graphic design

Fast & Easy Waterdrop in Adobe Illustrator

Easy Fast Waterdrop in Illustrator Design Tutorial

Every Friday on the blog I share a Fast Friday tutorial. I teach you how to do basic designer-things fast & easy in programs like Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop.

In today’s Fast Friday Tutorial, I’m going to show you the fast and easy way to create a waterdrop in Adobe Illustrator.

As a graphic designer, there are certain tricks you need to have up your sleeve, or in your back pocket- at all times. And the ability to create and manipulate basic shapes is one of them!

Check out other tutorials in the links below. Otherwise, fire up Illustrator and get ready to make a basic waterdrop.


Other Easy Illustrator Tutorials:


If you learn better by watching than by reading, click the link to see this tutorial on Youtube:


Step 1: Make a Triangle

Easy Waterdrop Illustrator Step 1

Open a new canvas in Illustrator to work on. It can be any size and any resolution you like. 72 dpi resolution is good for digital art, or go up to 300 dpi if you intend to use your graphic in print.

Select the Polygon Tool from your toolbar. If you don’t see it, that’s because it’s nested under your Rectangle tool. Click the little arrow in the bottom right corner and hold down until more options appear.

Easy Fast Waterdrop Illustrator Step 1

With the polygon tool now selected, click once on your canvas to bring up the Polygon options panel. You can see my radius is set at 250.57px as default, or maybe it’s from the last time I used it? — don’t worry too much about this, because you can edit it later on.

Move the arrows up and down to get 3 sides. Can you see where we’re headed with this?

Fast Easy Waterdrop Illustrator Step 1

Now you have a perfect, equilateral triangle.

Step 2: Direct Select and Round the Corners

Fast Easy Waterdrop Illustrator Step 2

The next thing you want to do is grab your Direct Selection Tool. This is the all-white arrow in your toolbar (different from the regular selection tool), and the keyboard shortcut is A.

Drag over the bottom two corners of your triangle to select both at once. This will only work if you’re using the Direct Selection Tool.

Fast Easy Waterdrop Illustrator Step 2

You’ll see the points/controls on the corners turn blue to indicate that they are indeed selected. There’s also two little dots that appear in the corners. Click and hold on one of the little corners, and start moving your mouse up towards the center of the triangle.

See the corners getting round? Good. Drag them all the way up until they cant get any rounder.

Fast Easy Waterdrop Illustrator Step 3

And voila! Your perfect, fast and easy waterdrop is complete.

You can fill it with any color you like, mess around with the stroke and stroke weight, etc. until it fits your needs.

But what if you want to make it a little bit more.. realistic looking?

Optional Bonus Step 3 : Make it look like a REAL Waterdrop

Fast Easy Waterdrop Illustrator Optional Bonus Step 4

If you want to make your waterdrop appear more 3-dimensional, then go ahead and click on the gradient tool. When the gradient panel appears on the right-hand side of the screen, choose the second gradient Type: Radial.

Double-click on the fill to adjust the colors. I went from white to dark blue. You can also use the Direct Selection Tool again to adjust the points and move the gradient around within your waterdrop.


So how did it go? Were you able to create a fast and easy waterdrop in Illustrator? Drop a comment below if you have any questions.

Want to save this tutorial for later or share it with friends? Pin the image below!

Easy Fast Waterdrop Illustrator Infographic

Need help learning how to do something else in Illustrator? Let me know by dropping a comment below.

Happy Illustrating,

Maker Lex Signature

Hatch Mark Drop Shadow – Adobe Illustrator Tutorial

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of the links, I earn a small commission. There’s no cost to you whatsoever.

Today I’m going to show you how to add this easy hatch mark drop shadow effect to your text in Adobe Illustrator.

hatch mark drop shadow text effect adobe illustrator

I know hatch mark drop shadow text effect is a mouthful, so here’s a breakdown of what I mean.

A hatch mark simply refers to the little diagonal lines often used in line drawings or sketching to create a shadow-like effect.

Once we create the hatch mark (diagonal lines) pattern, we’ll use it to fill our text and then offset it behind another, solid color text layer.

This is a simple effect that packs a big visual punch!

And the best part is your text will remain completely editable. You can even save this effect as a graphic style to be applied to type in future Illustrator projects.

So roll up your sleeves, fire up Illustrator, and let’s get started!


Want to Learn Adobe Illustrator FREE?

Check out my Easy Beginner Tutorials on Youtube.


If you prefer to watch this hatch drop shadow text effect in Adobe Illustrator tutorial on Youtube, you can do that here instead!

hatch text effect illustrator tutorial on youtube

How to Create a Hatch Mark Drop Shadow Text Effect in Illustrator
Step 1 – Create a New Document

First, let’s create a new Illustrator document to work in. Feel free to create your canvas to your own specs, but I’m using these settings:

  • Size: 500px width by 500px height
  • RGB color mode
  • 72ppi screen resolution
illustrator document setup

How to Create a Hatch Mark Drop Shadow Text Effect in Illustrator
Step 2 – Type Out Your Text

Second, let’s type out some text to add our effect to. I think either a bold sans-serif font or a bold block-serif font looks best with this effect, but you can choose any typeface you like.

I’m using the font Gotham Bold in my design, which you can download online.


Psst! If you’re looking for some good fonts to use, Adobe now offers Adobe Fonts as part of your Creative Cloud Subscription. There’s some real gems – check it out!


type in gotham bold

How to Create a Hatch Mark Drop Shadow Text Effect in Illustrator
Step 3 – Create a Hatch Mark Repeatable Pattern

Before we go any further, let’s create our hatch mark pattern.

The pattern tool allows us to create repeatable patterns and is easily one of my favorite tools in Adobe Illustrator.

To do this, we need to go up to Object > Pattern > Make.

A dialogue box appears- click OK to continue.

object > pattern > make in Illustrator

A bounding box will appear on your screen. My bounding box is 100px by 100px, but yours will be relative to your canvas size.

I’m going to use my pen tool to draw out a diagonal line. I’ll click to place a point in the top left-hand corner of my bounding box, and then I’ll click to place a point in the bottom right-hand corner of my bounding box, creating my line.

Make sure your Smart Guides are turned on while you do this – it will ensure you get things aligned perfectly!

build a repeatable cross hatch mark pattern in adobe illustrator

Instantly, you’ll see the pattern start to take effect. The line is completely editable, so you can select it with your Selection Tool (V) and change the stroke weight and the color.

I’ve set my stroke weight to 3px and the stroke color to yellow #ffc200.

Now let’s drag out a duplicate of this line.

To do this, hold down Shift + Alt/Option on your Keyboard to drag out a duplicate line.

