Define Your Signature Style: Design a Signature Collection | Kristina Hultkrantz | Skillshare

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Define Your Signature Style: Design a Signature Collection

teacher avatar Kristina Hultkrantz, Illustrator & Surface Pattern Designer

Watch this class and thousands more

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

Watch this class and thousands more

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

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      Welcome to Class


    • 2.

      Pep Talk and My Journey


    • 3.

      Why Have a Signature Style?


    • 4.

      5 Exercises to Define Your Style


    • 5.

      Design Your Signature Style Recipe Card


    • 6.

      Personal vs Professional Portfolios


    • 7.

      Sketch Out Your Collection


    • 8.

      Build Out Your Signature Collection Further


    • 9.

      Bonus: Your Webshop Options


    • 10.

      Your Class Project


    • 11.

      Thank You for Watching


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About This Class

Welcome to Define Your Signature Style: Design a Signature Collection! A class for any and all artists of any level to help to start to define your very own unique signature art style. This class is perfect for anyone just starting out in in their art journey or for artists that need a little help to refine their style further. I will also be sharing my process of building out a signature collection and sharing some options for a webshop to showcase these designs in the future.


All illustrators, artists or surface designers of any level!


Supplies you will need to create the class project:

  • Pinterest.
  • Design program of your choice. Procreate, Photoshop, Illustrator, Affinity etc.
  • Art supplies!
  • Time :)
  • And the 21 page workbook I create to accompany this class. Find and download in the projects and resources section. 


In this class I will be sharing a process of defining an art style and how to build out your first signature collection.

We will cover the following:

  • My journey to defining my very own signature style.
  • Why having a signature style is important and helpful.
  • A look at 15 artists with very defined styles.
  • 5 exercises to speed up the process of defining your style.
  • How to sketch out your signature collection.
  • What to think about when building out your collection.
  • Your options for setting up a webshop with your new collection.

I am so excited to share my tips with you and to see what you all come up with in your class projects!

xoxo Kristina


  • My Facebook group for aspiring full time creatives. JOIN HERE.
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  • Also please remember to press the FOLLOW button here on Skillshare to be notified of upcoming classes and news. Write a review too :)
  • Plus check out my PROFILE PAGE to learn more about all the other amazing classes I am teaching here on Skillshare. I've organized them into categories for you, yay!
  • Want even more illustration classes? Check out the Skillshare Illustration section here.

Meet Your Teacher

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Kristina Hultkrantz

Illustrator & Surface Pattern Designer

Top Teacher

Hello Everyone!

I'm Kristina Hultkrantz an illustrator and surface pattern designer based in the super quaint small town Mariefred just outside of Stockholm, Sweden. You might also know me as EmmaKisstina on the internet. I've been working with illustration and design since 2007 and have worked full time as a freelance illustrator since 2010 and now a teacher since 2018.

If you'd like to learn more about me or see more of my work or just would like to say hi the best place to find me is in my private Resources for Creatives FB group, EmmaKisstina Insiders or on Instagram! You can also check out my YouTube Channel for free video content or visit my Portfolio Website if you really really want to know all about me :)

More about my work:

