Fireworks is a web design program created by Macromedia about 11 years ago. I started using it right around that time, so I'm very comfortable with how it works. The pen tool, slicing abilities, and ease-of-use are all great reasons to use Fireworks for web design, and I've used it exclusively for the past 10 years. Unfortunately, as a vector illustration tool I've kind of hit the limit of what Fireworks can do. I have projects that I have to split into multiple files because fireworks can't handle the number of anchor points I have defined. Also, drawing in Fireworks can be incredibly time-consuming because it's not meant as a cartooning or illustration tool, it's more intended for web design. I'd seen a lot of what Illustrator could do, so I decided to take the plunge and buy a copy.
The first thing I drew was a walrus. I needed practice with AI and it seemed like a good subject to start with:
Next up was something a bit more involved. I created another comic called "What Santa REALLY Does While You Sleep." (Kudos to Rebecca Kelley for the idea).
I'm happy with how it turned out, but I didn't really save much time by using it. This isn't any fault of AI, it's going to take time for me to get good with it. I get the impression that I'm just skimming the surface of what AI can do, and it'll take years to really master the software.
Also, the santa comic got a few thousand diggs. Ho ho ho.