Archive for the ‘Design’ Category

“I worked with Manuel Press Printing and found them Great!  They have done a large banner which stood over our office.  Found their service was very good.  Will use them again”.
Tom Murphy, Starr partners Fairfield.

I wanted to add another little section about how you can get those creative ideas down onto paper. Obviously, the more you practice, the better you’ll be at making the idea you see in your head transfer onto paper. But here are some tips that might help:

Don’t just draw one picture. Do several sketches, and take the picture that best resembles what you see in your mind. Do these sketches quickly: don’t get hung up on detail. Jot down notes while the image is fresh. Check out this Photoshop Speed Painting of Leonardo Dicaprio from Inception. Once day I hope to be able to do stuff like this:

Most people get stuck on black & white line art/sketches, but that’s only a small part of the picture. When you get an idea for an image, be sure to stop and think about WHY that picture appeals to you. Is it your idea for composition? Is it the colours? The design? The pose? Perspective? Try to look at the picture in it’s entirety, don’t get stuck on just one aspect.

When you have those ideas, make them GROW. Start some research, look up poses/clothing/ anything that might bring you closer to your goal. There are TONS of online resources to make this possible, many for free.

Here is a short list of places/books:


:bulletblack: Human Anatomy:

– Pose Maniacs: [link]
– Poser Hands: (click on the side to get the hands) [link]
– Human Anatomy Drawing: [link]

:bulletblack: Photo Reference Sites:

– CG textures: [link]
– Corbis: [link]
– Fotosearch: [link]

:bulletblack: Stock Resources:




:bulletblack: Animals

– The Weatherly Guide to Drawing Animals: [link]
– Animal Essence the Art: [link]
– The Art of Animal Drawing: [link]
– DragonArt: [link]

:bulletblack: Humans

– Drawing the Living Figure: [link]
– Drawing Dynamic Hands: [link]
– Anatomy for the Artist: [link]
– Dynamic Figure Drawing: [link]

:bulletblack: Landscapes/Background

– Drawing and Painting Fantasy Landscapes and Cityscapes: [link]
– Mastering Composition: [link]
– Landscape Drawing Step by Step: [link]

:bulletblack: Anime/Manga

– Let’s Draw Manga: [link]
– How To Draw Manga: [link]

Digital/Traditional Painting

– Bold Visions: A Digital Painting Bible: [link]
– Mechanika: Creating the Art of Science Fiction: [link]
– John Howe Fantasy Art Workshop: [link]
– ImageFX magazine: [link]

Color Theory

– Confident Color: [link]
– Color Theory: [link]

Those are just a few suggestions, Amazon is a GREAT place to find books (used too, if money is tight).

And as always, share your ideas! What do others think of them? And please, share with me your ideas on creativity!

Any situation can bring out unintended inspiration, so write it down when it comes! Sometimes, the HARDER you try to be creative, the less creative you are. Don’t force it, don’t rush it, just nurture it slowly. Like drawing to improve, improving your creativity takes time.

So back to the title at the beginning of this series. YES, you ARE creative. No matter what you think, if you find your artwork bland or lacking just take a step back and ask yourself why, what is it missing? I bet anything you’re more creative than you think.


I like Corporate Design, so I mostly do corporate design/identity.  So what is Corp Id?  In a sense, it’s branding or identity for business class companies. I could go on and on about design theory, and have encountered many clients who would greatly benefit from a proper knowledge of the subject. Check out this video:

Don’t get me wrong,  I’m all for having variety, but when you’re a growing artist it’s also good to focus on something, to build up one idea enough that creativity comes naturally and your world fits together without feeling awkward.

I am still trying to develop in other areas, and I find that focus is helping. I have a long way to go before I master everything, and often times I find myself creatively constipated, lol!


“I Vanessa Leigh am a very happy client of Manuel Press Printing. Their service is outstanding, their designs are eye catching. The quality is of very high standard. I will continue to work with them and recommend them to family, friends and clients.”
– Vanessa Leigh, Personalised Ceremonies

Do you ever lie in bed at night, and ideas just seem to pop into your head? More so than during the day? Especially if you’ve been drawing/writing? There is a reason for that. You have many different levels of conscious thought. Basically, right now you are thinking of things that you don’t even know you are thinking of.  Just like Music also helps release these thoughts, as mentioned in a previous post, resting the mind can draw them out as well.

Meditation: freeing your mind from thought helps those dormant creative ideas to break lose. No, meditation doesn’t mean sitting in the middle of the floor cross-legged and chanting. It just means concentrating on something you wouldn’t normally concentrate on. If you push away all the common thoughts: TV, what you have to buy at the store, work, friends, future projects, you clear your mind for thoughts that might not be as pressing. But it’s in those thoughts that you draw out past events or experiences, images or ideas that got pushed into the back of your mind that might inspire you. The way a design looks, an idea for composition.

