Behind the Scenes | The Evolution of a Greeting Card

Alcohol inks

Behind the creation of my greeting cards is a whole of hard work, perseverance and love. My intention to create gorgeous, vibrant, colourful and memorable cards is not something I do lightly. The process is long and laborious (always taking way longer than I think it will!) but in the end, after producing a whole new range of glorious, rainbow greeting cards, I believe it’s totally worth it!

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Rainbow butterflies – CLICK TO BUY

It begins with creating the artwork with alcohol inks, either on Yupo paper or ceramic tile. For this particular range of cards, I wanted to create a rippling rainbow border with a plain white centre, onto which I could write a variety of phrases. This in itself was a labour of love, as creating ripples with alcohol inks is not as easy as it looks. Like anything, it has been a massive learning curve and has required much persistence and trial and error, and then some more trial error!

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This particular piece was created with my favourite rainbow palette of alcohol inks: Pinata Magenta, Ranger Sunshine Yellow, Citrus and Mermaid, with the help of my trusty hairdryer!

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Once the artwork is complete, I scan it into my computer at high resolution (600dpi) with my beloved Canon scanner. It’s then ready to play with in Photoshop!

Any smudges are cleaned up and all micro-hairs and specs of dust are removed. This is again another lengthy process and involves zooming into the image and utilising the ‘clone stamp’ tool in Photoshop. I actually love this process, despite it taking ages, as for me it’s like magic! One minute the inks are full of microscopic fluff and blemishes, the next minute they’re gone, with a simple click of the mouse!

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Rainbow Birthday – CLICK TO BUY

Once that’s all done it’s time to add the text. For this, I use free downloadable fonts from a variety of websites. I make sure any fonts I use are allowed for commercial use.

For half this range, I also included some multi-coloured butterflies from a really old vintage butterfly book I bought for 30p. Again with the magic of Photoshop, I colour-matched each butterfly with the inks and created a mixed-media collage.

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Dream Big – CLICK TO BUY

Once the designs are all complete, I align each one with my back cover design, convert the colours from RGB to CMYK (which always breaks my heart a little, as the colours dull ever so slightly!) and then they’re ready for printing.

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All my cards are professionally printed on high quality, glossy, laminated card and can be purchased individually or 3 for 2. ❤

 

 

 

 

A Liquid Rainbow | Alcohol ink art

Commissions

A couple of weeks ago whilst on holiday I received a message from a lady on Etsy asking if my rainbow print could be enlarged. Hell YES it can!!

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She said she was looking for rainbow coloured art and wanted something that could elicit a happy cheerful feeling and after four days of searching and viewing 4000+ art works from different websites she found me! My artwork was ‘the first one that spoke to her’ and when she found out I could produce an enlargement, she was sold. She was excited, and I was way more excited! Especially because she lives in CALIFORNIA!!

I always scan my artwork at 600dpi with my beloved Canon 9000F Mark II so enlargements are possible without compromising the resolution. The file is then adjusted in Photoshop (exposure, brightness, contrast etc) and it’s good to go! I use a professional printers for all my print work, as the quality of their prints is superb and their colour reproduction is just perfect. Alcohol inks come in the brightest, most beautiful, vibrant colours and it’s fundamental for me that these are reproduced identically.

This enormous print measured 21 x 42″! And as it was being guillotined I couldn’t resist taking a few photos!

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And when I got home, of course be photographed with the print, to illustrate how big it actually is!

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Rolling this beauty was a whole new challenge for me. I’d never rolled anything so big, and have had trouble in the past creasing prints trying to ram them into tubes that were too narrow! This required a lot of patience, a lot of self-belief and a lot of positive self-talk (“I CAN do this” etc!) and with some brown Kraft paper – courtesy of Hobbycraft – and several sheets of acid-free tissue paper, I breathed deeply and rolled.

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It was then placed into a 27″ long tube with a 3″ diameter (essential to have a wide aperture) and some bubble wrap to prevent the edges being bashed around, addressed and sent off via Royal Mail to California! Hopefully once it arrives my client will photograph it on her wall and I can share the photo here 🙂

Until then, here’s a mocked up version of what it could look like!

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As always, I welcome any commissions or enlargements of my work. Please get in touch if you too would love a custom piece for your home, office, cafe or hotel. Contact livilollipopart@gmail.com

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Mermaid & Wild Plum | A colourful commission

Commissions

Having only been creating art with alcohol inks for a few short months, I was absolutely delighted to receive such a wonderful commission! My client wanted four prints in turquoise, purple and pink on which to place four sparkly gold letters – the initial of each of her family’s names.

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These four pieces were produced using Pinata and Tim Holtz Ranger alcohol inks on yupo paper, then scanned at high resolution and printed onto beautiful, glossy satin paper. Colours used were Wild Plum, Mermaid and White.

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As always, the motion in the inks is truly mesmerising. Magical. How can anyone not fall in love with them?!

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Alcohol inks have a mind of their own and that’s the beauty of working with them. It’s essential to find a balance between allowing them to do their thing, and guiding them gently to achieve certain textures and patterns.

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It’s much harder than it looks, and often the fruits of my labour are far from impressive! I therefore crop sections of bigger pieces and enlarge these to create a whole new piece!

Once the prints had been made, I carefully placed the glittery gold letters in opposite corners. Aligning them all perfectly was pretty tricky, but I think I achieved it!

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Each 9 x 9 inch print was then framed in a beautiful lovingly crafted real wood, real glass frame. I currently use the wonderful Banana Shed Framing Company for all my frames, as Kitty’s craftsmanship is just exquisite!

As a set, I was absolutely thrilled with the result. Looking forward to many more commissions to come!alcohol inkART 12