Showcasing my Digital Artwork

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.  

These are some screenshots I took while I was working on the art piece so you can see the process.

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.

This is a portrait I made of my older sister. I tried to make this one look more realistic and less stylized.

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.

One of my cartoons

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 😊.

This is a character called Melissa from an experimental comic I made last year.

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 🙂

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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!

118 thoughts on “Showcasing my Digital Artwork

      1. I’m sorry Simone, I read your reply to my comment several days ago, but before I could answer your question, I got interrupted by something. You asked what type of graphic design I do. Right now I am working on the design for my book cover. I love doing it! I have made hundreds of different covers for my book. Every time that I believe I have the cover just right, I think of something else to try. I don’t know which cover I will end up using. I hope I will figure that out by the time I finish writing my book! But in the meantime, working on the different designs is a lot of fun.

        Speaking of my book, are you still writing a memoir? I hope you are, your writing is the best! ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      2. No worries! Interesting, I’ve never met anyone who does book cover designs before. That’s definitely the mark of a true designer – I make numerous different versions of a single design before choosing which one I want as a final version. Experimentation is how you can come up with cool and unique designs. I am still working on my story but it’s taken a little bit more of a backseat lately while I focus on my comic book and growing my blog. Hopefully I’ll have more time during the Summer holiday to work more on it.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Joanna! I’m glad that you enjoyed the designs and think they look professional. That’s a huge compliment for an amatuer artist like me working with a simple program. ❤

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    1. Thank you, Chris. It feels really good to be back, I missed everyone and their incredible support as well as reading all of their fantastic stories and works. Whenever I show people my art, they always act surprised that it was created with PowerPoint. I think it’s definitely underrated considering all it can do, especially when not everyone can afford the more expensive design programmes and it’s much easier to use than most of them.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! ❤ That self-portrait is one of my favourites. 'Technologically challenged' XD. I feel the exact same way when it comes to social media sites like Facebook and Instagram. There's just so many buttons! It's heart-warming to know I've been missed. Thanks for the warm welcome 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I’m so happy to see you back! Your digital art is absolutely fantastic! I love how realistic the faces look and the pub background looks incredible, with the bricks standing out so beautifully! Looking forward to your comic!❤️

    Liked by 4 people

  2. I’m so glad to see you’ve come back! You’ve done so well with your art, far better than I could ever do! Mental health is a real pain, but it’s something that I’m focusing on more now, too. I stupidly took a break from it, but now I realise that I shouldn’t have focused on it less, I should have focused on it more. I hope that you will have lots of fun and success with your art and I look forward to seeing more 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Hi, Helen! It feels great to see you again. I’m glad that you’re focusing more on your mental health too, it’s often not as valued as physical health but it’s just as important. Take care of yourself, you deserve to treat yourself well. 🙂 Thanks for the well-wishes, I look forward to making more! – it feels good to be back.

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  3. Welcome back!!!!
    This is amazing work!! The first one is FANTASTIC.
    Also… the fact that you do all this on PowerPoint b l o w s my mind. Seriously- that is insane

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you ❤ It was actually a friend of mine that reccomended that I share some of my artwork online, I'm very happy that they suggested it. Thanks for the encouragements, I truly appreciate the support. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This is incredible and beautiful! I (like most above) did not know all this was possible on PowerPoint and I feel greatly inspired to give it a go now…. It’s good to have you back Simone:D I love the art with the words in your hair, showing the history of your hair *in* your hair is incredibly clever and powerful.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Thank you so much Gannu for the support! 🙂 I encourage you to give it a go, you might be surprised about what you can do. I’m glad that you liked my self-portrait, Afro Poetry. I felt extremely inspired when I made it and it’s something I feel passionate about so it’s great to hear these amazing compliments about it. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. yes! I’m definitely giving it a go:) Thank you for sharing so much of yourself with us all! I can tell you were inspired when you made it, because I feel inspired looking at it:D

        Liked by 2 people

  5. Those look so true to life! I mean, the faces are so natural and expressive. And I love your self-portrait! I can’t draw to save my life (digitally or not), so I’m in awe.

    I also want to say, welcome back! You were missed, and I’m happy to hear you’re having a good thing going right now. I hope it will last for the longest time!

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Thanks, Roberta ❤ I missed you and your incredible support too. I'm looking forward to going back to reading your reviews and book reccomendations which were really fun. I'm going to talk more about what I was going through next week but it does feel good to be much more stable now. I'm happy that you liked the designs! I'm actually pretty bad at drawing on paper too apart from basic sketches which is why I took up digital art. I'm still trying to work on improving my paper-drawing skills though.

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  6. I love your blog. Would you be interested in a fun collab for a brand new series on my blog? It’ll be an interview of sorts. If yes, lemme know and I’ll mail you the questionaire. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Stunning art works!!! ❤️ ❤️ ❤️
    You are so talented, I can’t wait to read your comic book.
    You did that all using PowerPoint!? Wow that’s great, I never knew we can also do that.

