How to change the colour of flat icons PNGS in Figma

If you downloaded the transparent flat icon in a png format and want to change the colour in Figma. Well, that’s what we are going to do today.

First, insert the icon and then select it.

Then go to the effects section in the right side panel, and choose the “Inner Shadow” effect.

Open the “Inner Shadow” panel by clicking the sun icon. These are the default options.

I’m changing it to red. So these are my settings. What you need to focus on are the spread, colour and opacity. You want to kick the spread as much as possible until the entire icon is filled.

This is the finished icon! Hope that helps. Happy creating!

My Top Five Plugins For Figma

I use Figma more often than Photoshop to create graphics than UX. It’s just a great tool all around. These are the most used Plugins that I highly recommend.

1. Iconify


This plugin is so useful for UX Design. It has hundreds of icons to use.

2. Lorem Ipsum


We all need placeholder text in UX design.

3. Arc


Surprisingly, Figma doesn’t have this function in Figma. Again useful and simple to use. Although there are limitations.

4. Unsplash


Stock photos! A staple for every creative.

5. Grids Generator


Surprisingly, Figma doesn’t provide a tool to create grids. Simple to use.

Let me know what your favourite plugins are. Happy Creating!

How to create a vector from an Image in Adobe Illustrator CC

Sometimes you have an image you want to convert into a vector. There are two ways to do this:

One – Reoutline everything in Adobe Illustrator.
Two – Use the Image tracing function in Adobe Illustrator.

The first method offers more control, but it is tedious. The second method is quicker. However, the results will vary depending on the contrast and cleanliness of the image you are converting. I will show you how to do the second method, which is my preferred way. I use method one when there is no other choice.

Let’s get to it.

Step 1: Open the Image in Adobe Illustrator. I used one of my drawings as an example. Fun fact, I sprained my knee when I was younger pretty severely. I’m all better now, although I have some lingering pain there. Hopefully, it goes away eventually!

Step 2: Click on the image and then go to the top. You should see the “Image Tracing” bar. If not, go to Windows > Image Trace

Choose your preset. Depending on the level of detail you want. I chose. High Fidelity Photo. Then click “Image Trace.”

Step 3: Then click “Expand”

You should see blue outlines now on your image.

Step 4: To clean up the image further, right-click the image and choose “Ungroup.” You can now delete any white parts of the image and clean up the lines.

*Tip: Make another layer and put a different colour. It helps to see what’s happening.

And that’s it! Happy Creating.

5 Art Competition Shows to Binge

I love art in all its various forms. Here are some shows where the adrenaline gets high and the art surprises. Here are my top five shows in no particular order.

Ink Master

Tattooing is highly challenging. You cannot erase and fix your mistakes quickly. You are working on a human being which brings extra challenges. I love this show because of the different styles, ideas, and challenges brought to the show. It’s creative, and they tend to focus more on the tattoo than on the drama, although there are some.

Portrait Artist of the Year

In this show, artists have to do a live portrait painting. I can’t imagine the pressure of having people watch your every stroke! There is also a time limit which is even more stressful. The artists are quite the champs! I enjoy watching their process.

The Great Big Tiny Design Challenge

Sandi Toksvig and miniatures are something I didn’t know I needed in my life. Seeing miniatures being appreciated and the creation process is magical! There is nothing like this show, and it’s original!

School of Chocolate

Hosted by the amazing Amaury Guichon. He challenges pastry chefs to up their artistic and culinary skills. Renowned for making beautiful art out of chocolate, it’s incredible to watch.

Good with Wood/Handmade

It is humbling to see other art forms and know that there is still so much more to see. Woodworking is one of these. I love seeing people who are experts just do their thing. Also, it’s hosted by the lovely Mel Giedroyc!

Honourable mention goes to…

America’s Got Talent.

I would binge the art talent on youtube. It’s fantastic to see this mixture of entertainment, performance and art. It turns people’s perception that art is boring.

How to restore old photos in Adobe Photoshop

Technology today allows us to do some fantastic and heart-warming acts of service. One of these is the ability to restore old photos. Photoshop is one of the standard tools many use to do this. Here are some of the tools you can use within photoshop.

Clone tool and Content-aware Fill

The Clone tool has been around forever. It is a brush that copies one area and allows you to paste it. Here’s a quick guide on how to use it.

1. Click the clone icon on the menu or click “S” on your keyboard.

2. Hover over the section you want to copy and then left-click. Then hover over the part you want to fill with what you copy with the clone brush.

The content-aware tool is relatively new. Photoshop will attempt to read the file and fill it as best as possible through AI. Here’s a quick guide on how to use it.

1. Select the area you want to fill in. This can be done through the lasso tool, pen or polygon selection tool. Make sure you are close as possible you can.

2. You can go to the top menu, Edit > Content-Aware Fill, or you can click Fill. Either way, you will see the content-aware options.

