All awesome graphic designs start with inspiration. Graphic artists find inspiration in a lot of things, sometimes even in the most unexpected places, situations, and times. While it is not necessarily a must-have skill for graphic designers, having the ability to draw is sketch can be an advantage. It would be easier for you to sketch design ideas if you are abled by the traditional artistic method of drawing.
In this post, you will learn why drawing is vital to a graphic designer, how you can hone your drawing skills, and where you can find cool drawing ideas to jumpstart your creative design juices.
Is Knowing How to Draw an Important Skill?
Although a lack of drawing skill is not a deal-breaker, most graphic design professionals would agree that it is a wonderful ability to have. Drawing is one of the most effective ways to convey concepts and ideas. This activity helps increase awareness about form, structure, line, shape, and other elements that a designer has to work with.
Unlike technology that lets you create everything in a snap, drawing slows you down. This is a good thing though since it gives you time to observe, analyze, and closely evaluate what you are working on. You become aware of proportions, forms, and colors. It helps you appreciate how light and shadow can reveal or define form. All of this awareness can help a designer improve any visual pursuit.
Most artists start with rough sketches during the early stages of the design process. While there are hundreds of templates and pre-designed themes for designing tools and software, remember that these are also products of ideas and imagination.
It can be challenging to materialize ideas without learning how to draw. It may not be as important today since there are plenty of digital tools available but you have to understand that such skill is one of the essential factors that can add a layer of essence to your creatives.
Any software can never replace the natural charm that physical tools bring. This is why pieces of art that are hand-drawn by an artist are more valuable than something that is done in digital form. After all, these design tools that mimic how an actual person draws are designed to perform in the same way as physical tools. Anyone can be good in design using digital tools but having drawing skills is what helps make one become a master in design.
Tips to Improve Drawing Skills
Drawing brings a lot of advantages to graphic designers, including enhancing their overall design skills and photographic eye. Here are a few tips for those who want to learn or improve this skill:
1. Go draw something. Do it again
Just like with any other skill, practice makes perfect. Even without achieving perfection, repeatedly practicing your drawing skills will lead to improvement. You become more confident as you draw more. It becomes natural for you to immediately pick up your tools and draw as soon as inspiration kicks in.
2. Search for drawings
One way to help you at enhancing your drawing skills is by looking at other drawings. There are so many styles and techniques that you can learn from other artists. Whether they are simple lines or heavily detailed renderings, these drawings can arouse your curiosity as to how they were created. Aside from interest, it can also be a way to spark creative ideas so that you can also create superb drawings.
3. Draw from life
When you are new to drawing, simple objects around you are the perfect subject matter. Pick those that have uncomplicated shapes, like your gadgets or everyday objects such as coffee mugs or a ball. Work your way up to complex subjects that require a lot of details, like your pets or the garden. You can also challenge yourself to draw other people or yourself.
4. Use photographs for inspiration
When honing your drawing skills, it would help to attempt reproducing two-dimensional images like those that are in photographs. Study the angles, shapes, and edges and try to have accurate proportions.
5. Bring a sketchbook everywhere
Keeping a sketchbook close to you will serve as a reminder to do some drawing anywhere and anytime.
You may lose steam and think that you are not making any progress when trying to improve your drawing skills. Take note that this skill requires a lot of patience to keep practicing and learning an array of techniques. What you should learn is that if you are going to draw a lot, you will get better. You will feel more comfortable and confident with your tools which will encourage you to move forward.
Cool Drawing Ideas for Design Inspiration
Excited to see how talented you are at drawing? Here are some cool drawing ideas to get you going:
1. City Skyline
The urban setting is teeming with kinetic energy at night and it is the perfect subject for a city skyline visual. Craftsy has a tutorial on how to draw a city skyline easily. You can follow all the steps or skip a few, depending on the level of detail that you want in your drawing.
Whether a bud or in full bloom, the rose is one of the most intricate flowers that look great when drawn. Maybe it is because of the romantic charm it brings or the fact that you can make it as beautiful as you want, depending on your drawing skills. Check out this tutorial from aminoapps to help you draw stunning roses.
