How To: The Process

I really love reading other artists blogs about their creative processes and inspirations, so today I am going to share with you how I design and create my How-To’s for the wonderful Kit Magazine.

My 10th How-To is out today, and you can catch up with all my previous How-To’s here and here.

Step 1: Layout

While my How-To’s are a digital product, I always start them with a quickish pencil sketch on calligraphy paper to get the rough layout.

Step 2: Inking

Now to go over the pencil in ink.  I always use Windsor and Newton Indian ink, and this time I am alot more precious about what I’m doing. I will be scanning the illustration later and editing it, but really it has to be as perfect as possible before it goes into the digital realm.

Step 1

Step 3: Editing

After scanning as a high-res image, the piece gets a quick edit and tidy-up in Photoshop. Upping the contrast will ensure it becomes the best vector it can possibly be.

Step 4: Vectorising

Now for Illustrator. I trace the B&W image into vector shapes, then ungroup everything so every letter and component is an individual piece (this helps me to colour the illustration). I re-group any components that relate to each other, such as the different instructions, title, background and illustrations, then organise them to separate layers.

Step 4

Step 5: Editing Again

Everything has to be looking neat(ish), so I zoom in on any odd looking pieces and reshape or delete anchor points, which can be quite hard on the ole eyes. I will also need to copy and repeat shapes sometimes, such as the tie dye pattern on the woman’s shirt, which were copied from 2 small sketches of circles.

Step 5.5

Step 6: Colouring!

This is my favourite part. I play around with a few colours, using a limited palette of 7 complimentary colours, while also ensuring the How-To is legible (as some are quite text heavy). I want the piece to be colourful and fun so I’ve used hot pinks and oranges, and I’ve given the piece a light background with a subtle polka dot pattern. I then drop in my signature and I’m done.

And that’s How-To a How-To.

Polka-dot

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