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rss 144 weeks ago
Here are a few tips which may help some Teefurians out there with great ideas turn them into submittable designs, T-shirts and with a bit of luck, pancakes. :)

1. If you have a cool idea WRITE IT DOWN! (I have a folder for saving images and text files of ideas so I don't forget, as well as a paper pad and pencil because I'm old fashioned)
2. If you're stuck for ideas, doodle.
3. Practice, practice, practice.
4. Try all the buttons in your paint package on a good photo to see what they do.
5. Save your work regularly and keep the different versions of it as the design evolves.
6. Look at a design you like and try to work out how they did it.
7. Keep it simple when roughing out an idea, detail and polish are the last jobs.
8. Sooner rather than later, learn to do Vector drawings. Either that or work at high resolution (eg typically 4,000 x 4,000 pixels + for T-shirts)
9. There are many great artist communities out there that you can learn from. If you'd like to try a technique but are not sure how, just ask.
10. Show your work to friends and family, ask for honest feedback.
11. Once in a while try to draw something you don't think you can do, but wish you could.
12. Sometimes it's better to turn off the paint package and take a break, watch a DVD or maybe grab a beer and relax.
13. But lay off the beer before trying to draw, it seldom produces good work.
14. Aim to complete one item of art a week.
15. Have more than one idea on the go at the same time and swap between them if you become bored or frustrated with your progress.
16. Sometimes an idea is bad, don't be afraid to move on. (but make sure you saved it, just incase you change your mind later)
17. Enjoy creating art even if nothing comes from your art than the pleasure of creating it.
18. For most people, it's a hobby not a job.
19. Even your 'failures' taught you something, either how to do better next time or what not to do.
20. Sometimes do it old school, try a pencil and paper.
21. Good luck :)

I'd welcome other artists tips, thoughts and suggestions.
33Comments
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    144 weeks ago
    22. If there's a specific tip you're looking for, maybe a technical question you have or you need to find out how to add some depth to a desgn, someone may have a thread to answer your questions. Just search for "tips" in the Forum.

    Great addition to the Tips thread library. Two thumbs up, especially with SAVING YOUR WORK OFTEN.
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    144 weeks ago
    23. Flip your image, or look at it in a mirror. It sounds strange but it's the EASIEST way to spot flaws. After working on something for a while it's easy to get tunnel vision. Seeing the reverse of your image is a fast way to see perspective errors, awkward angles, etc.

    Something my roommate taught me. :)
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    144 weeks ago
    Like those posts :) Never thought of the mirror/flip thing. Whaddaya know, despite being an old dog I can learn new tricks. I hope other people post some ideas I'd not thought or heard of.

    Anyway, here's another couple of tips that helped me make a flat design really pop and a couple more.

    24. If your design lacks impact, try reversing or changing the colors. Color reversal, in particular, can make a design stand out.

    25. Complimentary colors. Google image search this to find out what color works best with the ones you are using. (I find this useful for selecting the best color for the T-shirt.)

    26. Number of Fonts. Rule of thumb - Keep the number of different fonts in your design to a minimum. 2 fonts looks professional, 15 fonts looks like an amateurish poster for a local bake sale. (This rule can be broken, but if you want to use more than 3 fonts in a design have a good reason)

    27. Constructive criticism. Welcome it, even if you don't agree with it. Any fool can insult your work, but anyone who takes the time to explain why they don't like it and more importantly how they feel it could be better should be listened to.
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    144 weeks ago
    Great thread, definitely will be helpful to new shirt artists
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    144 weeks ago
    I like that thread

    28) back up your work. not just on your computer but on external hard drives or (better yet) some place online. so in case your hard drive (computer, house, city) goes up in flames ... you'll still have your artwork

    no seriously: keep backups on more than just one hard drive. these little bastards f*%k up up more often than you may think
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    144 weeks ago
    6 and 12 are two of the most important I feel. I studied WinterArtworks Subzero Frosty design for at least an hour trying to figure out his secrets muahahaha.
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    144 weeks ago
    kgullholmen said: I like that thread


