I always had a liking for illustration and design. Back during my school days, I tried creating some graphics in what was then the ultimate tool for graphic design - MS Paint. Before you frown upon it, take a look at this!.
Sure, I never made such awesome graphics using Paint, but I was fascinated the way you could digitally create an image. Years later I came across a tool called Adobe Fireworks. It was from the same family of products as Photoshop and Illustrator, but little less popular I suppose. Sadly it is discontinued now.
I have seen very few designers use Fireworks. But to me, it was everything I needed. It, in fact, was a mixture of Photoshop, which supported editing raster images and Illustrator, used for vector graphics. There were few very good tutorials on YouTube and I learnt how to do some editing.
Later on, I moved on to doing more of coding and slowly lost touch with graphics design. Also around this time I moved to Linux and I couldn’t find patience to learn how to use Gimp or Inkscape, the cross-platform raster and vector design tools respectively.
But this week, I tried Inkscape. I have been using windows as my primary desktop for almost three months now. I use banner images on my blog. If it is a custom image, I used Canva. It is an online graphics tool which is very simple and easy to use. If it was an image, I would do some editing in Pixlr Express and then compress the jpeg image.
But I had been reading about svg(scalable vector graphics) lately. The svg image type has a very small file size compared to a jpeg or png image type. Where a typical compressed jpeg can be anywhere from 60-140kb the SVG is around 4-20kb resulting in huge bandwidth savings.
So, I tried using Gravit. It is an online tool similar to Illustrator. It’s amazing for a free online editor. Gravit is really great if you want easy to do and less complex illustrations. But I also tried Inkscape again. This time with the help of some online tutorials, especially by Nick Saporito, I got back up again. The fiery comet you see in the post thumbnail is from one of his tutorials.
So, going forward, I would try to create all illustrations for the blog myself. Add that to things to do in 2017!