You will see this one in the full content-aware fill menu. You can choose the sampling area you wish. Auto, the computer will calculate. Rectangular will look at just the rectangle, and custom is when you can specify the reference part.

You will see this if you click edit > Fill. A shortcut to reach here is “Shift + F5”. This is a simplified menu of the above. Click Okay, and the computer will automatically calculate the reference image and fill in the gaps. Photoshop does a pretty good job.

You can see here it filled it.

Using the paint tool

Sometimes the most straightforward tool is needed. Using the brush, you can paint areas. Here’s a quick guide on how to paint.

Taking body parts from other photos

There are times when the photo is degraded to the point that body parts aren’t seen. A fix is to grab the body part from another photo and use that piece. The tricky part is getting the toning and colour grading right to make it look like it was part of the picture. Here’s a quick guide on one way.

1. Cut out the body part you want and place it within the photo.

2. The added body part should be the top layer.

3. Go to menu “Image > Adjustments > Match color.”

4. In the Match color panel. In the Image Statistics section. The Source should be the body part. The Layer should be the background or what you are matching it to.

The luminance is how bright you want it to be, color intensity is the saturation, and fade is similar to opacity. Fiddle with the options to see how it looks. And that’s it!

Also, adding noise to the picture will merge it better into the picture. You can do this by going to Filter > Noise > Add Noise. Fiddle around. The lower the number, the better. Just a little bit helps.

Happy Creating!

Free Options for Graphic Design online

Sometimes all you need is a simple program to edit, and you don’t need anything heavy-duty. Here are some free, easy online options where you don’t have to download anything. You need an account, and you can start creating!


Although it is known for UX design, it is also handy for simple graphic design. There are a ton of tutorials out there, and you can pick them up quickly. I enjoy using it with my team to create work for clients as they can view and add notes. Best of all they have additional plugins that allow you to customize your canvas.


Suppose you want to get into digital painting, more advanced graphic design and manipulation. GIMP is the choice. There are also lots of tutorials too.


If social media is your Jam, then I highly suggest Canva. It has tons of free premade templates, and it also allows us to do animation! It takes out the stress of figuring out a design for social media. It has saved me time, even if you want to do simple graphic design such as adding text, cropping images, etc. Canva can do it.


It is best known for photo editing, animation, and design, and it is a great tool. I would say it is closer to GIMP. They are also have premade templates, and you can even try premium for free. This program does well in a pinch.

Happy Creating!

How To Create an Infographic

Infographics are one of the richest pieces of content out there. It is informative and is more easily digestible to the reader. Here is a simple guide to creating one.

Choose a topic

Some suggestions for topics are:

  • Statistics on a problem and how to solve it
  • Historical
  • Categorization
  • and more!

Gather actual stats

This can be found in various places, such as google scholar, other reputable sites, and universities.

Layout the information in a logical order

The purpose of an infographic and much visual content is to tell a story. Storyboard it out and see where the stats fit into it. It should flow in a natural order.

Create a draft

Time to design the infographic! Gather any illustrations you need, and this is the fun part.


Gather feedback and make the adjustments.


Let the world see your infographic. You can post them via social media, use them in your portfolio, or whatever else is appropriate.

Here are some inspirations from Lemonly, a company specializing in designing infographics.

Happy Creating!

Reddit Subreddits Artists Should Be Aware Of

Reddit is a fantastic place. It has something for everyone. Without further ado, here are recommendations for subreddits I think artists should be aware of.

Crappy Design

This one subreddit honestly makes me laugh when I have a terrible day. Not everyone hires a designer, and we get some pretty funny moments. I suggest checking the top of all time for the top-rated laughs.


Suppose you can’t think of what to draw visit SketchDaily. They give daily prompts, and it’s incredible what people think of on the fly.

I Can Draw That

You can visit this subreddit if you feel charitable with your time and are in a giving mood. Here you can fulfill the requests of Redditors.


This one is pretty much on the nose. Art is posted here daily, and they are amazing. I go here to get inspiration.


For the DIYers of the world! I love seeing people creating amazing things.

Graphic Design

Graphic Design is a worthwhile subreddit to look into if you are starting in it.

Low Poly

3D is everywhere, and low poly is one of the most popular styles! It has a charm that I can’t explain.

Imaginary Slice of Life

People love art because it can ‘paint’ a picture of a moment from this reality or imaginary!

Art Fundamentals

Get started in art if you are a beginner!


Fandoms spark people’s creativity! See alternative styles of your favourite tv shows, movies, comics, etc.!

Ideas for Marketing & Graphic Portfolio if you have nothing

If you find yourself in the unenviable position of having no work for a Portfolio, there is a solution. Do fake projects. Here are some ideas you do yourself to start building your portfolio.

Social Media campaign for a brand you love

Pick a brand that is in the industry you want to work in. It can be makeup, fashion, construction, etc. Whatever you want you can build a social media campaign.

