Congratulations to April's Twiiter Competition Winner Leighton Hubbell. We loved his quirky robot design here at Astute Graphics and as prize he received his design on a mug! Please continue reading to see why he loves to use Astute Graphics plug-ins in his workflow.

Hello. I’m Leighton Hubbell, an illustrative designer from Southern California. I specialize in logo design, icon design, lettering and illustration. I’ve been working with Adobe Illustrator forever, but started using the Astute Graphics plugins only about a year ago. They are simply awesome.


Before the March of Robots challenge, I hadn’t really drawn or illustrated but a handful of robots like, ever – and never very seriously. I’m always up for a test and seeing how I can push myself creatively, so I thought I would go for it. A lot of the robots that other people were posting were dark and sometimes evil-looking. I wanted to have some fun with it and try something different. So, my robots have pretty unique color palettes and even more unusual tasks and configurations – this one being shaped like a crab with digging buckets, for instance. Hey, it’s my robot, right?


For my #marchofrobots Digger-bot piece, I started like I usually do with a rough pencil sketch, then scanning it in to import into Adobe Illustrator CC. This rather symmetrical illustration seemed perfect to use the MirrorMe tool to get the basic structure in place. It definitely cuts down my initial drawing time. You might even say – in half!


As I go through the shapes and textures, I often use Dynamic Corners, PathScribe, ExtendPath (All part of the VectorScribe plug-in) and the real time-saver, SmartRemove Brush Tool to clean up merging shapes.


ColliderScribe is another favorite for butting up shapes to build the legs and other elements of this piece. Sometimes, I like the option of using the Phantasm Halftone filter to get some really cool textures in the main elements or background.


I’m just scratching the surface of all the great ways I can include my Astute Graphics plugins into my workflow. For years, I had my own workarounds in place for tasks that have now been simplified by these magnificent tools.


I have an entire series of sketches from this year’s #Marchofrobots project, and I plan on completing several more robot illustrations in the coming months. Stay tuned!

You can follow my work on:  Instagram  |  Dribbble  |  Behance  |  Twitter  |


Thanks very much to Leighton for writing this blog post and sharing his thoughts!

If you want to take part in this month's competition please tweet your designs with the hashtag #AGjune015 now!

Please note: you don’t have to make a design specifically for this competition, you can use previous work providing you have the necessary permissions if needed.

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