Tuesday, July 24, 2018

This week my current project is cut vinyl decals. While I always work on my decals in one way or another, this week I have been cutting like crazy to fulfill a large order. It is due in about two weeks, and I would love to get it done well before that. I love creating tangible things and I love transferring an image from paper or digital into a cut vinyl decal that can go on just about anything. Personally, most of my decals end up on my journal, sketchbook, or other similar surfaces. There are so many applications for vinyl decals, though. Almost any surface can become a canvas for that work. It is kind of magical.

I have always loved drawing with Sharpie markers or pens. Any kind of ink, really. I have always been drawn to creating art that involves two colors: the paper it is created on, and the ink of the pen or marker that I create the drawing with. I think that is part of why I love cut vinyl decals so much since both involve the color of the surface and the color of the material going on the surface. It really is the same sort of thing.

Since the creation of Adobe Capture, an app on my phone, it has upped my decal game. It makes it soooo simple to create a digital vector of a drawing or image. No more scanning something in or taking a picture of it, and cleaning it up in Photoshop or the like. Now I just take a picture with the app and it allows me certain tweaks to create the crisp, beautiful image in just black and white. It also helps you see how a colored image can be changed to black and white. It really is a remarkable tool and I am just in love with it. I have created so many libraries with it, stored so many drawings, and converted drawings into smooth-lined vectors.

Vectors, by the way, are digital images that can be manipulated in size without losing their quality or resolution. Think of a font, it can be made to be this size, huge, tiny… whatever is needed. All the while, maintaining its quality. Unlike a photo that can become pixelated, blurry, grainy, and so on if you try to resize it beyond a certain tolerance. I have been given logos by clients in so many types… anything from a Word document to a PDF. Often, their logos are extremely limited in size, unless they have created it as a vector. Adobe Illustrator is like, THE program for vector images. So having both Adobe Capture and Adobe Illustrator on my side, I can feel like I can do just about anything with any image. I love it.

Using screen recording on my phone, I recorded this video showing how I might create a vector using Adobe Capture. Every image is different, some are very easy, some are most certainly not. This one took some tweaking and I could have done a bit more, but I was looking for a more sketchy image. I wanted it to retain that and just convert it into a file I can use on my computer. This one won’t become a decal, it is far too complex an image.