In March our Graphics Scientist, Sebastian Bleak, travelled to Costa Rica to attend FID 2015. Sebastian introduced our plug-ins to many but one who has really stood out to us since the event is Marìa Alejandra Hong, we love her artwork and her enthusiasm. 

Maria Alejandra is a graphic designer by trade but she loves illustration and character design. She was born and raised in Costa Rica and describes herself as up for new challenges every day, and aspires to work in character design and or illustration. Please read on to see how she uses Stylism in her workflow…..

Here is some artwork, it’s supposed to be a dark scene; illuminated only by the light in the candles. The idea is to illuminate it, and make the characters cast shadows on the sofa and wall.



Stylism uses Illustrators native effects but gives them handles that can be used in an easy, quick and intuitive way.

For example I used the drop shadow here but I found out it wouldn’t work for 2 reasons: 1 it looks fake /stiff, and 2 I have no control on how to angle it properly. 


So I used fills and applied some effects to them so I could have more control. Using the Stylism panel plus the appearance panel I added fills to specific groups (or geometry) using the appearance panel and then apply one or more effects using Stylism and nesting the effects under the new fill.

I learnt this tip last week from Astute Graphics Pop-up Webinar with Sebastian Bleak; (be sure to subscribe to those; they're short and sweet!). If you’ve missed them don´t panic; you can find them on the AG YouTube Channel under the Webinar Playlists.



Just select the group or geometry were you want to apply the effect, in the appearance panel and add new fill (or stroke, depends on what you need) and apply the desired effect, if the effect applies to your geometry you need to nest it (click on the effect and nest it under the fill (or stroke) that way you will apply the effect on the group’s fill and not the group itself. In the same manner you can also put the stroke behind the fill.



Anyhow this is the end result, I’m really proud of the way it looks like and i love the fact that if I change something within the group the shadows and effects will automatically update.

Please visit my Behance page to see more of my designs:

Huge thank you to Alejandra for writing this Blog post and we hope you continue to enjoy these plug-ins. 

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This
I didn't know Illustrator could do that!

Sign up forTips, Tricks, Updates + Discounts straight to your inbox!

High Fives! You're now successfully subscribed