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Tom Froese

What Gets Us Most Stuck When Using Colour?

Colour seems to come easy for some illustrators. For everyone else, it’s one of the stickiest sticking points in our process! While each experiences colour in their own way, I find that illustrators struggle in three key areas:choice, consistency, and confidence. I call these the 3 Pain Points of Colour.

There are millions of colours in the physical world. While I don’t know if they have been quantified, I have learned that the human eye is capable of seeing around 10 million of them. Our digital devices, on the other hand, offer us 16.7 million. …

Five Reasons You’ll See Less of Me in June

01 My house is being renovated. We are in one of the busiest weeks in the renovation schedule. My workflow is not as predictable right now. I am less focused.

02 I am shifting gears this month to write and produce my next Skillshare class (about colour). I will be dedicating my writing time to this topic. I may post here less frequently as a result.

03 Thankfully, client work requests are on the upswing. Things are getting back to normal for me. I’m getting some pretty interesting projects too! …

For People who Draw a Lot, We Illustrators Don’t Always Draw The Line Where We Should

You may be surprised to learn that illustrators have pet peeves. Crazy, right? I mean, how can people who draw all day for a living have any reason to be annoyed? Well, for starters, it’s a little bit annoying when people think all we do is draw all day, and that our job is easy because it’s unusual and creative. But those aren’t on the list. Our pal Pete Ryan put out a call to illustrators on Twitter, asking what bothers them most when working with clients. A couple posts ago, I wrote about 10 Pet Peeves Art Directors Have…

Going Back to Pre-Digital Limitations is the Secret to Using Colour More Confidently in Our Art

In addition to my book about the creative process, I am also working out my next Skillshare class: this one will be about colour.

I’ve been thinking about a colour class for years now; until now, nothing had materialized. I kept hitting the same wall—the fact that I don’t really have a sophisticated approach to colour in my own work. I simply know what I like, and have slowly worked out which handful of colours I tend to use most often over time. That’s it. One day, I realized there were six or so colours that I liked most, and…

Ghosting, Missing Deadlines, and Other Ways to Turn Off Your Art Director

If you want to illustrate for magazines, publishers and advertising agencies, the people you want to please are the Art Directors. Art Directors are the people who scout out and work with illustrators for their projects. Art directors, or AD’s for short, are responsible for finding talent (like you) and for squeezing the best possible result from you! They are looking to you to help them create the right images for the job, which satisfies a specific need. AD’s are middlemen, though. …

Time to Renew My Goals and Create Some Clear Next Steps

It’s almost June; that means we’re almost halfway through the year. And that means I have 6 months to write the publisher-ready manuscript for my book. To date, I have made some tremendous progress: I’ve started this blog and have an ever-growing readership. I’ve chosen a topic: The Creative Process. I’ve written a rough outline. I’m now able to develop my ideas around this subject with more clarity. I’m now a little stuck, with no clear next step in front of me. I keep coming here each morning to pick away at ideas (as is now habit) but this is…

How to Be Authoritative Without Being Authoritarian in the Creative Process

As a parent, one of my favourite experts on raising children is Barbara Coloroso. While I haven’t checked in on her material lately, I do remember one of her major themes: the three types of parent (or styles of parenting): the brick wall, the jellyfish, and the backbone. In the brick wall style of parenting, rules are enforced rigidly. Parents who parent in this way are hard and inflexible, just as the name implies. The answer is always no. It’s always their way or the highway. The child gets no say; they have no negotiating power. The jellyfish, way on…

Getting Your Dream Job Sometimes Means Changing Your Dreams

I was watching a Disney movie with my kids last Friday evening. It was called Ulysses and Flora. It wasn’t very good, and I don’t remember the exact plot. What stood out to me was the glaring representation of a harmful myth: that of the starving, struggling artist.

The dad in the movie is a graphic novelist. His daughter thinks he’s brilliant; she loves his stories and relates to his characters, namely one of the main superheroes. But sadly, no publisher has accepted the dad’s work. He remains unpublished, unappreciated, and obscure. He is waiting for the approval of the…

Creating the Optimal Conditions for Commercial Creativity

The creative process is a series of steps we go through to create a work of art. In the context of commercial art, it always starts with a brief and ends with the creative product—perhaps an illustration or some kind of designed object or entity. It’s those steps in between that are the domain of the creative process. The creative process is a series of actions, which, if we do them in the correct order, will yield a creative product. It’s a procedure. It’s an algorithm. It has inputs and outputs.

Of course, the art part of the creative process…

Relating an Often-Misquoted Metaphor to The Creative Process

You’ve probably seen the old carrot on a stick metaphor, perhaps in an illustration or a cartoon, or referred to in conversation. You know, there’s a guy on a horse, and he’s holding a stick with a carrot dangling from the end, on a string. He’s holding it in front of the horse, who, in trying to get the carrot, keeps moving forward. That’s how the rider gets the horse to move forward.

You might not know that “Carrot on a stick” is a malapropism. It’s not quite true to the original idiom. There wasn’t just this one apparatus involving…

Tom Froese

Illustrator. Creatively Empowering Teacher/Speaker. Represented by Making Pictures/UK & Dot Array/USA. Top Teacher on @skillshare.

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