Staying Organised and Productive with Your Creative Work

Advice, Illustration, Update
My latest #mermay challenge illustration draft

Where did this week go?! I feel like I’ve just blinked and it’s already Sunday night now!

I only managed to squeeze in 1.5 hours of drawing this week for my weekly #mermay draw challenge and the above is what I have so far. This week’s #mermay theme is #treasure, and instead of going for the traditional concept of ‘treasure’ like a chest of gold, diamonds, pearls, etc., I wanted to depict more of my own personal idea of ‘treasure’.

Hopefully, it’s obvious by my illustration, but my version of ‘treasure’ is designer handbags! And being vegan, I’m pretending that all of the designer bags in my illustration are made out of vegan leather.

My lovely mermaid is also modelling some designer lingerie that I came across on net-a-porter.com (I’ll share the designer name in my next post once I hunt it down). I haven’t finished the lingerie drawing yet, but it’ll be decorated with cute little tulles as well.

Although I completely failed to complete my second weekly #mermay drawing on time, I’ve decided not to be too hard on myself. I’ve achieved other tasks that have been sitting on my to-do list too:

  1. Made progress on another #drawthisinyourstyle illustration (see below illustration) – sometimes I need to switch my task/illustration to give my brain a break, so I’ve been chipping away at this one whenever I needed a context switch.
  2. Uploaded Jackie’s In My Soap Pot logo illustration onto Society6 – you can check out the collection with her cute little bunnies, and check out Jackie’s In My Soap Pot where you can learn to make your own awesome soap.
  3. Started uploading my last #mermay amabie illustration as printed products for my website (see mock below, and thank you Jackie once again for your wonderful idea!) – I’ll do another announcement as soon as they’re ready, so watch this space!
Another #drawthisinyourstyle challenge illustration in progress
Upcoming printed collection of my latest #mermay illustration ‘Space Amabie’

Something that’s been working really well for me in the past couple of weeks has been reviving my old Trello board. I use Trello to keep a kanban board and track all my tasks for Tina Park Studio. It helps me to capture all my to-dos and idea in one place, focus on the most important task, and there’s nothing more satisfactory than moving a card to the ‘Done’ column (and getting that dopamine hit!).

If you’ve been struggling with too many ideas/tasks for your creative work, and not sure where to start or how to get organised, I highly recommend starting your own kanban board on Trello as well.

That’s all from me, and I hope that we all have a lovely, productive week!

#mermay Week 1 Submission

Illustration

There’s a lot going on in my little Tina Park Studio world this weekend.

Firstly, here is my first illustration for #mermay2020 ! Last year I only managed to do one artwork. So, this year I’ve decided to step up and complete one #mermay artwork every week – so there’ll be five illustrations in total!

Huge thank you to @caril7 for your weekly #mermay2020 prompts 💖 I absolutely love it and will be using it as my guide this year 😆 so my first one is following the theme of the first prompt: #galaxy.

@caril7’s weekly prompts for #mermay2020 via Instagram

Also, you might have noticed that my mermaid today has a beak and three fins on her tail. That’s because she’s an Amabie!

Amabie is a Japanese mythical creature that will supposedly ward off epidemics if you share its drawing with as many people as possible. During these tough COVID-19 times, Amabie has naturally made a popular come-back! Thank you so much Jackie for your suggestion of drawing an Amabie 🙌🙌

As a final announcement, I have also decided to get my A into gear and start a weekly blog post of my art journey. Please keep a lookout for my post later today and I’d love your feedback on it!


Ohh I knew I forgot something – I’ve also updated my colour palette so let me know what you think of it!

Another #drawthisinyourstyle challenge

Illustration
Digital illustration of a girl wearing head scarf, with long wavy hair
My version of @janicesung’s #drawthisinyourstyle challenge

Shout out to my sis @lisaparkdrawing who motivated me to draw again! I’ve had a real artist’s block for a while now and it feels so nice to finish a piece 🙌

Also, thank you @janicesung for your #janicesungdtiys challenge! It was really fun to draw this one 😊

@janicesung’s original artwork for the #drawthisinyourstyle challenge on Instagram

My Favourite Tools for Digital Illustrations

Advice

People often ask me about the apps and tools that I use for digital artwork.

If you’re new to digital illustration and interested in giving it a go, let me share my favourite tools for creating digital artwork.

1. Adobe Illustrator

Adobe Illustrator is a must-have tool for any digital illustrator who wants to create vector illustrations.

Vector illustrations never get pixelated and can be blown up to any large size you want (as long as your computer can handle the size that you’re after!).

I always create vector artwork when I’m working on commissions for clients. This is because I want to provide high-quality images and to have the flexibility to format into whatever sizes (or types like PNG, PDF, etc.) my client needs.

I began my own digital illustration journey through Adobe Illustrator. To learn how to use the app, I found their beginner’s tutorials really helpful.

Adobe Illustrator is available through monthly or yearly paid plans. But if you’re new to Adobe Illustrator, you can try out the app on a free trial for 7 days!

