Pixelation Problem

To all the newbie artists out there:  This blog entry is written for anyone who is experiencing a problem with their images pixelating.  After spending a couple weeks uploading some of my images, I discovered that I was making a serious mistake: my images were pixelating.  (That means that the detail in my images were “block-y” and not clear.)  If you are serious about your art then you know that you should never put images out to the public unless they are of the best of quality.  Pixelated images are not at an acceptable standard in my book.  It may look nice when it’s small, but if a customer purchases a larger print they will not be satisfied.

Here is what I learned from my mistakes, hope it helps you:

1.) Connect with other artists.  They were all new at this at one point and have a lot of wisdom to share.

2.) The more you save a file the more detail you lose each time.

3.) Do not enlarge the image pixel size!  This was my problem without even knowing it.  I was not intentionally enlarging the pixels but the software that I was using was.   For some reason when a picture is opened in Adobe Illustrator it is automatically enlarged.  This had not caused a pixilation problem for me in the past as I made flyers, cd jackets, calendars, etc., because I always took those enlarged images and shrunk them down to the size that I need them to be.  (And I plan to continue to use Illustrator for those purposes... it's awesome software.)  However, pixilation became a problem when I did not shrink the images and simply exported them.   How do you know if the image is being enlarged?  Look at the pixel size of the original image (the one you downloaded off your camera).  If you open it and save it through other software, check the pixel size again.  My images started at 2,600x3,900 pixels (or 5 MB memory) and when exported they became 10,800x16,200 pixels (and over 30 MB memory). 

SOLUTION:  If the entire images is appearing blocky, double check to see if this is what is happening to your image.  As for me, I have other software that does not automatically enlarge the image, so, I'm simply going to use that software instead. 

Special thanks to: Bellesouth Studio, Mary Deal, and Mike Savad for your insights!

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