Come up with a Clever Concept for Your Illustration | Olga Hashim | Skillshare

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Come up with a Clever Concept for Your Illustration

teacher avatar Olga Hashim, Illustrator & Graphic Designer

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

10 Lessons (20m)
    • 1. Intro

    • 2. What is Conceptual Illustration?

    • 3. Timeframe

    • 4. Finding a Topic to Illustrate

    • 5. Word Mapping / Brain Storming

    • 6. What to Do if You Feel Stuck

    • 7. Sketching a Concept

    • 8. Bonus Concept Study

    • 9. Note on Digitizing

    • 10. Moving Forward

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About This Class

This is a short sweet class about creating conceptual / editorial illustrations. Have you ever wondered how illustrators come up with clever and engaging concepts? Have you ever wanted to level up your concepting skills? If so, this class is for you!

Key lessons include:

  • How much time it takes to create a conceptual illustration 
  • How to come up with a concept
  • What to do if you feel stuck 
  • How to create brain maps
  • Bonus concept study

Here are some of my illustrations for inspiration:

“What if we are already living in virtual reality?”


“We can learn a lot about happiness from Aristotle even in our modern age.”


“Mapping The Brain’s Genetic Landscape”


My Illustration classes:

Create Grainy Illustrations Using Adobe Illustrator And Adobe Photoshop

How To Create A Simple Engaging Illustration

Grainy Texture in Photoshop. MasterClass.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Olga Hashim

Illustrator & Graphic Designer


Hi! I’m Olga Hashim.

I’m a freelance illustrator and graphic designer living in Houston, TX. Besides lovin’ illustration, graphic design and art I also enjoy yoga, healthy lifestyle and mindfulness. 

Let’s stay connected!

Follow me on Instagram if you want to see my illustration work, sketches, before&after images and much more. Don’t forget to mention me if you share your project from my class on your IG. It makes me happy when you do!


I also have a YouTube channel where I share useful stuff for illustrators and designers such as book reviews, tools that I use for my creative workflow and fun speed up videos showcasing my illustrat... See full profile

