Monthly Archives: March 2016

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).