Sketching and visual note-taking of ideas and emotions are visual blueprints of our thoughts. It is not the quality of the sketches that matters. It’s the quality of the content. No masterpiece can save a bad idea. On the other hand, a good idea can stand on a napkin with stick figures and simple shapes.
Capturing it pictorially forces us to organize our thoughts beforehand and target the topic’s core. When writing, we can quickly get lost in complex and incomprehensible sentences. When visualizing, our mind works in a more compressed way. The best thing about it is that we can share them immediately with others and thus achieve results more quickly.
When we talk about the profession of an illustrator, we usually think of drawings. But drawing talent is not necessarily required to create an illustration. A cursory doodle while talking on the phone, a photo collage, or a child’s drawing can be an illustration when used in the proper context.
In art, the artist usually tries to externalize his inner emotional world. On the other hand, an illustration always serves the viewer, the audience. The illustration is a call to action. It captures the reader’s attention in a magazine, encouraging him to read the article. In advertising, an illustration style can be distinctively associated with a product or service. In a medical book, the purpose of illustration is to simplify complex content.
As long as an image that is not a photograph conveys or supports a message, it can be considered an illustration.
Creating a portrait is a process full of ups and downs. Some parts of the face are always exciting to draw, while others drag on torturously.
The most exciting and crucial part is the eyes. The eyes never lie, they say, and this is just as true in portrait drawing. A perfectly drawn ear cannot save the work if the look is not on point.
It’s pretty different when drawing long, dark hair. I often put off this part as long as I can because it’s by far the most monotonous. For hours I draw one line over the other. In the process, I usually feel boredom at the beginning. Sometimes even frustration and the feeling that I am wasting my life. In the best case, a kind of meditation develops after a while, where my thoughts drift away and time flies.
But I know hair is also part of the finished portrait, just like the eyes. Knowing that this part also has its place and needs my full attention helps me deal with the monotony. Better yet, I can adjust to it. Often, that’s when I turn up the music loud, talk to friends on the phone, or run an episode of Breaking Bad on the iPad.
Every “dream job” has its small and large downsides. However, if we enjoy doing something and are passionate enough about it, we can counter these phases consciously and positively.
When people visit me in my home office or see my office via Calls, they are often surprised and sometimes even disappointed. At first glance, it hardly differs from the office of a tax consultant.
If we think of artists, the image is usually beautifully chaotic, in a studio with high ceilings, the walls, and the artist full of paint. Pens, brushes, and unfinished sketches are scattered everywhere.
It might look like this when I’m trying new techniques or need watercolor splotches for my illustration. But as a freelance illustrator, it’s all about one thing: efficiency. We serve with our skills to achieve the goals of others.
The clients are often magazines and agencies with strict deadlines. The goal is to achieve visible results in a short time. Any available means are okay for this, such as Photoshop. If the client’s feedback on a portrait is, “Could the person smile a little more?” it doesn’t mean I redraw the mouth completely. Deadlines often don’t even allow for that effort. Using the distortion tool in Photoshop, I pull up the corners of the mouth in a few seconds until it fits. If the client is satisfied with the result, my work is done.
By doing so, we are making a few promises to ourselves and the people we try to reach.
For weeks I wrestled back and forth. What do I want? Am I a graphic designer, a T-shirt designer, or a communication designer? What job title or description should I put under my name?
In and out of college, I developed many interests. To survive in the marketplace, I needed to serve a niche. That was clear to me from the start. As an all-rounder, it would be difficult for me to be successful and, above all, happy.
Sergio Ingravalle – Illustrator
When I called and recognized myself as an illustrator, my life became easier. Even though I had already done some illustration jobs by then, this step was precious.
An illustrator illustrates.
He doesn’t create corporate designs, program websites, or layout magazines. He creates images. He draws, paints, cuts, glues, doodles. And that’s what I did from then on until people who visited my homepage could clearly see what they could expect from me.
During my time as an artwork designer for T-shirts and other fashion graphics, I learned one thing about illustration: the effect of a black and white illustration can be enhanced by the proper use of color.
However, this does not work the other way around. An illustration that doesn’t work well in black and white can’t be salvaged via the use of color.
Our portfolio should only present the works that we like to repeat. Especially as beginners, we tend to show everything we have created. We should definitely resist this. Especially if the response to one of our works was strikingly positive, but we felt little ambition and passion about the work itself. Being good at something does not obligate us to do it for life.
Goethe says, “I can’t get rid of the spirits I called.” If we are not careful, we find ourselves doing years of work that do not fulfill us. Our hands may do it well, but our heart longs for something else. This will not make us happy.
Especially when we as illustrators are at the beginning and want to set foot in the market, we need attention to attract potential clients. There are some basic requirements to achieve awareness. We have a portfolio website, have found our style, and share our work regularly on social networks and platforms.
Another method of doing this is beneficial: We reach people when we make illustrative works on topics they already know. This can be movies, music, video games, sports, celebrities, politics, or the latest news. For example, a caricaturist gets more attention when she illustrates famous musicians instead of drawing her family members.
Reimagining the familiar builds a direct connection with viewers through the element of surprise, and there’s a greater chance they’ll forward the work to friends and family. Perhaps this type of connection is even more promising than the originality and quality of the illustration style.
Sketching has many forms. For example, a product designer can visualize his idea through sketching. He slowly feels his way towards the project and can share and discuss the designs with others. The same is true for logo designers or illustrators when finding a suitable composition. So sketching is the first or preliminary stage of the process to realize something.