Smokin' hot... the presses. New cards, that is. I have an amazing print house that I work with, the ever-flexible Picascript in Lauttasaari, Helsinki. I picked up my newest batch of postcards from there today.  I was out of print of some of my tourist cards and took advantage of the moment to create some new cards for the line-up.

I know, with a sentence like that it sounds like it's an easy one-step process to just send a card to the printer's. Actually, the whole process takes much more time than I anticipate every time. 

1. If I don't have a drawing in my files that is just waiting to be materialized in print and posted to your mailbox, I rummage through my brain files for what kinds of cards I am missing or what I would like to draw. This time, I thought of how my "päivän sankari" (the hero of the day, which is what we call the birthday girl or boy in Finnish) has sold pretty well. I decided to make some more along the same theme.

2. I thought about what kids (also those young at heart) could relate to, both a boy and a girl, which made me think of Robin Hood and Pippi Longstocking. 

3. I drew them in pencil, then in ink. I scanned the drawings, then painted them in and scanned them again. So really that's 5 steps, but it's the manual labor phase.

4. Once this is done, I digitally overlaid the layers, which ensures that my black lines are strong. I did some digital editing, especially for the mistakes made during the ink or painting phase.

5. Then I designed the card. At this stage I already had the text, so I placed the picture and text in the same places as my earlier designs to ensure continuity. In this phase I have to remember to give the card a code (for filing and storing) and make sure my signature is on there somewhere. 

6. I got feedback about the layout from Hubby, or anyone else who was then around.  I edited and took into consideration these comments and my own preferences.

7. I exported the file into a print-ready pdf, and sent it to my printer, hoping I had not overlooked something.

This process can take from hours to days, depending on my deadlines and flow. If I drew digitally, I could shorten this process, but I find that I like the feel of a real paintbrush in my hand and the living-on-the-edge feel of placing a mark on the paper and not being able to erase it! If you are an artist and have some tips and tricks that you use, I would gladly hear about them!

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