Step by Step to Educational Illustration – Gareth Conway

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The talented Gareth Conway offers some words of wisdom about working with the wonderful world of educational imagery.


I first read the brief VERY closely and then re-read it a couple of times to make sure I have read it correctly and not missed anything. I then try to make a list of any questions I might have about the brief, I like to be very sure of what is required of me as educational briefs can have very specific requirements and fairly tight deadlines!

I usually start the artwork off by sketching, fairly roughly, what is needed for that particular image so I can work out the composition and make sure all of the important elements are in the best position that they can be in. I then (sometimes, not all the time) clean up the rough a bit to make sure I have features and hand shapes etc how I want them.




The roughs are then sent for approval. Once any amendments are sorted out I crack on with the colour in PhotoShop or Illustrator, whichever is best for the particular job. I start off by blocking in the main shapes like head, hair, body etc all on different layers and then continue using different layers for each new element, this makes changes much easier later down the line.


I think the key thing to remember when illustrating for educational clients is, generally, it has to be fun. Whether that is the design of the characters or the colours you use. I always try to inject as much humour and energy as I can into my work and work for Bright Educational is no exception. I also try to imagine what the age group concerned might find fun / cool, that way you end up with some lovely artwork and you have fun doing it.

I have only been with The Bright Agency since January of this year and it took a couple of months for the work to start coming through but since then there has been a fairly steady flow of projects from Bright Educational, all of which have been great fun to do. My favourite so far was for Blooberry design which really helped me hone a younger style and there was lots of it too which kept me busy for a while…and a busy freelancer is a happy freelancer!

 Gareth is one of Bright’s key educational illustrators – diligent, hard working & talented! Please contact Bright Educational Agent Lucie Luddington if you would like to commission Gareth for an upcoming project –


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