How to draw illustrations of any objects

Cup with a cat and Christmas trees
What is an illustration? An illustration is a schematic recognizable image of objects on a plane. The word illustration itself reflects the somewhat applied nature of such drawings, they are usually used to illustrate some text (book, magazine, website, advertisement, etc.). The illustrations themselves are usually sketches on paper, which are then digitalized to be sold or sent to the customer (well, or simply downloaded to the Internet and shown to the whole world on social networks / on their website). Despite the fact that illustrations have an applied meaning, this does not mean that the illustrator is not a true artist and his works alone do not play a role. If an illustrator does interesting work, then zines, comics, and collections of illustrations are released, you can create your own online gallery where fans of your works will come in and delight your eyes. You can illustrate any objects of the real, virtual or fictional world. The main thing is that the illustration is understandable to the viewer and carries your personality. How can I draw illustrations? Illustrations are usually created with watercolors, colored pencils, markers, gouache or acrylic. Mascara, liner or isograph is often used for drawing. Someone likes to draw with a simple pencil or pen. There are illustrators who specialize in individual techniques – calligraphy, pastel, manga, comics, food and so on. Unexpected materials can be used – nail polishes, sparkles, multi-colored inks and much more. In principle, illustrations can be done with anything (probably, except for oil paints). How to create illustrations in your own unique style? On how to find my own style in drawing, I already made a separate post. Here I just add that the search for your style can really take quite a while, because finding yourself is not easy. But this does not mean that until you have found your style, you cannot make illustrations or even sell them. There are many illustrators who do not have a special recognizable style, but nevertheless create high-quality and sought-after works. The main thing is not to worry if you do not yet know what the feature of your drawings is. Gradually, the more you draw, the more likely you yourself will notice the similarities between your works. This similarity is what is called the “artist’s style.” How to sell illustrations on the Internet? After you have practiced drawing, got a portfolio (at least 10-20 decent works), studied Photoshop at a basic level and learned how to photograph your illustrations and bring them into a view accessible for downloading on the Internet, you can start looking for options for implementing your drawings on global online illustration market. In this post, I focus on hand-drawn illustrations, but, of course, there is an option to draw immediately in digital format on a tablet or do vector graphics. Where can I make money on my drawings? Let’s highlight some of the main places on the Internet where there may be buyers of your work, these are:
  • social network,
  • microstock,
  • sites for a portfolio of freelancers,
  • creative online stores
  • online art galleries,
  • your website, blog, store.
In my opinion, Instagram, the microstock Shutterstock, the website with the Behance portfolio and your own website, possibly with a store, are best suited for illustrator. The remaining sites will be more useful to a general artist, photographer, sculptor. At these sites you need to create your own creative account, upload examples of work, leave an email for communication or reply to letters in the directorate. It is important to update your pages regularly (at least once a week), post your best works, put relevant tags, make detailed descriptions so that you can be found through a search. Since most of these platforms are organized on the principle of social networks, you can also communicate with other participants and maintain the high activity of your profile. How much do illustrators freelancers earn? Money spoils the creative fuse, when the illustrator suddenly realizes that you can earn money on your drawings, then the search mode for “profitable topics” is turned on to illustrate “what is best sold there” and “how to make more money”. For a creative person, such thoughts can be very destructive. Of course, everyone wants to see the return on their work, they want to feel that your work can help you pay your bills. So let’s estimate what amount per month can be calculated taking into account that you have already taken all the steps described above and have active profiles for at least 5 selling resources for 1-3 months. I give three months for promotion, since at first it’s not worth waiting for some sales on the Internet, you need to build up your name and reputation. After analyzing the reviews of numerous illustrators, it becomes obvious that the range of income is quite large. There are illustrators who earn nothing, but there are those who were able to receive several thousand dollars a month from one platform. I think that it will be fair to derive the average temperature in the hospital and say that the approximate average earnings of a beginning illustrator is about $ 30 per month. Yes, this money isn’t really worth it, but let’s be realistic, where are fast and easy money on the Internet now? That’s right, in a mousetrap! And if you want to earn money with your own labor, you will have to really invest a lot (both time and effort). Illustrators who build their portfolio and develop their accounts over the years, after about 5 years, on average, they can receive $ 100-500 a month for their drawings. Do I need to draw well to become an illustrator? I am convinced that every person knows how to draw somehow. We all draw something in childhood, and sometimes draw on paper and in adulthood, often when talking on the phone. Another thing is that you can draw in different ways. There is an academic drawing, few people actually own it, usually those who studied for many years in classical art institutions. And often these people do not become illustrators, because they either have their own profession, which they give all the time, or they generally go away from drawing and painting and earn something else. It happens, probably, that a small percentage of professional artists are fond of illustration. But not all illustrators studied at an art school / art institute. Many illustrators have no profession at all. So … both yes and no. In the illustration you can find yourself at any stage of life, it doesn’t matter if you can draw in the academic sense of the word or not, you can always develop your skills if you want. You can learn to draw in two years at any age. For adults, there are online classes, videos on YouTube, a lot of available literature. It seems to me that the illustrations are so good that even without being able to draw a circle, you can make an original illustration. The main thing is to show the subject so that people like to look at it, and so that they can recognize it. So you still have to learn some basic skills, but you don’t need much time for this. If you draw every day, in a few months you will learn how to draw any objects. And you will have to find your own style so that the illustrations sparkle with new colors.

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