Class Info

  • Date: 2/12/24

To-Do Before Class

  • FINISH ILLUSTRATION ASSIGNMENT#1 Beverage Label • Place in the appropriate GOOGLE FOLDER
  • FINISH SKETCHBOOK ASSIGNMENT#1: #MeetTheArtist, place in the appropriate GOOGLE FOLDER
  • Join this Openlab Site
  • Purchase Supplies




  • Continuing ideation and how that process weaves into the flow of the Illustration cycle. Knowing roles of those you work with and your own role as the Illustrator. Keep the ideas generating—you will need them to survive.


Warm Up

  • Shout’agories


  • Personal Style & Thumbnails
  • Sketchbook Practice Cont.


  • WHO’S WHO in the process and what can I expect?
  • Typical workflow.  
  • The importance of multiple solutions.  
  • Personal Vision         
  • Thumbnails: How to / how many is too many?

In Class Sketchbook Practice: Thumbnails 

  • Thumbnail Sketches: Album, Interior Magazine Spread, Metro Ad, Comic, Book Cover, Newspaper Half-fold

Review Assignments and Expectations for Next Week’s Class


Illustration Assignment 1 – Beverage Label Illustration

  • 6” (inches wide) x 5” (inches high)
  • Black & White Illustration ONLY! No color, no gradient, no smudge, no value…just black and white.
  • You will identify your own client for this assignment. You can pick an existing brand/flavor—but your illustration should be entirely yours. The brand/company isn’t the focus as much as the “flavor” and tying your illustration to that by using your brainstorming abilities to break down words and ideas you connect your illustration to what the product it is advertising.

Sketchbook Assignment Week 1 : Meet the Artist: Create a #MeetTheArtist illustration in your Sketchbook/Digitally/both! Search for #meettheartist to get inspired & create one to introduce yourself to the class. You may use any media and style you feel is appropriate/you are comfortable with!

Due Next Week


  • Assignment – (at least) 30 Thumbnails that detail different options to 1 or more projects you would want to be involved with. Create your own project for the thumbnails to explore concepts — OR — Adapt existing campaigns/products/identities to represent something new.
  • 1) Write your concept out in the form a of a sentence in your sketchbook, to refer back to as you sketch your thumbnails. Use word-association, research, and your brain to expand the concept on the page & assist your creative process when making the thumbnails.
  • 2) Using a Ruler make 30 boxes in your sketchbook proportional to the project. Each Thumbnail should be at least 2” on the shortest side.
  • 3) Always draw thumbnail boxes in proportion to your final art!
  • 4) Be sure thumbnails don’t share edges. Leave a space between boxes.
  • If you want to pick different concepts and develop them, that is fine, so long as the count is (at least) 30 thumbnails.


The thumbnails are intended to be loose — not perfect or precise, enough to convey your idea of what we are seeing. The reason you should draw more than 1 thumbnail per idea is to refine what you have in your head — don’t lean on the first idea, let the first idea be THE FIRST OF MANY stepping stones that lead you to the final idea.


Q: What exactly are we making 30 sketches of ?

A: anything you want! its on you to show me where you want to go or what you want to work on. It’s meant to have you think about what you’d like to create / be a part of and exploring multiple ideas of the same project so you can see what works best. Challenge yourself to imagine a few alternatives. In your career people will want to hear several ideas, not just one, and you to provide a few ideas and variations that might be a better fit for your client / their needs. Its common in brainstorming that the first idea is not usually the best…thumbnail your way to the 5th idea where it all clicks

Q: What are some examples of projects I can thumbnail?

A: If you imagine yourself drawing editorial illustrations, provide various thumbnails of either the art or the layout of the paper so every factor is considered—grab a paper and mimic what you see. Maybe you want to design ads that would be seen in the subway / times square / bus, thumbnail a few layouts of you imagine it, think of the client, the font, the tone, the audience, and consider that in your thumbnails. Maybe you want to design a home screen or a background for a video game, you can thumbnail out versions of what you imagine. If you want to draw murals, find façads online to trace and imagine how you would explore that wall as a canvas. If you want to thumbnail out a few tattoo designs, have at it. If you want to thumbnail out a few t-shirt designs because that appeals to you, please do so. if you want to imagine your favorite artist commissioning you to provide art for their new album, thumbnail me what that would look like.If you want to be commissioned by Nike to draw a new box for a certain shoe, thumbnail out what that might look like—give it some functionality and explain if its a normal box or if it has any features. If you just want to zen out and thumbnail a few life studies in your kitchen because you want to work on your composition skills, imagine your ideal canvas size and do a preliminary sketch of what you would paint. If you want to thumbnail a few figure studies because you want to loosen up on your figure drawing skills, thumbnail a few of those. So many options for illustration to be a part of your career, start thinking about what you want to do!

In class we drew thumbnails of a few projects that could easily have swapped out photographs for illustrations, that was to practice the level of detail, various projects, and print / user considerations that your 30 thumbnails should resemble.

Reading Assignments

These 5 articles go in tandem with our lesson: IDEATION + SKETCHING + WHO’S-WHO and how that extends into thumbnails > the roles of those who would review your thumbnails > doing the work to get the greenlight. Know the roles of those who hire you and those who influence them.

Shared Research: Illustration Spotlights


Comment with a MINIMUM of 3 Illustrators, Creatives, or Artists who motivate your work, or inspire you. Write a quick 1-2 sentence summary of them, their work, and what you like about it. PROVIDE LINK to socials/website for others to see (make sure link is public/not private)


+ WHAT FIELD THEY WORK IN (Editorial, Beverage, Film, Animation, etc)

+ WHERE THEY WORK OUT OF (Agency, home, studio, company, brand, etc.)

+ WHAT IS THEIR ART USED FOR (print, social, tv/film, advertising, etc)


• Use these spotlights to begin figuring out where your work could fit in the illustration market. Look into the future and see if this is something you can do for your entire life, or is this just a part of the path? Where does that path lead…

• Be prepared to share a quick overview of 1 artists to the class Week 3

Click here to download the Week 2 presentation from class!

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