Gary David Bouton

I went to Syracuse University back in 2000 B.C., and took a degree in Fine Arts. Actually, my years in school taught me less than 2 weeks working full-time at my first ad agency. I spent many years as an Art Director at two large ad agencies in Manhattan doing TV and print, but as the 1990s rolled around, I saw the creative enhancement power of Intel machines and extraordinary drawing programs such as CorelDRAW. I quit the ad agencies in 1989 to create a "one man ad agency" because I saw that a PC could help you do the work of 5 or 6 people at the same time.

My advertising agency didn't work out, but I met my wife at a computer user group meeting, she was (is?) more talented than I, and the two of us started created annual reports — and entered every art contest. An Acquisitions Editor at Macmillan spotted my work in a CorelDRAW coffee table book, called me, and asked me if I knew how to write.

Almost eight years later, I've written 14 books and ghosted several others, the topic always being computer graphics. I've concluded that to write a best-selling book, you have to be passionate about the product, but the product also has to have great mindshare. And that's why my publisher has fed me a long string of Photoshop books Inside Adobe Photoshop was 1998's Best Selling graphics book on, and also this why no one has asked me to write on CorelXARA. You can see our books and download free fonts and stuff by  clicking here.

Deserted Island scenario: If I had one application to take along with me, it would be XARA. Photoshop would be an extremely close second, as would Strata Studio Pro 2.5.1, but I find the compatibility of XARA with other programs to be a knockout punch in the feature set. XARA is much faster to zoom and redraw than any other vector program, and its accuracy allows me to edit photographs by putting paths on the photo (sometimes the paths are only two or three pixels in width). I use XARA for fine art, commercial art, photo - retouching, composite color images for my books (some files come out to 25MB as bitmaps), and a lot of other specialized uses.

Please check out the diverse images here. They were all done at least in part in XARA, and if you have the WEB extension (Windows only) loaded on your system, you can view how most of the images are created.

As an artist, I cannot recommend CorelXARA highly enough. For under $99 USD, you're getting a program that is years ahead of CorelDRAW and Illustrator. And as a teacher, I would not be without XARA; I use it extensively to create illustrations for books, ads, and even book covers. Try the demo version—and buckle your seat belt!.


Click on the images to see a larger image.
All images © Gary David Boutan

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