    28) back up your work. not just on your computer but on external hard drives or (better yet) some place online. so in case your hard drive (computer, house, city) goes up in flames ... you'll still have your artwork


    28) continued...
    a. Keep a copy of your work online for extra safety.
    b. You can show it off at Deviantart or Redbubble.
    c. Or if you want to keep it private, email copies to yourself to an online email service like GMail.
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    144 weeks ago
    I have over 150 tee concepts in my idea MS word file

    sux I'll never have the time to do them all
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    144 weeks ago
    me too, i have so many ideas and i don't know if i can finished them all.
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    144 weeks ago
    Chuffy said: 4. Try all the buttons in your paint package on a good photo to see what they do.


    cont...A lot of the times there are multiple methods to get to where you want to go and do want you want to do.
    Try a new process once in awhile to see if it works out, who knows it might be better and/or you might learn something new.
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    144 weeks ago
    29. the Internet can answer any design question you have and provide anything you need. Need a repeating hexagon pattern? Want to know how to confine your design in a seven pointed star? Need to know how to fade two colors together without using all the intermediate colors? Someone online has probably figured out how to do it, in the program you're using, and has posted step-by-step instructions online.
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    144 weeks ago
    Tip #2 revision
    2. If you're stuck for ideas, doodle.
    a. or hack WinterArtwork's computer for his 150+ ideas text file (and email a copy to Chuffy too) ;)
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    143 weeks ago
    30. Hitting the color limit? Teefury limits design to 6 colors and sometimes 5 colors if they use a dark shirt (overprinting on a white base). Try these ideas.
    a. Remember your thru color (the background, the shirt is your 7th color.)
    b. Try Halfoning. Looks like a comic book effect if done coarsely or like a natural gradient on a finer setting.
    c. Try cross hatching and layering line patterns. For ideas look up 'woodcut' on google image search
    d. Finally, look at the colors you are using and see if you can double up on some areas of the design and use the same color for two differently colored areas
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    143 weeks ago
    WinterArtwork said: I have over 150 tee concepts in my idea MS word file


    sux I'll never have the time to do them all

    I always carry around a little notebook. whenever & whatever comes up goes in there. I even put it under my pillow at night, in case something comes to mind. I mean: who doesn't know the trip wires of having an idea late at night, saying "I'm gonna have to remember this, I'll make note tomorrozZZZZ" and it's GONE. for good.
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    141 weeks ago
    what websites do u guys use...........i just scan my pics;)
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    141 weeks ago
    Thanks for the tips! I agree of working on drawing things you don't normally do. I personally thought I sucked at drawing but have been practising so I can make my teefury idea a reality and my boss, who's an artist, has told me I'm actually pretty good! Now I just need tracing paper and some carbon paper, and an inking pen....soon my idea will be a reality!
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    140 weeks ago
    31. Which paint package to use? Here are a few major programs designers use.
    Adobe Photoshop - PC/Mac - Expensive
    Adobe Illustrator - PC/Mac - Expensive and specialised
    Corel Paint Shop Pro - PC - Affordable for most people
    GIMP - PC/Mac Free
    Ofcourse, there are others too. Until you have at least a basic understanding of using a paint package, stick to the cheap or free programs. You can get a 30 day demo of many of the pay for packages. To learn how to use a paint package you have a few choices.
    a. Learn by doing - Think about what you want to do, then work out how to do it. Play about with the program and remember to use the in program help.
    b. Ask a friend to show you - Sometimes a new program can be daunting, if you know someone who uses the software already ask them to show you the basics
    c. Watch a video - There are many useful (and a few not so useful) videos on Youtube.
    d. Pick up a training book on the program - Ones with tutorials on a CD are especially good
    e. Look at computer art and design magazines - These feature many tutorials and can be useful
    f. Google it - Someones already done it and written a tutorial online

