Share this article!

Creating videos that are educational, engaging, and entertaining is no easy task.  The illustrators at make it look easy, so here is the inside scoop on how they make it happen!  

The role of the illustrator is to bring a whole world to life. Making a fictional place and the characters that live there takes a lot of coordination. First, the script writers develop a script that includes biographies of each of the characters. The illustrators then design those characters based on the script writer’s biographies and the context of the lesson; this includes constructing props and building backgrounds.  

Let’s break it down:  

No matter the task, from creating a new character to developing marketing materials, research and planning always comes first. illustrators gather inspiration from social media platforms like Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram. Referencing current trending styles, color palettes, or compositions are things to take into consideration when borrowing elements to build an illustration. Then they lay out all the inspiration on a digital mood board that can be used as a reference as they draft out sketches.  

The first stage of illustrating is to create as many rough drafts as possible for the illustration project at hand. By pulling inspiration from the digital mood board they’ve created, they can pull from different sources and see how they all work together. The goal is to create a variety of sketches for the project originator to choose from. The illustrator then works with the project originator to decide which sketch to use.  

Now the fun part – linework. illustrators use iPads and the app Procreate to make characters and scenes come to life! The stylus mimics the tool being used, like a pencil or a paintbrush.  The app makes it possible to create digital art similarly to how you would create analog art. Illustrators constantly reference the digital mood board they created at the beginning of the project to ensure they are consistent with the colors and stylistic elements. It can be a constant push and pull to determine which elements to incorporate to create the most seamless storyline.  

Finally, the project is ready for review. Illustrators work with the project originator, in the case of a video, the script writer, to make sure the result is educational, engaging, and entertaining! 

Gabriela Villegas

Senior Illustrator

Gabriela Villegas, BFA. Illust., is’s Senior Illustrator. She previously interned at Titmouse Animation Studio and Glow in the Dark Concept Studio and taught digital art for grades 8th-9th.

Further Reading