Sunday, July 3, 2016

D is for Dress - Up, about the process.

Well, I've been meaning to post something about the making of D is for Dress up for some time now. It's weird though, I keep feeling like I need some distance from it to really be able to talk about it but  about  2 weeks ago Nick Patton from All the called me to discuss the book for his podcast and that got my brain percolating again. I remembered I had a lot of screen shots and things I collected along the way that might explain my process and inspiration.
First, I started with a different stylistic direction than what I ended up with. I was meaning to create the art with collaged fabrics, as you can see in these two samples. On the first piece I labeled the items of clothing in French, cause french always sounds so much more sophisticated!
(click on the image to see them closer up)

On the podcast I talk about how many dummies had to be done, even for such a simple book. Initially I did this poster, after a of few dummies. I thought it might help to flush out the characters for the book, plus since I license my work to stationery and gift companies I thought a poster would be a fun thing to do anyway. After the made the poster I realized I could try to put some of the poster characters into a new version of the book. Here's a few dummy pages with characters from the poster. Some pages made the cut, others didn't. I liked the "elastics" spread but we opted for "Ensemble and Fabric"in the end.

Also, one of many versions for the cover/endpapers.

Finally, here are some screen shots of the process. I do the art in Photoshop with hundreds of layers. I took the screen shots after about 100 or so layers. I think it helps me to see how the composition is developing. I place the sketch on the top layer and turn it off and on through out, to see where I'm at. Eventually I just keep building the layers. Photoshop is great, I love being able to completely change colors etc. You can see here how I changed the background colors to be brighter and more up beat in the end.

Overall, I do enjoy collaging in Photoshop but I after doing the book I decided to get back to the physical page. I've been really enjoying doing a collage a day in a designated sketchbook and posting the art on Instagram/facebook/twitter. It feels like it forces me to stay close to what interests me. It also reminds me that  I can find something fascinating to explore everyday. Some days I don't like the art I post, others days I do. I think it's good for me to share regardless of how I feel. I know we all struggle with sharing ourselves, so I just want to try to do what I can to push myself. This is my daily meditation so I figure why not try to create a habit that helps remind me that I can find something beautiful in each day.

Link to the podcast.

Link to my shop, with the poster.

Social media links

Chronicle Book's site. You can download a free paper doll dress up kit here, see the link on the page.

and a few pages on my site: