#SFDesignADay Challenge Days 1-4

Well, if I haven't been blogging this week is because I've been a very busy bee. Spoonflower launched this past Tuesday their Design A Day challenge and I thought it would be fun (and it is!) so I went along and here's a recap of the designs and a little bit of a behind the scenes:

DAY 1 - PENCIL DRAWING

I went old school and started from scratch on the good ol' sketchbook rather than Photoshop or Illustrator. Drew some cute sunflowers, then some other floral/botanical elements and even added a hydrangea in the mix.

Then I outlined and filled some things with a black sharpie to give it nice, clean look. Took a picture with my iPhone, used bluetooth to send it to the computer (I love how easy it is to drag and drop files from the phone to the computer!) and then recolored the image in Photoshop. I chose gold and pink tones, a little red and yellow to tie the design together. I like how cute it turned out! I would so use this for my daughter's bedding/sheets. So adorbs!

DAY 2 - WATERCOLOR

I found an old sketchbook and while flipping through the pages I found an old pattern that I never finished, so instead of doing flowers I painted some really cute fruit. I didn't make the fruit more nature accurate or realistic because the style I was going for was more geared towards children. It was looking really scarce and plain so I added some fun triangles and brush strokes I handpainted as well and the result was a playful and cute pattern - I'm so thinking about making this into aprons for my kids :D

DAY 3 - ABSTRACT

I thoroughly admire designers, painters and illustrators that are versatile and not afraid to explore different things. For example: Tim Biskup!! He started the fun/cute monster and mid-century modern revolution back in the early 2000's and nowadays he's doing more abstract but still puts out some illustrative and typography pieces in his signature style.

I think that going a little out of your comfort zone is not just good for you but a must if you're ever wanting to grow as an artist. It's like learning: there's no end! It doesn't stop - we evolve and our art evolves and that's a good thing. So abstract was something that I was a little intimidated of because I wanted it to still be "me" but not be too geometric and rigid.

This time I opted to just start with doodles. I drew in Photoshop whatever I felt like, just some fluid strokes here and there, fun shapes that are not symmetrical but more organic. Once I finished the doodles I filled them in and played with textures, transparency and placing shapes within shapes. I wanted a bit of a mid-century modern but with soft colors and this is the result.

Tip: For the doodles I used Kyle's Runny Inkers Photoshop Brushes (only $4! You can get them here from Creative Market), specifically, I used my favorite: Blot Blot Bleed (I found out about these from Andrew Kolb's Instagram! He uses them all the time and they're super fun.)

DAY 4 - PRINT BLOCK

BLESS MY HEART! I read the design prompt and it looked super easy and it probably is, but not for me. Took me hours to carve my flowers and it was because I added too many rounded shapes and it is harder (for me) to carve. Also not helping was the fact that I didn't have proper tools but just exacto knives.

I didn't want to spend a lot on this because I didn't want to commit to carving by buying expensive tools so I went to Michaels, got a coupon and used it on the Speedball Speedy block and it ended up being less than $3.50 total! Pros and cons:

Pros: • Stress relief • Best bang for your buck - you can't even buy as many stamps as I ended up making for the price. heck, you can reuse these for fabrics or greeting cards ... very good investment indeed.

• The satisfaction to look at your pattern/stamps and go like "Wow! I made that!"

Cons: • Time consuming

• Possible injuries hahaha (I was carving while homeschooling my children, one asked me a question and I accidentally cut my finger a little. No biggie but that's why you want proper carving tools - don't be a cheapo like me LOL!)

Once I got good samples of the stamps (lots and lots of tries) I changed the colors in Photoshop (no need to add texture, the ink I used gave it a nice texture without me having to do anything. You can also use PicMonkey or something similar if you don't have Photoshop (or get you a trial version of it! It's worth it, really, just try)

So far so good! I'm crossing my fingers that they won't do something crazy like dyes or screenprinting ... stay tuned - still 11 more days to go!

P.S. - All the fabrics here are in my public gallery at Spoonflower, just click on my shop and see "Designs not for sale". I will make them available for purchase very soon. And if you buy one of these fabrics, please know how much hard work went into it, especially the block print one.

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