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Level: All Levels

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1. Welcome to Class: Hello, everyone. Welcome back to another classroom Meet Kristina Hultkrantz. I'm an illustrator and surface pattern designer from Mariefred, Sweden. Having a signature style as an artist is an incredible asset. It is what defines what you like, the art that you create, and makes you easily recognizable, and you become an expert in your field because you have that signature thing that is totally you. This class is built up in several sections, so there's something for everyone. From beginners who haven't even started defining their style to people who are in the middle of refining their style. This is a great class to help you to refine it further and really work up to creating a signature collection that you can have, to design a very cohesive portfolio, or to build out a beautiful webshop with your products. I have been working on defining and refining my signature style since 2007 when I created EmmaKisstina, my illustration brand. Pretty much overnight, I went from creating artwork like this to illustrations like this. Even though the process was overnight, either, of course, was many years in the making as signature style in your artwork takes time to develop, but you're going to be well on your way to refining, defining, and finding your signature style in this class. In this class, I will be sharing with you five exercises that you can do to speed up the process of defining your signature style, then we will be moving on. I will be showing you my process for building out a signature collection of illustrations and patterns that can be used to show up my style, what I am, my abilities in my portfolio. Then as a third little bonus to this class, I will be showing how you can build out a webshop of your own products or post onto print-on-demand sites. I really look forward to seeing you in class and I can't wait to share all of my tips and tricks for defining your own signature style. Let's get started. 2. Pep Talk and My Journey: All right. Time for my usual a little pep talk, but before I pep you up, I just want to preface this class with saying that I'm going to be talking a lot about me and my accomplishments in my artwork, and what I've created. It might feel a little bit of showy-offy, but I have to show you examples, and the best way for me to show examples are from my own life and my own work. I hope that this class won't be too clingy and too much about me, me, me, but I have to highlight my signature style in order to help you out to figure out your style as well. I hope that these examples and things will be helpful for you. To start off with, I want to say that I completely understand that there's this huge pressure for artists to find their signature style. It seems so important and other artists are always talking about it, or you see other artists who just seem like they have everything put together. They've found their signature color palette and they've created their artwork, and it looks so refined and beautiful, and put together, and you're creating your artwork, and you just can't see what it is or what direction it's going. I've completely 100 percent been there. At the four years that I was at art college, I struggled to find my signature style and I didn't understand why it wasn't just like clicking. Why I didn't have my style yet. When I saw some of my classmates, they were just so focused and they had really found their thing. They've found their media, they found their colors and most importantly, they found their subject matter. I remember seeing some of my classmates and they were so incredibly talented, and they had such original ideas that they were just really rolling with. They could just build up a portfolio of work with these ideas, and it would just look so beautiful. My portfolio of work, it looked so disjointed. I was trying so many different things, and I think that is, of course, incredibly important for your development as an artist. I am very thankful that I spent so many years testing out so many different materials and styles, and that's why I was able to then later on, a couple of years later, define my style. It's because I'd already tested out everything. I just want you to know that it does sometimes take time to develop your style, and you shouldn't stress it. There's also one other thing that I want to mention, is that probably you might not be able to see your style yourself, or what you like or what it is about your artwork that is different and unique in you, and I think the best tip for that, is to show your peers, either other artists that you are in contact with, either in Facebook groups or Instagram or in real life, if you've gone to art school yourself, or to ask family and friends. Ask them to describe your artwork and see what it is that comes up again and again via your friends and peers. I'm sure that that will start to spark some ideas within you, that they say that your artwork is always so calming or it's bold and brighten, and eclectic, or something that maybe you weren't able to really see because you're just in it too much and you're just too close to your work. But if you asked your peers, then I'm sure they will have other opinions that they can share with you. I really want this to be a fun process for you. I don't want you to feel like you're waiting on your signature style just to fall in your lap, because that's not going to happen. I'm going to share with you how you are going to intentionally create a signature style for yourself because you already have it, you just have to get it out somehow. That process is difficult to explain, but I am confident that you guys can achieve a signature style as well. I thought that maybe I just quickly go over my journey defining my signature style, as I think it could be interesting for you guys to know. I have been creating these illustrations for the past a little bit more than a decade, but before that, I was creating artwork my entire life, my entire childhood going up through high school, I was always taking art classes, and I had a natural talent for drawing and depicting things realistically. When it was time to go to university, I chose to go to a traditional art program, with drawing and oil painting and all that. I did all of the traditional techniques and I tried lots of different painting and drawing and ink and charcoal and all that stuff, and nothing really clicked in art school as a mentioned. But I did try everything out and, of course, at the same time I was developing my skills. No matter what media you're using, you're always developing the skills for drawing and painting, and color theory and color mixing and composition and all those things. So I had really good groundwork there for my four years at art school. When it was time to graduate, you're supposed to create a thesis, and that was when I got really stressed about creating my artwork. I hadn't found my thing, so I made something up. I was starting to make these really weird, I don't want to put myself down, but they were quite weird, like maps. I made this little character person and I put it on maps to show population. That became my thing for my senior thesis, but it wasn't something that I was in love with. I enjoyed creating those artworks and it felt fun to have created my thing, and I guess I could have let go and rolled with it, but I'm glad that I didn't. Then a year after I had graduated art school and I was still living at home with my parents, I sat down on my bed and I remember sitting down and saying to myself that I'm going to define a brand for myself. I wanted to open an Etsy shop and to do that, I decided I needed a brand and I decided I needed to have a signature thing. I knew this because I had started to look at other artists and what they were doing, and the people who were most successful on Etsy. I could see that they had a specific thing that they were doing and that totally makes sense, that's what all brands do. They have a specific thing that gets specific customers. I was also at that time learning digital illustration because I wanted to transition into an illustrator rather than a fine artist, because I never thought I was going to be any Picasso or anything like that. I was teaching myself Adobe Photoshop to create illustrations in. My process, I decided that I was going to create illustrations in my favorite medium, which at that time was drawing with ink on paper and then I scan them in and I used my new digital techniques to digitally color them. I really loved that combination of my simple outlines with the simple crisp digital color, and that's when I started creating my new EmmaKisstina Illustrations. Then I decided that I've always been that stereotypical girly girl, and it's something that in art school I didn't want to be, because I didn't want to be seen as an airhead girl who just loves pink, comes in with dresses to school, but that's who I am and that's what I like. It was time after high school not being with peer pressure, not around my weirdo super serious, stereotypical art students, I could finally be myself now that I was outside of that and that was really exciting. I decided to amp it up, amp up the girly girl's stuff, I whipped out my pinks and my pretty pastels that I love, and that was my color palette that I used from then on. When I started to do that, it felt so exciting that I had found my style for how I was going to be building up my illustrations. It felt really comfortable and exactly how I wanted them to look with my hand-drawn lines, but with the crisp digital color, but now I added in my beautiful pastel color that I love, and then it was just a matter of the subject matter. In art school, I thought that subject matter for art had to be thought-provoking and really serious or weird or something like that. But when I came out of that and I was starting to research illustration on my own, I realized that you could depict everyday items or girly girl stuff that I like. I saw fashion illustrators that I admired and I could see that there are drawing beautiful girls and beautiful everyday objects, and I decided that was going to be as a realm that I wanted to create artwork in as well. All these three things clicked for me, the way that I was going to be creating my artwork, the color palette I was using, and then the subject matter. I started to draw perfume bottles and high-heel shoes and handbags, and girls in pretty positions, etc. I think at the time I had also been to an Andy Warhol exhibit and I was really inspired by pop art, so I was doing unapologetically girly girl artwork. Instead of soup cans, it was the Chanel number 5 perfume bottles. That's what EmmaKisstina started off with, and through the years it has refined and defined. I've added more color and I've played with my style a little bit more. Before, it used to be a lot more strict with my black lines and my simple flat color, but now lately, I have been refining it. I have taken away some of my outlines, I have added more texture and more color, and it's really exciting that it's a process that I can continue to change. For a while, I did feel like I had defined my style, I had to use these black outlines and flat color, but I've come to realize that putting yourself too much in a box can really stifle your creativity. I realized that my outlines weren't always appropriate for certain artworks, so it was important to me to break that mold and feel like I could continue to create artwork with outlines, and that would still be my signature style. I think you have to agree that even though I took away black outlines from the majority of my illustrations nowadays, it still looks like me, it still feels like me, and they still feel like they were drawn by me. I'd like to stress that a lot in this class, that just because you're defining many things, like a framework for how you're creating artwork, it doesn't mean that you have to stick to that 100 percent of the time. It is important to still try new things, try new color palettes, try new different techniques. If you primarily work digitally and you test out traditional techniques, I am pretty sure that it's still going to have the same sensibilities of how you create artwork in a digital format. That's my long-winded story of how EmmaKisstina came to be and how I sat down to define my style by just looking to myself, what it is that I truly like to create, how I like to create it, and the colors that I like. If I was able to do that, I am 100 percent sure that you guys will be able to do so as well. 3. Why Have a Signature Style? : What is a signature style exactly? Your signature style is the way that you create artwork, the subject matter that you have chosen, and the specific colors that you usually use. There are certain things that are going to define how you create your artwork, whether it is the forms that you use or the way that you build up your artwork, or certain things that you always add into your artwork. This is what really defines what you like. Sometimes I almost think that a signature style is almost like an obsession, like you have to as an artist, to continue to do these things because that's what you love. You love adding little signature dashes or you always have to build up your artwork in a specific way, or you have this subject matter that you're constantly going back to again and again because you just love creating landscapes or crazy portraits or floral bouquets. It can be anything and everything, honestly. It's really important to have a signature style for two reasons, because it makes you easily recognizable out in the internet where there's tons of other artists. Having your own style is something that can make you look like an expert in your section, in your niche of illustration or surface patterns, dying, art, blah blah blah. Companies will want to work with you in order to have your signature style on their products, in their advertising, etc. That is going to be something that you're going to be sought after for your specific thing that you do best. Then, like I mentioned in the previous section, I think it's a great asset for you as an