digital calligraphy

Vector graphics is the use of geometrical primitives such as points, lines, curves, and shapes or polygon(s), which are all based on mathematical equations, to represent images in computer graphics.

From the Wikipedia entry on vector graphics

This is, to be completely honest, an abysmal way to explain something so chock-full of artistic potential. It may be fair to suggest that this sort of incompetent marketing has achieved the direct result of dis-encouraging would-be graphic artists from exploring the technique entirely.

The fact is that most creative professionals grew their ponytails out and became creative professionals specifically to avoid the use of terms like "mathematical" and "geometrical primitives" all together. Recommending that such a person dive into an art form involving a lot of math is about as enticing a prospect as chopping off their irreverent hairstyles and seeking out a career processing actuarial tables.

That said, some of us creative professionals have been geeky enough to to give it a whirl. More amazingly, we survived the bit of extra math homework and actually saw results.

I prefer to use a much simpler explanation of the vector illustration process. When asked how my drawings were accomplished, I simply tell people that I draw with very smart ink.

06 / 05 / 2009