To make sure I have even spacing between my lines, I’m dragging my line out until my Smart Guides indicate I’ve moved it to dX: -5px, dY: 5px.

duplicate hatch line evenly

To finish the pattern, make duplicates of the line until your bounding box is filled. Press Cmd/Ctrl + D on your keyboard to duplicate the lines at even intervals until you reach the bottom left-hand corner.

This should give us ~20 lines inside our bounding box, since 100 divided by 5 is 20. Boom. Math.

fill the bounding box with your pattern

Before I close the Pattern Menu, I’ll rename my pattern to “Gold Hatch,” then Click Done in the bar above.

Our new hatch mark pattern has been added to our Swatches Menu.


Speaking of patterns..

Create an Easy Chevron Pattern in Adobe Illustrator


How to Create a Hatch Mark Drop Shadow Text Effect in Illustrator
Step 4 – The Appearance Menu

Now that we’ve created the hatch mark effect, let’s first make sure our text is selected and then open our Appearance Menu.

The Appearance Menu is either hanging out in your side toolbar, or go to Window > Appearance to bring it up.

Once it’s open, double click on the word Characters and set the Fill to None. Then click on Type: No Appearance to back out.

under Characters, set the fill to none

How to Create a Hatch Mark Drop Shadow Text Effect in Illustrator
Step 5 – Create a New Fill Layer

Now click on the Add New Fill icon at the bottom of the Appearance Menu to create a new fill.

I’m going to set this fill to a dark charcoal gray color. The hex code is #444444.

Feel free to add a stroke if you’d like. I’m going to leave my stroke on None.

hatch drop shadow effect illustrator - add new fill

Nothing revolutionary has happened yet – I know. The next step is where the magic happens!

How to Create a Hatch Mark Drop Shadow Text Effect in Illustrator
Step 6 – Create a Second Fill Layer and Offset It

Click the Add New Fill icon again to create another Fill Layer. Drag this new layer beneath your charcoal fill layer.

Set the fill color to your new hatch pattern. Yes, it’s there in your swatches!

make a new fill layer and set the fill to your hatch pattern

You can’t see it yet, but that’s because we need to offset this new layer.

Make sure your hatch mark fill layer is selected, and click on Add New Effect at the bottom of the Appearance menu.

Select Distort & Transform > Transform.

In the pop up menu that appears, under Move, change the Horizontal and Vertical Values to 8px (or whatever value you like). Make sure Preview is checked so you can see what’s happening.

offset the hatch pattern fill layer in the appearance menu

Voila! Your hatch mark drop shadow has appeared and has been successfully offset. You can keep creating new stroke and fill layers and adding more patterns and colors and offsetting them into infinity.

Do whatever you like- just make sure the type is always selected when you edit it in the Appearance Menu. Otherwise- you won’t see the changes.

finished hatch drop shadow text effect in illustrator

Go ahead and change your text to another word or phrase if you like – the beauty of creating our hatch mark drop shadow text effect in the Appearance Menu is that it leaves our type completely editable.

See?

hatch mark drop shadow text effect adobe illustrator with editable type edit

How to Create a Hatch Mark Drop Shadow Text Effect in Illustrator
Step 6 – Save Your Graphic Style

But wait! There’s one more important step to do. Let’s save this graphic style so you can add it to text in the future.

Select your text and pull up your Graphic Styles Menu. If it’s not in your sidebar, you’ll find it under Window > Graphic Styles.

Simply click on the New Graphic Style icon to add your new style.

add hatch drop shadow effect to graphic styles menu

With your new style selected, Click on the Graphic Styles Libraries Menu and select Save Graphic Style.

name your graphic style

Give your Style a name and choose Save. Now if you create a new Illustrator Document, you’ll always be able to find this style again under the Graphic Styles Libraries Menu > User Defined.

saved graphic styles under user defined

That’s it!

If you recreate this hatch mark drop shadow text effect in Illustrator, be sure to tag me on Instagram @makerlex so I can check it out!

And be sure to pin this image to come back to this post or share it with friends.

Hatch Text Effect Illustrator

Happy Making!

Maker Lex Signature

Vector vs Raster Graphics Explained: Everything You Need to Know

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of the links, I earn a small commission – and it doesn’t cost you a thing.

vector graphics vs raster graphics

There comes a moment in every graphic designer’s life when you first encounter the term vector graphic.. it’s usually preceded or followed by another unfamiliar (and alarmingly mathematical-sounding) term – raster graphic.

If these terms automatically evoke bad memories of high school Physics Class – or even worse– Trigonometry- don’t be alarmed.

Vector graphics and raster graphics aren’t all that complicated to understand. Even better, you won’t need your calculator to figure this out.

Here’s the main difference between them: Vector graphics are path-based. Raster graphics are pixel-based.

There’s a little more to it than that, of course. And understanding the difference is important.

The sooner you master vector & raster graphics, the sooner you’ll go from total design noob to expert level graphic artist (pronounced ar-teest).

Here’s what we’ll be covering in this post:

  • What a vector is, the pros/cons, and the common file types of vector graphics
  • What a raster is, the pros/cons, and the common file types of raster graphics
  • The role of Photoshop & Illustrator in vector vs raster graphics
  • How to convert vector graphics into raster graphics and vice-versa

What is a Vector Graphic?

First off, what even is a vector graphic?

vector graphic

To put it simply…

A vector graphic is a graphic made up of paths (and not pixels).

The benefit of a vector graphic is that (thanks to math), it’s infinitely scalable. You can shrink it down or make it bigger, and it will stay perfectly crisp, clear, and proportional.

Common Vector File Type Extensions

Here are some common file extensions for vector graphics:

When to Use Vector Graphics

But other than understanding a vector graphic by it’s file extension, how do you know when to use one?

Most vector graphics are working files.

This means you aren’t usually going to visibly see vector graphics on display, if at all. But you might see the finished products that were made from vector graphics.

One occasion you always want to use a vector graphic is when designing a logo. (Even if you aren’t the designer, make sure your designer sends you this file.) This allows your logo to be editable with the right software. It can easily be converted into a cut file (think vinyl signs) or digitized for embroidery (shirts, hats, etc).

The most common vector graphic most people interact with on a daily basis is a .PDF.

Using the logo example again.. Even if you don’t have the vector file of your logo, if you have a .PDF – you can send it to your vinyl shop or graphic designer. They will be able to edit it to their specs using a program such as Adobe Illustrator.

