11 December, 2008

Behind the Scenes

When I asked what you would like to see more of on my blog, a couple of readers told me that they'd like to see more about my business, and my creative process. So, here we go! I'm going to show you how my "Artichoke" card came about.

I was inspired by these artichokes from my dad's yard, but I wanted to capture the more classic, pointy artichoke shape.

I started with a photograph of artichokes (top). Then I took the artichoke I like best, and recomposed it on the page. You can see that I had to add a stem to get the look I wanted.

In Photoshop (I know, I know- Illustrator is the proper program to use for these things, but I'm set in my ways), I trace around the different parts of the image to create three separate layers. You can see them all here, lined up.

When they're layered on top of one another, they create my final image.

I then send the files to my good friend Richard, who turns them into negative images on film. He makes plates with a raised image area by exposing photo-sensitive material to UV light, with the negative on top of them. This process is a lot like making a silkscreen, only it's the negative space that gets washed out, as opposed to the positive. There is a separate plate for each color- in this case, three.

He prints the colors one a time on his Windmill press, which runs a lot faster than my little presses! It has little suction cups that pick up the paper, drop it in the press so it gets printed, and then pick it up again.

The cards are then trimmed and scored, and voila! A finished product!

I am going to try and take better pictures when we print next year's collection (in the spring), and do another post then. (In general, I spend most of the year working on my designs, and then we print them in time for the National Stationery Show in May.) In the meantime, I hope this gives you a better sense of how my cards are made! In the next week or so, I'll post some more pictures of the rest of my operation.

1 comment:

Bubeau said...

Wow, cool! I was totally wondering this!