Making a Cool, Less Awkward Bio Picture with Lettering and Illustration | Chris Piascik | Skillshare

Making a Cool, Less Awkward Bio Picture with Lettering and Illustration

Chris Piascik, The illustrator formerly known as designer.

Making a Cool, Less Awkward Bio Picture with Lettering and Illustration

Chris Piascik, The illustrator formerly known as designer.

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11 Lessons (1h 45m)
    • 1. Intro

    • 2. Your Assignment


    • 4. Sketching Ideas

    • 5. Lettering Styles

    • 6. Exercise: Lettering in Shape

    • 7. Making a Loose Framework / Grid

    • 8. Adding In The Lettering

    • 9. Incorporating Illustrated Elements

    • 10. Tightening It Up

    • 11. Conclusion

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About This Class

Hi my name is Chris Piascik, I'm an illustrator and letterer. I have 10+ years experience working as an illustrator for clients like Nickelodeon, Adidas, The Washington Post, Cartoon Network, and so many more!

In this class I’ll show you how to make a fun new image you can use for your profile picture on Social Media, or your website, or whatever you want! Adding some illustrations and lettering onto your photo is a great way to add some personality and make it stand out from the rest. It allows you to inject more of yourself and your interests then are possible with just one static portrait. And if you’re like me, its a great way to make it less awkward. I mean, what are you even supposed to do with your face in these things?

I’ll be mainly using Procreate on the iPad, but you can use whatever you’re most comfortable with including paper and pencil. There’s not right or wrong way to do it. I’ll provide tips and tricks for making lettering and illustration fit in seamlessly with and around your photographs. I’ll also talk about my process for generating ideas and content for visuals.

Although we are using this process to create cool new profile pictures, I’ve used the same process for client work including magazine covers, editorial work, and advertising.








Meet Your Teacher

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Chris Piascik

The illustrator formerly known as designer.

Top Teacher

After starting his career as a graphic designer at award-winning studios in the Northeast (USA), Chris accidentally became an illustrator. He’s pretty happy about that. This strange transformation was a result of his daily drawing project that he started in late 2007, in fact he’s still posting a new drawing every day.

For the past 10+ years he has been working as an illustrator for clients like Nickelodeon, Adidas, The Washington Post, Cartoon Network, and so many more!

