Creating digital illustrations is a craft that takes time to perfect. There are many ways to develop your design skills, but one of the most fundamental is learning how to draw!
Many people start designing by creating beautiful pictures or graphical designs using shapes, colors, and textures. These are often referred to as pictorial styles.
Pictorial styles are definitely an integral part to becoming a successful artist, but there’s more you can do than just add pretty decorations to existing materials. That would make you what we call a picture-making designer.
These artistic concepts were already in use before technology made it possible to produce aesthetically pleasing images quickly and easily. Technology has now become a tool for aspiring artists to improve their style and experiment with new genres.
This article will talk about two such technologies: vector graphics and illustration.
Vector graphics are designed files that contain geometrical figures scaled down so they look like regular drawings, only smoother. They are very common these days due to the ease of editing and manipulating them.
Illustration is another term used to describe painted artwork done in a specific style. This includes things like watercolor painting, oil painting, acrylic painting, etc.
Both of these types of art require drawing as a base, which is why we discussed drawing earlier in this article. After completing that lesson, read on to learn more about both of these.
How to be a digital illustrator
Being able to design in-depth graphics is one part, but being able to convey your creative vision through interactive media like Photoshop or InDesign is another. This isn’t necessarily designing for print, it can be developing logos or branding concepts, creating web pages or apps, or even designing games!
If you want to be considered a professional digital artist, then you should know at least the basics of some major software programs. These include things such as Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop, InDesign, Muse, etc.), CorelDRAW, Microsoft PowerPoint, and/or Google Sketchup.
But what makes an artist truly great? It’s not just knowing how to use these applications, it’s using them to achieve something artistic. You may have to look up tips and tricks online, but nothing really comes fully trained with every tool. So, practicing, experimenting, and learning from others’ mistakes is important too!
As artists ourselves, we feel that those who describe themselves as digital artists don’t actually understand what it takes to be called a professional. A lot of people put so much value into the tools they use, when really the thing that matters most is how well you utilize the medium to tell your story.
What skills you need
Being an artist means more than just creating beautiful pictures. As we live in an increasingly digital era, being able to design using tools such as Photoshop or InDesign is not a luxury but a requirement for most artists.
Digital art comes in many forms – logos, web graphics, advertisements, and even interactive apps are all made with artistic designs that have been streamlined into software programs.
Software like these make it easy to produce creative content quickly, which helps artists stay productive during times when there may be no much money coming in.
But what makes someone qualify as an artist isn’t only their ability to use computer applications, it’s also their skill of drawing!
While some people may feel that producing artwork doesn’t require any special training, this couldn’t be further from the truth.
It takes quite a bit of practice to become proficient at drawing, which is why most people who call themselves artists have spent years perfecting their craft.
Popular digital art styles
Some people refer to these as illustration types, but we will stick with “illustrations” for now. These are typically characterized by bold shapes, bright colors, and text that is not in-line with the setting of the piece.
These designs often feature strong silhouettes or proportions. Artists use this style to emphasize creativity and expression over naturalistic drawing.
Examples? Check out some of our favorite artists here!
Designers who work in this style are usually self taught and have to learn how to manipulate images and programs such as Photoshop and Sketchup to create their pieces.
They may be inspired by things like comic books, science fiction, fashion, or media such as cartoons and anime.
Illustration has become one of the most popular creative careers in the world. There are many ways to make a living as an artist today, so even if you aren’t totally skilled yet don’t feel discouraged! You can start practicing your hand drawings and then moving onto more advanced design software.
There are plenty of free resources online and YouTube videos that can help get you started.
Examples of digital art
Graphic design is an interesting field that requires lots of different skills and strategies to be truly successful. One such tool in the arsenal are your graphic designer tools, or as they’re more commonly known, his/her artistic weapons.
A few examples of these include Photoshop, illustrative software like Adobe Flash, vector graphics editing programs like InDesign or other types of illustration softwares (think: Pinterest style pictures), and drawing apps for phones and tablets.
All of these creative modes can be used independently or in combination to make beautiful designs!
As you gain experience with each one, you will find new ways to use them and achieve amazing results.
Equipment you need
When talking about digital illustrators, what kind of equipment they use typically comes up. Most agree that you do not have to own all of these things to be able to call yourself an artist, but it is important to know how to use them.
Mostly people mention using photoshop as their main tool which can seem daunting at first. But there are many ways to get comfortable with the program quickly!
There are several free and low cost software alternatives to Photoshop such as GIMP or The Gimp Toolbox. These programs are just as powerful if not more than PS so instead of paying for the app, try one of those alternatives until you feel confident in its tools.
Some other common pieces of art making equipment include:
* A laptop (with internet access) to research techniques and create new designs
* A tablet (such as an iPad) to easily edit photos and graphics
* A Cintiq drawing surface to draw directly onto
* Pencils and markers to make quick sketches and add texture and color
* Scissors to cut out shapes
* Wire/string to connect textures together
* Paper to test your designs on before investing in production-quality materials
This article will go into detail about some of the above items and how different artists use them.
How to start a digital art business
Starting your own studio is a great way to go if you have an artistic side that has been dormant for some time. Or, if you are looking to hone your skills as a graphic designer or illustrator, then starting your own studio is the best way to do so.
Running your own design company comes with its share of responsibilities, but this is also your dream – you get to choose what projects you take on and how you manage your time!
There are many ways to run a successful design firm, so it does not matter which route you decide to take – just make sure you put in the work to see success. You can be very creative with your business model, but we will talk about some tips here.
Connect with other artists
As we can see, digital art is quite popular these days. But what really sets it apart from traditional drawing or painting is its availability. You no longer need to be trained in artistic skills to create beautiful works!
There are many ways to start creating your own artwork using computer software and apps. Some of the most well-known programs for designing and editing pictures are Photoshop, Gimp, and InDesign.
By educating yourself more about one or several of these applications, you will find that their features go far beyond just making pretty pictures. They all have different modes and functions which help you design, edit, and publish your work.
Not only that, but you will also learn how to use them effectively so your creations look professional! These applications have communities online where you can connect with others who use them and get helpful tips and tricks.
We would like to add that not every artist uses technology when it comes to designing their pictures. While this may seem limiting at first, it actually helps promote creativity as they do not rely heavily on pre-made styles or templates.
Marketing your work
As with any profession, there are ways to market yourself as an artist. You can start by sharing your art online and promoting it through social media sites.
People will begin to recognize you for your artistic talent if you constantly showcase your work. By creating engaging, aesthetically pleasing artwork, you’ll be attracting new followers and inspiring them to create their own pieces.
Your followers will also benefit from your marketing strategies. They will gain inspiration and resources from your creations and posts related to your style.
You can even make money advertising and selling your art! There are many websites that let you ino-creative artists earn extra income by displaying and/or selling their work.
There are several ways to do this, but the most popular is via Instagram.