based around having fun with your art. For me, experimenting with different art supplies and trying new things, keeps the world of illustration a bit more exciting, as there is so much to discover. By simply trying out different things, you can keep your illustrations as interesting as ever before me. When creating art, you have to be able to enjoy the process as well as the finished product!
I hope that you have found at least one of these tips useful to you. There is so much more amazing advice for people who are looking to get started in the illustration industry, so these are just some basic starting points for you, which I hoped you enjoyed reading.