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Bold & Fearless Design

Lesson 15 of 26

Customizing the Mark Making Tools

James Victore

Bold & Fearless Design

James Victore

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Lesson Info

15. Customizing the Mark Making Tools

Lesson Info

Customizing the Mark Making Tools

So now we're basically we're talking about ways of customizing tools changing the markers it probably works with a oh yeah here's a sharpie with a chisel temp again we're not we're not calligraphers they've got him all set up for calligraphy it would probably work with this two and two is to is to is to cut it up it's just felt um I want to invite you guys to work with uh tape black tape I did a workshop a couple of years ago and invited to designers pals of mine to come and we said listen we got this huge white wall could you do something with it and they showed up with a shopping bag full of black tape and they did the most exquisite and just went they didn't draw anything they just went and built this beautiful drawing in black tape on it it was wonderful like what else do we got here clear tape white tape is guys like black davis just the's we got have you guys ever that some of some of the ink pots this is just a big pot some of them have a little alone nozzle on top with just a l...

ittle like like the way glue comes out right she going you squirted into another bowl have you ever drawn with just the squirt? Try it it's great again something you can't control excellent you're you're holding who is that? Is that the white out oh, hey, chuck that up here? I don't know here here's mine oh, my gosh. I went out I went out the other day um way got in and a friend um um came by and it was like he was like, um like air you prepared for the thing? I'm like, oh, my god, I just went out and I got, like, the most powerful tool this is gonna be so awesome. He's like what I was like, behold, like white out and this white out that's got that little triangle on it. This is an awesome tool to draw with you know why? Because you really can't control it. It's really? Like, can you imagine if you just open it up and make some marks with it, could you? It dries up really quickly, so you gotta work quick. Can you imagine if you got good with this right, what you could do? I have not done my ten yearsworth of apprenticeship at this and you can't even hold like a pen, right? So, um, but I like drawing with it. Um because all these things happen and then what you we could draw with the draw with white out, and then you can draw on top of it with, you know, with with something else and then the two of them mixed together and make goofy I mean, I'm not saying that's good it's just trying something or this is really this is the last thing I'm going to show you and then we'll get into something good okay? So that's black and that's white ebony and ivory over here so he makes the black in first and then you make the white in oh uh and then and then you've got it on vellum here so you can put it on different colors and see what happens like that's just it on basically gray, which is very sexy that's a very cool so we're going to give you what I'm gonna give you an opportunity tio to mess with these things on. It was funny because years ago I used to it I was an apprentice. I worked at a zone assistant to a a book jacket designer named paul bacon kinds of genius he's like ninety three right now. He's amazing guy in the smartest guy I ever met he was he did all the call of robert ludlum's covers all of james carville's covers all of um um what is it? A catch twenty two joseph heller's covers right he was has been around forever and he would create these beautiful illustrations this size and watch with a pen that had like three hairs you know these beautiful illustrations of white house lawn with a helicopter and sky and a guy running across the grass with a rifle like this big right and he was just he had a little piece of cardboard over here his hands were always meticulous I'm usually a mess his hands were always meticulous never got any paint on his clothes and he had a little piece of carver here where he would clean off his brush and me being not the guy who's drawing the white house lawn stuff I'm much more of an abstract expressionist, right? I like I appreciate the the gusteau of like robert motherwell or rothko or something so I would look at that little piece of cardboard and I would just see such beauty in it because it was just wearing clean off his brush you know um interesting I'll take my water glass here so listen here's the here's the here's the big reason I customize everything I draw on everything I changed everything like I've got so used to having we shove this assistant her name is unique and she hated that I used to draw on everything so we get like a new skin or something and I'm like I'm going to make it mine she like no, no stay away from the skin and no don't so I so I so I finally got by her and I wrote her name on it way still have the unique scanner um customize everything. You know why I never ride stock, you know? And what I'm trying to impress upon you is basically the power of any tool. So I'll take you quickly through a couple of pieces that that we designed and basically the tools involved in it. So this is the these are the actual slides have the, uh just they know when the doesn't go home um and that's just taped type this is the papa poster was for exhibition that was in holland and in switzerland. And these air swiss size posters, big fluorescent orange and black posters and you see that white under painting is a whole another late layer it. Some of it is on that little sketchy thing I sent over to showed you it's just like some clumsy, clumsy, brushed underneath it. So we did the catalog and we did the poster on the poster really huge. It looks great, but then we had to do the cataloging the catalogs only about this base. If you take a finger painting and you make it small, it looks kind of smaller than hand bigger than hand is great smaller than hand looks weird, so I was like, oh, the catalog is called pop up the pop up generation on there were able to paint that whole thing, so we just did pop up jen and in the corner says oration and again we did it we didn't ask permission and they were like things we love it so then that's what the with sort of the close up of the close up of the the finger painting very sexy this is a project we did for yoji yamamoto the amazing japanese fashion designer work is the art of the men's the art teacher for the men's line for a couple of years um and this was a situation where we're making a poster and that looks like some bad xerox is sitting on a piece of paper this is a printed printed poster it's all black and white except that little teeny guy down in the corner on the right hand corner he's he's he's full color and it literally I was drawing with with one of these brushes and I was drawing yogis you know, yogis name and using this kind of like blocky blocky scribble e typeface square square typeface and then I said, ok, let me just blowing up blow down on the copy of xerox machine at home like, you know rely on that probably more than I do on the computer blowing it up and down and I put it down and I scanned in my scanner with my excuse me my xerox was having a problem these streaks were coming out and I look in that I'm like, oh this is awesome. His looks great. So he literally got the camera put up here. Went way. We're done. You know, if you look closely, you know, even with the actual poster, if you look you know you could, you would scratch at it to think that the letters are going to come off. It was crazy.

