The Learning Curve – A Reflection on Nearing the End of my Course

As I’m getting down to the last couple of months of the Graphic Design course, I’m having to look back on some of the projects I’ve completed over the last couple of years to put together a bit of a portfolio. It’s been really interesting to see the amount and range of work I’ve gotten through!

For some of my assignments I remember how excited and proud I was of getting them finished but now I look at them and think of all the things I could do to improve them – thats the learning curve I guess.

Then there are other projects – like the one I’ll get to below – that I wouldn’t even really know where to start to replicate them now. I’d have to go back over my notes and run through them step by step. I think that’s probably just because I’ve gravitated towards certain parts of design and am less drawn to others so I don’t utilise some particular tools. When I think about it though if I were to try and put together this fruit bowl now, I would be more familiar with the software tools and instead of it taking me three weeks to do, it might take me maybe a day. I guess that is progress.

The project I’m referring to is this one, the “Fruit Bowl”:

We had to draw a fruit bowl that contained four different fruits, using Adobe Illustrator.
I remember I wasn’t 100% happy with the pineapple, but all in all I was pretty stoked with myself that I’d managed to pull it together at all. I struggled so much at the beginning with using the software that everything took me about 10 times longer than it should to complete. I still prefer using pen and paper now, but I do admit I’m much better with the software than I used to be and it’ll only improve the more I use it.
When I’m getting through assignments now, it’s difficult to remember how much I’ve learnt over the last few years, so it’s good to go back and see how far I’ve come. Bring on graduation!! 🙂
If anyone’s interested I went through my old notes and these are some of the online tutorials I used to make the fruit bowl:



Using Basic Shapes in Illustrator – YouTube Link

AKA “I drew a magnifying glass!”


lol 🙂 just thought I’d share this mornings study session activity with you…

5 Tips for Drawing in Adobe Illustrator CS5 

This is just a short simple tutorial, but I really need to keep practicing my computer skills. I’m finding if I don’t use the things I learn often, then I forget them – which is not ideal.

Anyway, this week has been a crazy week and I’ve got one more day of training at work to get through until I get to the weekend! I’m hoping to get in a lot of study time this weekend – I really want to get moving on my course!

Have a great Friday, and let me know if you have any favourite Illustrator online tutorials?

Learning Illustrator Warp Tools


You may have seen me mention one or two or, *ahem*, a hundred times how I seem to struggle a bit with getting the vision of the projects in my head to be replicated on the computer screen… The only way I’m going get better at creating the designs I envision is to get more practice at using the software. I know this, I just have to do it… So while I’m still moving along with my course study, I’m going to try and do more ‘self-directed’ study as well – focusing on my computer skills -I’m looking at you Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop!

I do tend to use Illustrator more than Photoshop, so I thought I’d have a look at that first and I honestly there are so many tutorials out there to choose from that alone almost drove me a little crazy, but I finally settled on this one:  Smashing Magazine Examples And Tips For Using Illustrator’s Warp Tools.

It was really great and easy to follow, and I managed to create the ‘beautiful’ image you see at the top of this post, lol 🙂 I could have played around with the tutorial for hours, and I think this plan of doing more self-directed study is definitely a good idea.

Do any of you have suggestions for other good Adobe Illustrator tutorials?