The dream of selling my own art designs as wall art for children has recently become a reality. This post is an insight into the process of turning my artwork from playgroup paintings to art prints for children’s spaces. I wanted to share my passion and love for what I do along with the time and care I give to each of my designs.
My ideas for pictures come from watching and playing with the little people in my life. I have a ‘little blue book’ that I sketch most of my ideas in. For some however, the ideas are so clear in my mind that I just start painting, cutting and pasting without having to sketch anything.
I then decide which types of colours I want in the design. I check out the pile of my boys’ playgroup paintings (which have now become so much more precious!), gather my paints and create my own messy paintings using colours which I want in the designs that I couldn’t find in the playgroup pile. If my boys are around, they help with this process as well.
While my sheets of colours are drying (sometimes pegged on the clothes line to keep little fingers away!), I paint the background for my scene. This is generally only a few colours like the sea, sky, grass etc.
I then sit down in my amazing purpose-built, spacious, light and child-proof studio (aka dining table) to begin creating. Oh to have the space! The ‘light’ bit is correct as I love looking out the windows into my garden as I’m creating, however as you can imagine, formal dining experiences have been put on hold in our household for the time being!
My theory is that you have to start somewhere. Just because you don’t have the ‘ideal space’, doesn’t mean you can’t make it work. If you are passionate about something, you will make do with what you have.
I then cut out all my shapes by hand. Generally I just cut, as I have a pretty good idea of how I want each piece to be shaped. I don’t want my shapes to be perfect, my intention is for them to appear child-like and fun. After placing all the shapes on my background I then move them around until I am happy with their positions and am ready to start gluing. What you don’t want now is an open window or a curious 22 month old! I have learnt to ALWAYS take a picture on my phone so I know where the bits go just in case! Nothing worse than coming back into the room with all those little pieces all over the floor and mixed in with your cutting scraps.
The gluing is as simple but as painstaking as that. It is done with a Glustik and involves making sure glue covers the entire surface of each shape so it doesn’t curl. There is a process of order. The shapes that sit behind others must be glued first. I then flatten the design using my super expensive wrinkle destroyer (aka phone books and any other heavy book I can find).
Once the artwork is fully dried and flat, I head off to a local Adelaide photographer who specialises in photographing artwork and turning them into prints. This isn’t a cheap process, however you get what you pay for. I consider it an investment! The colour, detail and texture you see in the prints are exactly as you would find in my original.
Once this is complete, I then head to the other side of town to my printer. I made a choice to go local for both the photographing and printing and it’s a decision I don’t regret. Supporting local businesses like mine makes me happy.
Finally, I pick up my prints, and am ready to sell. With no distractions (ha!) this whole process for one print would take about 2-3 days.
So there it is, an insight into process of how my designs are turned into wall art for children. Personal, handmade, unique and fun!