You want to jump into Open Source graphic applications and you look to the experts for advice because they are experienced, right? I'm not saying they aren't great at digital graphics but.......so many former and crossed-over from Photoshop and Illustrator users are all voicing their frustrations along with their amazements. It's like wearing a too long for you open bath-robe and unsecured slippers while ascending the stairs. You get there by tripping on the robe fringes and trying to grip the insides of the slippers with your toes. Finally you get dressed, memory kicks in and you can climb the stairs blindfolded.
Not having used Photoshop, Illustrator or others, I don't have to work through re-programing myself. It is so obvious when an digital art wizard says GIMP is wonderful but.......it's not like......it doesn't have or do........not up to........not quite.....it still making strides...........not ready for mainstream, bigtime or serious projects in a paid work environment. An artist must suffer, but not like that. That kind of grunting should not be over emphasized in reviews. If you, an expert find switching over to use GIMP is hard, awkward, and not like whatever, how the heck do you expect a newbe like me with no history to grab it and use it. You struggled, it must be hard for everyone. Crap-da-monious nonsense!
I can't tell you how many times I've seen newbies, shell shocked and forewarned by experienced folks, get over it after they find they have no problem at all. They have no history, the learning curve has flat-lined for them. The real truth is most can deal with one all consuming graphics application, two or three gets complicated. It becomes apparent when one app becomes the favorite and you have to use or want to use another. Some people have more bandwidth than others. In all, if you spend enough time with one application, others are difficult to learn. I've been looking at GIMP for a little while, already I find Pixel, which has a Photoshop like interface, strange and awkward.
What if there was one Universal Graphics Interface and all graphics tools were third-party plugins? Won't happen too soon! Each graphics package does have some overlap. GIMP can do some vector and Inkscape can export to raster.
What's on my plate today? GIMP, Inkscape, Blender 3D, My Paint, Open Office Draw. What I need is more time with each one, away from the comparison mill. Perhaps I am risking my graphics career on Open Source graphics applications. I don't know if that thought is applicable to me, just that I am willing. As an artist I am committed to Open Source graphics as a starting point.