How I Design My Art Prints

How I Design My Art Prints

For the very first time I have art prints available on my website. Yay! I had only been selling these pretties at in person markets, but I finally made a spot for them in my online shop.

I am going to outline step by step how I made my new Hangry Seagull Art Print.

1. Planning & Visualizing

Every design begins as a thought, and each thought typically comes from a feeling. I was sitting in the LAX airport after missing my connecting flight to Kahului, and I now had to wait an unanticipated SIX more hours in the airport. This was the perfect situation for stirring up feelings. After wandering around trying to find an outlet to charge my dying phone, and then walking around some more to try and find a vegan meal (which was in fact nowhere to be found), I sat down and took out my sketchbook. I was unbearably hangry. I felt like an angry seagull who just wanted a measly chip from your lunch box at the beach.

I longingly pulled up a photo of the most delicious vegan burger I ate the day before, then I googled pictures of angry seagulls for reference and began sketching.

(TIP: Learn how to tune into your feelings and come up with visual descriptions for them. This involves a lot of self-awareness, a touch of humor, and some practice!)

2. Inking and Coloring

After creating a pencil sketch, I then trace the pencil lines with ink. I typically use Prismacolor Premier Fine Line Markers for this step. The key is to let your inked outline dry for about 20-40 minutes before erasing your pencil lines. This keeps the ink from smudging! Once dry, I add color using Copic Markers.

3. Scanning

I use the Epson Scanner to scan my finished drawing and create a digital file. (More on scanning artwork coming in a future blog!)

4. Adobe Photoshop & Illustrator

Once I have a digital file of my art, I open it using Adobe Photoshop and use the masking and quick selection tools to “cut” my image out from the background. From there I am able to open the background-less image in Adobe Illustrator and add a solid rectangle of color as the new background. I then create a new layer, and use the paintbrush tool to outline the inked lines. This makes them darker, stronger, and more visually appealing for print.

5. Printing

The final step is printing, and I use the Canon Pixma Pro 100 to print all of my art prints. I print on Red River Paper Company’s 8.5 x 11 inch Polar Matte Paper, and trim the edges with a paper cutter. The color comes out vibrant and sharp, and I package my prints in compostable plant-based cellophane sleeves from Clear Bags with a piece of recycled board slid into the backside of the bag to keep the art from bending. 

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