Illustration & Creative Expression: Simple Exercises to Unlock Creativity | Ira Marcks | Skillshare

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Illustration & Creative Expression: Simple Exercises to Unlock Creativity

teacher avatar Ira Marcks, Graphic Novelist

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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

13 Lessons (45m)
    • 1. Introduction

      1:26
    • 2. Class Project

      1:37
    • 3. Getting Ready

      6:10
    • 4. Panel 1: Abstractions

      3:46
    • 5. Panel 2: Symbols

      2:49
    • 6. Panel 3: Objects

      4:01
    • 7. Panel 4: Surfaces

      3:08
    • 8. Panel 5: Spaces

      3:29
    • 9. Panel 6: Moments

      4:34
    • 10. Panel 7 and 8: Windows

      4:44
    • 11. Panel 9: Self-Portrait

      2:15
    • 12. Class Inspiration

      6:09
    • 13. Wrap It Up!

      1:05
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About This Class

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The most important skill an illustrator has is the ability to express a point of view. If you want to form a stronger connection between your personality and the work you create, this class is for you.

Join graphic novelist Ira Marcks as he leads you through a ‘draw along’ class project illustrating the details that make your creative experience unique! Through a series of bite-sized drawing exercises you’ll discover new ways to show off the meaningful objects, spaces, and moments in your life as well as apply some powerful principles of design to your ongoing exploration of style. At the end of class, you’ll have a project that shares a close up look at your creative side.

Who is this class for?

  • Illustrators of all levels interested in storytelling and personal narratives.
  • Casual doodlers looking to create a meaningful personal project.
  • Artists who want to add more substance in their style!

Meet Your Teacher

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Ira Marcks

Graphic Novelist

Top Teacher

 

Ira Marcks is a graphic novelist from Upstate New York. His classes focus on comics, cartooning, illustration, and the power of visual storytelling. His latest book, Shark Summer, is about friendship and scary movies. It was said to be a "meta-graphic novel that manages to deconstruct a genre, pay tribute to it and keep the reader happily inside it all at the same time" by the New York Times. He shares new projects on Patreon.

