Illustrator: Vector Headaches

While many of us have heard of the magical company that is Adobe how many have ventured outside of say Photoshop? Well I had a class designed around the left handed sister that is Illustrator.

Love it or hate it there are many times you will wonder why you even ventured into this program. On the flip side I have had many times I was crying tears of joy that I had used this program over Photoshop.

What does this program offer over Photoshop? Well if you don’t understand vectors let’s just simplify things by saying you place points, describe the line between the points, and how shapes are to be filled. Ok that probably doesn’t help many of you but needless to say it takes what could be a HUGE file and minimizes it without losing any information. The image can be recreated at any size with virtually no pixel issues. Don’t want fuzzy edges when you enlarge your image? Vectors baby!

I really simplified things but let’s move on to how this ends up working and looking.

Before this course I had actually had quite a bit of experience using Illustrator but not specifically for image creation. This means I was at that point where you are sitting there knowing you can create something awesome if you just knew what all those little icons meant. My problem then had to lie with the fact in which most tutorials spend their time only getting you here and figure you’re good. Am I right? How many computer applications do this? Gah!

You would think the beginning few weeks would be torture but I was already learning so many nifty tricks. Like how the blend tool works best when blending two shapes using the same number of anchors. You select the first shape’s anchor and the second shape’s relative anchor. You can also change how many steps this blend takes making it choppy or super blended. I also learned how that pesky mesh tool works. You can essentially change each point on your grid to create a more fine tuned gradient and even move the points around to create more believable form shapes!

Our first assignment was to take a selfie that was interesting and transpose it in Illustrator.

Best Picture Evar!!!


Beautiful, I know. If you haven’t felt my comedic personality through my writing maybe this image will give you a nice shot into my internal monologue.

Next we had the fun of trying our hand at a mechanical object. I’m not going to lie I had a lot of fun figuring out the textures with this little monster.

Side and 3/4 views of a Duracell 300 flashlight using Adobe Illustrator

The next fun assignment was re-creating a shot from a favorite old-school video game. Now I don’t know how many of you have ever played Battle of Olympus but I can promise you it was a blast! My childhood memory was giggling in the background the whole time I got to work on this one.

Battle of Olympus NES screen shot recreation


Last but not least our final assignment was to create an image that illustrated an idiom. See if you can figure out what it was before reading past the image.

Lend Me Your Ear-01.png
Lend me your ear!

While I would love to come back to these pieces I can’t help but get caught up in my current assignments. Maybe once I graduate I can turn these into personal projects and really make them something else!

As always I discover useful sites that end up teaching me all about a topic I just finished a class on. Where was this hiding when I needed it?! I found this page and fell in love with their useful tutorials about Illustrator.

Leave me comments if you liked it. I’d love to hear feedback.


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