artist yourself because when you sit down to create artwork, you're not always starting from zero, you have a framework of what you usually create. You create crazy characters in funny colors and shapes, or you're always doing these landscapes with these beautiful views of tiny houses and it's super serene. Or like me, I've created this realm of girly, feminine lifestyle images with floral and women and shoes and fashion scenes, and things like that. It's a nice comfort to me when I sit down to create artwork. I have certain subjects that I always return to, whether it is little vignettes of from where I stand, like shoes and a pretty floor or a floral bouquet. That's the kind of artwork that I like to create. I would love to jump into the computer now, to show off a couple of artists that I really admire, who have very beautifully defined signature styles, and every time I scroll through Instagram, I can really recognize their work before seeing their name. I'd love to highlight some other people that I admire so that you can get even more ideas for how unique signature styles can be, and that it can seriously be anything because what you like and what you are drawn to, you're going to find your people to, no matter what it is that you like and are drawn to. You don't have to please everyone, you just have to please yourself and your little fan base, which is a comfort I feel. Let's jump into the computer and check out some incredible artists' work. Here we are in Instagram. I thought it's the easiest place where I can show off lots of different illustrators so I can give you an idea of different styles, and the ways that you can go about doing this in your own way because that's, of course, the most important thing. I want to start off with Rebecca Green. She's one of my favorite illustrators and I think her style is so versatile. She's also an artist, an illustrator, and she has different facets of her design style. But it's all her, and you can really tell that it is her. She has different ways of creating her illustrations either with traditional media or she does squash. I think she does acrylics too and mixed media with colored pencils and things like that. But I believe she also works digitally sometimes. But she has different facets, she has this more artistic side of her work that looks very traditional art. She also has her sketchy side like this. They're sketches. Then she has work that's a little bit more detailed, they use more detailed paintings. She has a way that she creates her artwork that has the same attitude, I guess we could say, and she has a way of creating her characters. The ears always have the same form and she does this certain way of creating eyes, so that's very her own. But I want to find more examples of her more. Let's see. This may be as digital, maybe not. It's hard to tell sometimes. Anyways, even though she switches between different materials, she still has the same aesthetic in the way that she creates artwork that is her own that has her thing. I want to make it clear that you don't need to stick to one certain material, you can move around and play with different materials, and it can still be your style. It's something that you don't need to stress about. She has a visual language that is her own, she pointy noses and usually has almond-shaped eyes like this, but not always. I don't think you need to put yourself in a box. If you just continue to draw things, you are going to be starting to draw them in a certain way that is recognizable. As you can see, she has so much variation here with the way that she creates artwork, but I can still always see that it is her work. Sometimes it's difficult, most likely for you, yourself to figure it out, but asking other people around you to see if they can see something that is similar could be handy. That's what I wanted to talk to you about Rebecca Green, one my favorite illustrators and artists. Very versatile. She has created this beautiful visual language with the way that she creates her characters and things, especially the ears, I feel like really Rebecca Green ears. Moving on, I want to talk to you about another illustrator artist. By the way, Rebecca Green is an American artist. Eurekart. She's an artist illustrator from Malaysia. I really enjoy her illustrations because they really bring you into a different world or her realm of illustration. She has a very specific way that she creates her artwork. Let's see. We can pick that. They all have the same textures and colors, and there must be some overlay on everything. I'm not sure how she creates some, but they're definitely digitally created in procreate. Let's see if we can find some more of her signature illustration work. Everything she does is beautiful, but she has a very defined realm of work that she creates. Now, of course, I can't find anything, but she prints a lot of these scenes with a woman with red hair and their beautiful home and it has a galaxy window. Tons of plants that has this color palette with the oranges and the yellowy greens. There's this magical mood in all of them, and they are all have this grainy texture, which is so beautiful. But did I create a scene like this to have an atmosphere that you always go back to? She also, as you've seen when I was scrolling through, she does a lot of things with stars and a little bit mysticism and things like that, space and stars and things like that. That's something that she has defined that she's going to be drawing and referencing over and over again. It doesn't get boring because even this seemed so beautiful. She can paint in different sections, and this woman is like a story that you want to know more about, who this person is, and I think that's really interesting. This could be done and it carries different projects she's done. Here's a scarf that she's created with a galaxy night sky print. That feels just like her even though it doesn't have that interior with the plants and the red haired girl, it still looks very much like her because it's in the realm of what she's decided that she's going to be drawing. I could look at her work all day. Just the way that she captures light and things like that, it's beautiful. It has a slight entity you feel because of this grain that she puts on top of all of her illustrations. Not only has she picked out a color palette and she's picked out specific way that she creates her artwork with this green and the light and the colors, but she also has picked a very specific subject matter and realm that she creates artwork with it. Then one of those rooms, I think this is so beautiful. I'd love to get a print of hers. Anyhow, moving on. I want to share with you Clare Therese Gray, and she's a surface designer. I would categorize her as and she I would say for the most part creates beautiful very feminine illustrations of flowers pretty much and then a little bit of animals, and they're just very delicate. She has a very specific way of painting and drawing. I think for the most part she uses gouache. We can take a look. She has a very delicate and feminine way of painting and her color palettes are very soft, and they're beautiful, so you can create an entire career out of just painting one thing if you decide on flowers, even though there's a billion different illustrators creating illustrations of flowers, there's something that we'll never going to be getting tired of and there's room for anyone who wants to create more in floral designs. That's just the way it is. I wanted to share this amazing artist's work. I'm actually not sure where she's from, if she's American too or if she's British. She's wrote color, and that is to mean she's British I think. Anyhow very feminine, very beautiful, perfect for all kinds of everyday items. She can do collabs for fabric as she's shown here or seems like soap packaging. I can see this on all kinds of different homes wears and little beautiful kitchen tins and things like that. I think it's completely okay if you could go all in with one specific thing that you only draw in nature, or you only draw galaxy kinds of stuff, or you only draw dinosaurs. You could go all-in with one thing and that can be your thing that you always do. Moving onto the next one is an American illustrator, Matt Carlson he's from Omaha, Nebraska. His work is very themed with that outdoorsy hunting, camping, nature kind of thing. It also has retro vibes. This looks like it could have been designed in the '50s, '60s, which is really cool. He has a very specific color palette that's very natural colors, but there's pops of color, look here you can use pink. I appreciate that they're very graphic, but they're also in stylized. I wonder what program he uses, if this is Illustrator or if it's Procreate or Photoshop. They look very mid-century modern, and that's also something that you can consider to have both a theme and a style that is more vintage-inspired. You can look at old books and old children's books and be inspired by entire genre. How cool is this? Then make it your own by using contemporary colors. His work is very inspiring. This is so graphic, and there's so many details. He does this graphic look and he has the more natural like this, but it still feels, both of them feel like him. I would say this is more realistic-ish stylized landscapes. I feel like it looks more like his thing, Matt's thing, but it's really good. I thought I'd do contrast because this is relatively manly maybe with the outdoorsy stuff. We can move to Laura C. Moyer, who is an American illustrator. She also has this mid-century modern look. It's very stylized, but it's also realistic looking. It's hard to describe, but she has that stylized look that's very her own, and she uses these really poppy bright colors. I can see right away that it's her work. I think she has a very specific style and the way that she creates artwork, which is really versatile, even though she seems like she's put herself up in a box by doing things that are digital looking, but they have these pops of color and they look really modern. I can see these on all kinds of different products. Being really popular and they are maybe a little bit more on the feminine side with the color choices that she does and the items that she chooses to draw. They have a quality about them, I think a lot of people could enjoy her stuff. Again, just having a specific color palette and the way that you know, they are like a visual language of how you build up your artwork. It's something that you can work on to make your art really you. Then I wanted to share David Sierra Liston who is a Spanish illustrator, and he mainly works in the Children's Book Arena. I think his illustrations are just perfectly suited for children's books. That's something you can consider as well if you want to work in a specific genre, such as children's book, are your illustrations pleasing to children and adults too? Because it's really important because the adult usually choose the books for their kids, but he has a very playful style that looks like it's digitally done, but it looks like it's done with digital colored pencils. They're very playful and his characters are very stylized with the huge eyes, and the way that he creates hair and just cutting these dogs. They're so cute, but he has a very specific way that he creates people, which is interesting. You can create little characters in a specific way that you always decide. You just decide, how are you going to draw noses and how are you going to draw ears and eyes and hair, and you can make a little formula for yourself. I think they're really expressive and fun. I love the texture that he uses in his work. I think they're digital, but they could be traditional media as well. Again, it's so difficult to see nowadays since Procreate and Photoshop brushes are so real-looking. I think these are so fun. You can definitely just by seeing these eyes, you can see right away that it's his work. It can be something as simple as that. I think the eyes are definitely the number one thing that I see first, and then the way that he creates his characters and scenes and draws everything, but for the most part is these eyes and the little nose that sticks out to me as his work. Another artist is one of our fellow top teachers here, Maja Faber, my friend. I thought it would be fun to share her work because it's very in the realm of Scandinavian design; the simple, beautiful illustrations. They're very simplified, but they're not boring, and the cute color palette and also very versatile. You can create your own visual language by using very simple shapes and a specific color palette like Maja does to make works that's all your own. I have a difficult time doing simplicity like this because I just want to add more and more. What I really appreciate in design and I can think, it's just so airy, and beautiful, and playful. I love these dogs. Funny. Something to consider as well, you can do a genre of artwork that is Scandinavian design or mid-century modern, or you could do some traditional genre. There's so many different styles and opportunities for you to find your thing. I hope that I'm making it clear with showing you all of these examples. I wanted to move on to people who have built out a character for themselves. This is moonchildillustrations by Sarah Kajba from Slovenija. She's created a visual language. It's very characteristic. It's a character that she creates with the way that she draws her characters with the beady eyes, and these textures that are very her, and the geometric way that she creates the shapes of her characters. She also has very specific color palette. As you can see, lots of oranges, and this olive green, and this burnt yellow color, which is over and over again. She uses both traditional and digital techniques. Look at her sketchbook. That's a cute little character. This is also quite playful and can work for children's art. But I can see this working for lots of different genres in illustration. So cute little characters, like this little soup guy. Again, you build out a character that you create and create a world around and all of your illustrations are all about that character and his friends, or her friends, its friends. That could be