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Transcripts

1. Introduction: The most important skill you have as an illustrator is expressing your point of view. The way you look at the world should be guiding what you want to express in your work and how you go about bringing those ideas to life. Everyone has a story inside them that gives them a unique perspective. Finding out how to put your point of view to use can enrich a creative hobby as well as build a professional career. My name's Ira Marcks on a graphic novelist and a teacher, and every time I sit down to start a new book or I step into a classroom for the first time, my focus is all about expressing point of view through drawing. It's the beginning and end of the conversation for me, and now I'm here to have that conversation with you. This is not so much a drawing class is. It is a creative expression class with a project all about illustrating the aspects of your personal creative space. In today's class project, you'll learn to be more expressive with your illustrations by sharing the details of your own creative space across nine different panels with a focus on building an important skill, the ability to share that unique story we all have inside. Okay, illustrators, it's time to get up close and personal. 2. Class Project: Welcome to the class. If you're someone who's been following my Skillshare channel or if you're just meeting me for the first time, I'm excited to let you know I'm trying something different with the format of this class; I'm calling it a draw along session. Basically what you need to do is get your supplies ready, which we'll discuss in a minute; settle yourself in your creative space, that space that makes you comfortable where you can focus on your work, and I want you to work along with me as I create the class project. The nine panels of this class project are collectively going to represent aspects of your creative process, and working together, we're going to fill each one with a theme about your own personal workspace and experience. We're going to address the symbols, objects, surfaces, spaces, and special moments inspired by the behind the scenes aspects of our creative lives. The things we draw will be a mix of observation, imagination, and emotion. You can see my style of illustration is very cartoony, you could call it. But the way I think of it is I work in symbolic and representational art, which is basically to say stylized subject matter, and tended to be more emotionally resonant than realistic. I'll be sharing, as I said, plenty of examples along the way to help you decide what to draw in your own style. 3. Getting Ready: All right. Let's talk about the supplies you're going to need to participate in today's project. Here's the final piece I created in the class today. It's a series of nine panels. In the background, I did just a simple watercolor wash just to distinguish them, and I did my line art with a blue marker. We're getting to supplies in a second. Basically, what I want to say is keep the supplies really limited. I want you to pick a single color for your line art. Because I don't want you to get distracted by options in the realm of color. I want you to be able to focus on composition, line and contrast with light and dark. That's like the focus today is what we put in the panel regarding space. The focus today is basically a black and white illustration. I'm using color here just to enhance that viewing experience for you. Now, this grid, in my example, is broken up into a three-by-three space with 3.5 inch panels. The most important thing to think about here is what scale you're working at. For example, let's say I set up this piece of paper with a 3.5 inch square, but I've chosen to work with felt tip micron pen. Now, a micron is very small. Let's say I want to draw a flower. I can't really use the space the way I want with a micron because the line is so small and if I want to go in and maybe fill in a space to create some contrast, that's going to take me a really long time. A 3.5 inch panel and a micron is not a good match. During class, I'm going to be working with these adorable Posca paint markers. These are a great complement to the scale of my panels. Now if I wanted to draw a flower, I can do it with a lot more confidence and I can create stronger contrast with ease. Like maybe I want to add some decorative elements in the background. No problem with this big fat paint marker. I think when practicing new techniques, working at a large scale really helps you understand how you approach your workspace. We don't want to get caught up in a lot of the details with this illustration project. It's about working loosely quickly with big ideas. Grab a paint marker or possibly, a Sharpie. Here is a cheap Sharpie, it's a shuffle art brand Sharpie. It's a little skinnier than my paint marker, but it's a lot better than a small felt tip micron. You also want to work at a scale that's comfortable for your hand. I'm pretty comfortable drawing at about this scale because I'm a cartoonist, this is usually the size of the panel, so my hand is used to working in motions like this. If you'd like to draw a little smaller, maybe you need to scale your panel down slightly like this. Then it's easier to fill the space with the gestures that make you most comfortable. I wouldn't get too much smaller though, because if you start to work at a very small scale, your panels are going to get crowded really quickly and you're not going to get as much range, and the style of composition or the details you can add within these spaces. If you're working on a tablet, keep things simple. Here's a version of the class project I did in Procreate. I'm