Friday, May 9, 2008

Design For Tote Bag... Flower Power!

Mushroom Season is upon me here in the midwest! I have been putting several miles on these poor shoes of mine, looking for these golden treats. I've been so busy walking around the back acreage, in fact, that I've not had a chance to get in here to my blogs since May 4! Anyone who has never had Morel mushrooms has not lived life to the fullest, as far as I'm concerned. These wild growing delicacies are top notch! (and if you don't believe me...try to buy some! They sell around here for $10 per the 8 ounces in a baggie...that's $20 a pound!!) April and May are supposed to be my busiest months, but this year, the snow and cold and rain have hung on tenaciously, so I haven't even been able to till my garden yet. So...I'll try to get in here everyday, but when the mushrooms call and the garden starts to sing to me, blogging will have to take a back seat.

I may need to have my head examined, but I've opened up another Cafepress shop. This shop I have decided to use solely for my rodeo related 'stuff'. So one has discovered me yet, but they will...especially after Rodeo season gets under way in a few weeks. I've made a couple of new designs and wanted to share one of them with you. You can find this one on a Tote Bag in my original cafepress shop.

I love bright colors. Pinks, purples, yellows...they remind me of flower gardens. I also love the funky look of the Era of the Hippie...unfortunately, the 60's ended when I was two, so the only thing I got from that Era was the hand me down bell bottom jeans...which I still hate to this day. So, I took part of this great time of 'make love not war!' and modernized it just a tad and came up with the design. I think it looks terrific on the tote bag. I haven't decided if I want to put it on shirts or not as of yet. I hope you like it as much as I do!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

My First Two Digital Designs...Sun Conures and The Buckin Bronc

Wow! Not only is this going to be much more difficult that I thought it would be, but a lot more time consuming as well! I have been very creative the last couple of days (much to my family's dismay), and I made 2 different designs for some shirts in my cafepress shop using my original drawings. I really like them, and think they turned out pretty darned good...if I do say so myself :)

I made these two designs using both PhotoShop and Illustrator graphics programs. In Photoshop, I had to change the resolution and size of the images. They had to end up at 2000 pixels per inch with a resolution of 200 dpi and be 10x10 inches, to fit the template and to get the best image results. The Sun Conures took a bit more work to complete than the Bucking Bronc.

First I had to open the image in Photoshop, and go to Images>Image Size and have both the 'Constrain Proportion' and 'Resample Image' boxes checked. I then chaged the Resolution to 200, and the Height under Document Size to 10. It's a rectangular image and I need a square, so I had a lot more work to do. I saved the image as a JPG file, and gave it 0 compression.

I then opened Illustrator, opened a new 10x10 inch document, and placed my now HUGE image into this document. I then played around with the filters until I found a result I liked, under Filter>Stylize>Glowing Edges. This made bright, stylized outlines of my drawing, and turned all of the spaces black. Very Cool! But I still had several inches of white space to fill, and I didn't like the plain black box of the image.
I took the pen tool, and drew a border around the image. I then selected this border, and grabbed a wicked looking default brush, set the stroke at 5 and chaned the color to a bright yellow. The effect was awesome! I had to do a bit of 'tweaking' around the edges, where the black box and the frame met, and that was a bit time consuming.
I selected everything and moved it to the right edge of the document. I then took the text tool, and opened a horizontal text box on the left edge. I hit Caps Lock and typed the words SUN CONURE down the side of the image. I messed with the horizontal and vertical of the text, the leading and the font and size. I liked what I ended up with, but decided to change the color to the same yellow as the frame, and outline the text in black. But I wasn't done yet...
I rasterized the document, flattened it, and changed the text to outlines. I then saved it as an Illustrator file and re-opened it in Photoshop. Here I did a bit of tweeking on the size again, making sure that it was 10x10 inches, 2000x2000 pixels and 200 resolution. I flattened it and saved it as a .JPG file with a compression of 0.
This whole operation took me about 5 hours...but it was well worth it.

The Bucking Bronc was much easier to complete. I did the same first steps with the image size as I did with the birds, but instead of the extra work in Illustrator, I simply took an artistic filter that I liked and applied it to the image. Since I still had plenty of white space around the edges of this, I did the old 'copy and paste' method of filling in the white with the background that I needed. I flattened the image, added the text, rasterized that text, and flattened it again. I saved it as a .JPG just as I did the Sun Conures and was all done. It took less than 2 hours to complete.

Here are the Sun Conures.


And here is the Bucking Bronc.

I have these on several shirts in my cafepress shop. Here is a Women's Tank Top with the Sun Conure design.

And here is a Fitted T-Shirt with the rodeo design.

Tell me what you think of them!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Okay...Now What?

I always hate this part of the blogging process. What to write on that oh-so-important first blog post.

I have another blog called The Art Of Color, which I use to promote different shops on a website called Etsy. I love doing it, too! It gives me great satisfaction to make other people smile because they got an item that they are trying to sell spotlighted.

But I want this one to be different. I want to show off my own stuff as well... you know... without actually bragging about it. This is what I've come up with.

I LOVE taking photographs of nature. Trees, creek beds, flowers, birds... you name it. Sometimes I get REALLY lucky and get photographs that are brag worthy. The rest, I use as reference photos for my drawings. Like the one you see at the top of this blog. That was taken at a pet store. I just took out the bird cage and drew the beautiful Sun Conures that you see. It's FUN...I love to do it. I want to do more with my creations, though. I want everyone to have one...or at least, have something with one of my creations on it. Sort of like sharing and showing off in one stroke!

So, I opened up a shop on Etsy. I can sell the originals, and prints of my photographs. I can even sell prints of my originals, but I don't...not yet, at least. But I needed another outlet for my work. I opened up a store on Cafepress this week. I have a few items in there, and I will be adding more soon. But if I don't get the word out that I'm there...who is going to find me?

I have spent the last 8 years forgetting almost everything I learned in college to earn my fancy Commercial Art degree. Much of the knowledge that I gained about Photoshop and Illustrator has withered from neglect and abandon. I want it back. I want to make the glorious graphic creations that I see other people making. So, this also going to be my 'Graphic Arts Knowledge Refill' of sorts.

So...why don't you join me? You can enjoy front row seats as I rejoice in my own achievements, or fall flat on my face when I trip over my own computer. Come on!! This could be FUN!!