Chevon Hicks, graphic designer, animator, and DJ, is also the founder, partner, executive creative director, and president of Heavenspot, a digital creative agency in Los Angeles. In addition to being a man of many titles, Hicks is also a multitalented designer and skilled illustrator.
Hicks is an old hand with Adobe® Illustrator® software and can wield the Illustrator Pen tool with great aplomb and precision. Adobe Ideas grabbed his attention both for its ability to enable on-the-go creativity as well as the freedom to craft highly detailed artwork with quick strokes.
"Drawing in Adobe Ideas is like a mix of painting and sculpting," observes Hicks. "Painting, because you can be really messy with your initial brush strokes; sculpting, because you can then come in later with the Eraser tool and sculpt your lines and shapes to perfection."
Hicks' final artwork is about 90% Adobe Ideas and 10% Illustrator. "I used Adobe Illustrator for the background and some of the more nuanced brush strokes, like the ribbon around her arms," notes Hicks. "Illustrator was an important part of the process because I was able to exceed the 10-layer limit of Adobe Ideas and create a beautiful gradient mesh background, which really helps offset the flat graphics created in Adobe Ideas. In Illustrator, I used the Blob Brush tool, which is very similar to the Pencil tool found in Ideas. In Illustrator, however, I was able to adjust the settings on the Blob Brush tool, which allowed for a variable-stroke width based on pressure, angle, and roundness using my Wacom tablet."
Hicks' inspiration and source image came from one of the 50 images Wired Magazine recently released under the Creative Commons license, encouraging their readers to remix them.
And how long did it take Chevon to complete this image? "This took quite a long time — I'd say close to 40 hours," he estimates. But we can all agree the final results are well worth the effort.