Crazy Quick Illustrator CC Tip: Toggle between Pen and Direct Select

I’m kicking off a new series I’m calling Crazy Quick Illustrator CC Tips.

I’ve been teaching myself illustrator for the past few months, and have learned a ton of amazing tips and tricks. I’ve decided to start recording some of them for myself and other illustrator noobs.

This is the first in my series: Hold COMMAND to toggle between Pen tool and Direct Select.

Here’s a video to see it a bit mores slowly:


What I’ve been working on

My house is a mess. It’s a disaster. I would add photos to prove my point, but it would be too embarrassing. It should be known that my house is almost never really clean. But, it’s worse than I’ve seen it in a long time. I can barely stand to walk into the living room.

And do you know why? Because art. Because creative passion. Because color palettes and learning new Illustrator skillz with a z. Because I was glued to Illustrator all weekend making repeating patterns in gorgeous, rich color palettes to sell as downloadables on Etsy.

My weekend goal was simple – make a pretty color story based on a particular vintage red color I’m obsessed with. Here’s what I came up with, starting with the base color on the very left:


My plan: I would create the color story, make at least one pattern, maybe two, and start building up a pattern library over the next few weeks. Then I could translate that pattern into more color stories, and so on.

Well, I ended up making seventeen patterns in multiple palettes. SEVENTEEN! In multiple colors, meaning I now have over 100 different variations of the patterns, with more to come.

Here’s just a taste.


So, that’s what I did this weekend, instead of clean, or grocery shop, or do any of the other 100 things that need my attention.

That top left pattern is my favorite, and one of the last ones I created. I pulled it into Redbubble. It looks mighty fine on a pillow!


Mid-Century Tea Time

It’s not often that I break out Illustrator and the trusty Intuos Pad but after I finished this number I was so proud of it that I wanted to do nothing but digital art from that point on. Of course, the need to feel real brushes pushing around real paint overcame me in about 2.3 hours, because I’m the ADHD artist.