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Whatever vector build method you use to create your illustrative design you'll want to continually art direct yourself along the way as you create it. Pay attention to the details. How do your graphic shapes interact with one another? What negative spaces are they forming? Zoom in on critical areas and adjust your anchor points and Bezier curve handles. This will improve the form of your vector shapes and ensure precise quality. Making these types of micro improvements at each stage of the creative process will help you refine and improve your design's readability.
But the most important thing you can do to art direct yourself, is to take the time to set a project aside. Don't look at it for at least a half hour, a day is even better. Then later, with fresh eyes, approach your project, critique it, analyze the details in the design, look at the shapes you've created, and more than likely you'll discover additional areas you can improve on. This is the only way to improve and train your designer eye.
I'd like too say that life is far too short for bad art. So take the time to art direct yourself properly. Be your own worst critic and you'll leave less room for someone else to art direct it for you.
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