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The Community’s 22 Favorite Free Downloads in 2021

Say goodbye to 2021 with these free guides, tools, patterns, and more to take your creativity to the next level in 2022

Whether it's inspirational materials, reference guides, tips, patterns, or tools, your creativity can always benefit from the support of creative resources to help your process really flow. And where better to source those resources than the experts and professionals with a deep understanding of their craft?

As an end-of-year gift—and to help you plan your creative endeavors for 2022—we've compiled the Domestika community's favorite free downloads of 2021.

So, say goodbye to the old year and kick-off 2022 by taking your creativity to the next level with the year's top free resources across various disciplines including illustration, craft, photography, 3D animation, marketing, design, and more—all exclusive to the Domestika community.

These downloads will be available until December 13, 2021.

Illustration


Free Download: Simple Guide for Drawing a Hummingbird, by Marco Mazzoni

The animal kingdom has always been a strong source of inspiration for artists, with surprisingly accurate metaphors of human emotions found in different animals’ characteristics.

Artist and illustrator Marco Mazzoni (@marcomazzoniart) uses colored pencils to illustrate animals and natural elements packed with mood and symbolism. He’s fascinated by flora and fauna, and his illustrations are filled with depictions of human emotions inspired by nature. Have a go at creating your own colorful hummingbird using his annotated step-by-step drawings to guide you.

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Artist and illustrator Marco Mazzoni shares annotated step-by-step drawings for drawing a hummingbird.


18 Free Photoshop and Procreate Drawing Brushes, by Catalina Bu

When you first start drawing, it’s almost like learning a new language—but with your hands. Each stroke, line, and color is a reflection of your creativity. The best thing is that everyone can venture into this challenge with just a sketchbook or notebook and a little practice every day.

For the illustrator Catalina Bustos Mendoza, better known as Catalina Bu (@catalinabu), drawing is a kind of personal manifesto. It's not just perfection or beauty that matters, but the ideas you express through it. In addition, nowadays, it is also important to bring your style to the digital world. This will allow you to refine the results and experiment without limits in the language of your drawing. Here, she shares eighteen digital brushes to experiment with your style.

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Illustrator Catalina Bu shares eighteen digital brushes to experiment with your digital illustration style.


Free Illustrated Guide to Learn How to Use a Sketchbook to Tell Stories, by Karishma Chugani

Creative block hits us all at some point in our creative journey. Luckily, there are several techniques and practices that can help to get your creative juices flowing and combat any fear or uncertainty you may have about your abilities. One simple yet effective strategy that’s used by even the most famous and successful artists is to keep a sketchbook.

In this resource, artist, designer, writer, and illustrator behind L'École de Papier, Karishma Chugani (@karishma_chugani), shares her step-by-step illustrated summary of how she uses her sketchbook to house the entire creative process of a project, from the initial ideas right through to the final result.

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Karishma Chugani shares her illustrated summary of how she uses a sketchbook to house the entire creative process.

Writing


Free Guide: Top Tips for Writing Blog Posts, by Emma Jane Palin

Emma Jane Palin (@emmajanepalin) is an award-winning blogger, writer, interior stylist, and digital marketing specialist. She knows the importance of building a community around your blog and how to best reach out and connect with your target audience.

The beauty of a blog is that it’s personal, but for your business, you might not want it to seem as if it’s just you. The real focus when it comes to writing should be about bringing your voice to the forefront. Do you want to be formal or passive, educational or inspiring? Check out Emma’s brilliant guide to help you work through your blog posts methodically.

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Award-winning blogger Emma Jane Palin's tips will help you work through your blog posts methodically.


Free Guide for Overcoming Writer’s Block, by Shaun Levin

Author and creative writing teacher Shaun Levin (@shaun_levin) will tell you that writing needs no preparation and that there are endless narrative options available to you when writing a story.

In creative writing, all you need is a pen or a pencil and paper to get started. With this resource, Shaun shares twelve ways to avoid writer's block and how to use these prompts to boost your creative process.

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Writer Shaun Levin shares twelve ways to avoid writer's block and how to use these prompts to boost your creative process.

