Digital Illustration created in Photoshop using scanned collage and cut paper, custom brushes and stamps. Inspired by a vintage children's book illustrations but with a fresh twist!
Playing with custom Photoshop brushes, stamps and textures.
Here is my second assignment of for my mcad children's book illustration class. We were assigned an age (I got 5), a word (silly) and a location (in the deep woods). The week we were working on this, Joel and the boys were at Danish Family Camp with Joel's parents. One of the fun things that happens at camp is that they hide a Nisse (a wood elf or gnome) statue and give out clues to find it. When the boys called home, Win stubbornly insisted that he had found the Nisse (which of course made Eli mad—because he hadn't—and if he had he should have told). So there was the seed of my story, about a little boy who finds the Nisse and spends the day playing and laughing in the woods with his new friend. Trying to make the character look the right age and trying to get it to feel dynamic were my biggest challenges this time. As usual, a mashup of traditional techniques, tons of scanning, and finally creating the digital artwork.
The next few weeks of class will be spent learning how to concept and storyboard from a manuscript, and creating a final piece of art for that book. I'm using a sweet story written by a dear friend for my final project, so can't wait to share in a few weeks.
Don't forget to be silly!
I am in the middle of a class at mcad on Children's Book Illustration, taught by illustrator Carrie Hartman. It has been pretty intense, with a ton of content stuffed into a six week class, so we're moving along at a pretty quick clip. The first assignment was to create a book spread based on a provided book title. I chose The Littlest Panda, and decided to work digitally since we had basically a week to create a finished illustration. I am loving the class so far! Did I mention my summer has been CRAZY CRAZY CRAZY? In addition to trying to get class assignments done:
- I started a new job this week, as a book designer at a local educational publisher!
- I am still working on freelance design projects with several clients
- I am cranking along with new designs for Silhouette America
- One of my designs has been licensed for a greeting card with a well-known grocery chain and will be available in their fall line!
- I am enjoying summer with the hubby and boys!!! Win will tell you that Wee Bop Dino Camp was a roller coaster ride, but mostly summer is turning out to be awesome.
Here's to sipping gin and tonics by the slip-n-slide!
I finished up the character I was working on in my last blog post for my Skillshare class! I am pretty happy with my little cowboy boot girl for a first attempt at rendering a character. I decided to give her sassy red cowboy boots since I have always wanted a pair! I was having so much fun playing with her details in photoshop that I made two versions trying out different colors, clothes styles and background ideas. I can see how it would be totally addictive to get into character design and start playing with whole worlds for your people to explore. Now back to MY real world this morning, and onto some business card designs! Feel free to drop me a comment...I'd love to see where I can improve. I feel like I can definitely work more on developing the face and hands...those were the hardest to get right.
For a long time I've generally avoided making artwork depicting people or characters, because basically it terrifies me. I have this deep seated fear that I am just not one of those artists that can draw people or make faces. Soooo...I have a potential children's book project on the horizon that would require me to create sweet beautiful characters and I know it is time to get to work on pushing myself past this hangup. While I was taking one of my MATS classes last year, a fellow classmate, Ohn Mar Win, posted work she had made in a Skillshare class and she mentioned how much she got out of it. I had made a note of it at the time, and I started working through the class this week. It is called Character Illustration: From Concept to Final Artwork with Matt Kaufenberg (a Minnesota illustrator!). It is awesome! So far I have learned how to collect inspiration, make a rough character sketch in Photoshop, refine it, build the basic shapes in Illustrator, and then bring the shapes into Photoshop again where you create clipping masks and begin to render and add layers of texture and detail (the fun part!). Of course, as well as using Photoshop brushes, I'm using a bunch of my homemade scanned textures and collage bits. The buttons on her jumper are the button I made recently, but recolored and resized to fit, and her knee socks are one of my collages shrunk down! How much fun is that?! Here is what I have so far. You'll notice I still need to tackle the face!
I was digging through my digital files looking for something, and found a scan of the sweet tree papercut that I did quite a while back. I decided to rework and develop it into a more narrative design using my new paper collages (I am kind of obsessed with them now!) I think it would be a very sweet greeting card or print to hang somewhere you need that little reminder to be mindful. I know I sure need this reminder on a daily basis, especially when dealing with 4 year old tantrums on the way to school : )
I've been investing a lot of time this spring in creating a library of scanned digital components that I can use to build more of my artwork in photoshop. This way I can continue to make changes easily, but still retain a lot of "handmade" goodness in my work. Earlier this week I made a series of collages out of strips and squares of papers I had painted earlier. After I scanned the collages, I incorporated them into this Tea Time card design idea I've been working on.
