It's Here!! Clip Art 101: From Start to Finish

I am so excited to announce that my new eCourse will be launching this January!! If you know how to doodle and have wanted to learn how to turn your own drawings into digital clip art you can use or sell, then this course is definitely for you! 

Clip Art 101: From Start to Finish is a self-paced, online course that will help you bring your own ideas and artwork to life. I’m going to teach you what tools and programs to use, how to create digital clip art from your own sketches, and how to start a business selling clip art online. I will show you my unique process for creating clean lines with high resolution and how to use Adobe Photoshop as if you were painting on paper or canvas using my painting techniques. 

What’s Covered in this Course?
This course is separated into 8 main modules or weeks of content, each with 5 to 6 individual lessons. Each Module (or week) includes printable lessons, videos, resources, exercises, and weekly challenges to show off your work and talk about what you learned. I will have a private Facebook group and online forum for those taking this course in order to ask questions, share work, and connect with other members.

You will learn new techniques through each module and continue to grow as an artist!  I would love to get 1000 people signed up and ready to get started before October. I am looking forward to starting the group forum and private Facebook Group early for those who sign up before October. Early birds will get an exclusive look into the process of putting these videos together and will get sneak peeks into much of the content before it goes live in January. See the images below for sample modules and lessons that will be included.

Module 1: Getting Started
Learn the very basics of what you need in order to create high quality digital clip art.  I will give you an in-depth look into the tablets and graphic display monitors that I use and why I chose to use them. We will also look at alternatives that are comparable for those on a tight budget. You will learn the Photoshop interface and how to customize it for creating clip art. 
Module 2: The Sketch
Learn how to improve your sketches so that you save time transforming your original drawing into a digital clip art image. You will also learn the simplest ways of scanning your original art and enhancing those scanned images to improve the quality of your finished line art. I am all about teaching you techniques to help save time. 

Module 3: Line Art
Learn my unique processes of transforming pencil sketches, marker sketches, or even digital sketches into clean and smooth line art. If you plan to enlarge your images or format them for web design, then making sure your line art is clean is absolutely a must. 

Module 4: Adding Color
Learn the basic of adding color using the standard tools in Photoshop. You do not need to be a painter or skilled artist to drop some color into your images, however, you do need to know how to effectively choose your colors and improve the look of even the most basic images. 

Module 5: Natural Painting
Learn to create and use custom brushes to give your finished art a realistic painted look. I will teach you some of my techniques and provide you with a set of my favorite custom made brushes for you to practice with. For those using a Wacom Companion or Graphic Display monitor, I will show you how to get an even more realistic finish on your art by using the advanced settings and custom tool presets instead of custom brushes. 

Module 6: Style
Learn how to find your own unique style and how to continue to grow and challenge yourself as a digital artist.

Modules 7-8: Business Part 1 & 2
Learn everything you need to know to begin selling your clip art images online. From how to create a preview and how many images to include to pricing and terms of use. If you do not plan on selling your clip art online, these two modules will still be a great bit of knowledge you can use.  

As most of you already know, I love to mentor new artists and I really love to teach. This is a way for me to mentor, teach, and a chance to share my knowledge. I can't wait to get started and watch all of you grow -  because there is no better reward than to help others achieve their goals and watch them blossom.  Please help me to spread the word and get as many people signed up. 

Download my FREE course overview HERE.

The complete course will be available on January 15th, 2016. Pre-order before October 31st, 2015 and save $75 on the complete program. Click the image below to sign up now. I look forward to getting to know all of you and I hope you are all as excited as I am for this new adventure!!

Custom Blog Designs: Time to Show Some of My Work

I am way over due to show you some of the designs I have completed over the past couple of months, so I am going to post a few of them below and I will try to post more in the weeks to come. I also have a little freebie set for you to enjoy at the very end. 

With each and every design, the client drives the inspiration and direction of the design. Each person I have had the honor of working with brings their own unique vision to the mix - and that is what makes creating these designs so much fun! Each design turns out completely unique and I love getting the opportunity to work with so many amazingly creative ladies and gents!! 

First Up.... Get Your Teach On
I actually get a chance to work with Deanna quite a bit and I just love when she has a project for me to do. This website had to be finished and up and running in a couple of days and I was up for the challenge, of course. Keep in mind that they had all of the colors and design ideas already prepared when she contacted me. I had the honor of meeting Hop King in person this past July in Vegas.. and what an AMAZING person she is!! I have really enjoyed getting to know these ladies. Make sure to check out their website and sign up for their conference in Orlando. I believe the space is limited and there IS a discount if you register early.... Who wouldn't want to get a chance to meet these two power-houses in person!!  Click on the image below to check out the site. 

