Tip 26
“The Photoshop Brush tool comes with loads of soft-edged airbrush-type brushes. Everyone uses them, which is why so much Photoshop painting looks like bad airbrushing. Seek out the one hard-edged pressure-sensitive brush and make copies of it at different sizes. This will give your work a much more organic, hand-painted look.”

Matt ‘D’Israeli’ Brooker, comic-book artist and illustrator

Tip 27
“We keep a library of 3D models we’ve built or purchased. This enables us to quickly mock up 3D scenes for style frames, preliminary composition or a rough pre-viz. Also, a ‘dirt’ pass – otherwise known as ambient occlusion – enables clients to get an idea of form without getting into texturing and lighting, which may complicate the approval process.”

Scott Sindorf, principal and co-founder, UVPHACTORY, designers of Lady Gaga’s MTV Video Music Awards set

Tip 28
“Keep a collection of sketchbooks. One for ideas, concepts and thoughts, one for inspiration and accumulated stuff you like, and one for your own work, stuff in progress, experimentation, and alternate client proposals. Keep the ideas sketchpad handy as you never know when that ‘Eureka!’ moment will hit you – on a bus, out in the park, or in bed just before you fall asleep”

Johann Chan, art editor, Digital Arts and CIO

Tip 29
“The capacity to endlessly experiment with Illustrator is fantastic. You can start with an outlined letter and apply all manner of functions to see what happens. Duplicate combinations of tools to create unusual patterns, scatters and vortexes. Have no expectations or plan – just slice, dice, duplicate, stretch and repeat, and the results may surprise.”

Seldon Hunt, designer, and cover artist for ISIS and Kid 606