fun to really come up with a character that you go back to time and time again. In this also she has small characters and you can think of those woodland scenes and lots of mushrooms and flowers come to life and things like that. As you can see, she dressed faces in a specific way that's really hers. Another person who has come up with a character that they created a whole illustration world around is Sai, who does lovesoup. She's a Japanese illustrator and she's created this character Pepper that she creates illustrations around and Pepper's friends. It's very sweet, and it's fun to follow Pepper's little adventures, and getting to know this character. I could see this as like a cute TV show one day, I'm sure. How is the Japanese locally called the Hello Kitty character is like that with soft color palettes and cute little animal characters that are very simply drawn. But I think it's fun to create a world with your own character. I think that's a great idea for finding your style at the same time as developing the whole world for you too. You would never not know what to draw because you could always draw your little character and all their friends and think about different situations that they could go into. She uses washi papers while different products with Pepper in her house and different cute things. It's just so cute. It's hard to think of other adjectives than just cute, but it is. Here's lot of different Pepper variations and as you can see, here, it's been done in different medias from traditional watercolor, it looks like, to digital probably. Yeah, it has the same vibe even though it's drawn in different media. Again, I want to point that out that that's not the number 1 important thing, that you stick to one media and always do that. Another theme you could work with a specific theme as well. This is Jocelyn Proust Design. She's an Australian designer. All of her patterns and illustrations are built out of drying flora and fauna that is native to Australia. I think that's a really exciting idea to really make it regional, so part of the world where you live that you create illustrations and patterns that really represent that. Australia has very specific animals that live there, and plants, and birds that are native to the area. You can imagine, if you are from Australia, you can really identify what these things there. Me, who lives in Sweden, it's quite exotic to think about koalas, and wombats, and kangaroos and things like that. But as you can look here, she even did Christmas designs with this parrot, which is really fun. So this also is another idea that you could consider, of course, if you live in a very specific place, well, everybody lives in a specific place, but if you live somewhere that has very identifiable flora and fauna, that could be fun to introduce into your artwork to make that your thing as well, that's one idea. She makes beautiful patterns too. There's a very specific way that she creates them as well with all these different little details, and dots, and sprigs, I feel like this often in her work, these lines, sprigs, and these plants. They have these fluffy lines. But they're drawn quite strictly. She has a very specific way that she creates her artwork as well. I assume these are in Illustrator. They look very Illustratery. As you can see, also a color palette that she uses, lots of these Bertie yellow colors and these turquoisy blues. There's a lot of things that you can build out to create your own signature thing. Also, I wanted to share Sabina Fenn, she's an illustrator from Canada. She does, for the most part, watercolor illustrations. They are lifestyle images of women usually on vacation, like lots of vacation scenes, and she's made that her thing. They're very serene scenes with people. But I think mainly, her thing is this, with beautiful woman in a beautiful tropical scene and just transports you to another place, so I certainly don't live in a tropical paradise. She's made her thing by creating a very specific thing that she usually paints, and that's her thing. Also, her color palette, lots of Peachy pinks and this emerald green is definitely her thing, as you can see. I wouldn't be afraid to pick something super specific to be your signature thing. That doesn't mean that you have to always just draw that girls in jungle scenes. That doesn't have to be your thing. Like here you can see that she did a breakfast scene, but it still feels like her, if you're paying attention to the way that you creates her artwork, through the way that she paints. It's very loose with smaller details. It's really beautiful. I also want to move into having other themes such as some activism in your work. This is French artist, Eugenie. Maybe she's called Eugenie. I didn't take French in school. Her illustrations are very feminist illustrations. She takes up lots of things about women's bodies and body positivity and how women are treated in the world and workplace and all this, together we stand, women empowerment. She also has a very specific way of drawing women, especially though in the eyes. She does the really thick lower eyelashes. That is really her, and she has a relatively realistic way that she depicts people have realistic proportions. But I love this stylized eyes that she does, and she has a way that she writes her text. I assume that's probably her handwriting. Here, like my uterus, my choice. She has a very graphic way that she presents her illustrations and picks colors that are very bold. She switches out her color palette a lot. Here was lots of dark purples and then here's more of the light purples, and then moves into lots of orange and green. But you can still recognize her work even when her work is switching color palettes because of the way that she draws, especially the eyes. That's something to consider if you have something specific that you really want to stand behind and share and use your voice for that. I'm sure that you could create different illustrations for different genres, such as feminism or here we have Carolyn Suzuki, who is a LA based designer, American. She focuses a lot on diversity in her work. Talking about Black lives matter, or she's Asian Americans or Asian American lives matter as well, and she also did a book about boobs and which is funny, and women empowerment. But she has a very playful and contemporary style which suits her activism so that she can talk about these big subjects, but it makes it feel playful. Now the artist is French artist Aurelia. I think she's French, or she could be Belgium, whatever. She also does a lot of work about being black and diversity as well, and showing the beauty in that, she does a lot of animations which are super fun with dancing. There are super pops of color. Do you get enough vitamins here? Some that's funny. Super positive vibes as well. We need more fine and positive vibes, and the way that she creates her artwork is really specific as well with the really flat colors, with this crazy pops of color and the flat patterns as well is something that is really her, is that she's made her own with the dots and the stripes and it's very bold and in your face. Like this. Super bold. Last but not least, I thought that I would share a Diane Hill, who is a classically trained chinoiserie, I'd almost called her but illustrator painter from England. She's a British artist. She was classically trained to paint in this way in China. I think it's also important to know that you don't have to reinvent some art scene, you can do something traditional and make it your own like Diane has done. She has taken a very classic genre but she uses tons of reference from classic chinoiserie imagery, but I'm sure she's made it her own by choosing her own different birds and flowers and colors a little bit brighter and more beautiful and she's incredibly talented in the way that she can paint and depict different items. She shares a lot of her process on Instagram, which is so inspiring and interesting to see. To paint on silk sounds incredible. But I thought that would be interesting to end off with just to let you know that it is okay, of course to not have to pick something that's super individual, but you can do something a little bit more traditional. Tons of different traditional art-making genres that you could do instead, you could become an expressionist or impressionist, and do classic paintings, and things like that. There's always going to be a market for anything that you decide. You just have to work on your craft and become really good with it. I think one thing that all of these artists have is quite a lot of confidence in their work that they've really found their thing and they're going for it. I hope that you enjoyed taking a look at some of these artists that I really admire and I really think that they've found their thing. I'm sure with all of these people, that they spent years figuring out and testing different things and worrying about not having their signature style done and then all of a sudden after years of working, that just something clicked in and they went for it. Just know that these people didn't wake up one day and just created artwork like this or they weren't born creating artwork. We all have the same stresses and we have the same thoughts about this. You just have to let it take time, even though that's incredibly boring to hear. 4. 5 Exercises to Define Your Style: Now we're moving on to the fun part. In this section, I'm going to be sharing with you five tips for fast-forwarding the process for defining your own signature style. Number 1, we're going to be starting off with color because I think that's the easiest win, because color is something that comes really natural to you. It's something that you are just drawn to, and it's not something that maybe you have to think about too hard. We're going to open up Pinterest, and we're going to pin images, not artworks, just images with colors that you are completely drawn to. This can be anything from interior pictures or landscapes, flowers, anything with colors that you are just drawn to. Don't put anything in this board that you're in love with, only images where the color really stands out to you as something that you love. Continue to pin and use the more feature on Pinterest to find images that are more like this so that you can find even more images in the same color realm that you love. Pin at least 30 images, but up to a 100 maybe, and then take a look at your board. What do you see? When I look at my board, it's so clear to me, the colors and the color palette that I love to use. But there can also be, sometimes, new additions that you hadn't thought of that you love. A couple of years back, I started noticing that I love yellow, and I hadn't been using that in my artwork whatsoever, so I started to add that into my artwork, into my signature color palette, and it makes so much sense, and it's something that I feel really is me right now. This is something that you can continue to do throughout the years, like every few years, do new color board and see if your preferences for color are changing. It's important that you roll with it. If you are finding that you want to switch out your colors, that's completely fine. It's not like you've defined your palette of 10 colors, and you have to use those for the rest of your life. Once you've created this color board, I suggest that you pull out like 30, 40-50 colors from these color palettes so that you have this broad signature palette of colors that you can use to create our artworks. It's going to make it so much easier when you sit down to create your artwork that you have this set of colors that you always use. Again, I want to stress that even though you've created this signature palette, it's important that you sometimes break your habits and test new things. You can also, if you have these colors, you can use different values of those. If you want to, you can use lighter version or darker versions of those. It's very versatile to have a color palette like this. Another thing that I've done with my color palettes is that I have my broad color palette with tons of colors. I'm not sure how many there is. I've also broken it down into favorite smaller palettes that I use often. As you can see in my Instagram feed, I have every few months switched out my color palette, and I use a very reduced color palette for a while, and I've found that that's really helpful for my creativity. Having those kinds of parameters can be really helpful because it can seem like a rule that you want to break of having a certain color palette that you are stuck with. It really helps me with my creativity, at least because I have to think outside of the box, because sometimes if you're drawing a flower and you don't have any green for green leaves, then what color you're going to use instead, etc. Also, just a side note, it does look quite nice on Instagram in your feed as well when it's so cohesive with a strict palette. But again, I love to switch it up, so I'm not always using the exact same colors. Number 2. We've defined our color palette, and that was really easy and such a win, and we feel really good about the colors that we are going to be starting to use in a main broad palette, and then maybe some smaller little color palettes that you're going to play with. Now it's time to look at artwork that you admire. To create a new board on Pinterest, and here you're going to be pinning images of other artists artwork that you admire, the style that you really love, the compositions that you love. It doesn't necessarily have to be the colors, but it could be colors as well. But I think we need to mainly focus on the type of artwork that you are drawn to most. For me, again, I'm drawn to bold patterns and illustrations of women in different poses. I also noticed when I did this exercise recently that I'm interested in scenes, and I haven't been drawing that much scenes or I haven't ever in a long time, so that's something maybe I'd like to bring into my artwork as a new thing. Right now, my backgrounds are often flat with nothing, so that would be a really good challenge for me and something that I could work on to bring into my portfolio. For you, you just need to