One of the reasons for making a zine is to sell merch. I’ll need at least one page dedicated to my t-shirts, prints & stickers. Tonight I was trying to come up with a cool layout based on the alien/space theme. It’s not quite there yet.
I dropped off one package (a couple prints) at the post office this afternoon and was reminded that the mailers don't fit inside the mailbox slot in the drive-thru so I had to go inside to drop it off. Then I went to deliver a t-shirt order across town. (Usually if the shipping address is close by and I can leave the package in a safe location, by checking Google street view maps first, then I'll deliver the order myself.) Today I left the package on a front porch behind a statue. I took a pic (obviously) so I could email it to the customer and let them know their order has been delivered and where to find it.
Tonight I got all my black 1.0 shirts back from the printers, finished, and a few of the pre-orders & customs too. I'm still waiting on a shipment of blanks to arrive before I can take them to get printed. Today I also picked up the Frankie Mcfly USA maps I reordered in every colorway. I also printed some Frankie Mcflyers at home. All this is for Friday's Street Mrkt & Art Walk where I'll be vending my usual gear.
I spent the day preparing for Sunday's Rose, White & Blue event. I pulled everything from my checklist of stuff, built a display for my buttons (pictured below) and framed all 5 FRANKIE MCFLY USA print colorways. Everything took longer than anticipated and I didn't do a full set up of my booth at home to see how it'll look. Hopefully there's no issues at the event tomorrow when I set up the new displays & merch for the first time. Either way it's gonna be fun and I can't wait to be out there.
....F R A N K I E.
The red & blue USA prints give me an Alpine White kind of vibe. They remind of the Nestle candy bar wrappers from the 80s. I should do an Alpine White version of the map with a white background and blue states to make it a complete set.
I dropped off the first couple prints at the post office today! One's off to Sunnyvale and the other to Salinas. I also delivered one print myself, here in town. I needed some "Do Not Bend" stickers so I made a quick design and printed them on some Avery labels I had laying around. I really like the way they came out!
You might have seen it on your way in. If not, go check it out. (just click on the images below) I also created a contact form for anyone interested in bulk pricing, custom color combinations and mural opportunities.
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.
It's Memorial Day. Nothing artsy fartsy to report on. Tomorrow I'll resume my quest to conquer the world! In other words, I'll get back to working on the prints and other shit I've put off this holiday weekend.
Last night I ordered the supplies to package & ship 11 x 14 prints. First up is glassine paper. This goes over the face of the print so it doesn't get scratched. I went with paper, instead of plastic sleeves, to protect the artwork. It arrives in a couple days. Next are the rigid cardboard mailers for sending prints via mail. I bought prints from a friend and this is what he used. They look like they can take a beating. Unfortunately they don't arrive for at least another week. The last items are the white paper envelopes for local pickups and deliveries. They arrive tomorrow. They're flimsy compared to the brown mailers and the prints would get damaged if I mailed them in these envelopes without extra reinforcement. Which I might have to do till the mailers arrive. Next up is to order the the first run of prints and list them for sale on my online store.
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 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.
I vectorized a few more states today. Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico & North Dakota are done.
I’m finally getting around to vectorizing & finalizing my US map design. Afterwards I’ll need to figure out the best way to transfer the design to asphalt to paint into a playground as well as making prints to sell.
The Layla-Mae & Phoenix sticker sheets are ready to print! I’m waiting on the client (my cousin) to let me know how many of each he wants. Then I’ll print them out on adhesive vinyl sheets, cut them and mail them out. While I’ve been waiting I pulled out the spare Raspberry Pi, attached to a 7” touchscreen, that I had laying around. I installed the latest OS and managed to get Disney+ to run on it, but not very well. I also tried installing Retropie, to play old school video games, but had no luck getting that to work. I’m on the lookout for something cool to with my second Pi computer but everything is either lame or above my skill level.
I keep saying that about this project. I printed both pieces after going over them with a fine tooth comb and cleaning up all the little imperfections. They look super crisp at full, half & quarter sheets. I want to see how small I can print them so I'm waiting on my printer to spit out the 6-up & 9-up sheets. It's taking forever so I'm going to bed. They should be ready when I wake up.
I’ve been making edits to the EMN Layla-Mae & Phoenix artwork based on the notes I scribbled after printing them out a couple times now. Some details were too small or busy and had to be made bigger and more defined. I’ve also been going around erasing a bunch of thin slivers which are partially erased brush strokes. They’re so thin they’re practically invisible on screen but on paper they print out as black marks and they’re all over the artwork. Going forward, I gotta be better about drawing & erasing so I don’t have to comb thru the whole image at the highest zoom setting looking for tiny blemishes that can ruin a print.
I recently bought prints from local artist homie, Eddie Ramirez, and the package arrived today. My drawing desk was the only available space that wasn’t cluttered so I opened it there and took advantage of the mounted camera & lights by filming an unboxing video. I think unboxing videos are lame in general but I thought, “what the heck?” I need to get more use out of my rig and was planning on sharing pictures of Eddie’s prints on Instagram anyways. Two birds, one stone. The three prints are of local San Jose retail store signs that have been around for as long as I remember.
Check out Eddie’s work at eddieramirezart.com and on Instagram @eddieramirezish