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Thread: Uninspired, feeling bored or lazy? Try one of these ideas! Group project!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Thanked 639 Times in 171 Posts

    Uninspired, feeling bored or lazy? Try one of these ideas! Group project!

    If one of the weekly activities here doesn't float your boat, take your pick from this delicious list of ideas, courtesy of

    101 Projects for Artists and Illustrators - please refer to this link for idea #'s and links to idea pages!

    Tell a Story

    Many images are used to help a narrative, and as an illustrator it is important to keep developing this skill in your off-time.

    Make a book cover for your favorite classic novel.
    Create a series of illustrations that show the passage of time.
    Illustrate a song.
    Make a narrative advertisement for a soft drink.
    Illustrate your favorite childhood memory.
    Make a children’s book spread for a fairy tale.
    Illustrate the four seasons.
    Why did the chicken cross the road?
    Make a series of black and white “chapter” drawings for a novel.
    Retell a short story in graphic form.
    Create a theater poster for a Shakespearean play.
    Create a series of illustrations that shows a person aging.
    Make an instructional poster for a favorite recipe.
    Illustrate a day in the life of a cat, dog, fish, or monkey.
    Make a picture book dummy.
    Illustrate the seven days of the Creation.
    Interesting stories to consider: The Odyssey, the Bible, Aesop’s Fables, Edgar Allan Poe, Shakespeare, nursery rhymes
    Make a magazine cover for a current news story.
    Illustrate a famous historical event from: 20 years ago, 100 years ago, 1000 years ago, Prehistoric times
    Illustrate family life in the future, at least 100 years from now.
    Academic Exercises

    Time to get back into the classroom! Refresh your skills every now and then so you don’t lose sight of the basics.

    Make an illustration influenced by your favorite illustrator.
    Paint a landscape with only three colors.
    Create a painting in a medium you’ve never used before.
    Study and draw figures from each source: Bridgman, Vanderpoel, Hogarth, and the masters
    Make an abstract painting.
    Paint a self-portrait.
    Create a full painting in 30 minutes.
    Draw a figure in: 1 hour, half hour, 10 minutes, 5 minutes, 1 minute, 30 seconds.
    Fill a page of your sketchbook.
    Create two versions of the same painting — one with warm colors, one with cool colors.
    Sketch in a public place.
    Paint a traditional still life.
    Paint the same still life in your illustrative style.
    Read a book.
    Watch a movie.
    Read other artists’ thoughts.
    Watch how other artists work.
    Take a class, if there are any available in your area.
    Research a particular era, artist, or style and create a few paintings influenced by it.
    Take a trip to a zoo or aquarium to sketch animals from life.
    Practical Projects

    Don’t let the promotion and organization of your business get pushed aside.

    Create a series of spots to use on your website.
    Make an illustration for a postcard.
    Design a new logo for yourself.
    If it’s near the holidays, create a Christmas card to send out.
    Create a Thank You card to send to clients.
    Draw a self-portrait in your illustrative style to use on your promotional materials.
    Create a business card.
    Make a small sampler, such as a booklet, that contains your artwork that you can use to give to prospective clients.
    Create a piece of artwork to enter into a competition.
    Take a moment to archive your traditional paintings through scanning, digital photography, or slides.
    Backup your digital files to a disk, hard drive, or server.
    Create sample sheets of your artwork that art directors can file easily.
    Update your website with new artwork.
    Work on creating samples for styles, markets, and subject matter that you are lacking in.
    Create stationery for your business.
    Make computer desktops or e-cards to distribute on your website.
    If you are a children’s illustrator, create some coloring pages for your younger fans.
    Create a fresh, new illustration to be used in a sourcebook or other advertisement.
    Clean your work area.
    Catch up with your paperwork.
    Creative Exercises

    One of the hardest tasks that illustrators have is to stay fresh and original. Use your free time to keep the creative juices flowing.

    Design a character for a book/movie/tv show.
    Draw a caricature of your favorite movie star.
    Illustrate a fortune from a fortune cookie.
    Create an illustration that integrates your name.
    Make an album cover for your favorite band.
    Create a modern movie poster for your favorite classic movie.
    Create a classic movie poster for your favorite modern movie.
    Design a creature that is a combination of at least two different animals.
    Design a car from 100 years in the future.
    Paint a landscape painting of an imagined land.
    Draw a treehouse. Include as much detail as you can.
    Draw 50 thumbnail sketches of the same object.
    Make an illustration for each month of the year.
    Design a deck of cards.
    Make up your own fairy tale land and characters.
    Research and draw characters/objects/settings from: the Mob, the Middle Ages, the Samurai, a Pirate ship.
    Draw a monster a day for a month.
    Illustrate a song from the Sixties.
    Create illustrations of current events and topics such as global warming, airport security, new technology, or education.
    Illustrate a stereotype.

