A little bit about illustrators' feelings and experience

Blog of Xu Dong Art

2021-04-18 3 min read

1. About traditional painting skills.

Traditional painting skills are critical. As an illustrator, it is indispensable to express the pictures in your mind with various techniques. Therefore, let oneself have a variety of professional painting skills is absolutely the first point. I am happy that I have been learning and practicing traditional and basic painting skills. Since last year, I have been following a very excellent teacher to learn powder painting. Powder painting is an extension of drawing media that emphasizes drawing skills. Every time I practice powder painting, I can get back the feeling of learning basic painting.

2. Coping with loneliness.

Almost all free illustrators work independently, at least in independent spaces. How to adapt to loneliness may be the difficulty most people need to deal with. But for me, loneliness is not a difficulty. Enjoying my personal space alone, working without leaving home, and drawing the illustrations I want to draw are all the parts I love. My studio (my home) is my comfortable personal space. The developed network and take-out system allow me to go shopping without going out and face-to-face contact with strangers (of course, the virus epidemic also causes this situation). I enjoy being alone.

3. How to change from a full-time job to a full-time freelancer.

Full-time illustrator is a job I used to do. Full-time work makes me anxious, I have stomachache at work, I can't eat at work, so I keep losing weight. But a full-time job does bring me a lot of customer resources. Secondly, having a deposit is the main reason I can work full-time and freely. It also gives me the freedom to choose my clients. This is very important.

4. Friendly character.

Although I'm lonely, I'm kind and funny. It brings a lot of conveniences when communicating with anyone, especially customers.

5. About the work contract.

When working with customers, illustrators should sign contracts in favor of themselves. The critical points are 1. Deposit delivery, breach of contract does not refund the deposit. 2. Determine in detail the delivery of each stage from sketch- line draft-value exploration-color rough-the finished work; no change will be made until the delivery of a stage is completed (the number of changes can be specified or the cost can be changed). 3. Right of use or copyright. The cost of different rights is of course different (specify the detailed scope of use). 4. Hand over the work by Email to prove each stage of delivery can be kept.

6. Add voice to your work.

I've asked a lot of illustrators, and almost everyone plays some sound at work. Maybe it's music; perhaps it's audiobooks; perhaps it's podcasts; perhaps it's dramas, variety shows, or anything that breaks the silence.

7. Wacom or iPad.

Although I'm not 100% digital, I've used many different digital drawing boards. Wacom is definitely the first choice for digital illustrators. Beginners can choose the bamboo series. If they have enough budget, they absolutely have to choose the Cintiq series. If they don't have extra pre-selection, they can buy the Intuos series. The second hand is OK. I feel that the 2048 level pressure sensing of the previous generation of Wacom products is enough. People's hands can't handle more details of the pressure. Be sure to buy a professional felt refill, which makes a digital drawing board feel like painting on paper. As for why I now choose to use iPad digital painting. 1. The maintenance cost of Wacom Cintiq is enough for me to buy a new iPad. 2. The iPad doesn't need a link screen (and Cintiq doesn't), and it's very lightweight. 3. The function of the painting app procreate in iPad is absolutely comparable to that of Photoshop, and there are many auxiliary painting functions that Photoshop does not have. 4. If the work required by customers is super extensive, Photoshop should be used. According to the 72dpi of inkjet, if the pixel of iPad procreate is more than 4000, only a few layers can be used. Extensive outdoor advertising or wall painting is not recommended to use iPad painting.

8. About brushes.

Many illustrators sell their own brushes. Not only Photoshop but also iPad procreate. In fact, many brushes can be made by themselves. There are many tutorials about making brushes on the Internet. But when I see beautiful or convenient brushes, I also buy them. But what can really improve the quality of the picture is not the brush but the illustrator himself.

9. What can I do after work and sleep?

Watch the animation. Read a book. Get along well with my family, put down all electronic products, put down work, have a good meal with family, chat is very satisfied.

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