Tuesday, August 4, 2015

A designing process // A brief step by step // New Indian Summer Boho feathers

I love the summer season. I would love to move to a climate in which the temperature is a plus 20 degrees all year long. As some of you might know, my joints are terrible during the colder season so I love focusing on summer. During the winter most of the summer designs take shape. During spring we can see the first sales and see what our most trending themes are.

This year the Indian Summer Feathers were one of our hot selling designs. From Australia to South Africa, this Boho print is now everywhere! But the summer season is not over yet and since nowadays our production process doesn't take 6 months we can add new designs and adept to what's happening quite easily. So this week it was time to add some new feather designs.

Designing on screen can be very annoying. I don't like the digital process all that much but of course, designing on screen is a lot quicker and gives a design a completely different look and feel. I love to create things by hand and need a pencil or brush in my hand at least once a week. Our feather collection contains hand drawn ink illustrations, designs that are completely created on screen but there was no feather print made with watercolors yet. I love using a sharpie to draw but I am too much of a perfectionist to actually like my drawings. Somehow they never seem good enough. By using a brush, a lot of things can happen that are not under your own control. The ink can drip and make little circles, the hair of the brush all go there own way. The end result is a lot more spontaneous and not as crispy clean as an ink pencil drawing.

A brief step by step
To create a pattern the first step is making the first illustrations, paintings or shapes. For the new Boho Feather design I painted a series of different feathers on several pieces of paper. I love to mix lot's of water with the, in this case, black ink to creates shades of gray that make the design more layered. After painting I let things dry for a few hours. The paper can be soaked so I make sure everything is all dry before scanning the artwork.

First I clean the glass plate of the scanner to make sure no extra dust or speckles are scanned. I create a .jpg file that I tweak a little in contrast and color to make the white paper background a crisp white and have a contrasting deep black. I use Photoshop for those little tweaks and adjustments. Usually after that I would trace the image in Adobe illustrator. But since I love the raw touch of the brush, it is hard to convert the image to vector and not loose this particular element I like so much, so for this design I use Indesign. First I cut out every single feather and shape and put them in all in separate documents. That way I can place the image and scale and rotate all feathers separately from one another. By using Indesign it is also quite easy to repeat the print, make it seamless and change the colors. Eventually I export a .pdf document which I check and open in Photoshop and then save as the file needed for production.

So now we have a final digital file. The design is now uploaded into our Shutterstock and Spoonflower libraries and will soon be available on European market as well. Wanna have a piece? Follow us via Facebook and stay up to date about new things that are happening or follow our Instagram feed where you can find some DIY inspiration.