3. Kawaii Cartoon Characters
Anime is for everyone. Both young and old find it hard to resist those cute characters from Pokemon. This drawing lesson from Drawinghowtodraw will guide you on how to draw these cuties. You will find the videos extremely fun if you are heavily invested in anime and cartoons.
Abstract designs are complex yet stunning. One example is the mandala. As the Sanskrit word for “circle”, a mandala is an intricate design that is usually drawn in circular form. It may look intimidating to draw a mandala but with this tutorial, it is not.
5. Basset Hound Dog
Pets are one of the most favorite drawing subjects. Following this tutorial from Felt Magnet will guide you on how to draw a realistic basset hound in simple steps. This will be your stepping stone to creating plenty of pet sketches later on.
Vehicles might look simple to draw since they mostly have a solid shape. The fact is that they can be extremely complex subjects because of all the details that you need to add. There are many tips on how to draw cars but this tutorial from dueysdrawings is one of the easiest to follow.
7. Realistic eyes
The eyes are the windows to our souls which is why many artists consider it difficult for drawing subjects to perfect. You will certainly be commended if you can replicate the technique from this tutorial.
8. The Human Body
The human anatomy is interesting because it comes in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. No two humans are perfectly the same, even twins. It is for this reason that artists are so engrossed when drawing people. This tutorial from improveyourdrawings is a good place to start learning how to draw the human body. It has tips to make the body parts proportionate so that you can draw lifelike images.
A lot of designers turn to nature for inspiration. You can start your way to drawing stunning landscapes by drawing different leaves. This tutorial teaches you how to draw leaf doodles that will look great on your design projects.
Nothing is more inspiring than a smile. Learn how to draw beautiful smiles from this tutorial.
These cool drawing ideas and step-by-step tutorials are amazing ways to kickstart your creative repertoire. Try them out in your free time and you will be surprised at how much you will improve from the techniques and tips that you will learn from them.
Top Inspiring Graphic Design Blogs
Design inspiration comes in all sorts of sizes and shapes. Whether you are an illustrator, a website builder, or a social media content creator does not matter. What is more essential is to find the right kind of inspiration that will spark your creativity to create unique designs.
It cannot be avoided, though, to find it a bit challenging to be inspired. Lucky for you, there are plenty of awesome places for design inspiration, and here are some of them:
Typography is a crucial design element. Aside from learning how to draw different fonts and styles, it would help to learn everything about typography. This blog has all the information that you need, including history, meanings, and posts about calligraphy, printmaking, and more. There are also links where you can buy incredible fonts that you can use in your designs.
The Germans are serious about art which is why you will find plenty of German firms that are in the creatives industries. This blog has a lot of project photography works that are great as visual inspirations. It is in German, of course, but you do not need to read anything. Just take a look at the captivating photos and you will understand why you are looking for inspiration over there in the first place.
Are you designing for a brand? This blog gives you a peek at the fastest-growing consumer brands. Tech leaders, investors, and founders find it a great resource when studying the market. There is no reason why you should not consider it as a place to find inspiration for your branding design projects. The site features five new brands every week. This should give you plenty of ideas about trending designs that you can use for your brand design.
This blog covers a wide variety of design projects, including animation, illustration, branding, industrial, UX/UI, and many others. It is a good source of design inspiration since a new design is picked and presented every day.
A successful designer can keep up with the ever-changing trends in the design industry. Mindsparkle is a design blog that highlights the current design trends. It does not only cover web design but also art, architecture, video, and photography. The blog itself has a stunning design too which makes browsing for design inspirations a wonderful treat.
This blog celebrates the contributions of women artists and designers in the graphic design industry. It is also a platform for tackling issues on gender equality concerning education from design institutions.
Primarily created to support the creative community, Creative Boom is effective at showcasing revolutionary works of leading designers all over the globe. It also has a podcast channel and an online shop where you can purchase bespoke prints direct from the artists.
