I don’t know if it’s the fact that my grad classes at K-State are starting tomorrow, that my cousin is getting married in a week, or that Aggieville Mini Maker-Faire is in 2.5 weeks, but I have gotten a lot done in the last 3 days. Here’s the last of them. A card celebrating the life-long bonds of the gray wolf (and hopefully the future recipients of the card).
I started drawing these little charmers last night, and I worked on them intermittently today. I absolutely love my new brush set that I got from Creative Market. The set was $39 and made by Roman Melentyev. It has made a big difference in the effects I’m able to get with my Wacom tablet (Intuos Pro small). I’m able to draw in a way almost identical to what I do with a dip pen with various nibs, but in my less time because I can erase.
I really like having multi purpose cards. If a card is just for one thing, that’s ok, but cards should exist for any sort of correspondence, even if it’s just to reach out to someone and say “Hi, I’m here. I care about you. How are things?”. Don’t get me wrong, I love my phone and the ability to chat with anyone with any instant messaging app, but I still appreciate getting mail from my friends. Tangible things can be really special.
This card is for all the weirdos out there who want to give a little black and silver batty shout out to another weirdo, or maybe you want to use it for a Halloween card.
[A random observation: Bat heads kind of look like goblins dressed up in lion costumes.]
With Maker Faire coming up on September 12th, I figured I needed to get my butt into gear. Between my other job and grad school, I’ve had enough time to fulfill wedding and other custom stationery orders, but not enough for my own R & D. I like to think my proud and sassy lady tortoise helps make up for lost time. Tortoises don’t give a shit about wrinkles, and neither should you :D The Aldabra Giant Tortoise is also a conservation success story, which in the midst of all the African elephant and White rhino sadness, is a glimmer of hope: a reminder that we can save species from the absolute brink of extinction.
I just got my big paper order in and a new set of plates from Boxcar Press. These are digital mockups, but here’s what’s in the works right now:
Haven’t decided for sure on the colors for the I <3 YOU SO MUCH! cards. I am a big fan of the simplicity of black and red. The <3 cards will be printed as 4bar folded cards, blank as per usual.
I’m also liking the blood splatter Kafka the more I look at it. I originally made it on a lark, because it’s a bit overbearing/overdramatic, but the graphic punchiness is nice.
Two Crow Press will have a booth at the Mini Maker Faire in Aggieville this Saturday, September 20th. The Maker Faire is only part of the festivities being held in honor of Aggieville’s 125th Birthday. I will be in Booth #4, near The Dusty Bookshelf.
I’ve been trying out a lot of different ways of drawing these animals. I think I might have to go back to traditional media to do it quicker, but trying to figure out this tablet and photoshop brushes has been really useful, so I might keep using it, just to gain experience with that.
Tympanuchus cupido, the Love Drummer. This one is definitely more the woodcut/linocut style that I’m used to. I’m not a painter. I’ll illustrate things with gouache and ink, but I’m drawing with it and filling in colors, instead of treating it like paint and blocking out areas of color, doing washes, blending, etc.
I don’t know which I like better, so that means I need to do even more sketches. I’ve done a lot more permutations of the bison and prairie chicken than I’ve posted. I’ve probably only done about 15 different sketches total, not nearly enough. If anyone out there is going into graphic design or art, you need to draw all the time. Are you drawing right now? If not, you should get on that! I’ve spent about 7 hours today on the chickens, and when it’s all said and done I’ll probably have put in 3-4 times that. Also, don’t look at his feet, I didn’t even try on the feet. The feet will be so much better on the finished plate.
This is something I’ve had churning around in my head for awhile. I’ve wanted to make a set of postcards/prints celebrating our native wildlife. In addition to the American bison, I’m planning to definitely make one of the Greater prairie chicken. Other possibilities are White-tailed Deer, Bobcat, Coyote, Red Fox, Great Blue Heron, Northern Bobwhite, Killdeer, Eastern Screech-Owl, Belted Kingfisher, Northern Flicker, American Crow, Loggerhead Shrike, Red-Winged Blackbird, Common Nighthawk, Poor-Will, Tiger Salamander, Ornate Box Turle, the list goes on. We have a lots of great indigenous species.
If you have any favorites, I’m definitely open to suggestions.
UPDATE: Refining the sketch and playing with brushes. This is my first time working with a Wacom tablet. It is able to capture my mark making really well, the result looks very close to what a sketch with a dip pen and ink looks like. The bison will continue to get better as I get to know the tablet.
Now you can see how changing the colors and motif completely changes the mood while keeping the text block intact.
This would be great for a traditional and refined outdoor wedding. Classy and rustic. I’d probably use GMUND’s Savanna paper for the enclosures or envelopes. Embossed woodgrain paper really complements the texture of letterpress and would highlight the oak leaf motif.