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Author Topic: New to illustrations  (Read 13088 times)

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« on: March 03, 2009, 21:04 »
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Hi all I am interested in learning illustrations and vector art.
Any advice on how to get started?




« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2009, 01:57 »
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Download Inkscape a open source vector program and play with it until you learn it.  Look through vectors at all the sites to see what's popular, what's over done and what needs doing.  Create as many illustrations as you can.  See what sells and what doesn't.  Rinse and repeat.

« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2009, 03:34 »
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Download Inkscape a open source vector program and play with it until you learn it.  Look through vectors at all the sites to see what's popular, what's over done and what needs doing.  Create as many illustrations as you can.  See what sells and what doesn't.  Rinse and repeat.

Do the big sites like Istock, Dreamstime, SS, etc accept illustrations from inkscape or are they wanting Illustrator CS only? I think I may have read something along these lines somewhere but not sure. So should I start with illustrator directly ?


« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2009, 04:10 »
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What does most people use for illustrations for microstock inkscape or illustrator?

« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2009, 04:25 »
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most people use illustrator.  It is far ahead of inkscape but both work.  inkscape is free so if you are tight on cash go with inkscape.  if you are wanting to be productive use illustrator.

My suggestion would be to perhaps try both.  You can download illustrator from adobe with a 30 day trial.  Download it, watch as many tutorials as you can on youtube and lynda.com and anywhere else you can find and see if it is for you.

vlad_the_imp

« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2009, 06:55 »
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Quote
Hi all I am interested in learning illustrations and vector art.
Any advice on how to get started?

Spend 4 years at art school.
Unless you are exceptionally talented you will get nowhere otherwise (see all the 2nd rate vector artists clogging up all the sites and getting next to no sales)

« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2009, 07:24 »
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Do the big sites like Istock, Dreamstime, SS, etc accept illustrations from inkscape or are they wanting Illustrator CS only? I think I may have read something along these lines somewhere but not sure. So should I start with illustrator directly ?

iStock accepts work in .eps format v8.  Doesn't matter where it came from.  However, if you have no skills or experience using the software, you are a long ways away from submitting to iStock, so don't worry about that part.

bittersweet

« Reply #7 on: March 04, 2009, 10:15 »
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Do the big sites like Istock, Dreamstime, SS, etc accept illustrations from inkscape or are they wanting Illustrator CS only? I think I may have read something along these lines somewhere but not sure. So should I start with illustrator directly ?

iStock accepts work in .eps format v8.  Doesn't matter where it came from.  However, if you have no skills or experience using the software, you are a long ways away from submitting to iStock, so don't worry about that part.

This is correct. Actual drawing ability and a valid .eps file are all that's required.

« Reply #8 on: March 04, 2009, 12:37 »
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Spend 4 years at art school. That's funny!  :)

« Reply #9 on: March 04, 2009, 12:50 »
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Download Inkscape a open source vector program and play with it until you learn it.  Look through vectors at all the sites to see what's popular, what's over done and what needs doing.  Create as many illustrations as you can.  See what sells and what doesn't.  Rinse and repeat.

Do the big sites like Istock, Dreamstime, SS, etc accept illustrations from inkscape or are they wanting Illustrator CS only? I think I may have read something along these lines somewhere but not sure. So should I start with illustrator directly ?



The two major problems with inkscape are that you cannot use gradients or transparencies and the fact that many functions cannot be automated as in illustrator.  However the bezier tool is 1000 times easier to use in my opinion.  It's a simple program but capable to producing decent results.

bittersweet

« Reply #10 on: March 04, 2009, 13:07 »
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Spend 4 years at art school. That's funny!  :)


While I don't think that is necessarily a requirement, I understand where the comment came from. It is a bit exasperating to see someone worrying about which software to use for their submission when they seem to have skipped a few of the fundamental steps to becoming an illustrator. Owning a copy of the program does not make one an illustrator. Basic drawing skills are kinda important (though I will admit seemingly not a requirement on some sites).

vlad_the_imp

« Reply #11 on: March 05, 2009, 09:09 »
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Quote
Spend 4 years at art school. That's funny

Take a look in iStock's critique forum at the moment. 2 or 3 vector failure's unable to understand why their work has been rejected.
Here's a big clue-because it's crap. Maybe, if they'd had an art education they may have developed their critical faculties to the point where they could see that.
One of the big problems for stock agencies is the overload of rubbish uploaded. OK, the really bad gets rejected, but about 40% more could easily go, quality-wise.
Spending 4 years drawing non-stop improves your ability no end.

« Reply #12 on: March 05, 2009, 11:55 »
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Spending 4 years drawing non-stop improves your ability no end.

And more important, keeps them away from uploading  ;D

bittersweet

« Reply #13 on: March 05, 2009, 14:16 »
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Spending 4 years drawing non-stop improves your ability no end.

And more important, keeps them away from uploading  ;D

Yes, I'm sure that was the motivation for the comment.  ::)

I actually just happened upon a vector at SS that was honestly no more than a single Zapf dingbat filled with a rainbow gradient and repeated in various sizes.