continue to look through tons of different artists and what it is. When you have a board of 30-50 images of artworks that you love, is there a red thread throughout all of the images that you can really see what it is that brings them together? Are all the images that you like super expressive and flowy? Or are they super graphic and bold, and have simple lines? Hopefully, during this exercise, you will see something that really stands out to you, whether that is the way that the artwork is built up, or the different techniques that are used. That is something that you can explore. You can also feel free to pick 3-5 artists to check out and really study. These can be artists from back in the days, traditional painters and artists like that, or it can be contemporary artists. It doesn't matter. It all depends on the kind of art that you want to be creating. I would be very intentional when you are looking at somebody else's art, what it is that you love about it. I've created a worksheet for you to go through different questions, so when you are looking at other people's artwork and your own artwork, when you start to create that as well, what is it that you like, and where do you want to take your art and your career? Because that is important to think about as well, and if that makes sense with a kind of artwork that you want to be creating. I hope that you enjoy that exercise of looking through lots of artwork and going through my worksheets so that you can get an idea of what it is that you're naturally drawn to as far as art. Exercise number 3 is to start creating artwork and start creating artwork in tons of different media and styles, and techniques, and all of that so that you can really have playtime. It's so important when you are a hobbyist, or a young artist, or a new artist that you're testing out everything under the sea, because if you haven't tested out everything, how do you know what you like if you have only tried a couple of things? Or if you see everybody on Instagram is using Procreate and you're trying to use Procreate too, but you have to force yourself, that's not right. You have to think, first and foremost, what it is that you like to do, whether that is digital techniques or traditional, or a mix of both. Everything is okay these days. You can do whatever you want. You can create artwork exactly how you want, and that is so exciting, so take the time to test out things. I loved my time at art school when I was testing out tons of different things. It was really fun. At home as well, I did tons of projects. I was always at the art supplies store testing out new different things and bringing home different pencils, and pens, and paints to try out. It's an important part of your style discovery to test everything out there. Also, even though you have developed your style moving forward, it is important that you continue to play. Moving on to technique number 4, to fast-forwarding to your signature style, and that would be to copy other artist's work. This sounds really icky because we all know plagiarism is bad, but in the name of education and learning, it's an important, and, in my opinion, the best exercise to expedite your process of finding your own style by really looking at what other artists are doing that you admire, and the type of artwork that you want to be creating and mimicking that, but also making it your own. To do this practice, I would choose 3-5 artists. It's important that you're not just looking at one artists that you admire, copying their style, mimicking that, taking a lot of their technique and bringing it into your own work, it's important that you are going to be looking at a lot of artists at the same time, picking little details from different places, bringing your own experiences and your own exploration with art materials and creating things, and that is what's going to make your own. But it is an excellent exercise for learning how to create artwork in a way that you really like. There's a couple of reasons why I love this exercise, and I've tried it several times. When I feel stuck where there's a certain technique or texture that I wanted to test out, or I want to go in a different direction, then I copy some artists work in my sketchbook or in Procreate or something like that. This is of course something that masters did before back in the day in traditional art. They would be apprentices under other master artists, and they would learn exactly how to create artwork in their way they were taught. Now this time, you can learn from other contemporary masters by going to university and learning from your teachers or taking Skillshare classes like this. There's so many ways that you can learn by copying or mimicking others, take Skillshare classes where teachers are going through step-by-step in their personal process of creating artwork and building out compositions and choosing colors, and fill your sketchbook with these studies of different artists. I've noticed when I test take classes and I mimic the style of different artists, I really learn a lot, not only just like the things that I enjoy, but what I don't enjoy every time I do this exercise. Some things just don't feel right or click. Personally like you might like how the end result looks, but it just doesn't feel like you. It's important to take note of all of these things. I also like copying artwork but without direction, without having the instruction of an artist or your teacher telling you exactly the step-by-step. If you just take an image from an artist that you admire and try to copy it, but you don't know how the artist actually created the artwork, you have to figure out things on your own to figure out how they created that texture, how they layered up the piece, or how they blended their colors. That is one way that you can really, really learn a lot about creating artwork. You don't necessarily have to think about the composition because you're totally focused on the technique and the subject matter and how to build up the actual artwork, and that's really comforting and a beautiful part of this exercise that I really love. Again, the workbook for this class, I have outlined some questions that you could be asking yourself while doing this exercise of copying other artists' art work so that you can learn what it is that you really liked about this artist style and what you didn't, what you want to be taking with you as you continue to define your style. I would very much like to make sure that it's very clear that this is an educational exercise, and it's not okay to plagiarize another artist's work. This is just for you, for your learning. If you were to show this artwork, you have to make sure that you are very clear that you did this as an educational exercise and you have to credit the original artist, whether that is a traditional artist from hundreds of years ago or a contemporary artist from today. It is very important. But for the most part, I think you should keep these exercises just for you in your sketchbook in your files. Its just the way that you're learning and gathering things. I want to share a few examples of my copied artworks that I have done previously just to give you an idea of how I have used this exercise to learn more about creating art and pushing myself to try new things. If you remember from my favorite artists in the first section of the class was Eureka from Malaysia, an incredibly talented illustrator and here is her original work on the left. I tried to work on creating a similar illustration, to copy the different textures and shadows because I'd love to work on adding a little bit more shadow and depths into my work. I can't even tell you how difficult it was to mimic this style especially with this grain texture and I assume different opacities and layers, it was quite the challenge and I couldn't achieve the same look, not knowing what kinds of brushes and what process she had. It was an incredible exercise to push myself to try new things and figure out things, and just like play with materials and digital stuff and learn new ways of creating artwork. It was quite the challenge. For me, that was a good way to push myself. I didn't create the entire illustration but enough to start playing and try to figure out things. I look forward to adding more texture and things into my artwork in the future. It would be so very interesting to learn how she actually creates her illustrations. Seeing some process video would be really inspiring. But anyway, my intention wasn't to create artwork that looks exactly like hers because I think her style is beautiful, but that's not how I want my work to look. But I was interested in all these shadows and the texture and the extra things like that, and how I could bring that into my artwork. I want to show you another example, and this is another artist that I didn't share, but one of my favorite artists and I can put her name on the screen because I'm not sure how it's supposed to be said. But her name is Kaja. I tested out her artwork. The original is on the left, the smaller one, and the bigger one is me playing with the different textures. Again, I'm not interested in her actual illustration style and the way that she depicts people, even though I really adore the way she does that, it's not how I want my work to look. But what I was interested in was the way that she builds out her artwork with this digital-colored pencil look, and I think that's really interesting. I've been working on adding more texture to my work and I've especially been playing with the idea of creating more expressive artworks geared towards children, and I thought that that look would be interesting to break into my children's illustrations. This is excellent exercise to figure out different strokes same playing with digital colored pencil look. I really enjoyed and it felt really comfortable to create in that way, and it was fun to just follow another illustration, even though it's not in the style that I want. After this exercise of creating this illustration and playing with these textures, I moved on to making this illustration with a hot air balloon with animals. As you can see, I worked on this texture and it doesn't look 100 percent like Kaja's, which is intentional. I wanted it to look like my version of that colored pencil look, and I'm really happy with how it turned out. I also created this illustration without looking at any reference whatsoever, and that's pretty unusual for me. I usually look at tons of different references, either for the hot air balloon or animals, but I did everything from my head. I thought that was interesting and I had learned a lot that I had played with these textures enough so that they became muscle muscle memory. That's why this exercise is really fun and exciting. I really hope that you'll enjoy copying other artists' artwork and that you will learn so much on the way of what techniques that you like, how to build up an artwork that you like, and all that jazz so that you can continue to take what you learn from different artists and different studies of different artworks and techniques, and compositions and color combinations, and see what you can then put together using all of those things, all of your techniques, all of your experiences, then putting it all together with your color palette that you defined, and then subject matter, and then finally, the techniques that you like to use and it's come together in a nice package. That brings me to my fifth tip, and this is the most boring one because I'm just going to tell you that this takes time and you have to allow it to take some time. Don't feel like you have to figure this out in a week, a day, or even a year might be too short of a time frame. You're going to have to give this time, and it's going to develop slowly but surely, if you keep refining and thinking about this, thinking about the questions that are in the workbook, like what it is that you like and what do you want to bring to your artwork, and where do you want it to go and all that. It will happen. Those are my five exercises for fast-forwarding to your signature style. The last one is a cheap because it doesn't really help you fast forward, but I think like getting rid of some of the stress is always good. 5. Design Your Signature Style Recipe Card: Now after doing these five exercises, or pretty much the four exercises, and going through the workbook that I provided with this class, it's time to put this all together and define loosely your new signature style or what you're at least striving towards. This is the first step, at least, or if you've had a signature style for a little while and you've been thinking about refining it, this is a great exercise as well. I've done this myself. About a year ago, I sat down and really defined my colors and really thought through my signature style that I wanted to develop. Since then I feel so much more confident with the work that I'm creating and I feel like it's moving in a really awesome new direction. What you're going to be doing is creating a mood board, or I call it a recipe card of exactly how you are going to build out your signature style. What is this made-up of? To start off with, we're going to look at your color board. My color board looks like this, tons of muted bright colors and pastels and tons of turquoises and pinks and blues and yellows. Using my board, you can either use the eyedropper tool in any program to pick the colors, but I think it usually works better just to eyeball them. The first step is to create a color palette using these images. I choose 40 colors, but I would suggest doing like 30-50 colors. You want this palette to be relatively versatile so that you have some neutral colors. You have some dark colors and some in-between colors, light colors as well. I live in more of a light-colored world. I don't use very many darks, but this also allows me to use different tones of this. If I do in the future, want to use this kind of purple but in a darker tone, I can use this as a base and then just darken it. Just know that this is just a jumping-off point and these are the colors that you're going to be using over and over again. It's really great to save these, especially if