Back when I was designing laser-cut frames for Griff's Shortcuts, I got really good at working with vector graphics in Corel Draw. Vectors are quite a different animal from bitmap graphics, and very cool.
So now I'm trying to learn Adobe Illustrator. It's a real workhorse, but coming from Corel Draw, I'm not finding it particularly intuitive. I know it'll do everything that the other program did and much more (the version we got was a bit outdated even then), but figuring out how it does it can be a puzzle. I have managed to create a few things, with a lot of futzing around and using the Help function. The most frustrating thing is that I'm so used to zooming in and out with the scroll wheel on my mouse, in Photoshop, but in Illustrator the scroll wheel makes the image scroll side to side. Ack! You can use it to zoom, but you have to hold down the alt/option key at the same time. I suppose one can get used to this, but I don't understand why it's different in the first place. You'd think something so basic would be the same across the Creative Suite. Fortunately it does work on my graphics tablet, zooming with the touch strip.
I really need to just take some time and concentrate on Illustrator for a while, until my fingers know what they're doing without having to look things up all the time. Maybe after Christmas. (I'd like to learn to knit, too, more than a basic rectangle, but I don't see that happening any time soon.)
The coolest thing about vectors is that you can use them in conjunction with things like laser cutters and vinyl cutters. This is a little flourish that I made and got cut in vinyl. I looked at a lot of designs online and ended up making my own--I wanted something kind of loose and doodle-y. (I love those smooth tapering lines. You can set up the brushes in Illustrator to do that automatically. It is so cool.)
Emily Kate, who made my Korean proverb, isn't doing vinyl anymore, so I sent the Illustrator file to Scribble It and they cut it for me. I got two, and the plan is to put them up flanking the three-photos-in-a-row of Kate and Andy over my computer desk (which I still don't have--the photos, that is--though my new monitor came on Wednesday, so I guess I should get to work on those).
Some day I'd like to have a house I can paint. For now, vinyl is a fun alternative. Stay tuned to see what I did in the bathroom!