just using a different layer for my line art and a color layer for my panel background. I'm just using the basic studio pen inking tool. Just like with the traditional tools, you want to make sure you're working at a scale that's comfortable to you. When I zoom in here, you'll notice the scale's really about the same as it is on the actual paper. Choose a simple brush and make sure you're using a line way that works for the space. That's pretty good. It's a little crowded. Actually think I'll shrink it down slightly. Too small. Perfect. Whatever medium you want to work in, it's fine, just make sure the ratio of panel size to drawing tool works for you. 4. Panel 1: Abstractions: We're going to kick things off with abstraction. Because the whole idea of this class is learning to think differently about why and what you draw. In just general terms, abstraction in the world of art basically means to separate and withdraw something from something else. You could take an apple and extract the idea of an apple from it and you can extract your own personal experience with an apple from that. You can recognize abstract art because it's often simplified or schematized, which basically means to take the simple forms of an object and put them in some order that makes sense to you. But they might not necessarily connect with other people. That's the fun of abstraction. There's a mysterious element to it and as to why it was made. Working in abstraction means using basic geometric shapes, expressive gesture marks, and moving things around a composition to add weight or meaning. Sometimes these things don't even necessarily connect to the visual reality. Now as we go through this class, anytime you don't connect with one of the themes of the panel or you simply want to take a break because you're working along with me and I'm going to quick or whatever, you can always fill any of these panels with an abstraction. In fact, I recommend sometimes you break away from what I'm talking about because the idea of abstraction is to break with conventional thinking and popular ways of looking at the world. Questioning what you're making and why you're making it is a big part of finding your point of view in your art. Style emerges from making these choices. It becomes the proof of your creative process and in turn becomes the value of the work you make. You can't tell, but this is an abstraction of my drafting table. It's a space where I sit and work and think about what I want to say, and it's also a space where I sit and teach. As many projects of mine that I've created on the surface, other people have done the same. It's a special spot to me. When you look at this drawing and I know that it has a deeper meaning. But if you just look at this illustration without me explaining its meaning you get a chance to inject your own feelings. Here's another version of abstraction. This one's more schematic a word you probably don't think a lot about when you consider art. It's actually an abstraction of the tabs in my browser. As a graphic novelist, I'm writing just as much as I'm drawing and I'm researching just as much as I write. I often have like a million tabs open in Google. So many tabs sometimes I have to restart my computer. But it's an important part of my process. Instead of just drawing a literal browser tab to represent that idea, I can create this abstraction of the idea. It makes for a nice decorative element or you could see through that and find the deeper meaning. I'm going to fill one panel on my grid with an abstraction. But as we go through and begin filling in this composition, you're welcome to make choices as to where you put your abstractions. It doesn't need to be clear what it means to everybody, but it does need to be clear what it means to you. 5. Panel 2: Symbols: Every creative space is filled with symbolic objects. That's the theme for this chapter. Symbols. Things like photographs of your family, artwork from artists you admire, little knick-knacks from vacations or special moments on special days. All of these things to another person's point of view are simply objects. This panel is all about turning an everyday object into a magic artifact by drawing it in an iconic way. Let's pick a subject for our panel. Let's say a pencil. A pretty important object to any Illustrator. But let's give it some symbolic character. Let's say it's a worn-out pencil, maybe a pencil with a really dull tip, a pencil that's been well loved, we can say, or maybe even a pencil that has been chewed on a little bit from stress in the creative process. The way we draw the pencil says a lot about what it means to the Illustrator and then in turn, the viewer can interpret that however they want. But you're throwing out these little ideas and little clues. They imply the meaning behind this image. Here's a maybe less obvious symbolic element of my studio. Like a lot of us keep plants around and maybe they just sit in the background and you water them from time to time, and they just add a little bit of flavor to your creative space. But this cactus has become special to me recently because suddenly it started getting all these new little growths on it and, I don't know, there was just something that connected with me about that, about new opportunities, and new potential, and how it arises at any moment. These are things that aren't going to occur to somebody else, because this is my cactus in my space. If I took it out of this space, it would simply just be a cactus or a plant that is growing. Just a pretty normal thing. But to me it's special and I have to draw it that way. I'm highlighting the aspects of the new growth on this planet. So when you look at the image, you know that this is the aspect I want you to focus on. Hopefully you'll see a bit of that theme of new possibilities in my illustration. For this panel, I'd like you to pick an object, something in your space that's symbolic to you and find a way to project that through your illustration. 