Illustrator Level 1: An Update

Oh hey there, I’m coming at you with a life update. This is embarrassing, but I think the last time I posted about this was more or less 6 months ago. oopies. In my last post  about my illustrator journey, I talked about my 2019 (oh my god that seems so long ago) goal when it comes to learning how to illustrate and I have to be honest, I kind of stopped illustrating consistently for the first 2 months of 2020. But as of lately, I’ve gotten back into the groove of things and I think it’s safe to say that there have been improvements. 

So, what have I been doing? I really wish I remember where I heard this but in one of the many YouTube videos I watched about illustrating they said that refining your sketching skills is one of the main things you should start doing. So every now and then, I make it a point to just mindlessly sketch. I found that this really helps me in mastering the art of pen control since using a tablet kinda has a learning curve, as well as perspectives, and learning about different features, etc. 

Free(-ish) Resources! Now this is a big deal for me, I never went to art school or anything like that so everything I know about being creative is self-thought by scouring the internet for free classes. Skillshare gives you two months free trial when you sign-up so I am currently milking that! The ones I really enjoyed were Charly Clements and Killey Bennet’s procreate classes. I found that really utilising free resources is a great way to start learning anything. I have a few more saved classes and hopefully, I get to finish them before my two months are up. Not a bad way to spend pass time during the lockdown, eh? 

My Art Instagram has also come to life, I think I scroll through this accounts feed more than I scroll through my personal account’s now. I follow a whole bunch of international and local artists and it’s become such a pool of inspiration. Seeing other artists do what they love consistently is probably the best motivator. Here are a few of my fav accounts: Gellybee, Charly Clements, and Caroline Creates.

Tools I’ve Been Using

Ipad Mini 5: Now, I wouldn’t say that this is a must have tool for illustrating but I would say that it’s a must have for ME. I never really go used to drawing with a Wacom mainly because I found it difficult to sketch with my hand and the screen separate from each other and I don’t like drawing with pen and paper (I am a digital baby at heart). The iPad Pro would probably be a more suitable tablet for illustrating but considering the price and the fact that I don’t really need a gigantic tablet, the Mini 5 is good enough for me. (I also read a lot, so the compact size is very handy for that.) 

Apple Pencil (1st Gen): This is a bit self explanatory, there is no point in my getting the iPad if I wasn’t going to get the pencil as well. I love this stylus and there’s not much really to say about it. The only thing I don’t like about it is that the pencil itself is very thin and slippery so I had to buy a rubber case for better grip. Other than that it’s perfect. 

Procreate: This app was definitely a game changer for me. I wouldn’t say that it’s as comprehensive as when you illustrate in Adobe Illustrator but it is an A++ app. It has enough basic and advanced features to get the job done. It’s also accessible enough for beginners like me (hehe) who are still learning.

Now, I’ve still got much to learn! Til’ the next update 😉

x, Jeff

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Photographer / Graphic Designer

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