Craft


Free Butterfly Embroidery Pattern, by Emillie Ferris

In the art of needle painting, a needle acts like a brush and the thread as the paint, helping you achieve hyper-realistic designs. You can create realistic embroidered pieces using the long and short stitch technique, just like Emillie Ferris (@emillieferris), who makes contemporary embroidery patterns, kits, pins, and original hoop art using traditional methods.

Insects are a wonderful place to start if you’re a beginner in this craft, as they can be very forgiving of mistakes. Their symmetrical nature also makes the entire embroidery process very meditative and relaxing. In this resource, you will find a ready-made image of a Monarch butterfly that you can print, cut out, and trace over your chosen fabric.

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Embroidery artist Emillie Ferris shares a ready-made image of a Monarch butterfly to print, cut out, and trace over.


Free Recipes for Paper Mâché Paste, by Sarah Hand

With paper mâché, you can make all kinds of handicrafts using easy-to-find materials. Artist, author, and teacher Sarah Hand (@the_sarah_hand) sees paper mâché as a way to slow down and enjoy the present moment. As well as sculpting characters that tell their own stories, Sarah teaches this hands-on technique to people of all ages and has published a book sharing her expertise on the craft.

Are you ready to tear paper, build, and decorate your own paper mâché craft project? In this resource, you’ll find two simple recipes for the glue that holds it all together: your paper mâché paste that will hold the paper in the desired shape and give life to your projects.

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Paper mâché artist Sarah Hand shares two recipes for the paste that will hold your craft projects together.


Free Pattern to Make a Nordic Crochet Vest, by Ali Maravillas

When it comes to crochet, choosing an inspiring and interesting pattern to keep you motivated is key. If you want to learn to make a vest, step by step, get crafty making this free pattern by Nordic-style crochet designer and yarnbomber Alicia Recio Rodríguez (@AliMaravillas) that will keep you crocheting for hours and hours.

The hygge vest is versatile and designed in a timeless style with its cozy, light, and cool design. The vest pattern also comes with variations for three different sizes so you can tailor it to your own fit.

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Renowned crochet designer Alimaravillas shares her pattern for a Nordic-style crochet vest.


Free Tapestry Crochet Patterns for Geometric Designs, by Molla Mills

Crochet is a craft that's all about self-expression. You can create original handmade pieces that show off your personality by drawing inspiration from the world around you and translating it into a one-of-a-kind crocheted design. This is exactly what Molla Mills (@molla_mills), a renowned crochet artist and author from Finland, does for her colorful collection of designs.

If you're looking for new ways to experiment with your style, in this download Molla shares some of her beautiful, geometric tapestry crochet patterns to get you started.

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Well-known crochet artist Molla Mills shares some of her beautiful, geometric tapestry crochet patterns.

Photography & Video


Free Download: 4 Photoshop Brushes for Magical Photomontage, by Natacha Einat

Photomontage is a versatile technique of creating and combining images with unique, sometimes surreal, results. Digital artist Natacha Einat (@skipandwork) uses photomontage to portray fantastical ideas in a realistic style. Her works are filled with visual metaphors that reflect on the concepts of growth, transformation, and positivity.

Here, Natacha shares an exclusive set of brushes from her Domestika course with elements from outer space such as the moon, the Milky Way, and clouds that add a dreamy touch to your images.

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Digital artist Natacha Einat shares an exclusive set of brushes for creating dreamy photomontages.


Free DSLR Camera Manual for Beginners, by Rafa Jacinto

In the world of professional photography and video, the DSLR camera is the most popular option on the market thanks to its size and various options for lenses, giving photographers more freedom. And while they may look complicated as a beginner, with the right guide you can quickly start experimenting.

Brazilian photographer and filmmaker Rafael Jacinto (@rafajacinto) has worked for clients such as Nikon, Nike, and Converse. In his work, he uses amazing techniques to tell unique stories through the lens of creativity. In this resource, Rafael shares a brief graphic manual showing how a DSLR camera works, its sensors, and the differences in resolution.

