Vector Sketch

  • @Craig-Babin inspired me to work in vector. This is a quick sketch that I may elaborate on later. I think that I may work in Illustrator more.

  • @Kathryn-Klingensmith That's awesome. I'm getting hooked on Illustrator myself. I never cared for the program, but it's growing on me.

  • SVS OG

    Fun! I'm the backwards type that always favored Illustrator, and only recently have I been thinking that I might want to try out this Photoshop thing ;-). So as I long time advocate of illustrators using illustrator, I'm glad you enjoyed this project.

  • I'm starting to think that I work faster in Illustrator. I made this during my daughter's nap time. C'mon SVS, please get a vector class!

  • Cute dinosaur haha - I want to party with him! 🙂

    Just to be the devil's advocate here but I'm wondering what you guys are hoping to get into? Children's books? I know they've said it quite a few times in their various SVS courses (and I've heard elsewhere in my research too) that its very hard to break into that world when you do very digital-looking work, and most vector illustrations are exactly that (there's exceptions of course - @Sarah-LuAnn has a very unique and beautiful style for example). My point would be, is to figure out what your end goal is rather than developing your style based on what's quickest and easiest. The handful of children's books that do have a flat digital look that I can think of (aside from the lower end books, I'm talking about the nicer books - like Grandad's Island) generally are very detailed - so you may think it takes you less time to do a vector illustration when you're doing ones like in this post, but I'm not sure how far you'll get with that style without it being much more developed and detailed. Being a graphic designer by day and very affluent in it, I can attest to how complicated an AI file can get the more detail you put in - there's no way it would take me less time to do a detailed AI file than painting an illustration in PS. You're also competing with people who don't have as good of a drawing ability - I have a number of graphic designer friends who can illustrate just fine in AI but can't draw or paint for the life of them. You're letting the curves do the heavy-lifting to define forms. Which is exactly why there then becomes more 'generic' looking digital illustration - more people saturating the market with it.

    IMHO I think your vector illustrations here would work well more so as licensed work (like on mugs, wrapping paper, etc) rather than illustrations for books, comics, etc. in particular the dinosaur one would be very cute for birthday invitations, plates, etc.

    This is just one person's opinion though, you can certainly disagree and ignore me! I was just hoping to give you something to think about.

    I for one want to make my digital illustrations as traditional in feel as possible. There's something just so much more charming about it. Unless you can come up with a more unique style based on vectors of course 🙂 I'm definitely not interested in a vector illustration SVS class but I understand that there will inevitably be classes that come up that won't be suitable to everyone and if there's enough of an interest in it than I can't argue with that!

  • @DanetteDraws Although you are correct Danette (to a certain extent), I don't think it's an all or nothing situation. Even though the traditional style of painting makes up the lion share of children's books today, vector is still used quite a bit. If you look at the 0-3 age group section of any major book store, you'll find that vector represents about 30% of the books (I actually counted). Children of that age like high contrast and little detail. It's not until you pass the age of 3 that the market switches to 95% traditional and 5% vector (roughly). This is strictly my observation from the Chapters and Barnes and Noble stores that I've been in. Even Disney publishes a few vector based books every year. Usually the ones with stickers or pop outs.

    I think what it boils down to is the quality of the story and the art. I doubt any publisher would take a mediocre story with mediocre traditional art over a great story with great vector art. Just as long as the art style fit the story and the age category. There are quite a few great vector artists out there today that do strictly children's publications. Diego Diaz is just one that comes to mind.


  • @Craig-Babin hmmm, you are quite right, now that I think of it, that baby board books are super simple with big bold shapes and colours. Maybe one of the SVS instructors can answer this for sure, but I'm pretty sure I've heard from some industry expert (can't recall who now) that it's very hard also to get a deal to do a board book unless you're already well-known - again, would be a good thing to confirm though with the pros. And there's always self-publishing too I guess - then you can do whatever you want!

    I wasn't trying to say that it's impossible with vector illustrations - I do think your path is more difficult though with even more competition. And this style of Diego Diaz's further proves my point that the illustration is pretty complex (for the books for kids over 3 of course) - Kathryn made a remark that she thinks she works faster in illustrator, but to do a vector of something like this I really don't think it'll save time over painting. That's my 2 cents anyhow.

    Great piece btw - this would be a level to strive towards for sure 🙂 He's obviously a master of breaking everything down to the simplest shapes and awesome expressions on the characters

  • You know what, I was racking my brain to remember where I heard about how 'unknowns' pretty much never get baby books and I think it might've been from the writing perspective rather than the illustration (I'm into writing too so I follow a number of children's book writers) - so I don't want to lead anyone astray with that one in case I'm wrong. Again - a good question to ask Will/Jake/Lee though. If there's no writer unknowns getting the work for baby books maybe there's a good chance editors/publishers feel the same way about illustrators too.

    I do remember Will saying somewhere (in a class or on his blog) that if you have a very digital look than you best make sure that you have a very unique style. And being both the writer as well as the illustrator would one up you too.

  • Hey Adobe Illustrator folk, here's a great town hall meeting video replay for you to check out.

  • @DanetteDraws I will check it out. I've been working with vectors exclusively (but with Pages on my Mac). Will be interesting to see what artists who are working in Vectors have to say.

    I myself don't know what I want to do with my vector art, it's just super fun & challenging to make.

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