See full profile

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1. Intro: Hey there. Do you hate taking pictures of yourself? Do you hate the way your face looks? Maybe you don't hate the way your face looks. I hate the way my face looks sometimes. You ever have to post a picture of yourself on the internet, and they went and said, hey, send us your bio pic, so we can use it on your profile and you're like, what am I going to do? Well, I have the answer for you. Hi, my name is Chris Piascik. I'm an illustrator and letterer. In this class I'll show you how to make a fun new image that you can use for your social media profile, for your website or wherever you want. Adding some illustration and lettering onto your photo is a great way to add some personality and make it stand out from the rest. It allows you to inject more of yourself and your interest that are possible with just one static image and if you're like me, it's a great way to make it less awkward. I mean, what are you even supposed to do with your face in these things? I'll be mainly using Procreate on the iPad, but you can use whatever you're most comfortable with, including just using paper and pencil. There's no right or wrong way to do this. I'll provide tips and tricks for making lettering and illustration fit in seamlessly with and around your photographs. Also, I've got my process for generating ideas and content for your visuals. Although we are using this process to create new profile pictures, I've used the same process for client work, including magazine covers, editorial work, and even some advertising campaigns. I encourage you to take the tips and tricks you'll learn here and apply them to any other thing that you might be working on. Hopefully you'll find some great information here and I hope you join in and post your images. I can't wait to see them and thanks for watching. 2. Your Assignment: Hey, how is it going? Your assignment is to create a fun new profile picture. Emphasis on the fun using lettering and illustration on top of your photo. The lettering and illustration should highlight your personality and interests in order to share more about yourself than is possible with a simple portrait. If you're like me and haven't figured out how to properly smile on command like some emotional magician, it should help alleviate awkwardness in set photograph as well. 3. BRAINSTORMING!: Before you start drawing, it's always a good idea to do a little brainstorming. Since we're making profile pictures for ourselves, we want to come up with stuff to help highlight who we are or how we want to come across. Fear no steer like me maybe I want to highlight that. This can be done by writing that you're an illustrator, or just by using illustration to show your work. Since lettering is a prominent part of my work, I'll be using some descriptive words in my image. This is also an opportunity to include some other things that make you, you, your personality, interests, hobbies e.t.c all things that make you unique and make you valuable. So let's highlight what makes each of us special little snowflakes. Might work typically bends towards the humorous side of things and often includes weird goofy characters. So I know I want to include some of that into my image as well. My plan is to fill the area around my head with all imagery. Maybe you want to keep it simple, that's up to you. When you're trying to fill up a space in tight, energetic jumble, it's very helpful to have a list of things you can incorporate. Having substantial lists make things easier when you're trying to come up with things that are relevant and fit within a particular space. Coming up with lists is almost always one of the first things that I do when starting a new illustration. It helps me to come up with ideas and sort of figure out my thoughts before I immediately dive into an illustration. Sometimes you can get caught up in the drawing process, start having fun with that and maybe not end up with the best possible idea. That's a little bit more general for illustration. But for these purposes, I want to generate a list of things about myself, that I can include into my picture, which will help me once I start drawing, so that I can just start filling the space quickly and intuitively. So in this stage, I'll write down lots of stuff and try to not overthink it too much. So this is going to be about me. I just need a fancy title to get started, so that I feel good about this list. Then I'm going to underlined it. Because when you make a list, you have to title it and underline it. That's a crucial step that I want you all to make sure you remember. So what about me? What do I like? Well, I am an illustrator and that's what I do for a living, but it's also more than just that, its how I identify. It's more than just what I do for a living. It's what I love. Even when I'm not working, I'm drawing and I see that as the same thing. So a prominent part of my illustration is lettering, so I'll write that down and then maybe I want to jump off into some other things. So what about some of my personal interests? Well, I really like BMX I have been riding BMX bikes since I was a little kid, 37 now and still doing that. So BMX and get a RAD very important to me. I'm also into race car stuff. I like to do motocross and truck driving in my 1990 Mazda Miata. I love ice cream, pizza, donuts. I think maybe I'm just hungry. That was a little tirade. Donuts are really good. But like aesthetically there's perfect too. I'm not supposed to be drawing here, but just like this little circle in the frosting and then sprinkles that just lovely, pull a crown on that. That is King of stuff. Let me get a face. We're not supposed to draw yet. Stopped doing it. What else? I don't know. I live in Connecticut. So that's something, I have three dogs, Blue, Duke and Abbie and they're a great. I have a cat named Werner. These things I love them very much. There been part of who I am. So those are important things as well. There's my wife Shayna, she's a rad. I really like fun clearly based on my racecar, BMX stuff and like fart jokes and pretty much all kinds of jokes. Big pun fun. Well, I like big pun, but I'm talking about puns as in bad jokes, but like sure, big pun, he's cool. But actually, I'm more of like a biggie fan. Sorry guys. That's okay. Which makes him think I like fun little monsters and robots. Like the weird monsters I draw that look like this. So you can see a lists can be pretty chaotic, but I think that's a good thing. I really like the misfits and punk rock. See, this is why I keep going because I started slowing down at one point and I was like I don't have anything on this list but then kept going. It's important the more Cadillac it got the more things I came up with and this is going to be really helpful when I'm trying to fill a space because you start concentrating on the space you're working with and then forgetting what some of that content can be. So let's see, we're saying monsters, robots but then I was like big pun and biggie, which led me to I really like hip hop in addition to punk rock. So those things are cool stuff. Put stars on things. That's an important part of the list. You want to go back in with stars on things like that, exclamation point. Maybe make little notes like cone, ice cream cone, donuts with faces. So make a list for yourself. Its fun thing to do, I'm going to keep working on this list and let's make our lists and then meet back in a few minutes and then we'll go from there. 4. Sketching Ideas: For this next section, we're going to start sketching. We can go back to that list of ideas that we came up with when we're brainstorming things that made us, us or you, you, our interests, things that we like, things that we enjoy, maybe things that we don't like. But now we're just going to look over that list and just start sketching out some of those ideas. One thing to keep in mind is that these little drawings are going to be little in our profile picture. Especially as profile picture, sometimes they'll be seen very small. We want to keep these things relatively simple, we don't want to do complicated illustrations. Think of maybe symbols or things that represent these things that you like, it could be anything. This is definitely a part where you should just be having fun, not thinking too seriously, not trying to draw something that's really excellent. This is definitely an idea stage. I think that's actually an important tip globally, is that when you're sketching ideas, you really don't want to focus too hard on what you're drawing and how it looks. It's really more of getting out your ideas quickly. Generally, if you can do a whole bunch of sketches quickly and they're rough, but you understand what those things are supposed to look like, they help you come up with a better final solution than