Examples are:

  • New or Relaunch of a Product
  • Contest
  • Spotlight on the company
  • Awards

Influencer collaboration strategy

The influencer economy is growing and you can show you have your finger on the pulse. Choose a well-known influencer in your industry and create a fake campaign collaboration. For marketing, you can outline a strategy to generate leads through the use of discount codes and show a fictitious strategy.

Develop a business pitch for stakeholders/clients

This can be a presentation deck you would create to show how you would pitch a fake company to an investor, partner, supplier, etc.

Make a hypothetical business plan

Use a fake company. There are many business case studies you can use to base one off of. Here is one

Rebrand an existing business

This can be a fake company you made up or an existing one. You can go on Behance, and many people have done.
Examples are:

  • Redesigning packaging
  • Redesigning their website
  • Redesigning their logo and branding

Target market consultation pitch

  • For marketing show how you would break down a target audience and your outreach plan for them.
  • For a graphic designer, design for example a post for three different target audience.
  • This shows you understand personas.

Video campaign plan

This can be a variety of things. For example

  • Tutorial
  • Commerical
  • Company spotlight
  • Social media videos

Plan a seasonable/national awareness day campaign

You can use or to pick a day and build a campaign around it.

Develop your own personal brand

This is your chance to show who you really are and articulate it.

Hope that helps and I wish you the best of luck!

Tips for University Students in Graphic Design or Marketing

Setting yourself up for success in school is difficult. No one talks about it in high school or university. However, the internet is an excellent resource to help steer you in the correct direction. Here are my four top tips to help you do just that.

Get an Internship, Co-op, or Work Study

When choosing a university, many consider it obvious to look at who offers the best program for their desired major, such as the best teachers, equipment, facilities, etc. However, many fail to consider choosing a university if they have an internship, co-op, or work-study for their major. I think this is a significant consideration. Getting experience early is critical in building up your resume and your expertise.

Bonus, you will make some extra money and get a reference. A tip is to look at the internship/co-op/work-study requirements. I had to be a third-year student at my school, have a certain grade average, and take specific courses. It varies, of course, but you need to keep that in mind to qualify.

Some may argue you can get one outside of school. You can, of course! However, there are extra benefits. The schools have agreements with these companies that often have to fill those positions with students from a specific school. Your odds of getting that position increases significantly. They also sometimes offer help in interviewing and writing resumes and cover letters. Either way, you need to build up experience.

Start a Portfolio

This may be common sense, but it bears repeating. I would advocate having a physical and online portfolio if possible. There are many free websites you can take advantage of. Such as Google websites, Wix, and more. Here is where you can brand yourself, set yourself apart from others, look professional, and get experience building websites.

You may find yourself lacking projects. My answer, make fake ones. There are a lot of great ideas online for fake portfolio ideas. However, make sure it relates to your industry. Building a body of work will take time, but it is well worth it.

Start social media.

This is an easy and cost-effective method to get your name out there. Again, it’s building your brand as a secondary way to show your portfolio and participate in the community.

Another benefit is that you will become familiar with social media management. This is a skill many companies are looking for in regard to marketing.

Join a reputable registered group/certification

There are many organizations out there that offer certification. Bonus, they often offer a reduced price for students. Many companies specify a destination or certification for their candidates. Go on Linkedin, indeed or another job board and search for what kind they are looking for.

One I recommend for graphic designers, specifically in Canada, is RGD –

It will be a boon for your professional if you can get it. It will increase your prestige and validate your experience and skills, and you again can connect with like-minded individuals.

Volunteer (Optional)

This one is optional because I understand not everyone can pursue it due to financial situations. This is a way to build experience, a portfolio, and a network. I would recommend trying to find a contract or project-based position. Short-term is better, allowing you to make a clean break.

These are my top tips. If there are any I’m missing, let me know below. I wish you all the luck in your future development.

How To Create A Custom Brush in Adobe Illustrator

  1. Create your brush. What works best is to make it “line like” and make sure the ends are STRAIGHT Here’s an example one one I did.

2. Highlight/Select the entire design.

3. Go to the Brush panel. This can be accessed by Windows >Brushes
Then go to the bottom and click the + icon.

4. A panel will pop up and choose the “Pattern Brush” option.

5. You will now see a preview of the brush. You can rename it, and the boxes I highlighted further customized the look of the brush. Once you are satisfied with the look, click “OK” at the bottom.

6. Now, it will be in your brushes panel, and you can use the pen tool to create fantastic designs.

7. You can control the thickness of the brush by going to the stroke option.

I hope that helps! Happy creating.

Why is My Wacom’s Pen Pressure Not Working?

When getting a Wacom Tablet second-hand the pen pressure may not be working. It could possibly be due to faulty hardware, but before you throw it out try this.

1. Install the proper Driver.

There are specific product drivers that enable the pen pressure. Check out to find your tablet and install the driver.

This was the problem in my case and now I can do the digital painting!

2. Replace the Nib

Just like a pencil, although not as frequently, the nib does go through wear and tear. You can replace them. Go to

Happy creating.