Monday, 29 June 2015
What is the most popular, widely used and accepted software used by illustrators for digital illustrations for children's books?
To be honest, it doesn't really matter how you produce your illustrations, so long as you can provide them in a format that suits your publisher--either hand-rendered illustrations that the publisher will have scanned, or as high-resolution digital imagery, most often PDFs.
Some illustrators (like me) create part of their work by hand and part of it digitally. I also use printed material and photographs which I scan into my computer and assemble into pages using Adobe Illustrator (AI). I find AI the most user-friendly when it comes to page assembly and layout, but that's probably because it was the first software I ever used.
Photoshop (PS) is also widely used by illustrators, and I use it to cut out, correct and 'finish' my hand-rendered images before copying and pasting into my AI pages.
Corel Draw is another popular software package and InDesign is excellent for typography. One of my illustrators, Tina Snerling, uses InDesign to take our book pages to pre-press, so if you were interested in learning how to create book pages (and exponentially add to your skillset), you could consider using InDesign up front. InDesign allows you to drop artwork into pages and create a multi-page PDF that can be sent straight to a printer.
The most widely-used software (and that which has a stranglehold on the market) would be Adobe Illustrator but I hear of many illustrators who prefer Photoshop. I use both and prefer each for different reasons. It really is a personal choice and the only way you can find a preference is to explore.
Adobe now offer their software on subscription, so you could sign up (this is not a sponsored post!) for a month and check out their varying packages, including InDesign, Photoshop and AI. You can adjust your subscription monthly--so I know if I'm not going to use Photoshop for a month, I'll remove it from my Creative Cloud for that month, then add it back later.
If you are interested in, or end up escalating your illustration skills rapidly, this post might help you navigate the many and varied pro software options out there.
Remember, too, there are many and varied iPad apps that allow you to create stunning digital imagery that can be sent to your PC or Mac. Check some out here. I use iFontmaker to create custom fonts for my books. The app is available on iTunes but there is also a Windows version here.
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