spending too much time doing one tightened up sketch. Because then you don't have time to explore, "What it looks like from this angle or that angle, or if I represent it this way or that way or anyway?" Remember I said that when you are trying to judge my sketches in the next few minutes. Let's dive into the iPad and start drawing. I'll see you there. We have now entered the sketches zone. What that means is going to start sketching ideas and having fun. There's only fun in the sketch zone, so keep that in mind. As I mentioned, we want to come up with little ideas for drawings and not overthink things. For me, at this point, we're just going to loosen up and draw some little goofy monsters and characters because I definitely want to incorporate that kind of thing into my illustration. It's also a fun way for me to just loosen up and have fun. I like these little go shaped monsters because you can wrap them around things to fill spaces. You can do them from all different angles. That's probably why I draw them so much. Sometimes they can have hands, sometimes they don't, sometimes they have feet. Who knows? Let's see what's on my list. I put BMX in red, which I guess I've always been into BMX in my whole life, doing little tricks and stuff like that. It's just would have been one of my hobbies forever. How would I incorporate something like that? I wouldn't want to draw maybe a full bicycle because it could get too complicated. But maybe there's something that's visually representative, maybe set of BMX handlebar, since those are pretty specific, or no. We're thinking about a bicycle, and so maybe it's a wheel. Mainly concerned with a wheel is that it's maybe too generic. Let's think about what makes BMX different. What makes BMX different is more of the trick side of things. Maybe instead of a bike altogether, it could be just the idea or ramp. Since that's a big aspect of it and incorporates the non-traditional side of cycling with BMX, which is what I like. It could be a simple symbol. We could have ramp like that. Maybe it's just that simple DIY thing. Like when you're a kid and you just take a sketchy piece of wood and lean it on a cinder block. I guess I could do it like a silhouette of a little BMX bike, but I feel like it's going to end up being a little too busy. Could also just do the letters BMX in a rad way. Let's see what else we got here. I got a race car, which relates to my interest in auto cross racing, which involves the track setup with cone. Maybe instead of drawing an actual car, it could just be like a traffic cone. Cool shape. Maybe it has some tire marks and speed up from getting hit. Maybe it's a a traffic cone, scared face that he's about to get run over. Ice cream on the list. Ice cream is one of those things where it's like, what does it look like? My favorite ice cream is like a [inaudible] various pint, chubby, hubby, if you're wondering. But I feel like that's not what I would want to draw. I feel like the idea of ice cream would be better represented like a cone or something. These are the things you want to think of because you want to think of symbols for ideas rather than exactly what it is. Then I guess there's two different kinds of cones. Sugar cone and waffle cone. That's terrible. I [inaudible] We're going to turn this into a monster and a bucket, whatever that is. Pizza and doughnuts, those are two very important things. They're also very fun things to draw. The great thing about pizza is that it's very good for fitting into weird shapes because you can bend it around a little bit because it's just a floppy triangle. Fun fact, I always put pepperonis on my drawings of pizza, but I don't really choose pepperoni as a topping. I'll eat it, but it's definitely not something I order. I know we're just sketching here, but conserve play around with how things would lockup, like I see that little curve there, I can fit a doughnut in there. Doughnuts are fun to draw too because you can play around with the hole being a mouth, a little tongue in there, give him some eyes because he want to eat that pizza. I don't know if you guys know about doughnuts favorite food is pizza. That's what they eat. I've got my dogs on the list so I could consider cooperating with them. The only problem is I have three of them and a cat, and I couldn't just put one of them in there and not the other so I don't know if I want to open up that harm. Blay and Duke. Duke is looking like a cat, he's a Boston Terrier. Has a slippery slope when you're drawing a Boston Terrier. I see that's bad. I think the key to Boston Terriers is making sure that the eyes are buggy and spread out. You make them crossed a little bit. Looks like a little more of Terrier Irish. I will just pretend that this is my cat and then have this bulldog very frankly, under by. That just made it look like a pig. But these are sketches, or I'm trying to elongate drawings here. Look at this and you see this, there's a whole bunch of crap, but I'm just having ideas. We'll get here. We got punk rock and misfits. I don't want to do anything to music related because I don't want it to be like the making of the music thing because that's not me. It's more of listening to, then there's the skull. Maybe I can do more universal thing by just like making a cool skull that's a little bit goofy, that fits in. I should be much better at sketching out a skull since I've literally just been drawing them my whole life. But I don't know, I think I put too much pressure on them because I want them to be awesome because they are skulls, but they usually take me a few tries still and I've probably drawn more skull than anything else. Because then it's like, how do you? There's always like this skull, head on one or the jaw. Then we've got stuff about legs, sense of humor and funny and flat jokes. The good thing about that is we've got some options especially because we're filling in spaces, just having like a little speech bubble that says, lol that's fun. Also like fart bubbles. Is that a fart bubble? Not just like a fart cloud. Then just like fart [inaudible] The cool thing about those is you could wrap them around, their stuff like, can make it a doughnut too. Another fun tip about that is, if you pair a fart cloud with the word two, its funny, because two is just a very funny word for a fart. Again as you can see, this is about playing. But doing a bunch of these little sketches will be a helpful visual library or more so like an idea library that you can go to. When you're trying to fill specific spaces in your composition, you could look back at this and be like, "That would fit well in that space." You know what, we forgot, coffee cup, because we wouldn't be here without that coffee cup. You put a face on it, or you could put a funny quote on a coffee cup. You can also put a little spill, spill a little bit. Put a little bit of steam. It's steam, that works really well to blend things together. You could have all steam said the right to there and then look perfect, seem this little puzzle. You could also put a butt on a coffee mug. Then you could put a fart, coming off of that, like that. These are just some tips that you can use for developing your concepts. But yeah, have some fun and I'll see you in the next picture pages. Wait, no it's not. Let's traps picture pages part of the Bill Cosby is not an ideal situation. I don't want to be associated with that. Hey, excuse me, editor, just for my team producing this, if you guys could just cut this out in the final thing, that would be great. Thank you. 5. Lettering Styles: In this next section, I'm going to talk about how to start sketching out the lettering that you might include in your composition. One thing to keep in mind is that because we're doing this for a profile picture, the lettering in illustrated elements that we're going to include are going to be relatively small, especially when they're showing the thumbnail size. You want to use lettering that is relatively simple and can still hold up at a small size. In this next section, I'm going to sketch out some ideas and show you some simple type styles that could work well for this, but it's definitely not an exhaustive exploration into lettering. If you want to know more about that, there's some really great classes on skill share. My friend Mary Kate McDevitt has a great one. I would recommend checking out her's. But I am going to talk about my process a little bit for lettering into a shape. There should be some definitely some helpful tips in there to get you started. That said if you're not comfortable lettering, there's ways around it. If you are comfortable in like Illustrator or Photoshop, you can always set the type within the space, or maybe even just set type and then trace over it if you want. I think that's a great way to incorporate a handmade letter feel without having to come up with your own just that act of tracing and will soften it up a little bit and make it feel cohesive with the illustrated elements. You could also experiment with like collaging some words in or just avoiding words altogether. That's totally up to you because it's your profile picture, not mine. Let's start drawing. Let's start sketching out some lettering. The simplest way to begin is to start with a shape that you're working with. Drawing within a shape is something that's going to be important when you're incorporating lettering or type with into a composition. Because there's already something in there for our purposes, it's going to be a photo. That portrait will have the face in the foreground and then the space around it. We're going to be trying to work with these open areas that are left. Just to get started thinking about that, just going to make a rectangle because it's a simple shape. Most like the shapes are you going to be working with will be more complicated. But the easiest way to show how to get started is to just start with this rectangle and then we're going to divide it up by the amount of letters we're going to be drawing. Let's just start with the word draw because it's short and simple. A technique to get started mapping this out is the basis for like a block lettering technique where you just start with a, a block or a shape and then divide it up into sections for each of the letters. At this point, you can do two different things. I'm going to show options. The one that I do often is a simple way of just like making a skeleton wherein I just will put my letters very simply in the shape with block lettering, you're of drawing the negative space. What you would do is just fill in the areas that aren't the letter. The counter for the D and for the R, we've got this bottom part. Then this leg comes up and it curves. This is a good way to start getting more comfortable drawing letters because you're working with the shape you have and not having to do it from scratch. Well, that's not right. That was an M. It's like upside down, dyslexic. W like that. Just one bottom. You can also use that black lettering technique to map out sections, just like you can hear. With the bottom technique. I will then take that skeleton and then use that to like fill it out better. Drawing on top of it. Maybe I want some overlap. But it's just letting me know how much space that I have to work with. Again, as I mentioned, since the type is going to be small, we want to keep it relatively simple so that it's legible. This will be more important for longer words but even shorter words. This is your profile picture. It's going to show up pretty small in the thumbnail form. The simplest thing would just be bold simple shapes are letters. I'm just going to draw my name here. You could do variations where you leave it as an outline like that or you fill it in. Another technique would be to make it three-dimensional. A trick that you can do for this would be to just duplicate your layer to use as a guide and then pull it down like that or whichever angle you want for 3D effect. Then you can lower the opacity to use it as a guide. Then go back to the layer with your initial lettering. What you do now is you just follow the line. To connect to the bottom of the letter and just match up, match up your letter to the copy of the letter. Doing like 3D letters, like this is a cool visual effect, but it also is a good way to add emphasis. As you're working on your composition, you want to make sure that you have thought about your levels of visual hierarchy and like what's the most important thing you want to show. For example, if you want your name to be prominent in that is like more of the most important thing for you. The rest is secondary decorative stuff. You would want to make sure that you're doing something to emphasize that whether it's through size, shape, color, anything that makes it stand out among the rest of the stuff. You could do this with color, wherein maybe everything is lighter shades of color and then maybe your name is just in black and white or something like that. High contrast. Maybe if you have other lettering and it's not three, and then you use three-dimensional free your name. Also the block letter technique adds that like a highlight to because it's got this framework around it. Some other tips for dealing with a smaller space. If you're trying to fit things in, you can play around with overlapping your letters. For example, if I was doing my name, again, you could just overlap them a little bit as you draw. If it's confusing at first, sometimes I'll just draw the full letter and then go in and erase it afterwards. You just want it when you're doing this thing, you just want to make sure that you're not compromising too much of the legibility. Now that you've got them all in place, you can go in and erase the overlaps. This will allow you to have bigger letters in a smaller space. Another thing you can do is play around with different fills. For example, let me turn off this layer. You could try some like lines in the middle. Those can look fun sometimes. When it's all in the same color, it can look a little bit hard to read, but when you're adding color, if you do that in another color, that's not as much of a contrast between black and white. Let me just do one as an example. So here the letter A. This is also a good technique for drawing letters, if you're not that comfortable, is like filling. If they're going to be filled in, drawing all the way across and connecting so that you can make sure things are drawn properly and aligned great without worrying too much about just like sometimes it's easier to draw the structure as opposed to going around, because sometimes it can get a little wonky. It's a lot easier to keep it looking more structural if you're using the points. See what I mean there? A wonky one and not a wonky one. Back to that line thing I was talking about. With the yellow on top, it gives a cool visual effect. The other thing that's nice about this is if you wanted to play with legibility a little bit, it can help push it to make it more readable. For example, if we had some letters that were overlapping, more aggressively, just aggressive overlap. I don't know what that means. Really did that time. Just switch to a bigger brush though I'm a little bit lazy. This can get pretty hard to read. However, if we now go in and do the inset line, it helps quite a bit. Makes it legible. Even though it is small, there's no reason you can't use Script. Script is also helpful to force things into some weird shapes. Like if you have a wonky space like that, you can play around with script lettering to fill those shapes. For example, I'll use the word guide because we've got Gs with the descenders that are curly. So you could play around with exaggerating the curves and the letters. It strips because it can be a little more whimsical. Then I'm just following this line from the shape that we have. Or you could do a combination. For example, you could do some bold script by just drawing it normally like in cursive following this line, but then going back in and punching it up a bit, just fattening up the lines. If you want to get fancy and play by the rules, generally with script in cursive. The way you draw them is it's the lines on the way up are thinner and then thicker on the way down. They would taper as it goes up. With this, y it's fatter starts to thin out and then fat on the way down evens out. It gets thin and then fattens up a little bit. But you can play around with that because this is this long tail and I'm not making that as far as it could be because I'm running it taper off. It's helpful to know the rules so that you can break them a little bit. But it's good to have some structure and the reality of how the latter is supposed to be drawn. As you're going, if you're dealing with a space like this, let's say maybe your shoulder is right there in your neck, and maybe your head, and you're trying to put like a title or something there, like maybe you wanted to say artist. Let's show how the block lettering technique at work there. Okay, so we've got six letters. What I'm going to do is find the middle point and then divide each side into three, so make six, so 1, 2, 3. Now that is divided, you could fine tune that a little bit too before you move on, which is what I'm going to refer to as I didn't draw this right, so I'm going to fine tune it to make it better. When you have a bigger shape, that gets smaller. Fun effect is to have the letters actually get proportionally bigger to smaller as they go. So you'd want to allow more space and solely have it go smaller as you go down. What I'm going to do is add a big space for the A, and then like slightly smaller for the R, a little bit smaller for the T. Then the I-S-T, so