The Pros & Cons of Vector Graphics

The PROS of vector graphics are:

  • no background or bounding box
  • no size constraints- infinitely scalable (larger or smaller) while maintaining sharpness, clarity, and proportion
  • can easily be converted to raster graphics for display purposes
  • useful for turning into product art

The CONS of vector graphics are:

  • basic in appearance (less detailed)
  • less realistic (they will always be a drawing or imitation of the real thing)
  • most vector file types can’t be opened or edited with free computer software

How to Make Icons in Adobe Illustrator


What is a Raster Graphic?

Now that we know the meaning of vector graphic, let’s talk about raster graphics.

raster graphic made of pixels

To put it simply…

A raster graphic is a graphic comprised of pixels.

Pixels are just tiny dots of light, and together a group of pixels makes up one large image. Generally, the higher the pixel count, the better quality the picture. The number of pixels that make up the image are known as the resolution.

This isn’t a hard concept for most of us to understand. After all, we interact with pixel-based images every day on our cameras, phones, TVs, etc.

Because it is made of pixels, you can’t scale a raster graphic infinitely the way you can a vector graphic. The maximum size and overall clarity of the image is going to depend on how many pixels it’s made of (aka it’s resolution).

Common Raster File Type Extensions

Here are some of the common file extensions for raster graphics:

  • .JPG
  • .PNG
  • .GIF
  • .BMP
  • .TIF

When to Use Raster Graphics

So when should you work with raster graphics?

Raster graphics are the kind you most commonly see, because they are used as display graphics. Most of us interact with them every day.

Posting a photo on social media? Driving past a digital billboard? Just texted your BFF an animated GIF over iMessage? You guessed it.. all raster graphics.

Use raster graphics for anything you want people to SEE.

In general, the higher the resolution, the clearer the image. But keep in mind that your graphic is limited to the resolution of the device it’s being displayed on.

For example, you’ll never need to create a 4K image if it’s not being displayed on a device that supports 4K resolution. And even if the device supports 4k- chances are you can get just a sharp an image with a much smaller file size. In this instance, bigger doesn’t always equal better.


Learn how to make your own GIFs in Photoshop


The Pros & Cons of Raster Graphics

The PROS of raster graphics are:

  • extremely common file types
  • can be opened, viewed, and edited with free computer software
  • lots of rich colors
  • fine detail
  • realistic

The CONS of raster graphics are:

  • will become “pixelated” in appearance if you try to scale a raster past it’s maximum resolution
  • not suitable for logo design, cutting vinyl, or embroidery
  • difficult to convert to vector graphics

Want to Learn Illustrator FREE? Check out This Video Playlist


The Role of Illustrator and Photoshop in Vector & Raster Graphics

Now we know the difference between vector graphics and raster graphics. We know what they are and when to use them, but questions remain, like:

How do we create vector and raster graphics?

How do we edit them?

There are other programs that work for these purposes, but my favorite programs are by Adobe.

Adobe Illustrator is software that is commonly used to create or edit vector-based graphic art.

and….

Adobe Photoshop is software that is commonly used to create or edit raster-based graphic art.

As an industry standard, look to Adobe for basically anything related to the creation or editing of vector & raster graphics, but if you’re looking for free or alternative options – check out some of these:

Illustrator Alternatives:

Photoshop Alternatives:

A quick Google search will turn up even more results.


Start a FREE 7 Day Trial of Adobe Creative Cloud


Converting Vector Graphics to Raster Graphics

The final thing we should cover about vector and raster graphics is the topic of conversion. Again – it’s not as scary as it sounds.

Can we convert vectors to rasters and vice-versa?

The good news is converting vector graphics to raster graphics is simple. It’s easy to do this in a program like Adobe Illustrator.

In Illustrator, simply save as or export your vector graphic as a .JPG, .PNG, .GIF, etc.

Remember, once you do this your graphic will have a set resolution and size, so be sure to scale it up or down before saving depending on your sizing needs. You can easily change your screen resolution in the document settings as well.

Converting Raster Graphics to Vector Graphics

Now for the not so-good-news.

Converting raster graphics to vector graphics isn’t easy.

Possible? Yes.

But how difficult or easy it is depends on some different factors.

To convert raster graphics to vector graphics, you’ll need to use what Adobe Illustrator calls Image Trace. Alternatively, you could trace it by hand with your pen tool.

The trouble is that Image Trace can have a really hard time capturing all the detail of a raster image.

If the raster is comprised of just a few high-contrast colors, you’re in luck.

If it’s got lots of detail, tons of colors, and not enough contrast…Image Trace may not detect anything at all. Chances are you’re going to have quite a headache by the time you get done.

If you get it done, that is.

Long story short, when you convert a raster to a vector, you’re almost ALWAYS going to lose detail. Sometimes that’s ok, and other times it isn’t. It’s all relative.

If you enjoyed this post, PIN the image below to save for later.. or share it with friends!

raster graphics vs vector graphics easy guide to understanding the difference

Now go forth and create this vector illustration in Adobe Illustrator — then add some raster animation effects in Adobe Photoshop.

Maker Lex Signature

Free Beginner Adobe Illustrator Course with Easy Video Tutorials

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of the links, I earn a small commission (it helps me pay my Adobe Creative Cloud Subscription so I can bring you more tutorials like this one!)

Learn Adobe Illustrator Free

Do you want to learn Adobe Illustrator this year?

In an EASY format?

And for FREE?

Maybe you’re dying to create beautiful, branded graphics for your blog or business. Maybe you’ve even hired someone to create these things for you, but 1) it’s expensive, and 2) you never quite get the result you were hoping for — even after five revisions.

And I totally get it, because I’ve been there.

It’s frustrating!

You envision amazing graphics in your head. You sketch them out on paper – but that free graphic design software you’re using (or the guy you hired from fiverr) just ain’t makin’ it happen.

But what if you could take creative control by learning Adobe Illustrator completely FREE?


Or

How to Make Chevron (Zig Zag Lines) in Illustrator

How to Make a Perfect Heart in Illustrator



What is Adobe Illustrator?

Illustrator is powerful software by Adobe that produces vector-based illustrations and graphics.

Hold up a second – what do you mean, vector-based?

Vector-based simply means graphics that are made of paths and not pixels (such as a photograph).

The benefit of vector graphics is that they are infinitely scalable, meaning they will retain their shape no matter how large you make them. Even from 5 inches to 50 feet — they’ll always appear crisp and sharp.

Pixel-based (also called raster) graphics, on the other hand, will get blurry if you blow them up too large.

We’ve all experienced this with photographs, right? You find a beautiful image online, print it off your computer to fit the 8.5 x 11 inch page, and it comes out looking all sad and pixelated.

Now don’t go thinking I’m trash-talking pixels here, because pixel (raster) graphics are 100% necessary – they’re just different is all.


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So where would you use vector-based graphics that you create in Illustrator?

