Experiment: Inkscape

A bit of an introduction is needed. I am a big fan of the open source. I am a fan of free software available to everyone. I like Linux Mint. I use VLC Media Player all the time. VLC is great and one of the best media players out there.

So here I am playing with some open source creative apps. And for some reason, I thought starting with Inkscape would be a great idea. It is a vector graphics program similar to Adobe Illustrator. When I do designs or illustrations, Illustrator is my go to app. It is the industry standard.

Lets get this program open!

I told myself I wasn’t going to strangle a developer. I made promises, I even double pinky promised. But my goodness, I HATE THE USER INTERFACE. GOOD BUDDAH*, UPDATE THE USER INTERFACE FOR THE MODERN ERA. It isn’t 1998 any more. In fact, it hasn’t been 1998 for 17 years now. Simplify and streamline the user interface.

Ok now that’s hopefully out of my system, let’s try to use this program.

For the record, I have tried Inkscape several times over the years. I was trained on Illustrator, so this interface just kills it for me. Also a few key things, such as easily accessible layers, being able to manipulate and reshape all paths with nodes (such as shapes), easily adding new nodes to a segment or shape, etc. Perhaps what I am really needing is a tutorial.

Tutorials were not hard to find thankfully. There were several links on the Inkscape website. The tutorials at Creative Nerds I found to be most helpful, as the final results of what they were trying to make looked good. I chose to try my hand at the anime-style eye tutorial.

Ok, so I am making a bit of progress on learning this program. It isn’t too horrible thus far. But as i progressed, some methods to me seemed a bit more complicated than they should be. Keep in mind that this is coming from someone with a background in Illustrator, so the opinion here is very bias. However, It works. As i work with it, I find some method to this madness.


So my results are not a good as the tutorial. But let’s face it, I really didn’t try that hard. At the same time, I have to admit that I am a little impressed. There may be some merit to Inkscape after all. Now lets try something on my own.

Nope, I still suck at this program. I just can’t get the hang of it. It just is not an intuitive interface. I’m just used to using the industry standard: Illustrator.

Its just a clean, well organized interface.

In conclusion, Inkscape is not a horrible program. It does however, have a steep leaning curve. I would need to go through a lot more tutorials to use it the way I intend to. For me, the biggest draw back is the interface. Its cluttered, disorganized, and outdated. Even if you don’t want to replicate Illustrator, take a few cues from what they do. Mimic some of their features even. There are reasons why it is the industry leader. Even looking at Inkscape’s gallery, I am just not impressed over all. There are a few good things, some ok, and a lot of garbage. However, Inkscape’s Deviant Art page shows a different story. I detest Deviant Art. Yet their page shows what this program can be done in competent hands.

This isn’t a review. It is me trying to work with this program. I am determined to use it effectively. My main reason for doing so is because it is a program I list for people who need alternatives to programs such as this. I might as well learn it. There will more than likely be a follow up post to this, as well as other experiments with free and open source programs.

* people use the christian God’s name in vain, why not religious figures of other world religions as well?


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