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Today I’m going to try to answer a BIG question: why (on earth) do I need to hire an illustrator?

Regardless of your company, an increasingly important factor when selling your products or services is communication. How you address your clients and what image you project will make them see you as trustworthy (or not) and want to work with you (or with the competition).

Keeping this in mind, it is necessary to have interesting content, good copywriting (that is, clear and nice texts) and also an attractive image that your client can identify with. This applies to any medium: your website, your brochures or catalogs, your logo, your social media, your promotional emails, your packaging, your products …

Many companies are increasingly choosing to use illustrations and animations rather than photographs for their communication. This may be because illustrations (or a certain style of illustrations) are more eye-friendly and bring warmth and closeness.

In addition, if they have a certain component of abstraction (that is, they are not photorealistic illustrations, although what they represent is perfectly distinguished), they allow the viewer to project himself into the image and identify more with the message.

You don’t have to go far to observe this trend: online service businesses, banks, insurance companies, applications, restaurants, clothing brands, campaigns for administrations…

Can you tell the difference between this images?

 

An illustration not only makes the message we want to convey stand out and reinforce it, but, well focused, it can add layers of meaning: we can highlight the idea, complement it, even contradict it and create a visual pun that makes it more memorable in the eyes of the viewer.

And you? What do you think about the expressive possibilities of illustrations? Share your opinion on Instagram , Twitter y LinkedIn !

The month of October is always full of interesting things: we have the inktober (or drawtober, or spooktober, or whatevertober …), there is Halloween, the colors of autumn, the panellets (if you don’t know what they are, you don’t know what you’re missing!) and the #leoautoras.

If you go to your bookshelf right now and take a look, how many books by female authors will you find? Probably few. And that is something that must change, which is why a group of women on twitter decided to create this initiative.

Since I really like comics, I have decided to make a recommendation list of my favorite comics from authors without order or criteria. It is not a list of the best female authors’ comics of all time, they are the ones that I have read and liked the most. Also, redrawing the covers has been a lot of fun!

 

1- My favorite thing is monsters. Emil Ferris. 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2- Persepolis. Marjane Satrapi. 2000

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3- Obscenidad. Rokudenashiko. 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4- Carne de cañón. Aroha Travé. 2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5- Los cuentos de la niebla. Laura Suárez. 2010

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How about your favourite female comic artists? Tell me about it on Instagram  or LinkedIn !✨

I have to admit that, for a person who always works in digital, I do love paper. I have a few half-filled notebooks and I love looking for samples of different papers so that the products in my online store look their best.

However, from time to time I want to step away from the paper (and the screen) to try different media. This is nice because:

  • It’s fun
  • It is a challenge: surfaces are not always smooth and flat and that makes it more difficult
  • Provides added value: at the end you won’t have a sheet, you’ll have an object
  • It’s different: it helps your brain disconnect
  • Wow factor: it will look great on your wall or shelf as a decoration
  • When finished, you will feel proud of what you have created

 

Remember that time you painted the wall with wax colors and your parents got really angry? Well, it’s all about  that: painting walls, tables, shelves, skateboards, clothes, stones, the iPad case, your bike, the dog’s collar, the kitchen vases… feel free to try new things!*

*Try not to piss off the people you live with and ask their permission first.

A little sample of this: I bought these wooden slices to paint last year, they came conveniently drilled and with a string for hanging. These wood pieces are ideal if you don’t want to start disassembling furniture or you have little space, it is a way to work a different support without cluttering your house too much.

The process is simple: first I rubbed some sandpaper to clean them, I drew with a pencil directly on the wood, I painted on top with acrylic paint, let it dry and finally I added a varnish for matte acrylic paint. I put the thread through the hole (this was the hardest part of the process) and voilà!

Here’s some cute hand-painted decorative wood pieces. Do you like any of the designs and want to have them at home? You can get them in my Etsy shop. Do you like the idea but want a custom design? Write me on and we can discuss it!

And you? Have you tried any different media lately? How has it turned out? Share your impressions on Instagram and LinkedIn !✨

Every month I upload a short video about the creative ideas in my illustrated calendar. This month, I’m painting this cute mask:

Did you like it and do you want to thank me? You can make a small donation on Ko-Fi o visit my profile on Instagram and LinkedIn

As a child, I was always at the top of my class. I was a great student and loved learning. Therefore, when I was able to decide, no one understood that I wanted study to become an artist (‘but if you have such good grades, you can enter any career!’). However, in my head there was no room for doubt: I would rather have a difficult path in a job that I like than spend all day doing something that bores me, even if that something is better considered and paid.

To this day, and despite all the difficulties that it has brought me, I do not regret my decision, although I would have liked to have more options and information regarding art schools.