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1. Intro: Hello, everyone am Oh, gosh, Um, I'm an illustrator and graphic designer to this quest is all about concept ing. You may see conceptual illustrations in block posts bring or online magazines often when your commission to create an illustration for one of those, you will be tasked to come up with the visual that sums up the article score ideas. In this course, I will walk you through my process off, creating a strong concept using one of my recent illustration called Information Diet. As an example, I will share with you my process off arrive in and this concept, along with my tips on how to make your conception process as smooth as possible. You'll learn what conceptual ministrations are, how long it takes to create one. How to build a world map and work it into a strong concept and what to do when you feel stuck. Also, there will be a bonus concept studying. I'm really excited about this quest, so let's get started 2. What is Conceptual Illustration?: There are a few types of commissions that you can get as administrator. First stop is when a client approaches you with their own concept in mind, they have a clear idea off what they want to see as the end result and you'll simply executed. The second type is, ah, conception administration. Conceptual illustration is administration that summarized the core ideas off the given topic. Often using myth offers and symbols, you will have to combine them together. Toe interpret the topic luxury. You can as well hire yourself to create a conceptual illustration for your portfolio. This is a really good practice, and it's also a very fun and creative process I will talk about later in my quest. 3. Timeframe: So let's talk about how long it takes to create a conceptual illustration. In my experience, you will be given anywhere from 3 to 7 days to complete an assignment. However, sometimes it can be urging, so you'll have about 2 to 3 days to come out with an idea and finish an illustration. So this are the shortest and the longest I friends have been given. So it's totally based on my experience. Sufferings can very depending on who you work with. Don't be put off with short deadlines, though it takes a little bit of getting used to, but it's still a very fun and rewarding process. 4. Finding a Topic to Illustrate: It's pretty clear what to do if you were given a topic to illustrate by a client. But what if you want to make a personal piece to enhance your portfolio? Here's my tip. You can illustrate something that really resonates with you. Maybe it's something that you heard on the news or read in a magazine or newspaper. You get the idea on the opposite. You can choose a really boring topic that barely rings a bell. This is a really good practice to, because this is how you challenge your brain. This is a really good exercise. Just make sure not to get too literal. Remember, the conceptual illustration is based on combination off symbols and myth offers. So keep that in mind for today's class. I will be illustrating a very short sentence. Information diet. I have been thinking a lot lately off how we can easily get overwhelmed with all that information that is just coming at us from every direction. On one hand, it has its own benefits, but on the other it's important to disconnect sometimes and start toe filter this constant information flow. So in the next lesson, I will show you my process off translating words, inter visuals 5. Word Mapping / Brain Storming: so let's jump right into it. I have to mention that sometimes I didn't topic resonates with you so well. That drinks the belt immediately, and you have a clear idea or a few within a couple of minutes. It happens sometimes to me. It may have happened to you, and it's really great. But it's not always the case, So let's dig in and figure out we're to do and how to extract, uh, information visuals from your head and put words into pictures. I personally practice a technique Cold World map, and that's fairly simple. You have to grab a notebook or a clear piece of paper and a pen or pencil. I have been word weapon on my iPad inappropriate for a while now. Basically, the Joseph Materials is up to you, and it totally depends on your personal preferences. Just make sure that you have enough space there. Next, I will write down the name off my statement. Information died, and I started to brain up. I draw a line like so and write write down the first toward that I associate with information the laptop, and then I repeat the process desktop fun as you can see as the person leaving in the modern age. My first associations, our digital devices and the next perfect tested me because I as probably 90% of the rest of the world, received information or most of the information from our digital devices. Your sensations can be absolutely different from mine. Go and it's absolutely OK, so I will continue to brainstorm. Next. I will think off the words that I associate with the Elect Open desktop and its Internet information. Also gone stars from books. So let's write it down. Next, I'll take the World TV and think off what a cessation pops up in my head when I think off it. That's right. Remote control. When I think off the world, form it instant, he makes me think off social media. Let's write it down. As you can see, I have a pretty wide Web off words for the wood information. By now, let's do the same with the word diet. When I think off the diet, I think off restriction right into the world map restriction goals. Also, it makes me think off less food, a blade and the fridge. When you're on a diet we often want to put I look on our fridge. So let's write down. Look, we weight ourselves on scales and we count calories. Let's also add the word WiFi. I'm no thinking off silverware, so let's add it to the foot after I have Enough was in my map historical the months that seems more relevant and can work well together after I've done did I proceeded to scribble images that the source a broken. For example. I will draw a plate with social media. You are elements in it, and I had a fork and knife laying next to a plate so before it started using appropriate for conception, join and sketching, I was using a notebook, so let's get a quick look into it. This are just very vague shapes. You can't really make out what they are at this stage. It's not important that your scribbles are very loose. It just something you do to get your brain working. So don't focus on perfection. Anything at this point, I let myself goals and free, so I'm literally satisfied with this particular idea with the plate because it implies too much of social media aspect. So this illustration should focus on information in general. And although we do receive a lot of information from social media nowadays, it's not exactly what I want this illustration to be about for the focus on Okay, so what do I do now? I start to think of the word diet and images that this word brings up in my mind. Well, that is when we restrict our consumption off certain food and, uh, try to make better choices. But it's so hard to pass by those grocery Al's with cookies, chocolate and cakes. Diet makes us crave things that we can't help. No, I see an image of someone looking at the cake knowing that they can't help. I can make a cake, a symbol off a diet off this illustration. But how don't make it clear that it's an information diet. All right, where do we received the information from? It's our phones nowadays, not even TV. Look at us spending so much time on the phone every day scrolling, scrolling, scrolling so F in the single off information. So now I have to make it clear that access to a phone is restricted a less screen time, then So let's replace cake with the jelly jelly is clear, and I can put a want into it to make the phone nexus were restricted. Here we go here ago arrived at the final concept form in the jelly. I think it looks much stronger than a plate with social media. You are in it, and as you can see, it includes words from my ward map who? F one A plate and a splint. So this is pretty much how I work through every concept. 