Sunday, October 16, 2011

A few paragraphs about DIGIS...

For those of you who are totally familiar with digital stamps and how to work with them-PLEASE bear with would be amazed at how many people have no idea what a DIGI is or how to use them!

When my friend DEE MORAN first encouraged me to explore selling my artwork as digital stamps I thought it was a silly idea but I quickly joined the camp followers and saw that DIGIS are a great tool for card makers and paper artists.

Rather than store countless boxes of mounted rubber stamps you digitally store a huge amount of images and they are available to you in a variety of sizes and can be flipped, manipulated etc into MANY versions of a single design assuming you have a photo manipulation program.

There was a time when almost every computer came with some sort of bay PHOTOSHOP-Adobe is by far my favorite program perhaps because I have been working with it for so many years and find it wonderfully dependable and use friendly.

They also are very smart people and know that everyone wont invest several hundred dollars in a photo manipulation program so they created Photoshop ELEMENTS (also referred to as baby PHOTOSHOP) readily available for well under one hundred dollars and it has many of the slick tools that the full version does.

A number of artists that I know use either GIMP (a program that is available online free for download) or MS Word-I have little or no info on these programs or how one uses WORD to resize art-so perhaps one pf you brilliant bloggers will write about these programs and send me a link so I can direct people to more info.

I started out doing sheets of images.

I assumed like any ephemera people would want a number of related designs on one sheet that they could digitally cut and paste and then resize.

I was partly right and partly way off and it wasnt too long before people were complaining about having to buy sheets or not being able to use them without printing out the entire sheets...

Never assume...I know that old adage I just , well, assumed...

I would think it would be terribly frustrating to have all these fun images and not be able to separate them and resize them easily...and that's when I assumed that anyone who made these wonderful intricate cards MUST know how to manipulate the art to their own benefit.

I later started adding more single images (bu popular demand) and finally do many more singles than sheets.

By way of a little sneak peek advertising I will be having a new Christmas sheet on the line of my LITTLE BITS OF SPRING but with slightly more intricate designs-I hope to have that up on ETSY about NOV 1, 2011.

So what I do is open a sheet in photoshop and I also open a separate blank file shape sized for printing-often 5 by 5 inches and 300 dpi or some variation thereon.

I then use a cutting tool (like the lasso) to rough cut the image out of the sheet and the MOVE tool to slide it onto the new blank document.

I close the sheet-not saving any changes and immediately make a duplicate of the new file-I learned long ago to ALWAYS work on a duplicate never on the original or even the first copy.

I then use the various tools to resize my image and clean up anything that I might want (or need)to...I could actually colour all or part of my image at this point using the various paintbrush and other colour tools in Photoshop-the logo on my main blog page is digitally coloured.

Since I don't have a tablet or digital brush I have to rely on a wireless mouse and frankly I just don't have the patience anymore so I usually use Prismacolor pencils since I have never been a fan of markers.

My EDT ladies are brilliant with COPICS and I am often amazed that they can get subtlety with them-I myself cannot-its all in the knowing and doing I guess.

Anyway that's pretty much it-open cut slide and size-then you print out your design, colour and use.

Another friend LINDA MARINO who I know from my tole painting days tipped me off to printing on PRESENTATION PAPERS.

These surface come in a wide variety of weights and opacity and can give a project a rich look over some less elevated stocks.

I tried printing of vellum bristol board which can be bought in printed sized reams but the printer version versus the art store version left me disappointed-the print is fuzzy and the designs easily smear...could be a laser printer would be required to get a really good image.

I have enjoyed using printer vellum because of their semi opaque quality-I have never tried the clear overlay/acetate type stocks...not my style, but I love when others use them well.

I hope anyone who has a favorite video tutorial or a site that gives a lot of info about using DIGITAL STAMPS will leave comments below.

I think its so important to share information about the art we do and how we approach each challenge-I am always thankful when people take the time to include detailed product lists and sourcing for their finished projects---I think that's the kind of sharing that all artists should do.

I don't know how long the digital stamps will be popular-as you know I also have some designs in hard stamps that are done by I BRAKE FOR STAMPS-Della does a great job and is so particular about her products so I am proud to have them produce my designs and I know that some of you found me through them and vice versa.

Its been a fun month-I always hate to see October go because it means no more Halloween for a year but Harvest and Christmas come right after-this is my favorite time of the year.

I sponsored a bunch of blog challenges this tear and I believe there is still one more to go from my friends in OZ about the 26th or so-I will [post when I have the details.

Those challenges are a part of the reason for this post-I did sheets for them and found I was having to explain how to take the images apart-its frustrating to win a sheet and find out its really a single sheet not a zip file of singles...

Happy haunting all and be sure to watch for LITTLE BITS OF CHRISTMAS in November-I have my Elite Design Team working as I type-I can't wait to see what they come up with-I loved the projects from the spring sheet.

I will have some of the more popular designs available as singles-and YOU will be voting on which designs you want to see as singles and available separate from the sheet...more later!!!!


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