I finally got around to taking pictures of my Frankie Mcfly USA prints. The pics are for my online store, I just haven't added them to the site yet. I also created a printable form to log every print that goes in or out. I use something very similar for my t-shirt inventory. There are currently 5 different flavors of the Frankie Mcfly USA map as seen in the animated gif below.
Today I placed an order with the printers for my first batch of Frankie Mcfly USA prints. I included a few simple colorways in the order for fun. I can't wait to finally pick up the prints and get them out to people.
I made a sale yesterday! A heather gray shirt with the pink SAN JOSE print on the front. I packaged it today. I usually do a hand drawn Thank You card but this is for a friend and repeat customer so I did something a bit different as a surprise. I can't show you what I did till she receives her order and sees it first.
In other news I found that my bike's rear tire is rubbing against the frame when I ride. I was wondering what the strange sound was and I didn't know where it was coming from till today. I'll be taking it to Good Karma Bikes soon so they can fix it.
I also made some new buttons. The colors still need a little tweaking on a couple but they're looking pretty cool
I picked up the USA map proofs this afternoon. I really like the 11x14, (smallest size) but the colors on the 16x20 and 24x36 are dull by comparison. The two big ones were printed using a wide format printer and cost a lot more too. I'm going to keep looking for a better solution for the large prints but start selling the 11x14 right away. I just need to look into shipping materials and postage costs.
Today I went to Big Ink Printing in San Jose to get quotes on printing my USA map. It was my first time there and I saw one of my stickers slapped on their front desk. Patrick, my buddy who printed them for me, had them made at Big Ink. I ordered some print samples of my map in different sizes. I'll get them in the next couple days.
I worked a little bit on my Sticker Monster piece and finished the teeth. I took pictures of the tracing & cutting process as seen in slideshow below. I'm gonna work on the tongues next.
Tonight I finally finished smoothing out every letter of every state of my US map design. The map was drawn by hand in Adobe Fresco on the iPad using the Apple Pencil. If you looked closely you'd see all the jagged lines. To fix that I spent the last few days tracing every path using the Smooth Tool in Adobe Illustrator. It not only smoothed the lines, it also removed a crap-ton of unnecessary anchor points. In the end I brought the file size down from 2.9 MB to 896 KB.
I didn't spend much time on the map today but I did finish North Dakota, New Mexico & Colorado. All that's left is: Arizona, Utah, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Nevada, California, Oregon & Washington.
Almost there. Still cleaning up the design by smoothing out the paths and removing unnecessary anchor points. This sucker is 12 states away from being print ready.
Today I learned about the Smooth Tool in Adobe Illustrator CC. It smooths out jaggy lines (paths) and gets rid of a lot of unnecessary anchor points which is what I need for the drawings I make on the iPad. Using the Smooth Tool, with a mouse, on my US map would be a nightmare so I downloaded Astropad which turns my iPad & Apple Pencil into a graphics tablet & stylus to control my laptop. This sped up the process significantly and I’ve now cleaned up 22 states. I’m almost halfway done.
The work on this map never ends! I want to make prints but need to make sure the artwork is print-ready so I’m going thru every letter of every state to make sure the lines are clean, not jaggy, and there are no artifacts or holes. So far I’ve done Alaska, Hawaii, Maine & Rhode Island. Only 46 more states to go!
I went back to Casitas de Esperanza on Friday, not to work on the map mural but for their Easter event. It was open to all Amigos de Guadalupe residents They provided food for all guests and an Easter egg hunt & toy donations for the kids. Right before they released the kids to go hunt for Easter eggs the staff used my map to help line them up based on age. It made me so happy to see the map being used and to see all the kids running around having fun. I posed for a few pictures while was there too.
It never is but I’m walking away from this now. I would have liked to have washed it to get all the red chalk dust off of it, and to have spent more time cleaning up letters with the white paint as well. On Friday they’re having an Easter event, and I have a dentist appointment, so I had to wrap it up Thursday night.
Crap! I forgot to post on Wednesday. Here are pictures of the Alaska stencil before getting chalked, after getting chalked and then primed with a white base coat before getting colored.
Aside from a bit of touch ups and a good cleaning, the contiguous United States are done. I still need to lay down Alaska, and color in Hawaii to be officially done-done. In a few days Casitas de Esperanza is having their first annual Easter egg hunt, for all the kids housed via Amigos de Guadalupe, and they’re accepting donations for pre-filled Easter eggs. I bought a bag of plastic eggs and chocolate candies and loaded them up. I also drew a different smiley face on a each egg.
Another fun, busy and productive day working on the map. My friend Catrina came to help paint then my other friend, Carolina, came and she brought her goddaughter, Natalie. Alex, one of the staff members at Amigos de Guadalupe, hung out and gave us a hand too. We made so much progress and we’re a lot closer to being done.
We had 5 volunteers today to help us with our murals. We covered a lot of ground, no pun intended. I was so busy I forgot to take pictures but we did stop for a pizza break. Tomorrow I’m hoping to finish painting the top half, lay down the stencil for the bottom and Alaska and start painting some more.
I had a few volunteers help me paint today and we still didn’t get far. I thought the whole top half was going to be finished and the bottom half chalked by the end of the day. The asphalt is really difficult to paint with a brush and the mini rollers work better but some letters are too small for the roller. There was a fair amount of trial and error today. I hope I can finishing painting the top half tomorrow and be 100% done by Monday night.
I didn’t start painting today after some difficulty laying out the first stencil. It was too windy to lay out both so I only did the top half, and by the time I finished chalking it was almost quitting time. I learned the kids were still walking & playing on the map even though I put cones and caution tape up last night so I tonight I covered the the chalked area with a few tarps and taped & weighted it down the best I could. I want to get in early Saturday and start painting the top half before chalking & painting the bottom.
Another busy day! This morning I went to Local Color to pick up and pounce the missing piece of the map that didn’t print last time. At home I cut the new pieces and taped them to the main stencils. Later, I went to Home Depot for some supplies before going to Casitas de Esperanza and priming the Hawaiian islands with white paint. I’m hoping that on Friday I can start painting the states in color after making another stencil transfer.
Another busy day working on my map mural. I taped the long printouts that I pounced yesterday into a couple larger, and slightly easier to manage, sheets. I then packed them in the car, along with other gear and paint, and drove them to the Casitas site where we’re painting the playground murals on the ground. Carman and Emily both helped me line up the two extra large sheets, weigh them down so they wouldn’t fly away, chalk the perimeter of the map and paint the base layer. I was so busy I didn’t take pictures of the process. Tomorrow, with a little help, we’ll set the stencil again, chalk the whole thing and hopefully start to paint the states in color.
Today at Local Color, Ben from Brush House printed out my map on 5 long sheets of paper and trained me how to operate an electro-pounce to make a stencil. I took me about 8-9 hours to finish. Now I gotta assemble the stencil and hope that tomorrow, when I hit it with powdered chalk, I get a good transfer on the coarse asphalt.
I burned the midnight oil getting this done. Later, I gotta figure out how I’m gonna transfer the image on to the asphalt to start painting. As of right now I’m planning on a large print then pouncing holes in it to make a stencil. For now I’m gonna take a nap.
I had a late start again tonight and only vectorized 7 states. Earlier today I picked the 5 different color paints I’ll be using and made a color mock up.
It’s got nothing to do with them ending their mask mandate early. Instead it’s fitting the name into the shape of the state, and making it look good. As you can see in the previous sketches below, it’s already gone through a couple revisions. I’m not 100% in love with the current version so it might get changed again before I’m done.