Creating Hand-Drawn Illustrations for Stock with Anastasia Lembrik

Discover how Anastasia Lembrik hand-draws illustrations for stock marketplaces using techniques she mastered in a St.Petersburg art school and on her own.

After she graduated art school in 2014, Anastasia Lembrik began exploring the world of illustration. The 27-year-old artist from St. Petersburg, Russia has always been inspired by floral designs and patterns. Now a mother, she juggles full-time motherhood with her career as a full-time illustrator. We chatted with Anastasia Lembrik to learn more about how she creates hand-drawn illustrations for stock, what inspires her, and some lessons she learned from this creative field.

Floral Hand-Drawn IllustrationHer patterns and designs emulate seasons, feelings, and emotions. Illustration by Anastasia Lembrik.

Creating stock illustrations shares your talent with the world

“Becoming a stock contributor is probably one of the easiest ways to offer your talent to the world,” says Lembrik. For over five years now, Lembrik has been contributing her hand-drawn illustrations to the stock market. With styles focused on line art, she creates playful patterns of normal, everyday view such as flowers, fruits, dragonflies, seashells, and nature in general. “Two of my favorite illustration themes are floral illustrations and baby prints,” she shares.

Lembrik works in multiple mediums, sometimes using a graphic tablet, sometimes with a paintbrush. And while some artists may want to focus on a single medium, Lembrik enjoys exploring various ways to create art. “All I need for creating are some brushes, watercolor palette, and some free time.”

This growth and expansive creativity is reflected on her work. While patterns look easy to make, it actually requires a lot of practice to create something.

Creating stock illustrations shares your talent with the world.In addition to florals, Anastasia illustrates for children, depicting baby animals and other childlike motifs. Illustration by Anastasia Lembrik.

How Anastasia Creates Her Hand-Drawn Illustrations 

Follow Anastasia on InstagramDiscover her work on Shutterstock

It’s also a balance of online and offline source of inspiration for Lembrik. With the COVID pandemic still happening, it’s not always easy to go outside. Some cities still have very strict lockdown rules. This is where the internet comes into play.

“First of all, I surf the internet to get some inspiration. This is quite a useful method, if you don’t have the opportunity to be inspired by something offline,” shares Lembrik. “Then I take my pencil and watercolor paper on which I make rough sketches. After that, I use my favorite watercolors and brushes to give my artwork colors.”

How Anastasia CreatesCreating hand-drawn illustrations for stock is a multi-step process. Illustration by Anastasia Lembrik.

Digitizing Hand-Drawn Illustrations

She then scans her work to digitize it, allowing her to submit it to stock photography websites. But before that, Lembrik edits digitally using Adobe Photoshop, usually to cut parts of her illustration and work on the colors. And for digital edits, she says a graphic tablet and pen with grip “simplifies the process of isolating illustration from paper background.”

Then she assembles different illustrations to create patterns ready for stock submission. According to Lembrik, it usually takes two or three days to create small packs of artworks. Each pack usually includes, as she describes, “isolated floral patterns, floral bouquets, and some seamless patterns.”

Of course, this part you can get extra creative. Mix and match your various works to create a unique pack of artwork.

Digitizing Hand-Drawn IllustrationsAnastasia’s work involves a multitude of steps, including digitizing her illustrations to sell on stock. Illustration by Anastasia Lembrik

Advice to New Stock Contributors

Just like anyone else, Lembrik started at zero. Today, she has over 8,000 stock contributions. That’s over 8,000 hand-drawn illustrations of flowers, leaves, animals, playful designs like treehouses, and more. But before she got here, Lembrik started at the same point where everyone else begins.

Tip #1: Be patient with the process

For her, it’s all about patience. “If you want to become a stock photography contributor, you have to have a lot of patience,” she shares. And not only to make money or to finally say “you made it.” You also need patience for yourself and your creations. Because, fact is, ideas don’t always come.

“Sometimes it is very difficult to create something new and interesting,” says Lembrik, adding that there are times when you have to “spend a lot of time thinking and working on being inspired.”

Advice for New Stock ContributorsBe patient with the process, and eventually, you’ll see the results of your hard work. Illustration by Anastasia Lembrik.

This, of course, is something artists of all kinds know. Whether you’re creating hand-drawn illustrations for stock, shooting street photography, or creating film for agencies, you probably have a hint on the importance of patience. You probably have a hint on how self-discipline can make you or break you.

“The main benefit of working in the stock marketplaces is that you are absolutely free,” shares Lembrik, noting that one “must be very disciplined.”

We’re not just talking about being disciplined to produce enough work. We’re also talking about being disciplined enough to take care of your wellbeing. Because, as Lembrik puts it, “the main benefit of working in the stock marketplaces is that you are absolutely free.”

This is indeed true. Thus, understanding that you are your own boss is all about balancing work, play, and rest.

Tip #2: How to Stay Inspired

Creativity is not always rainbows and butterflies. Perhaps one of the most common misconceptions about folks who pursue their creative passions is that they’re lucky or they have it best. Creativity also has its own challenges, one of which is staying inspired.

One of the tricks to facing that challenge is finding the one thing that keeps your creative juices going, no matter what. For Lembrik, she shares that it’s whenever she “finds my artwork printed on products” that she feels inspired.

“I enjoy the fact that watercolor painting is not the simplest one. I had to practice a lot to up my illustrating skills,” she added. And the best takeaway? Being in the creative field will make you realize, as Lembrik puts it, “that I can be on my own.”

Cover image by Anastasia Lembrik.

Looking for more artist interviews? Check out these articles: 

An Interview with PremiumBeat’s Signature Series Artist Bridget BarkanUsing TikTok with Photographer and Influencer Alexander Stemplewski16 Tips on Creating Gorgeous Watercolor Illustrations for StockHelena Perez Garcia on Artistic Inspiration and the Business of IllustrationIllustrator Alona Savchuk on Freelancing and Body Positivity

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