I guess an important question is where you set your sites. If your only goal is to get something up somewhere, anywhere, then you probably don't need to put forth very much effort at all. Some of the sites are obviously very .... um... flexible in their quality standards. If your goal is to learn how to create quality work and be accepted into a quality vector collection, then you will need to get some drawing experience under your belt. You have to decide for yourself if it's worth the trouble.

graficallyminded

« Reply #14 on: March 06, 2009, 21:56 »
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You can't use transparencies anyway, illustrator 8.0 turns blends into raster art.  That's no good, it will just get you big fat rejections.  If there's a way to use transparencies and the blending modes and save to eps 8.0 without issues, please someone fill me in. 

4 years in college didn't teach me crap about software - they just give you the basics in about a week.  I'm glad I started teaching myself back when in high school.  It's basically up to you to learn the software in the graphic design world.  No wonder why there are so many terrible designers; these schools crank them out so fast and they hit the job market not knowing what the heck they're doing.  I know - I've had to interview droves of them, only later to find out they couldn't do simple things like make a proper selection in Photoshop.  Thats the point when they got the boot and we had to throw the ad back up on craigslist, only to get 50 more applications every day.

helix7

« Reply #15 on: March 06, 2009, 22:55 »
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... Owning a copy of the program does not make one an illustrator...

But... but... I bought this DSLR camera... doesn't that make me a professional photographer??  :(

 ;)

... No wonder why there are so many terrible designers; these schools crank them out so fast and they hit the job market not knowing what the heck they're doing...

Ain't that the truth. University programs today are crap. I graduated in 2002 during winter semester, with about a dozen other people. Today, I believe I'm one of 2 of those 13 people working professionally in the graphic design field. Most of those people were screwed before they graduated, they just didn't know it yet. If anyone thinks that just attending a college design program will get you a job, get ready for a big surprise. Colleges are grossly under-preparing students for design careers.



graficallyminded

« Reply #16 on: March 06, 2009, 23:57 »
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Same here, I think I'm one of 5 that I know actually have jobs in the field.  There was probably a total of around 60 in my graduated class that were going for design as their major.  Some of them make it, but they're stuck in dead end jobs like newspaper or catalog layout.  Usually those types of jobs are $12-16/hr at best.  Or they're stuck working in sweat shop print centers or commercial presses.

« Reply #17 on: March 08, 2009, 16:12 »
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How much does it take to make one of those 5000 dl backgrounds with swirling lines ??? Not 4 years.   No wonder people wanna try when they see those.

« Reply #18 on: March 08, 2009, 19:38 »
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How much does it take to make one of those 5000 dl backgrounds with swirling lines ??? Not 4 years.   No wonder people wanna try when they see those.

Ha!
Much agreed.  Of the top fifteen most popular files on IS, seven are vectors, of which 5 are floral or "swirl" backgrounds.  One is a set of banners and the other is silhouettes with colored background.  I mean the artists no disrespect because these vectors are exquisitely done and very pleasing to the eye.  But like magnum said, who can't look at these rather simple illustrations and say to themselves "I could probably do that."  Obviously quite a few as the search terms "floral background" on IS produces 18,683 files.

However, vector programs have a very steep learning curve.  Those inclined to learn the programs most likely already have an affinity to or at least an interest in art to be willing to spend the time learning the program.  Since you NEED vector software to create vector illustrations, learning to operate the software is probably the most important thing.  As mentioned above there are graphic design graduates who can't even make a proper selection in Photoshop.  And there are probably a lot of art school grads who are crap artists.  Luckily the good and hardworking artists are rewarded by having higher sales by producing a higher quality and thus more desired product.     

« Reply #19 on: March 09, 2009, 03:21 »
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I am interested in vectors and did a few with inkscape but mine are very simple and the more complicated ones must take a long time to produce.  I spend too long in front of the computer and the thought of adding more hours doesn't appeal to me.  I have a lot of respect for those that can do it.

« Reply #20 on: March 09, 2009, 16:14 »
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I applied once to IS but my submissions were considered too simple.  And they are.  I am not AI master and I lost by small freehand drawing skills years ago in technical drawing.  Nevertheless, the humble illustrations I am able to make sell well - my best-seller in DT, BigStock and FT are illustrations (3 different ones) and I got a few ELs with them too. 

So even if it seems I am not to the level of being in IS, it doesn't matter.

Regards,
Adelaide


« Reply #21 on: March 09, 2009, 18:00 »
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Thanks for your encouragement Madelaide. I also have drawn in the past at high school, and I guess never giving up is the key to trying.

« Reply #22 on: March 09, 2009, 18:04 »
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i also think that my initial thread was misunderstood. I did not mean to get the latest software etc. I do firmly believe however in learning the system that would be accepted from the outset, after all what's the point of knowing how to draw if you can't use illustrator if thats the accepted standard of software?? or even becoming familiar with another software to start with if the output from it will not be accepted, might as well persist from the beginning with the correct thing even it it may seem daunting.

« Reply #23 on: March 09, 2009, 18:20 »
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My DT best-seller was one of my first attempts and I used Canvas by then - a free version that came in a PC magazine.  When I tried to convert it to EPS as required by the sites, it was a disaster.  Later I purchased AI.

If you are ok with sticking to raster versions of your illustrations, I am sure AI is not required.  But if you want to sell vectors, then you will need AI.  Maybe another software is also acceptable, but surely not Canvas 6 - maybe a newer version is more compatible (it's from the same makers of ACDSee).

Regards,
Adelaide

« Reply #24 on: March 09, 2009, 18:58 »
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Thanks again madelaide, your posting is more along the lines of info I was looking for.

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