A-R-T-I-S-T. Okay, cool. Let's get rid of the old one, and let's do the normal block lettering technique first. I'm just going to go in and draw the negative space. Also, if you like this block lettering style and you don't already know Mary Kate McDevitt. She's got some great resources on this. So I'll definitely recommend checking her stuff out. She also has a great intro lettering class on skills share. You could use this as is, or you could use this now as a guide to draw from. Which I do relatively often. Although I'm going to merge this altogether first. Now that you have this shape, you can think of this as a guide and drawing on top of this will help you make sure you're leaving enough space. At this point, sometimes I will go in and try to maybe make this fit together a little bit better. This is like a smaller exercise of what we're doing as a whole for our entire composition we are fitting stuff within a shape. Right now I'm looking at this big space between the R and the T. I'm going to try playing around with that by using this, the leg of the R here. Then maybe carving it up like that. Giving it a little bit of a little kick up. Then I'm going to let the T taper up on an angle. Let's try tucking the I underneath there. I think, I like trying to fit everything together like a puzzle. It's very satisfying for me. With the S I'm thinking maybe we can bump the lower part. The bottom counter of the S over a little bit, to let the top bar the T pull in over. We're eliminating that bigger gap between them. Just go ahead and redraw the A. Again, this is not a lettering class. But because we're incorporating some lettering and illustration into it, I want to just go over some basic simple techniques. Don't want to get too advanced with lettering technique here, because that's not what the class is about. I think that's pretty fun and, and that's a good way to take that mapping of the block letters and then go from there. We can do that thing. You can try experimenting again with that and set line thing. It's something that I tend to do a lot. I just like the way it looks. Some lettering styles and compositions that works better for, others doesn't. This is one of the things that I look back and don't like later on, but for now I'm into it. So fun little thing. Let's use this framework once more and then maybe try a Quick Media, ascript version. I guess technically ascript A is like this, but I never draw them that way. Just because I don't like to. I like to just make it more of a traditional non script A and just make it script-y. Do this with a bunch of letters for the starting point. When I'm doing script stuff, I'll play around and see if things are going to work and then just finesse it as I go. I'm thinking I might try to just pull this over right into the R and then just follow this line up. You can see I'm still using that framework. I'm going to skip the top of the T for now because I'm going to use the rest of this space to make sure that I'm going to have room. You could do something like using one T to across it and maybe let it taper. So it's bigger upfront to balance out the space. I think now that we've done the rest, we're going to go back in and punch up this A because it is looking a little soft compared to the rest. Once we have that, we can go back in and make it better. Because realistically this isn't that good right now. Actually, before we do that, I'm going to loosely draw this guide back in so that I have that as a reference point. We don't need the grid anymore because we have these letters as our new guide. This R got a little wonky, so let's try to fix this up. I think part of the problem is the way the T comes in at the bottom. I think what we need to do is to pull the T over a little bit, so it isn't split on the curve. That's a little bit better. I'm just trying to make sure that the A is proportionately bigger as it goes in, because it's an uppercase letter. Make sure that line fills out. All right. I think that's a little high. There we go. I still want to make sure we have the tops of the lowercase Ts. Cool, that's pretty fun. 6. Exercise: Lettering in Shape: All right, to get started, let's do a little exercise where we draw some type into a shape. This will not be specific to our project unless you want it to be, but I thought it would be a good place to start. I was thinking, why don't we do something with some food? What if we start with the word pizza and then try to fit that into the shape of a pizza. To start, we need the pizza drawing. I'm just going to go ahead and draw a quick sketch of a slice of pizza, triangle can have some drip-is, I'm not trying to get too detailed here because I just want to use this shape as a framework. The first step you want to do is to map this out and make a little bit of a grid for yourself. If you're working digitally, I would just go ahead and make a new layer so that you can draw on that and then get rid of it easily later. If you're doing this on paper, that's fine as well. I'd recommend using some tracing paper and make things a little bit easier. What I'd like to do first is to just try to eyeball it and write the word out as simple as I can. If it's a short word like this, this is usually okay. An easier way would be to just divide it up equal into the number of letters. Actually let's try and do that first. Pizza has 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, so we want to divide this by five. I got 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, so P-I-Z-Z-A. The next step, I'm going to go ahead and make another layer just because, why not? I'm going to go in and put my letters in these spaces. Am not worried about style or anything like that right now, I'm just making a framework. You could think of it as like a skeleton. Then we'll put the the type flesh and muscle on top of that. Now that we've got this loose grid and we know the letters are going to fit. I'd like to turn down the opacity on these things. Again, if you're working with tracing paper, automatically does that. Then I'm going to go back in and try to see if I can make these letters fit together a little bit better. One of the tricky things we have to work with is that the P-I combo creates this large amount of negative space down here. If you want those to fit a little better, we can try a couple different things. I'm going to go ahead and make this P a little bit bigger because it's the first one. Then pull the top over pretty far and then maybe try making a wider short I, can even experiment with making the hole from the P, the dot of the eye. Now this area, we've got a big gap here that we didn't have before. I'm thinking that maybe because it tapers, we can tape the letters as well. I'm going to pull this Z into this space a little bit more and then end pretty much in the same spot. That way we can just build onto these letters as we did in the past. I'm getting pretty close here. Usually when I'm doing this thing, I'll go ahead and like turn off the layers that aren't relevant to me anymore. I'm not a 100 percent happy with this situation here. I feel like it's a little bit hard to read. Let's turn down the opacity and try making it a little bit better. Really my technique for this is just like sketching it a little bit and then making it better as I go. I'm also going to go ahead and turn down the line, the opacity on my pizza framework so that I can not get distracted by the overlapping lines. All right, now that I don't have that pizza shape there, I'm going to go ahead and make this P a little bit taller, but make the top part a little bit shorter so that I have more room for the I. I think maybe instead of the lowercase or just a plain I, I'm going to do one of these uppercase ones that can take up some more room and make it a little more legible. Then I'm just extending the areas of the Z, making it just a little bit fatter so it can fit in with the others. I'm just like as I go finding negative spaces where these letters can lock into each other a little bit better. Just trying to use the space as well as I can without really taking away what makes each letter distinguished from the rest. That's different for each letter, but it's something to consider. For example, an obvious one is you have an O, and then you have a Q and the only thing that's different about them is this little tail. If that tail is not clear, it's going to read it as an O. All right, so I think this is getting better. We put the crust on here. At this point you can play around and get as wild as you want, because this is pizza. I'm going to experiment with making it a little bit cheesy goo here. I'm going to just undulate this line over here. Maybe I'm thinking of these letters as the cheese on the pizza. I'm just making these smooth, wiggly cheesy lines. When I'm doing that, I can go ahead and pull the shape