Illustrator is certainly powerful for fine artists who want to digitize their drawings and paintings and all that jazz.. but how is it relevant for the rest of us?

Well, if you have a brand, a business, or a blog — one place you definitely want to use a vector-based graphic is in your logo design.

I’m sure we can all agree that a good logo is an essential part of your marketing strategy. But if your logo is a .JPEG image – you’re going to run into trouble!

Making a vector logo is equivalent to helping your logo reach it’s full potential in life! It will be all of this and more:

  • scalable
  • provide infinite freedom to you (or your designer!)
  • easy to edit or recolor
  • never appear pixelated
  • able to be digitized for embroidery


Vector Graphics versus Raster Graphics

It may not be immediately obvious whether a graphic is vector or raster, and truth be told – it doesn’t really matter…. until you want to use or edit that file.

The best way to know a vector graphic from a raster graphic is by the file extension.

Common vector file extensions are:

  • .PDF
  • .SVG
  • .AI
  • .EPS

Common raster file extensions are:

  • .JPG
  • .PNG
  • .GIF
  • .BMP
  • .TIF



How To Learn Adobe Illustrator FREE

Now for the fun part.

Let’s learn Adobe Illustrator together!

Well technically I’m going to be your teacher. But I’m not just gonna tell you how to do things – I’m going to be showing you literally every. single. step. to go from ZERO to Illustrator EXPERT with my Easy & Free Illustrator Tutorials.

Ok – maybe not expert, because even after working in Illustrator for 10 years, I still learn new things all the time.
But easy? I’ll do my best!
And free? You got it, dude.

But enough rambling.

We’re going to learn by illustrating this vector Christmas Village together. I have 12 tutorials in this series – all FREE- and all less than 20 minutes per day. Or– feel free to binge watch them all at once 🙂

Click the picture to start learning right now!

Learn Adobe Illustrator by illustrating a Christmas Village with me


What to Expect from these Tutorials

Look – I won’t sugarcoat this.

I know there’s lots of tutorials out there already, touting promises like “Learn All there is to know about Adobe Illustrator FAST! In just 20 Minutes You can create anything!”

Well – I hate to break it to you, but that’s probably not the case.

What you will leave these tutorials with is:

  • Working knowledge of the tools in Illustrator
  • How to look at things, break them down, & recreate what’s in your head
  • Tips & tricks to speed up your workflow
  • Tips to improve your graphics
  • How to optimize your files when saving
  • Basic animation skills with Illustrator & Photoshop

Ready to learn Illustrator with these EASY-to-follow Step-by-Step video tutorials?

Click Here to Get Started Today.


Pssst! Want my pumpkin pie recipe? Not real pie, silly. 8 slices of digital pie.

Pumpkin Pie Youtube Tutorial

Don’t forget to Pin this Image so you can 1) come back to these tutorials later and 2) share them with your friends so they can learn, too!

Free Beginner Adobe Illustrator Course for Beginners

Be sure to tag me in your creations @makerlex on Instagram or on Youtube.

Happy Designing!

Lexie

Make a Snowflake in Adobe Illustrator – Easy Tutorial – Pathfinder Tool

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of the links, I earn a small commission (at no cost to you, of course).

snowflake icon illustrator

Today I’m going to be showing you how easy it is to create your own custom snowflake icon in Adobe Illustrator. This is also a great way to learn the Pathfinder Tool if you never have before!

But first, tell me. Which one of these 2 graphics do you prefer?

Graphic Design Icons vs No Icons Comparison-  How to Make Custom Icons in Illustrator Tutorial

If you chose Option 2, then you and I agree: icons have the power to make design better.

Why Use Icons?

Here are three reasons I like to use icons in my designs.

1. Icons Illustrate Your Point

Icons are just tiny little pictures that provide a visual representation of the text. Think of your favorite storybook as a child – I bet you remember the illustrations from it– maybe you remember the images more than you remember the words.

I love what Donald Miller teaches about branding in his book, Building A Story Brand.

Essentially – When people land on your website, they don’t want to waste brain power trying to figure out what you do. A good graphic consisting of good icons can tell people exactly what they need to know without having to read a thing.

2. Icons can be Customized to Your Brand/Style Sheet

There are a lot of standard-issue icons out there, but if you learn how to create your own in Adobe Illustrator — you can make icons that are unique to your brand. You can use your colors, your style, and your own illustration techniques.


After you learn how to make icons, find out How to Create Animated GIFS in Photoshop


3. Icons Make Big Chunks of Text Easy to Scan

Adding visuals like images or icons allows you to break up all the text, which increases the ability of readers to scan your content.. and well-structured, scannable content makes internet readers happy!


You can keep scrolling to read the step-by-step for creating icons, or you can watch me create a perfect snowflake in this video tutorial..

Watch Illustrator Snowflake Tutorial on Youtube

How to Make a Snowflake Icon in Adobe Illustrator

Now that we know some reasons you might want to use icons, let’s get on with how to create your own snowflake icon in Adobe Illustrator. Here’s the snowflake we’ll be creating:

You can either make this snowflake icon a stand-alone snowflake, or you can give it a circle (or any other shape) background.

Create a Snowflake Icon in Illustrator Step 1:
Open Illustrator & Create a New Document

My Illustrator Document Settings are:

  • 500px Width x 500px Height
  • Color Mode: RGB
  • PPI: 72 (Screen Resolution)

Create a Snowflake Icon in Illustrator Step 2:
Create Your Snowflake

  • First, make sure your Smart Guides are on.
    View > Smart Guides. You’ll see a checkmark here if they’re on.
  • Now choose the Line Segment Tool from the toolbar and draw out a line in the center of the document, about halfway down.

    snowflake icon illustrator step 2
  • Draw another, smaller line at an angle to your first line, like so:

    step 3 make an icon in illustrator
  • With the smaller line selected, Right Click > Transform > Reflect
  • In the Reflect Pop Up, select Horizontal Axis and click Copy
  • Holding Shift, drag the reflected line to the opposite side of your first big line until it intersects and makes a little “V” shape.
  • Select both the little lines, then go to Object > Group to group them together. You can also press Command/Ctrl + G on the keyboard.
  • With the little “V” lines selected, hold down Shift + Option/Alt and drag down a second “V”.

    Step 4 icon in illustrator
  • Press Command/Ctrl + D on the keyboard to repeat this step until you have as many little V’s as you want, then drag to select all the lines and group them together (Command/Ctr + G)
  • Now we’re going to finish the snowflake by copying & rotating this little stalk around our canvas. Choose the Rotate Tool from your toolbar. If you don’t see it, it may be hiding under the Reflect tool.
  • With the stalk selected, Click the bottom of the snowflake to place your anchor point.
  • Now click on the top point of the stalk and drag it to the right as you hold down Option/Alt + Shift at the same time. This will make a copy of the stalk and also rotate it a perfect 45 degrees.

    snowflake icon in illustrator step 5
  • Press Command/Ctrl + D six more times to repeat the rotation around our anchor point, resulting in a complete snowflake.

