What specifically do you want to produce?
MARKET – What markets do you hope to sell work to? Define general format(s) for work.
FORMAT – What will the final dimensions need to be? Large Photoshop image files can be made smaller and be converted to JPEG or other formats. Hand drawn or painted work can be scanned if elements are no larger than your scanner bed. For consistent line quality in assembled work, elements should be produced in the same comparative scale as they will appear in the Photoshoped image. Scan at 400 dpi or higher. Purchase a larger scanner if you prefer to work large and have lots of storage on your hard drive.
STYLE – Not a pale imitation of what is already – Boldly work in a manner that is natural. First RESEARCH – Study the work of current illustrators you enjoy to determine what styles of work appeal to you most. Then DEVELOP A STYLE – Combined the appealing aspects of works you observed that are harmonious with your natural manner of drawing.
Make work you like to see from others?
STANDARD – Always ask yourself – How does your current project help you meet this goal? Is the work compelling & well executed enough to be part of a portfolio of quality work? Push yourself to maintain a high standard and not to settle for mediocre – your customers won’t.
WOW FACTOR – Become inspired and excited as you create to produce awesome work with a depth of universal insight that visually carries the viewer beyond the realm of the ordinary.
IMPROVE – Be happy with current work but always look for how to improve. Focus on any weakness you wish and consciously practice to improve.
EXPERIMENT – continue to explore new media & techniques to keep work fresh and interesting. –Allow for falling short but any attempt is a step forward. Find inspiring illustrations that challenge your studies to learn by observation. You are in competition only with yourself and you are winning with every stroke you make.
Create fixed Routine & Attack the Day!
In your ideal future, what will you produce in 1,3, or 5 years? Break the years into quarters and define the steps to your goal and their order. Don’t make it too easy or hard, but it should be a challenge. BREAK DOWN STEPS into months and then specific actions into weeks and days. Set DAILY GOALS in a weekly planner.
Keep a quantitative daily goal in mind – work materials should all be easily found and organized.
Avoid distraction – turn off social media, TV, phone, radio – Become Focused!
Plan Day – What is happening ? Find the passion! Take a moment to be inspired – a few favorite illustrations / notes on current project / Focus on your spiritual and physical goals. Stay positive and keep super motivated.
Daily Checklist – write a list of intentions for the day – Is work compelling and inspired?
Work in Blocks of 60-90 minutes – with 5-10 minute Breaks – Break for meals and relaxation to clear your mind and stay energized but not for too long. Keep it flexible.
Get plenty of rest and start fresh each day.
Keep it Fun! Toot your horn – converse with a puppet or your other self. You can even plan rewards for yourself when you reach your goals.
Now – Stop writing about it and get to work!