Colors as your language
No, I don’t want to talk about the meaning of colors and how red is passion and yellow is confidence. No, I want to tell you about how committed you are to understanding colors and knowing how to use them as well as you speak in one language or another.
Do you know how to speak in colors or do you just imitate how others speak?
Like the way you learn to speak the language that your parents teach you or learn by listening, the first colors we use are the ones we have at our disposal: Maybe you started with a 6-color box, when you grew up you discovered that there were boxes of 12 and 24 colors and then if you are into this, the boxes of 36 or 64 colors were all a desire to own. Now that you are an illustrator or designer you know something about colors … but or surprise you still use the basic color palette of Illustrator or the software you use.
And this is fine to begin with … but when was the time that you explored other options? When you decided that you should learn other languages or create your own language?
The first advice that I give to illustrators who approach with doubts about how to develop their own style is: close the Illustrator basic color palette.
It is easy to see how many illustrators use the same shade of brown or green and even though the illustration styles are different between these illustrators, using the same colors makes them look very similar, none stand out.
Colors as a way of learning
It is important to be interdisciplinary, not only focus on a single topic but also cover different topics and areas that help you enrich your knowledge and thus explore different angles to face a problem and find a design solution.
What do you think if you take learning colors as a fundamental branch of learning and improving your style, form and content of what you do?
It is simple, it is the same as learning to speak a new language, know the basics, basic words, then basic short phrases and little by little you can form more complex sentences and then communicate fluently
Of course, in this case our language will be the colors, there are basic colors and more complex colors (complementary …) and then there are tertiary colors and then there are combinations and contrasts and Tetrahedral colors and much more.
Learn from others
Like other fields of learning, for example music, it is important to learn from others, who have already found solutions and developed techniques and works that will help us learn their own language of colors. This part is a bit more academic, because you can learn from great artists and designers and how they used or use colors.
But you can still pay attention to how your favorite illustrator or designer uses colors. See the small details, at first glance green is green and red is red … but what kind of green or red do they use and when do they use it?
Play to create
Since you have started in the world of colors, it is time for the fun part: create your own language, your own colors!
Play and have fun creating different shades of colors, variations and combinations. Create a palette and even name it: name your colors and give them a reason for existing: an electric blue, a blue that reminds you of a toy from your childhood, a futuristic blue or an invisible blue.
This is a great way to learn about colors, understand them, love them.
Style is not only the way you draw or design, it is what you express, it is how you express it and colors are a fundamental part of how you communicate and how you connect with the audience.
Forget what you already know and start from scratch, like a child learning a new language. Discover new colors and create new colors. Really discover what your favorite color is (it has nothing to do with the colors you use in your clothes).So
For example, the color I use the least is green. Although many of the subjects that I draw are related to nature and landscapes, I avoid using green as much as possible. It’s not that I hate it, I just haven’t been able to understand or master it.
But this has opened other doors for me and is to use the color blue in unimaginable ways and find a way to solve it without the use of green.
The use of blue in my work has managed to convey a feeling of nostalgia that I could not have achieved with green. Of course there is always some green tone that manages to sneak in, but for me they are just (greenish) variations of other blues.
The above is just a personal example, not everyone could use it, but that is what it is about, having something to say about your own colors and how you use them in your creations.
So dare and be interested in the colors, they are not just assets that you take from the software, they are in part, the way you express yourself so you should not use any color, it must be your own colors!