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21  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / Bob--My First Vector Art on: May 07, 2012 12:08:15 PM

If any of you guys are over on Ravelry (it's a knit and crochet site), you may be aware they're having a design contest for a new bag they hope to sell in their shop. I thought to myself, "Well, you want to do more with your art, don't you? What do you have to lose? Go for it!"

Problem was, I'm pretty much strictly a traditional media artist, and the design needed to be in vector art format for screenprinting. However, after researching that it's actually quite simple to turn hand-drawn art into vector art, I started brainstorming!

I started with sketches in my sketchbook, trying to nail down a simple picture that fit the theme of a Ravelry celebration, and that could also be reproduced in only three colors. With that limitation, I wasn't able to go with the big one with the sheep and alpaca. When I asked my friends, they liked the little one in the middle, and one friend suggested he hold a dog-shaped balloon animal. I took that idea and ran with it.

I did a quick thumbnail sketch of that concept; having the balloon tethered by a ball of yarn keeps with the fiber arts theme of Ravelry itself. Bob, by the way, is their Boston Terrier mascot.

I then scanned the thumbnail into the computer and printed out several small copies so I could play with colors. Upon popular vote by my friends, it was decided that black, white, and pink would be the color scheme to go with.

I then drew the image on 11"x14" bristol and inked it with Sakura Micron pens. This is the image after it's been inked. There's some whiteout in places where the lines were too thick to my liking. After I inked it, my boyfriend scanned it into the computer in black and white.

And here's the finished vector art! After we scanned the hand-drawn image, I simply opened it with Adobe Illustrator and used their Live Trace feature to turn it into vector art. I dropped in the colors and that was all there was to it!

I'm really proud of it, designwise. I think it's simple and cute, and even if it doesn't win, I'm glad I drew him up anyway. I was really disappointed because voting was supposed to start today (I submitted it to them last week, so it's been nine long days of waiting to see my competition); unfortunately, they got so many submissions that they're still going through them all and I don't know when the voting will start. I'd love any feedback you have to improve my design skills in the future, and hey, if you happen to be a Ravelry member, I sure wouldn't complain if you send a vote my way! Wink But do let me hear your comments and criticisms, as I'm aspiring to get better with my art every day.
22  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / The Swap Gallery / Re: Felt Badge Swap Gallery!! (Send Out April 30) on: April 21, 2012 12:38:30 AM
I love those Stitches, wow! And normally I don't dig zombies but that dog is awesome.

I have to admit, I thought Tallahassee was Bill Murray at first! But wow, such detail on something so small! I have to know how that was done! Did everyone here use super awesome felt or something? I feel like my badge, whenever it gets posted, is baloney compared to all of these!
23  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / Talk About The Swap Process / Re: Letter-Sized Swap - DC Required? on: April 19, 2012 11:27:43 PM
I'm a bit late to this party, but as a postal employee, I think I can shed a little light on WHY letters don't get DCs as opposed to parcels. It's very simple; first class letters are processed through high-speed automation machines, and these machines don't scan barcodes like DCs or certified mail or priority mail--in the cases of certified letters, the mail carriers scan the letters when they deliver them. If a first class letter somehow gets a DC label on it and is run through the machines, chances are that label won't ever get scanned.

Priority mail/parcel post/media mail on the other hand is processed on different machines (or, in a smaller facility like the one I work at, these packages are sorted manually). These machines, or the clerks sorting the packages manually, are equipped with a scanner to specifically look for those DC barcodes.

So basically, if you ship something priority mail as opposed to just plain old first class, it's guaranteed to be seen and scanned and trackable since it's handled separately.
24  MASTER CRAFTSTERS / Elmer's Products / Re: Elmer's Master Craftster Series! Introduction to the products and the crafters. on: April 16, 2012 09:42:02 PM
How are the "master Craftsters" chosen?
25  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / The Swap Gallery / Re: Felt Badge Swap Gallery!! (Send Out April 30) on: April 16, 2012 07:00:25 PM
Well, I got my badge from LuveBuggy99 today! I would have picked it up at work last night since I work at the post office, but they must have changed the delivery route on the machine that sorts mail to my zip code because it hadn't yet been sorted by the time I left. Anywho, it was in my mailbox today, so yay! I had a hard time pulling myself away from crafting her badge to go check, but I was pleasantly surprised!

She made me a Roy Lichtenstein-inspired pop art eye, complete with dozens of teeny, tiny seed beads to represent the Benday dots. What patience! It's big too! I think it's great. Thanks so much, LuveBuggy99! (And if you peek in the corner there, there's a sneak peek of your badge too, still under construction)
26  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / The Swap Gallery / Re: Felt Badge Swap Gallery!! (Send Out April 30) on: April 16, 2012 04:13:54 PM
These are great badges so far! The teeny tiny leaves on the tree are amazing!
27  Craft Swaps / ARCHIVE OF SWAPS THAT ARE TOTALLY FINISHED / Re: Felt Badge Swap (SignUp - CLOSED, SendOut - April 30) on: April 16, 2012 04:11:55 PM
Just finished cutting my felt! Once the glue dries, it's stitching time!
28  Craft Swaps / ARCHIVE OF SWAPS THAT ARE TOTALLY FINISHED / Re: Felt Badge Swap (SignUp - CLOSED, SendOut - April 30) on: April 11, 2012 11:45:46 AM
I got my sketch done and my stencils drafted. Now I just have to wait until payday so I can go pick up the felt! I hope using regular old craft felt doesn't make me a bad swapper. :x
29  Craft Swaps / ARCHIVE OF SWAPS THAT ARE TOTALLY FINISHED / Re: Felt Badge Swap (SignUp - CLOSED, SendOut - April 30) on: April 07, 2012 10:29:29 PM
Yay partners! I can't wait to learn more about my partner so I can start getting ideas together!
30  Craft Swaps / ARCHIVE OF SWAPS THAT ARE TOTALLY FINISHED / Re: Felt Badge Swap (SignUp - April 7, SendOut - April 30) on: April 05, 2012 02:00:18 PM
I have never made a felt badge before, but I am so excited to start!
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