It's an ugly process...

Posted on September 01, 2015 by Kristin deNeeve

A lot of people ask me about my creative process, how an idea turns into a final design. My ideas can come from conversations I have with people, brainstorming sessions on the couch in front of the TV, or even from my husband (he's a really funny guy). And sometimes I just really, really want to draw a donut so I find a way to turn it into a card. As for the drawings themselves, they aren't always pretty. In fact, sometimes they look like they were drawn by a toddler. See for yourself...

Here's a thumbnail sketch of an idea I had for a birthday card. I wanted a bunch of semi-stupid-looking animals with party hats. And as you can see, these animals are pretty funny-looking.

Then I decided which animals I would include, and developed my characters more through sketching.

Then I sketched the final art on watercolor paper, outlined it ink, and colored it with watercolor. I scanned the art into the computer, laid it out, and added a background in Photoshop. See the final card here. These guys also live on invitations and gift tags.

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This sketch shows the evolution my characters sometimes go through. The bird on the hippo starts off pretty generic in the thumbnail sketches at the top. Then I decided this bird was actually a hitchhiking chicken, who was catching a ride on the hippo. So I gave him a bindle and made him more egg-shaped and cute.

I decided my chicken didn't have enough personality, so I turned him into a hobo by adding a crumpled hat. This is the final inked-in drawing, done by hand.

I scanned the artwork into the computer and added color in Photoshop. Tada! See the final card here.

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Here are a few more examples:

 

See the final card here.

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See final card here.

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See final card here.

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See final card here.

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See final card here

I hope this gives some insight into my creative process. Although a lot of my illustrations end up sweet and cute, they don't always start that way!


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