6. What to Do if You Feel Stuck: So what to do if you feel stuck and it seems impossible to come up with this clever and strong concept. First of all, don't panic. It happens to the best of us, and I'm here to share with you some techniques that I use whenever I feel this way. 1st 1 comes from Michelangelo and one of his courts. The sculpture is already company to within the marble block. Before I start my work, it's already there. I just have to chisel away the super whose material when I feel stuck. I tell myself that the perfect concept already exists in my head, and I just didn't find a pastor. But yet then I imagined that the perfect concept is in within the stone, and I'm a sculptor that just had to carve this concept out off the stone. So this type of thinking makes me feel good and cow every time I deal with top assignments , and I really hope that it will help you. To Number two is to use a dictionary and find synonyms off the keywords off your assignment . Synonyms often help your brain to make new associations that he didn't think before. It's really help also tried out. Tip number three is to reallocate and barrel occasion. I mean to get off your desk and rain storm on the couch instead, or you can go out and bring storm in your backyard or in a nearby park. Or you can work and brainstorm at the same time. So this sort of behavior helps your brain to reboot and come up with this perfect concept faster. I personally really like to sketch and brainstorm outside, especially when the weather is nice. If you're illustrating an article, I will highly recommend you to read it once again. But this time you will look for a little time in details that you didn't pay attention before. Include them into your world map. At this. New details will help you to connect the dots and come out with an interesting and relevant concept. Even the time allows. You can set your world map aside and start working on a different project. Genuine activity often helps me to come up with concepts you'll bring already has a task, and it sort of runs it in the background whilst you're busy with something else. And then all of a sudden you start to come up with all those ideas for your assignment. 7. Sketching a Concept: so the concept is original. Let's go ahead and sketch it upgrade. And your canvas, it says, will be 800 pixels by 600 pixels just because it works well for instagram and drinkable. I normally use HB brush for sketching. It looks just like a real age pencil, and I love it, and I start to sketch. It's important to sketch your concept because this is how you will see how the overall composition works when it is brought into illustrator or for the show I love. It isn't appropriate for schedule because it allows me easily scale, move and edit shapes, which is extremely time efficient. When a sketch, it's important for me to determine composition off a piece. I may play around with certain shapes and illustrator later and adjust their shape a bit, but it's crucial to find a composition that works at the sketch stage. - I also like to add some shading to the sketch because it sort off, pulls your sketch together and makes it easier for your ice. Teoh better perceive everything that you put into the document, so I would advise to use some shading in your sketches rather than keeping it in plain lights. As an alternative, you can change their thickness off your stroke as needed. Making a stroke cedar or a seeker also can help you to add some depth to your joints. I also want to add some light coming from their phone screen, so I will do this by using a different color. Two distinct it from the rest. Off this sketch, I opposition my skitch on the canvas just to make a composition a little bit better, and I also some geometric shapes under the background to spice it up. Next, you add some shadows and the sketches ready to be digitized. 8. Bonus Concept Study: I created this demonstration recently and it's cold. We can learn a lot about happiness from aristo, even in our modern age. It's a long name, I know. Basically, the girls posed is a host off a listener, as though she is listening toward a restore robust has to say and I hoped a few smiling basis around Aristotle's face toe. Add an element of happiness. I love it how these smiley faces also represent our motor age, since it is something received and use on a daily basis. If I would have left them out of the picture, the whole illustration would read different. Listen, Illustration is very minimalist. You can see that the background is dark and muted, but they re stools. Bust sort off reveals itself from the background. I did it on purpose to spice up this illustration and toe ed an element of mystery. Imagine if I do their whole stand here. It was starting to take something out of this image and make it less special. 9. Note on Digitizing: Although this class doesn't cover the process off great in this administration, I want to give you a quick overview off my workflow. After I came up with the constant and created their sketch, I hoped in tow Adobe illustrator to digitize it. Here are a couple of color options that I was experimenting with during my process. Once I finished their better image in Illustrator and settled with the blue and pink color palette, I exported my illustration in the whole shop to it. Some texture to it. Have a look at the final result in this particular illustration. I used a combination off two for the show brushes to give this piece look. It has now texturizing is a very fun and creative process that helps you bring your artwork to the next level. I teach classes here on still share where I woke you through my process of creation illustrations step by step, Begin with digitizing them in illustrator and then Aidan shape and texture in for the show . He was free to check them out. I will leave them in the description off this quest 10. Moving Forward: So this is it for today's quest. I hope that he was inspired and are ready to create something awesome on this. Not I have a little project for you. Find a topic to illustrate. It can be anything that appeals to you. Really? Maybe it's something you read online or held in the news or read in the book. Make a world map and come up with the concept for this project. I won't be asking you to submit a finished illustration. A world map and the concept. We'll do just fine. It will give you a taste of what it's like toe work on a conceptual illustration. Remember to share your world maps and sketches in the project section off this quest. I'm really excited to see what he will come out with. If you will go once they're forward and create an illustration based on your new shiny concept, please don't hesitate to share it with me to thank you so much for watching by