Recently I’ve been expanding the range of images that I’m selling online. My fascination with making digital textures from traditional art media is growing. This isn’t something I had particularly planned but I’m really enjoying running with it.
It all started with a series of lino prints using an uncut sheet of lino and printing ink. I love the unpredictability of this medium and have produced a large range of grungy textures by varying the amount and type of ink or paint, varying the pressure and using different types of papers.
These have been selling well as stock images. I offer the original scans as JPEGs and vector traced versions as EPS files. The black sections in the EPS files can be selected separately from the white background to allow for maximum editing options and flexibility of use. I’m also planning to offer transparent background PNG files for customers who don’t wish to use vector editing software.
Below are demonstrations of how these textures can be used to add grungy or aged effects to a basic flat colour graphic.
Following the success of the lino printed textures I’ve also experimented with other styles using a variety of media. Again, these are offered as JPEG and EPS files and will also be PNGs. So far I’ve tried different paints on canvas and paper, made texture rubbings with pencils and crayons, made paper collages, handmade paper and tried a number of printmaking techniques. There’s been lots of rolling, throwing, splattering and having fun getting messy in a way I never could as a graphic designer in an office. I also discovered that PVA glue and tissue paper combined makes a surprisingly permanent dye if it touches lino flooring (oops!)
In contrast to my enjoyment of messy physical media I’m also slightly obsessed with the precision and calculation involved in making seamless repeating patterns. I’ve been selling these surface patterns on Etsy as printable JPEG papers for crafters. My next step is to sell seamless vector patterns in bundle packs. These are more useful for illustrators and designers because they’re fully editable and allow the customers’ to make their own colour and scaling decisions.
I’ve also been making sets of vector graphic elements and clip art for designers. The sample below (still work in progress) was inspired when I recently found my childhood Spirograph set in my parents’ loft.
I’m really enjoying the variety in my creative work at the moment and am looking forward to developing each of these directions going forwards. Now I just need a few more hours in each day to get round to the endless ideas filling my head.
I’ve been trying to use a variety of media to produce my background textures. I love the effect I can get if I scan pencil lines at very high resolutions. I produced two simple striped textures, one in pencil and one inverted to look like chalk lines on a blackboard. These are for sale in my image collection on Shutterstock.
I opened an etsy shop to sell my patterns as printable craft papers. It’s a surprisingly time consuming process but I figure once each listing is up there it’s done and can be used as many times as I want in the future. Here’s an example:
I’ve had no sales so far but then I’ve done zero promotion. I’m looking into setting up the usual suspect social media stuff for Quirky Mundo to see if I can drive some more traffic to my selling sites.
I’ve been going through some more of my older hand drawn patterns and making vector versions of them. It is pretty time consuming but I really like the results. Here’s an example:
I love the pattern making tools in the latest version of adobe Illustrator, they make it fun to get complicated and interesting pattern repeats. I’m having a hell of a time getting the pattern tiles not to explode when the file is saved in a legacy version though. Stock agencies like Shutterstock want the file saved as an Illustrator 10 eps so it’s a problem I need to solve. I have some ideas on how to do that which will keep me busy.
I think this one will be good as a fabric pattern too so it will eventually end up on my Spoonflower collection too.
One of the fun things about deciding to go try going down the stock image route is that I can get out all the old illustration experiments I did and then discarded on my previous attempts to make a signature style. One of the problems I’ve always had is settling on one way of doing creative stuff. Now I don’t need to.
Here’s a pattern I made from a loose doodle style using watercolour and fine liners. I like the light hearted brightness of this one.
This is now for sale as a stock seamless pattern and as fabric on Spoonflower , fingers crossed other folks like it too.
As part of my stock selling mission I’ve decided to include textures in my portfolio. I have a long habit of scanning anything I think might make an interesting texture and then tinkering with it in Photoshop. This week I have mostly been making two toned lino textures.
I have made these for sale on Shutterstock and the red one has already had some downloads which is an exciting start. More textures to come soon…