of the other letters into the areas that it's leaving. Cool. We got a pizza letter. We got a pizza type, shape word. I'm going to go ahead and just add some colors so that we can see it. Try not to judge me for not staying in the lines here. Trying to go quickly for demo purposes. Crust color, I need to take a skill share class on using sliders to make colors because I'm very bad at. All right, and then we need a little bit of pepperoni there to make pizza looks like pizza. I'm not even the biggest pepperoni fan. But sometimes when you're trying to make a pizza, [inaudible] pizza real quick. I'm going to get some pepperoni in there. All right, now that we've made some pizza, let's just do some type in a simple shape. What you might end up working with in your picture is maybe a shape that is not an actual thing and that is fine as well. Let's say we've got some sort of curved thing like this happening. Am going to make that shape. Let's say we are going to letter. I'm going to be honest with you the only word that's jumping in my head is fart and it's probably because I'm five years old. But let's just go with it. This is the word we're going to be working with. It's four letters that's perfect for this glutes and simple, easy example. Let's go back to our other technique. I'm going to divide this into four things. Another thing to consider here is because of this is so wide down here and tapers as it goes. We could consider treating the letters the same way by maybe the first letter is bigger. Then the second letter is still big, but not as big as that one. Then again, they just go down proportionately in scale. This will give it a little bit more of a dynamic shape. I'm going to put these two layers together so I can turn down the opacity together. Let's use this as our framework. Again, we're just going to go ahead and use the shape. Fill my letters in quickly just acts like a skeleton situation. All right, so bring down the opacity a little bit. Let's go ahead and start fattening up these letters. So I'm just following the lines from this grid that we're working with. We got people using a leaf blower or something. I apologize for that. So I'm just trying to find the natural curves here. This is nice because the top of the R is naturally has a curve like that. Cool. So I'm going to switch to a brush that is easier to fill with. I'm going to switch two a tighter brush let's see. To use one of round brushes as these tend to be more in line with what I want. So now, I can go in and just try to get it a little bit closer to the shape that we're working with. We can do some adjustments for example, we can pull this line on the F to match the angle of the line on the A. We could do the same thing with the R and we could also experiment with the leg on the R. So let's see. Get the top part to [inaudible] is going to stay the same and maybe we can make our R a little bit fancier to fill this space a little better. Have enough R leg that comes out like that. Let's flatten the side. Cool. So another thing you might be considering is if you have multiple words or maybe like a phrase or something, I'm going to use a lighter blue to draw with here. So let's say you are called to do something simple with two words. So maybe you want to do VERY GOOD. Here's your very good. So when you're doing two different words, you want to consider maybe which is more important, which is the word that you want to emphasize the most. Usually makes composition more dynamic if there's a one emphasis and then stuff that is a little bit secondary. So let's go ahead and choose GOOD as our emphasis. So at this point, you can sort of make sketches for this by just using shapes based on the size of the word. So you could play around and like maybe you want it on like a slight curve. So this is how we would have our GOOD word and then maybe you have the same shape for VERY, but it's a smaller version of that. So how this would work is divide this into four, divide this into four and then it's like, VERY GOOD. You could also do something that's like asymmetrical. For example, if it's on a curve like this. Then you got VERY there. Maybe you want it to be like a 3D burst sort of thing. Then the second word is on a curve. So there's endless possibilities. So maybe in your composition, like maybe your head is here and you're trying to fit a shape like this. So maybe it ends up being something like that. So this process would work the same way as we did in the PIZZA demo, but I'll just go over this a little bit here. So you can go ahead and just use these spaces to fill them with our letter. O's and D's are a good example of making sure that you don't lose what makes them unique from each other to keep legibility. So even if you are doing a circle with some flat edges like I did here for my O, you just want to make sure that it's pretty symmetrical. You could have asymmetrical centers for the O, but you want to just make sure that it's not like a combination of a flat edge and then a curved edge on one side. So we've got good here. We can go ahead and do like a 3D effect by just drawing the bottom lines further down, a little bit smaller and then you disconnect those points. Then for VERY, maybe you could try a different typeface, maybe you want to try something like script. You can still use this framework as just like a guideline for them. So maybe by trying something scripted, but a bigger V there, lowercase and then the R. So as you can tell when I'm like sketching, you can do things sloppy and messy. I think of it as just like guidelines that I'm using to build from. So I'll always just make a new layer and make it better. So one of the issues that we're running into is this, the descender on the Y is bumping into the O. So I'm going to use this as a loose guide but then start a new layer where I move that Y up a little bit and do that curve, have it follow in there a little bit. So maybe I can put these letters on an upward trajectory. It's like, yeah, that's still bad, but we're getting somewhere. So I'm noticing now that if I shifted over a little bit, we're getting this negative space between the two O's that might help us out. So I'm going to pull that in, wrap that around. Get this V. Cool. Again, these are just sketches. Definitely experiment, try some new things and make sure you're having fun. Don't forget about the PIZZA and don't be afraid to experiment. 7. Making a Loose Framework / Grid: I've tried to record this next section, quite a few times. I kept going back to my notes and I realized that I just did a wonderful job writing this, so I'm just going to read it to you, and save us all some time, and give you the best possible information. I'm doing it for you, basically. The next step, dividing up your composition. When starting out on something like this, I find it helpful to just start loosely cutting up the space and we're going to be working with intersections. Creating this illustrate and will help me establish a visual hierarchy by providing more space for some information and less for others. It also allows me to focus on getting my composition dial before I think about what will specifically be there. Another benefit is that it can help me figure out how much stuff I can actually include. To get started, I'm going to loosely make a grid around the image of my dumb face to give me some framework for planning this out. I got a new document here in Procreate, and I'm just going to go ahead and insert my dumb face, like that. Fill the space, and I'm going to go ahead and turn down that opacity for my own comfort and then I'll make a new layer. Now I'm just going to loosely make a framework that I might work from. This can obviously change, but it's just going to be helpful for me to get started here. I'm thinking, I'll probably put my name across the top so, maybe we put a loose line like that. Then maybe I'll have a title, maybe I'll do a diagonal line there. I don't know exactly what's going to go in these spaces, but I'm just breaking it up and seeing possible places for things. For some reason I find this to be a little bit helpful in planning things out and helping with the hierarchy. I'm thinking, I have my name big at the top, and then some other smaller areas I'm going to try some different options. You could do something where you've got more dynamic lines coming off. Maybe some smaller ones that maybe we could divide those up. I think having some framework to work in is helpful in this regard. I'd be thinking that maybe, I will put my name at the top. I'm just loosely blocking this in, maybe have Illustrator down here. See that you write just quickly because you run out of space and this is just a visual aid. Maybe I'm going to have some monsters here. Definitely I'm going to do something to make this face better. Make a sex smile. But again, just play around. I'm really sorry. I keep knocking it down. You going to stay over there. Try some curvy lines. You do something like that, can make it a little more psychedelic. Maybe they flow into each other. You could have something carry on beyond it, and then this will be places where we can fit some lettering for pictures. Maybe you want to draw directly on top of your picture. That's fine too. Maybe you can give yourself a sweet backpack. Maybe you want to do something that's more structured. Maybe you have little blocks where you could put things in. Or maybe you're thinking of just fall on lettering. 