When I was starting digital color, I always thought vectors were for simple and uninteresting stuff. The truth is I was not comfortable using them. Back then I tried only Illustrator, which to this date I can’t find a comfortable way of using it. After my first short migration to linux I met with Inkscape and I made some experiments with it and some more complex work.
The first attempts
Well to be honest these are not the very first ones, I believe those are lost. I still have a deform start and some sort of icons. Here are only my first real illustration attempts using vector tools (Inkscape 2007~2009).
A lot of simplistic landscapes, all was about playing with the software, strangely I was in fact having real fun. Always thinking how to achieve this or that effects with the tools given. Sure I missed the textures I could achieve in GIMP, but I loved the “render” aspect of the vector. No more —Oh shit! I didn’t make it big enough for a poster— was one of my favorite features. After those early illustrations I played with the idea of making the comic using them. For that I tried to make some nice renderings on characters.
These took a while, In fact I spent almost 6 times more time on them than using GIMP or Photoshop. But I liked the fact that after that hard work I could reuse them in any shape I want with almost incredible results. (It was me lacking the abilities to make it worth)
The forced years
With the aid of a nice PDF and the works above I went to an interview to make digital content for an academic entity. The idea was to use raster based tools to make illustrations, but the place didn’t offer any type of digitizer device and so I was forced to use mouse only. Also no licenses for software were available to use Photoshop or Illustrator. So I set up to work with what they did have: GIMP, Blender and Inkscape. Part of my responsibilities there was to make web design mockups, banners and other type of graphics. (In the end I had to learn to program to implement the designs as we were short of staff)
Aside from the banners and UI elements, one of the projects, a site to make children more aware of internet dangers, involved the creation of many graphics and a comic. Sadly due to the shortage of staff I could not devote as much time to drawing those graphics. Back then I used 8 rs to finish one illustration, and in the same amount of time I was able to deploy a set of web functions, clearly they saw a lot more use to the sites working than a nice illustration. Below there is a little collection. Only a couple of them were used on the site in the end ( http://www.seguridad.unam.mx/usuario-casero/eduteca/main.dsc?id=116 )
In the end, the only thing finally finished was the comic number 10.
Three and a half years of daily Inkscape self-training was good to not only feel familiar but in harmony with the software.
Present day, present time…
It has been a long time since I tried to do anything “serious” on Inkscape. I was (probably still am) a bit obsessed to get the best out of Krita. Which probably was a good thing since now I feel as “harmonious” with krita as I feel with Inkscape (But still I’m not so skillful on those software yet). But as a colleague illustrator said to me, even if my current level is no on par to what I want there is a set of skill that can come up with something other people want. It’s not so much about the shell but the content :]
The next illustration is a character of a comic project I had in the freezer. Done with Krita for sketching and Inkscape for color rendering. I did notice a lot of flaws in my workflow.