    Step 6 create an icon in illustrator
  • Now group the whole snowflake. Object > Group or use the keyboard shortcut, Command/Ctrl + G.
  • With the snowflake still selected, play with your stroke effects until you have an appearance you are happy with.
  • To open Stroke Options, go to Window > Stroke. I set my stroke thickness to 11px and selected Round Cap to give the lines a rounded appearance, like so:

    step 7 snowflake icon in illustrator

Create a Snowflake Icon in Illustrator Step 3:
Join Your Strokes with the Pathfinder Tool

  • When you’re happy with the appearance of your snowflake, convert it to a shape. Converting to a shape means the snowflake will always keep the same proportions when you scale it.
  • Object > Path > Outline Stroke
  • Outlining the stroke makes each little line a shape, but we’re going to combine all the shapes into one using the Pathfinder Tool
  • To access the Pathfinder Tool, go to Window > Pathfinder
  • Under Shape Modes, Select Option 1: Unite. Now our little lines are all one big shape.

    Pink Snowflake Illustrator Icon Tutorial
  • You can change the color or scale the snowflake to your desired size.

    Icon Tutorial Illustrator Step 8
  • You can save your icon on it’s own like this, or you can go to the next step to add a background..

Learn How to Make A Perfect Heart in Illustrator


Create a Snowflake Icon in Illustrator Step 4:
Subtract from Shape Area – Pathfinder Tool

  • A lot of icons are in the shape of a little circle or square. Let’s add a circular background to this snowflake icon.
  • Choose the Ellipse Tool from the tool bar. If you don’t see it, look under the Rectangle Tool.
  • Click once on your canvas and put in the dimensions of your ellipse. I chose 500px width x 500px height to make a perfect circle the size of my canvas.
  • Center the circle vertically and horizontally on the canvas with your Align Tool. If you don’t see it, go to Window > Align.
  • Right click the circle and choose Arrange > Send to Back. This will put the circle behind your snowflake.

    Make sure to also center your snowflake vertically and horizontally.

    I make the circle and the snowflake different colors so it’s easier to see.

    make an icon in illustrator step 9
  • Now drag to select both the circle and the snowflake.
  • From the Pathfinder Menu, under Shape Modes, choose Option 2: Minus Front

    make an icon in illustrator step 10
  • Now the area where the snowflake is has been cut out of the circle, so it’s technically transparent. In the image above, the snowflake appears white because it’s on a white background. If my blog had a blue background, the snowflake would show through as blue.

Enjoying this tutorial? Check out these 8 icons I created just for you.

As part of this post, here are 8 FREE Winter Holiday .PNG Icons for you. You can download them from my Free Resource Library. If you don’t have access, fill out the form below. I’ll email you the password, but be sure to check your Spam folder if you don’t see an email from Maker Lex within a couple of minutes.


Create a Snowflake Icon in Illustrator Step 5:
Save your Icon as a .PNG

  • Now go to File > Export > Save for Web and save your icon as a .PNG or .GIF if you want to maintain the transparency. Otherwise you can save it as a JPG
  • You can open and edit .PNG or .GIF files in Illustrator, so you’ll be able to change the color of the icon in the future.

How to Make Chevron Zig Zag Lines in Illustrator


That’s it!

Now you know how to create an icon in Illustrator, and you also learned about a lot of cool Illustrator tools along the way..

  • line segment tool
  • rotate tool
  • stroke options
  • pathfinder tool
  • keyboard shortcuts

Now I challenge you to make a pizza icon and share it with me by tagging @makerlex on Instagram!


By the way, have you read my Holiday Gift Guide for Bloggers?


If you enjoyed this tutorial, be sure to Pin this image so you can come back to it – or to share it with your friends!

How to Make a snowflake in adobe illustrator step-by-step

Thanks for following along,

Maker Lex Signature

How to Create Chevron in Illustrator

How to Make Chevron Easy Tutorial in Illustrator

In today’s tutorial, I’ll be showing you 5 easy steps to make a chevron pattern in Adobe Illustrator.

You can watch the full video below, or scroll down for written directions.

You don’t need the pen tool to create chevron in Illustrator, and this is good news, my friends! Why?  Because it is notoriously difficult to get things perfectly straight, equidistant, and symmetrical with the pen tool. In fact, the pen tool is known to induce headaches. Seriously.

So how will we make perfect chevron without it?

To create a chevron pattern, we’ll use a combination of the Line Segment Tool, the Zig Zag Effect, and the Blend Tool.

For this tutorial I’m using Illustrator Creative Cloud (which is a fancy way of saying that I’m using a cloud-based Illustrator with all the latest & greatest features), but creating chevron is a simple process that you can do in any version of Illustrator. Depending on which version you’re using, it may take you a few additional steps. Also remember that certain tools or features might be located in slightly different places.

How to Create Chevron Pattern in Illustrator

How to Create Chevron in Illustrator Step #1: Draw out two straight lines

In the toolbar, choose the Line Segment Tool. Hold down the Shift key while you drag out a line to keep it perfectly straight/level.

How to Make Chevron in Illustrator Step 1 drag out a straight line

After you have your line, make sure it’s selected and hold down Shift + Alt (Option) to drag out an identical line. Drag it to the bottom of your artboard. Now you have one at the top and one below. Next we’ll make them zig-zags.

How to Make Chevron in Illustrator Step 2 Drag an identical line to the bottom of your art board

How to Create Chevron in Illustrator Step #2: Create the zig zag shape

With both lines selected, from the top menu bar, choose Effect > Distort & Transform > Zig Zag. Make sure Preview is checked so you can see how the settings are affecting your lines.

How to Make Chevron in Illustrator Step 3 Choose Effect > Distort & Transform > Zig Zag
How to Make Chevron in Illustrator Step 4 adjust the size and ridges per segment to create zig zag lines
  • Size affects the height of the line.
  • Ridges per Segment will give us more or fewer zig-zags.
  • Make sure Corner is selected; otherwise you’ll have wavy lines.

Play around with the settings until you like what you see, then click OK.

At this stage, if you want the lines to be heavier or thinner, you can adjust the stroke up or down until you reach the desired thickness.

How to Create Chevron in Illustrator Step #3: Create the chevron pattern

Now we’re going to fill up the space between our top and bottom line with more zig-zags to create the chevron pattern. This is simple to do using the Blend Tool.

