New Q&A Series: What Tools Do You Use? aka This Is How We Do It.

Posted on Jan 21st, 2009 by Command Save

I have decided to start a new series partially inspired by my Digital Illustration class this quarter. We have been looking at a lot of illustrators and we have also been trying to figure out the best way to use photoshop, illustrator, pens, pencils, paper, brains and bodies – essentially learning about tools and the best way to use them –  along with learning to generate awesome ideas and concepts! Everybody uses different things to get to their desired results so I was curious and have slowly started to ask designers and illustrators that I respected about the tools they use!

I am going to start the series with an interview by my former professor from undergrad and an interview with a former student of mine. Full circle! Let's ROLL!

Picture 20
Image by Marcus Melton

Marcus Melton was my undergraduate graphic design professor at College of the Ozarks in the late 1990s. After a short break from teaching to do design in the music industry, he is now back at it at West Texas A&M (which is awesome, because along with Marcus being an amazing designer, he is also an amazing teacher ). I asked Marcus what tools he uses the most while working and here is what he so graciously responded with:

1. My eyes and hands. (don't list these if you don't want to… corny i know, but they are VERY important to me!!)
2. Mac
3. Photoshop
4. Photoshop layer blending modes and layer masks.
5. Command z
6. Canon Power Shot SD500,,,,,,,,,,,

To see more of Marcus' work visit his website:

Picture 25
I Made This for You by Will Bryant

Will Bryant was one of my former students at Mississippi State and I am dang proud of him. His joy for MAKING is infectious and I think he can make rainbows shoot out of his palms. He and his new bride now reside in Austin, Texas where he is drawing away, night and day. Be sure to check out his technicolor vibes at his website:

Here are the tools that he uses:
1. sharpie pen
2. select > similar (ai & ps)
3. epson scanner (drivers & plugins can be a pain!)
4. layers and grouping are crucial to my sanity
5. healthy environment…declare your creative space. this has become very important to my ability to make anything. If possible, having a separate space to live and create will get you a starting spot on the '92 dream team roster.

Thanks Will! Thanks Marcus!

If you want to share your tips, tricks, tools please do so! Email ME. I would love to know! You might even find yourself on the blog!