Week Long Challenge: Learning to Use the Pen Tool for illustrator

The pen tool is an essential tool for using Adobe illustrator is what I learned after reading 5 essential tips to use as a beginner in illustrator. I challenged myself to learn how to use this tool since at first it can seem awkward and un-useful but after practice it makes creating images and editing much easier to do. My challenge is to start out easy using the pen tool to create or practice something every day and gradually move onto harder things and post it here in this article. Here it is:

Day 1:



I simply drew my name for the first day. With the pen tool it’s easy to make straight lines and also adjust each point/line to be even ( I didn’t do these letters on my first try).

Day 2:


On day two I practiced another way to link lines that will give you more precise curves in tracing shapes using click+drag+alt. I received this from a tutorial from CMVA tutorials (by the way, I didn’t design the superman logo but traced the shapes inside to give color. You can also have illustrator trace the shape which is much easier, but this was practice with the pen tool.

Day 3

Day 3-01

Day three I watched a nice tutorial and using the tips in their I traced this shark I found (credit to Jack Y Zang). Mine is at the top. I learned something very simple that helped me tremendously. By clicking on the node mid-draw with the pen tool you delete the “future” line that wants to predict what to do next but isn’t what I wanted. This made it much easier to continue tracing without having to exit and redraw. Great tips from pixelmoshpit on youtube.

The Freelance World of Design

The design field is a large area with no real qualifying degrees you need. Look at this man: Myron Griffing.

He attained a degree in graphic design and is now designing the interior of homes and is succeeding in it.

His clients say that he is very creative and also takes into account their ideas and what they like when he designs a room for them. 2 factors that are key in the design industry.

Another example is Paty Crabtree, who after attaining a graphic design degree went on to become a high profile hair designer. She said:

Experience is also not a huge matter. take me for example. I started working with zero experience in graphic design and self taught myself working for a digital marketing company. I am not a head designer or anything but I produce work that clients see and use. I am also paid and not working a free internship.

With practice and commitment one can be a self taught graphic designer- with hundreds of free youtube tutorials on just about everything you would need to know.

One great aspect of this field is the ability to be your own boss. Although it takes work and commitment you can be the author of your own schedule, work, and business.

Check out this free guide that give you tips on how to do so from CB Creative Bloq.

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From their experience:

“The road to self-employment success can be long and hard. You have to manage your time efficiently. Pay is irregular and insecure. You work alone and make brews for one. Get it right, though, and you’re free to be as discerning with projects undertaken as you are flexible with your working hours. You can set up office in a coffee shop or another continent – and there’s no cap on your potential income”.

I hope this gives a picture of how flexible the are of design really is (Note: design is still a hard field, but it may allow more freedom and control of your work).

My World’s Greatest Speaker Training Wrap Up

The World’s Greatest Speaker Conference was awesome! It was really hyped, very energetic. Brandon Burchard was the main speaker and he nailed it! He was a very energetic speaker. The thing I loved about him was how he was just himself out there. He is one of the  best public speakers out there, and also an amazing person. His main message was compassion. He is a motivational speaker and although he was there to share public speaking skills he had a great message to share as well about living life purposefully and to the fullest. He shared that when a speaker cares more about the audience and sharing his message with them, he won’t be worried about how he is performing but will care more for the audience.11807403_943553092353222_4191788398546273263_o

Brendon brought in a friend that really helped him in his career and that was Roger Love, world renowned voice coach. He’s worked with people like Reese Witherspoon, John Mayer, and other famous artists   Although he works with a lot of singers, he also works with speakers. He shared that you sing like you talk. Most people speak only with one voice. They use either their head (high) voice or a chest (low) voice. There are actually 3 ranges: Low, middle, and high. He works with people to have a full range of voice. With a full range of voice you can express a range of emotions. He opened my mind to how the way you sound not only influences how you are perceived, but your ability to influence other people. He had us do many many voice exercises to help us access a full range of voice. Everything to breathing, singing, and yes- brining down your larynx. He shared that words don’t matter; it’s how you sound that matters. Does your voice match your message?

My personal favorite speaker was Bo Eason, another friend who helped Brandon immensely in his care. He helped him to better express himself and tell his story even better through body movement. He was a former NFL player and now a one of the best stage artists in the world. Bo had a great storIMG_0066y to tell, and he told it so well! Everything he did in life he gave it his all. His goal as a kid was to be the best safety in football, and he achieved that. At first it  didn’t seem like that was going to happen but he persevered and made it to the NFL.

After playing many years he faced a knee injury that ended his NFL career but he took up something else that he could direct his drive and energy into: stage acting. He had a dream to play in the NFL and 20 years later he made it. Then he had a 15 year dream to be the best stage actor in the world. He went to the best, Al Pacino. He was the best in the business, so he had to meet him and know what it would take. His goal was to be on the stage more than anyone else, and  that’s what he did for the next 15 years. After 15 years he performed a one man show called the runt of the litter. A script that he wrote himself. The play is said to be, “One of the most powerful plays in the last decade” by The New York Times.

What Bo Eason taught was body movement. Moving like your true natural self, specifically like a predator. Don’t worry, he expounded that a predator is something that has been tabooed but in reality it is nobleness, power, felicity. It is being able to really express one’s true self and display a range of emotions. He truly believes that great power comes in having a great story and then being able to deliver that story. What I enjoyed the most from what Bo had to share was to give your all 100% of the time, he defined it as generosity.

IMG_7307Brandon shared a one major tip that also really stuck out to me: The bounce. When speaking, especially when nervous, there is a tendency to want to talk about oneself and it can  be forgotten that their is a whole audience out there. The bounce is turning subtly to the audience at any point and instead of saying, this happened to me… or I felt distraught, or that awesome thing happened to me,he turns to the audience and says, how many have you have felt this way? Or who has experience this before? He did this many times during the conference and it was easily noticed after many times of this being done. When people from the audience were given a chance to speak, you could point this skill out during their performances.

One of the greatest parts of this conference was the different stories shared during the conference not only by the speakers but by the people attending.  A main theme of the conference was sharing your story. “Submitting to the miles you have already run”, as put by Bo Eason. Everyone has a story to tell. I was able to share my story with others. Although I was one of the youngest participants there, I learned a lot about  myself and was able to share what I have experienced with other people.

There was many tips and skills shared during the conference but it seemed that each speaker had a main lesson they all had to teach. They also brought other speakers to come in and share their expertise but they carried the bulk of the conference.

I am so glad I was able to take part in this conference. It was fun, had great content, and had life changing messages and tips. I would recommend this to anyone wishing to become a world class speaker and wants to be able to share their message with a lot of people.

-Ethan Rumbaugh

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