Tomorrow I’m DJing a wedding so tonight I spent a few hours preparing music, notes and logistics for the equipment. This is normal. I’m in DJ Mode long before the ceremony starts
Sale, Tire, Buttons...
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.
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.
9 States Left...
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.
West Coast Bound...
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.
Mira, mira! I printed the names in 5 different sizes and cut them out to see how they look. They look great! I’ll probably skip the smallest size since it’s not much different than the next size up. Besides that, they’re about ready to print on adhesive vinyl sheets and get turned into stickers.
Almost Almost Done...
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.
Before printing this out I brought the artwork into Illustrator and went through every eye, mouth & nose to clean them up. I also a brought in the vectorized Layla-Mae, instead of the rasterized graphic I'd been using in it's place, so now the name looks way sharper. Tomorrow I'll print smaller versions to see how they look.
These remind of when you’d get your assignment back from the teacher and they marked all the mistakes you made. The best was when you had the opportunity to fix the mistakes and turn it back in for a better grade. That’s basically what I’m doing here. I’m going for that A++++
Edits & Clean 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 finished another round of tweaks. I’m going to print it again tomorrow to see how it looks before moving on.
Layla-Mae & Phoenix Test Prints...
I'm almost done with these. I printed them out in different sizes and scribbled some notes on what needs tweaking. In the end they'll be printed on vinyl stickers.
Back To Work On Hearts & Stars...
I finally got around to filling in the background. Before inking the piece I did a mock-up in Photoshop, printed it out, and made a few edits. When I started I didn't take into account the black space between shapes so some areas barely have any background showing through. My solution was to shave some shapes down to allow more black to come through. I did everything on the photocopy before transferring them to the piece. I also tested Sharpies vs Copic markers on the same photocopy to see which black is blacker. The Copic was just a tiny bit darker so I'm been using that to fill in the background.
EMN Redux vs Original...
Redux on the left. Original artwork on the right.
When I printed the EMN shirts with the original artwork, a lot of the smaller details were washed out or blurry. Now that I'm going to print more I decided to redo the parts of the image that weren't so sharp. I printed the original artwork in black & white on paper then highlighted the parts that came out blurry on the t-shirt. I then digitally made some of those lines thicker and redrew others completely. This should result in a better looking print on the next batch of shirts. I feel like I did what George Lucas did to Star Wars when he released the Special Edition versions of his original trilogy.
I few weeks ago I started wearing a new brand of hoodie that I've never worn before with the intention of using them as blanks for my brand. Here are some of my notes:
It was easy for me to decide which brand blanks I wanted to print on when I made my Frankie Mcfly t-shirts. I had already worn the brand's shirts for years and loved the way they felt and their quality. Now that I'm considering hoodies, I don't have lots of experience with them, or at least any that I absolutely love. The ones I've been using for personal use were good but not great. Today I received a new blank. I'm gonna try and wear it as much as possible and run it thru plenty of washer and dryer cycles for the next few weeks to see how it holds up. I want to make sure this garment is the same high quality as my t-shirts before embellishing it with my work/art/name.