Many are unaware of the term digital illustration design, not knowing that we are all immersed in so much of it. It is a huge part of our daily lives, from social media to product packaging, it is one of life’s many essentials. For all the aspiring artists, designers, and illustrators out there, here are ten digital illustration design tips to get you started.
What is Digital Illustration Design?
The process of creating a narrative image to tell a story, relay a message, or convey emotions using a computer is what’s called digital illustration. We see works that use oils or watercolors for paintings, but for digital illustrations, the medium is a graphics tablet, mouse, computer, laptop, or smartphone. A digital illustrator uses software such as Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, CorelDRAW, and many others.
Digital Illustration Tips and Techniques
Digital illustration design may seem complicated to beginners, but it is doable. The following list will significantly help you get your creative juices flowing and start your journey as a digital illustrator:
Decide on Your Medium
The first thing you need to do is to decide on what medium you’ll be using. You can create digital illustration designs on a computer, laptop, or graphics tablet. While a mouse will allow you to be creative, a stylus or pen is your best bet as it works the same as a traditional pencil, pen, or brush but digitally.
These hardware come in different qualities, specifications, and pricing. As you’re just starting, beginning with low-budget types may be a good idea, and then progress to more specialized options. Once you become more proficient and know what features work best for you, you can go for the more expensive choices.
Understand the Fundamentals of Design
Digital illustration design is all about communicating a message. To become great at it, you need to understand the fundamental principles of design. They are as follows:
- White Space
Understanding these design principles allows you to create engaging and effective digital illustration designs. This knowledge will help you across all traditional or digital mediums, making you a well-rounded artist and designer.
Learn the Different Types of Digital Illustration Designs
Digital illustration design comes in many varied forms and genres. While it’s essential to recognize them, you don’t have to master them all. However, a good working knowledge of them gives you a better chance of fulfilling the various needs of your clients. It also allows you to adapt to diverse projects to make you more marketable.
The following are the most common forms of digital illustrations:
- Digital Painting
- Vector Illustrations
- Raster Illustrations
- Character Design
- Concept Art
- Typography Illustrations
- Editorial Illustrations
- Comics and Graphic Novels
There are more, as digital illustration encompasses a broad spectrum of genres. It’s recommended that you diversify your skills and develop your unique style. Doing so will allow you to stay flexible, relevant, and well-equipped. The digital illustration landscape is rapidly evolving, and it pays to be versatile and adaptable.
Consider Taking a Design Course
Many believe that artists are born and not made. There may be some truth to it, but digital illustration can definitely be learned. The internet abounds with websites that offer tutorials and courses that can provide you with the skills in this niche. While you can find several free courses, paid ones are more comprehensive and will provide in-depth knowledge worth your investment.
Master Your Chosen Design Software
Digital illustration design is hinged on the software you’ll use to execute your artistry. Adobe Illustrator, Procreate, and CorelDRAW are good examples. Once you have selected the software you’re comfortable with, explore and experiment with it until you master it.
However, this does not mean you’ll close your doors to learning the other software. These apps do not come free, but getting a general knowledge of each will make an excellent addition to your arsenal of skills.
Practice, Practice, Practice
After deciding on a chosen software, practice, practice, and more practice, learning digital illustration isn’t an overnight endeavor. You need to hone your skills until you feel confident with your work. And even then, continually upgrading your skills and knowledge is essential. Don’t let your thirst for knowledge ever subside.
Use Reference Images
In the process of sharpening your digital illustration skills, use reference images and try to replicate them. This way, you can learn anatomy, perspective, and other details you’ll need on your digital illustration journey. Study the works of your favorite artists and designers and give them your own spin.
Learn from Others
The internet offers a wealth of design wisdom and opens the doors for us to learn from industry leaders and influencers. Take advantage of this by following the social media accounts of those who impact the design niche. Those knowledgeable almost always share their secrets, and it pays to follow and be influenced by them.
Build Your Portfolio
Now that you’ve done a lot of practicing choose your best works and feature them in your portfolio. You can show this to potential clients and snag that digital illustration design job you’re looking for. You can build yours in Behance, Wix, or Dribbble.
Constructive criticism is an excellent way to see the progress you’re making. Seek them out whenever and wherever you can. Join social media groups and ask for feedback from more experienced digital illustrators and designers. This will make you a better designer when you know where you need to improve. Ask for valuable insights, such as areas for improvement. This allows you to incorporate other people’s ideas into your own and mold you into becoming a better digital illustrator.
These digital illustration design tips will surely help beginners in the field to grow into well-equipped designers. Having a team of professional illustrators and a large number of satisfied clients has given Penji expertise and experience in the digital illustration realm.