Way back when in the year 2008, when my graphic designer Monique was finishing up the elements for my new web presence, I was in Colorado hanging out with my in-laws and basically doing just about nothing. Ah, that was the life! Anyway, while I was there Monique was sending me Jpegs of what everything was going to look like and I was getting really super excited because it was all turning out so great.
Sensing that I needed an outlet for my excitement, my mother-in-law Shannon planned an art project for me to do on New Year’s Day. Shannon is a magnificent painter as well as an art teacher and knew that I had always wanted to try my hand at block printing. It just so happens that Shannon teaches block printing to her students and had all of the necessary supplies on hand. And so, a block printing day was planned and I was jut as excited about that as I was about my almost finished website.
Shannon pulled tons of reference photos for me to look at so I could decide what I would draw and carve first. I practiced with a piece of styrofoam and carved a bird from her collection. To my surprise, it turned out pretty neat! But for my final project, I wanted something really good…I just didn’t know what.
And then…I got an email from Monique on my Blackberry. Attached was a Jpeg of the final draft of Herbert the Owl (aka, the owl in my logo), and that’s when inspiration struck. I got to work sketching Herbert immediately. I am SO not one of those people who were born with the gift of drawing, so my first couple of sketches were laughable, at best. Finally, I did the trace and transfer method and while some may consider that a cop-out, I consider it the smartest thing I ever did because that version turned out so much better.
I had an absolute blast block printing that day and I can’t wait to get some of my own supplies so I can try it again! I gotta think of really cute things to carve and print! But for now, here are some photos I took with my point-and-shoot the day I made my Herbert stamp and the resulting prints. Let me know what you think!
You’ll have to pretend I have a photo of the newly carved Herbert stamp before I got paint all over it. I took only one of it before I used it that day and it was out of focus–guess I was too excited to get started!
We began by rolling the paint out onto some plexi-glass to get an even coating on the brayer. I chose the turquoise paint, for obvious reasons.
Next, I spread an even layer of paint on the stamp.
Finally, I centered a sheet of card stock over the stamp and applied even pressure with a spoon to make sure the paint transferred evenly. Here’s Shannon and I peeking under a corner to make sure it was turning out.
And here’s Herbert! Please excuse the bags under my eyes and the dorky smile on my face. I got less than an hour of sleep the night before and I was pretty tired (but excited!).
A stamp and print comparison:
Here’s a whole family of little Herberts! Aren’t they cute? I’m going to frame these together and hang them in my office so that Herbert can watch over me while I edit photos. I think it’s only appropriate.
I’m thinking I may use this stamp as a seal of approval on the outside of the print boxes I send to clients. I think that might be a nice little personal touch! Who knows, maybe I’ll get extremely good at carving and one day I’ll make a new-and-improved Herbert stamp for that purpose!
I have to say it really felt like everything was coming together when I got to do a craft project that utilized my brand!