Hope us with Illustrator, please!
July 2, 2012 11:56 AM   Subscribe

What are your best resources, tips, and tricks for someone who's having a difficult time learning Adobe Illustrator?

My husband, who is pretty geeky, is having a hard time learning Adobe Illustrator. (CS6, Windows version.) He has to use it in an online grad school course, and the professor assigned the lynda.com Illustrator tutorials, which he duly completed. Still he's finding the program very difficult to use, and illustration assignments take him much more time than he has, what with working full-time and all. His frustration level is very high, especially as he's always been able to learn any program he needed to, mostly self-taught. (He also knows SQL, if that tells you anything about his abilities.)  Can the hive mind suggest any better tutorials, tips, or tricks for him? He really fears his inability to learn this program will a road block to a good grade in the course and maybe even degree completion. Thanks, all!
posted by sister nunchaku of love and mercy to Computers & Internet (4 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
If he wants to just see how people use the program there a lot of tutorials showing how to do random little cool things here.

Has he seen these videos from Adobe Community Help (some overlap with lynda)?
posted by Wretch729 at 12:47 PM on July 2, 2012

Sounds like he's super busy to try this suggestion, but taking an in-person Illustrator class would be ideal. I can use Illustrator now only because it was a 3-month long course in a design program I took. I'm a pro at it now, but there's no way I would have ever had the discipline to learn it independently, i.e. outside of a classroom setting.

Or, maybe he should just get a tutor.
posted by oceanview at 1:31 PM on July 2, 2012

What sort of things does he find difficult?

If taking a class is impossible, he could see whether a design student or just a designer would be able to work with him privately once or twice (or more). To make best use of the time he might make a list of the specific things he's had trouble doing with the program.

There's an adobe forum and probably a bunch of unofficial ones too.

Amazon shows lots of books about illustrator. If he has access to a university or public library, check if that also gives him access to Safari (it also seems to have a free trial option).

If specific tools or commands are giving him trouble, try searching both on google and on youtube for "illustrator " and maybe optionally "tutorial".

If figuring out how to create specific effects is difficult, look for tutorials specifically about that effect. If describing or naming the effect is a problem, try just looking through tutorials in general until you find it. Doing that is a good idea anyway: it can give you ideas and refresh basic skills.

If the main problem is getting a grip on working with bezier curves, then it might be worth it just to play around with them for a bit. Make random shapes, then tweak them in different ways. Try to trace simple images or clipart.

It's normal for illustrator to take a long time to get used to. It's a huge program and is based on a way of putting pictures together that's different than regular drawing and often unintuitive at first.

posted by trig at 3:33 PM on July 2, 2012

That should have said

If specific tools or commands are giving him trouble, try searching both on google and on youtube for "illustrator [tool name]" and maybe optionally "tutorial".
posted by trig at 3:53 PM on July 2, 2012

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