8. Adding In The Lettering : I'm going to walk you through some of the steps I took in beginning the layout of my composition, where I want to place things. I want to keep things fairly simple at this point. What you can see here is that I have hidden a layer, there we go. I've just drawn some simple lines right here, and this is just going to allow me a loose guide for where I'm going to put things. My plan is, to have my name up here and then I'm going to put illustrator and letter here. Then my daily drawings here and something about me doing them for a long time. Then I'm going to leave this other space available for little drawings of a monster, some of those interest things that we drew, maybe a pizza, coffee, maybe it'll be meat pie, stuff like that. I'm going to keep that loose and experiment with that later, once I have that space set up. I've already done some sketches here, I'm going to show you some of that process. The first thing that I did was, map things out. What I did was, can we see this, sorry it looks weird. I divided the space into lines like we did in our exercise, and just sort of laid out the letters in each spot, just to give me a framework to work from. This is the same thing as we did in our exercise, so this should be familiar to you. From there, I just decided to block up these letters a little bit, and just give it a little more style, try to fill up the space a little bit more. But what I found here was that, it was a little, I guess there's no other word for it, a little boring. I felt like it was a little too static and didn't really match the sort of flowy, whimsy, of some of my illustration work. What I decided to do was, go ahead and draw new lines of that grid on top of what I had already done. It's still based on the same thing, but I just made those lines a little wavy and more organic, so it feel like it would flow a little bit better. Using that, I did the same process as I've done before, wherein I just turned down the opacity, use this new guide and adapt my type to fit this new shape. Doing that allowed me to do a few other things. I was able to emphasize the illustrator lettering a little bit more, because I wanted that to be more prominent than letter. I feel like lettering is encompassed within illustration, and it's a sort of a subtitle. I did that, I feel there's a lot of letters and Illustrator giving it this flowy angle, let some of the letters to be smaller and some of them to be bigger, which does two things; It gives me more space to work with, but it also lets the word stable, by doing this 3D effect. Then down here, I just wanted the daily drawing things to feel a little bit more playful, have some more energy. I played with altering the baselines, moving type around, using a little circle to do the 12 plus years. Then just sort of let my name follow this new line that I've made, a little bit closer. 9. Incorporating Illustrated Elements: So now that I've got my lettering sketched out and in place, I'm going to start to add in some of the illustrated elements that we sketched early on. I decided I'm going to keep things relatively simple and just focus on some of the fun, sillier stuff that I had sketched out. I think I'm going to start off with a slice of pizza probably because a little hungry right now, but also, it's a very easy thing to draw in and it's a very useful thing for fitting into shapes. Just being a triangle, it's great to frame things out. I think I'm going to go ahead and do a little coffee cup next to it. Coffee cup is also nice because it's got this handle which helps block in that area that's leftover from the angle of the slice of pizza. I don't know, I think I'm going to put a goofy little skull in here too. I like the idea of a goofy skull with some eyeballs and just looking silly. I like this play between a skull being a bad ass thing but also making it goofy at the same time and it also references some of the interests that I brainstormed about or it's ties into the punk rock thing, one of those visuals. Then I like to just soften the skull up by maybe giving them some silly teeth, like an overbite maybe. I think as I tighten it up, I'll probably add some eyeballs in their look into the side. Now for this shape down here, I had this idea to just do a banner arrow situation to point down to the daily drawing title thing. I was thinking that it felt a little, I don't know, almost braggy where it's just like daily drawings, 12 plus years. So I was thinking I could put a banner in there and just knock myself down a few notches by just being like, I'm too scared to quit and that idea that I've been doing these daily drawings for so long and I've built my entire illustration career on the back of them that if I stopped, maybe my whole career would come crashing down. It sounds silly to say out loud, but it's something that I believe. So we definitely need a little face on the coffee cup. I think there can never be enough faces and let's get a little more detail on this pizza. Gets some drippies that help fill out the space. I like to try to make these things almost like a puzzle. For some reason, I always draw pepperoni on my pizza, even though not a huge pepperoni fan. But as you can see, I'm going in and moving lines around and just trying to get it to fill the space a little bit better so it feels cohesive and locked up like a puzzle. I think I'm going to start with one of those little ghostly monster situations over on this side. It'll help deal with that curve from the side of my face. I like drawing this little monsters because they're versatile, they're very simple, they're fun and put a little speech bubble there with the LOL. As I mentioned, humor has a big part of my work and I like to just not make it too serious. When I'm doing these little characters, I also like to make sure that their eyes are looking in different ways to move the viewer around. So as you can see, the little ghost guys looking up at my title. I think I'll put another little monster down here to pop up behind my shoulder, which will help to make the illustration and the photograph feel a little more cohesive. So I'm thinking that these two little clouds will be a rainbow and I can do that squiggly line connecting them. I like to draw lines in weird bendy rainbows. It's a fun, goofy little cloud face, but clouds are also cool for these compositions. I like to tie things together because they cannot be different shapes. It's a cloud with a rainbow. So that means it must have rained. There must been a storm. So we can incorporate some lightening, give this guy some buck teeth and, yeah, I'm feeling pretty good about this. It's definitely a pretty loose right now, but we'll tighten up as we go. I'm seeing things like here, if I added 3D effect to this type, it can tie in a little bit better as well and make it blend in with the picture and pop up behind me. Now, so I'm going to do a little bit of drawing on my face. As I mentioned, I'm uncomfortable profile pictures and adding some little drawings on my face makes me feel better about them. It can also deal with this lack of a smile that we have here. So I started to think I'm going to have a little wacky guy shooting out of my eye socket, like a bug eye but it's a little guy with bug eyes and he's yelling, has a monster who is popping out of your eye socket would. Maybe give him small arms. Just, playing around here. He's screaming, having a little bit of fun. Let's see what else. I think I'm going to go ahead and make something come out of my nose. Maybe a little hand, give it a P sign, playful and fun, it also will help fill in this little space that's left over. Again, as I go and tighten this up afterwards, I can really make that blend together nicely. Now we have to deal with this smile. I'm thinking, I'm just going to go with a really simple goofy smile that doesn't try to look too much like the photograph because I think that'll look a little bit weird. So I'm just going to go with the traditional little cartoon smile. Some dumb teeth with tongue. Yeah, that way, I've obscured this enough where I don't feel weird about it and also left enough that it's so clearly me but with just some personality infused. Definitely not just trying to hide a bad photo. I'm just infusing personality here. This will be fun to tighten up. Stay tuned. 