1. First I started with a sketch. I usually sketch in pencil first, so I have some flexibility to refine the idea. When its close to where I like it, I’ll use fine tip inking pens to darken in and refine the details.
2. Then I’ll take a few photos with my iPhone. From there I can grab the photo I like best from iCloud and import it into adobe illustrator so I can recreate the art. I’ll start off by using the imported photo as my bottom layer base. I increase the contrast of the photo so its easier to see the original line work. Then I’ll digitally trace over all the lines and shapes till everything is made of shapes and lines that I can color or adjust anyway I like.
3. Below is the first pass with and without the original drawing underneath. You’ll notice this is starting to take on a different look. I’ve balanced out the design by creating the details I like on the left side and duplicating and flipping that over to create a balanced right side. I’ve also removed a few details and added a few others that were not in the original sketch.
4. Once the outline and structure are formed I added in some additional coloring. Originally I thought the skull would be a cream color, with green leaves on the side with the fox head and tail in red. Once I tried this and several other color combinations, I realized what I like best was the simpler one color design. This is the big advantage of now having a digital file. I can modify any line color or weight, quickly try different color combinations, add and subtract shapes, all of which can be done quickly and easily when you have a digital file to work with.
5. I decided to add in a thick orange border and some orange finishing details. After spending some time noodling the details I was satisfied. I was ready to send my files to be printed! I send my stickers over to Stickermule. The quality, prices and customer service are excellent. Their process of submitting files is quick and easy. They also accept multiple file types and will even help make your sticker printer ready if there’s any problems with your file. They also have a great community where you can buy and sell stickers or just browse around and get inspired by all the awesome creations other sticker artists are posting. I’m really happy with the final sticker design and I can’t wait to get my stickers from Stickermule . Once I get them back I’ll post a follow-up.