Be inspired by artists and designers you admire.

I was inspired by:

  • My classmate who got higher skills with whom we shared the same table in sketching class to discuss techniques and design points.
  • Comic, Manga, Concept art, animation artist…
  • Painters, sculptors…
  • The fashion school I used to join in Los Angeles during summer – we learned about the 9 heads fashion croquis (Fashion Finishing School, from Nancy Riegelman)
  • Live drawing, How to draw a silhouette with a minimum of lines
  • Thanks, M. Laurent Okroglic, my drawing teacher who brings us every Thursday afternoon to learn how to draw outside of the school –
    sat and draw for 4 hours every week in various places such as a museum, expo, bridges, architectures…

Mix all the drawing techniques and styles!

Tamara Craiu - Art students
Art students drawing outside
– Photo from Tamara Craiu

“To get inspired, admire.”

Inspiration is everywhere, and I believe you start being influenced by them when for a reason or another, you admire them.

People who tend to think that other people got skills because they are just lucky or innate talent will slow down their progression (or never start drawing).

The world is full of amazing artists who carry their own drawing style. If you also look for having a unique style, do not focus only on your own creation.

It’s actually smarter and more fulfilling to “steal from others”.

You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Feel free to pick a bit from one artist, and pick up more from another. And so on.

Your taste and sensitivity will keep evolving and fine-tune along the journey.

“If you want to be unique,
do not reinvent the wheel.
Steal from others and mix your influences.”

Many of my sources of inspiration are far away from Product design.

Fashion, Manga, comics, concept art, urban sketching, everything is linked. Basically, drawing fundamentals are the same.

KEY DRAWING RULE: See things in transparency, start a sketch with simple shapes then add the details…

Admire your artist and designer pairs

Explore the artists you like – and import them in your own style.
Keep practicing and your sketching skills will gain in maturity.

Students sharing
Students sharing some points at a museum

If you are impressed by people who sketch better than you.
Don’t feel discouraged or jealous.

There is ALWAYS someone better than oneself.

They may be your classmates, your neighbors…
Admire them, and feel grateful to have them around you to inspire you or even teach you.

Next time you see them, it cost nothing to ask for help or feedback on your drawings right?

The Power of Artbooks

You can browse thousands of artists online, libraries, museums, basically from anywhere. If there is someone you like, save their pictures and store them in your inspiration folder of artists.

Artbooks corner in library
Artbooks corner in the library
The Art of Ratatouille movie
The Art of Ratatouille movie

Digital format is definitely cool but you may consider getting their paper books. It gives a more intimate feeling.

I find amazing inspiration in what we call ARTBOOKS.

Myself studying Darren Quach - Concept art style
Myself studying Darren Quach – Concept art style

My friend Adrien Wira*, designer at Adidas is passionate about Concept art – he told me he’s building a shelve full of artist and designer’s books. T

hat naturally puts him in the mood of creation whenever he goes back home. His passion is part of his daily life – even years after being graduated – his work keeps improving and impresses more and more.
* See here a Collaboration with Adrien x Chou-Tac for a mech.

Collab Adrien Wira x Chou-Tac | Concept art

Let’s have a look at a few artists that are NOT product designers who influence me.

CELIA CALLECelia Calle - line expression[2]
Celia Calle is an illustrator who draws her characters with a sense of elegance and randomness.

Celia Calle website[2]
It’s only made of few strokes and the feel of the movement is so dynamic. Can you feel it? It’s not made to be clean and perfect, yet we can feel a beautiful tension.
Her sense of motion influences me a lot in my ID sketching.

Marvel series Celia Calle[3] MARVEL comic cover made by her: MEGANIX
Her style is so unique that I recognized her style in a book shop.
Note: the artist who draws a comic cover is rarely the artist who draws the comic inside.

I like sketches that keep the original strokes. We can “feel the soul and tension “of the artist. That’s what Falcoon loves to express his art as well.

Falcoon - Ken[3]

Street Fighter II is my favorite game all along from my childhood till now. This is how I discovered the art of Falcoon. He created artworks for SNK and Capcom.

He’s well known for exaggerating the size of the muscles, especially for the hands and feet – to give more depth to the characters.

According to him, he draws without using a reference picture – using only his strong visual memory.

(Memory that I believe he trained by practicing for long hours at sketching anywhere, anything)

FENG ZHUFeng Zhu - Revenge of the Sith[2]

Feng Zhu is a concept artist who worked for video games and movie industry, such as Star Wars. I highly recommend you guys to have a look at the artbook: The art of Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith.

Feng Zhu Revenge of the Sith
Feng Zhu Revenge of the Sith
I believe that getting inspired by people we admire, makes the learning journey more fun!

Like a kid drawing his favorite heroes.

If you can activate your imagination, you will go through learning of the fundamentals of drawing with pleasure!

Art assignment of the day

  1. List your favorite artist and designers that inspire you.
  2. Find their pictures on the Internet or books.
  3. Store a digital copy of their creation in your “inspiration folder”.
  4. Pin on the wall the pictures that are the most meaningful to you. Somewhere you can’t avoid!
    Not necessary in front of your desk.
  5. Every few weeks, pin them elsewhere.
    Because the brain gets easily used to the environment and will end ignoring them. You may also update your pictures.
  6. Keep drawing being surrounded by good vibes!!

Share with us in the comments who are your top artist and designers of reference. 🙂

Related article:


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *