It’s All About The Touch
Art for feet and the touch power of Adobe Illustrator CC.
When we learned that one of the new features for Adobe Illustrator CC would be making it usable on a touchscreen—specifically Microsoft’s Surface Pro 3—we took the technology to Adobe MAX 2014 with the session Beyond Mouse and Keyboard: The Future of Touch and Adobe Illustrator.
Then we collaborated with BucketFeet, an artist collective 10,000 artists and 60 countries strong (that creates one-of-a-kind, artist-designed shoes), artist/illustrator Amy Ruppel, and design studio Jolby & Friends to create custom shoe art using Illustrator CC’s new touchscreen functionality on Microsoft’s Surface Pro 3.
Their first-time experience resulted in designs we couldn’t wait to share… So, we’re offering a chance for someone to win a Microsoft Surface Pro 3, a one-year Creative Cloud membership, framed prints of each design, and two pairs of shoes with hand-drawn art.
Design and illustration on a touchscreen
When Jolby & Friends accepted our challenge, their first task was to adapt their process to a touchscreen or, in their words, “establish a sandbox to play in.” In the end, with all the restrictions, advantages, and shortcuts, they “made something they don’t think they would have using any other drawing tool.”
What Jolby & Friends knew from the start is that they didn’t want to just show their dexterity with the software; they wanted to create a story. They had this to say about their concept, “It takes place within a hidden forest where everyone’s spirit animals play and race around with each other.” The execution of their concept included connecting every. single. line. drawn on the shoe, which seemed to work well on a touchscreen:
“The nice part about the touch in Illustrator CC was the ability to treat the artwork more organically. Typically things we do in Illustrator CC are either very rigid or focus around Bezier curves (which come with their own restrictions). Every line we created was drawn using just the pencil tool—something we’d never do with a mouse—so the lines look more hand-drawn and unique.”
For illustrator Amy Ruppel, a Mac-based artist new to the Windows operating system, working directly on the surface of the screen felt more like drawing in a sketchbook than on a computer. “I loved that,” she said. “I normally draw point-to-point in vector land, and this freed up my hand immensely.” And since she garners inspiration from whatever medium she’s working in, the touchscreen also came in handy for the animals (with fur) that she loves to paint: “It lent itself to a pressure sensitive brush style; I leaned towards the polar bear, whose fur I could show in this manner.”
The artists put their stories on shoes
To learn a bit more about creating designs that will translate favorably from a flat surface to the contours of a shoe, we asked head of product at BucketFeet, Takashi Yoshii what was most important to keep in mind:
“Scale. Making sure that the scale of a two-dimensional design fits the accurate scale of the intended product. You don’t want files to not fit properly or be distorted. Footwear, in general is a very Illustrator heavy industry so art and designs that are created in Illustrator CC translate very well.”
When Jolby & Friends took their art to the shoe they found it “much easier to switch to a mouse to move the pieces around, do light clean-up, edit color, and do quick mock-ups.” Amy, on the other hand, added to her design as she began placing her art onto the shoe template. She talked about the advantage of the computer-generated brush lines: “They’re vector-based, even though they don’t look as if they are, which allows them to be rearranged and altered very easily.”
Enter, and maybe win something
About the Power of Illustrator Sweepstakes mentioned at the start: We’ve partnered with BucketFeet for one Grand Prize that includes a Microsoft Surface Pro 3, a one-year Creative Cloud Membership, framed prints of each design, and two pairs of hand-drawn shoes; and two Second Prizes of a one-year Creative Cloud Membership, and a framed print of one of the designs. (For anyone who wants to see them, the Terms & Conditions.)
All it takes to enter is an email. So stop on over at BucketFeet and enter. After that… download a free 30-day Adobe Illustrator CC trial, check the Creative Cloud Learn team’s Draw in a touch environment tutorial, then… make something.