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Brazilian photographer and filmmaker Rafael Jacinto shares a brief graphic manual showing how a DSLR camera works.

Typography, Calligraphy & Lettering


Free Procreate Brushes for Lettering, by Eduardo Mejía

In digital lettering, learning how you can use different brushes and having a deep understanding of your software (like Procreate) can really boost your creativity. The combination means you can design letters with lots of personality and high precision.

Graphic designer Eduardo Mejía (@eduardograph) specializes in branding and lettering, he experiments with digital brushes to add different textures to his works and try out various compositions. In this download, Eduardo shares eleven of his favorite brushes for Procreate. If you’re starting out in lettering, this set will allow you to play around with different styles (and develop your own).

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Graphic designer Eduardo Mejía shares eleven of his favorite brushes for lettering in Procreate.


Free Arabic Calligraphy Guide for Beginners, by Joumana Medlej

The earliest form of Arabic calligraphy and the first Arabic script to be made “consciously beautiful”, Kufi or Kufic script’s geometric structure and precise grid revolutionized Arabic writing and turned it into a form of art. Though the style of Kufic script has faded over the last thousand years, Lebanese artist Joumana Medlej (@majnouna) keeps the practice alive, specializing and teaching the artistic techniques behind this lost art.

In this resource, she shares beginner exercises and useful tips, including how to craft independent letters, letter combinations, short sentences, structural and stylistic practice, some common mistakes to avoid, and more.

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Lebanese artist Joumana Medlej shares beginner exercises and useful tips for old Arabic calligraphy style, Kufic script.

Architecture & Spaces


Free Download: Sketching Guide for Interior Design Projects, by Ciszak Dalmas Ferrari Studio

Great design is the product of solving real problems with original creative ideas. Matteo Ferrari and Andrea Caruso, two of the partners at Ciszak Dalmas Ferrari Studio (@ciszak_dalmas_ferrari), rely on strategic design thinking and a range of inspiration to create singular spaces that are both practical and eye-catching.

They blend their backgrounds in industrial design and architecture to develop impactful interior spaces and create strategies for working with clients, understanding a visitor’s journey, and transforming a store, house, restaurant, or public space down to the last inspiring detail—and it all starts with a sketch. In this guide, the duo shares practical exercises, materials, and examples for different elements to add to your own sketches.

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Ciszak Dalmas Ferrari Studio share practical exercises and examples of different elements to add to your sketches.

Marketing


Free Creative Brief Template for Social Media, by Paul Anglin

When engaging with a new client, a brand, or planning your own social media plan, there's one crucial step of the process: the brief. For Senior Copywriter Paul Anglin (@paulanglin), this might be the single most important document for any project.

Drawing on twenty years of experience working with brands like Apple, Nike, and Microsoft, Paul shares his process for developing a brief that ticks all the boxes, and how to use that brief to develop captivating copywriting strategies for your social media audience. To help guide you in your future projects, the easy-to-tailor template takes into account objectives, audience, creative aspects, KPIs, deadlines, and more.

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Senior Copywriter Paul Anglin shares his process for developing a copy brief.


Free Download: Community Management Strategy Template, by Hana Klokner

Mastering social media as a community manager or social media strategist means building, growing, and maintaining thriving communities online. It involves creating an online brand presence that truly resonates with the audiences while generating meaningful conversations and interactions with the product.

Social Media Marketing Specialist Hana Klokner (@hanajayklokner) has been working with major brands (from the UN to glh Hotels) on community management strategy for over ten years, so she knows that strong community management depends on a solid strategy. Here, she shares a detailed template to help you improve your community management strategy.

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Social Media Marketing Specialist Hana Klokner shares a detailed template to improve your community management strategy.

Design


Free Download: Visual Principles Guide for Design, by Katya Kovalenko

A great designer knows that to effectively communicate information, a nice-looking design alone isn’t enough. Effective communication requires creating graphic visualizations that help companies articulate what their product is about, and to do this, there are basic principles we need to follow.