Many artists collaborate with fellow artists in creating spaces that are intended to inspire others. Abduzeedo is doing exactly this since 2006. The blog contains a ton of articles that are related to the photography, UX, and design industries. It is predominantly strong on 3D work which is so timely since 3D designs are so popular these days.
Behance started way back in 2005 and has caught the eye of Adobe which bought the site in 2012. This platform is popular among those who would like to showcase their portfolios online. There are thousands of artists using Behance for hosting portfolios and it can be difficult to find the real gems on the platform. This blog is where you should check for the latest and best works to follow.
10. Incredible Types
There are millions of resources to seek the best fonts. Incredible Types makes the job of finding the best ones for your next design by showcasing the most outstanding typography and design from 51 countries. The case studies are regularly updated and you will be inspired by the works of 432 creatives and studios.
There are plenty of blogs that can inspire you to draw or create stunning designs. While the cool drawing ideas and the earlier mentioned resources are already enough, did you know that you can also find design inspirations offline?
Offline Design Inspirations
Graphic designers mainly work in front of their computers. It is natural then to expect them to look for cool drawing ideas and design inspirations on the web. However, many professional designers find it quite refreshing to venture away from the computer to get inspired.
Here are some things you can do to be inspired to design even without the internet:
Travelling does not only take you to places, it introduces you to a rich culture, people, and experiences apart from your comfort zone. Being in new places is a great way to expand your visual library. Travelling also allows you to reflect and know yourself better so that you can learn to adapt to new contexts. This kind of exposure opens your eyes to fresh idea possibilities that will be useful in future creative projects.
It is easy to expose yourself to a new environment even without traveling far. Simply going for a walk outside the building where you work or your home office is a nice way to hunt for design inspirations. Not only does it boost your creative process but it also helps exercise your mind and body. This is a very effective method of relieving stress that hinders your creative thoughts.
Visit Antique Shops
There is something about vintage things that instantly spark creativity. Antique shops are full of little trinkets that are surprisingly effective at stirring your imaginative thoughts. Maybe it is because old items that have typography, illustrations, and designs have so much history that radiates through them.
Explore Art Galleries
There is no better way to appreciate superb designs than real artworks. You will not regret taking some time off to visit the local art galleries or nearby places. Art has that instant effect that makes you yearn to create something as fabulous as the featured pieces. It also opens up your mind to a lot of styles and techniques that are used by the artists in their artworks.
Have Quality Time with Family and Friends
Filling your heart and mind with joyful thoughts is one of the best and cheapest (it is free!) ways to keep inspired to design better. Spend time with people who matter to you most to keep you happy. By achieving a work-life balance, you will be able to appreciate the little things that will inspire you. Things like the smell of freshly-baked bread at home, the funny stories shared in between drinking beers with friends, or the weird places where your grandparents take you to shop. These are gem-worthy experiences that create a deep impact on your design preferences.
It is kind of difficult to veer away from the computer especially if you have a high-speed internet connection. You can easily search for cool drawing ideas or design inspirations and thousands of website recommendations are in front of you. It is important, however, to acknowledge that more than the internet, there is more to the world that can inspire you to be creative. You only need to explore it so that you can appreciate all the beauty that is around you.
The digital era has made graphic designing one of the most highly coveted careers in the whole world. Many individuals work hard to build their careers around graphic design. With all the modern tools and software related to design, drawing remains to be a fundamental skill that a graphic designer should master.
Drawing is acknowledged as the base of any graphic design. It allows you to modify designs as quickly as your imaginations and ideas come. While digital tools can help up to a certain extent, they cannot visualize feelings and emotions as well as when you are drawing. It is also easier to implement ideas in digital form if there are drawings that serve as blueprints. Withdrawing, you have more freedom to work on your ideas and plenty of opportunities to create amazing and original designs.
These cool drawing ideas are for times when you find it such a struggle to stay creative. You need to be inspired to stay capable and innovative. Explore possibilities and continue to create amazing designs with these thought-provoking and inspiring ideas.