2. Wacom Intuous Small

During my free trial of Adobe Illustrator, I just used my old iMac and my Apple mouse to draw.

By the time I finished Adobe’s free trial, I decided that I wanted to continue drawing, but using the mouse wasn’t a sustainable way to do it. Drawing with a mouse was both painful for my hand due to repetitive strain injury (RSI) and it took too long to draw.

I knew I wanted a drawing tablet, but I didn’t want to blow my budget either. After some research, I found that Wacom offered a great range of quality drawing tablets/accessories, and their Intuous S model was perfect for me.

Wacom Intuous S is not too big, not too small, the price is affordable (in 2018, its retail price was $140 NZD but I got mine on sale for $90!), and it does the job well.

If you’re wanting to dip your toe into digital illustrations, but don’t want to spend a fortune on tools, I highly recommend starting with the free trial of Adobe Illustrator + your computer mouse.

Then if you’re ready to take the next step, get the monthly paid subscription of Adobe Illustrator + Wacom Intuous S.

3. iPad Pro 11-inch (2018)

Sometimes I feel like drawing on the go or while lying on my bed or bumming on the couch. At times like this, my big old iMac isn’t very practical for that.

When I first started drawing digitally, I already had an iPad Mini 4 and a cheap $2 tablet pen. While this fulfilled my need to draw in any location I wanted to, it was frustrating to draw on the tiny screen, nor using the cheap tablet pen.

That’s when I decided to take the next step and invest in an iPad Pro (11-inch) and Apple Pencil. And I’m so glad I did!

Nowadays, I do all of my personal illustrations on my iPad Pro. I’ll only jump on the computer if I need to use Adobe Illustrator for client work.

Read on to find out the two drawing apps that I like to use on my iPad Pro.

4. Procreate

Hands down, Procreate is the best digital art app for iPad Pros.

I’m not sure how well Procreate runs with any other types of tablets. But Procreate and iPad Pro are like a match made in heaven.

As I mentioned, I like to create all my personal digital illustrations on the iPad, and Procreate is the app that I use every time.

Procreate has an easy and intuitive user interface (UI). And considering that you pay only once for the app (no annoying monthly subscriptions, yay!), Procreate is always offering updates and new features to all their users.

The only downside to Procreate for me is that they only support raster illustrations. Raster is the opposite to vector (as I’ve mentioned when discussing Adobe Illustrator). This means that the illustrations lose their quality and become pixelated as the file gets enlarged (or zoomed in).

Although I much prefer drawing vector illustrations, I absolutely love the UI of Procreate. This is why I use it only for personal illustrations and sketches.

5. Adobe Draw

Before I realised the magic of Procreate, and I was too cheap to pay for it, I used Adobe Draw to draw on my iPad.

Long story short, the advantage of Adobe Draw over Procreate is that it lets you create vector illustrations. And you can send your artwork straight to your Adobe Illustrator through Adobe Creative Cloud. This process is so smooth and convenient!

Another advantage of Adobe Draw is that it’s free! Yasss.

The only disadvantage of Adobe Draw is that while their UI isn’t horrible, it’s nowhere near as easy or smooth to use as Procreate.

I used to use Adobe Draw a lot when I first started digital illustrations. But since I started using Procreate, I’ve found it difficult to go back to this app.


And there you have it – my top 5 tools for drawing digitally!

Please let me know if this was helpful by leaving a comment below. Or share with me (and others) if you love to use any other digital art tools that I haven’t mentioned.

Belle the Book Critic

Illustration

Have you ever wondered what happened to Belle after she saved the beast prince’s life?

Today we look at the heroine from one of my favourite Disney classics, Beauty and the Beast, and how she worked happily ever after.

Following her passion for books and reading, Belle became a successful book critic. She loves to surround herself with books in her quiet country house in France, and specialises in reviewing adventure and sci-fi genre books.

She regularly provides book reviews for various papers and magazines, including the New York Times.

When she’s not busy buried in books, she loves to tend to her rose garden.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my little career story for Belle! Next up is Jasmine from Aladdin.

And She Worked Happily Ever After

Illustration

I’m starting a new illustration series called ‘And she worked happily ever after’.

I got fed up with the recent, disappointing remakes of my favourite Disney classics, and decided to pursue my own version of Disney remakes.

This series explores the career paths that I imagine the Disney princesses would have chosen based on their strengths and life events.

First one is Snow White, who’s made a name for herself as the best Apple Quality Control Manager. Due to a traumatic event that involved a poisonous apple that almost took her life, her passion is now ensuring that everyone has access to safe, delicious apples. Although other fruit companies have tried to scout her, Snow White has insisted on specialising in apples and no other fruits. 

Next character will be Belle from Beauty and the Best.


If you enjoy my illustrations, please consider supporting me by buying me a virtual coffee (visit ko-fi.com/tinaparkstudio). It will only be a few dollars and any tiny amount will help towards covering my digital art equipment costs. Thank you in advance for your support!