There are many ways to be a designer of beady things. Mine happens to be sharing my designs through teaching. This means that I need to communicate which beads to use and what thread path brings them into the desired design.
I will say the bar has been seriously raised by many a good bead illustrator and no long will a hand drawn or crudely computer drawn illustration do. There are quite a number of really good bead illustrators and fortunately I count some among my friends
I will say though even with huge support, the challenge to learn Adobe illustrator for drawing beads has been tough. I'm not sure what amount of time or effort I should deem reasonable on my way towards proficiency, but I've probably put in close to 50 hours at this point, ok that is only slightly more then a week, and I am feeling ill prepared for the task ahead of me.
Today though I accomplished this, painstakingly and probably with a lot more brute force then necessary
That is what I am finding most difficult, establishing an appropriate workflow. Should I learn to blend along a path (unreliable at best) or drag bead groups manually into a curve? Should I turn a group of beads into a symbol, or a group or lock prior bead layers or? Will I learn a clumsy way to do something and keep on doing it because that is what I know and finding the easy way seems too daunting?
I had help learning to color a crystal so that each facet changes color but retains the percent of saturation, and it works reliably every time, as long as I uses the 5 color swatches available to me. If I try to add a swatch, my previously successful merge swatches fails.
I don't mean for you to keep up with details here, just absorb the flavor of my challenges. Florence took the time to make me samples of how to rotate evenly spaced beads around a polygon (she's a math girl). Rachel spent an entire day with me which was truly invaluable and Bonnie is always an email a way with a helpful suggestion and when all else fails, she colored the crystal for me!
I know I'll get through this challenge, but at the moment, it's a lot! I'm grateful to be cheered on by so many, thanks to all of you.
And while I face this learning curve, Mark is busy with Beading by the Bay, soon really really soon, we'll be sharing the three stellar workshops with you. Sign ups? September 15th, unless you joined us last year and then September 1st you'll be able to register to join us again.