6. Panel 3: Objects: One of the magical things a good illustrator can do is to bring personality to normal everyday objects. For me, as a cartoonist, personification is an aspect of that and it's a skill cartoonists use often, which can basically mean putting a cute smiley face on an object like a coffee cup. Creating a sense of empathy with just a normal everyday object is a pretty powerful storytelling tool. In this panel, we're going to bring personality to an object. You're going to want to pick something that you consider extra special, something almost sacred. For example, a coffee mug. A lot of people have their own special mug or even a cup that they use to start their day. It's almost like a ritual in my life to get my coffee set up to put me in the right headspace when I sit down to work. When I was working on my book, Shark Summer, my friend gave me this Jaws mug and I drink out of it every day I worked on the book. Looking at it, it gave me that little extra boost of confidence that said, "Hey, Ira. What you're doing, it's a real thing and people are expecting you to do a good job, so do your best." Maybe you have a mug that inspires you every day or something nostalgic from your childhood, or even something ridiculous and gaudy and ironic like a Christmas mug that your mom gave you that it's just the only mug you've got around. It's convenient. All of these things can be given personality. Now, we've already talked about iconic and symbolic images, things that feel a little more graphical, which is to say they're flat and they have abstraction built in to let you know what you're supposed to feel about the object. If we turn the objects at bit of an angle, bring a bit of an isometric feel to it, we can represent them in a different way. Now we're seeing them existing in a space. We can see the surfaces of this object. It's, in a way, a point of view, in the way a camera has a point of view but it doesn't necessarily have an emotional connection. To build that emotional connection, to me at least, you have to enter in other aspects of reality like time, in the physics of a space, in the way light works, in the way the temperature is. All these things come together to create a composition. A composition is where point of view takes center stage and it can be simple. For example, if I'm drawing a coffee mug, a way to let it exist and give it a bit of personality is not to necessarily draw a face on it, but to highlight a bit of what makes it unique. It could be a print on the side of it, or maybe it's got a special shape to it, and also where it sits in your life. For me, my coffee mug often sits at about two o'clock on my desk, which is to say the upper right. Behind the coffee mug is a big window. In the morning, the light comes in this window and it casts a big shadow across my desk, left from the coffee mug. This shadow hits my mouse and my keyboard. It's there. It reminds me that coffee mug is present even if I'm not looking directly at it. This is my point of view as I sit and work. It's what makes my coffee mug unique. When you go to work on your panel, pick a special object. Think about where it sits in your life and maybe even in your physical space. But the important thing is, it needs to look like it's distinctly yours. 7. Panel 4: Surfaces: Some of you may have the perfect workspace to express yourself in and some of you may still be working on finding that right corner of the room, or maybe even a room of your own, or maybe even a studio in a separate building. But wherever you're working, you have a surface that you go to every day and that's what this panel is all about, showing the actual point of view of where you sit down and work right here in this very moment. We're going to use photo references for this panel not to simply copy over but to get a better sense of how you can frame a shot. Here's a series of images I took at the space of my desk where I sit and write most days. I've got my keyboard, my mouse, and a whole bunch of Post-it notes. Some of them have random doodles that I made while sitting on a call, some of them have actual notes that I need to remember, some of them are about my taxes, or a story idea. It's just a random mix of stuff that I needed to get out of my head. All these little pieces here are things I look at every day while I'm working, so it's a little behind the scenes panel. I took a couple different angles of photos here and I've moved the objects around a little bit. As you compose the scene for a reference, be honest, but feel free to adapt it to make an appealing composition. Now, we're using a photo, but with some practice, you can frame a scene like this in your head to speed things along. In fact, that's what this little exercise is all about. Learning how to frame a scene without necessarily getting out the camera, looking at things from a specific point of view. Framing to find that perfect point of view is all about cropping details and using positive and negative space. More is not necessarily better when you're looking for point of view. For example, I could have a big empty desk with just one pen in the corner and I could do another panel that has a cluttered desk covered in Post-its. Whether it's a simple or complicated composition, both can have equally meaningful messages behind them. A good drawing can be about working hard and filling a space, but it's also just as much about