If you’re wondering how to grow as an illustrator, you might enjoy seeing this short video. It’s from my twice-weekly Art Bag: Time Saving Tips and Tricks series over on my channel at Youtube:

How to Grow As An Illustrator…

(While developing your own personal illustration style!)

In addition to changing up the media from time to time…

I do recommend that you get comfortable with drawing in pen. Yes, mistakes are impossible to hide when you’re drawing with pen. However, with practice, you might even be able to incorporate the “accidents” into your illustration in a way that adds charm.

The illustrations I do in my Moleskine notebook are, naturally, drawn at a smaller scale than the one I did in the video above. But thinking across the two pages can provide great practice for how to fill space. As you can see, below, in my Teamwork illustration, the characters are literally running across the page!

How to Grow As An Illustrator - Daily freehand ink drawing practice in my Moleskine notebook is absolutely key!

Learning to illustrate action…

Is also a part of developing as an artist and illustrator. (These little girls kept me on my toes!)

Here’s a closer look…

Illustrating action is part of bringing your characters to live and growing as an illustrator.
Funny ink and watercolor soccer girl action illustration by Joana Miranda
Humorous ink and watercolor soccer girl illustration by Joana Miranda

(Each of the illustrations above was drawn freehand in ink with my Noodler’s Ahab Flex Fountain pen and then colored with my fan watercolor palette.)

Take a look at more of my Moleskine notebook illustrations here.

Meanwhile, credit must be given to my adorable studio assistant. He not only graciously agrees to make cameo appearances in my videos, but he also keeps my lap warm and seems to love everything I create!

Thank you, Ziggy!


  1. Helen Reich says:

    I just love these little soccer players! Lots of interest and different activities and expressions! Also the kitty, he is adorable.

    • Joana says:

      Hi Helen,

      Glad you liked my little soccer girls! 🙂 Ziggy continues to delight. Sometimes I worry that he’s getting too big. But then I see him from a different angle and realize that he’s still tiny! His father is only 5. 5 lbs, so I doubt little Z will ever get much bigger than that.

      xox – Joana

  2. Mm says:

    Well I must say I did not recognize YOU , you don’t have that shape!). But Ziggy is very recognizable! Except for the miaow!

    • Joana says:

      Hee-hee, yes I couldn’t find a “squeak” on the Zapsplat sound effects that sounded like Ziggy.
      (I’m glad I’m not that shape…though my hair is getting to be a big ball. Sigh.)
      xox – J

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