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  • MUJKA CHIC 5:36 am on December 30, 2007 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: agreements, answers, , , drawing, , , freelancing, , , outline, paths, payment, questions, , , ,   

    10 QUESTIONS from users of ILLUSTRATOR CS2/3 

    Over the past couple months I have been receiving some cool some odd questions regarding to Illustrator. This is nothing like a tutorial or answers how to draw things with step by step pictured instructions but some information about things people are curious about so Here I want to share the questions and answers.

    1- Do I need to expand Illustrator brushes and why?

    Yes, expanding the brush actually turns it into a shape which you can fill with different colors, change outline or shape itself, so it’s recommended to expand custom brushes to shapes, especially for stock it is a must.

    2- How can I find open paths and close them easy?

    I have a topic that you can download 2 small plugin to find and close paths in 2 steps. READ HERE

    3- Do I need to use a graphic pad to create characters?

    I recommend WACOM tablets as I have been using it for a while, so easier than mouse, fully adjustable with pressure settings, you can draw almost anything with tablets, mouse is a pain in the a…If you are serious about drawing complicated images such as hair, florals, eyes or cartoon characters Wacom is the way to go.

    4- How can I create swirly florals?

    🙂 well this has been a serious question, I got over 100 emails about it. I must admit, there is no easy 1 step plugin or tool to create florals, you can purchase brush sets or flower vectors as they are already drawn and ready to use but if you want to create your own florals first you need a graphic tablet, second understand to use pen tool (create outline of the shape) become familiar with it, practice to control pen’s movements and pressure.

    Creating a floral shape is not that difficult, for the stem , just draw a nice curly line, when you are satisfied with the thickness and shape just expand the line to turn into a shape. Under OBJECT menu, select PATH/OFFSET PATH to change the thickness of the stem, you can set – or + 1,2 pixels to make it look more thinner or thicker.

    for leaves, well, this would be challenging for most, but I prefer to go natural hand movements with paintbrush tool. Select a round brush from your brush library, double click on the brush and set the diameter section to PRESSURE , and if you are naturally skillful at drawing🙂 you can use this pressure very easy to control. And just go with the flow, draw a nice curvy leaf with pressure is on, try many times till you like your leaf, add some natural strokes coming out from the stem you created, after some practice you will be drawing stems, curls and leaves easier.

    For those who does not want to draw but have it. HERE YOU CAN DOWNLOAD some free samples and purchase sets:)

    Brush sets

    Floral sets

    5- How can I create seamless patterns and wallpapers?

    Manual it is very difficult to align patterns, but I am talking about complicated patterns. I am suggesting 2 wonderful program that can change your life about patterns. First you need to create a very simple pattern, could be a spiral which you can easily create with illustrator spiral tool (don’t forget to expand) then a simple leaf and maybe dots around and a stroke, group them. Then what? Here with your simple pattern you can create hundreds of different patterns seamlessly. And I promise they would not look same.

    First program called XTREAM PATH , it’s a plugin has 36 wonderful path editing tools in it. But wallpaper and mirroring tools are the ones I am going to share here. You can create 17 different style seamless wallpaper or 1 unit pattern from your simple pattern. Very easy to use, you actually just click one of the wallpaper tools set it to one unit only or wallpaper setting and draw a shape on your pattern, ta da you will have a cool wallpaper repeating from the section of your actual pattern. It has great documentation to explain how to do things so I won’t be writing here. HERE IS THE WEBSITE for that plugin.

    Second program is called SYMMETRYWORKS, wonderful little big plugin, you will love it. Here is the address to check this program out.It it just for creating seamless wallpapers so have it HERE

    6-Converting to EPS8 killed my transparency and blending layers , what the hell happened?????

    We convert AI files to EP8 for compability , so CorelDraw and Freehand users can open the vector image as is. But disadvantage of this conversation is you will be loosing all your paths with transparent and blending areas. Basically your top transparent layer get flatten to bottom layer and you loose this two layer, they combine into one shape which we all hate:) Simple way to avoid it should be not using transparency or any blending such as (overlay, multiply..etc) if you are doing conversation, also you will get open paths all over the image because of that. Don’t use it. Gradients are ok if they are not too extreme. Sometimes you can get weird colors after conversation with too many gradient areas.

    7- How can I become a freelance illustrator? How about copyrights, agreements and all that stuff I need to know??

    There is two websites I recommend, there is more out there but these two are my favorites. Check it out.



    You need to create a custom agreement plan first. Set your Flat rate or hourly rate, deliver dates, project scope, how many revisions you offer (this is important so they don’t bug you for 20 revisions) and final delivery times should be set in the agreement, also you need to add copyright information to your agreement. If you are selling the copyrights to a customer, you should indicate that clearly with all circumstances. If not you still need to add this information that you are still holding the copyrights of the artwork you created.

