Beginner’s Guide to Illustration

illustration by vanessa vanderhaven

Let’s start by imagining you have been to the art store and chosen carefully which products to buy, leaving so proudly with your selection. You’ve made it home and make yourself a cup of tea with your desk set up ready to go. You pick up the pencil, admire it the same way you did in the store, and begin to draw. When suddenly you get the overwhelming feeling of not knowing where or how to start, you panic you might make a mistake, your heart starts pounding before deciding it’s too hard basket and put down the pencil. You’re left feeling disappointed and deflated. Don’t worry, we’ve all been there!

The good news is that you have already started by either getting your tools or even just by reading this article.

As Oprah Winfrey once said,

“Do the one thing you think you cannot do. Fail at it. Try again. Do better the second time. The only people who never tumble are those who never mount the high wire. This is your moment. Own it”.

Trying something new is always on a bucket list and so it should be. Just like music, illustration and art is an expression of you. And I’m here to tell you that no-one is perfect. I’m sure Leonardo Da Vinci had moments of holy crap too.

Vanessa, Founder of Creator’s Handbook, would advise “Start basic. Pencil to paper will always exist, techniques can be honed and the marks you make on paper are not simulated, but real.”

So here are some ways to build your confidence and tick off that bucket list:

  1. Go through Pinterest and Instagram for inspiration by searching particular hashtags or artists. You can find our Creator’s Handbook Founder Vanessa Vanderhaven there.

  2. After you have found an artist whom inspires you, try to Google them and find out how they got started. Everyone has to start somewhere.

  3. Have a mantra or quote to keep you going when you get stuck like “Learn More, Make More.”

  4. Attend a workshop and learn as part of a group. These can be done in-person classroom style or online. Not only will you be learning but you can interact with a whole new social group. Yay new friends!

  5. Start small and take one step at a time. Just like any goal you make, make it S.M.A.R.T. Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely.

  6. And lastly, be kind to yourself. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to pick it up straight away. Unless you’re absolutely gifted in which case you should be teaching us.

If today is the day you get started then we suggest you stick around Creator’s Handbook for more inspiration and information.

Written by guest blogger Brooke Chettleburgh