    Liked by 4 people

  8. This. Is. Amazing.
    I ventured here because you liked a comment I made on someone else’s blog I follow. I am glad I ‘found’ you and that you are returning to blogging. I hope you don’t mind an ‘older generation’ follower – but wow!
    The Afro Poetry is such an (he)artistic way of expressing yourself and making a social statement at the same time – And the fact that you use PowerPoint in a lot of your applications is encouraging to this older person, too! Please consider a tutorial as someone else suggested!
    Oh and your candor about life in a wheelchair echoes with strength and compassion. Such grace for one so young…relatively speaking, of course 😉

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Thank you so much Laura Bruno Lilly for the support. I’m happy that you stumbled across my blog too, I’ve read some of your posts and I’m already a fan. Of course I don’t mind, everyone is welcome ❤ I'm glad that you enjoyed Afro Poetry. Sometimes it can feel like I'm a living, breathing concept. Strangers often treat me as if I'm sympathy and sorrow personified when I'm in my wheelchair without even getting to know how much of a joyful person I can be. Sometimes it feels like I have the words 'outsider' or 'different' written on my skin. Therefore, making Afro Poetry was a way to counter-act that – to literally have who I am and how I feel written on my hair. Thanks for calling me strong and compassionate, those are two things that I've always strived to be. And, yes, I'll seriously consider a tutorial – I love spreading knowledge and skills. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  9. What amazing images you have created ! I have never tried to draw digitally but I cannot imagine I would be as successful. Your characters are very credible , well done and keep up the great woek 😁

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thanks, I’m glad that you enjoyed it so much 🙂 They do take a long time to make – the quickest one I shared took four hours, the longest – days. I like working on them though, it takes a lot of effort but it’s quite therapeutic and calming.

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  10. Your art is amazing!! I loved seeing the work-in-progress pictures too. Afro Poetry really looks like you (I have partial faceblindness or prosoprognosia, but I can definitely see the resemblance with your face 💖). It’s cool you use Powerpoint for something it isn’t intended for. I used to use Powerpoint too for making animations when I was a young teenager, good to know it isn’t just me! I love that you do it that way. I’m sorry I missed this post when you posted it last week, not sure if my email wasn’t working properly or what (I get email notifications of new posts). Yes, please do keep us updated about your comic! If the art on this post is any indication, it will be absolutely amazing and I will be buying a copy for myself when it is ready 💖.

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    1. Thank you so much! I’m glad that you were still able to see the resemblance to me in Afro Poetry – that’s a huge compliment 🙂 It’s cool to hear that someone else uses PowerPoint in the same way! I don’t think I know anyone else who uses it for other things other than presentations. Is that how you made the moving house animation for your YouTube channel? Thanks so much, it feels amazing to know that they are people who would be interested in reading the comic. It makes me feel even more motivated to work on it everyday.

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  11. Wow! This is so amazing! You’re really talented. I’m a comic book writer. And I know how much work goes into illustration and graphic design. You keep your chin up. My work is my passion. I hope yours is too. Lots of luck and good wishes!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Wow, I’ve never actually met a professional comic book writer before! What a huge compliment that you like my art! Comic book writing is my passion too, I hope that one day I’ll be as successful as you are with it. I still have a lot to learn, but I feel as if I have an important story to tell so I’m going to keep working until I tell it well through my comic.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. And I’m sure you’re going to succeed. Never underestimate yourself. You’re one brave soul and I’m inspired by your story. Maybe I’ll need your professional help some day. Art work for comics. You never know… 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! 🙂 I’m happy to have gone into detail about how I created these, the response from quite a few people was that they were going to give PowerPoint a try so that they could create their own. It felt good to not only share my work, but to show other people how they could do the same. Thank you so much for visiting and commenting ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I’m glad that you had fun learning about my process for creating the digital art and that you enjoyed my creations. I love art too! The ability to express one’s emotions through a visual meduim is a powerful one. Thank you so much for visiting and commenting! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Thank you for embracing the courage to share. The progress you’ve made in your artwork skills is clear. I have little knowledge about lighting and creating realistic facial structure in artwork, but the way you describe your process and the clear details in your pictures is awesome!

    Keep up the hard work, and I look forward to seeing your comic when it’s ready! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re welcome 😊 I’m happy that you enjoyed reading about my process and that you think that my artwork skills have improved. That truly means a lot ❤ I promise to keep working hard, hopefully the comic will be done soon!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No need to rush. Keep working at it and it will be done when it’s ready. 😉 I read recently on a writing group I’m part of on Facebook, that every bit of writing can benefit from some time away in a drawer out of sight. When we come back to it, the solutions to problems will be so obvious we’ll wonder why they were ever problems in the first place!

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