Next up.... Is Jen Martel from Miss Martel's Special Class!  Click on each of the blog buttons below to check out the blogs below. Jen had a very cute vision for her design and I loved getting to do something nautical!! I grew up by the beach and I really miss the ocean. While working on this design, I couldn't help but imagine being at the beach everyday... maybe that is why I took a little longer than I should have finishing it.. haha... Actually, life - family and Vegas got a little jumbled and put a strain on my productivty - but I managed and my clients were the best!! 

I can't say enough good things about Michelle from Fabulous in First. Her design makes me feel calm and welcome and I just LOVE how it turned out. She was so patient and kind during the process and her vision really ended up translating into such a beautiful custom blog design.

And last, but certainly not least.... is Lindsay Jervis' blog, the Kodaly Inspired Classroom. Before doing this design, I had NO IDEA what Kodaly even meant. It was not a word that had entered my vocabulary and I had to Google it before I set up her phone conference. I don;t think I ever even admitted that to her..haha. I got a chance to give Lindsay a HUGE hug in Vegas this past July... I wish I would have snapped photos of every person I have worked with over the years while I was there!! Next year... I plan to make a board in my office that I can be proud of. Everything I do is digital, so I often forget how much I have accomplished over the years. I do get many emails from clients who tell me that their designs increased their traffic, motivated them to consistently blog, and made them feel unique, but I  rarely get a chance to meet everyone in person and put a face to the names. 
Even though the background on this design took quite a while to paint, I just love how it turned out. I had a hard time with creating just the right type of silhouette for this design, so we actually turned to another designer for those - and I think it turned out just lovely!!

P.S. If any of you have never heard of the Kodaly Method before.. here is the definition copied and pasted directly from Wikipedia (I provided the source link below):

The Kodály Method, also referred to as the Kodály Concept, is an approach to music education developed in Hungary during the mid-twentieth century by Zoltán Kodály. His philosophy of education served as inspiration for the method, which was then developed over a number of years by his associates. 

I hope you have enjoyed looking at these new designs as much as I enjoyed creating them... you can check out all of my work from my online portfolio on my website by clicking HERE.  It has been a while since I updated my portfolio, but I plan to do that some time today. 

FREE on TpT just for YOU!! Thank you so much for all of your support and love over the years!! I hope you can use these in your own creative work! Click the image below to grab this free set of digital papers from my Teachers Pay Teachers Shop...

Photoshop Tech Tip: How to Reduce Photoshop PSD Files w/out Using Compression Tools

As a gal with nearly a million design files to keep track of, it is vital that I do whatever possible to save hard drive space. I keep all of my files on external hard drives and backed up on my OneDrive account, but I hate the thought of so many unused files taking up tons of space. Many of my design files can reach beyond over 100MB, so finding little tricks to save space can be exciting.

While working on a file, and completely by coincidence, I discovered a way to reduce the size of my psd files without doing anything, but adding a layer within the file!! I had no idea I could do this, so I figured some of you might also benefit from this little gem of a tip I discovered.

For the tip below, I am going to use the exercise files I created for the TpT Conference in Vegas this past July. I did not have time to share these slides during either one of the sessions, so I thought I would share the tip right here with all of you. 



In Windows, use the shortcut key (as seen in the image below) to add a new layer. 
For Mac users:  SHIFT + CMD + N

You may also choose to use the tools menu at the top {Layer > New} or follow the arrows below to take advantage of the mini layer tool menu.


Once you save the file, go back to the folder where you have it saved and highlight the file to see how much space you just saved!! VOILA!! 

If you were not able to attend my session at the TpT Conference in Vegas this past July - do not worry friends!! For a limited time, I am offering the digital version of the session (including all of the bonus materials) from my website for only $25.00. The tutorial is for artists already familiar with using Photoshop, but want to learn how to improve their line art.

Click on any of the images to learn more about what's included in the Digital Version of my TpT Session. Stay tuned for my video workshop series and pre-registration pricing coming soon!! 

Have a happy Wednesday everyone & thank you for learning with me! I would love to learn about some of the tips you "accidentally" stumbled upon as well. Leave your comments below and I look forward to chatting with you!

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