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.
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 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 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 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.