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Illustrator 101 Tutorial: Make Your Own Cartoons

Step 1: Choose a shape.

I like circles. Do you? You probably do cuz most people do. So this is a good tool to start with. It’s kind of tricky to find the circle tool, cuz it’s hiding under the picture of a rectangle, but don’t let that fool you. It is actually there.

Step 2: Pick lively colours for your circles.

There are a lot of colours. Choosing them is hard. So it might take you some time to think of which ones are best for your circles. I was too busy to think so I just chose the first 4 colours in my palette.

Step 3: Make a bunch of circles.

Some big, some medium, some smaller. I liked putting the smallest one on the end, so he felt the most left out.

Step 4: Give your circles personality.

Right now your cartoon characters look like blobby circles. And circles don’t intrinsically have personality, so you have to give them eyes and eyebrows. Do you see how I made the green one look dubious with his monobrow and goggly eyes? And the yellow one is obviously fuming mad. It’s cuz he’s being left out, as always. It’s touches like I’m mentioning that really help bring a character to life.

Step 5: Humanize your cartoon circles.

Another trick to make circles appear more like cartoon characters is to give them human features like legs and feet. I used the line tool to make their stick-like legs and then the Direct Selection Tool aka the small arrow tool that bends shapes, to make their misshapen feet. If you don’t know how to use this fancy tool, just click on things until you see some lines and dots and then pull the lines away from the dots. Random movement often creates the best results.

Step 6: Chose a meaningful, yet ambiguous slogan that makes you LOL.

People like meaning to be confusing. And you like them to be confused because at some point in their confusion they will think that you are you are smart and maybe even mysterious.

There you have it, 6 zippity quick steps to create your own mighty fine illustrator cartoon that you can use to impress your mum, grandmother, dog and even your most design savvy facebook friends!!!

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  • Reply
    Miguel Ferreira
    February 28, 2008 at 3:22 AM

    M&M are going to sue you :D

  • Reply
    February 28, 2008 at 6:12 AM

    Best illustrator tutorial I’ve ever seen!

  • Reply
    February 28, 2008 at 6:58 AM

    Productive day, huh?

  • Reply
    February 28, 2008 at 4:30 PM

    // Loves it. (Off to create a legion of squares and triangles to overthrow your circle empire)

  • Reply
    February 28, 2008 at 7:12 PM

    i’m sooooo trying this! lol

  • Reply
    February 29, 2008 at 9:44 PM

    I challenge you to an Illustrator-Off!

  • Reply
    Mostly Lisa
    March 1, 2008 at 5:59 PM

    ha! i dare anyone to an Illustrator-off. Bring it chunky face, let’s see what chu got!

  • Reply
    MostlyLisa.com: Lisa Bettany. Canada’s Sexy Geek Blog » Blog Archive » Vectorama Challenge Part 3: Canadian Things!
    May 16, 2008 at 1:13 PM

    […] will vote for the top 3 Vectoramas. Then, the winner will be picked by two master illustrators: Me, obviously; and Pasquale, some Australian animator that knows nothing about about […]

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