By Amanda Guy -- Our Designer
So here I am, addressing hand drawings, again, in this week's post. I know we've talked about hand drawings a lot lately, especially in our Instagram posts, but I wanted to fill you in a little on how my drawing process works. Plus, hand drawing is a huge part of graphic design whether you're really good at drawing or not.
When a new project presents itself I begin to look through books and online for new ideas or inspiration. When it comes to hand drawings, online tends to work the best for me. It's too hard to look at a shape, animal, object, or whatever other noun you thing you can think of, on a brightly lit computer screen the whole time I'm trying to draw it. So here are the top four things I do when getting ready to do a drawing.
1. Search for and print out the inspiration!
Obviously I print it out. It's nice to have it right there, I can print it the size I want or know that I want to draw it and it can lay on my desk for inspiration.
I always open the office, I get here at 7am and when Dan gets here he's always noticing the weird stuff that I'm printing out to help me with whatever graphic needs to be hand drawn that day. "Say Amanda, why is there a chicken in the printer?" or, "What's with all the monkeys?" I know there is a bit of an animal pattern here, but that's what I've been printing out the most of lately. That, and tricycles. Anyway to get back on track here it is nice to work on hand drawings in the morning when I'm alone. It's quiet in here, and I turn up the music as loud as I want.
Dan might laugh at some of the weird stuff sitting in the printer, but he actually secretly loves it, I think he's obsessed with scratch paper. He has a whole drawer full of the stuff we've printed out and don't need anymore. The more I think about it though, maybe I should start a file of these weird animals and objects I've printed out for drawing purposes. But I don't want to ruin Dan's scratch paper collection.
2. Bust out the pencils & microns
Sometimes you just have to start with an initial sketch. This is what all designers should do. I never start a drawing thinking, this will be THE drawing. I recommend getting a sketch book or a journal that you don't really care too much about for this part. I have some really nice marker paper that absorbs the ink to prevent runs, but I don't want to waste this paper on a silly pencil sketch! Lisa loves drawing with pencils and is really good at it, but I have to do my final drawings with a micron. The dark ink on the super white paper makes this design nerd super happy.
Once I have an initial sketch--and sometimes the initial sketch might be some stick figures with some really sloppy text strictly for layout purposes--the fancy paper gets to come out and I carefully start adding the first lines of the drawing. The details come after the outlines of larger shapes, and the drawings adapt from there.
3. I don't try and compare my drawing skills to anyone elses
Any time I start a drawing project I have to remind myself that I'm not world's best illustrator, and it's important for me to remember that there are things I can draw, and things I cannot. For all of you designers out there that think you need to be a fine artist to do graphic design, you don't. There are so many ways to get the exact look and feel of a design that you're really looking for without having this ability. It's a nice skill to have, well actually, an amazing skill to have, but not all of us were born with the skill to draw a straight line perfectly. So don't be ashamed if you lack certain drawings skills.
That's what is so great about a design agency and having a team that can work together on projects. You're not just getting one person, you're getting four of us that work together to put your visions into realities. Lisa and I have several occasions where we combine forces. We call these Amanda and Lisa collabs, and with this, Lisa will add something to the design that I may not have thought of, and visa versa. These collabs are my favorite.
4. Final touches to the drawing and adding it to the design
Once I have my drawing the way I want it, I add it to the design. I scan it and put the drawing into Illustrator, or simply use it in Photoshop, depending on what the final product may be. Then, if necessary, I can color it in, or remove colors I added while drawing. It's really as simple as that, and the best part is, it's totally original. It's something that I literally used my hands and art supplies to create.
I love hand drawing, it's a nice change of pace and feels really good to get away from the mouse and keyboard at times.
Thanks for stopping by the blog this week. I hope everyone out there has a great weekend and feels inspired to draw a little. Grab a piece of scratch paper and mess around. Artist or not, it's just fun to doodle!
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