Tuesday, 28 February 2012

60 pro illustration tips - condensed!

I just spent the last hour or so looking through Computer Art's genius blog post "60 pro illustration tips" < linked < and started to make a quick list of what I thought the main points were from each contributing illustrator, then I thought some of you might find it useful/interesting as well, so here it is (I still recommend checking out the whole thing, it's chock-o-block full of useful info!)

1. Always ask the client how they want the final image 
2. Consider the technology that will produce the work 
3. Don't be afraid to remove elements to make a composition that you're happy with 
4. try to send it as a TIFF 
5. Make sure you keep track of, and name, your layers 
6. The best way to start any project is in your sketchbook 
7. Always keep consistency of style in mind in every element of your illustration 
8. just because it can be done, doesn't mean you should do it 
9. your job is to reach the right people and give them your client's message 
10. it's not about what you like 
11. Don't rely on stock vectors in your work 
12. avoid 'the easy way', especially with shading, gradients and effects 
13. Attention to detail is very important 
14. come back to a project with fresh eyes 
15. Use Selective Colour function, take 5 mins at the end to make sure all colour values are right 
16. you can't beat the rawness of textures from real life 
17. save a few/LOADS of versions of an image as you go along 
18. Photoshop should be viewed as a tool 
19. Experiment with the Warp tool 
20. always think about negative space 
21. Illustrating without thinking is to be avoided 
22. There's no point sweating over the image if you can't print it properly 
23. always drop the main object in first 
24. Always try to shoot or scan your own stuff, and experiment with different media 
25. don't scale type manually in Photoshop 
26. Never just utilise a simple filter from the list in PS 
27. Try and find an approach that will leave people wondering, 'How have they done that?’ 
28. buy a good scanner 
29. Illustration is not just about making a beautiful image, it's about telling a story in that image 
30. Just because you work with photos/other provided imagery, doesn’t mean you can’t make it fit with your style 
31. Choose the right pens 
32. get away from the screen 
33. Don't be afraid to let the clients know if you have any 'special circumstances' 
34. The last thing you want is a repeat of the exact same elements in every work 
35. Always make time to do personal work 
36. The joy of making work by hand is that it's not totally neat, and has visible flaws 
37. It's better not to accept a fee on the phone, use email for quick background research first 
38. Don't be boring 
39. There's no point working in a style that you don't enjoy - it always shows in your illustrations 
40. Know your workflow 
41. First things to do: read the brief, write down ideas, work out some sketches – then get back to the client 
42. Choose your colours wisely

 None of this advice is my own, although I agree with 90-100% of it. Some of the original tips were omitted simply because they were covered in similar ways in the previous tips. Hope you enjoy :)

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