Class Description

Short on time? This class is available HERE as a Fast Class, exclusively for Creator Pass subscribers.

An empowered designer is a truly creative designer. Let designer, author, artist, and activist, James Victore show you how to trust your instinct and embrace imperfection in Bold & Fearless Design.

When you follow the trends your ideas stagnate and you don’t create the kind of memorable pieces that get you noticed. Victore knows the antidote to that creative rut. Victore has been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and is represented in the permanent collections of museums worldwide. His commercial work continues to wow by being sexy, strong, and memorable.

Learn how you can make work that is captivating and uniquely you by taking a behind-the-scenes look at this renowned designer’s method, thinking, and inspiration. Victore will talk about playing with different tools (not just digital ones) and rethinking the role of a designer. 

You’ll learn:

  • Exercises for generating concepts and design solutions
  • How to incorporate your hand into your work
  • Unexpected image-making tools and techniques
  • Software strategies for turning the analog into digital

Poster design inspiration is the perfect blank canvas for experimentation. Posters can be adapted for anything from a book covers to dinner plates. In this class, the poster format provides a launching point for discussing by-hand design and reimagining creative possibilities.

Don’t be boring. Watch Bold & Fearless Design with James Victore and energize your unique creative spark.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

James Victore - 10 Type Rules

bonus material

James Victore - Bold and Fearless Poster Design Course Supplies.pdf

James Victore - Litter Poster Client Brief.pdf

James Victore - Suggested Reading List.pdf

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

Related Classes



I am not a graphic designer, I'm an artist, but this class translates beautifully. James' teaching style is nothing short of delicious - fresh, alive, fun, exciting - while being full of depth and poignant, valuable content, much of which transcends medium and brings value to any creative individual. I found particular value in the lessons around tools (and altering tools), the criteria for good work, the need to infuse your opinion into your work, the value of abandoning perfection, paying attention to cancer that is one's ego and that we are meant to be creators, and not 'the help'. More than anything else though, I benefited from being reminded, with such a burning passion, that we are not put on this earth to pay a mortgage and support a family, but to identify our true work and to bring it into existence in this world. So nice to reminded of something I know but forget on a regular basis. One of the best online classes I have ever taken - a real home run.


I loved this course! Exceeded every notion I had. The design, concepts and principles were fun, funny and insightful. But James went so far beyond the "poster design" and into the philosophy, thinking, inspiration - huge! I am so glad I watched this course not only for the quick wit and fast humor (Jame's is smart! Sharp... And Really Funny - compliments his teaching and design), but the reading list he suggests, ways to nudge your creativity and the fashion with which he gets you thinking... Invaluable! Organic, Rich, Impact and message - this course has the design "how-to" covered, the real pearls are Jame's humble experience and generosity. Great Course... Oh, and check out his book! "Victore! or, Who Died and Made You Boss?" Inspiration and fun!

a Creativelive Student

Came to this course (and site) via Anna Dorfman's blog. Loved the motivational and philosophical aspects of the course. Very entertaining and inspirational. Also loved listening to Victore discuss his own work and process-- the stories of how he got specific ideas, tinkered with them, perfected them, etc.. As for the critiques of student and online work, I didn't find them very useful. I would love to see him pick out a few of the very best, and then give his own short and sweet-- and specific-- insights into how HE would improve them. Or just abandon the critiques entirely and instead show and discuss more of his own or other successful designers' work. Overall, fun and inspirational, with some helpful tips.