How I create my images

Hello, hello! No, I haven't disappeared off the face of the earth! I find that when I start a blog post lately it sits and sits and never gets finished. It's so much easier to post little snippets on my fan page on Facebook. Are you a fan of milkshake crafts? Do you have a fan page I can join in return?

Since this is the craft show season, I get lots of questions about how I create my images. I never really know how much to reveal, or how much someone really understands about what I'm telling them. I have a running storyboard in my head as I'm talking, but it doesn't always come out the way I see it! Will you let me know if the following makes any sense??

First, I start off with a pencil sketch in my sketchbook (or on a random piece of paper). The sketches are usually created when Malayna is drawing and I'm keeping her company.  Sometimes an idea sits in my head for a looooong time before I finally put pencil to paper. Other times I'll do a sketch and that will sit around for a while until I flip through my sketchbook and decide it's time to bring it to life.

 {This is a marker sketch after I've scanned it.}

Next, I'll trace the drawing with a black Sharpie marker and then scan it into my computer. I used to scan the pencil drawing, but found that I wasn't getting the crisp lines I wanted. After the image is scanned I open it up in Adobe Illustrator and clean it up there. This gives the drawing a more polished look, and I can then adjust the lines of the image.

After cleaning up the image in Illustrator, I open it in Photoshop. That's where I apply the patterns and colors. For example, the clematis image is made up of three different patterns (the red one in the middle, the orange one in the petals and the yellow in the petals):

 {This is the same image after it's been cleaned up in Illustrator
and filled in with patterns in Photoshop.}

I have many, many patterns to choose from (all of which are created by me in the same way I've described above), but I find myself using the same ones again and again. I change the colors sometimes to match the other patterns used in the image.

For example, here is the same pattern but in different colors. The same pattern was used above, in the petals in yet another set of colors.

{The same pattern with different color treatments.}

Someone once suggested that I have all this information with me at shows in a small binder to show people when they ask about my artwork. It's a great idea and I would love to be able to have a visual instead of trying to explain and hoping it makes sense!

Was this helpful? Did it make sense? Is there anything I'm missing?

I'm going to be participating in the Waldorf Holiday Fair and Craft Bazaar this weekend. The show starts on Friday night from 6-10 and then continues on Saturday from 10-5. Come by and visit! It's a great show - lots of yummy homemade food, crafts for the kids and, of course, great art. There's even a secret shopping room for children where they can buy gifts for the family.


gwyn said...

Well done Lisa. It is very clear to me although I already understand the programs you use so I have an advantage. Maybe create a flier with the above and simplify even more. Non designers or PS users won't really understand. I think what people want to know is do you do it by by hand or digitally, and what are the steps. Pencil and marker drawings refined colored digitally is a most basic answer. I have the same problem explaining my work. BTW I wouldn't worry about sharing your process as that is not what makes your work unique. I love the patterns!

Megan Greenholt said...

hi lisa
i like the idea of having an "elevator speech" as well as a more detailed description if asked for.
as you said, props are a great way of getting the message across about how you do what you do.
definitely let people know that every part of your work is original or an original concept created by you
good luck at waldorf!

Redbeet Mama said...

I have your butterfly in plain view at our kitchen table - people always comment on it - your work is so beautiful and intricate. I am amazed and inspired by your art.

I would explain more of the designs - were they hand drawn or computer drawn?

See you at the fair!

Namaste, Nicole

lisa {milkshake} said...

Thank you! Gwyn, that's the problem I was having. I know what I'm trying to say, but I don't know what other people know. Make sense?

Megan, an abbreviated version is a god idea.

Nicole, the designs are created the same way - they start out as a drawing and then are cleaned up on the computer. So they're both computer-drawn and hand-drawn! (you mean the patterns, right?)