With a background in communication and advertising, presentation and data designer Katya Kovalenko (@katyakovalenko) helps businesses convey their message clearly. In this resource, Katya shares a guide on visual hierarchy principles to improve all your design projects. Learn about size and scale, color, differences and similarities for charts, readability, and more.

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Presentation and data designer Katya Kovalenko shares a guide on visual hierarchy principles to improve your design projects.


Free Adobe Illustrator Template for Data Visualization, by Federica Fragapane

Crafting graphs and tables that are easy on the eye can be a tricky task, but when elegant design meets data visualization, reading and understanding complex information becomes a genuinely pleasant experience.

Taking infographics to the next level, information designer Federica Fragapane (@federica_fragapane) is renowned for her ability to transform tables and numbers into an opportunity to tell a captivating story. Here, she shares her free Adobe Illustrator template for designing data visualizations.

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Information designer Federica Fragapane shares her free Adobe Illustrator template for designing data visualizations.

3D & Animation


Free Guide for Designing 3D Characters, by Laurie Rowan

When it comes to illustrating hand-drawn sketches to convert into playful 3D characters, animator, illustrator, and director Laurie Rowan (@laulrowan) knows the importance of searching for and learning how to use inspirational resources to guide your creative process.

Ready to get started in 3D character design? Check out Laurie’s guide with his personal approach to character design, from the concept phase through gathering inspiration and the final reference image, to help you discover new sources of inspiration when building characters and sets.

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Animator and illustrator Laurie Rowan shares his free Guide packed with tips for designing 3D characters.


Free Adobe Photoshop Brushes for Digital Background Painting, by Susan Yung

When we think of 3D animations, our minds go straight to the characters in movies such as Toy Story and Frozen. But, who would Elsa and Anna be without the magical realm of Arendelle, or Buzz and Woody without the comforting setting of Andy’s bedroom?

Strong background art is an essential part of animation to tell your story effectively, adding dimension, light, color, and texture to a scene, as well as setting the mood. In this resource, background animator teacher Susan Yung (@suzcorriander) shares her favorite Adobe Photoshop brushes so you can start working on your own animated scenes.

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Background artist Susan Yung shares her favorite Photoshop brushes so you can start working on your own animated scenes.

Fashion


Free Sewing Guide: How To Sew a Perfect V-Neck, by Nivule + Pesci Rossi

Are you looking to make your wardrobe more sustainable? Learning to make your own clothes is one way of controlling the manufacturing process and choice of materials. It also allows you to let your imagination run wild and find your personal style without clinging to trends.

The designers behind the independent Italian tailors Nivule + Pesci Rossi (@nivule_pescirossi), Tania and Novella are all about slow fashion and handcrafting each piece with care. Here, the pair share a free how-to guide for sewing a perfectly pointed V-neckline on a dress.

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Independent Italian tailors Nivule + Pesci Rossi share a free how-to guide for sewing a perfectly pointed V-neckline.


Free Fashion Pose Templates For Drawing Croquis Sketches, by Connie Lim

There’s an explosion of creativity in the fashion illustration industry, with many illustrators drawing inspiration from runways and editorials to create striking visual expressions through drawing and painting. One such example, mixed media fashion illustrator Connie Lim (@_connielim_) has developed her own unique processes to achieve the perfect pose and style of her illustrated fashion figures.

To create expressive illustrations for your own fashion designs, Connie has created a handbook with examples of reference poses, each conveying different moods and emotions, that you can adapt to suit your illustration aesthetic.

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Fashion illustrator Connie Lim share handbook with examples of reference for sketching croquis in different poses.

These downloads will be available until December 13, 2021.

Ready to enter 2022 exploring your creativity? Find out more aboutall of Domestika's online courses. And, to explore more of our free resources, check out the Downloads section.

You may also like:

- 4 Easy Watercolor Exercises for Beginners
- Quick Tips For Taking Incredible Photos With Your Phone
- Vintage Design Ideas: 100,000 Free Fashion Illustrations
- Creative Writing for Beginners: Bringing Your Story to Life, course by Shaun Levin
- Creating Garments Using Crochet, course by Alicia Recio Rodríguez

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