Tips on Blogging for Illustrators

So many illustrators often fill their blog with waffles about what they did during the day (went down to the post office, had a coffee) as well as starting off their post with “Sorry it’s been so long, but I’ve been busy”

Toss all of that out your window and think, what is it you would want to read about.

As a creative, as an illustrator, what are things that draw you? Do you want other illustrators to read your work? What audience are you attracting?

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Back to Basics with Your Online Portfolio

Before you rush to social media, or create business cards, you first need a home base. Somewhere to channel everyone to go to and see your work. I’m not going to go into too much details about websites and designs, but I do want to just raise a few points for you to keep in your mind while you go through this process. Continue Reading

Illustration/Art info for Southern Suburbs, Cape Town

Art Supplies in Southern Suburbs Cape Town

I thought it would be a good idea to put a post together for all of those in the Southern Suburbs of Cape Town, South Africa, about a few places of interest regarding Art and Illustrations. These are just a few places around where I live in Tokai, extending out to Constantia, Plumstead, and Steenberg. If you have any other places that you go to and can recommend, then drop me a comment. Note – details here were correct at time of posting.

For Art Supplies

Of course, we all know about Deckle Edge in Constantia, which is probably the best place to go for quality, but I thought I would mention a few other sneaky places that I wander to, for a bit of variety. Or when, quite frankly, I’m too lazy to change from my paint-covered apron to something more ‘Constantia appropriate’. Continue Reading

10 Twitter Handles for Illustrators to Follow

Twitter can sometimes be a little overwhelming, especially if you are new to the social media. Or you might be on twitter already, but find it useless because your feed is boring. Here are some illustration-related twitter handles that every illustrator should be following.

Illustration Challenges

Here are some twitter handles that have illustration challenges that could help you with your creativity. If you ever feel like you have ‘illustration block’ or need a little sketch warm-up, have a look at these guys:

Sketch Dailies
Sketch Dailies

Sketch Dailies

Daily sketch challenges from movie characters, to fiction. Illustrations with an unusual twist or are just plain good get re-tweeted and featured. Follow the handle and use the hashtag #Sketch_Dailies

Illustration Friday

This is a weekly challenge where a topic gets tweeted once a week and you have to submit your illustration via their website. Top illustrations get featured on twitter and on their site.

Pinch Punch Post

A monthly illustration challenge where you have to post a character. Just follow the handle and remember to use the hashtag #pinchpunchpost
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Learning the (Publishing) Lingo

Publishing lingo
Publishing lingo

Starting out as an illustrator might be a bit daunting. Every industry has its terms and phrases that can throw one a little when you’ve just joined. I remember when I first heard about ‘Doc Martens’ with some fellow illustrators, I thought they were talking about the shoe. I couldn’t understand why everyone was insisting on drawing with these boots, and why these boots and not other boots like Caterpillars or something. Perhaps it was a new technique, or style, like drawing with feathers or sticks? As soon as everyone’s backs were turned I quickly took out my phone and googled it. As I am sure you probably know reading this, ‘Doc Martens’ was actually ‘Dr. Ph. Martin which is a brand of liquid watercolors. So we learn everyday.

In publishing there are a lot of terms that we all have to familiarise ourselves with, even as freelancers and illustrators. Below I’ve highlighted some of the more common terms. Free free to add your own experiences in the comments, or if there is a term you don’t know then ask as well.
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Using Google Search Tools Advance for Illustrators

Using Google Images can be really useful if you are an illustrator. Before the ‘Google Times’ illustrators would flock to libraries to gather images. They would go to different locations, take photos and have endless subscriptions to magazines with lots of photos and keep them as reference. Buying magazines and books is still a great habit to have and if you know of a source, it is also a good idea to go and experience, but being able to use Google Images is becoming more and more part of the ‘average’ illustrator’s skill set.

In a previous blog post about How to use Google for Illustrators I covered on how to optimise your search phrases and terms. Now I am going to expand that and tell you a little more the Advance Search Tool option in Google Images.

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Google Search Tips for Illustrators

Below are some tips and techniques on how to optimise your search and find what you are looking for in Google and Google Images. In another post I’ll discuss the ‘Advanced Search’ for Google Images, but today I’m just going to focus on optimising your search terms. A lot of the examples below demonstrate in Google Search, but you can use the same techniques in Google Images.

Before getting into some advanced search techniques, remember that Google pulls up results using the keywords you searched for. So the first thing to think about is how the website you are looking for is going to be categorised. For example, if you have a headache, instead of searching for ‘my head hurts‘ rather search ‘how to fix a headache‘ or ‘headache relief‘ as that is probably the title of the article you are looking for. Another example is instead of searching for ‘I have a flat tire‘, search for ‘how to repair a flat tire‘.

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