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How to create Figures for Publication Materials?

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Hello~ I have done a few searches in Grad cafe but I couldn't really find what I'm looking for.

I am wondering how do I draw a figure for publication materials? For example, a schematic of mesenchymal stem cells like this but this is not mine, I just got it from the google searches



  I did a few searches online and found that I can use GIMP or Inkscape to draw, but is there any where else or does anyone know how? So far my PI has been the one doing the drawing and all, but I want to be able to work on it myself.


Thank you! 

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Hi! I know a lot of people who use Adobe Illustrator to make figures for publications, but unless you have access to this for free through your university or you can get a copy through your advisor you probably don't want to pay for Illustrator.

A lot of people in my program, including myself, use Inkscape to create figures for publication since it is basically a program very similar to Illustrator but free. When I was first playing around in Inkscape I found a good series of Youtube videos on how to use Inkscape for creating scientific figures. These tutorials may not be as helpful for creating drawings like the example you provide above, but I thought I would share the link below.


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Thank you! I have been asking my other friends who are in similar PhD program, they all have been using Illustrator and told me they used "basic shapes" LOL.... YES basic shapes.... I will start on learning how to use Illustrator and have my friends show me how! I can already see my learning curve is so high! But I will work on it! :) I don't want to ask my PI about it (I should) but I feel like it is something I should have known before even getting into PHD program ya know?! 

Thanks everyone for the reply! 

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