10. Tightening It Up: In the next section, I'm going to play a time-lapse of me doing the final artwork. I sped it up so that you're not watching the entire thing, it's could be pretty long. I'm going to do a voice-over and try to talk about some key things that are happening as I do it. I just want to give you a heads up, I'm doing this in Procreate on the iPad and I'm spinning the canvas around and optimizing the angle for drawing each line. I feel like it'll be a little nauseating if you watch it. I recommend maybe listening, drawing while you're drawing, then maybe glancing up at key moments. If you throw up, I'm not liable and I'm sorry if that happens. Let's go. I really love this part. This is the part where I just go in and start tightening up my sketch. Don't get me wrong, I do love the sketching part of these things, but at this point I'm just finessing what I've done and cleaning things up, and it really starts to come to life. As I'm doing this, the outline for the type here, I'm just tightening things up a little bit as I go, making sure things fit together a little bit better. As you can see I'm changing lines a little bit. This feels very fast right now because it's sped up. But you can see that I'm not exactly following the sketch, I'm tightening it up as I go and cleaning things up. One thing I'll also talk about too is, color. Even though my work is very colorful, I do try to have a minimal color palette. For this, especially because it's a profile picture, I don't want it to feel too crazy because there is a photo involved as well. I want all the illustrated elements to be in a similar palette. For this, I chose a palette of four colors that I'm going to be using here. I've got this dark brown outline that I decided to use instead of a black just because it's softened it up a little bit since we're working with a photograph and there's not really any, just pure black in the photograph because there's light involved and all that stuff. Using this as opposed to a black just makes it feel a little bit more cohesive. As you can see, I'm just smoothing things out, drawing things a little bit tighter. As I mentioned, I was going to put those little eyes on the skull. Just fun. The good thing about choosing this brown color is, I can color in my coffee correctly. You also noticed that I'm rotating the canvas like crazy, which it makes this a little nauseating to watch. There's a reason for that. When you move the canvas around, it really helps with certain lines. You can pull and push different curves to make them go a little bit smoother and it really makes a big difference. Another thing here is that I'm using things like this arrow to make it blend in better with the photograph. I'm going to have this come out behind my head so it feels more cohesive. Basically, I zoomed in pretty tightly here and tried to draw along the hairline just so it blends in. This is definitely going to be for giving because you're never going to see this really big. When you're doing letters, that are going to be filled in like this, you'll see that I have some overlapped lines and that just helps it to be a little bit cleaner. If you're trying to just outline it perfectly, you can sometimes not get as smooth of a shape. If I know I'm going to be filling in, I'll definitely continue lines through to make it a little bit easier. Normally, I would just drag the color to fill here, but because I use this brush that is a little bit loose in texture, sometimes it'll just fill the entire background. I'm just going to color it in by hand. All right, what's next? For this script lettering, I'll often continue the lines through the letter because I'm filling it all in, but it helps it to have a very smooth flowing quality where it doesn't feel like it is two separate letters joined together. I like to make the line continues. If you just draw the line through, it will give that effect. Same thing with this and sign, the ampersand. As you can see, I'm just drawing it all the way through. Let's move on to this little monster guy here. This is another way to tie it in with the photograph. I'm having him pop up behind my shoulder. That's a very simple line to follow anyway. You take advantage of that. You're going to color into pepperoni, it's very important. Let's move on to this little cloud guy. As you can see, there's lots of extra lines from the sketch that I don't need. Those are just there to help draw the circular shape and make sure that works out correctly. I'm drawing these squiggly lines. I'm surprised I got all four of those on the first shot. Often times if I'm doing a squiggly line like that, I'll redo it three or four times just to get it right but we got lucky today. I'm doing this LOL lettering in the bubble like that block letter technique where I filled in the shape and then just drew the negative spaces. Really spinning this little guy around. As you can see, I skip around when I'm doing this. I don't really have a rhyme or reason for it, just moving things around. We got this stuff on my face, which is nice. When I color in that little arm coming out of my nose, I'll probably add in a little bit of a shadow, which will be a darker value of one of the colors I'm using. It'll help it feel a little more incorporated into the photograph. Working on this lettering here, you'll see that I sometimes will do all the vertical lines first and then go across and do the the horizontals. That helps to get a more consistent line for me. It's easier to draw certain lines with the canvas horizontal or vertical. I'm just trying to make it as consistent as possible and that's the easiest way for me to do that. We're getting pretty close here. Just trying to tighten up these little edges and then get this line over here to line up as closely as possible. Sometimes circles are very tricky, so you'll see me spinning the the canvas all over the place. Another way to blend this in with the photograph, I'm going to have this 3D effect look like it's popping out from behind my shoulder. See this type, I used a brush that wasn't so weathered so I was able to drop the color in and fill the letters, which definitely saves some time. For these lightening bolts, you'll see I'll do the vertical lines and then go back and do the horizontals to try to get them as sharp as possible. Sometimes if they are not as sharp as I want them to be, I will go and use the eraser to tighten up the point but it seems like it's good enough here. See, I was trying to use the fill thing, but that textured line doesn't want it to work. I'm going to go and do it by hand. I'm definitely cheating here a little bit, introducing a new color for the crust, but technically it's not really new color. I used my crust colored skin to fill that in, so it's just beating the system. I'll write 12 plus years, can you believe it? I can't either. I'm going to fill this in. Sometimes I like to insert a line into my lettering. It has the cool look that I like. Add quick little details here and there, little highlights on the eyes. That's one of the fun aspects of working digitally, sometimes you erase things. 11. Conclusion: We did it. Congratulations. Thank you so much for following along. I hope you had some fun. I think I've said fun about 600 times in this project. But really, what are we doing here? We are drawing pictures, we are having fun. If you are not having fun, then get out of here. But I guess if you're watching this video, that means you've watched everything else. So that would be weird. I'm going to just, hey team. Can we just cut that out in the end? So again, I hope you guys have learned a lot. I hope you had fun. If you have any questions, please ask them in the discussions place. That way I can answer them and if other people have the same questions, they'll be able to see them and they'll get answers and everyone will have answers. Please share your process stuff as well as your file pieces. I'd love to see all of it. Share what you make with some of these exercises. Sharing and posting this stuff in a project group is a great way to encourage others to do their own thing and just share and have fun and inspire everyone that share something I will go in and give personal feedback to. If you post this elsewhere like on Instagram, definitely tag me so that I can comment, probably share it in my stories. I do that a lot with stuff from my other class. Animation. Morphing words one word into another word. But that's another topic altogether. You might like it, maybe even get into that one. I don't know. This conclusion is getting off the rails, but I'm going to keep going with it. So again, this was fun for me. I hope this one is for you hope you have a cool picture. I can't wait to see what you do, and I'm going to go. I'll talk to you later.