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Learn to draw in Illustrator: by scientists for scientists

The Online Course
with Dr Juan Miguel Balbin

Equip yourself with the skills to create your own vector-style scientific illustrations using the industry’s gold-standard software.

This is an online course aimed at complete beginners!

Why an Adobe Illustrator course?

Researchers often need diagrams to visualise the ideas behind their work. Whether it’s Figure 6b on your next big manuscript, or that summary schematic for your conference poster or grant proposal; having a key visual can help immensely to demystify complex information.

 

But creating an illustration might be unfamiliar territory for many researchers, especially for those with limited art experience. So, where could you begin?

 

Join Dr Juan Miguel Balbin, project manager, molecular biologist, science communicator & graphic designer, as he takes you through the fundamentals of vector illustration in Adobe Illustrator for research purposes.

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From drawing cell models to creating your very own 3D solar system, you will learn to use the right tools to help you turn your abstract research ideas into stunning visuals that are clear, informative, and fit-for-purpose!

 

So wave your final goodbyes to PowerPoint diagrams.

 

It’s time for the next level up in Adobe Illustrator!

 

*To follow the tutorials, this course requires you to have your own license** of Adobe Illustrator. All tutorials are based on the 2022 version of the software.

 

**7 Day Trials are available on the Adobe website for keen learners who wish to complete this course within a week.

Your Transformation

From

Being unfamiliar with digital art formats
 

To

Having a comprehensive knowledge of vector illustration

From

Plain, old, boring PowerPoint-style diagrams

To

Clean, sleek, professional Illustrator schematics

From

Taking hours to create simple diagrams
 

To

Taking minutes to create polished works of vector art

Course Outline

30 video lessons | 4 hours of learning | exercises & downloads

Module 1: Course introduction

1.1 Meet your instructor

1.2 Software and course overview

 

Module 2: Understanding graphic design

2.1 Graphic design in your research outputs

2.2 What’s the difference between raster and vector graphics?

 

Module 3: Fundamental tools in Adobe Illustrator

3.1 Setting up your workspace

3.2 Using the Selection Tools

3.3 Drawing with the Pen Tool

3.4 Drawing with the Pencil Tool

3.5 Applying colour using Swatches and the Eyedropper Tool

3.6 Adding text using the Type Tool

3.7 Exploring the Shapes Tools

3.8 Organise your workspace using Layers

3.9 Combine vectors using the Shape Builder Tool and Pathfinder

3.10 Applying basic Effects

 

Module 4: Fundamental exercises

4.1 Creating the Rutherford atomic model

4.2 Creating a eukaryotic cell model

4.3 Creating a micropipette

Module 5: Intermediate tools in Adobe Illustrator

5.1 Editing existing vectors

5.2 Levelling up your colouring skills using Gradients

5.3 Writing on outlines using the Type on a Path Tool

5.4 Cropping and clipping objects

5.5 Overview of new 3D and Materials panel (2022+ exclusive)

Module 6: Intermediate exercises

6.1 Creating a 3D solar system

6.2 Creating red blood cells and artery cross-sections

 

Module 7: Working with images

7.1 Embedding and importing images

7.2 Vectorise any image using Image Trace

 

Module 8: Graphical abstracts & scientific posters

8.1 Introduction to graphical abstracts

8.2 Creating a graphical abstract template

8.3 Introduction to scientific posters

8.4 Creating a scientific poster template

 

Closing + extras

9.1 That’s a wrap!

9.2 Bonus downloadable exercises

  • Human heart

  • Lifecycle of the jellyfish

  • Radioactive waste barrel

  • 3D methane molecule

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About Your Instructor

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Hey there! I’m Dr Juan Miguel Balbin (call me Miguel), project manager, science communicator, molecular biologist, and graphic designer. At the communications agency Animate Your Science, I help researchers to visually represent their work through our animations and custom graphics services.

 

I've been using Adobe Illustrator since 2012 as my software of choice for creating all kinds of digital art. More recently, I was able to apply my graphic design skills during my time as a malaria researcher (PhD, 2018-2021) to explain my work in my own creative ways.

 

After presenting my design work to my field, my Illustrator skills started gaining a lot of unexpected attention. From that point onward, I found myself collaborating with other researchers who needed an illustrator to visually explain complex concepts.

 

That's when I knew that graphic design skills needed a place in academic training.

 

I'm excited to share my knowledge in graphic design so that more researchers can confidently create great scientific illustrations for themselves.

 

So what are you waiting for? Let's get creative!

Testimonials

The course was great! It gave me the opportunity to learn both basic and intermediate skills in Adobe Illustrator. The progression was structured in an accessible way, so I never felt out of my depth, even when completing the intermediate exercises.

 

I now have the confidence to create my own drawings from scratch, which will elevate the science communication aspects of my work to the next level!

Kyle Brewer

University of South Australia

This course was very comprehensive and massively improved my Illustrator skills. I loved that there were exercises that I could follow alongside myself and I created figures that I didn't think I could ever be able to create.

 

I now feel set up to go on and make some real nice figures for my future publications and posters.

Ashlyn Austin

University of South Australia

Miguel has such a gentle and clearly spoken way of teaching. He makes great use of prompts and popups to visually help you navigate Adobe Illustrator, and gives great demonstrations for real-world applications to make artwork for posters, presentations and graphical abstracts. Miguel's workshop is a great springboard for beginners to discover the potential of Adobe Illustrator.

Adrian Abdo

University of Adelaide

This course was easy to follow and perfect for beginners and intermediate Adobe users. The initial tutorials help beginners to quickly gain the skillset necessary for intermediate activities. Tutorials are relevant for the types of schematics people in science will create for presentations, posters, and publications.

Serena Barnes

University of South Australia

🥈 Essential

 1 Year Online Course Access 
+ Bonus exercises

 

$99 USD 

one time purchase

  • One year access to the online course “Learn to draw in Illustrator: by scientists for scientists”

  • Adobe Illustrator tools overview PDF

  • Adobe Illustrator keyboard shortcuts PDF

  • Certificate of completion

  • Bonus exercises following the completion of the course

🥇 Premium

Lifetime Online Course Access
+ Individualised feedback
+ Community access

 

$149 USD

one time purchase

You’ll get everything in Essential, plus:

  • Lifetime access to the online course “Learn to draw in Illustrator: by scientists to scientists”

  • Lifetime access to the AYS Visual Science Community where you’ll be able to ask questions, share your wins and get inspired by other students

  • Individualised feedback for artwork you create from the course exercises, bonus exercises, or original scientific artwork created in Adobe Illustrator

🎓 Institution

Fully customisable to the needs
of your students and staff


 

Bulk discounts available

You’ll get everything in Essential or Premium.

  • Optionals 

    • Bundles with our other courses and workshops

Pricing Table

Our satisfied clients

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Money Back Guarantee

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We are so confident in our content that if, for any reason, you are not satisfied with the course, we offer a 100% money back guarantee.

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