Vectors/illustrations am I wasting my time?’

This post is going to be vague on the details on how I did this in photoshop otherwise it would be too long. I will start doing tutorial posts on how I did this.

The past few weeks I have been too busy to get out and about to capture stock photo/footage. With been house bound and not having the time to set up a little studio session to capture more stock photos. I decided I could try incorporate some stock vectors into the mix. Something quick and easy to do. Also once I have produced one And can change the colours and upload a few but not spam the stock site with 100 of the same vector in difference colours (I think it is best to put them all on one vector and let the end buyer choose we shall see how it goes).

I don’t have adobe illustrator I can not justify spending money on this software. Until my stock income is bringing in enough I need to keep my spending as close to £0 as possible. so I had to figure out away to use photoshop to create them.

It took me a while. And a few rejections to understand what I was doing wrong.

To start off with I created what I wanted to upload and exported as an eps file. My god it was a huge file. So there was my first road block file was way to big it would not let me upload to a site.

Secondly when I managed to get the file size down by scaling the image down. I was hit with my first rejection due to bit mapping. What is this I exported as an eps file (not knowing what I was doing I thought this was a rector file no matter what I had done in photoshop.

After a search on google to see how to export vectors from Photoshop apparently it was possible as photoshop rasterises everything it is a pixel based software. I could have given up here but I persisted with my pursuit of making the software I have work without having to spend more money.

I came a cross a free piece of software called Inkscape which is a vector creating software. I decided to download this to see what the .eps files opened like before trying again. But first I wanted to try get the file size down. I researched and found that you can export as a SVG file which is another vector format. This was much better in file size they were tiny. I exported my photoshop files as this and opened in Inkscape to check. Great they look fine. Exported from Inkscape as an EPS file (did it from here because the file size for the eps was dramatically smaller than photoshops) and Tried to upload again same problem bitmapping again. Persistence carried on.

I went on a rabbit hole run of videos on YouTube to try learn how to do vectors in Photoshop. A lot of theses were vector styles looking images not an actual vector that could be scaled any size you liked. After a few videos people were using shape layers which are rectors. The pen tool in photoshop creates shape layers. This is great to know for new ideas I decide to create. But what about the stuff I had already drawn.

Another google and YouTube search. I managed to come across a way to create a vector mask from each layer which then I could create a new fill layer which is a shape layer that can be scaled up and down with out quality loss. To save time I create an action which is basically a string of commands in photoshop. When you create a new action it records your inputs of what you are doing and when your finished doing what you want to automate you press stop. Then next time you need the repetitive inputs you can just press play and it does it again all for you saving you time. In this case I created one to create vector mask and a new fill layer from mask to speed up the process.

After I had done this and exported yet again, uploaded and waited for the reviewer.

I was rejected again.

Vector size was too big… I created these the same size as the minimum jpeg size you was allowed to upload with them (you have to upload a jpeg images with eps file just so people can see what they are buying, Getty images/stock requires you to upload a reference file with images you have reference. More on this another time). Turns out the jpeg has to be over a certain size and the eps file can not be more that 600×600 pixels (for shutterstock anyway I used this site to set how I moved forward) . Not sure why as it’s a vector but what ever it wasn’t a big ask to change the size.

I went back into my files and exported as a SVG and made sure, when I clicked export, that I typed in 600 pixels on the longest side of the canvas to scale it down when the exported file was created. Leaving the master file alone.

Again I uploaded. This time it passed finally. Now I know exactly what to do. I don’t have many up at all. But with that been said I have already sold the most simple vector I could create. A solid black filled straight razor. Not long after uploading either which was great. I didn’t have to wait long to see if it was going to be worth my time or effort.

As you can see it wasn’t exactly hard to create the vector above. I traced an image I had taken and filled it in. If you trace make sure you are using images you own do not google images and trace these. Worst part was the figuring out how to go about using photoshop to do it.

This is just a fill in for when I’m at home and stuck for creating photos or want to be able to create something quick. I still want photography to be my main goal here as I don’t want to be stuck in the house. I sit at a desk 9 to 5 all week. Last thing I want it to make my weekends the same. This could potentially be an after work laid watching tv kind of thing. If only IPad could do this I would be set. I may need to go back to a laptop for more convenience.

Bit of a long post but hopefully it wasn’t boring for you.

Do you think it’s a waste of time to even pursue creating vectors?

Or are you already doing so what type of success are you having with them on stock sites?

Bit late on my March income report but that is coming hopefully by the weekend.

6 thoughts on “Vectors/illustrations am I wasting my time?’

  1. I think creating vectors for stock is a great idea. I tried learning on my own about a year ago, but decided to keep my focus more on photography for now. I was really beginning to confuse myself with all the different software and agency requirements, as I’m a newish contributor to stock (nearly two years). I hope to come back and try it again though. Sometimes it’s difficult to capture/create concepts with photos, and vectors are another media we can use to create our expressions. Keep at it! I like your new vectors.👍🏾

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    1. Thank you. I can’t believe how simple they can be to sell. Just sold another yesterday. I have just found a great app for the iPad Pro call ‘vectornator’ it’s free and looks to do everything I need so now I’m not tied to my computer just need to learn how to use it fully to speed up creating.

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  2. This sounds super complicated to me, but very interesting! Good for you sticking with it and making it work without spending money on software. Sounds like it is worthwhile, especially if you could do it in front of the tv! I imagine the process becomes faster and faster as you gain practice as well.

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    1. After posting this I found an app on the I pad called Vectornator which is free and very powerful. It is bypassing the need for photoshop :). I have already sold a few in the short time I’ve started so definitely going to keep at it on a night and morning before work.

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