 

And that’s what I wanted to talk about today, what to study to become an illustrator. Something that I have learned by talking to my colleagues is that there is no direct path to illustration. Each person has their journey, and it usually begins by loving creative stuff from a very young age.

When the time comes to decide what we want to study, we tend to be in doubt. It is very possible that our family and teachers pressure us to look for more “useful”, careers, that are “well paid” or “with more opportunities”. And it is normal, studying is very expensive and we all want to be able to earn a decent living in the future, but that does not mean that you cannot do it by working on what you like.

For example, I studied Fine Arts at university and later did a higher degree in illustration, in addition to training on my own in graphic design online. Thus, I have found a middle ground between what I really like (drawing) and a field that is very close and in demand (graphic design). I have asked my peers and they have studied things as different as fashion design, science, graphic design, animation, comics…

Anna Mimó tells us:

After studying Graphic Design and dedicating myself professionally to it for a while, I came to the conclusion that it was not creative enough for me, so I turned to illustration looking for a better means through which to express my ideas and feelings.

 

Another thing we have in common is that we constantly train and practice. There are as many different ways of drawing techniques as there are people, and one of the things I love about this profession is that we tend to share them with each other, so there are always new things to learn and perfect after finishing school.

Marc Escachx says:

Of course! I dedicate my free time to a large extent to training online or with mentoring from other artists. At the moment I am in a mentorship to improve my skills with the design of 3D characters.

 

When it comes to schools, it depends a lot on where you live and what options you have available. Fortunately, there are more and more schools that teach illustration and there are many online resources, both free and paid. I recommend to seek information and ask for opinions before enrolling to decide what best suits you.

Marcos Cabrera‘s advice:

I think it would be good enrolling in artistic studies if you know from a young age and then some school with a good basis for illustration, perhaps then practice a lot the technique in which you are most comfortable, be it digital or analog.

Aitana Giráldez has a similar experience to mine:

When I started high school, I had no references for illustrators, I saw it as a very distant profession, something impossible for me. I saw that the only job I could do related to art was to be an art teacher, that’s why I did Fine Arts. You need a university degree to be a teacher in Spain. I never really liked the college curriculum. Now I see the world of illustration in a different way, but I will always have that option of being a teacher. I would not dislike being one, I would obviously prefer to be an illustrator. Or perhaps a bit of both.

When asked what would they advise a person who is looking to study illustration,

Laura Endy says:

Get a LOT of information, ask people who have studied there, and try to find a school that really fits. Run away from places where they want you to be a “genius artist” without teaching you absolutely anything.

Laniñabowie tells:

I would tell you that it is not necessary to do a university degree. You need to draw a lot, study some specific training that you like and prepare a good portfolio. Also the part of social media, which unfortunately we cannot neglect today and is very present. And have a lot of patience hahaha That is a difficult road but, but aren’t they all? ❤️

And you? What did you study? Were you satisfied with it? Share your impressions on Instagram and LinkedIn !✨

Every month I upload a short video about the creative ideas in my illustrated calendar. This month, I’m going to try making origami figures, join me?

Did you like it and do you want to thank me? You can make a small donation on Ko-Fi o visit my profile on Instagram and LinkedIn

Disclaimer: I am NOT a therapist nor do I have enough knowledge to speak of it properly, I have simply written a little about the concept of art therapies. If you need help or are interested in doing any of these therapies, please find a professional.

 

Art therapies are a set of therapeutic interventions that use artistic disciplines (music, dance, painting …) to help and heal people in need. The BAAT (British Association of Art Therapists) defines art therapy as “a form of psychotherapy that uses the artistic medium as its primary form of communication.”

In addition, it is not only beneficial in people with psychological disorders; It can also be used as a tool for personal development and self-knowledge. The fact is that all human beings have the ability to be creative.*

*This does not imply that anyone can be professionally creative without training, there is a series of specific knowledge and experience necessary for this. But if the goal is personal expression or fun, anyone can pick up a brush and start creating.

 

Some of the benefits of creating something with your own hands are:

  • Improves self-esteem: we prove to ourselves that we are capable of doing it.
  • Reduces stress: By focusing on a creative task, we put the things that stress us in the background and focus on what is in front of us.
  • It helps us to know ourselves better: artistic expression can be a way of reflecting ideas or emotions that we do not know how to put in words, it can help us overcome blockages.
  • It helps us express ourselves without the need to verbalize what is happening to us.
  • It can be a challenge (in a good way): learning a new skill is exciting, it can give us energy and make us feel excited.
  • It can help us grow as a person.

While I was learning about this type of therapy, I realized that it puts the emphasis on some parts of creative work that people who want to professionalize in this sector tend to forget.

An example: it gives the same value on the creative process as on the final result. I myself tend to stress when I have an illustration half done because I want to see the final result; and if after several hours working I don’t like what I see I feel bad, as if I had wasted my time. That is not entirely the case, since those hours that I have dedicated to practice on the one hand I could have enjoyed more and on the other they have served me as learning and practice.

