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When Does Research Become Procrastination?

research and procrastination


I recently did a webinar on social media marketing. It had some compelling stuff, and I was furiously writing down notes. As it concluded, we got the obligatory “Sign up now for a limited time discount on our program”. I was pretty damn close to hitting that buy button, but I asked myself—when does research become procrastination? I’m sure I would have gotten some good insights, but it felt like a cop-out.

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Illustration Step-By-Step: Cow Abducted By UFO

ufo cow illustration


I figured it was about time for another Step-By-Step Illustration post.

I always look for an excuse to do an alien or space themed piece. At the time of this writing, my home page has four alien themed pieces. There’s always room for one more.

Like my other work, it’s light hearted and whimsical. I’m sure that’s not the case for the poor cow (if you believe that sort of thing).

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My illustration process – Part 2

illustration process


In my previous post, I wrote about my illustration process for personal work.

But what happens with client work? The stakes are higher here. The process is also likely a big mystery to the client. Get beyond the “they just draw pictures all day” stereotype. Let them know they’re working with a professional.

Let the process drive the outcome. This is the language of design/illustration AND business. The artwork can’t exist on its own and needs constraints. If the final artwork doesn’t meet the goals of the client and their company, then appealing visuals become meaningless.

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My illustration process – Part 1

illustration process


Many of you may not realize you have an illustration process. It’s just an automatic thing. I mean, how complicated can illustrating be?

I don’t need to refer to my notes when I start work on a new lettering piece. However, I do follow a process in my head. It’s something I did when I was doing graphic design. It’s now hardwired into the way I work.

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Creating a concise layout that people understand

lettering layout review


Getting beyond things like developing a colour palette, or choosing brushes, is developing a concise layout that your viewers will understand.

I don’t normally start my design process on the iPad. I still prefer to push a pencil around on paper when I’m working up my initial concepts. I don’t want to fiddle around with colours, layers or brushes. I want to get my thoughts down as quickly as possible. When I use my sketchbook, the most I need to do is click my mechanical pencil for more lead, and turn a page.

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