There are no free advanced art tutorials

Learn Adobe Illustrator for Free

When Adobe Illustrator debuted in 1986, the Voyager 2 spacecraft was still in our solar system, and a man kicked out of Apple had just started a small animation studio called Pixar.

Seventeen incarnations later, it is still the preferred illustration tool for graphic artists on a budget. The Best Vector Software for Mac Designers on a Budget The Best Vector Software for Mac Designers on a Budget Adobe Illustrator might be the gold standard when it comes to vector software for the Mac, but you don't always have to spend a fortune on Output design software. Continue reading . Voyager 2 is one of the most man-made objects in space, and Adobe Illustrator has found a permanent home in all of this Pixar man's devices.

When you start feeling the first pains of romance, ask yourself three frequently asked questions:

  1. Why should I learn Adobe Illustrator?
  2. Can I learn Adobe Illustrator without drawing skills?
  3. Where can I learn Adobe Illustrator for free?

Reasons to Learn Adobe Illustrator

  • You can give your design ideas a voice.
  • You can design your own logos. 10 Inspirational Websites To Create Your Own Logo Designs 10 Inspirational Websites To Create Your Own Logo Designs To create the perfect logo, you need to be thoroughly familiar with the company, product, consumers and culture that run them. But what if you start your own small business? Read More
  • You can create your own PDF worksheets and increase productivity.
  • You can create your own infographics. 10 of the best tools for creating infographics 10 of the best tools for creating infographics The history of this visual science (or art) tells us that infographics are by no means an invention of digital culture. The only difference between then and now is the amount of information ... Read More
  • You can customize customizable vector objects and use them in your documents, charts and presentations.
  • You can use it to design your own t-shirts.
  • You can use it for quick wireframing concepts.
  • You can draw beautiful cartoons!

You don't need any drawing techniques!

Drawing is a fundamental skill if you want to become an all-around graphic designer. Learn Digital Art From Scratch With These 22 Lynda Courses Learn Digital Art From Scratch With These 22 Lynda Courses. Hundreds of online courses are available to choose from on the fastest way to master digital art. Here are a few courses to get you started. Read More

There are different types of graphic designs as well as different types of graphic designers. Adobe Illustrator is a versatile program that covers a wide range of activities, including web designers and architectural planners.

Nancy Cleary, Art Director and Editor at Wyatt-MacKenzie Publishing, has an answer for those in doubt:

I quickly learned that in graphic design all you need is the ability to quickly cut out a design concept.

And Adobe tells us all about the real-world applications:

In fact, almost every industry uses Illustrator, from two-dimensional engineering CAD to Hallmark greeting cards. People who design watches use Illustrator, and people who design shoes use them too.

It's the standard apparel design tool, including t-shirts, and almost all package design work is done in Illustrator - like putting the label on a wine bottle or wrapping your favorite orange juice.

It is true that an illustrator with drawing skills has more options, but it is also true that a lack of drawing skills is not a flaw. It is important to have an aesthetic eye for good design and creative work, especially since designers these days rely more on computers than traditional drawing techniques.

However, a foundation based on design knowledge is helpful. So don't stop practicing drawing. 10 websites that will teach you how to draw well. 10 Sites That Will Teach You How To Draw Well. We all want to draw well. However, drawing can only be achieved through daily practice. Visit these ten websites and their fantastic tutorials to start your journey. Continue reading .

8 Free Illustrator Learning Resources

When your confidence is restored we can turn to the best tutorial websites to help us get started with Adobe Illustrator. The Beginner's Guide to Adobe Illustrator The Beginner's Guide to Adobe Illustrator Want to learn Adobe Illustrator but feel overwhelmed? With easy-to-follow instructions and plenty of annotated screenshots, this guide makes learning Illustrator easy. Read More I've included examples of basic tutorials that anyone can do. The advanced tutorials are designed to show what is possible with this software.

Requirements are an installed copy of Adobe Illustrator and a lot of patience.

Adobe Illustrator CC Here's how

Adobe's own website should be the first port of call. It's also the most organized for beginners. Take the one-minute tour of Illustrator Creative Cloud and get to know the basics.

You will find that the lessons get you into the work area and basic techniques. I would recommend that you practice the pen tool until you get it right. Have fun with the Pen Tool Game while you're at it.

The Key techniques Section has more games and multiple projects. All tutorials are a mix of text and video. For some tutorials, you may need other Adobe apps like Photoshop or their mobile apps. The parent site is well worth a visit even if you have an older version of the software. The basic functions are easily transferable and Adobe will keep you informed of any newer functions.

You can also get all the videos on Adobe TV.

Basic tutorial: Bitmap vs. vector

Advanced tutorial: Design a web layout for on the go.

Tuts +

Part of Envato, Tuts + started out as a mix of tutorial blogs but has since stood out as a top notch creative resource. Much of the content requires subscription, but the site also has free content - almost 19,000 free tutorials on a number of subjects.