Much of my work as an illustrator does not consist of drawing, I spend a lot of time updating the online store, writing for the blog and social media, looking for clients, updating the portfolio, doing numbers and paperwork, preparing packages and going to the post office, organizing the calendar… From my brief research on the mental health benefits of creativity, I will remember the importance of having a space to draw for pleasure and with the idea that creativity is beneficial for all people.

And you? Do you think that doing creative activities has positive effects on your mental health? What activities do you do? Share your experience in Instagram and LinkedIn !

In my illustrated calendar, each month I propose a creative idea for you to try at home and thus have a good time being creative. In July, I’m trying to find illustrations in random doodles:

 

 

Did you like it and do you want to thank me? You can make a small donation on Ko-Fi o visit my profile on Instagram and LinkedIn

Raise your paw if you do traditional illustration, if you do product illustration or if you have worked on some illustrated merchandising, perhaps a fanzine or some t-shirts… Raise it also if you have an Instagram account where you show your work. Virtually everyone has lifted it, right?

What all this has in common is that it is important to know a bit about photography to be able to present our product, whether they are prints that you sell in your online shop, photos of illustrated products to add to your portfolio or simply to make them look nice when you show them on Instagram .

Again, this is not about being a professional photo artist but about having some basic notions that help us improve the results a bit. Next I will show you my process, keep in mind that there are many different ways to do it (if the result is good, anything goes!)

What will you need?

  • Camera: to start, work with what you have. Nowadays many mobiles have quite decent cameras built in.
  • Light: the ideal is natural light, but if you don’t have it, you can buy spotlights or a light box.
  • Reflectors: a cardboard or white foam board works, I will not use it because I have a light box.
  • Tripod: optional, but can be very useful.

 

*Light box assembly

 

Since I do not have direct light or space to set up a mini-studio and I also quite like flat lays (compositions of various products seen from above), I decided to buy a light box to photograph my products. For larger products like T-shirts or totebags I try to take photos with a model outdoors as they look much better that way.

 

 

If you don’t have a light box, you can find the window with the best light in your house and set up a removable mini-studio or use lamps and white cardboard to reflect the light. If the light is too direct, you can use tracing paper or similar to blur it (be careful with the lamps, they can burn the paper!) I leave you a diagram with some ideas:

 

*Reflect the light of the light source with a large cardboard // Use 3 cardboards around the object and two light sources for the flat lay.

 

I encourage you to try and experiment until you find your own way. You can, for example, put fabrics with patterns as background or flat color cardboards, add decorative elements, take photos outdoors, use models, write or draw on the final photographs, make compositions with several photographs, etc.

Finally, here’s some pics that I have taken for my online store, I hope you like them! If you have fallen in love with any of the products, you are curious and want to know more about them or you simply want see more examples of product photography, you can enter my online shop.

 

 

And you? How do you take your product pictures? Share your process on Instagram , Twitter and LinkedIn !

Henlo!

Today I’m going to talk about something that most creatives and small business owners need: support.

The world is a wild and competitive place, and creating your own project amid chaos and uncertainty is increasingly difficult on many different levels. Surely you know someone (maybe it is yourself) who is trying its best but does not get the results he or she wants, or who is going through a moment of little or work at all, or who is doing well for now but does not know what will happen tomorrow. You see their situation and you want to help, but what can you do?

I have divided my tips into two blocks: things you can do WITH MONEY and others you can do WITHOUT MONEY.

Let’s start with what can you do WITH money:

  • Buy your Christmas or birthday gifts in their online shop.
  • Commission them a personalized piece.
  • Think of them when you need creative services.
  • Make donations or participate in their crowdfundings, Patreon…
  • Buy them a Ko-Fi.
  • Buy their latest book, online course, project…
  • Ultimately, anything that can help them financially will do.

Now, let’s see what you can do WITHOUT money:

  • Comment, share and save their posts on social media.
  • Recommend their products / services to whoever may need them (don’t be shy!).
  • If you are going to use any of the works they offer for free, credit the author and put a link to their website or social networks.
  • Write a positive review on their online store, a recommendation on LinkedIn, or on whatever platform you can.
  • Tell your friends about their work.
  • Attend their talks, exhibitions, events, fairs and markets…
  • Send them a message of support: not only improves engagement on Instagram, it will also make them happy.
  • If you are also a creative professional, you can consider the option of collaborating with them or making a services exchange that benefits both of you.

In general, anything that makes us gain visibility and sales or see that there are people who enjoy our work will make us feel happier and more motivated and will give us strength to deal with the problems that we encounter along the way.

And you? Have you written to your artist friend lately? Tag them in Instagram , Twitter y LinkedIn !