The internet is awash with tips and so-called 'hacks' that promise to improve creative processes and workflows. Often, the pieces of advice aren't quite as clever or useful as they claim to be, but many designers will have at least one design tip that really did blow their minds and change how they work.
A Twitter thread has gone viral after setting out to discover just those lightning moments. Fantasy concept artist Vesperis asked people to comment with the one piece of advice that "blew your mind and unlocked a new dimension of improvement," and the replies offer a goldmine of design tips (for more advice see our expert character design tips).
Artists, what tip really blew your mind and unlocked a new dimension of improvement for you? It can be technical or more personal development oriented! pic.twitter.com/ErTzfM55dcJanuary 24, 2023
Vesperis got the ball rolling with some personal suggestions – "to stop putting too much detail in dark areas, toning down vfx and experimenting/not caring about others’ tastes." The Twitter thread (opens in new tab) has since picked up over 1,600 replies from people sharing their best tips, from advice on how to hold a pencil to how to render light.
"Understanding that most people don't go after flawless render (even if they like it) they go after the concept," one person replied. "I started to put a grayscale filter on my art to check my values while I work and it makes everything pop way more, someone else wrote.
Another comment is about light. "I always thought the only light is from LIGHT SOURCE bc people were talking about it and rendering was super painful, and then I found out about AMBIENT LIGHT, and that you can render all only in this and add after-lights later. Game changer for me."
"A teacher had everyone switch to holding the pencil horizontally, and letting all the movement come from the wrist," another artist recounts. "It took a few months to adapt, but once I did it was biggest improvement jump in drawing that I've ever had," someone else contributed. Here are some more highlights shared on the thread.
This one, it improved my soft cel shading tremedously pic.twitter.com/coBvgoqJ9QJanuary 25, 2023
oh wow! 👁️👁️ that's actually a very cool tip. And since I'm now exploring environments more now, also fits perfeclty in terms of timingJanuary 29, 2023
I'm sorry/what/Dude I did not understand putting the human figure in perspective for the longest time, I just could not grasp it and I wasn't sure why (which is why I never draw it).This was THE advice I neededThank you <3January 30, 2023
It didn't click until it did. But this unlocked how I see shapes 😂 : you can draw up 90% of the human body with just triangles 🔺️ pic.twitter.com/kian7TejM1January 26, 2023
Okay this might be rly obvious to some but it took me WAY too long to realize. If your characters look like they're staring off into space instead of looking ahead or at the viewer, try moving the iris closer to the inner corner of the eye instead of the middle. Looks more alive! pic.twitter.com/ajK9sF5pGlJanuary 27, 2023
For more design tips, we can suggest learning from the work of these famous graphic designers. And for more technical skills, see our pick of the best Adobe Illustrator tutorials.