Create Characters in Adobe Illustrator

Learn How to Use Vectors

What You’ll Learn

Learn the Basics of Illustrating with Vectors
Photoshop might not be the best digital illustration program for everyone. Jannie Ho has illustrated more than 50 children's books, and she does 99% of the work in Illustrator. Everything is in vector. She even creates her thumbnails in Illustrator. If you'd like to learn an alternative to pushing pixels around in Photoshop, this intensive is for you.

Why vectors?

When making vector art, you don't have to worry about dpi (dots per inch). In Photoshop, you have to make sure you're working with at least 300 dpi. But with vector art, you can scale the image up or down without losing any resolution. That means you don't have to know what size your finished product is going to be. You can just start working and worry about size later. It's so flexible.

Adobe Illustrator also has really clean lines, is easier to use for editing illustrations, and has smaller sized files.

Get the hang of Adobe Illustrator by following Jannie Ho's tips.

Design Characters in a Lineup Sheet Using Guidelines 
When you’ve finished this intensive, you’ll have a lineup sheet with characters you've designed to look like they belong in the same world. That kind of consistency is so important if you want to illustrate children's books, and Jannie walks you through how she does it. Most importantly, you'll have the ability to do it again.

Jannie will show you how to make your characters look finished by adding texture and patterns.

Set Up Your Book and Export It
Once you have your characters figured out, you get to create their world! Jannie takes you through her process of customizing simple backgrounds, getting the horizon line just right, and moving story elements (including characters) around. She makes this part look so easy!

Jannie also shares two thumbnail templates that you can use in Illustrator to pace your story. Then she shows you how to save your thumbnails as a PDF that you can share with agents and editors.

This intensive covers everything you need to illustrate your book in Adobe Illustrator: how to use the tools, character creation, customizing backgrounds, making thumbnails, and exporting files. Get started today!

ABOUT THIS INTENSIVE:

Learn how to use vectors in Adobe Illustrator to design new characters. Jannie will teach you the basics and demonstrate how she creates her illustrations, thumbnails her stories, and exports files to share with editors.

YOUR STORY COACH:

Jannie Ho has been an illustrator of children's books for more than ten years.  Her work has appeared in both trade and educational books, magazines, toys, crafts, and digital media.  Currently based out of Boston, MA, she's also known as Chicken Girl. Jannie (pronounced Jane-nee) received her BFA in illustration at Parsons The New School of Design in New York. After graduating, she worked as an in-house graphic designer at Nickelodeon, Scholastic, and an art director at TIME Magazine for Kids. She left to pursue illustrating full time and hasn't stopped drawing since.

Jannie Ho

Author/Illustrator

Published Books

Publishers

Intensive Details

In this 27-minute intensive, you'll learn Adobe Illustrator basics. Jannie Ho will demonstrate how she uses vectors to create characters, share two thumbnail templates with you, and teach you how to export your finished files.

Lesson 1
Adobe Illustrator: Vector Basics

Overview of Illustrator: Pros and Cons
How to Use Tools
Place a Sketch into Illustrator
Practice Tracing with the Pen Tool

Lesson 2
Play! Creating Characters

Draw Directly in Illustrator
Use Grayscale and Color
Play with Shapes and Sizing
Design Characters with Guidelines
Add Texture and Patterns
Create Different Characters in a Lineup Sheet

Lesson 3
Set Up for Book Creation

Customize Simple Backgrounds
Play with Horizon Lines
Move Elements Around
Determine Best Character Placement
Export in Different Formats
Get Thumbnail Templates
How to Save Thumbnails as a PDF

Frequently Asked Questions

Photoshop uses pixel art. Pixels are tiny dots of color in a grid. The resolution is dependent on the number of dots per inch.

Illustrator uses vector art. It's based on mathematical expressions: points, lines, curves, and shapes. This gives you more flexibility when scaling the sizing or otherwise editing your image.

Jannie shares two thumbnail templates that will really help you plan your book. 

Jannie said that she does 99% of the work in Adobe Illustrator. She works directly in grayscale, colors her images, does the typography, and makes her thumbnails ALL in Illustrator. Then she converts the thumbnails to a PDF and shares it with editors.

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