you're using a certain program such as Procreate or Photoshop, or Illustrator that you save this custom color palette. Every time you sit down to create artwork, you're reusing the same colors. In each artwork you're not going to be using the all-40, you're probably going to be using 6-8-12 or something like that depending on how you create your artwork. There's going to be some variation that's going to make your artwork not look like super. It's not going to look super copy cut or exactly the same. Since I've done this exercise about a year ago, my artwork has changed and I've introduced so much more color and I'm so much more excited and happy about my artwork because I've introduced the colors that I really love. Here's a little selection of my latest illustrations that I think they're becoming more and more me and I'm really pleased with how they're turning out. I'm looking forward to refining this color palette and playing with it and adding more and continuing to play with my style as the years go on. Next step after you have defined your colors, which is the easiest part, I think at least is to look at the artwork that you admire and try to figure out, hopefully with the help of the workbook that I created for you, that you have gotten some clues as to the kinds of artwork that you would prefer to be making and you are heading in a direction with a certain theme possibly, or certain activism that you want to be standing behind, such as environmentalism or something like that or you just want to make beautiful illustrations of flowers it's totally up to you. Hopefully, you've gotten some idea of what you want to be creating for the types of artwork. After that, I hope that you had started to copy other artworks from artists that you admire so you can get some ideas of how to build up your art and learn lots about that as well as playing with tons of different materials so you really understand the kinds of art that you would like to be creating and feels the most you and the most authentic and that you're really excited to create artwork because that's really important. If you don't love what you're making, then nobody else is going to either really. After doing that exercise, hopefully, you can start to create some illustrations in your style, or at least as a starting point of your style that you'd like to achieve. Like I've shown you, I have of course been illustrating for over a decade. Please don't compare yourself to me, but start to create illustrations in the style that you are looking for, in the color palette that you love. When you've started to do that and you are really pleased with some illustrations, start to add them to your recipe cards that you can take a look at how those are looking and the colors that you like. You can also add in your logo. I have my simple version in my more elaborate one here. Just to get an overall look of your brand because that is important as well. That's a completely other class about branding and marketing yourself as an artist. Then you can also add in some brushwork that is going to be signature, you will have several brushes that I'm going to be using all the time. If that's going to be some part of your work, a certain texture, or a certain brush, that could be interesting to add to your recipe card just to see it all put together. The last part is to answer a couple of these questions that I outlined in the workbook and that is to outline your main objective, your main mood, main themes that you will be depicting, and your technique. by putting these into words, I think you can really solidify your style in the direction that you want to be going. Creating a final mood board or a recipe card like this is a great first step for your class project in this class because I know the rest of the class is quite a large undertaking and this already was a huge undertaking if you're going to be exploring tons of different art styles. Feel free to stop at this point for your class project and really take that into taking the first steps to defining your style. That is an incredibly huge step. I can't wait to see all of your recipe cards, to see your individual color palettes, and the artwork that you have been creating that's in that style, that is going in the direction that you really like, as well as the objective and mood and themes and techniques that you have decided to outline for yourself. I'd also like to mention that it could be interesting to do this exercise every year or every few years just to look back at what your objectives and your themes are for your artwork. If they're the same, if your color palette, if your color preferences have changed because it's a natural development that you will change it, because it's important, you need to make sure that you're continually working on your craft and getting better and honing into more of what you like. Also we as people we grow and we like new things and we develop. It would be interesting to pay attention to that and compare it to years before. 6. Personal vs Professional Portfolios: Another thing that I like to mention before getting into actually designing our signature collection is how I separate my personal work from my professional work. For many artists, this could be the same realm, but I've decided to keep them separate and this is why. My EmmaKisstina world of girly girl illustrations, that's completely me and really my signature thing. That's what I push out into the world. This is what I use to define who I am and what I do, but that's not all that I do. I use my signature collection of girly girl illustrations and pattern designs, and I have that on my website. That's what I share for the most part on Instagram. Many times, my customers come to me because they want that EmmaKisstina look, they want that EmmaKisstina thing with the girly girl in the pastel colors, but that's not all that I do like I said. I work with an agent, and I love that in my agent's portfolio because it is private or it's through her agency, I don't necessarily have to always be EmmaKisstina. I am Kristina Hultkrantz, the artist, and I can test out different color palettes. I can test out different things. Even if you don't have an agent, it's not necessary, you can still do this yourself by having a private portfolio where you have different things. I have lots of Christmas designs that are in the traditional red and green. That's not necessarily something that I would show, otherwise, or I've tested out other color palettes and different styles like simple scanty designs, or I've tested out doing maximalism. I found that I really like that separation of having my EmmaKisstina things, and then my portfolio of work where I don't necessarily have to stick to the signature style and lifestyle subject matter. It gives me creative freedom for both sides. I love having the framework of EmmaKisstina so that I know when I'm going to be creating artwork for that. I know what kind of subject matter I'm creating and all the colors that I'm using, I can really build off of that. But when I'm creating artwork for my portfolio, yes, sometimes I create artwork that's like this because that's what I do best, but it's really exciting to jump out of this role and try other things. That's another suggestion that I have for you that you could consider having two facets of your life. It doesn't mean that even though my artwork that I create for my portfolio, it still looks like me because I still draw in a certain way, and I have a sensibility for picking colors that are the same even though they're not this tight color palette if you understand what I mean. I just wanted to mention that and that could be something that you would enjoy doing, as well, to keep it separate, so you could have your signature thing that you do on your website, on your Instagram, on your webshop, if you decide to open up a shop with your products, with all your beautiful things. You could have a personal portfolio that you send off to different companies, that shows other facets of what you can do as well. At this time, it might be great to mention that if you do have several different techniques that you like to work in, you can use color as unifying things. So even though if you work in maybe watercolor and digital, they're going to be really brought together with a color palette. Or If it's a subject matter or the way that you create artwork, there's always going to be something that brings it together. If you truly have two separate styles, then I would keep them separate. Like if you do very expressive artworks of landscapes in a dark palette, and then you do digital fun, cute, greeting card designs that would be difficult to unify, but I imagine that most people, they create artwork that's quite similar no matter the type of technique that they use. That's something. Again, don't stress about that kind of stuff. It's also things that you maybe think that you can't really see, so you can't see that it's unified, but if you showed it to other people, I'm sure that they could see your watercolors look exactly like your style, the same as your digital even though they're in different techniques. That's enough blabbing about all the reasons why signature style is important. Why it could be interesting to separate your personal work, personal projects, things for your webshop and yourself when you're marketing, and all that stuff with your professional portfolio, if you like, is just a suggestion. Now, it's time to get into the fun part and that is actually designing your signature collection. 7. Sketch Out Your Collection: It's time to build out our first Signature Collection, and hopefully doing all the exercises that we had been working on to define your signature style, you have outlined your thing or your signature thing, that thing that you're going to be working with. Something you have discovered about yourself that you are going to be pursuing in your art. If you haven't, then you just need to maybe just keep working on that section before moving on to a collection where if you have a slight inkling, just like jump into a collection and see what happens. This doesn't have to be the best collection you've ever created ever. You can make a new collection next month. That could be even better. I'm going to share with you my process for going about this. This is an actual collection that I'm thinking of adding to my first webshop, in my own hosted webshop. That was difficult to get out. I have been creating collections for a long time. It's like a process that the ball keeps rolling and you get ideas and it keeps working like that. But I thought that one of the ways that I enjoy creating collections is by looking through my work of single pieces that I've just created and see if there's anything that has stood out to me that I think I could build out a good collection. For many years, I've been focused a lot on fashion, illustrations and portraits, and things like that. So I thought that this collection could be interesting to step away from that and be more floral based because I think that's really beautiful and also I'm really intrigued and I really want to create a floral centric and make a scene of collections. I'm going to start off with picking out an illustration that I feel really represents a good mood that I like and it's also an illustration that I think turned out really well. I'm going to add that to my canvas here just to visualize my collection. I'm going to be starting off with an illustration that I've already created. But you can plan out your collection without using that. I have several courses here on Skillshare that show my process. I have one about inspiration and how I gather inspiration. I reference images that you can check out if you want to see my process for building out a collection using different references. I also have a class all about creating mini collections and that could help you out as well. So I suggest those two classes if you need even more instruction. But I'm going to show you my process of using one of the images that I've already created. I've saved it on my iPad. I'm using Procreate to do these pics. You can use whatever program you want. You can also do this in a sketchbook too. You can insert a photo. This illustration I was thinking of building up a collection around because I really like this illustration. I enjoy how it turned out. You can look at it big for a little bit. I like how the pennies and flowers turned out. I liked the way that I created the illustration with the colors. I think it is really me and the way that I want my illustration to look, I also think that it tells a story slightly with this girl going to the flower market. I thought this could be a good starting point for my collection. I was thinking and I have created more work around this illustration. I started to make a pattern with pennies to match this. The pennies are created in the same way, so insert that one as well. Because even though I'm considering this could be a poster collection, so it would be mainly placement illustrations. It's still interesting to add in some pattern designs because a poster can be just a pattern as well and it could also in the future think about different products that I could put patterns on such as phone cases or something like that, pillowcases. Sky is the limit. I'm going to add in this pennies pattern. In lots of my classes, I have talked about not repeating motifs in your collections, and I'm doing that right here, but this is a different situation. These are for my very own collection, for my website that I own all the rights to. I do not plan on licensing or selling these artworks. Again, you can refer to my designing collections or my newest class about Photoshop patterns to understand why you shouldn't be repeating your patterns in collections if you are going to be licensing or selling your artwork. I just thought it would be fine, because it's really matchy and it's really has the same essence, is the same colors and everything like that. Then after that, I was thinking with this idea with a flower market, where do the flowers come from? I was thinking it could be interesting to have some floral illustrations. I created these ones to match this scene. I created