restraint and leaving things out. Take a seat at your desk, grab a camera, arrange some objects, take a couple of photos, and show what it's like to be you. 8. Panel 5: Spaces: Now that we've taken a close up look at the surfaces in front of us, let's step back a bit and look at the spaces around us. Obviously, any artist needs some kind of space to be creative. That's just a simple fact. If you don't give yourself the right conditions, your creative process can't grow and prosper. The journey of even the most successful artist is filled with trials and tribulations and you need to take your space seriously if you're going to be able to work through that and find success and more importantly, you need to work somewhere that inspires you. Now this class is being filmed in my nice bright studio in Upstate New York where I live. But in the past there have been places where I've lived where I didn't have a table to draw on or even really a chair to sit in comfortably, and work and I didn't even really have the extra money to go and hang out at a coffee shop all day, but did I stop drawing and writing? No. I found a space. I pack up my backpack and my supplies, and I'd get on a bus and I'd take a ride to a library and I find libraries super inspirational. I always have. The variety of people and resources you can get in a space like that is really unique and it represents the opportunities that I want to give to my students when I go to teach. Libraries represent exploring new ideas and coming across things that you wouldn't find in your regular day to day normal life. It's also a space that can feel safe and quiet and it's filled with people who are doing the same thing you are, exploring new ideas. I'm going to dedicate this panel to one of the important spaces in my life, the library. You'll notice in the background of pretty much all my class videos, you'll see a bookshelf and this is my own little personal library/. Just like a library, it's full of books that I haven't necessarily read all the way through. I'm going to represent this idea and this point of view on libraries with the close-up of my bookshelf and even more specifically, I'm going to show little bookmarks inside the books on my shelf because a lot of these books are references. As I've looked through them I'd find little opportunities to extract an idea or a little inspirations of things I want to use in my own work or things that I just want to come back to and feel again someday. These are important aspects of finding a point of view in your work. Being able to extract ideas and gather information from the influences in your life and that can be books and experiences outside of books out in the world, wherever you got them. Let's dedicate this panel to these spaces that inspire us. Ask yourself questions like these. What is on your bookshelf? What kind of books do you like? When you go to work what are the things hanging on the walls around you? Are you at home? Are you out in the world? What are the things that define your creative space? 9. Panel 6: Moments: In our next panel, we're going to try to capture something in an illustration that can't necessarily be caught in a photo and it's not necessarily related to a single object or a certain symbol. It's a little more complicated than that. We're talking about moments in time. The moments in your day that help you get in the right headspace to be creative. Let's talk about some examples of getting in the right headspace. Maybe that moment comes when you sit down at your desk and you can hear the TV playing in the other room or the neighbors in the apartment above walking around. You pick up your headphones, and you put them on, and you suddenly feel like you're actually in your own room. You've isolated yourself from all of the world around you so you can focus on what you want to say with your work. Putting on those headphones is a moment. Maybe when you go to work, you need to lock the door behind you just to get a little bit of privacy for that extra 30 minutes just to get a little more writing done or do another sketch in your notebook or whatever you need to do to fulfill your creative goals for the day. Locking that door is a moment, or maybe you draw the shade in your room to stop the glare on your monitor. Or maybe you get to the coffee shop a little bit early to find that perfect seat in the back corner. All of these moments can't necessarily be captured in an image because they're fleeting. There's nobody there with a camera to grab it, but they still exist, and the challenge here is finding a way to illustrate them. You'll notice with these panels, we get a little more personal with each one. I'm going to share a little personal moment for my day that's not necessarily something I talk about, but it's something that I totally do every morning. I call it my Mr. Rogers moment. Now, Mr. Rogers, if you don't know, he's a American TV personality from the '70s up through the '90s. He had a public television show for kids about how to be a positive role model in the world, how to accept the world around you, be curious, get to know it, and how to be kind to other people. He had all these positive messages worked into his show and it was really unique and he a really soft, quiet way of speaking. He's one of my role models. On his show, at the beginning of every episode, he would come into his house, and he would switch his coat and hang it in the closet, and put on a sweater. He would take off his outdoor shoes and put on his indoor shoes. To me, that always represented getting in the right headspace to do the best job you possibly can. I saw this moment over and over as a kid, so it really left an impact on me. But also, as