Here are details from the paper collages. Now I just have to figure out a good way to organize my digital goodies so I can find them again!
These are the initial designs I was playing with for the card artwork, dropping a bunch of my patterns onto the cups with clipping masks. This is the amazing thing about clipping masks in Photoshop is how quickly and easily you can totally transform the art. So cool!
I've gotten obsessed with playing with clipping masks and layers of texture and shapes in Photoshop. I'm having fun adding details to a new collection of sewing themed designs. My visiting studio helper Opal thinks it's boring, but I'm having FUN!
I'm taking 2015 session of Lilla Rogers' Make Art That Sells Assignment Bootcamp and believe it or not, I've already fallen behind. I didn't get my first month's assignment done in time to make it into the class gallery, but I did make myself a promise this year that I will get all the assignments done and better late than never! The topic was to create a journal cover inspired by Edwardian brooches, a subject matter that I would never have picked on my own but really ended up loving. Here is my design—in my mind the design is tone-on-tone and embossed, so very rich and textural. I couldn't help expanding the motif into a repeat pattern...it was just screaming for it! Now, on to month two!
This is the seamless repeat pattern that these papercut icons turned into! It's my submission for the upcoming Spoonflower contest, with the theme of Kittens in Mittens. I scanned the pieces, along with some handmade textures, and then built the pattern in Photoshop. It won't be available for sale in my shop until I order a test swatch.
Moths? Butterflies? Lightning bugs? I'm not sure but this new little group of patterns needs a name. I was thinking "Fly Me to the Moon" or "Magic Garden" but neither seems quite right. Leave a comment with your idea for the perfect collection name. If I pick yours, I'll send you a free goodie in the mail in time for Christmas!
Sweet holiday mini cards (3" x 3") just added to my etsy shop this morning! I also dropped a batch off at Northern Clay Center—my former work stomping grounds—for their holiday shop. While I was there, of course, I had to stop and drool over all the amazing pottery (and add items to my wish list for Santa). Hopefully, there will be some of these little guys left for sale at my holiday open house on December 4.
Look what arrived in my mailbox! A bunch of holiday happiness in the form of Spoonflower swatches. These Christmas goodies are now available in my Spoonflower shop. Also, you can order them as wrapping paper, too.
While working on my new designs for Silhouette this week, I got a bee in my bonnet about working some of my shapes up in to some holiday patterns. Once I get started making patterns it's hard to stop. It's amazing what a difference color choice makes! Which colorway do you like best? Lime and teal, or red and turquoise? Click on the images to see them larger.
I can't believe I have gone this long without a blog post! Things have been so chaotic these past few months while I have adjusted to leaving my position at Northern Clay Center to focus on creating licensed designs for Silhouette America and freelance graphic design work. It's been so great to work from home and enjoy the flexibility my new schedule allows. I've been blessed so far to have plenty of work and my biggest challenge has been finding the time to get everything done, juggle deadlines, and balance work/family time (while still squeaking in some time to make new personal work for my sanity).
I just got an email with photos of some t-shirts created with my recent logo design for Yinghua Academy Chinese Immersion School in Minneapolis (yes, a volunteer project for my son, Eli's school). The school has been using a mix of dragon clip art from various places for their sports team, the Dragons. This year, with a major building and gym renovation, it seemed like time for a new unique design created especially for the school. The school wanted to incorporate the traditional chinese dragon with a chinese papercut look, and to have a dynamic and "fierce" logo while still friendly enough for elementary school kids. We created these t-shirts for our school team in the annual twin cities dragon boat races. I love how they turned out! Can't wait to see the dragon on the wall of the new gym this fall!
I also have been busy working on an identity system for HKLaw, LLC, a small law firm in Denver, CO. The law team there was looking for a design that was fresh and vibrant to reflect the energy and passion of their attorneys, while still keeping a clean, traditional design. Here is the final design we chose for the logo. We decided to go with two variation of business cards, one more traditional and one a bit more playful, depending on who they are giving them out to. So far I've designed letterhead and stationary, ads and signage, and a website design is in the works.