The Sights

The Acropolis, Athens, Greece

Vector Build Methods

Deconstructing my vector build methods.

If you follow my tutorials on, than you're generally familiar with my creative process when it comes to building vector shapes.

I've been creating a lot of content for my new book lately, and decided last night to test a screen capture application I purchased recently.

I recorded the entire creation of an ornament design, documenting the vector build methods I use every day.

Final graphic ornament.

Above is an old school animated gif version of my process, and below is a condensed video of me building the ornament art shown in this post. The video is sped up so as not to exceed the 10 minute threshold YouTube mandates. It's about 5 minutes long, but in reality took me about 24 minutes to build. (Not including the initial drawing)

If you enjoy this you'll dig a project I'm working on that will be released in early 2011 that dives deep into the whole subject of vector build methods. But more about that later.


"Drawsigner" Logo Mark.

I've been calling myself an Illustrative Designer for about six years now. It fits the type of work I do on a daily basis the best. A good mix of design oriented projects needing to be leveraged with an illustrative flair.

But over the last year I've condensed the term "Illustrative Designer" down to an even more simpler term of "Drawsigner." Once again it defines what I do on a daily basis. (Yes, I've secured the domain name)

I first revealed this new definition when I spoke at the AdFed group in Acadiana. My topic was named "Drawsigner" and I created the above logo of myself for it.

Tight refined sketches of ornament designs.

Earlier this year I posted about the new book I'm creating for HOW Books, now officially titled "Flourish.Banner.Frame."

I've spent the last year creating over 400 pieces of artwork for this volume of ornaments, borders, frames etc. My creative process for the creation of this content is all about being a drawsigner.

Frame motif design.

I draw out all my ornament designs, scan them in and build them out in vector form. I've spent a lot of late nights finessing bezier curves and wrestling with anchor point handles in order to create artwork that is precise and beautiful.

Ornament design.

Like my other two books, this new one will include artist features showcasing some of our industries best talent utilizing a piece of art from the book in their own unique way. It's been a blast seeing how incredibly creative the approaches have been from the featured artists.

Graphic ring design.

Those who follow me on Twitter are well aware of my rants regarding Adobe Illustrator at times.

I really can't complain though. On a project like this I'm essentially getting paid to create what ever I want. Of course I've been art directing myself along the way and I'm creating more content than what I need so I can isolate the very best for the book.

So enjoy the summer, and as the days roll along I'll continue to get frilly with it.

Volume 1 PDF Tutorials

"Alien Skull" PDF Tutorial cover.

I'm happy to announce that I've finally produced my first collection of self-contained tutorials called "Volume 1 PDF Tutorials."

This first collection was derived from our top “25″ downloaded tutorials. Each tutorial comes in an easy to access multi-page PDF file format. Each PDF tutorial includes creative process images and exhaustive text embedded with links to referenced software, books, and resources. You’ll be able to view and read them on-screen or print them out for hands on reference purposes.

"Alien Skull" PDF Tutorial interior pages.

For more information visit my "" web site.

Vonster Tattoos

The original "Tribal Face" illustration.

Over the last six years I've had a lot of interesting things happen surrounding my tribal artwork. Some of it has been flattering copyright infringement which over time has created a rogues' gallery of those using my artwork without permission.

Most of the time it's just individuals who want to use my tribal art for a tattoo, so last year I did a simple post asking people to please ask permission first and it's paid off.

My "Tribal Face" on Mark Charles, UK.

Over the last year on average a couple people every month have requested permission to get my art tattooed. My terms of usage are simple:

- I grant usage rights for a tattoo application for a flat rate of $40
- I provide a hi-res PDF of artwork so they can scale it to size
- PDF includes thermography version for transferring tattoo

Over twenty individuals have officially and legally purchased the rights to get my tribal art tattooed over this last year. So I was chuffed when a purchaser of my tribal face art out of the UK, emailed me a picture of his new calf tattoo.

Vonster Tattoos Flash Sheet.

I have a total of "8" tribal designs available for purchase.

- Tribal Face
- Tribal Bat
- Tribal Lion
- Tribal Bear
- Tribal Phoenix
- Tribal Heart
- Tribal Sun
- Tribal Ring

I can also create a custom tribal design for you. So if you'd like to become a walking portfolio and get one of my stock tribal designs tattooed just send me an email and I'll give you all the information you'll need.

FYI: For information about my stock tribal designs or to have me create a custom tribal design for you visit

Lost Ideas

Tonight I was skimming through some old archived files and stumbled upon a lot of what I call "Lost Ideas." Most are design options presented to clients but never used, and some are ideas I played around with during the creative process but never presented.

All of them sit lonely amongst the 0's and 1's, in long forgotten files collecting dust on my HD.

I've been working digitally since 1991 so my archives are filled with graphic elements like this. I probably have thousands of things I can't even remember and I'm not sure if I could open some of them anymore? (FreeHand version 2.0) If I was smart I'd go back through everything and catalog all the art. I'll get to that Someday. (Yeah right.)

Perusing through these lost ideas from both the recent and long past was cathartic and nostalgic. So being a fair graphic warden I decided to let a handful of my designed captives out of their solitary confinement so they could see the light of day once again.

Collection of Lost Ideas.