In the top menu bar, choose Object > Blend > Blend Options.

Edit your blend options. Object > Blend > Blend Options to fill in the chevron pattern.
Adjust your blend options.

In the Blend Options Menu, choose Specified Steps from the Spacing drop-down menu, and for Orientation: Align to Page.

The number you put into the box will be how many chevrons appear between the top and bottom line. For my chevron pattern, I entered 20, but don’t worry. You can always go back and edit this later.

Press OK. Don’t worry— your pattern will not appear yet. To fill in the pattern, go again to Object > Blend > Make

Choose Object > Blend > Make to create the chevron pattern
Once the chevron pattern has generated you can easily make adjustments

How to Create Chevron in Illustrator Step #4: Adjust the Chevron pattern

Now you can use your Direct Selection Tool to fine-tune your chevron pattern. To change the distance between each line, click on the bottom line and hold the Shift key (to keep it straight) while you drag up and down until it looks exactly how you want it. Add to or subtract from the number of chevrons by returning to Blend Options and adjusting the number you typed in the field in Step #3.

Use your direct selection tool in illustrator to drag the bottom line up and down, and notice how the space between the lines changes.

How to Create Chevron in Illustrator Step #5: Change Colors & Make Final Adjustments

Make final adjustments by changing the color of your Chevron or changing the stroke to make the lines thicker or thinner. Any changes you make will apply the same effect to all chevrons in the pattern.

You can adjust the stroke or change the number of chevrons in your pattern. any change you make will affect the whole pattern

That’s it!

If you enjoyed this tutorial, be sure to pin this image to share with others, or follow my Youtube Channel, where I create graphic design tutorials using Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop & more!

Check out more of my Tutorials:

How to Create Ric-Rac in Illustrator

Easy Illustrator Ric Rac Tutorial

In today’s tutorial, I’ll be showing you how to make ric rac, or wavy lines, in 5 easy steps using Adobe Illustrator.

You can watch the full video below, or scroll down for written directions.

Ric Rac Illustrator Easy Tutorial

 

The good news is creating wavy lines in Illustrator doesn’t require the pen tool at all. If you’ve ever tried to use the pen tool to create perfectly symmetrical wavy lines, you probably couldn’t achieve it. And if you did, you probably ripped out most of your hair along the way.

To achieve wavy ric rac lines, we’ll be using a combination of the Line Segment Tool and the powerful Zig Zag Effect in the Distort & Transform menu bar.

In this tutorial, I’m using Illustrator Creative Cloud (which is a fancy way of saying that I’m using a cloud-based Illustrator with all the latest & greatest features), but creating wavy lines is a basic process that you can easily recreate in older versions of Illustrator. Keep in mind that depending on which version you’re using, it may require a few additional steps. Certain tools or features might be located in slightly different places as well.

How to Create Ric Rac (Wavy Lines) in Illustrator

How to Create Ric Rac in Illustrator Step #1: Draw out a straight line

In the toolbar, choose the Line Segment Tool. Hold down the Shift key while you drag out a line. Holding shift keeps it perfectly level.

Make Ric Rac in Adobe Illustrator in 5 easy steps by using the line segment tool
Make Ric Rac in Adobe Illustrator in 5 easy steps draw out a line with the line segment tool

How to Create Ric Rac in Illustrator Step #2: Create Waves

In the top menu bar, choose Effect > Distort & Transform > Zig Zag. Make sure Preview is checked so you can adjust the waves to your liking.

Make Ric Rac in Adobe Illustrator in 5 easy steps effect distort & transform zig zag
  • Size affects the height of the line.
  • Ridges per Segment will give us more or fewer waves.
  • To round the waves, select Smooth (rather than Corner).

Play around with the settings until you like what you see, then click Ok.

Make Ric Rac in Adobe Illustrator in 5 easy steps by adjust the size and ridges per segment

 

How to Create Ric Rac in Illustrator Step #3: Adjust the Thickness of the Ric Rac

Using the Selection Tool (keyboard shortcut: V), you can adjust the stroke up or down until you reach the desired thickness.

Make Ric Rac in Adobe Illustrator in 5 easy steps by  choosing rounded versus corner to make waves

How to Create Ric Rac in Illustrator Step #4: Drag out More Ric Rac

If you want more than one wavy line, with the Selection Tool, click the line while holding Shift + Alt (Option).

If you want to create more lines that are the same distance apart, a quick shortcut is to press Command (Control) + D

Make Ric Rac in Adobe Illustrator in 5 easy steps by holding down command or control and D you can drag out even more lines an equal distance apart

How to Create Ric Rac in Illustrator Step #5: Change Colors & Make Final Adjustments

Select each line individually to change the color according to your liking.

With the line (or lines) selected, you can also return to Effect > Distort & Transform > Zig Zag to make adjustments to the number of ridges or the height of your ric rac.

Make Ric Rac in Adobe Illustrator in 5 easy steps you can change the color of each line individually

That’s it!

make ric rac wavy lines in adobe illustrator in five simple steps video tutorial and written directions with pictures

If you enjoyed this tutorial, be sure to follow my Wondernote Youtube Channel, where I create graphic design tutorials using Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop & more.

Pin this Image for Later (or to share with friends!) :

Easy Ric Rac Tutorial

Be sure to check out more of my Illustrator & Photoshop Tutorials:

How to Create a Heart in Illustrator

how to make a heart in illustrator

In this tutorial, I’m going to show you how to make a perfect heart in Adobe Illustrator in 5 easy steps.

You can watch the full video below, or scroll down for written directions.

The best part of this how-to is we won’t be using the pen tool at all! And trust me, that’s good news, folks. Because I don’t know about you — but in my past I tried countless times to make a perfect heart using the pen tool. It isn’t impossible, but it nearly is. And by the time you achieve it, you’ll have a few more gray hairs on your head than when you started.

To achieve a perfect heart, we’ll be using a combination of the Rectangle Tool and the powerful Pathfinder Tool.

In this tutorial, I’m using Illustrator Creative Cloud (which is a fancy way of saying that I’m using a cloud-based Illustrator with all the latest & greatest features), but creating shapes like this one is a basic process that you can recreate easily in older versions of Illustrator. Keep in mind that depending on which version you’re using, it may require a few additional steps. Certain tools or features might be located in slightly different places as well.

How to Create a Perfect Heart in Adobe Illustrator

Make a Heart in Illustrator Step #1: Draw out a rounded rectangle.

In your toolbar, click and hold down on the little corner of your rectangle tool to select the rounded rectangle tool and draw out a shape that is longer/wider than it is tall.

Make a Heart: Draw out a Rounded Rectangle in Illustrator

 

Make a Heart in Adobe Illustrator Step #2: Round out the Corners of your rectangle.

