Over the course of interviewing a number of the world’s best established and up-and-coming illustrators for this set of professional tips, one thing has become clear. regardless of how you’re employed – whatever medium or software you select – the concept, or idea, is that the most vital a part of your piece.
Every single one among the talented illustrators and designers that we’ve featured here confirmed this, before happening to supply their valuable software and industry-focused nuggets of recommendation to assist you extra your skills and career.
You may know most of those tips, but if there’s even one nugget that you simply weren’t conscious of then you’ll improve your work. So, before you start that new killer concept, listen of the good advice on offer to form the foremost of Illustrator and take your creations to subsequent level.
01. Supply it right
Always ask the client how they need the ultimate image. If they need the Illustrator file, and you’ve got many layers but don’t need to maneuver them to a replacement artwork one by one, it’s easier to draw an outsized rectangle over the ultimate image, Ctrlclick, and choose ‘Create a Clipping Mask’. This crops your artwork to the form you drew.
02. Learn the Bezier tools
Working with a Wacom tablet, I’m an enormous supporter of the Pen tool. The Bezier curves take time to find out , but are a super-efficient thanks to get the precise lines and shapes you would like . Use the Alt/Option key to tug off a replica , rather than copy and paste, and learn all the tool shortcuts to save lots of precious minutes.
03. Start out right
Consider the technology which will produce the work – you approach a full-colour image for a print magazine differently than something you’d spray on a wall. Our wall decal illustrations need to be simple, one-dimensional and straightforward to chop out, so we use styles from the ’60s and ’70s with elementary shapes.
04. Mix it up
Don’t be afraid to get rid of elements to form a composition that you’re proud of . I usually believe a picture for an extended time before I start illustrating – but sometimes I just start with a line and a shape, then remove them. I remove half everything I draw, and from that the illustration evolves.
05. Send it as a TIFF
Work from the start in CMYK and albeit your final image is vector, attempt to send it as a TIFF. this may avoid any quite colour problem or involuntary change – in colour or composition.
06. Be tidy and straightforward
Make sure you retain track of your layers – I usually have tons in any piece – and keep things tidy. I only use Illustrator’s Selection, Direct Selection and Pen tools, because I prefer to not let the software’s plethora of (admittedly very good) tools get within the way of my vision. It’s all about simplicity and execution.
07. return to basics
The best thanks to start any project is in your sketchbook: get your ideas down on paper, and be scrappy. Push ideas around, make observations, document everything that comes into your head. once I plan a picture , everything usually stems from keywords and sketches, from there it’s just a matter of layout.
08. Use Smart Guides
I love Illustrator’s Smart Guides – an excellent feature introduced in CS4. At the start they freaked me out a touch , but now I find that I just can’t stop using them. They let me structure objects very quickly. They also help me align shapes and nodes when I’m drawing – they seem to be a great time-saving device.
09. Master the Pathfinder
Master the Pathfinder tool. Realizing its full potential will enable you to quickly and simply build shapes without the necessity for laborious use of the Pen tool.
10. Keep it consistent
“Always keep consistency of favor in mind in every element of your illustration. If you add too many differing styles, and too many jarring shapes, the illustration will tend to lack authority. attempt to add your style to each vector element within the work, regardless of how small – this may keep things consistent.”
11. Don’t use the incorrect tools
“With gradients and gradient meshes, plus skilful use of shadows and glows, you’ll dabble during a kind of digital photorealism. But simply because it are often done, doesn’t suggest you ought to . If you’re trying to supply such an impact in an illustration, use Photoshop, collage techniques, or photograph readymade compositions.”
12. do not forget your audience
“The most vital a part of any illustration is that the message. the foremost common mistake by many illustrators is forgetting the audience – your job is to succeed in the proper people and provides them your client’s message. The key’s to try to to your research and know your audience, it isn’t about what you wish .”
13. Don’t believe stock vectors
“I’m hooked in to people drawing their own objects. Don’t rely too heavily on stock vectors in your work – they have been massively overused, and it’s now abundantly obvious once they are employed during a piece. Stock vector textures are a specific complaint of mine during a project.”
14. Don’t pick from RGB
If you’re performing on a vector illustration and need to sample some colours from other placed images within it, one thing I always avoid using is that the Eyedropper to urge a color from a linked picture. the worth of every CMYK shows a wierd number, and that i do not like it.
15. do not be obvious
The beautiful array of colour swatches in Illustrator are priceless. But avoid ‘the easy way’, especially with shading, gradients and effects. tons of the apparent methods can create predictable results, as they’re the tools everyone uses. If you experiment you will find your own way, with more original results.
16. Don’t scrimp on the detail
Read abreast of colour theory and the way colours appear next to others, experimenting with hues, tones and shades. Attention to detail is extremely important – if you’ve got a landscape with clouds, instead of creating one cloud and replica and pasting it, resizing or flipping it, I create a series of unique clouds. It just adds to the ultimate work.
17. Don’t complicate things
I use as many shortcuts as possible so as to form Illustrator more useful, friendly and bearable once I work. The keyboard has got to be sort of a piano for a pianist. And your Well com pen has got to be just like the baton for an orchestra. i feel of vector as a way , instead of a method .
18. don’t be concerned about technology
A few years ago there have been things I avoided – mainly for performance issues, but also because certain tools weren’t refined enough. But lately i can not see what would be a drag . Sometimes i buy stuck on gradient meshes, but most of the time, I admit it isn’t Illustrator’s fault, it’s mine.
19. Don’t use the Trace tool
Even though it’s going to appear to be a handy option, don’t use the Auto Trace tool in Illustrator, or use trace shapes within your design – the results always tend to seem obvious and amateurish. i feel this rule holds true regardless of how well the tracing has been done.
20. Don’t send it immediately
After hours and hours of working and concentrating on a picture , i feel it’s always an honest idea to not check out the ultimate image for about 24 hours. once you come to a project with fresh eyes, you’re more ready to see any final changes that the image may have .