Hey, everyone! It’s good to be back! I’ve been doing quite a bit of graphic designing lately since I’m still working on creating my own comic book about a team of disabled superheroes and it requires a lot of digital illustration. You guys always see my writing style showcased on my blog, but I rarely share my artwork here except for the ones I create specifically for this platform like the blog headers and the logo. So, I thought it would be cool to have a post where I show you some of my digital artwork since not many people tend to see them other than my family.
This is a self-portrait I created called Afro Poetry. The afro is full of different accounts I wrote about: my experience wearing my hair in its natural afro form for the first time, cultural identity, and the way people perceive me (I organised the different texts in columns. It’s pretty hard to follow but the middle column is fairly easy to read). I styled the portrait to mimic finger-painting and patchwork art which I find interesting.
I use the program Microsoft PowerPoint for all of my designs. I can use professional design programs like Adobe Illustrator and Adobe InDesign, but I feel much more comfortable using PowerPoint since it’s the tool I’ve used to edit videos and create animations and designs since I was a child. It’s funny since it’s not really what PowerPoint is for but it’s very handy as a multi-functioning tool.
I took more screenshots while I was making this one so you can see the process more clearly. I almost always start with the mouth and the eyes so that the rest of the face naturally fills itself in around them. Regarding colouring, for a face in this direction, the lightest points are normally the two cheeks, forehead, and chin and the shading gets darker around those main points – which you can also see portrayed with the other portrait.
This was one of my first digital illustrations. Up until this point, I’d mostly just created moving animations – not static designs. I started this one about four years ago when I was younger but went back and finished it recently for my portfolio. When I use PowerPoint to illustrate, I mostly use the Freeform Shape Tool and the Selection Pane.
I also have simpler cartoon styles which I use to create characters for numerous different reasons. I’m still fairly new to designing my own characters so I’m constantly practising and improving my graphic illustration skills. Sometimes I design characters for this blog, sometimes for people, and sometimes just for fun! All the designs below were also created with Microsoft PowerPoint.
I can draw real people as cartoon characters. I usually use these as gifts for people or if someone asks me to make one for them. These are much easier to make than my painting-style portraits but they can sometimes be a hit or miss regarding whether they look like the person I want them to or not. If they don’t look right, I just start again and try to emphasise different features until it more closely resembles the person that I want it to. I’ve made a lot of these over the past two years, and through practise, I’ve improved their appearance and halved the amount of time it took me to make them (which used to be a ridiculous amount of hours).
I created this illustration for someone I know as a Christmas present. They’re a big fan of the British soap opera show: Coronation Street, so I drew them and their partner in front of a famous building from the series. This was the hardest one to create because I had to make the background extremely detailed so that it could be recognised as the pub from the show. The pattern on the woman’s shirt was also extremely challenging and took hours to sketch. To top it all off, I only came up with the idea a few days before Christmas so all of my days and late nights before the big day were spent sketching bricks and copying the Rovers’ intricate window design XD. It was still a lot of fun though 😊.
I use a simple cartoon style similar to this for most of the characters I create from scratch. Sometimes I’ll draw a rough sketch like this without a face if I create a character for a novel and I want to see what they would look like or how they would look in the outfit I describe them wearing in the book. Visual aid helps me to write more realistic and detailed characters by helping me to get to know them better. I’m using a style similar to this for my disabled superheroes comic book but I’ve put much more effort into making my characters look more professional and less rough. I’ve also taken the time to apply proper lighting and shadow to them. So hopefully my comic will look much better than this 🙂
That’s it from me! I know it’s been a while, but only because I didn’t want to create content when I wasn’t in the right headspace for it. I’d rather you guys see good content from me when I feel much healthier mentally rather than rushed content while I’m struggling with mental issues. I’m relieved to finally feel brave enough to be back on schedule again showing you guys my wonderfully crazy life as a disabled teen. Thanks so much for sticking with me! And I’ll keep you all updated on how the comic’s going.
See you next week!