Playing around with Illustrator.  I figure I may as well use it since I’m paying for it.  Adobe charges an annual fee to utilize their products now.  I can’t help but feel like they’re trying to recoup all the money they lost to pirating of their software.  I know that for about 15 years, anyone with a little bit of internet savvy could download a cracked version of Photoshop for free.  It was basically purchased by students, graphic designers, and corporations that dealt with media and art.  But it was probably the most stolen software program in existence.  So, I can’t blame Adobe for jumping through multiple levels of hoops to prevent this from continuing.  It’s just that they make it very obvious that you’re only renting.

For those who read the fine print, it’s always been the case.  They just allow people to rent it by the month, or for a year with monthly installments.  Or you can save a little and rent it for a full year up front.  I’m not sure if they still sell it outright.  If they do, they’ve not made it obvious, as I didn’t see the option while casually browsing their site.  It’s a smart move on their part.  Those who can’t afford to drop a few grand up front on the suite now have affordable access with the installments, so I’m sure they’ve increased their customer base.  They do release a light version of Photoshop and Premier that you can purchase outright, but light is an understatement.  You’re better off using Gimp for free than bothering with Photoshop Elements.

The fact that an entire new industry was created surrounding Adobe applications is kind of cool.  Books, tutorials, and university courses that teach it’s uses have been steadily glomming off Adobe’s success for as long as I can recall.  It can cost a few hundred dollars to take an online course for Photoshop.  However, it’s for those who want someone to hold their hand while they figure out the features.  You can use the built in tutorials, free tutorials on websites like DeviantArt, and trial and error to get to the same level of expertise.  I’ve found that trial and error is the best teacher for me.  I tend to remember when I click a new button and have it destroy the project I’ve just spent hours creating.  Thank goodness for the history, (undo) option.  You learn quickly to take snapshots as you go to save time.  It’s why I prefer digital painting to tactile painting.  No mess, and no waste.

Illustrator is interesting and surprisingly simple to dive in without prior experience.  I’m sure my Photoshop skills come into play regarding the tools to some degree, but there are lots of new ones that I have yet to explore.  The mesh tool was taunting me while I worked on the above.  Next time I’ll play with that.  I’m going to break out my Wacom tablet next time.  Premiere Pro, After Effects, and Audition look like fun, too.  I’ll have to pace myself.