Hey guys, in this article, we will discuss the 11 tips to become a better illustrator. So keep reading.
There are no signs in the world indicating that the reign of technology will go away.
Graphic design has come a long way in the world. It is not the same form as before: paintings on canvas, magazines, flyers, billboards, and physical structures. While these are still used today, graphic design is also widespread online.
The use of vector illustrations and graphic design gives companies endless openings to start a business from, niches to nurture, and opportunities to develop a future.
Another reason is the current state of the world today wherein people are locked inside their homes, and most of their exposure to the outside world stems is through digital means.
This setup makes aspiring entrepreneurs and social influencers develop their image and branding online, illustrators included.
And since graphic design is in demand in the digital marketing world, illustrators can have opportunities for growth in the online space. The problem is, how can you stand out among all other illustrators around the world?
So, here are eleven tips to become a better illustrator in these modern times:
1. Don’t Rely Too Much On Digital Tools/assistance.
The abundance of illustration software applications such as Photoshop and hardware tools such as tablets and iPads have steered the industry of graphic design into a mostly-digital front nowadays.
The use of these instruments can not be denied in these times, as almost every company requires these in their visual marketing/advertising foray. These modern tools have amazed both novice and veteran artists alike for the past few years, as they have features that seem to be magical and highly convenient to use.
Sadly, this can result in lifeless and soulless work, taking away the realism of an output done by human beings rather than machines. It is recommended that illustrators only use these tools to help make their vision a reality, complementing their originality in a way that does not obstruct the soul of the work.
In this way, you can develop outputs that are both in line with today’s standards and relatable enough for consumers to appreciate.
2. Ease Yourself Into Developing Your Own Identity.
With a modern world teeming with graphic artists striving to make a name, one can be pressured to create their identity to stand out amongst the rest quickly.
This can be a constant mindset of people who are pressuring themselves to reach a break-out status and be soon recognized by potential clients, which can bring an artist to the brink of insanity.
Artists should learn that their own style and identity in creating will always come out naturally as they work and progress towards their careers, not forced.
Carefully working through each output and giving it your best will eventually result in a style that is yours and yours only, given that you will be patient with your skills and talent to evolve and grow naturally.
3. Know Your Abilities By Heart.
Working in an illustration career is a fun ride all in itself: seeing your evolution throughout the years, meeting different people with different styles, and going through roadblocks as an artist.
Reminiscing through this can make someone jealous of what others can do and insecure about what you can only offer. Remember that everyone is unique in their own right and produces a significantly different impact from others.
Knowing what you can do, your limitations, and your skills are adamant in maximizing your potential as an artist. This can lead to you efficiently and effectively accomplishing your tasks while being satisfied, as you truly know that what you have done is truly the best you can offer.
Your drive as an artist relies on discovering yourself and utilizing it to grow beyond what you have envisioned constantly.
4. Build Up Your Own Portfolio As Time Goes On.
An artist’s portfolio is the window through which clients can fully peek through to know what the artist can do while being a good measure of their potential in the future.
It is advisable for every budding illustrator out there to build their personal portfolio of outputs accumulated throughout the years to be properly seen by people you can work with.
Do include any output or work you have done throughout the years, as clients can see the evolution you have had and see if you are the one they are looking for.
5. Create An Organized Timeline That Acknowledges Your Time And Deadlines.
Being a professional artist is different from being a creative hobbyist. It may be contrasting to how an artist goes through with their creative process, but a definite structure significantly contributes to their efficiency as creative professionals.
Segmenting your output into scheduled parts, achieving them one at a time, and having ample time to recheck your work can all mean the difference between complete work and a lazy one.
It can also prevent burnout in the long run as you will be accomplishing a task in short bursts rather than a long, arduous one.
6. Be A Part Of Various Communities.
Starting out as a novice illustrator can be pretty intimidating sometimes, especially in the face of veterans out there that have mastered their own craft.
Being part of various communities worldwide can be a significant help in unlocking your growth as an artist in both the creative and business aspects of the profession.
It can also be a valuable experience for you to gain insights into your work. Study others on how they market their capabilities. Make meaningful connections that can lead to clients.
Decrease the intimidation that a budding artist can have when faced with a profession with varying levels of expertise.
7. Plagiarism Is A Big No-no.
In any form and industry, stealing is a big crime that should not be tolerated. May it be material or intellectual ownership, thieving others’ creations is never the right thing to do.
Artists should pride themselves in having an original creative vision that is evident in their works and is neither stolen nor copied from the ideas of others.
Being inspired by the art style and techniques is a good form of motivation that can serve as the foundation for your own work, but outright copying them and calling them yours is an entirely different and flawed league of its own.
If you are having trouble coming up with your own ideas, try to find ways to improve your skills and hone them to the best of your abilities instead of looking for ways to plagiarize others’ works.
8. Balance Your Input And Client Expectations.
There is no perfect client in the world that we live in right now, thus no 100% ideal work environment. We are all different people by heart and may have clashing perspectives with one another, leading to disagreements in a client-worker environment.
It is always expected that each output that an illustrator will do will garner feedback from any client, may it be positive or negative.
An artist must always learn and appreciate the trade of feedback and ideas between his/her client, as it is adamant in fulfilling their wishes and vision of the final product.
It can also be a key to an artist broadening the scope of their abilities and seeing something in their output that they have not realized before, leading to a holistic growth in their creative palette.
9. Know Your Niche.
In continuation in knowing yourself as an artist, a creative journey commences as you roam every opportunity that lies in this world.
As said earlier, one’s natural talent comes forth as they journey onwards in their career. When that moment happens, you will find yourself on the most conducive path to lay down all your skills upon.
Yes, it is beneficial for one to be a “jack-of-all-trades” when it comes to their illustration style, as it means that you can adapt to any situation given to you.
However, it will be better for illustrators to focus on one industry to focus all their creative efforts and skills. It can be a path that can lead you to stand out in that particular niche, as it will be evident that you innately belong and have a strong sense of every nook and cranny that makes that particular industry go round.
10. Continuously Be On The Lookout For How To Improve Your Skills.
There are many opportunities out there that can help develop your skills as an illustrator in the modern world. From online seminars regarding better usage of various illustration software to actual face-to-face training, there are a lot of occasions out there that are available for you to experience growth.
It can help you be updated with novel techniques that can improve your efficiency in creating great outputs, see the different perspectives of various artists in the same profession as you, and ensure your overall growth as an artist with a creative mind.
Improving your skills will equate to you having better opportunities as an artist and keep you fresh with ideas that you can use in the long run.
11. Know Your Worth.
There is a trend nowadays wherein artists are held down compared to blue-collar jobs. Stereotypes such as “those are just drawings” and “they don’t impact the world as much as doctors, engineers, etc.” plague society today.
These only constitute the minority of the world population today, as many people and cultures worldwide ease towards considering artists as essential personnel in building the future.
Rather than be severely affected by these wrongful statements, use them as an inspiration in driving forwards in your career.
Knowing your worth will significantly improve the output you create, which is easily evident to any trained eye. The right clients will see your value as an artist and the potential to impact their company in many ways than one.
Today’s state of graphic design is palpable: all are thriving and developing on the digital front. As designing things has become more automated and more innovative, the business is driven to be in line with the times, incorporating their passion and incredible aesthetic intuition.
This cycle will only perpetuate with the years to come, ensuring that every business with a strong sense of graphic design will stand firm on where it is and continue to do so in its foreseeable future.
The modern world is the illustrators’ oyster: with the right tools and opportunities, the expansive world of graphic design is yours for the taking.
I hope you liked this article on 11 tips to become a better illustrator. Thanks for reading!