I got older and I started teaching and becoming maybe a role model to my students, I think more about Mr. Rogers and figures like him that tried to have a positive impact, so I brought this little funny ritual into my day. My Mr. Rogers moment is me coming into my studio, switching out what I'm wearing. Maybe I'll put in on a flannel that I keep hung in my studio and switching my shoes from my outdoor shoes to my indoor shoes. Then I go about my workday. I know some people think that, it's more comfortable to not wear any shoes. It's your own space, do what you want. But this is how I get ready for my day. I get dressed in my creative outfit. That's my moment that I'm illustrating. I'm trying to capture the feeling of that moment in this next panel. You're not seeing me in motion in this panel. This is an after the fact evidence of motion image. When you go to start your panel, think of what moments help you get in your own creative space. 10. Panel 7 and 8: Windows: Next we're going to combine two panels to illustrate the theme of windows. When I draw a comic, every panel is a window to me. It's not a box that you squish objects inside of to complete a perfect, if there is such a thing, idea, it's a limited view into another world. All of these panels on our class project here, are indeed Windows. If you want to develop your point of view as an artist, you need to see your blank canvas is a window into a space, or a glimpse of an idea, an implication of a thought, an aspect of a world, a piece of a much bigger picture. Now, windows are a big part of my artistic life because sometimes it can be lonely working as an artist in your own space. A window is your little connection to the outside world. It reminds you that there is more to things than the task you have here in front of you. A little context is always good. Now, I've been drawing and creating art my whole life. I've created things in all kinds of shapes and sizes of apartments and houses, but a window was always a priority. In this panel, I'm going to show my childhood window. Now, I grew up working in a creative space, it was a bedroom in an old farmhouse way, way up in northern New York, in the United States. When I think of this window, I think of winter in this room and bundling up and sitting at my drawing table and working. When I take a break, I'd look out this window and I'd see the frost built up around the corners of the glass. Then outside the window, I'd see a really long and winding dark dirt road. As I grew up and thought back on that view out of that window, I realized that often when I've looked at that world I was picturing where I was going to go in life, where my art would take me, what adventures I would have in far off places. This road was a symbol of my curiosity for what was coming next. Now, over in this other panel, I'm going to draw another moment in time and another window. This is a city window, specifically a window in Austin, Texas again, in the United States, in a hot August day. I spent an year living in a really old, not much more than a shack, just outside of downtown Austin, a pretty busy city. Outside my window, I'd hear basically all the opposite things of what I grew up with. Traffic, voices, people in motion, all kinds of energy and points of views, a chaotic scene and hot temperatures. It was a congested feeling sitting near this window, but it was also thrilling and exciting to be somewhere new and somewhere so different from other windows that I'd sat near growing up. Now, the fun thing about illustration, is you don't need to draw everything to imply something. I don't need to draw all the traffic, and voices, and noise and experiences of that today, I can use abstraction in a motive symbols, some things we talked about in earlier chapters to give a feel of what it was like to be near this window. For your two panels, I want you to choose two distinct windows in your life. The farther apart in time and point of view that you can get, the better. They should feel different with lots of contrast to show how things change over time and how we look at the world around us, and how we find ourselves in all different situations as an artist. 11. Panel 9: Self-Portrait: For our last panel, we're going to do a self portrait. Now your creative space in your point of view includes your place in it, that's why I've saved the middle panel for the self portrait. The reason a lot of us turned to art in the first place is it's a place where we have control over our ideas and the decisions we make. It can be a safe space, it can be a space we feel productive and competent, and it's a space to explore ideas without having the resources to travel around the world or go beyond the room we're in. I've designed this project to let you first think about the things around you that make you creative. Now we're going to draw a portrait of what it feels like to be in this creative space. Now we've learned a lot of different techniques; we've talked about point of view, we've talked about important symbols and objects and surfaces, the spaces around us, moments in time, abstraction, representation. I'm going to leave it up to you how you illustrate yourself in this center panel. Maybe you want to create a symmetrical iconic version of yourself to show that your creative space is a place of harmony and balance. Maybe you want to be a little silly and do a close up three-quarter turn, middle-school class photo of yourself to show that your creative space connects you to memories of your childhood, or maybe you want to go totally emotional and abstract, and fill this space with shapes that represent how you feel when you're being creative. However me as a cartoonist, I could do an anthropomorphic character and make myself into a bunny rabbit. Have some fun with this middle panel or be serious, or anywhere in between. 