sasham62 wrote:I've had a few extra ideas in the short time I've been here, but I'm kind of tired of trying to compete against professional illustrators with professional design software.
Not sure what I'm going to do.
I used to have this same attitude when I first came here. (Many people want/ed to throttle me for it ^^;..) I learned pretty quickly though that these derbies are a real toss-up. There are many times when very simple designs win, and there are times when complex designs win. Even the 'big dogs' here go through rough spots. While it is exceedingly hard to compete, it's still a great challenge to try and up your own skills . It is also a good guage of how to appeal to a large number of people, see new art techniques, styles, etc.
As for professional programs, there are ways to get them without losing your arms and legs. A lot of the time, Ebay has older versions of Adobe up for sale. Older versions are still wonderful and are just as capable as the newest version. It's all about your knowledge and raw skills. The programs can't do it all for you ^_~ Also, there is a great affordable program called Paint Tool SAI. I loooove that and it's very cheap. Open Canvas is also cheap and very popular with artists.
Try to hang in there! I have been where you are. It takes some time and practice, but try to have fun along the way .