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098: Behind the Scenes (II)

How I design Fire Jar graphics.

Jeremy Finch
Jeremy Finch
3 min read
098: Behind the Scenes (II)

A technical breakdown of my design / illustration process for The Fire Jar.

Multiple people have asked about this. My current recipe involves some paid software, but there are also free alternatives and workarounds. The general process is accessible to basically anyone. Let me know if you have questions!

There are analog-digital aspects:

  1. Draw by hand (pen and paper)
  2. Scan drawings into digital format
  3. Make edits / add color on a computer

It's not the best or fastest method.
But it's the one that I personally like.

Tools used :

• Pen and paper
• Smartphone camera
• Adobe Capture (mobile app, free)
• Adobe Photoshop (desktop app, $$) 1

1: Free / cheaper alternatives available.

Start with drawing :

1/ First, a light pencil sketch.
Then outline using a dark pen.
And shade with a thick pen (optional).

2/ Take a photo.

3/ Crop, rotate.

4/ Good contrast is helpful.

🔽 This happens within a mobile app.

There are other ways to scan images.

5/ Open the photo, adjust threshold, capture as a shape.

6/ Save the shape in a SVG format.

7/ If you want to edit using another app, you can export a vector file now.

🔽  These steps take place within Photoshop 2 (desktop).

2: Free / cheaper alternatives available.
Affinity, Figma, Procreate, GIMP, Pixlr etc.

8/ I open my title card template.  

9/ Color it in (fill, paint bucket).

10/ Save file (jpeg / PNG).

Embed into post / newsletter.

Pros and cons to this method:

  • Pros :
    It creates a unique look and feel. Forces me to draw by hand (fun). I can use the graphics for static images as well as video / motion.

  • Cons :
    It's slow. So I batch this process and digitize multiple drawings at once. It's less efficient than drawing with a tablet.

What does your approach look like? I'm open to adjusting my tools and workflow.

Want me to design something for you?
Let me know!


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005: Drawing + Writing
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091: Illustration Process
Some sketches I made for a friend’s article.
047: Art for Amateurs
Seven short sketching prompts. No experience required!
062: Your Drawings
A crowdsourced gallery of quick sketches.

Filed under 📂

Season 2CreativityInteractive

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