In my early days as a junior designer. I had the good fortune to work under a talented graphic designer and I remember looking at her work thinking, “Oh wow! She’s so clever!” She saw me struggling with a piece of artwork one day. Leaning over, her voice conspiratorially low, she said, “I’ll let you in on a little secret. All designers steal.” She went on to show how she used paid assets from iStock and other sources of inspiration to build something wholly new. This piece of advice stuck with me.
Moving forward, I stumbled upon this helpful video from LavenderTowne that I found to be interesting. She explains and then goes on to demonstrate how she uses references to build an illustration. This reminded me of the advice my coworker had given me years before,
”All designers steal,”.
However, I don’t consider it stealing if you’re using the resources to create something new. In the video, LavenderTowne shows the process of building a collection of references and how Frankensteining them together can create something new. It is still her style and there is an immense level of skill that has gone into rendering those resources successfully, but knowing that you have the license to use that technique can open up your creative world, much like my coworker’s sage advice did for me all those years ago.
I encourage you to check out her video here. It’s an interesting watch and I learned quite a few neat tricks I can’t wait to try out!
Do you use references when drawing comics? Let us know in the comment section below! And join us on Sunday evening for our Quackchat at 5:30PM(EST)!
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Emma_Clare at 12:00AM, May 8, 2020
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