Creative Process – Doodling the Fears (Part 1)

Continuing the Creative Process blog posts. I am splitting the doodling the Little Fears into two parts. Part one is about the tiles you see posted here daily. Part two deals with assets I digitise, print and sell.

I touched on illustrating the tiles in the last post. I get the photos from, a website that gives away Copyright Zero images. Meaning you can use most of them wherever you want, even for commercial purposes. I crop them to squares and create collages through the Pixlr App on Android by Autodesk, then print them off 6 to a page.

I always print them on basic 80gsm paper as I like the texture and as you all know, I love textures! I nearly always use Posca Paint Pens. They are pens, the ink is quite literally an acrylic paint.

I have on occasion mixed in Papermate Flairs, fine tipped felt pens. They lack texture and of course there’s no white, but they still look good and offer a different colour selection. See the black, teal and purple below.

And good grief, do I have a deep love of using Tipp-Ex for white! Would you look at the texture on this? Tell me that isn’t sexy!

The end result is a sheet of six images, which I then scan at 600dpi, crop into individual squares to post here.

It’s worth noting that when I finished the first book (Little Fears Presents – January), I realised I needed to draw the images so I could crop them into 1700 px by 1200 px images. Squares in a book look awful except for square books. I had a dilemma on the first book to crop the images or charge about Β£20 instead of Β£12 for the books. Yeowch. Life’s about compromise I guess.

I mentioned the chicken and egg scenario in the last post. Do I doodle first or write the accompanying tale first?

Well, when I started I wrote and doodle about the same time. Six per day, every day, matching the characters in doodles to the stories. I do a set of 120’ish doodles and tales per month, but I discard quite a few so I have sets of about 90. Each set works as its own book and later on, story arcs.

When I got the 4th set of 90 doodles, I sat down with all the photos I had printed not used and filled them all in, then wrote the stories around them. That didn’t work for me at all. I was able to write all 90 tales for the characters, but I just felt they all looked to samey. They lost their personality.

When I got onto the next 90 that would form Reala, I wrote the tales first and doodled after. That left me with a stronger visual theme throughout the images. It was such a stark contrast; I ended up going back and redrawing half of the previous 90 panels for Hydra.

Going forward, I now write the tales first and doodle after. Usually in batches of 6 or 12. The illustrations later this year are more specific to the story. Did you notice that about the horror stories and, for those that read it, Little Fears Presents – Capricorn? The stories and doodles tie together a little better than some of the humorous Fears. The horror tales and Capricorn were about the 5th or 6th book I originally wrote. It just came out better than I initially believed it would and slotted in quite nicely onto the website. So I put that before the second Little Fears humor book.

With that, I have a few course suggestions for the artistically minded readers of the Little Fears. As always, there’s a no obligations $0.99 fo a 3 month trial to Skillshare giving access to thousands of courses.

You can draw anything, including a bird, in 3 simple steps by Yasmina Creates.

Sketchbook Magic: Start and Feed a Daily Art Practice by Ria Sharon.