    If you are using another artist’s creations, be sure you purchase the right licenses such as a Stock pattern to be used on a wedding invitation should be licenced as EXTENDED LICENCE so they can run it unlimited times or how many times the licence limits it and make sure your clients know about it, just to avoid legal problems that can hunt you later:)

    Apart from these you need to have a payment plan. I suggest 50% upfront before you even switch your computer on. 50% after project is done. If it is a bigger project with more than 10 or more images split payments in to 3 or 4. Never send anything original to your client before last payment is confirmed. Be sure add this plan to your agreement.

    And last of all file everything, emails, payment documents (GET A PAYPAL account if you don’t have one), all files you created, never delete any file after project is done. They can hire you again for more same thing. Good luck.

    8- How can I create Halftone dots?

    I have a topic about this too which is kind a unfinished but you can still get a perfect halftone shape with the instructions. READ IT HERE

    9- Where can I find FREE VECTOR STUFF ??

    Hmm, that must be the most asked and searched question on Google, probably freebie people already know about these websites but I will write share here. Please read terms and conditions of the free files before using them.


    10- How can I create brush or swatches and save them as a library?

    After creating your image all you need to do is drag and drop your image into the brush or swatch library, delete all illustrator’s own library which is already there , drag and drop as many image as you want and save them by clicking on top right hand corner arrow/save library.. your library is saved. Very simple.

    Please add a comment if you have any other questions in mind. Thank you.


    • Joe 5:06 am on December 31, 2007 Permalink

      Thank you, Thank you and Thank you. I know I will be buying things from you. Your work is glorious! And thank you for the Illustrator tips as I needed the closed path help for some vinyl sign work I am doing for a neighbor. I first found you on FlashDen. I want to use your ladies for another website I am doing for a nail salon. Oh.. and great photos on Flikr… great insights. PS.. the contact page on your website doesn’t bring up anything.


    • Ruben Vandenbussche 3:52 am on October 12, 2008 Permalink

      Thank you for this nice post. Now i can start off making some nice vector art by myself.


    • Vince Delmonte 8:58 pm on April 14, 2009 Permalink

      This is very hot information. I’ll share it on Twitter.


    • Prenajom chaty 5:58 am on August 20, 2009 Permalink

      Very good information. Perfect blog!


  • MUJKA CHIC 1:00 am on September 15, 2007 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , open, paths, , ,   

    Dealing with OPEN PATHS in Illustrator in 2 steps 

    Couple little things you need to know about when creating a vector image, especially if you are going to sell it on stock websites

    Here are some tips and tricks for making the best out of your work. Mostly time savers.

    OPEN PATHS: If you are dealing with open paths, you are in trouble, so try this plug-in from Graffix to FIND THEM FIRST without hassle.

    To install this plugin, just drop the plugin in your Adobe Illustrator Plug-ins folder. It works with Adobe Illustrator CS – CS2 and CS3….

    What does this plugin do… It actually finds all guides, paths, open paths, closed paths, filled paths, unfilled paths, stroked paths, unstroked paths, dashed paths, undashed paths, compound paths, groups, live object groups, gradient meshes, envelopes, symbols, embedded raster art, and placed art.

    It will appear under Select / Object menu.

    So after clicking on select open paths, your open paths are selected, now how are we going to close all these paths, here another plug-in to CLOSE THESE PATHS.

    This time just drop the plug in in Illustrator scripts folder, it will appear in File/ Scripts menu, and click. All your paths are closed in 2 steps. What a time saver.

    Well if you have only couple paths to close just click on the open path and press CTRL + J to join them, personally I never use this.

    • Maddy 3:41 pm on October 10, 2007 Permalink

      Thank you very much for this info, i was dealing myself with this problem for almost a year…i didn’t know that the answer was so easy…Thank you again!


    • Marie 11:32 pm on April 16, 2008 Permalink

      Thank you so much for the links to the plug-ins. I’ve recently started uploading my illustrations to sell as stock and I had a few rejected because of open paths. Thanks for the help.


    • boojoo 9:14 am on April 17, 2008 Permalink

      no problem

      hope your stuff get approved soon and good luck on sales.


    • Anonymous 6:28 am on April 18, 2008 Permalink

      you are great


    • dexonavite 11:21 am on April 28, 2008 Permalink

      now i download it and try to use!


    • boojoo 12:35 am on May 8, 2008 Permalink

      YOU all welcome


    • Anne 6:24 am on May 13, 2008 Permalink

      Thank you so much! It’s a life saver!


    • Prem 2:53 pm on May 17, 2008 Permalink

      select the open paths and press ctrl+J it will close the open paths… have fun!!!!!


    • Jon 11:57 am on May 28, 2008 Permalink

      The close path plugin is pure bliss! Why is this not already part of illustrator?

      Thanks a million.


    • boojoo 12:48 am on May 29, 2008 Permalink

      there is so many plugins out there that could be a part of illustrator but usually they are for sale. Not sure why,
      they may include this in CS4 maybe..