12. Class Inspiration: If you've been following along and working along with me, you should have a finished nine-panel, little illustrated journal, self-expressive portrait of the behind-the-scenes of your creative life, whatever you want to call it. You can post what you've just created in the class project section, or now that you're comfortable with this process, you could do another draft and rework some of these ideas. The cool thing about a project like this is each of these little windows has a different meaning depending on where you put it, and even what colors you use in the background if you choose to use colors. Imagine if I took my character here and put them at the bottom and surrounded them with objects in their space and maybe this top row is more abstract or higher concept ideas. Where you put your image changes how people respond to it. That's something you can think about. When you're done, post this to the class project section. Before we totally wrap it up, I just want to talk about some of the books that inspired this class. As a cartoonist, one of the most important books to my process and my teaching process is Cartooning by Ivan Brunetti, who's a teacher and a really graphical style cartoonist. This is a small volume on his philosophy and practice, and the book is very fun to hold, it's almost pocket size, and it's arranged in a great way. He breaks down his ideas by weeks. It's a syllabus for a workshop or a college semester. Each week is about a different aspect of sequential art in visual narrative. He talks about spontaneous drawing, creating a single panel comic, a multi-panel comic, a full page, working you all the way up to something like a graphic novel. Along the way, he shares lots of cool little examples. His drawing style is very accessible and relatable and his ideas are very clear and understandable. If you want to learn more about cartooning, aside from watching my classes on Skillshare, you can check out this great book. Another book for the aspiring cartoonist looking to make more time in their day is the Creative License by Danny Gregory subtitled, ''Giving yourself permission to be the artist you're truly are.'' Every page is an illustrated insight into the nooks and crannies of the creative life. How you can extract ideas and inspiration from the stuff that you otherwise wouldn't think about just in your daily routine. Ways to slow down and find ideas that you could use then or later in your life. Reasons to draw, basically, reasons to create, reasons to express ideas. The book is really fun to look at. Also, it feels like you're looking through someone's journal. It's got a lot of handwritten text. Danny Gregory is an illustrator, but he's also a graphic artist and a writer. If you're someone who shares interests in different types of mediums and forms of expression, this is a cool book that covers not just illustration, but other ways of telling stories and sharing ideas. Cool book. A book that's a little more graphical is Picture This by Molly Bang, which is a super unique book. Boy, how do we describe this? It's the story of the principles of art. It's got a lot of questions in it, which I think is an important way to teach and talk about ideas. It gets you thinking about what basic shapes mean and what it means to put them in context, what kind of stories are being told. When you put shapes next to each other, how do these two objects relate? She builds on that and starts talking about narrative. This 2nd half of the book is her building out the story of Little Red Riding Hood, which is represented by this red triangle in the forest. She talks about principles and elements of art such as scale. Making choices to turn these lines and add some dramatic tension to a composition, and other design choices like if we want to represent the intimidating wolf in the story, what's the best shapes and colors to convey the threat? Cool book. Picture This by Molly Bang. One last book for the writers out there, The Intuitive Writer by Gail Sher. I think that's how you say her name. She's a Zen Buddhist and a teacher, a poet. This is a book of little antidotes on ways to look at the world. They have titles like, I'd rather hear snow, different ways of sensing the world around you. Like I said, she's a poet, so she has some really beautiful passages and excerpts and discussions on Picasso or Mark Twain and other important artistic figures. It's just one of those nice books you can just be passing by your bookshelf and pick it up and read a little two-page excerpt here and come away with something inspirational. The Intuitive Writer, listening to your own voice, which is what this class is all about. 13. Wrap It Up!: As we wrap it up here, I hope you had a great time in this class. Make sure you share your work. Thank you for watching. If you had a good time learning with me, I have a whole Skillshare channel out there filled with other classes in inspiration, talking about principles of design, narrative art, and getting even more specific, like I have a fun class on how to design a map of the place where you grew up, or how to create and design a mythological sea monster. If you're into cartooning and comics, I have beginner level classes on how to create a cartoon character, starting with the face, moving into expressive poses and body language. Then beyond that, how to make a comic, how to tell a story over a sequence of panels, and how to get good ideas to do that. Again, thanks for watching, check out my Skillshare channel, and I will see you next time.