broken-bones asked: Hey dude! I'm a designer about a year out of college and I'm currently working for a company doing their website/marketing/catalogues etc. I was just wondering if you are a full time freelancer? If so did you work in an agency or something similar before making the switch? And also, I'm really interested in trying my hand at illustrating but I don't really know where to start. Do you have tips for beginners? Equipment, where to start your drawings etc? Thanks dude, look forward to your reply :)
I am a full-time freelancy man! I didn’t work for any agencies, but I did pick up offered work here and there through a friend who co-owned an advertising business. I’m working almost exclusively on comics now, but that took a bit of luck and sending an e-mail to the right person at the right time. (here’s looking at you, Shann-o Bonnan-o)
Also, I am so psyched that you are interested in illustrating! I’m sure you’ve read this before, but there’s really nowhere to start specifically. Everyone’s got their own secret origins, and you gotta find what’s best for you!
Regardless, here’s a couple of tips/how I got started:
My dad bought this for me when I was really small because I’ve always been really into super heroes and comic books. I used to spend hours pouring over the pages (mostly just looking for cool Spider-Man poses) and trying to recreate all of the awesome John Buscema art. Oh yeah! And regardless of the “tights” aspect of the book, all of the information in it still applies. Great little lessons about form, perspective, inking, and storytelling are a-plenty. Not to mention Stan Lee wrote it and it’s fun to imagine his voice while you read it.
Another book that I’ve been referencing for years. There’s a million anatomy books out there and all of them are great, but this just happened to be the one I found at the used book store way back when. Whether you get this book or not, you should look for something that’s got lots of information about musculature, skeletal composition and little tips and tricks about ratios and proportions of the human body. This book still helps me out to this day and there’s lots of cool drawings in it, too!
3. Draw, draw, draw! (And then draw some more, ya dink!)
What I’m saying is that you should draw a lot. Like, every day. Draw things that you think are awesome! Draw things that you think are boring! Draw people! Draw animals! Draw buildings! Draw machines! Just draw all of the time, dangit! There’s a lot of coordination and muscle memory to good illustration and you have to learn it through practice. Even if you think you’re not getting anywhere, you’ll look at the stuff you made a year ago and say “HMPH! I guess I was getting better all along!”
4. USE ALL OF THE PAPER!
I can’t stress this enough. When I was a kid, I used to draw little teeny tiny Batmans right in the middle of my mom’s printer paper with a TON of blank space all over. Dumb kid! Draw big, I say! You get to draw way more of the details and cool stuff if you don’t get all cramped and microscopic with your illustrating. And don’t skimp on the backgrounds either, mister! I still struggle with this all of the time, but if you learn that perspective stuff I mentioned and create a world on the paper that your characters can live in, it’ll make you’re work more immersive and fun!
Hope that helps! Good luck, and happy drawing!