With your shape still selected, In the top toolbar, bump the corner radius all the way up until your corners are as round as they can be.

Make a Heart: Adjust the Corner Radius of the Rectangle in Illustrator

Make a Heart in Adobe Illustrator Step #3: Rotate your shape 45 degrees.

Press “V” on your keyboard as a shortcut, or click on the Selection Tool in your tool bar.

Click on your shape and hold down Shift as you drag down with the mouse to rotate the shape 45 degrees. You can rotate it more or less depending on your preferences.

Make a Heart: Rotate the Shape 45 degrees in Illustrator

 

Make a Heart in Adobe Illustrator Step #4: Rotate & Copy The Shape, adjust depth of the “V”

In the top menu bar, choose Object > Transform > Reflect. Make sure that Vertical is selected and click Copy.

Make a Heart: Transform and Copy the Shape in Illustrator

You can probably  see the heart shape already. Depending on how shallow or deep you want that dip or “V” for your heart, you can hold shift (which will keep everything at the same height) and drag the shapes closer together or further apart, like so:

Make a Heart: Adjust the Placement of overlapping V in Illustrator

 

Make a Heart in Adobe Illustrator Step #5: Divide & Unite with the Pathfinder Tool to Shape our Heart.

If you don’t see your Pathfinder Toolbar on the screen, in the top menu bar,  choose Window > Pathfinder. The pathfinder tool will appear.

Make a Heart: Select the Pathfinder Tool in Illustrator

Using your Selection Tool (keyboard shortcut: V), click down & drag your mouse over both shapes to select them.

First, from your Pathfinder tool, choose Divide. This literally divides our overlapping shapes into 5 separate pieces.

Make a Heart: Divide with the Pathfinder Tool in Illustrator

Using the Direct Selection Tool (keyboard shortcut: A), delete the two bottom pieces you don’t want, like so:

Make a Heart: Delete Extra Pieces from Heart Shape in Illustrator

Select the three remaining shapes. In the pathfinder tool, choose Unite.

Make a Heart: Unite the 3 Remaining Shapes into a Heart with the Pathfinder Tool in Illustrator

Voila! You have a perfect heart every time.

Make a Heart in Illustrator: Change the Color of the Heart

 

If you enjoyed this tutorial, be sure to pin the image below and share with your friends! Also  follow my  Youtube Channel, where I create graphic design tutorials using Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop & more.

perfect heart in adobe illustrator

Be sure to check out more of my Illustrator & Photoshop Tutorials:

6 Ways to Boost Creativity Fast

easy ways to boost creativity fast

Feeling uninspired?

About as creative as a straight line?

Feeling as if nothing is new? Like it’s all been done before..

You’re not alone. In a world of perfectly curated social media accounts, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. With the stroke of a key we can be staring into the eyes of the Mona Lisa. In a mouse-click, we’re overlooking the Grand Canyon. The internet has given us instant access to all the creative beauty in this world, and yet, we’ve never felt so uninspired!

And if you’re a blogger, designer, or content creator, you know that’s a problem. Content doesn’t create itself. Clients won’t wait around for your next stroke of genius. So what can you do when you’re feeling stuck?

Here are 6 easy ways you can boost your creativity, and fast!

Easy Way to Boost Creativity #1: Unplug.

The internet is amazing. A simple mouse click can transport you to almost anywhere in the world. Maybe you’ve never been to Paris in real life, but you’ve visited the Eiffel Tower from your cubicle a dozen times. Google Maps is cool like that.

But did you hear the violinist as you strolled through Champ de Mars? Were your tastebuds delighted as you bit into a buttery pain au chocolat? Did a loving arm wrap around your shoulder as you stood staring at the twinkling tower on a warm summer evening? ..Are you catching my drift?

The internet offers cheap thrills. Experiences that leave us wanting more and never truly satisfied. Sometimes the best thing we can do is unplug from it all.

Peel yourself away from the never ending stream of pristine homes and white-washed flat lays; they’ll be there when you get back, I promise. Instead, spend some time admiring the beauty of something tangible. Something that can give back. Feel its weight in your hands. Close your eyes and breathe it in. Ignite your senses!

Easy Way to Boost Creativity #2: Clean Your Desk or Work Area.

And now that you’ve unplugged, how many of us creative types are guilty of living and working in organized chaos? Sure, we know the important paper we need for Monday’s meeting is in that basket. It’s buried under a month’s worth of take-out receipts. And the tax document is in the “important papers pile”, aka papers we have no clue what to do with. Oh, don’t mind the leaning tower of file folders. If it’s in a file, that means it’s organized, right? Hah!

In fact, a cluttered space is a constant reminder of all the unfinished business. And unfinished business is stressful. And stress is a creativity killer.

You’ll sleep better when there’s not a pile of dishes in the sink. Your mind can relax knowing there isn’t unfinished work waiting tomorrow morning. And you’ll create better when you come into a clean workspace each day.

Don’t close the door on a pile of disorganized papers, random receipts & unlabeled folders for another day. If you don’t know where to start, a simple rule is this: a place for everything and everything in its place. When you find an organizational system that works for you, the creative juices are guaranteed to flow better.

 

Easy Way to Boost Creativity #3: Get Moving!

One of my favorite ways to boost creativity — and for me, the fastest — is to take a quick walk! If you can’t get to stepping, then do some quick stretching in your seat. Or have a mini dance party in your cubicle. Heck, stand up and then sit back down in your chair for 10 reps. Whatever it takes to get the blood pumping.

There’s something about taking my eyes off the screen and getting my body moving that gets my best ideas flowing. And when you head out, even if it’s only for five minutes, never forget your phone. Why? Because the next tip for boosting creativity is..


Easy Way to Boost Creativity #4: Write everything down!

You never know when a good idea is going to strike. So get used to carrying a journal or phone where you can jot them down before you forget. The Notes App on an iPhone works well for this. However, if you’re like me– your most creative ideas seem to come while you’re on the-go. You’re walking or you’re driving when suddenly you’ve thought up the whole first paragraph for a blog post. And when this happens, I recommend using a Voice Recording App on your smartphone. iPhones have one built in.

Don’t forget to keep a regular journal on top of this. Sometimes you need to explore a topic over time and in-depth the way only honest journaling can. Good ideas build on one another, so the more time you spend exploring a topic on paper, the closer you get to your greatest creative epiphany yet.


Easy Way to Boost Creativity #5: Stop Comparing.

You’ve heard the saying Comparison is the thief of joy. But have you heard Comparison is the thief of creativity? If your first instinct upon beginning a new project  is to see how everyone else is doing it, well.. STOP. RIGHT. THERE.

