Where do you start with illustration as an absolute beginner? Should you invest time in learning how to draw first, or should you start by mastering digital software? This was the question that my old friend from school asked me a few days ago.

  1. Market awareness
  2. Self promotion

Tips for finding your visual style.

If you are an absolute beginner, then finding a way to express yourself visually will be the most important step in your practice.

How to kick start your drawing practice:

1. Get a sketchbook and use it to draw from life regularly — in any way you can.

Should I learn how to draw or master digital software first?

As to learning the software, I would recommend learning the basics of drawing first. Once you are comfortable with your drawing, it is pretty straightforward to then learn how to make it digital.

Where to find inspiration.

Now that you proclaimed yourself a creative person, you should start to think like one. One of the best takeaways from my design degree was learning to think like an artist.

Creating structure with briefs and self-initiated projects

Illustrators are so called because they illustrate something: a mood, a piece of text, a concept, a theme, a person, etc.

“Should I learn drawing properly or should I start by practising illustration every day?”

This depends on the style of illustration that you want to do. If you are interested in doing very detailed photorealistic drawings, then you would benefit from traditional academic drawing skills. Think life drawings and old fashioned fine art lessons about perspective and tone.

“Should I go to college or should I just do short courses?”

I am a firm believer that you don’t need a degree in illustration to work as an illustrator. It seems strange coming from a person who did a BA in illustration, but looking back the main benefits of going to uni were:

  • broadening general knowledge and awareness about design history

Illustrator, originally from Russia, living in the UK. Represented by the Bright Agency https://treesforanya.com/

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