Creatives share the one design tip that blew their minds

A person with a blown mind depicted with glitter
(Image credit: Emma Innocenti via Getty images)

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).

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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 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.

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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.

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Joseph Foley

Joe is a regular freelance journalist and editor at Creative Bloq. He writes news and features, updates buying guides and keeps track of the best equipment for creatives, from monitors to accessories and office supplies. A writer and translator, he also works as a project manager at London and Buenos Aires-based design and branding agency Hermana Creatives, where he manages a team of designers, photographers and video editors who specialise in producing photography, video content, graphic design and collaterals for the hospitality sector. He enjoys photography, particularly nature photography, wellness and he dances Argentine tango.