What you need to do now is build on those thoughts. The more creative ideas you get on paper, the more your creativity will grow, making NEW ideas bloom!

As an artist, the most important sense to you is your sight (at least most of the time).  If you lose your sight, you wont be able to see what you’re creating, which is kind of the point.

However, you should not get stuck on only one sense! You have at least 4 (or 5 if you’re spiritual, or a vampire from Twilight) other senses that are useful in developing your creativity. In my opinion, music is probably the next largest inspiration. Have you ever found yourself imagining when you listen to music? Anyone else picture characters in some cheesy music video? In a cartoon? Involved in epic adventures? You’ll find that music can dance a beautiful waltz with your mind. Whatever you do, don’t ignore those images. When you listen to music, you begin to see with your mind’s eye! Write down those images, what you see, how you feel, try to portray them in your art-pieces.

Music is drawing those images, thoughts, feelings, from a part of your mind that you can’t access easily without incentive. Movies & books can also be a great inspiration. I watch movies & get some awesome ideas pushing their way into my mind.  Therefore I’ve come to the conclusion that I need to watch more movies…

Stuart here. This first Chapter is about Inspiration! Every so often we stumble across something that makes us feel inspired to just get out and make stuff, this simply epic animation from Blu is one such something:

Who here got into Design/Drawing because of another person’s work? I know I did. Inspiration can be a powerful, uplifting thing that motivates you to create. When you lack motivation, turn to your favourite artists! They can give you some amazing focus. Have a think about what aspects you like about their work, their style, content, etc.

On the other hands, there is a down side.   Too much inspiration can actually kill creativity, and cause you to shadow your inspirer.  This is the line between creation and innovation. Creation is making something from scratch, innovation is taking sometime already created and attempting to make it better. Don’t get me wrong, innovation is a good thing. In Australia we have a lot of creative people, but not many innovators, which is why many inventors need to travel overseas to have their ideas patented. Of course, no one person can own a style, but do you want to mimic them, or create your own masterpiece?

A good tip is to talk to the artist you admire. All they can do is ignore you if they’re not up to it. I get ignored quite a bit.  But sometimes they talk to me, and occasionally we end up as friends.  You can talk to them about where they get their inspiration, to try and help get YOU on the right creative path.

Send me a message or comment and subscribe to these posts,  Twitter or Facebook. The next post will be on using your Senses with Creativity.

Hi, Stuart here. My purpose writing today is to encourage you to subscribe to my posts. Here’s why;

“Manuel press printing professional approach resulted in an excellent brochure design that has inspired many prospects to do business with NETSYSS. The brochure design was done on time and on budget with minimum fuss and young Stuart kept tweaking on the design until the final artwork was 100% matching business requirements. Thank you to the whole team for a job well done.”
Tony Simon, Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer

Today I am going to talk about Creativity. Is creativity the ingredients while hard work is the cooking? Or is creativity the cooking while hard work is the ingredients? The answer is both. Just like you can train yourself to work hard- study, practice, you can also train yourself to be more creative.

So where does creativity come from? Some (like myself) say that creativity comes from the creator, so why are some people more creative than others? Are they born with it? Are some people just creatively constipated? Just like some people are born with natural drawing/writing talent, some people think a little differently. However, just like those people who were born with no artistic talent can train to be better at art, they can also train to be more creative. It’s all a matter of getting the ball rolling.

Credit given where where credit is due. This journal was inspired by something I read in a Writers Digest Magazine. The Author Fred White discussed how to bring out your inner inspirations for writing, and I thought the same could apply to any art form. The bottom point of his article was: Writers (Artists as well) don’t wait to be inspired. It is possible to draw without inspiration. It’s also possible to draw without creativity.

Therefore, you can have amazing drawing skills and still not be very creative. But what is the point? there is no fun in that. Creativity and motivation are like chocolate and milk, when separated they are quite neat, but together they make a cup of awesome!

The bottom line is, it’s worth it to try and be more creative when doing artwork.  Subscribe and I’ll be giving some FREE practical advice on how to increase profit using effective printing material creatively in my next few posts.

Stuart here. I’m the designer at Manuel Press Printing.  I’ve been designing UNIQUE printed material here for yonks. I’ll hopefully be posting useful information on how to use printing material effectively in any marketing campaign. For Example, during the early stages of design, the focus should not be on the style and prose, but rather the effectiveness. In other words, will the finished product achieve what you want it to do?

After all, what’s the use of an Awesome looking card if it’s not effective? Design needs to be both cool and efficient in order to serve its purpose. Every creator painfully experiences the chasm between his inner vision and its ultimate expression. Design is no different.