I would never consider myself an Illustrator...
If you asked me my favorite part about graphic design, I would start using things words like "kerning" and "tracking" and "character style" and "master pages" that might make you roll your eyes and walk away. My heart is in the details. And these are the things I am good at. My favorite and best-selling single product has been my Shabby Chic wedding program. It is really simple, but I love the challenge of each program, trying to expand the minimalist bride's information without it feeling empty or trying to condense the thankful and thorough bride's information without it feeling squished. I want each program to look like the layout had been designed specifically for each wedding no matter how much or little information.
Unfortunately, being a freelancer, I cannot limit myself to one part of the design process and I have always wished to improve my illustrative abilities. I know there are a lot of great resources, like stock photography and royalty-free vector illustrations, but deep down in my heart I feel like that's cheating. It can also get really expensive and sifting through all the terms and usage restrictions can be confusing.
I'm not sure why it has taken me so long to invest in a good drawing tablet. Certainly that seems like the logical thing to do. I guess I always imagined them to be really expensive, and I was too busy kerning my letters to do some easy research. But after experimenting a bit with a friend's WACOM tablet, I knew it was a long-awaited necessity.
So today I am playing around with my new Turcom TS-6608. I picked it because it was highly discounted AND had great reviews on Amazon. So far, it seems pretty suitable for my basic needs. My first project is to transfer all of these hand-drawn flash cards into my own original digital illustrations. Having them all in digital format will allow me to easily make complimentary worksheets and coloring pages for homeschooling. If I can make it all the way to Z (which will be over 200 illustrations), I think I will have improved my illustrating skills a lot, which will benefit all areas of my design work. Stay tuned and follow my progress, with lots of free downloads along the way.
Luke and I are married and have four little munchkins that travel the world with us. I blog about living overseas, travel, kids, education and graphic design.
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