Getting the grips

Dear Fellow contributors, and designers,

It's been a month since I decided to start creating illustrations and, since I wrote my previous blog post. I feel I can still learn a lot more. So far I illustrated 15 images, and generated no sales. I feel like I do not comprehend yet what designers are looking for. I am working a boring 9 to 5 job in a business world were crunching numbers is common practice and where creativity is an insult. So trying to get inside the heads of people working in a more creative branch is not that easy.

After reading around, it seems that a very large protfolio is elementary for a contributor. But being an illustrator, generating a lot of illustrations fast... is not simple.

One day, after losing too much time in a traffic jam, I felt I would really enjoy making a chaotic illustration about a traffic jam.

Cars in road block

I was looking for a way to expand my portfolio, and while looking to my finished traffic jam image, I came up with the idea to recycle elements that focus on a different subject out of one and the same illustration. This way I was able to produce an extra image of this road raged man below (this was also the way I was compelled to behave during the traffic jam, but luckily I was able to control myself).

Man with road rage

I also isolated the cop who was regulating traffic. So I drew 1 illustration but got 3 instead. That's what I call being efficient :)

I also drew a picture of a boy listening to the weather forecast on his retro radio. With a 2 minutes investment of work I managed to change it into an image of a boy listening to music.

At first I felt dirty recycling images. It also felt as I was being cheap, and as if I was deteriorating the quality of my - small - portfolio. But now, when I have an idea, I try to envision my idea in a way that one idea can be recycled into different subjects generating one or two extra images.

Do you guys use tricks you feel dirty about? Don't hesitate to share them with us :)

Keep taking pictures, keep drawing,



Photo credits: Bartdierickx.
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  • Bartdierickx

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November 08, 2015

Haven't thought about it yet :) Why are you asking?


November 07, 2015

Are you offering your services on as well?


October 17, 2015

Hello Aziz,
You are right. It has been a way of thinking to justify my recycling :)
Glad to hear my brain fart was helpful to someone.
Judging by the amount of pictures online, you are also still a beginner. I wish you the best of luck.
Hello Susan,
I figured out how to create collections. Thx for bringing my attention to it.


October 16, 2015

Very helpful article! No need to feel dirty about that, if the generated picture stands for itself! thanks


October 16, 2015

Hi Susan,
Great advice and motivational words. I read about collections but don't really get how I create one.
Hello Wisconsinart,
You are totally right. This website is all about being commercial and pushing out as much as pictures as you can. It has nothing to do with art per se.


October 16, 2015

Hi Bart!
I think you are on the right track.. no mater how great the images are people still have to find you and with over 30 million images on this site, you are a drop in the ocean.
That said, you have to make people find you! A few good ways are first of all, have a large portfolio. I didn't get many sales until I was over 1000 images. Second, keep blogging and add your work to collections or start your own. I have collections I am always looking for images for, check out my list,
finally, do illustrations on topics in the news. what's trending? stuck in traffic is a good one, however texting and driving is an even bigger topic, and police officers is a hot topic in the usa, as well as green issues, road rage, and oh.. lots of things! Do illustrations that are fun and connect with hot news topics and you have a sure fire winning combination. hope some of these tips help!


October 16, 2015

This is the world of commercial imagery, there is nothing dirty about cranking out pictures. Sales is a numbers game. If you want recognition as an artist, get into some art galleries. There is a time and place for the various types of visual graphics.