Graphic Designers: Thinking Like Illustrators

Working as a freelance illustrator is daunting work (so I’ve heard). While I am not one of the brave souls that is putting my work out into the world and landing illustration jobs, I am able to learn from the successes of the illustrators out there making a living doing what they do best.

One of the things that I have been able to learn from (and put to good use) from illustrators is their ever so useful sketchbook.  The sketchbook is and can be a designer’s best friend.  Not only is it to be used for sketching and drawing, the sketchbook should be with the designer at all times. The sketchbook should be used to record important notes, place images of inspiration as well as any sort of inspirational material.  It is a good practice to make sure your sketchbook can easily fit into your pocket or the bag you carry.  This way, you are never without the item that documents design inspiration, whenever it may strike.

Another meaningful leaf that can be taken out of na illustrator’s book is the art of brainstorming.  To many graphic designers, brainstorming can be a tedious task that just stands in the way of creating a design solution for a client.  I believe that this train of thought could not be farther from the truth!

Simply speaking, brainstorming allows the designer to bring together their research, notes, sketchbook scribbles, and plentiful thoughts together to create a solution for their client.  All of these items combined might not create a definite design solution immediately, but they certainly can (and will) play their part to creating what the client needs.

In the brainstorming process, even when the ideas coming through the designers head might seem ludicrous or outright ridiculous; the ideas need to be jotted down.  All ideas need to be documented because there is no telling when the designer will need to recall that thought or idea to create a design solution from that abstract thought.  There is no telling when design solutions will strike.


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