    Online Communities

    These are resources I have found across the internet that will help you grow as an illustrator.

    Participate in Illustration Friday.
    Create a Moji.
    Start a blog.
    Help other artists who ask for critiques of their work.
    Join an artists’ forum and participate in discussions.
    Find and study online tutorials.
    Look at other artists’ work through portfolio sites and blogs.
    Subscribe to Drawn!
    Subscribe to Lines and Colors.
    Listen to what other artists have to say through podcasts.
    See what other artists’ like on and StumbleUpon.
    Contribute to the ThreeThumbsUp Gallery.
    Check out
    Join a community like the Little Chimp Society or Illustration Mundo.
    See the point of view of an art director.
    Stay up to date with your industry: SI, SCBWI, GAG, IPA
    Find illustration competitions.
    Online portfolio sites:, iSpot,,
    Read book reviews: the Sandbox, Fuse #8
    And Last But Not Least…

    Subscribe to for illustration tutorials, videos, and more great articles like this one.
    Last edited by Steph Laberis; March 5th, 2007 at 05:13 PM.
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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Brisbane, Australia
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    Great link! By the looks of it, there's alot of great resources there.
    Go Steph!

    * Help a CA artist! Visit the Constructive Critique section! *

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  4. #3
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Thanked 58 Times in 45 Posts
    Thanks very much this has some really interesting ideas, i think i might try out a couple tommorow.
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  5. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    Thanked 96 Times in 67 Posts
    Nice already done a couple but alot are challenging....
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  6. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Land of Blackanese
    Thanked 197 Times in 132 Posts
    I'm just lazy and bored...I'll take a look and see what it says...
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  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Vancouver, BC
    Thanked 319 Times in 109 Posts
    Ah, ya beat me to it! I was just coming here to post the same link.

    0kelvin My portfolio! Go check it out!
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  8. #7
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Thanked 2,063 Times in 830 Posts
    thanks alot steph,nice ideas there.
    *needs to find logo*

    Sketchbooks of inspiration:
    Marc Taro|Maxetormer|ZhuZhu|Jeri|Dobu]

    Always think about:
    lighting! design! perspective! proportion!
    And (self)motivation is still everything.
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  9. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Thanked 13 Times in 5 Posts
    well there goes my work productivity for the day.. than you Steph - JAG
    it's only after you've lost everything, that you're free to do anything..
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  10. #9
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    Jul 2006
    Thanked 838 Times in 314 Posts
    Lots of fun and challenging projects on that list. Thanks for the link!
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  11. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Thanked 639 Times in 171 Posts
    Haha, glad you guys are finding it helpful! Rather than let the thread die, how about we make a group effort to check off the entire list? We could post our pics in this thread and check off the list!

    I know we've already got some of the suggestions done, so only new initiatives will count And I don't think there's a big deal if more than one person does the same idea... so how bout it?

    I'm thinking the next month of my life needs a monster a day...
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  12. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Thanked 17 Times in 16 Posts
    Haha I think that's a good idea! I'll see about doing something later on today after work.

    Perhaps you can copy paste the list into this thread and check it off as we complete each?
    [][][][] DRAW EVERYDAY [][][][]>
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  13. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Thanked 13 Times in 5 Posts
    im down.. seems like a good idea. hmm where to start.. - JAG
    it's only after you've lost everything, that you're free to do anything..
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  14. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
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    Ok, this might be a stretch, but since I already have 2 business cards, I decided to make pins of one of my characters and advertise them online. Thus, I will mark "Create a business card" as done!

    Edit: Ah hell, everyone loves visuals!

    Uninspired, feeling bored or lazy? Try one of these ideas! Group project!

    This is an ad I've done to promote the pins, which thus promote myself and my site. I sell them online, include them with my portfolio CD when I am looking for work and hand them out to potential clients that I meet. Yay for schwag! These are sometimes more effective than business cards, because it's like getting a little gift rather than a piece of paper.

    To quote Yumiko, "Don't be afraid to put yourself out there, sans an agent, you're the only one who will." So, this is great if you already have some solid work that you want to market - just crop it, make it, and spread the love!

    Remember! Just because an idea has been crossed off the list doesn't mean you can't use it again! I think the more pics we have for each idea, the better
    Last edited by Steph Laberis; February 25th, 2007 at 07:47 PM.
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