Customer Service Cartoons

I just finished a series of 12 illustrations for Positive Promotions. These were not children’s illustrations, as is my typical genre, but very corporate-targeted cartoons for a customer service department. I think they may go with an established training program or something, but I didn’t get any details on their exact purpose.

If you’ve followed me at all, you’ll notice that these pieces are not anything close to my typical art style. Instead, these were meant to match some previous artwork that the company had been using for years. I can typically match other art styles, as long as they’re cartoonish rather than realistic.

I didn’t even draw these in my trusty Adobe Photoshop, but instead used Adobe Illustrator. The project wasn’t very technical. Just simple shapes and paths with fixed-width lines. Still, it was a good opportunity to brush up on my Illustrator skills which I haven’t had much call to use lately.

I’m sharing these samples to show that I can match other cartoon art styles, and that I can work in Adobe Illustrator. Just in case that’s something you’re looking for. As always, I am accepting commissions. Contact me for more information.

Lazy Nezumi Pro

I’d like to plug a Photoshop plug-in that I discovered a couple months ago and I think it’s absolutely wonderful. Lazy Nezumi Pro. What it primarily does is smooth your strokes for you, which eliminates the regrettable stair-step pixelated lines you sometimes get if you’re zoomed out too far when you draw or when your processor is being stupid. And it smooths out your wobbly curves. It lets you specify how much you want it to average out your strokes, so it’s totally adjustable for your preferences.

Another totally useful things it does is that it has a ton of different types of on-screen rulers to help you draw lines, curves, shapes in perspective, spirals, etc. The great thing about these rulers is that you can adjust the precision. So, when you want to draw almost-perfect shapes or lines, but not so perfect that it doesn’t look hand-drawn, this does that beautifully.

There are a bunch of other cool features as well that you absolutely should play with.

I bought it because my wonderful wacom cintiq had ANOTHER 3-in-1 cord fail on me. Seriously, wacom? Seriously?!? And it took TWO MONTHS for them to send me a replacement because they were out of stock. (If you have one of these, do yourself a favor and buy a spare cord to keep around, because they break ALL THE TIME and wacom can’t seem to keep them in stock. Especially if you’re out of the warranty period.)

So, my cintiq was out of commission for the entire second half of my recent Genie Loophole project. Luckily, I still had my old wacom intuos pro. It is a graphics tablet, but not a screen tablet like the cintiq. It takes a little longer to get the lines the way I like them on the intuos than on the cintiq. The two main problems are getting strokes to fall exactly where I want them and avoiding the stair-step thing on my lines.

Lazy Nezumi saved my skin. After some practice, I was able to use that in combination with my intuos and get results as good as, and almost as fast as, with my cintiq.

Anyway, go buy the thing. It’s worth the money. You will thank me for it.

Free Adobe Software… Sort of…

Not my image.

Okay, this is interesting. Adobe is making some of its OLD Creative Suite software available for download with the activation code. Although they say they’re not actually offering it for free, they sound like they’re operating on the honor system. They want to stop having to maintain a registration server for these programs or something, so they just put them up and tell you that you should only download them if you already own a copy. But they’re not checking. Anyone CAN download them for free.

Now, these are NOT the latest versions. They’re seven years old. But if you DON’T already have Photoshop, Illustrator, or one of the other programs on here, then old is better than no program at all. If you’ve never used any version of Photoshop at all and you have been wanting to try it except that the cost is prohibitive, this would be a way to try it without the limits of that pesky one-month trial period.  Then, when the limitations of the 7-year-old software irritate you sufficiently, you can purchase the current version.  Or, how many people do you know still limping along on Photoshop 6? CS2 is better than that, at least.  I’m looking right at you Ms. Zoch.  smiley 15

So, I am not saying you SHOULD download this free software, because, of course, it’s wrong. But… If you want to… Here are the links:

An explanation of what’s going on:

And the actual Adobe download page, with activation codes:

I will leave the rest up to you and your conscience.  smiley 15