Adam Foreman is a freelance illustrator and designer who over the years noticed that a lot of artists found the transition from Photoshop to Illustrator quite daunting. He took some time out to tell us about his work and how our plug-ins made working with vectors a lot easier for him.
"Drawing daily as a job, it has become second nature to me to work fast using raster based software, to the point that I prefer a digital sketchbook to real paper. I would actually be lost without an undo button! With an ever-growing work load, last minute edits or changes to file resolutions on a client's request proved to be a time consuming process. This is one of the reasons that I turned to vector art.
I've used Adobe Illustrator for logos and UI work and have a good working knowledge of the software, but I always found the process of working with vector art to be dull with a mechanical feel to it. It was whilst making the transition from raster to vector that I discovered Astute Graphics plug-ins.
Quickly learning these add-ons using Illustrator, it suddenly felt like the best of both worlds. I have retained my hand drawn line look thanks to a combination of PathScribe (part of VectorScribe) DynamicSketch and InkScribe. Followers of my artwork on social media didn't even notice I had made the transition from using Clip Studio Paint to Illustrator. My work is now 100% vector and the style has stayed intact! I never even realised I was using ColliderScribe because it became so well integrated into the software and was part of my workflow.
For me personally, these plugins have proven to be essential tools, not only to speed up my work flow but also to bring creativity back into the vector art process. I still use Photoshop and Clip Studio Paint for sketches, then I bring it all in to Illustrator and draw it all up. For equipment I'm all digital and use a Wacom Cintiq and a PC".
- I begin any illustration by producing quick rough sketches using vector layers in Clip Studio Paint. I then bring the finished line art into Illustrator to be used as a drawing.
- Importantly I use the free version of Autosaviour Pro to remind me to save every 20 minutes or so. This saves the heartache of losing work if the pc crashes.
- Using DynamicSketch I draw the line work making any adjustments, and adding a temporary colour to the shapes I create as I go. It's sort of like building a jigsaw puzzle before you make it.
- As I build the shapes I clean up any vector points that could cause potential problems in the future, using a combination of PathScribe, Smart Point Removal, and the 'Smart Remove Brush (all VectorScribe tools).
- I like to use asymmetry in my work to keep it from looking too mechanical, but I do use Dynamic Corners and the Reposition Point Tool to create nicer curves and edges than I can draw freehand.
- Most of the time I'll get a spark of inspiration as I'm working and will use InkScribe and DynamicSketch to layout a rough idea before continuing to create it using the methods above.
- For the next stage I switch from tablet to mouse to do the colouring, making sure there is no colour clashing.
- At this point I decide if the piece could be enhanced with textures. I use the InkScribe tool to apply textures using a combination of brushes, such as the many by Von Glitschka or The Artifex Forge.
For anyone interested in learning more about my creative workflow, I also stream my creation process regularly on Twitch.
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About Adam Foreman
Adam Foreman is a full-time freelance illustrator and designer currently based in Manchester, UK. Producing work under the name ‘A4man’ his work has been described as having a 'cut out' and cartoony style and he has worked on many commercial projects from the design on board games, apps and video games, to vinyl figures and more.
For more of Adam's work check out his social links:
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