What makes an illustration stand apart?

By Sushma Patel

“Illustration explains information”

An illustration is a visualization made by an artist to depict an idea or concept creatively. It can be a photograph, doodle, drawing, etc.

An illustration is used to communicate ideas and information to a wide audience and different techniques can be used to create such illustrations, from sketching on paper to making it digitally.

Let’s explore a few ways to make an illustration unique and stand out from others.

1. Find a unique style

There are a lot of styles of illustration depending on the purpose like concept art, information graphic, fashion illustration, architecture illustration, etc. Each style of illustration is made using a specific technique and style, but we have to find out a unique style of illustration that can draw the attention of the audience.

2. Using a sketchbook

Drawing helps to understand how things work in the real world. We usually hear “practice makes you perfect”. So, skill-related knowledge is nothing that can’t be built up with practice and time.

If you practice regularly and are good at drawing, you can visualize any concept and transform

it Into the realm of good design. So, practicing sketching consistently is the key to making good illustrations.

3. Composition

Have you noticed when all the elements in the illustration are arranged in the right way it looks pleasing and grabs attention? Mastering composition is most important for any artist because a poor composition can affect the whole artwork. An illustrator has full freedom when choosing the composition of their illustration. There’s no formula for a good composition but there are some ways that can be applied, for instance, rules of third — BalanceNegative space, and Contrast.

4. Details

When you design any illustration, don’t forget to add details to make your illustration more attractive. It might take a lot of time but when you add details like texture, shadows, density, etc.

You will notice a huge difference, you’ll make illustrations that you are satisfied with.

5. Colors

The use of color in illustrations is tricky. It’s not as simple as we think. Colors play an important role in making illustrations look appealing. Sometimes you don’t need colors to add in illustrations, for instance inline works. But if you need colors in illustrations then remember not to add too many colors. Play with only 3–4 colors at max. These many colors are enough. You don’t need the whole color wheel.

Pick a color wheel and make a color palette (2–3 colors) according to color types.

6. Get inspired

Whenever you start to work on any concept, take inspiration from other good illustrators’ works.

It gives a lot of ideas to start any design when it comes to learning about character, style, colors, etc

Inspirations help a lot. You can find inspiration on Dribbble, Behance, Pinterest, etc. You can learn about current trends, and ways to use colors, composition, and shape, sometimes you can just get inspired by our daily life and the things around us.

I know these ways are easier said than done, but start with simple things first for instance practice sketching with simple shapes and fill 2–3 colors only, and add texture inspired by those around you and real life. If I’d say in one line, practicing is the key, practice sketches daily practice, practice practice. As you all know

“Practice makes one perfect!”

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