10 October 2012, 09:54 AM
For design, you need to focus on the elements of design, such as usage of shapes, combination of shapes, interesting silhouettes, form vs. function, ergonomics, logic behind the design so whatever you design is actually feasible and make sense, and other considerations like how the thing is put together, how it might be manufactured, what kind of materials are used, whether it's practical, etc. You need to study industrial design for this type of stuff, and there are different focus you can study such as architectural design, vehicle design, product design, weapon design, fashion design, etc.
You don't need to be a master in each subject, but you need to have a good understanding of the foundation theories behind them so you understand the how and the why of all the designs you see around you in your life. You have to be curious and pay attention to everything you see. So let's say you are focusing on architectural design and environments--if you go to a public places and study how it's laid out, you'll notice where the emergency exists are, where the elevator and stairs are placed, how the lighting is designed, what kind of materials are used, how the lobby/main area is designed, what color palette is used in the interior design to match the mood/purpose of the location, etc. A hospital will have very different needs than a supermarket, or a military compound, or a theater, or an office, or a restaurant. So much of this stuff is common sense, except most people studying visual art don't realize how much they can improve by simply applying common sense and curiosity to their artistic development. Apply this kind of thinking to all kinds of design and suddenly, you'll see things you never thought about before, and everything will click in your mind.
As for coming up with visual narrative to illustrate, storytelling is a totally different thing from design. Narratives involve emotions and storytelling, and you must think like a writer or director. You need to think about what emotions you're trying to convey--such as anger, loneliness, disappointment, serenity, joy, fear, etc. Think about things that you've experienced in your own life such as being betrayed by someone, falling in love, losing hope, failures, triumphs, etc. You can also express your dispositions about issues such as bullying, bigotry, politics, war, corruption, environmental pollution, religion, prostitution, medical science advances, etc. You can even just ask yourself "what if" questions like "what if I only have 1 week left to live?" or "what if aliens made contact with us tomorrow?" or "what if my country went to war with another country?" or "what if I could time-travel?" Even if you can't find anything you want to express, you can just get inspiration from other people's storytelling, such as illustrating interesting scenes from your favorite books, movies, games, etc.
10 October 2012, 09:56 AM
Thanks Lunatique, you're a legend! :) I've figured along the way that everything in art very makes sense and is very functional, even things like skin folds have logic behind why they are like they are, everything is actually based on functionality and logic which is sort of a great thing because you can learn to be a better artist with everything you do and time is never wasted. Thanks for your answer, It's really important to get in that observer mind state. I remember when I started learning facial anatomy I was observing human faces all day and I learned the most trough understanding the function of the human face, why everything works the way it is, and I actually got in this mind state by accident but by reading your post I reminded my self it is crucial to always have your third eye open and observe everything and try to understand it.
10 October 2012, 09:56 AM
This thread has been automatically closed as it remained inactive for 12 months. If you wish to continue the discussion, please create a new thread in the appropriate forum.