a diptych actually. That just means that I created an illustration. I created two illustrations that match each other. Bringing in the other one. I see these ones as a set. Let me get this one to match in size. That's pretty much like one illustration but it's split up into two pieces. I think that's great if you are a shop owner to offer a print set. That's a nice way of selling two prints for a slightly lower price, etc., and I think it looks really nice. Also can look more put together, having two artworks on your wall that match than just one. Just another idea. So now I have four illustrations that are very matching with this mood and the scene. They all have, at the moment blue backgrounds, which I don't mind because I love blue backgrounds, but that could be a little bit much. I would love to break that up for the last two in my collection. For this, I have not created illustrations to match this collection so far. That is something that I would like to think about. Now, how can I create two more prints in this collection to really match this theme? My theme is going to the flower market to buy flowers. Where do the flowers come from? They are from this beautiful field of wildflowers and they're sold at the market. Then I was thinking at the idea of what would the scene look like if you brought those flowers home and put them in a beautiful bouquet on your table. So I thought that that would be my little story. It's very loose, it's very dreamy and easy to add in things. That's my idea. I'm going to get out little sketching pencils to green. Hopefully, you can see this a little bit. Browsing in for the last two prints, I would do some still life scene. I'm not sure of what format, but I most likely will do some A3 format. I was thinking a simple table scene with a nice vase and all the flowers in a vase and I thought the tablecloth could have a crazy pattern. It would be really full on some tons of colors. Maybe something on the table like a book, a pair of glasses maybe, something just to make the scene a little bit more lively, a pen maybe. In the background, it depends on how this looks and how busy this turns out, but maybe the background could have a pattern as well, a very subtle small pattern. I think it would be really interesting if this was really full on. This comes also from an idea that I've had and been playing with in my sketchbook. I've recently been playing in my sketchbook more, and I think it's really been helpful for my idea development. I had this idea the other day to create a series of illustrations about the different days of the week, the morning mood. This is Monday, I decided it was a fresh start to the week, so I thought lemons. Then the next day, Tuesday, I'm not really pleased with how this one turned out, but I was starting to get out the idea. In here, another. It's hard when you're working with traditional materials. It's really healthy for me because I'm so used to digital techniques that I can easily change things and colors. This has been really fun to play with, but I really like the idea of a still life and bringing home the flowers in a beautiful environment. I'd love to play with that idea. What would it look like at this girl? You just see her cute little ballerina flats, but what would her home look like are little vignette in her home. I think it would be nice again to have to print set match each other. I could have a second one also like at a home, you're going to have a different kind of vase who've been taking, what's it? Like a picture. Then here could be a mix of the different flowers. I like the mix of wildflowers and dahlias and peonies. One of the bouquets could be wildflowers and one could be dahlias and peonies or vice versa. I don't know. Here again, I think it would be really interesting to have these ones really full on with pattern and color. I think that could be interesting. That's something I would have to continue to play with when I create the illustration. But these are my ideas so far. Again, I would want something in the foreground as well, not just the bouquet with a tablecloth, so I need to think of something different. The other one had glasses in reading or notebook or something like that. What could the other one? The other one could be, I suppose a cup of tea that is something you do at a table. Very serene to think about. A little cup of tea and a pretty napkin, something like that. Those are my very simple ideas for my collection and how I plan on setting that up. This is just the beginning. This is just the first six. A collection can be as big as you want, especially if this is a collection that you are going to be owning, that's going to be on your website, that's really you and as I said before, this is a collection. I don't plan on necessarily licensing and definitely not selling because I want this to be me. I wanted it to be my signature thing. I wanted to be living on my website and I can do exactly what I want with it and that's really exciting. I have entire portfolio of work that I know that I'm going to be selling, so I create that in a different way. This is my signature thing, and I'm really excited about how that looks. I love the simple idea of thinking about where flowers come from and then go into the market and then coming home to you. That's my very simple idea. We could start thinking about colors here too because it's very blue. Blue's centric in these four. I want to break that up in the other two. There's a lot of yellow here, so I think one of them would be really nice to have yellow. I should have put that on a different layer, whatever. I will put some color behind the lines just to play a little bit. This yellow color, I am going to pick a brush, here. It could be nice to have a really yellow background for one of this, and for the other one has a lot of pink. It's a very small color palette in this collection so far, I could continue on with the color palette like this is very small, or it could consider introducing other colors but I quite like how it's very tight in the palette. This light blue is really nice. That could be the tablecloth, maybe. I have my signature color palette. As you remember, I was talking in the previous lessons when I went through Pinterest and my color palette. I have these two sections here are my signature color palette. Here's all my warm tones and some greens and here are my cool greens and blues that I've been using constantly. Here I know certain tones and things that I use all the time that I can easily add into my work, such as this green could be nice. That is the tablecloth over here, we can add in some pink for the teacup may be nice, and the blue as well to get that in there. Then there will be all the different shades of pinks, and I'd be creams as well for the flowers to lighten this area up, and we have my green for the leaves. This is a really quick look at how I would think about color. Then I'll jump right into creating the final illustration in Procreate as well and that's why I do. I am very intuitive and consequently when I create my illustration. I did a quick study of what I have in my head. I also, I'm thinking that maybe I shouldn't have the vase on the same side, I'll probably flip one of them so that they're on different sides. I think that would be nicer. They're both not to the right. I have one to the left, I think I will do this one to the left. This gives me a good idea of what it's starting to look like, and of course, I could go into even more detail if I wanted to. Well, it depends. Here's my little chicken scratch sketch of how I want that to look, and then I have this one as well. But I have to figure out what my patterns are going to look like. This is really exciting. That's how I build out a collection using artwork that I've already created. I created this illustration and then from that, I created the next peonies pattern, and then I created these two to match in the same style and colors because I thought that would be really beautiful, and now I'm adding and breaking that a little bit to create these ones that are a little bit different but still have the same mood and same color palette. 8. Build Out Your Signature Collection Further: Then moving on, if we wanted to consider at this point or after creating this collection, how we could build this collection even further, we can keep going with these ideas. I thought that I could share with you how I would go about doing that as well. I have introduced a butterfly into this world. That is something that I could explore in several ways. I'm going to create a new layer and bring out my pencil so I could create a poster with different butterflies, like one of those scientific botanical prints almost. I think that could be interesting, especially here, these are quite free-flowing, so it'd be interesting to bring in something with a lot more structure. A butterfly print could be really interesting and beautiful way to add something else into the collection. Again, that's like a flat print, but we could also do a pattern with lots of butterflies. No one could be more fluid with the butterflies. Oh my gosh. On side side view, it'll look like they're flying, I think that could be a little bit more interesting, so they're not just from the front. Lots of different butterflies in different angles. There could be a pattern, we could also consider adding in a different floral, I could bring in other florals that I have done previously that could match the scene. I can show you a couple more things that I've done. Possibly, this one that I did in my previous costs. It does have this similar color palette because this is my signature color palette. It has Dahlias, so this could be something that I could add in to the collection. Also, I create a lot of portraits of beautiful women and scenes, that could be something that I could add in. So I could have, who is this girl? I quite like the idea of not always showing a face or something because they think that then it becomes an actual person, but if you show just behind the head with hair in front of the face, it can be whoever you want it to be. A little bit more romantic and it's not so specific that it is an actual certain person, it can be whoever you want. That can be something I could add in to this collection to give it a little bit more life with human element. I could do another portrait as well, maybe with a sun hat, considering someone is out in their garden, picking flowers. It can be holding a little bouquet with single flower could be beautiful, hat, something like that as well. Again, I did it to the same direction, looking to the left. I would flip one of these if I was going to have them both in collection. I also have my other Dahlia printed I've created previously that could be interesting to add in to this collection. Here we go. That could be interesting to add in, it has a similar vibe and it doesn't have the exact light blue colors. That's introducing more turquoise greens that are a nice compliment. That could be something I could consider adding into those as well, instead, if I wanted to. I can consider those colors instead. Maybe I would have this green or a lighter version of that. Maybe this one. Just to bring those colors into the collection, if I wanted to think about further into the future of my collection, not just these six. That's good to consider if you're thinking of building up your collection, it'll mean a lot. You can start with six and then you can add every month, add two prints to your signature collection or your website or your online shop or something like that. You don't always have to think that you have to have everything completed right away. It's something that you can add to and you can take things away if they don't speak to you anymore, etc. Now, we have 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12. Now, we've almost doubled or we have doubled the collection. Again, we can just keep going. I could do a bigger scene showing an interior could be really interesting. From looking at my Pinterest inspiration boards, I've noticed that I'm drawn to lots of seen. So it'd be interesting to have a scene inside a house with a window or something to really show more of where this bouquet of flowers is living with a beautiful chair and beautiful rug. Again, lots of prints and patterns because I wanted it to be really full on and illustrated, something like that. That's like a table in a kitchen, but I could also do a scene with a beautiful armchair, with a window is always nice. This could be a work of art, could be fun to have art inside of art and a little table, Here here could be a little teapot. These sketches only make sense to me. I can zoom in, so you can see my incredible sketching skills. Then again, I would want beautiful intricate wallpaper and a nice old rug. I don't do animals very often, but that's something that I could consider having little cat curled up here, tail. It could be something I could consider adding into my art work. Cat. That's how my brain works and how I build off of other ideas. I hope that that helps to help you build out ideas of your own. I want to make it really clear that these are my original ideas and these are ideas that I plan on pursuing on adding to my webshop with final illustrations and patterns. It's very important that you are going to be using your own original ideas and building collections in your own way with your own themes in your own style, all these things that we've talked about in the previous sections of the class. It's really important that you are not fully copying my artwork, that would be considered copyright infringement and that is not allowed. I really hope that you are going to be creating your own original ideas. Feel free to use my framework of how I build up collections with the way that I use my ideas and build off other ideas as I shared here, that's perfectly okay to be inspired by. You can be inspired by my work and how I build out my collections. But please, don't copy my work. It's just a simple quick reminder about copyright infringement. If you have any questions about that, feel free to contact me. I'm really excited about this collection. So far, it looks so beautiful and so me, and