PK 118: Thumbnail Sketching and Creative Flow – Interview With Concept Artist, Katy Grierson

PK 118: Thumbnail Sketching and Creative Flow - Interview With Concept Artist, Katy Grierson 2 pk 118 thumbnail sketching katy grierson pencil kings podcast pk
Thumbnail sketching and creative flow go hand in hand for concept artist Katy Grierson. Find out how daily sketches help her to stay creative and constantly improve as an artist.

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“You don’t learn unless you make mistakes.

Katy Grierson

Thumbnail sketching and creative flow go hand in hand for most artists…but how can you make this part of your daily routine too?

Katy Grierson is a freelance concept artist and illustrator based in the UK. She’s currently producing Lord of The Rings card game artwork for Fantasy Flight Games, but her goal is to work on Magic The Gathering in the near future.

In this podcast, Katy talks about her own work and freelance career since leaving university in 2009.

And she also reveals how getting into a daily habit of thumbnail sketching has helped her find her creative flow and keep developing as an artist.

Why Thumbnail Sketching and Creative Flow Are so Important for Artists

Many aspiring artists often struggle to find inspiration. For example, have you ever found yourself sitting in front of a blank piece of paper waiting for the ideas to come flowing into your head…

And then nothing comes?

It’s a common problem, but one of the most effective solutions is to get into the habit of doing thumbnail sketches on a regular basis.

This is something Katy loves doing, and she’s keen to help other artists like you get past creative block by using her same methods.

Using her local landscape as a basis for these, she’ll spend 30 minutes to an hour experimenting and seeing what she can come up with.

So how can you get into the habit?

Katy often starts with some simple shapes (or even just some brushstrokes), and these will gradually start to suggest compositions, landscapes, or characters which she can build upon.

The beauty of thumbnail sketching? It really doesn’t take long to do, and you’ll be surprised at how quickly your imagination starts to take effect.

As Katy says: “Just being able to experiment without any pressure of having to draw something is really, really freeing.

“You’re not restricted by anything and there’s no art director breathing down your neck.

“So if something doesn’t work, it doesn’t matter because you’ve only invested five or  10 minutes in doing it. You’ve made a mistake and then you’ve learned from that mistake. And you don’t learn unless you make mistakes!”

katy-grierson-gorgelush jungle katy grierson

Some recent examples of Katy Grierson’s art

We hope this week’s podcast interview with Katy Grierson gives you some useful insights into thumbnail sketching and creative flow.

Why not try some thumbnail sketches of your own and share them with the Pencil Kings Community?

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