I never expected drawing to be a part of my career. Actually, that’s true for a lot of what Common Craft does. I never planned to be a video producer, voice actor, hand model or animator either. But I’m so thankful to have the opportunity.
Perhaps my favorite part of the Common Craft process is creating visuals. We call them Common Craft Style “Cut-outs”, as many of them end up as cut-out pieces of paper on our whiteboard. The Cut-outs are becoming a big part of our future.
A New Kind of Problem
A couple of years ago we saw an opportunity. We talked to many people who all had the same problem. They said:
“I’ve got the script and I’m ready to make a video/presentation, etc. but I don’t know how to create the visuals.”
It’s a big problem. The world is becoming more visual. From PowerPoints to infographics to videos, there is an increasing focus on the use of compelling visuals. But for most busy professionals, there aren’t great options. You can find volumes of clip-art and stock photography online, but most are unusable. Creating visuals by hand is too time consuming.
Will Cut-outs Help?
We've been creating visuals for years and recently started offering over 1000 Cut-outs with Common Craft membership. It has become a big part of our business and more than ever, we see opportunities in providing professionals with Common Craft Style visuals for any kind of project. The idea is to provide enough Cut-outs for an entire project to have visual and stylistic consistency - like a Common Craft video. In this, we're just getting started.
Here’s how a Cut-out comes to life…
This visual is for a presentation on the Art of Explanation. In it, I make a point about all the forces that we have to overcome to be better explainers. I imagine this as walking into a headwind. I needed a Cut-out of a person doing just that for the slide.
It starts with a basic sketch of a person.
Once I feel good about the basic outline - the tilt of the body, positions of arms and legs, I refine the shape.
With the shape in place, I apply clothes and color.
While I’m doing it, I go ahead and create a female version.
Then I combine it with other Cut-outs to create a scene. Walking into the wind:
I'll be talking more about Cut-outs soon! You can find our current library here.