I have this vector art I paid for from istockphoto, but I need to shrink it down. In order for this to look good I need to shrink in Ai, then export. However, when I shrink down the graphic, the strokes change relative to the size of the image.
In the case of the circle around the thumbs-up, this is a just a path with a stroke on it. Easy.
In the case of the thumbs-up, the black line actually gets smaller. Rather than a single path with a stroke applied, there are actually two concentric paths. Increasing the outside one and recentering messes up the interior curve between the thumb and the rest of the fingers, etc.
Is there a way to create a larger path from a given path, such that I can effectively increase the stroke of the thumb-up outline?
Use the Direct Selection tool, the white arrow, to click the black outline.
Then click the white area and add a stroke via the Stroke Panel.
This will allow you to simply change the stroke weight rather than messing with an outline shape.
If you really want yet another stroke offset from the hand, you can use Object > Path > Offset to create a new stroke offset from the original shape.