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ben_collinsthose pics are photos I thought were sick and what I want to do
StokeFactorI'd say start with something like that train one. I don't know how the tool used is called in english but it should be something like puppet deformation, puppet warp or puppet transformation (I'm giving possible translations from how the french software is calling it so might not be exactly this).
For the one with the tree I'm not sure if the person is a picture or a really awesome drawing but for the roots and the grass it seems like they mainly used brushes. The ribbons too look like they could be brushes (where they played with the opacity a bit). Just put your main elements in position on different layers and think "how can I make them all look like they're part of only one creation?" Then play wih the layers' order and blending modes, add brushes you think might be useful, follow tutorials on more elaborated techniques you might need, etc.
BensunI am no where near an expert graphic designer but i have been studying it for a couple years. The way I started creating was by using traditional media (Pen and paper is the easiest) and scanning it. Then editing it in photoshop and bringing it over to illustrator and vectorizing it (image trace can work), There are a ton of tutorials if you just google it. It takes a while to get good but it get so much more interesting when you do. Also a drawing tablet helps when you paint with brushes. You have more questions feel free to message me.
Laurent.Practise & google.
Masks are your friend and enemy.
Don't be afraid to have 400 layers.
The path doesn't matter as long as you get there.