Start here and go to the Design and illustration This section contains a number of articles related to Adobe Illustrator. Each tutorial includes a comment section for feedback and questions. Also take a look at the series of articles sorted on a specific topic Learning aids. For example: This collection of seven articles on simple silhouettes.

Aside from the quality of the articles, it is the community of Tuts + users that makes this site stand out above the crowd. Community projects are a perfect example of how collaboration and creativity come together.

Basic tutorial: 10 Essential Tips and Tools There is something new to Adobe Illustrator who should learn

Advanced tutorial: Create a neon, stylized, '60s-inspired portrait in Illustrator

Creative Bloq

Creative Blog covers the entire spectrum of digital art from web design to the visual arts. The makers are also behind design magazines such as Computer Arts, ImagineFX and 3DWorld. The frequency of articles in Illustrator is high, but you will navigate to articles that also cover non-Illustrator topics.

The disappointing thing is the limited YouTube channel because video tutorials are often easier to understand when a beginner tries things like complex masking techniques.

Basic tutorial: How to Quickly Create Shapes in Illustrator.

Advanced tutorial: How to edit drawings in Illustrator with Image Trace.

Blog. Spo graphics

Blog.Spoongraphics is Chris Spooner's premier design blog. If the number of followers is an indication, popularity is not an issue.

This is where general design topics mix with the tutorials from Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. There is also a video section with step-by-step instructions and videos hosted on their YouTube channel.

There are also freebies. With a paid membership, you can download full, layered source files for all of Chris' Illustrator and Photoshop tutorials and other inventory bundles. Chris also runs a separate blog called Line25 that focuses on web design.

Basic tutorial: 20 Essential Illustrator Tutorials Every Beginner Should See

Advanced tutorial: How to create a print-ready, die-cut business card


New tutorials are published twice a week in this learning blog, which is exclusively devoted to Adobe Illustrator tips and tricks. This impressive resource is managed by Ryan Putnam and dates back to 2008.

The tutorials are well designed and include details such as program version, skill level and time required. The website also accepts contributions from illustrator virtuosos.

Basic tutorial: Quick and Easy Beveled Icon Vectors

Advanced tutorial: Wam! Pow! Engage your audience with a pop art vector!

Art inspire studio

Asmaa 'Murad's personal blog is more than a tutorial page. This graphic designer (and mother of two) is home to loads of vector graphics to download, from clipart collections to digital stamps and textures.

The vector resources are for sale, but you can get into the tutorials for free.

The lessons are not particularly organized here. You will find tutorials that you can do in minutes and tutorials that are much more in-depth. Beginners should start by learning Vector Drawing (BASICs) - PART 1 - a collection of their basic tutorials.

Basic tutorial: Create a Smiley Face Basic Tutorial.

Advanced tutorial: Visual walk through the making of the sugar skull illustration.

Vector diary

Vector Diary was designed by Tony Soh and is a wonderful resource with lots of Illustrator tutorials. The first stop for beginners should be the free Adobe Illustrator in 30 Days Crash Course. Then there is the 101 Illustrator Tips & Tricks series (which is now number 26).

The free tutorials cover everyday objects, while the premium segment offers a lot more.

Basic tutorial: Starry night

Advanced tutorial: Gradient mesh flower

Layers Magazine

The good thing about Layers Magazine is the huge collection of graphic design tutorials, including Illustrator. The bad thing is that it gets updated sporadically.

The Illustrator section of the site appears to be no longer active as of November 2014. Don't let that stop you from exploring the 150+ articles in Illustrator on your own, however.

Tutorials are a mix of text and video. If you are into the entire Creative Suite this is a good place as the website covers the other Adobe graphics tools as well.

Basic tutorial: Using Kuler with Illustrator

Advanced tutorial: Illustrate with the gradient mesh tool

Honorable mentions on bookmarks

A few more places to check out at the beginning of your study journey.

  • DeviantArt: One of many groups of vector graphics you can find on DeviantArt.
  • Youtube: A list of all videos in Adobe Illustrator, automatically generated by YouTube's video recognition system.
  • Pinterest: A virtual bulletin board for Adobe Illustrator tutorials on the web.
  • Learn Adobe Illustrator from the ground up: A free Udemy course with 41 lectures. Try this 11 hour course over a weekend to understand basic Illustrator techniques.

Getting started with Adobe Illustrator

Note that my selection of basic and advanced study examples are from my point of view. I am deeply skilled in creating infographics with Illustrator. So far, sailing has been smooth thanks to such online resources.

But there is still a lot to learn. Sometimes there doesn't seem to be an end in sight! Hopefully these resources will help you as much as they helped me.

Use the comments to let us know how confident you are with vector graphics! How did you get started? What advice would you give to someone falling in love with the art that Adobe's second most famous tool can conjure up?

Photo credit: Graphic artist via Shutterstock, pencil drawing via Shutterstock

Learn about: Adobe Photoshop, Creativity, Digital Art, Drawing Software, Education Technology.