Don’t you dare type anything into Google. Remove the temptation to mimic what someone else is doing. Log out of Instagram. Turn off your iPhone. Be present with yourself and your own creativity.

Ask yourself deep, intentional questions about your new project. What do you hope to achieve? Who will this benefit? What tools do you need? How long will it take? Etc. After you’ve reflected on these questions, don’t immediately open Google or Instagram for research purposes, either. Get a pen and paper. Make an outline. Write some more until you have a full-blown plan. Take your creativity into your own hands!

 

Easy Way to Boost Creativity #6: Do Literally Anything Else.

If you’ve been trying to solve a problem but haven’t made any progress in hours or even days, it’s probably time to take a break. Note: this does not mean throw in the towel. You may be too close to the situation to see the problem, and if you can’t see the problem, you certainly won’t see a solution. It’s okay if you need to take a whole day (or two week) hiatus. But if you have no time to lose…

A twenty minute break might be all you need to get your creative groove back. During your break, don’t allow yourself to think of the problem at all. Do the dishes. Call a friend. Try a meditation app. You’ll return to the project refreshed, re-inspired, and able to look at things from a whole new perspective.


While these tips should boost creativity instantly, don’t forget to be consistent. Let me know if these tips work for you or how you feel after you’ve given them a try.

Do you know strategies that work better? Feel free to share them with me in a comment or email.

 

Want more?

Read my Best Tips for Choosing a Blog Topic and Download my FREE Worksheet: Find Your Niche.

Want to learn Graphic Design using Adobe Illustrator & Photoshop? Check out my Tutorials:

How To Decide What to Blog About

How to Decide What to Blog About

Want to know a secret?

It took me 10 years to figure out what to blog about.

That’s right. 10 years! 10 years spent launching numerous different blogs, and all of them failed until Wondernote — the blog you’re reading right now. So what changed?

 

Why all my old blogs failed

 

Prior to Wondernote, I wanted to blog about sooo many different things. Every time I tried to pick just one topic, I would immediately think of an idea for something in a different topic to write about. Having only one topic felt limiting! After all, I had so many interests and ideas I wanted to share. Maybe you have a lot of interests or passions also. Some of mine include:

  • Fitness
  • Healthy eating
  • Weight loss
  • Shopping
  • Beauty
  • Design
  • Home decor
  • Travel
  • Photography

 

And I still love all those things, but I don’t blog about all of them on Wondernote. This blog is dedicated to the Graphic Design category, and all my articles fit as closely into my niche as possible.

In fact, once I identified a niche to write about, I didn’t feel limited. I actually felt the opposite: BLOG FREEDOM. Sounds crazy, right?

What is a niche, anyway?

A niche relates to products, services, or interests that appeal to a small, specialized section of the population, which actually means my blog is targeted at less people rather than more.

Maybe that sounds like the opposite of what you think you should do when it comes to blogging. But let me explain why identifying your niche can actually lead to more blogging success (read: a money-making blog).

 

Why You Need A Niche

 

Trends come and go in blogging, and one you may have noticed is the “Lifestyle Blog.” Although, it seems to be going by a different name now.. self-identified “Content Creators,” as seen in Instagram bio’s everywhere. First of all, there’s nothing wrong with have a lifestyle blog, and being a content creator is a great thing.

But lifestyle blog doesn’t mean a lot to search engines. And it doesn’t mean a lot to searchers themselves. Think about it. Imagine a 23 year old girl searching Google for “how to french braid your own hair.”

Imagine you have written a great tutorial on your blog about how to do this, but you also write about personal style, family-friendly recipes, and your vacation to Mexico. Imagine your competition with a nearly identical article.. a blog entirely dedicated to hair care. Who do you think will rank first in Google’s search results? Your lifestyle blog with one article about hair, or the blog with two hundred optimized articles about hair?

See what I mean? A niche of hair care blog vs lifestyle blog gives you the competitive edge when it comes to SEO, and search engine optimization is vital to increasing traffic, which in turn increases the chance of earning money from your blog.

Ok, ok.. I get it. I need a niche. But how do I figure out my blog niche?

 

How to Find Your Blog Niche

 

I knew my need of a niche long before I actually figured out what it was.  All those interests, remember? It was really hard to narrow it down to just one thing to blog about. But I finally did it.

I had an Aha! Moment when an Instagram influencer I follow shared her blog post titled “Top 10 Tips for Beginner Bloggers.” The very last tip was this: LOVE TO BLOG OR GET OUT.

My first thought after reading that statement was, “Ouch!” I mean, it was a bit harsh, especially coming from someone making hundreds of thousands of dollars per year and basically living my dream life in NYC. Talk about blunt force trauma to my blogging ego.

But as I dwelt on that phrase for the next few days, something clicked for me.

I realized that if I didn’t choose a topic to blog about that I genuinely LOVED, then I wasn’t going to enjoy it..ever. And if I didn’t enjoy, I would never do it. I already do plenty of things I don’t enjoy, like my day job, so why would I add another thing I dread to the mix?

For me that meant I didn’t want to blog about fashion or share my makeup looks. I wear the same makeup everyday. It works great for me, but that’s not very interesting to others! And blogging successfully, afterall, is about OTHERS. Not about us. It’s about the value we can add to the lives of others by sharing what we do best.

For me, it was graphic design.

But it took days for me to arrive at that conclusion. I had to really sit in silence with some questions and my journal.

 

If you’re ready to identify what you should blog about, ask yourself these questions:

  • What do I truly enjoy doing?

  • What don’t I get tired of learning about?

  • What do I want to learn more about?

  • What skills do I have that I could teach others?

  • What do my friends say I’m good at?

  • What do my friends ask me for advice about?

  • What topic do I want to shout about from the rooftops?

  • What would I be happy doing for the rest of my life?

  • If I could have any career EVER– regardless of my current credentials– what would it be?

  • Is my passion something I can make money with?

  • How can I make money from my passion?

 

As you reflect on these questions & more, make lists. Lists of Pros & Cons.

Think. Think Harder.

For hours! Take your time. Don’t rush.

Resist the temptation to copy someone else’s formula for success. By all means, take good advice. But make your own path to success.

 

If you want to dig deeper, you can download my FREE Worksheet Find Your Niche here. And if you’re stuck in Lifestyle Blog limbo, you may be interested in reading my article Why Lifestyle Blogs Don’t Make Money.

& Tell Me. Have you identified your blogging niche? If so, how did you pick your niche?

If you don’t know what to blog about, read my Best Tips for Choosing a Blog Topic and Download my FREE Worksheet: Find Your Niche.

Want to learn Graphic Design using Adobe Illustrator & Photoshop? Check out my Tutorials:

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