This week I have been using my time wisely by studying some classes on SkillShare, that perhaps I wouldn’t normally take. I signed up to Jon Burgerman’s class ‘Doodles to Design‘ and I wasn’t disappointed. His warm up techniques include doodling with your eyes shut, which initially seemed strange, but I went with it and I’m pleased with the eventual outcome of my design. Read on to discover how I came up with my final design that you see below. You can also view my Skillshare project here as well as seeing all the awesome other projects that students have posted.
Jon is a great teacher, straight to the point and somewhat unique in the way he teaches. His work is very popular and iconic in style (I recognised his work before I knew it was him who created it). You can view Jon’s website here.
For those who are interested in SkillShare, it is a fantastic resource for artists, illustrators, designer, in fact anyone who is creative and wants to learn. You can read my other SkillShare post about surface pattern designer Elizabeth Olwen who teaches the hugely popular ‘Creating inspiring repeats’ class.
Below you can see the first few sketches I did following Jon’s technique of doodling with your eyes shut for 2-3 minutes. The aim is not to worry about what you are drawing but simply to warm up your hand and wrist muscles, just like an athlete would do a warm up routine.
The second set of warm up techniques involve sketching with your eyes open, but turning the paper often and sketching quite quickly, again not worrying about the end result. These sketches don’t have to become anything, they are purely to warm up your sketching fingers.
Lastly after you are warmed up and ready to go, you draw your design, taking longer than you previously did but still the aim is not to think too much about the drawing itself but draw what is in your head or what you are ‘feeling’ at the time. My design came out very abstract although I was quite happy with the result.
The next stage was to redraw my design and make the black lines thicker and make any revisions I wanted. I had to do it the old-fashioned way of using tracing paper (as I don’t have a light box yet) so this took a little longer than I would have liked. I decided to emit a few bits here and there as I thought the composition would look cleaner and more finished.
The next step was to scan my design into the computer and colour in Illustrator with whatever colours I wanted. It’s lovely to be able to choose your colour palette. I find it really hard to stick to just a few colours. I usually want ALL the colours of the rainbow in there!
I’m really pleased with the outcome and my finished design. My partner reckons it has an ‘Aztec’ and geometric feel to it. This certainly wasn’t planned or a conscious thing, and yet I really like Aztec patterns. Maybe Aztec patterns/designs could be a new source of inspiration for me?
Either way I hope this will inspire you to go with your gut instincts when creating your own art. I wasn’t sure at the time when doodling my design as to where it was going, but I stuck with it and it came out well. A lesson for the future: your creative brain knows best 🙂