I decided my banner could use a little make-over so this weekend I opened it in Illustrator and gave it a go. It still needs a bit of work but I'm quite pleased with the result after a weekend of just messing about to see what I could come up with.
The advantage I like most about having a vector graphic banner is that it's easy to make little changes. For example, at the moment I have my natural hair colour but I am terribly fond of blue hair. Or blue with a stripe of pink in it, perhaps. With a few clicks of the mouse the image can be changed to match the mood of my hair. Or say I take an earring out (Which I have done) or get a new tattoo (Which also needs adding), I can just delete something here and draw in a new layer there.
Besides that, it's just a really fun thing to play with. I can see why having a tablet is desirable when using a program like Illustrator. I've had brief encounters with tablets before. When working on my animation a few of my fellow animators used them for their projects. I found them quite baffling, having been raised with a mouse since a young age. The idea of using a pen-type object to control the cursor on the screen proved to be too difficult for me.
Since then I have come to realise that the tablet is meant to be representative of the screen itself. Unlike a mouse, which just scrolls and requires a few back and forth swishes to move the arrow from one side to the other, where the 'pen' is poised on the tablet is where it will land on the screen. For a program like illustrator, for an artist who prefers the solid, un-pixelated surface of a sketchbook, this is a perfect tool.
Still, for using just my mouse and what little knowledge I have of the program, I'm pleased with the current result. Should be quite useful as I begin plotting my plans for my upcoming gallery show.