kawaii

Product Review - Redbubble Totebags

I was finally able to get my hands on a couple items from my Redbubble shop! I bought two of my totes for my kids: the Pretty Kitties tote and the Dinosaurs tote. Here is my daughter's kitty tote:

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I hope you like my photos! Here are a couple of my son's tote:

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Overall, I like the bags. They are not super high quality as I had hoped but for the price they are perfect for my kids to carry around. I had envisioned canvas for these bags (just what I think of when I think of totes) but they are made of a poly-poplin which is a much softer fabric. The bags are lined on the inside with black fabric which is key seeing the outer fabric is not thick.  The printing isn't super sharp but I was surprised that the detail in the texture of the background in the dinosaur tote is legible.

The handles are long. My daughter can get it over her head and shoulder and tote it around like a crossbody bag and I tied the handles on my son's to shorten them. Either way, they work fine and the kids can grow into them. I believe I bought them the 13" version. These can be ordered up to 18" square which seems huge to me!

Final notes, this is a nice bag for the price. I kept the markup low so the price of a 13" square bag is $18.77. It's fun to see my kids carrying around their own bags that I designed especially with them in mind!

Finally, here is my son showing his love of dinosaurs!

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New Owl Pattern

I finally finished something! I always start digitizing a bunch of sketches and end up moving on to something new before finishing the previous project. I'm happy to say I put in the time to finish this project.  I really had fun with this piece.  Originally there were almost 20 owls but only seven made the final cut.  I may do another pattern with more of the other owls later. Cute Owl pattern

Close up of owls

Hopefully you can see in the close ups that I used a lot of different textures and brushes in this piece.  All the elements were originally traced from my initial sketches in Illustrator. I then used some digital brushes I made (altered from the original Illustrator Artistic brushes) and used those to add more natural strokes to different lines.  I imported all the owls and other vector elements into Photoshop as smart objects.  I then started adding noise and textures (this one from Nicky Laatz is great!) and kept tweaking.  If I was just doing a stand alone image to showcase the icons it would probably have been a lot quicker but I decided to create a repeating pattern.

Close up of owl

Close up of other elements

Repeating pattern

Work in Progress - November 1, 2014

Hello all!  I'm currently trying to add more pieces to my online portfolio.  I'm really interested in surface design, whether it be for fabric, paper goods etc so I decided to create more pieces that have elements that can transfer to patterns. I took an old sketch (see this post) and decided I did not like the direction it was going in.  So I decided to start from scratch and digitize straight from the sketch again.  Here is the first version. First version with outlines

The first version has outlines.  I do like the outlines because I feel that it really separates the bugs from the background but I'm not sure if I like how it's working with some of the textured elements. I will probably add more textures to it so if I'm not happy with the interaction right now, not sure if the problem will get worse later.... I'm not sure if the outlines make it look too "cartoony" or if that is a good thing. I guess I'm currently trying out different styles and techniques so I often feel insecure about my work.  Although I love the images I create, I'm not sure if it's just my personal attachment to the pieces or if they really are appealing to other people.

This is the second version:

Second version outline free

I like this one because it feels a little more fresh (not sure if that's the right term). I like how I was able to create negative space in some of the places (using the background color). One problem, again, is that this time I'm not sure it "pops" enough as in the outlined version.  I think the textured areas integrate a little better though.

I do notice that in the second version the eyes do not pop out at me as much which bothers me for some reason.  I guess I feel that eyes in general really have the ability to draw people in.  Maybe I'll have to tweak the colors a little or try some different way to illustrate the eyes.

Either way, I like both versions and will probably work on both to see which one is more successful come completion.  I just enjoy working on the icons.  It's so fun creating the little pockets of patterns and then adding the textured strokes on other areas.  I love Illustrator because you can create very graphic pieces like this one and also much more illustrative work like this.