Yes, I realize this bunny bears no mask. I drew him on a whim with my mouse as I was showing a friend about masking layers in Photoshop and how it can help her with a project she’s working on. Starting out, I said, “I’m going to draw something really lame now.” But as we worked on the colors, his little crooked self kind of grew on me. Anyway, thought I would share.
Masks are excellent shortcuts for coloring lined art. Make a separate layer for each color and brush it in. (Don’t forget to label them appropriately and group as well if you have a lot of elements on the same file.) Then magic wand the line art area on the line art layer. Switch to the color layer, click the mask icon and viola! Your colored splotch is now trimmed up.
Once the final logo was approved for RFBC’s youth ministry, Unashamed, I got to work on creating a social media set for their Facebook and Twitter platforms, which were yet to be launched at the time.
Facebook Cover Image
Facebook Profile Pic
Twitter Profile Background
Twitter Profile Pic
Social media is an essential part of connecting with your target market, and it doesn’t hurt to look good while you’re doing it!
I’ve been working my way through the Merlin series (2008-2012, BBC) on Netflix and a particular image of Merlin caught my eye. Since I’ve been wanting to practice my vector art skills, I tried making a bit of fan art after a long evening of working on logos and flyers for clients. It was a fun experiment, and I rather like the way it turned out.
I could probably do a bit more to it, but when the time is 3 AM and one has to get up at 6:30 AM, then one must call it quits when the image is good enough to stop. After all, like many artists, I could fiddle all day with a project and never be satisfied.
One of my web hosting clients wanted to re-brand his site to fit with an advertising campaign that would be running in the next week. He needed a “quick logo design” to fill in until he had time to really think about what he wanted for the official logo. We met and talked about what he was looking for—something very simple, clean, and to the point. He had a rough idea and sketched it out. My first draft was a winner:
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The editor at Blogos.org requested another graphic to go with an article on their site. The topic was “toxic thoughts”, so this is what I came up with. All images were drawn or created by hand in Adobe Illustrator. A dear friend loaned me her Bamboo tablet, which I used to draw the hand drawn images and scribbles–so much easier than using a mouse to draw! Here’s the article where the illustration was used: Toxic Thoughts by Susan Lockhart.
Rockwall Friendship Baptist Church requested a logo design for their children’s ministry, but they weren’t sure what they wanted, only that it should have the ministry’s name, RFBC Ark, in it and be themed with Noah’s Ark. I hand drew this logo design in Adobe Illustrator and submitted it as a first draft. I was delighted to receive an “approved” email the very next day! Love it when I can hit on exactly what the client envisioned on the first try.
NOTE: The “wood grain” design was a hand drawn element as well, modified from this tutorial from Vector Diary. I added the oval “knots”, which I think give the wood grain look a nice authenticity. It also works great in black and white because it could easily pass for zebra stripes.
To make a hashtag, simply add a # sign before the thing you wish to tag. Example: #hashtagexample – If you want to tag something longer than one word, there can be no spaces. Usually, they are all lowercase letters, unless it becomes hard to read. Example: #AskAlice vs. #askalice
Hashtags are useful in two ways:
- First and foremost, they are helps to aid when people are doing searches for tweets/posts about a certain subject. Example: “What would #Jesus say about #marshmallows?” would show up in someone’s search for “Jesus marshmallows”. Hashtags are the things that “trend” on Twitter.
- To be used as an aside, usually snarky or sarcastic but often honest. This is a use popular with younger generations. Example: Going to watch movies and eat ice cream all night. #soworthit
Hashtag positioning, two choices:
- Within the sentence, which some people find kind of annoying. Example: “Want to learn some tips about #healthyliving?”
- At the end of the post, which is less annoying but takes up more characters. Example: “Learn 10 tips to start eating healthier today! #healthyliving”
Try to avoid the following two practices, and you should be okay:
- Over-tagging occurs when too many tags are assigned to a post and become a serious eyesore. Three should be the utmost maximum for hashtags. Usually only 1-2 are necessary for good SEO. Example: A photographer uploads an image of a rainbow accompanied by this post: “Gorgeous rainbow over Lake Tahoe – #LakeTahoe, #photography, #rainbow, #colorful, #lake, #water, #beautiful, #photo, #image, #RGBIV, #pretty, #scenery, #Nevada, #SierraNevada, #landscape
- Meaningless hashtags do nothing to help search engines find your post and will not make you look witty. Example: “Learn 10 tips to start eating healthier today! #goodarticle, #fun”
Be smart with your hashtags; they should always have a purpose that serves you well. Hope this has been helpful!
This is a custom vector image I created for an article that was published on Blogos.org. The cage was created in Illustrator. Coloring was done in Photoshop. I dabbled with this intermittently throughout one workday.
You can see the article here: Tongue-Twisted by Lauren A. Birago
A new Colorado Springs personal training business opened up this year and wanted to being their marketing campaign with a dynamic logo. I met with the owner over coffee at Starbucks and talked about her business, her vision, and how she wanted her business to be represented visually. We exchanged a few emails to tweak initial drafts, and this is what we decided upon for the final:
Since the owner does most of her marketing via Facebook, I gave her a couple bonus graphics along with her logo, which she could use for her profile picture and cover art on her fan page:
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We are finally coming around to the part of the show where the 2012 Inkaholics books are being wrapped up! Here’s the first of a few books that should be coming out before the summer groups begin: Q vs. Stone Glory by Inkaholics 13. The cover art is an original commission by Rachael Selk; coloring and design done by me.
Quarlla desperately wants to join the Public Enemy Terror Alliance, but they haven’t even noticed her…yet. All she has to do is find a minion, commit some evil acts of villainy, and maybe kill a guy or two.
Unfortunately, someone wants to stop her. Will Q fulfill P.E.T.A.’s list or will the Super League of Super Heroes succeed in stopping her efforts?