Have you ever created a shape in Illustrator and then spent hours gazing at it and wondered why it doesn't look the way you want it to look? What is that you have missed?

Indeed, even minute things can make or break a design, and this goes for any designing platform, including Adobe Illustrator. So, if you plan to improve your skill set and start getting better with Adobe Illustrator, this guide is for you.

Let's go through my personal favorite Illustrator tips and tricks that have surely helped me improve Adobe Illustrator skills. But, before that, let me clarify why you should use Adobe Illustrator.

Why Adobe Illustrator?

Adobe Illustrator is perhaps one of the most popular software for making logoskinetic typographygraphic designingcharacter animation, etc. As a graphic designer, I often use Adobe Illustrator. Why? 

Because Illustrator is the most excellent way to design and create vector-based artwork quickly and efficiently. Moreover, you can create an image in Illustrator, irrespective of the size. Therefore, Illustrator is, beyond a doubt, one of the few graphic design tools that I end up using for practically every project.

Adobe Illustrator is perfect for those starting fresh in the world of graphic designing, as this software is pretty easy to learn. Besides,  Adobe provides notes and guides with a brief about all the features.

adobe illustrator tool

Tips to Improve Illustrator Skills

If you are unfamiliar with Adobe Illustrator, you may feel a little overwhelmed at first. However, there's so much that Illustrator has to offer to the designing world.

Nonetheless, these 10 tips on how to get better at Illustrator will definitely help you get the most out of Illustrator and create excellent artwork. So, let's dive in!

Choose the right Brush

Do not draw with a bold black line. Rather, use a light and thin brush. I often use red or blue colors, with the opacity set to 0.5. This way, my sketches look much better.

Use your mouse or perhaps a drawing tablet for drawing purposes. Regardless of what you picked in the end, always draw things out before you start creating an illustration. 

choose the right brush

Use the Pen Tool

Beginners often shy away from using the pen tool, which seems much more complex than other tools in Illustrator. However, you can get the hang of it easily and create amazing works of art. You can always find resources on using the pen tool in Illustrator and learn how you can make the most out of it.

use pen tool

Use the Shape Builder Tool

To create something in Illustrator, you primarily have two options. You can choose to use either the pen tool or the shape builder tool to create new elements. 

Both the options work well; however, if you struggle while working with your mouse or your graphic tablet, the shape builder tool will make the task much easier for you.

Use right Colors

It's pretty common for beginners to pick up random colors. However, they fail to realize that colors, too, can make or break any design.

Nonetheless, you can find the best colors for your design right here in Illustrator without you having to use a third-party tool or any other website. All you need to do is find and select the right colors from various harmony rules depending on your desire to create.

use right colours

Practice on Layers

If you are going to sell your work, you'll have to get used to the layers panel. Even if you're not, it's a good practice to organize the layers as you work. Keeping them labeled, and removing layers that aren't required, can benefit you while making edits to an image.

Watch Tutorials

Learning from others is also an incredible way to improve your skills. Look for an experienced person in your field and check their YouTube channel for tutorial videos on how to use Adobe Illustrator. Watch the tutorials, work hands-on, and complete exercises from the tutorial. 

There are a plethora of options that it's tough to choose just one tutorial, so find a mentor accordingly. And fix a time in the day when you'll watch the tutorials and stick to it. 

Take References

Before you start creating your design, do some thorough research. By collecting styles you like, pictures that inspire you, and font styles that work, you give yourself a head start for fresh ideas to flow.

You can create a gallery of your favorite illustrations on Pinterest or take ideas from sites like Dribble, Behance, etc. Look for the collection of designers that you admire and save images of artwork that excites you. 

Take Feedback

Feedback is perhaps the best thing to follow when it comes to self-improvement. When you ask for feedback, you can indeed learn a lot and make your graphics or illustrations better. You can take feedback from your colleagues, friends, or fellow designers.  

If you work as a freelancer or just stepped into the world of designing, you can join relevant groups on Facebook and take feedback from the community.

Don’t Overthink

Well, this applies to every aspect of life, but it is exceptionally true when it comes to creating and designing.

Overthinking slows you down, it stops you from being creative, and it hinders the process of improving the artwork quality. In fact, it doesn't do any good at all.

So take your time while designing, and don't rush into things. The less you have on your mind, the more you can think of creative ideas.

Keep Practicing

This goes without saying that one has to keep practicing with Adobe Illustrator to improve their skills. The more time you spend using Illustrator, the better you'll get at it. Keep experimenting, play around with different tools, and before you even know it, you'll be able to create astonishing designs. 

So, make it a habit to practice, even if you feel you have gotten better. Because, Adobe keeps introducing new tools, so there'll always be something new for you to learn.

Wrapping Up

Illustrator is a really comprehensive tool, and there is so much to learn. However, since you’re starting out, you can follow these small tips on how to get better at Illustrator and improve your Illustrator artwork instantly. 

And, once you get comfortable with Illustrator, you can create all kinds of amazing things you want.

So, what are you waiting for? Follow these tips to develop your illustrator skills and start designing excellent vector graphics.

Frequently Asked Questions

Learning Adobe Illustrator can be made easier by following these steps:

  • Start with introductory tutorials and courses available online.
  • Practice regularly by working on simple projects and gradually increasing complexity.
  • Familiarize yourself with essential tools, shortcuts, and keyboard commands.
  • Seek guidance from experienced illustrators or join online forums and communities for tips and advice.
  • Experiment with different styles and techniques to develop your unique illustration style.

The time it takes to become proficient in Adobe Illustrator varies from person to person. Generally, it depends on your prior experience with design software, the amount of time you dedicate to learning and practicing, and your specific learning goals. With consistent effort and practice, you can acquire a solid foundation in a few months, but mastery and becoming “good” at Illustrator can take years of continuous learning and application.

Illustrators need a combination of technical and artistic skills, including:

  • Proficiency in illustration software (e.g., Adobe Illustrator).
  • Strong drawing and sketching abilities.
  • Understanding of design principles, composition, and color theory.
  • Creative thinking and the ability to conceptualize ideas.
  • Attention to detail and precision in executing illustrations.
  • Adaptability to various illustration styles and client preferences.
  • Communication skills for working with clients and understanding their needs.

Being a good illustrator goes beyond technical skills and includes aspects like creativity, passion, and a strong work ethic. A good illustrator:

  • Consistently produces high-quality and visually appealing artwork.
  • Develops a unique style or signature that sets them apart.
  • Continuously hones their skills through practice and learning.
  • Meets deadlines and communicates effectively with clients or collaborators.
  • Stays open to feedback and strives for improvement.
  • Has a strong portfolio that showcases their versatility and expertise.
  • Passionately pursues their craft and remains dedicated to artistic growth.