Monday, June 29, 2020

Making Stickers from Your Artwork

Stickers seem to be such a small thing and I realize most artists wouldn't even bother with them but I actually enjoy designing them.  Especially when I'm using my own original artwork in that design. Surprisingly, there are many individuals that really love to purchase and collect stickers and the space needed to store you inventory is really small.  

It was actually my desire to learn to make stickers that was the driving force for me to take the time to teach myself a little Photoshop.  That determination to make myself familiar with this software and the use of Layers, Magic Erasers, Lasso Tools, Magic Wands and  Spot Healing Brush Tools has been instrumental in opening the doors of possibility wide open for my artwork.  

Another BIG advantage that I found with offering up stickers was when it came to the opening of my Etsy Shop.  For your shop to even have a chance at being found in the ETSY SEO searches I'm told you have to have at least 100 listings.  Also, buyers often rely heavily on other customer ratings and the history of sales in a particular shop.  When you are first starting out as an ETSY seller, both of these statistic benchmarks maybe difficult to achieve.  I even read the suggestion that you consider padding your numbers by giving your friends money to purchase inexpensive items on your shop and then give you 5 start reviews just to get you over that "NEW SHOP HUMP".  

Creating stickers was a way for me to increase my number of listings and I found that a buyer was more apt to be comfortable spending $3.50 for an item on my brand new shop then forking over the money to purchase one of my original artworks or even a print from me.  Also, those small sales do add up over time.  For example, I have had $494 in sticker sales on my Etsy Shop from the period of January to May 2020.  There you have it!  One of my ETSY tips for you to consider if you're thinking of trying your artistic hand at opening your own ETSY Shop.

I need to get this post back on track here.  Yesterday, we had the privilege of keeping our 3 darling grandchildren (we now have 11 total).  Little Miss J is 5 years old and loves to spend time with me in my studio.  I jokingly call her my studio assistant in training and so I followed through on a previous promise that I had made to her  that we would turn her artwork into stickers so she could see my Cricut Explore Air 2 in action.

The original art scan after it was cleaned up in Photoshop
She carefully used watercolors to paint these 3 little flower doodles that I helped her create.  They turned out really cute.  When the watercolors were dry, she placed her master piece on the flatbed scanner and we scanned them into Photoshop.  I showed her how to clean up her images using the eraser tool and she did a lot of the editing herself.  Here are the 3 edited flowers.

Next, I created a new Photoshop file that was 6.75 inches x 9.25 inches and had a transparent background. (This is the standard size of the Cricut cut files)  Using the Lasso tool, I selected each flower and brought them over into the new file.  Using the "Stroke" edit function, I created a "white stroke" around each file that was 52 in size.  This gives the white border that all stickers have.   Then using "Ctrl J" (she liked that because her name begins with a J) we copied each flower 2 more times.  I then arranged them on the file so they were not touching.  The result is a sheet full of beautiful stickers.

6.75 x 9.25 PNG file with a transparent background
I then opened  up my Cricut Design Space on my computer and uploaded the PNG image to my projects.  You then select "MAKE IT" and  "Complex" and then create the project.  Now it is time to print out the stickers on matte sticker paper.  For my stickers I'm going to sell on my shop I use a paper made by ROCK.  Here is the Amazon link:  MATTE STICKER PAPER for my ETSY Shop  If I am printing out stickers for my own use (shipping stickers to decorate my orders) I use this less expensive sticker paper.  Here is the Amazon link for that paper also:  SHIPPING STICKER PAPER

I then sent the file to print.  We attached the printed stickers to a cutting matte and loaded them next into my Cricut with the cut setting on "PAPER" so that it would just kiss cut around each sticker.  As you can see by the BIG smile on my Granddaughter's face, she was very pleased and I think I helped make a memory.   

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Going to the Dogs


It seems like my summer is "GOING TO THE DOGS"!  I literally feel that I could just dedicate the rest of my art career to drawing all the different dog breeds.  I have received requests to do; Doxies, Collies, Corgies and Beagles...just to name a few.  All so cute, in their own doggie way and just adorable when added to that well used "Wash Tub" full of bubbles.  

Honestly, I've gotten as much response with my dog drawings as I have with the cow and chicken pieces that I have done. That surprises me a bit, but I guess there really are a lot of "DOG" people out there. 

Meet Ginger
Meet Ginger
Personally, I'm a pet neutral kind of girl.  We do have both a chihuahua mix named Ginger and a 21 year old tortie cat named Pesky that keep us hoping at home.  You can't help but get attached to them, but deep down, I know that I would be okay without owning a pet. 

I'm probably not going to surprise you when I say that, "I do love drawing them."  Now that's my kind of pets.  They make me laugh, they are not problem to clean up after and traveling is a breeze.  I can have an entire barnyard of animals and they are all just hanging out in my sketchbook.  

This past two weeks,  I have had a blast drawing these doggy fur babies and I really appreciate all the positive reaction I have gotten from them.  My Facebook fans are the best!

I have to share so let me introduce the gang.  I have a total of 4 doggy drawings I have finished and just today, I starting my 5th drawing of a beagle and 3 barn cats.  It is going to be so cute.  

All of these are available as prints and note cards on my Etsy Shop .  Hope on over and check them out.
Wash Tub Kids
Scrub Tub Bubbles

Bubbles and Bushy Tails
Soap and Quackers