feminine, and pretty, and this is exactly what I had envisioned, and I really look forward to building this out, and getting it on my website. I'm really excited to see all of your class projects where you're going to share your thought process and process of building out your collection, whatever that theme may be, and how you're going to be building out your collection. Whether it's going to be with patterns are just illustrations, it's going to be so excited to see how your ideas develop and how you're going to be bringing your collections to life. You can just start with the six. I think that's an incredibly great starting point. But as you finish that, you can continue to add on and think about other ideas. You could also think about sister collections of what you can do. That would be similar to this collection idea but slightly different, maybe a slightly different color palette stayed work also, but it would be like a sister collection, like I said, that could be interesting. I look forward to seeing all of your sketches and ideas as you bring these to life. I hope that you will share your entire process in a class project with me. 9. Bonus: Your Webshop Options: Before we go, I thought it would be fun to just go over as a little bonus, your options for opening up your very own web shop with this signature collection as your first step or as your first product. There are a few options that you have. The biggest option and the most flexible and most likely profitable is having your own web shop. This requires a lot of work. You have to pay for having web shop services and taking payments on your website. I use Wix, but there's many other sites such as Squarespace and you're going to have a Shopify site and your WordPress, all kinds of sites where you can set up a shop. There's a cost, a yearly, annual fee in order to have those services, to take payments, etc. This way you can have all the control over the products that you have for sale. You make as much money as you create profits for, you decide you are the one who is manufacturing everything, you are the one who is setting on the prices. You can make sure that you're calculating exactly perfect so that you are making money. You are able to have all the control over how your product is being made and packaged and shipped. You have to do all the marketing yourself. You have to do all of the customers service yourself. It's a lot of work setting up a shop on your own. But it can be very much worth it if you enjoy being a shop owner and you love the process of packing orders and creating a shop with full of products and designing packaging and all that stuff. At the moment, I only have a shop with digital goods on my website. For the past over 10 years I have had an Etsy shop that is the home to my art work and that has worked for me. This is also a similar option because you are still in control of all of your profit and your products. You are the one in charge of shipping and dealing with customer service. But Etsy is there to help with marketing and getting new traffic and is a good first step. It can be after a decade of being on Etsy or more actually, I am ready to move all of my products and prints and posters over to my own web shop and I look very much forward to having them over there. You don't have to deal with fees to Etsy and all those things, but there's pros and cons to every situation. Another thing that I've learned since being a shop owner for over 10 years is that I don't personally love the whole process of packing orders going to the post office all the time. I have connected my Etsy shop, to a white label print on demand service. I use Printful. This allows me to pick products. At the moment, I only do art prints through them. It's connected to my web shops. Every time that I get an order, it goes immediately to Printful. They print the order in a part of the world where the customer is living. This makes it a lot easier for everyone. I feel I'm not printing tons of stock to have at home, huge stacks of posters, everything is printed to order. Only one of the posters is going to a certain destination and its printed depending on where the person is living in the world, either in US, the United States, Mexico, in Europe, or in Australia. It also helps with shipping costs and not having to go around the entire world in order to have something printed, which I also really like. I especially love that I don't have to do anything except for list the different posters that I want in my shop, and then I can test them out also, I don't have to order 50 of each and then one isn't very popular and I can never sell it and it's a waste. I pretty much have to throw those away. In 10 years time when I'm tired of seeing them on my shelf, here I can try out different prints, if they don't sell, then I haven't really done any investments except for time. I really love working with Printful, having my prints printed to order and send it off to my customers in that way. Also, I don't want to deal with that side of customer service. Might have to do a little bit, but I don't have to be the one who has to reprint and reshape, Printful would do that for me. Previously I have then the printing locally in Sweden and I would run to the print shop and then to the post office. It was a lot of time that I spent on the bus between these things every day of the week. I want to show you really excellent example of a web shop that I really like by Illustrator. I don't even know what her name is. I forgot what her name is. She's known as Black Lamb Shop and she works in collections like I've talked about as well. She has a crazy plant lady collection and she has a dog mom collection and Miami collection, as well as her girl power collection, and here you can see little examples. I thought that was fun. Example to show you of somebody else who has set up collections as well. She use many different products that she manufacturers herself. That gives her a lot of freedom in her web shop in order to make all the different kinds of products that she wants to make. She can have those available to our customers. It is fun to see different themes that she's worked with. But there is a lot of work to that. You have to figure out, you have to research tons of different manufacturers and you have to deal with products not being made correctly and having to reprint. You also have to deal with inventory and figuring out places to store things. Then you also have to do all the marketing and selling yourself. You have to do all the packaging and the packing and shipping. It's a lot of work and it's almost a full-time job, I would say, especially if you're shop does well. If that doesn't sound intriguing to you whatsoever, but you'd still like a shop. There are many print on demand sites that give you the option of setting up shop, such as Society6, where you can to have your illustrations and all kinds of different products. They can be sent around the world and you don't have to do anything except for upload them. This is from Charly Clements, one of the top teachers here on Skillshare web shop. By having a Society6 shop, you're able to offer tons of different products and test out different products again, without having to do any upfront costs. You can play around with offering all different products that you wouldn't necessarily be able to manufacture yourself, such as furniture and other fun home products that Society6 offers. The cons of Society6 and other such print on demand sites are that the profit margins that you receive as artists are quite low per item. But again, you don't really have to do much. You can't control the quality of the items being sent out to your customers. You can't have custom packaging and that whole aspect of your business, but it is very handy. It is also a really handy for people who are living in parts of the world where the postal service isn't very reliable. You are able to ship your products around the world by having this other website doing it all for you. That's an incredible help. You still have to do all the marketing yourself if you're going to be doing well on these sites. Because Society6 has very many different artists on the site and your work will be easily found. You have to do a lot of marketing on your own. A little tip for marketing and finding inspiration for that, I love Instagram and seeing what other fellow artists are doing. You can save different images from other artists when they're doing shop announcements in the ways that they are marketing their work. You can use that as inspiration such as I save this shop announcements that was really cool how they showed the poster and then they had illustrations around it. Here on the desktop version, they don't show the different categories that I have, but I have a whole section of marketing inspiration that I like. Let's see. Here's another one that I liked with a cyber week sale. I thought this was interesting to have it illustrated in this way so it's not just text. Or here's another shop update that I thought was inspiring to have again with the hand-drawn picks and the item in the middle with some extra things like that. There's another little bonus tip for me about using the saved feature on Instagram to save posts that you'd like to use as inspiration for your own marketing. Again, don't straight up copy what somebody else is doing. You have to make it your own by using your own illustrations and products and text and colors. But feel free to find inspiration from lots of different places. Good luck on your journey to creating your own web shop and happy selling. 10. Your Class Project: This class is huge. There's a lot of stuff to delve into with defining your own signature style. I completely understand. This is a huge undertaking of creating your own signature collection. I'd like to break down the class project into different sections depending on where you are in your process of defining your signature style. To start off with, I would love for you to do the five exercises that I explained at the beginning of class, in order to define your signature color palette and the kind of artwork and subject matter that you would like to go, and the direction that you would like to take your art, as well as the other exercises. Create your recipe card of your signature style. That's going to define the direction that you want to go, the colors that you want to be using, and the subject matter that you'd like to create. That is the first step, and that's a huge incredible step and it's so exciting. From there, you can start to refine and look back at this recipe card every year, and see how your work is changing and how your preferences for color have developed and changed. Maybe they're the same. So it's really exciting answer, way that you can continue to think about your artwork and refine your style. So that's step one. If you want to go even further, I would welcome you to start to build out your first small signature collection. You can do so by following the steps like I did in the class, in this middle of the class where I showed you how I personally built up my collection, and think about also for the future how it can be built out even further. You can feel free to, is a second part of your class project, create a signature collection of six pieces, either all illustrations, or all patterns designs, or a mix of both. If you'd like some extra credit, you can feel free to take this signature collection to a third level and that is to build out a web-shop of your own, or a print on demand shop such as Society6 to present your signature thing in web-shop form, as I showed in the third section of the class. Don't stress too much about having to create a signature style overnight because things do take time. Don't feel stressed about having to define it so perfectly, there is so much wiggle room and time to refine and change whenever you want to. Feel free to do whichever section of the class project that you would like, just number 1, number 2, or one and two, or all three, it's up to you. Take your time, I can't wait to see what you come up with and to see your signature styles, and as always if you have any questions or would like any feedback, please let me know in the project gallery. I'd be happy to give you feedback if you're looking for that. I would also like to mention your next steps; after completing the class project is to always think about your style and refer to Pinterest for creating bonds with your colors, and see if the colors that you are naturally drawn to have changed over a year or two years or six months even and the artwork that you are drawn to use, if that has changed. So that you're always developing and thinking about your style, so you don't get into a rat, a signature style rat that you feel like you created a framework that's just too tight. You have to make sure that it's fluent and that you are enjoying the artwork that you are creating, and if you're not, there's always room to change and develop. 11. Thank You for Watching: That's it. Thanks so much for watching this class, I really hope that it has helped you to define your style. To start working on developing the style of yours with your signature color palette and figuring out what kinds of illustrations or patterns or artworks that you would like to be creating. What is going to be your signature thing? I'm so very excited and I can't wait to see all of your class projects, whether that is if your sharing the first steps that you've taken towards discovering your favorite colors and your favorite types of artwork. Or if you're going to continue on to building out your signature collection. If you'd like to hang out with me outside of Skillshare, I would love to see you on Instagram. You can find me at Emmakisstina. You can also learn more about me and my artwork at and also one last promo, please make sure to press that follow button here on Skillshare so that you'll always be notified when I bring up new classes. Please make sure to check out all the other classes that I have available here on Skillshare, having to do with illustration, pattern-making, and creative business. I'm sure that they will be helpful for you. Thanks so much for taking this class. Bye.