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Before you begin drawing out your design ideas there is one last thing you need to do before you put pen to paper, and that's collecting any reference material that will help you draw what you need to draw. In the last movie, I showed you the lion design I created for my client. Before I started drawing out that design I found some good reference photos of lions I could look at that help me figure out how to make my lion design look like a lion. This is even more important if you're not proficient at drawing, you'll need more help to refine your drawn design and having reference material will assist you and working out details in discerning shapes as you draw them.
Even great drawers use reference material, because reference material improves a creative process. I'd consider the artists at Disney some of the best in the world, but even they use reference material. If you ever get a chance, I encourage you to watch the bonus content that comes with the Lion King film, you'll see their artists at the zoo sketching and drawing lions because looking at the real thing helps them to distill it down into simpler shapes and forms in order to stylize the specific type of art they want to draw their lion in.
The same is true for you and your projects. Use reference material to improve your decision-making, guide your refinement, detect the subtle attributes that will improve your drawn design. Reference material helps you capture the raw essence within the framework of your chosen style. I was hired to create a logo for an animation company in Italy called Big Bocca, which means big mouth in Italian. They have requested a cat mascot for their logo.
I looked at a lot of cat photos, but the one photo that helped me the most was a picture of my cat Snickers. I use this photo to pick up on the attributes that make a cat a cat, and from this I began to draw and refine my design. Reference will help you figure out what you need to draw as well as what not to include. I didn't put whiskers on my final logo design because it added too much complexity to the logo mark.
With that said, it's still clearly reads as a cat. Take the time to pull together reference material that will help you draw what you need to draw, be it a helicopter, a fish, an icon or a cat. The best in our industry do it all the time and so should you.
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