Creative Process – Doodling the Fears (Part 1)

Continuing the Creative Process blog posts. I am splitting the doodling the Little Fears into two parts. Part one is about the tiles you see posted here daily. Part two deals with assets I digitise, print and sell.

I touched on illustrating the tiles in the last post. I get the photos from, a website that gives away Copyright Zero images. Meaning you can use most of them wherever you want, even for commercial purposes. I crop them to squares and create collages through the Pixlr App on Android by Autodesk, then print them off 6 to a page.

I always print them on basic 80gsm paper as I like the texture and as you all know, I love textures! I nearly always use Posca Paint Pens. They are pens, the ink is quite literally an acrylic paint.

I have on occasion mixed in Papermate Flairs, fine tipped felt pens. They lack texture and of course there’s no white, but they still look good and offer a different colour selection. See the black, teal and purple below.

And good grief, do I have a deep love of using Tipp-Ex for white! Would you look at the texture on this? Tell me that isn’t sexy!

The end result is a sheet of six images, which I then scan at 600dpi, crop into individual squares to post here.

It’s worth noting that when I finished the first book (Little Fears Presents – January), I realised I needed to draw the images so I could crop them into 1700 px by 1200 px images. Squares in a book look awful except for square books. I had a dilemma on the first book to crop the images or charge about Β£20 instead of Β£12 for the books. Yeowch. Life’s about compromise I guess.

I mentioned the chicken and egg scenario in the last post. Do I doodle first or write the accompanying tale first?

Well, when I started I wrote and doodle about the same time. Six per day, every day, matching the characters in doodles to the stories. I do a set of 120’ish doodles and tales per month, but I discard quite a few so I have sets of about 90. Each set works as its own book and later on, story arcs.

When I got the 4th set of 90 doodles, I sat down with all the photos I had printed not used and filled them all in, then wrote the stories around them. That didn’t work for me at all. I was able to write all 90 tales for the characters, but I just felt they all looked to samey. They lost their personality.

When I got onto the next 90 that would form Reala, I wrote the tales first and doodled after. That left me with a stronger visual theme throughout the images. It was such a stark contrast; I ended up going back and redrawing half of the previous 90 panels for Hydra.

Going forward, I now write the tales first and doodle after. Usually in batches of 6 or 12. The illustrations later this year are more specific to the story. Did you notice that about the horror stories and, for those that read it, Little Fears Presents – Capricorn? The stories and doodles tie together a little better than some of the humorous Fears. The horror tales and Capricorn were about the 5th or 6th book I originally wrote. It just came out better than I initially believed it would and slotted in quite nicely onto the website. So I put that before the second Little Fears humor book.

With that, I have a few course suggestions for the artistically minded readers of the Little Fears. As always, there’s a no obligations $0.99 fo a 3 month trial to Skillshare giving access to thousands of courses.

You can draw anything, including a bird, in 3 simple steps by Yasmina Creates.

Sketchbook Magic: Start and Feed a Daily Art Practice by Ria Sharon.

60 thoughts on “Creative Process – Doodling the Fears (Part 1)”

      1. Holy crap man, I was replying to 30 odd comments left for me on this site and you are leaving these replies in under 10 minutes? :-/


  1. I love stick-figure Pan gambolling through the forest, whistling a happy tune. He’s not completely without menace, though, especially with his little robot buddy…


  2. Tons of great content here. Really liked: “, a website that gives away Copyright Zero images. Meaning you can use most of them wherever you want, even for commercial purposes. I crop them to squares and create collages through the Pixlr App on Android by Autodesk, then print them off 6 to a page.”


    1. Hey, thank you. Yes,, I keep trying to submit my own photos to it, but man their standards are high! Haha. πŸ™‚


  3. Fascinating post and one that has given me ‘Unsplash’ and the link to some excellent pens too by the looks of it. The tippex is indeed sexy as hell hahahahaha.

    Esme keeping the best tippex under the counter upon the Cloud wink


  4. Hi there!!! I nominated you for an award. Please visit this link ://
    All the best and congratulations.


  5. very creative. All I can do is write. I admire the breadth of your talent. Would like to read one of your horror stories online


  6. […] I said I would post here four months ago and never did. As I have said in previous posts, I write six stories, draw six tiles and doodle one asset every working day. How many doΒ you see? Barely a fraction makes it online. Mostly because I produce a lot of chaff […]


    1. Heh, thank you. I did a series of posts like this. I need a catagory selection menu or something for my posts heh.


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