Category Archives: Articles

Sketching Ideas: Don’t Dismiss Those Small Beginnings

Thumbnail sketches, jotting down ideas that suddenly come to you, it can be surprisingly easy to fall out of the habit of doing these small things that at first might not seem like they add up to all that much.

Just now I was thumbing through a little book that I keep and was surprised and amused to find a couple of small illustration ideas that I had jotted down a while back. Both of the ideas have gone on to become two of the most involved of my personal projects that I’ve done in the past couple of years.

The first sketch that I found was an idea that I had for a Scottish themed illustration… Continue reading

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Creatives, Forget about Getting Paid, it’s Time to Work for Free!

Illustrator will work for freePeople of the creative industry, ever been hard at work one day only to be interrupted by a complete unknown asking you to commit yourself to a commercial project with no prospect whatsoever of achieving any kind of payment for it?

I think that there’s a good chance that the answer is yes. Below are the reasons why you should jump right in and do just that.

What could possibly go wrong? Continue reading

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Nine Things I’ve Done to be a Better Illustrator

Illustrator Gregor Louden at WorkI’ve always been encouraged by my peers to care about getting better. If you don’t go forward then you go backwards. You never stay in the same place.

So in other words, we’re all moving on to something, it’s just up to us to decide upon which direction that we go in.

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about what it is I’ve done over the past few years that have helped to move me forward. Here are my findings below.

1. Focused on my Weaknesses

I’ve always seemed to do better when drawing architectural structures as opposed to anything else. It is my comfort zone. Continue reading

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Five Things More Important Than Natural Ability?

Kyoto Collage
Talent is a magical entity that you have to be born with. You either have it or you don’t. Talented people pick up things quickly, sometimes even effortlessly.

Those of us who have it are truly blessed from above, destined for success. Those of us who don’t can forget it. They will never have it, end of story. They will simply have to find something else to do.

That’s what I was told anyway. Continue reading

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Freelancing: Five Lessons Learned

Illustration: Five Lessons Learned

I’ve pretty much been doing this for ten years now. It would have been around 2005 that I finally decided to ditch the excuses and acknowledge that doing this was my responsibility and that the dream of being a freelance illustrator wouldn’t be coming any closer all by itself. Continue reading

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Freelance Illustration: Questions and Answers

Truck Stop Diner IllustrationI am quite often approached by people regarding my work. A lot of the times it’ll be an inquiry from a potential client, Continue reading

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Inertia Begone, Tackling Creative Slumps

So we’ve all been there. In our minds we know that we have to work, we have to knuckle down, take the bull by the horns and get on with the business of getting the work done. However, the problem is that nothing seems to get you moving. The more you think about getting on with things, the harder it seems to do so. Procrastination has taken hold.

Continue reading

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Top Fifteen Sources of Inspiration

Trying to constantly stay productive and inspired can sometimes seem harder that it sounds. We all have these moments. We unplug the TV, clear our calender and sit down to get productive but guess what? No inspiration can be found no matter how hard you try.

It’s a good thing that we live in the age of information where creative stimulation can always be on hand to blow away the cobwebs of inertia.

One of the best things that I can do to get me out of a creative funk is to acknowledge a lot of the things that inspired me in the first place. I’ve compiled a list below of the fifteen sources of inspiration that I’ve found important over the years. This is an idea I got from the amazing freelance illustrator Yuko Shimizu.

1. Ralph Steadman
I already wrote loads about Ralph in an earlier artist profile here so I won’t go on too much. I love his energy when creating. Continue reading

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