    32. Image hosting. If you want to show your designs to other people online, it's a good idea to have somewhere to post your images. You have a few options.
    a. Upload it to your own webspace (not usually free).
    b. Upload it to one of the many free image hosting sites such as PhotoBucket or TinyPic.
    c. Start your own art gallery on DeviantArt or Tumblr.
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    140 weeks ago
    here is what my brother and i did, and it has been INVALUABLE! Start a facebook group of friends and family with a love for things similar to you and who appreciate your work. We call them our "insiders." It's fun for them to be a part of the process and many of our ideas are refined in this circle of trust. In fact, they have even gotten in the habit of posting their OWN ideas for us to work off of!
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    139 weeks ago
    lol, how many shirts do you have to sell for it to be a "Pancake" shirt?
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    139 weeks ago
    it's a teefury secret. there is a lot of speculation but it's more fun to just wait and see if your design gets them rather than just knowing that, at a certain mark, it will.
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    139 weeks ago
    i have postits on my comp with the ideas just sitting there :D
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    139 weeks ago
    I have taken to placing a pad and pencil next to the bed. Inevitably I will think of something just as I'm drifting off to sleep. Before I had the pad there, I lost many ideas thinking to myself 'yeah, I'll remember that in the morning'. :/

    So...

    33. Place a notepad and pen/pencil next to your bed, you never know when you might dream up something.

    And...

    34. If your cellphone has a camera, take it with you when you leave the house. Inspiration is everywhere and your brain cannot recall colors and shapes as well as a photo.

    35. If your cellphone has an app for taking notes (or even better scribbling rough doodles), install it. If not, take a small notepad; low-tech works just as well. :)
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    135 weeks ago
    36. Got a cool unique Idea? It might not be. Check the internet thoroughly a dozen times (and have someone else check for you too), before you commit hours or even days of work to a design idea someone has already done.

    This is an artist's worst nightmare. It really does pay to check.
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    135 weeks ago
    I have about 50 ideas as well as 30 penciled sketches and 15 of those sketches inked in my queue of work. This has been my newest and favorite hobby.

    My secret is I take my time. I have all my thoughts organized on paper and computer. I only use a few hours per week of free time to sketch and play with type treatment. At this point vectorizing and coloring has gotten so easy for me that I don't consider it a step in my process. I'm a graphic artist at a major fashion company so I'm at the computer all day learning new techniques and working with color. I can't help but think of ideas while researching at work and I just write them down. I also google the smurf out of everything to make sure if an idea is taken I make my own update on that idea that separates it from the others. With that said this is the tip that has gotten me through my best ideas-

    37. Have an Idea? Immerse yourself in that idea. Is it about something you love? Are you an expert on that subject? If yes or no then watch, read, eat and sleep that subject for a few days. Find out everything you can about it. Fans are very specific. They will catch grammatical errors or find flaws in your logic. So be careful and become an expert fan yourself!

    Got a funny idea for a Harry Potter shirt? Watch a few movies and keep a sketch pad with you at all times. Ideas will just flow! I promise.
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    135 weeks ago
    Lot's of superb suggestions here! A few I hadn't thought of before. Here's my additions:

    38. If your software only comes with in-program help, try eBay for an earlier version of the program that has a physical manual (old versions should be dirt cheap). There are literally hundreds of functions within the software that you'd never know existed if you just go by what you 'run into' in the program or what you know you want to do. With the old manual just spend a little time here and there skimming through it. Unlike the in-program help, you can do that anywhere. When you find techniques you'd like to try that you never would have thought of, Post-It the page so you can find it again (especially if you aren't near your work station). Then when you are ready to work on a project using that technique, go to your current-version's Help file and do a search in it to find out how to do the new technique in the software you actually use.

    [I have nice chubby manuals for Paint Shop Pro versions 7 + 9 and have found a number of things I never would have conceived of doing in them.]

    39. If you use pieces of paper to write notes as suggested above in multiple areas (and which I second, third, or fourth, depending how many people suggested it), keep a large 12x9" envelope near your workspace to keep them all in. Little pieces of paper get lost. A big envelope you know is important is far less likely to. ;)

    If at some time you are stuck for an idea (which you will be), just pick a piece of paper randomly out of that envelope and do something with it; anything. A pencil sketch of the core detail. A basic layout on the computer. Choose the fonts you would use and type out the text in them. Anything.

    Perhaps in doing a small portion of that randomly chosen idea, you'll find that the idea warrants a different approach that you like even better than the original.
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