Tools and Resources I can’t live without
Here’s the list of all the software, hardware and various tools I use in my illustration and graphic design workflow. I’ll update this if I have something useful to add (last updated: August 20, 2017).
Drawing Programs and Design Software
- Clip Studio Paint Pro My favorite drawing program by far. I make almost all my art with it. It’s not free but it’s affordable and it’s many times worth the price, plus they have regular sales so you can get it half off if you want to wait. There’s a free version you can try out.
- Affinity Designer Great for creating vector graphics, good alternative for Illustrator. Also affordable.
- Affinity Photo Affordable alternative for Photoshop.
- Inkscape Open source vector graphics editor. I mainly use it for the bitmap tracing feature.
- Kuadro A small free app for organizing reference images.
- Foxit Reader A free PDF viewer, honestly I prefer this to Acrobat Reader because it’s faster.
- Adobe Acrobat Reader I use this mostly for previewing print files.
- Serif PagePlus X9 DTP/layout software, a lot of features and pretty user-friendly.
- Scribus Open source DTP/layout software. A bit unintuitive but has pretty good features.
More Resources for Art and Comics: Brushes, Online Art Tools, Tutorials etc
- Frenden’s brushes for Clip Studio Paint
- Dirty brush for Clip Studio Paint by Niklas has become one of my favorite sketching tools
- Proko comprehensive anatomy lessons
- Written Sound onomatopoeia dictionary for writing sound effects for comics
- Ames a comic font I really like
Audio, Video and Other Media
- Blender Open source 3D software for modelling and rendering.
- TypeTool 3 A simple tool for editing or creating fonts.
- HitFilm 4 Express A free video editing software, it’s pretty powerful.
- Audacity Open source audio editor.
- OBS Studio I use it for recording speed paints and doing livestreams. It’s open source.
- Voice Recorder A free app for recording audio on mobile
- Scrivener A powerful writing software. Meant for serious writers but I use it for writing comic scripts. I’m a huge fan of how Scrivener organizes writing projects.
Web Tools and Services
- WordPress Can you believe WordPress is free?
- Dropbox I back up my smaller files with it and use it for file sharing.
- OneDrive I use this for syncing some files across devices
- Filezilla Open source FTP solution
- Atom Open source text editor. Coding happens in there.
- WeTransfer Good for sharing big files.
- Kraken minimizes image file size for web
- TweetDeck There is using Twitter, and then there is using Twitter in an efficient way.
Hardware – My Tech Setup
- Laptop: Ordi custom build based on Clevo N550RC notebook
- Dell U2415 monitor
- Wacom Intuos Pro S
- Anker Vertical Mouse
- Apple Keyboard (Full)
- WD 1 TB External HDD
- Unitek USB 3 Hub
Various Tools That Improve My Life
- Notepad You know that little piece of software Microsoft made all those years ago. I use it daily.
- SunsetScreen Makes the screen red at night to relieve eye strain.
- ProcrastiTracker A free program that tracks which programs you use so you can have a sobering picture of your time management.
- Leechblock Browser add-on that blocks specific websites at specific times so you can’t go there to waste your time.
- Rainlendar Just a little calendar I use on desktop.
Analogue Tools I Use (Stationery Basically)
- A custom-made hardcover A5 planner (made it myself)
- Cello FloGel 0.5 mm Gel Pens My most used writing and sketching tool.
- Stabilo Fine Point 0.4 pens they’re nice and colorful
- Leuchtturm1917 Harcover Pocket Notebook A small notebook for… taking notes
- Random sketchbooks, sticky-notes, pens etc for note-taking, scribbling and doodles