12 Illustrator Resolutions for 2012

12 For 12

I can’t believe it’s already 2012! 2011 went so quick and I didn’t get time learn everything I set out too. This year I decided to write down my resolutions and share them so I might feel more obligated to stick by them. I have a bunch of resolutions but here are my Illustrator specific Resolutions. What are yours?

1. Learn to implement the Illustrator HTML5 Pack

Adobe Labs released an Illustrator HTML5 pack that provides some support for HTML5, CSS3, and extends SVG capabilities in Illustrator CS5. I haven’t looked into the capabilities of the pack yet, but really want to see what it can do.

2. Learn To Write Scripts

One kind of far fetched resolution is to learn how to create Illustrator Scripts. I would love to write scripts for some common and uncommon tasks I run into everyday. I know some basic javascript, but I think I have a long way to go before I can crate some cool ones.

3. Master The Shape Builder Tool

Adobe introduced The Shape Builder tool in CS5. With the Shape Builder tool, you can create complex shapes by merging and erasing simpler shapes. The kind of construction that I use the Pathfinder panel for. I think it could really speed up some of my illustration if I used the Shape Builder Tool more.

4. Use More Symbols

I’m all about finding more efficient ways to use Illustrator. I swear by using the appearance panel so i’m not sure why I don’t use Symbols more. They’re great for multiple instances of an object in docs like logos, icons, and so on. Moreover you can easily make changes to the original Symbol to propagate to all instances of the symbol. You can also do some pretty cool stuff with the Symbol Sprayer tool.

5. Master Meshes and Blends

It feels like this is on my list every year and I just can’t get around to it. It’s partly because I feel meshes and blends don’t fit within my style, but I think that’s just a cop out so I will set out to master these tools again!

6. Use more Bristle Brushes

This is another subject I’ve put off for too long. I also make the same excuse that the style of the brushes doesn’t really fit with my design and illustration style. But I have found some decent uses for the brush, I just need to explore them more.

7. Workspaces

Since we are on the subject of proficiency, another one of my resolutions is to set up more defined Workspaces. I have a couple I use but I think I can really bump up my efficiency by having separate workspaces for illustration, web, design, typography, connecting, and testing.

8. Use the Perspective Grid

One other relatively new Illustrator feature I need to learn more about is the Perspective Grid. There have been a bunch of times I’ve thought “You know whatโ€ฆ I should use the perspective grid for the element”, then I try to use it and shamefully give-up. Not that it’s hard to use, I just need to get used to it.

9. Extend Illustrator Functionality Into Other Programs

I use Illustrator in about 90% of my work. Sometimes I feel I’m limiting what I can do staying strictly in Illustrator so I want to incorporate Illustrator with other programs more. You can create some fun animations using Flash and Illustrator.

10. Master the Pen Tool

I can hold my own pretty good with the Pen tool, but my construction is just not good enough. I think I’ll check out Veerle Pieters Illustrator Pen tool exercises or Von’s Vector Build Methods 1 for some inspiration and tips.

11. Launch Vectips 3.0

I’ve been working on the new design for Vectips for quite a while now. At this point I really need to get it up. I think it’s looking pretty good and bet you guys will think it’s an improvement as well.

12. Create More Quality Resources

I really enjoy creating useful stock elements for Vector Mill and the content for Vectips. I really want to keep it up this year and make a bunch more content for Vectips and maybe some new resources I’ve been kicking around.

What Are Your Illustrator Resolutions?

I bet some of my resolutions parallel with your. Do you have a different resolution?

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6 thoughts on “12 Illustrator Resolutions for 2012

  1. Thanks for this list, Ryan.

    I am adding part of it to my list – I MUST learn more about Brushes and Symbols in Illustrator; I’m actually getting tired of creating the same image over and over again!

    The number one in my list is to Sketch, Sketch, Sketch; both specified subjects and general.

    Happy new year!

  2. The shape builder tool is amazing. There is virtually no learning curve to using it (if you know Illustrator.) Much more efficient than the pathfinder tool when working with shapes that have a lot of overlapping.

    This is a great list! Thanks for sharing.

  3. Make more case studies… I’ve been failing so badly Ryan ๐Ÿ™

    I’ve not had time to create one for you and I really want to!

    So mine would be to get more personal time with vector ๐Ÿ™‚

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