One For The Artists: An Illustration Starter

illustration starter

Welcome to our first ever Illustration Starter!

These are like our regular Writing Prompts, but for those of us who prefer pencils, paintbrushes and Photoshop.

I don’t know about you, but whether I’m drawing for friends or for myself, I need my illustrations to have a purpose.

It allows me to challenge myself, and think outside the box. It is a paradox: the less freedom you have, the more creative you are. Being restricted — by style, by the tools you can use or the theme given — forces you to get out of your comfort zone and try new ways to create your illustrations.

Briefs are great in this regard. They set guidelines, while leaving you room to interpret the task in your own way. Each artist has their own point of view, and the same brief given to ten different illustrators will give you ten very different versions.

The challenge

Another way to stretch your creative muscles is to follow online challenges. Instagram is full of them, with one of the most famous happening every year in October, called Inktober.

The challenge is to make a drawing in ink each day for 31 days, following a prompt list.

Finally, drawing starters are a great way to doodle when you have five minutes in front of you. The drawing is already started for you, you just have to finish it!

There’s no right or wrong answer, they’re simply meant to be fairly quick. They can be lines, or a drop of ink that forms a shape.

Like this:

illustration starter

Illustration by Manon Gandiolle.

How would you add to this illustration? Do any ideas just leap out at you?

To me, these sorts of challenges are like a good puzzle or a game of hidden words: they keep your mind bubbling.

You have to make your idea fit the drawing. It is all about putting the pieces together.

Want to see how I finished it? Take a look below:


Have you tried out this Illustration Starter? Show us your finished work! Send us a message on Facebook or tweet @TheFriendMag.

Keep checking back on our website for the next Illustration Starter, coming soon!

Manon Gandiolle