I want you to meet my new artist crush, Jeca Martinez.
She’s an award-winning freelance animator and illustrator in the Philippines who helps creative companies add some unicorn rainbow happiness to their projects. As she notes on her site, “You have an amazing idea, I help bring it to life in all its vivid glory, and together we make the world a happier, more colorful place.”
So obviously she’s my kind of gal! 😊🎉 And guess what? She has an amazing Skillshare class to teach us how to draw an adorable lil’ digitally illustrated unicorn. 🦄
It’s no secret that lately I’ve been getting back to my artistic roots and messing around with all sorts of painting/drawing techniques, both physical and digital. While abstract art tends to be my main jam, I have always wanted to learn to draw and make cute illustrations. When I heard about Jeca’s class I thought it would be the perfect way to dip my toe into drawing, not only because of the unicorn aspect, but also because I genuinely love her colorful, whimsical style. (If you haven’t checked out her work yet, go look now!!)
She breaks down the steps into quick and easy to follow sections, and while I can’t say I’m any sort of expert yet, here is how my first attempt came out:
Considering I can barely draw a stick figure, this should be a testament to how clear and easy to follow Jeca’s class is. 🙌🏻 But beyond my actual skill level, I found myself excited to learn her tips and techniques, and just had fun playing around. I think we should constantly challenge our creative pursuits, and this was a fun way to get outside my comfort zone a bit.
By the end I even took it upon myself to add a background, just for the heck of it. Usually with my abstract work it’s all about the process of messing around with no real plan or goal other than creative exploration, but I found it to be an entirely different experience creating with a sense of purpose (in this case, to end up with a clearly illustrated unicorn.) While at times it was frustrating to get the lines and shapes to play nicely (the undo button became my best friend 😂), by the time I finished I felt an excited sense of accomplishment.
Now before you dive into creating your own magical creature, I was lucky enough to chat with Jeca to get more of an inside scoop!
Q: How did you get into illustration/animation?
A: I’ve always been very artistic/creative while I was growing up, and I loved to spend my time drawing and creating in any way I can (books, videos, toys, etc). And so I naturally chose to take up a Multimedia Arts course in college. During my time in college I watched How To Train Your Dragon, and I absolutely fell in love the movie and the story! I realized then that I wanted to create something like that that brings such an emotional impact on viewers. I’ve always enjoyed watching animation, but I think it was that time when it dawned on me that I can animate for a living!
Q: What specific tools do you use in this class?
A: For this class I used a 15” Macbook Pro (2015 model), a Wacom Intuos Pro drawing tablet, and Adobe Photoshop CC. However I do think that these are merely tools, and as long as you have access to any laptop, drawing tablet, and Photoshop, then anyone can follow along in my class!
Q: Any tips for rotating Photoshop brushes as you’re “coloring”?
A: I usually just rotate my canvas while I draw/color; to do that in Photoshop, I just hold down “R” on my keyboard, and drag my pen left/right across the tablet, or my finger left/right across the trackpad.
Q: What are your go-to resources for learning/inspiration?
A: Right now I’m really into learning as much as I can about the entrepreneurship side of creativity, so I’m loving videos, podcasts, and content by Gary Vaynerchuck, Mel Robbins, Erin May Henry, and Jenna Kutcher. I’m also loving Skillshare because they have soooo many classes there about everything like entrepreneurship, animation, illustration, etc, and it’s always fun to learn new ways of doing things. I’m trying to learn more about After Effects animation, and so I highly recommend Jake Bartlett’s Skillshare classes!
Ready to dive in?