    • spondicious 9:46 pm on July 7, 2008 Permalink

      I agree that it should be a part of Illustrator already. When I was a CorelDraw user I liked that I could have my object auto close if I drew the end close enough to the starting point. I was getting really miffed having to find all the open paths to be able to close them.

      I did find a plug in that found the open paths first which helped identify where I had work to do but then I had to close them one by one or use a trick to close the paths. The I cam across this page and the next plug in I found finished the job for me

      Thanks a lot


    • Pete 10:24 pm on August 13, 2008 Permalink

      Terrific shortcut – saves hours of work, many thanks!


    • aeli 7:08 pm on September 25, 2008 Permalink

      Thanks a million! This saved me hours and hours !!!


    • Todd 1:54 am on January 16, 2009 Permalink

      Thank you so much, this is a lifesaver for my stock vector work.


    • Burcu 1:57 am on January 16, 2009 Permalink



    • Hakan 11:40 am on January 21, 2009 Permalink

      i kiss you bro:)


    • araraadt 7:39 pm on February 26, 2009 Permalink

      thanks a lot!


    • araraadt 8:25 am on February 27, 2009 Permalink

      sorry, but with Illustrator CS4 this doesn’t work😦


    • Burcu 5:07 pm on February 27, 2009 Permalink

      the plugins probably are only for CS TO CS3 doesnt cover CS4


    • Nemanja 8:55 pm on March 29, 2009 Permalink

      Thank You very much…


    • Chetan Jivani 6:40 pm on March 31, 2009 Permalink

      I tried installing the plug-in as directed “drag and drop it into the illustrator plug-ins folder”, but on initiating illustrator CS & CS3, i could not find the options made available by the plug-in under the select/object menu item. Can someone tell me what I am doing wrong?


    • Burcu 7:10 pm on March 31, 2009 Permalink

      maybe you have not placed it in the correct folder

      it may be under C:/ Program Files / Adobe / Illustrator / Plugins/

      just get inthe program folders and find Plugin folder and drop the plugin inside this folder
      then open illustrator and it appears under Select / Object menu..

      Hope that helps


    • Rebecca Eng 12:47 pm on April 4, 2009 Permalink

      I have CS3 on mac. i also put the plugin straight into the plugins folder and no additional options are appearing under select / object..?



    • Burcu 5:25 pm on April 4, 2009 Permalink

      hmm..maybe does not with MAC? Im not sure sweety.
      need to reopen the the program, it appears there usually if its in the correct folder but never tried with MAC so not sure about that.


    • Mac Parsons 5:20 pm on June 7, 2009 Permalink

      I have never understood WHY Adobe never incorporated such a basic operation in Illustrator … one would THINK after acquiring Macromedia a few years back the best attributes of FreeHand would make it into Illustrator. Guess not.


    • Bethro 6:47 pm on July 17, 2009 Permalink

      I notice a couple of people have the same problem I had getting the SelectMenu plug-in to show up. Here’s how I figured it out:

      I went back over the instructions text that is in the downloaded plug-in folder (read me.txt) – it says you can go back to the Graffix web site for plug-in updates. Turns out the plug-in download link provided on this page is only for CS and CS2. I went to Rick Johnson’s web site, found the plug-in for CS3, downloaded it, opened my Plug-ins folder, deleted the old plug-in and put in the new CS3 plug-in, restarted Illustrator CS3 and I now see the options for selecting.

      In a nutshell, make sure you have the correct plug-in for your software version and computer type – Mac or PC. I hope this helps.


    • AridOcean 9:14 am on August 14, 2009 Permalink

      Since the plugin is not available for Illustrator CS4 under Windows I wrote my own script for extended selections.
      It offers almost the same functionality as the Graffix plugin and adds some more options, including the ability to close any number of open paths with one click.

      Since it is a script and not a plugin it should run under future Illustrator versions as well.

      The script is free.

      You can download it from my site:



    • Cyan 12:28 pm on December 17, 2009 Permalink


      Many many thanks!

      Never knew you can extend Illustrator with js scripts.


    • helios 10:24 am on January 4, 2010 Permalink

      thank you !thank you! i try to fix for a couple days! thank you again!


    • Anonymous 10:39 am on November 15, 2011 Permalink

      hey! thanks for posting this. One short question though: does it work in cs4, because i can’t seem to find it.


    • MUJKA CHIC 10:55 am on November 15, 2011 Permalink

      use this
      it works with CS5..but it is for CS4



    • Madambond 4:34 pm on November 17, 2011 Permalink

      What do I do with the php for CS4/5? do i save it somewhere or???


    • MUJKA CHIC 7:24 pm on November 17, 2011 Permalink

      php is the webpage’s format, its like HTML, on that address, there is a program you need to download and follow the instructions


    • karyn 3:02 am on May 17, 2012 Permalink

      You are my hero. Thank you. I had to use CS3 to make this work, but that is fine by me, it worked!


    • Max 3:34 am on June 11, 2012 Permalink

      Thank you very much, works great


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