The latest creation for my store http://www.zazzle.com/bowlermindy is the bowling logo “Spare Me!!!!”. I used illustrator CS4 to create the illustration. I used my new watermark (tutorial last posting) on this piece, and it looks good. I had to adjust the size to cover the whole image but that is quite easy. Just select all and increase the scale. The other thing that I played around with more this time was the gradient. My first images contributed to Zazzle were flat, one dimensional pieces. The Alley Cat redesign also was created using more gradients, and they are beginning to sell as well as the flat design. I think it is a matter of taste whether you prefer the simple flat non-dimensional vector image or the dimensional one. We’ll see how it goes since I have left both on the site as options.
The drop shadow effect was also used on the logo, to create dimension. When you apply this effect, select only the layers or image you want the shadow on. To clarify, if I applied the drop shadow to the whole “Spare Me” logo which I had created in layers, the drop shadow would occur on the eyes, mouth, striping etc. You don’t want this. Select only the layers (ex. the pin body, ball and wording) to apply it to. Do this by locking the layers you don’t want it to affect with the “toggle lock” located on the layers panel. After locking those you don’t want shadowed, use the select all option located under the “select” option at the top of your page. Then open the “effect” tab and select the “stylize” option. From there select “drop shadow.” It will prompt you to “apply new effect” select this and it will then give you adjustment options. Darkness, location etc. play with these options and use the “preview” selection to see how the shadow will be applied. When it is to your liking remove the “preview” check, and apply it. You can always remove it through the discard feature in layers panel if you decide you don’t like it.
One final tip, if you change your work after applying the drop shadow it takes much longer to edit because the shadow constantly adjusts. You might want to turn it off or remove it when editing, or add it when you know you are completely finished with your piece.
Have fun with this option!
I was a little concerned posting my artwork on the internet without a watermark. What the heck is a watermark you might ask. Have you ever taken a closer look at some of the artwork displayed on a site like Zazzle. If you magnify an image on their site you will notice a large “Z” in a circle. Another time you may have seen a watermark may be when have tried to copy a document. Words like void etc. showed up when it was copied. It’s not visible until you make that copy. Well that’s a watermark.
The purpose of a watermark is to discourage theft of an image that you have created. I wanted to create my own watermark to place on the original work I post on the internet. You may want to create your own watermark if you are posting on a blog or anyplace you load an image you don’t want copied. One thing you don’t want to do however, is submit your work with a watermark to a site like Zazzle or Cafe Press, because they wouldn’t be able to sell it in that situation.
Here are the steps for creating a watermark in Adobe Illustrator (my version is CS4):
Create a logo, wording etc. using text shapes etc. Make it large enough to cover your entire image. You want to do this all in black so you can see it.
The next step is to expand the image if you have used strokes (the outlines of objects). This changes all things to fills (the color inside your shapes and art). Do this by selecting all the artwork and selecting the option “expand” in the object tab.
Next if you have used type, select it and navigate to the “type” tab at the top of the program. Select the option “create outlines”. Now your art is made of fills and you can move onto the next step.
At this point select the “transparency” tab on the side panel. You can play with your watermark to determine the transparency you want. You can do this by adjusting the opacity of the object anywhere from one to a hundred, or just select the “soft light” option in the left dropdown box. Either one will work, its your choice. I chose to adjust mine with the “opacity” option.
The last thing you want to do is select all and change your watermark to white. Save it, then test it. Place the watermark on the top of your image and adjust it from there. Everything should look great!
If you’re having problems here is a link that will take you through the steps above in a tutorial online. http://developer.practicalecommerce.com/articles/1399-Tutorial-Protect-Your-Site-Images-With-Watermarks
I know your type! You’re an ARTAHOLIC!
You wheel your cart down the aisle, it doesn’t matter where you are; suddenly nestled next to your milk and bread you have a cartload of glue, paper, paint or perhaps a skein of yarn. You head home, unload your purchases, and stash your haul into your craft cupboard or closet wherever the stuff will fit.
You feel guilt. You didn’t intend to make anything right away, BUT just in case an idea or a project comes along you’ve stocked up. Your three glue guns, 20 bottles of Tacky, and assorted colors and types of paint are on hand and ready.
When you go to a craft boutique you walk away with nothing but sketches on the back of your checkbook and an “I can make that” attitude!
Sometimes it seems you spend more time in the store daydreaming projects than actually doing them! Well I’ll let you in on a big secret; you are not alone!!!
I would be a “Michaels” dream employee. I have done and created almost everything imaginable with the contents of their store, or have it stashed in my closet. In fact, my daughter got a job there a few years back and called me to ask me what a certain item was and where it could be located.
The other day as I “reorganized” the stash I thought, “This would be a great blogging project.” I can utilize the supplies, be motivated to do some unfinished projects, and share ideas and art.
I recently acquired Adobe Photoshop/Illustrator and would love to exchange learning sites and tips with you “pix” and “vector art” addicts. Along with crafts and projects made from the stash.
The name I came up with: PixArtInk.com fits my new project perfectly! As I blog about projects, I will tag them into each category in their respective folder. The Pix folder will be for pictures and Photoshop ideas. The Art will be anything creative from illustrations, home creations, to yarn projects. The ink will be anything that includes wording, scrapbooking, etc.
My site will be under construction for a bit but I am excited to get started!