Switching to Adobe Illustrator (and Santa Claus)

Posted on 19/12/08

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:

A Walrus drawn in Adobe Illustrator

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).

What Santa REALLY Does While You Sleep

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.

Back to Top


About Matthew

I am no longer updating this blog, but you can follow all of my latest work over at The Oatmeal


Web Design, Art, & Other Stuff

0at 0atfailure avatar bird body_battery boozetest brand_bubble business_cards business_cards2 cadaver deadtree death_by_booze death drivl_headers drivl1 drivl2 favorite_foods filmcritic greenbeauty hamburger jimhjelm jlm linebuzz_v2 linebuzzv1 mingle2 perfectdrug readability seomoz storybids sundance synethesia tokyo_lanterns wallpaper web2_2k7 web2 zombie