Follow Your Heart

Posted on October 16, 2011 and tagged DIY with comments

This tutorial will teach you how to draw a perfect heart using Adobe Illustrator. If you're new to Illustrator, this is a good way to get acquainted with some basic skills that will hopefully inspire you to make some shapes of your own!

Skill Level: Beginner Tools We Will Use: Ellipse Tool, Direct Selection Tool, Pen Tool, Pathfinder

Step 1 Open up a new Illustrator document. Choose the Ellipse Tool by clicking and holding on the Rectangle Tool. This will bring up a little menu of all the shapes. Now change the Stroke and Fill of your shape to whatever your little heart (get it? heart?) desires. I chose predictable pink. Feel free to not use a stroke at all if you want.

Step 2 Draw a circle! Do this by using the Ellipse Tool while holding Shift. This keeps the shape as a perfect circle and not an oval.

Step 3 Now copy and paste your circle so you have two of them. The best way to do this is Edit>Copy then Edit>Paste in Front. That way the second circle shows up right on top of the first one and you can easily drag it to the side.

Step 4 Open up the Pathfinder Tool by selecting Window>Pathfinder. With both circles selected, click on Unite. This turns the 2 circles into one shape. Then find the Convert Anchor Point tool by clicking and holding the Pen Tool. Click on the bottom point in the dip between the shapes, as shown in the picture below.

Step 5 Go into the Pen Tool again and select the Delete Anchor Point Tool and delete the 2 points on the bottom of the shape. Look at the screen shot below to see what I mean.

Step 6 Remember that point you used the Convert Tool on? Well grab the Direct Selection Tool and drag that point down until what you have resembles a heart.

Step 7 Grab the handles of the points on either side of the heart and drag them down just a bit. This will round out your heart.

Step 8 There you have it, a perfect little heart! Oh and what's this? An expertly Photoshopped kitty in the corner congratulating you on a job well done!

How-To Tuesday: Spirograph Birthday Card in Illustrator

Posted on April 19, 2011 and tagged DIY with comments

Well hello there! Welcome to the first ever How-To Tuesday! Lots of firsts this week, eh? For my first How-To I thought I'd do a quick little tutorial on how to make a cute Spirograph-inspired card. You remember Spirograph? It was a lot of fun as a kid, but you do you remember how hard it was to get right? That darn frame thing would always slip off the paper! Well this tutorial won't show you how to make a true Spirograph shape with all the math and stuff. Cause seriously, what. It will show you how to make a cute little swirly shape that you can use for all sorts of things.

Note: This is a basic Illustrator tutorial. It's for beginners, but you'll still need to know where the basic tools are.

First things first, open up Illustrator and create a new document. I like to make mine in inches, 8.5 by 11 for easy printing.

1. Grab the Elipse tool. Change the fill to nothing and stroke to whatever color you want.

2. Draw an oval. However big, small, skinny or fat you want it.

3. From the Edit menu, select Copy and then Paste in Front. This makes a copy of your oval and pastes it right on top the first one. The keyboard shortcuts are Command C and Command F if you're using a Mac. Or Control C and Control F if you're using Windows. (From here on out, I'll just use the Mac shortcuts.)

4. Right click on your oval, go to the Transform menu and select Rotate.

5. Now the rotate menu will pop up and you can select how many degrees you want to rotate your oval. You can choose any number as long as it's divisible by 360. I chose 12!

6. Now press Command C, Command F, Command D until you start to see a shape emerge. What you're doing is the same Copy, Paste in Front as before but we're adding Command D, which is Transform Again. In this case that means, copy my oval, paste it in front, then rotate it again by 12 degrees.

7. Keep doing your Command C, F, D thing until you've completed the circle, and you're done!

You can make a bunch of them, change the colors, line them up, scatter them around...whatever you want! For my card I made copies of the shape in 2 different colors and added a little "Happy Birthday!" at the bottom. 

Next week I'll show you how to take this basic technique and start doing crazier things! And please let me know in the comments what you thought of this tutorial. Too easy? Too Hard? Didn't understand something? Think it's a stupid idea? I want to hear from you!

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