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Discovering 3D Book Mock-ups

After uploading Rabbit Rabbit Rabbit to my portfolio I realized that my website looked really rough. The previews of my book covers cropped oddly with the dimensions provided by the thumbnails and it made things look very sloppy and ambiguous. This is the year I decided that I wanted to focus on illustrating books. With that being my goal, I knew that I’d need to find a better way to display my work now and for the future.

I started with the idea of doing my own photoshoot and started planning places to photograph the books I have in print at the moment. Quickly, I ran into a few problems. It was taking a lot of time during my day to set up these staged photos, especially with destructive little helpers. I also found that I was lacking creativity, proper lighting, and a desire to really put in the effort for a GOOD product shoot. I’ve done product shoots in the past and know I can get the results I want but ultimately I’d rather spend my time making art rather than photographing it.

Then it hit me. All self-publishers couldn’t possibly also be wickedly talented product photographers on the side. There was no way that these perfectly lit and composed photos were being taken by EVERY person who wrote a book. Maybe half of them, but not all. So I did some digging and found a gold mine of resources in the form of 3D book mockups. I’ve listed my favorites below:

    • For very basic mockups, https://diybookcovers.com/3Dmockups/ is a great resource. You can save their files as a .png and insert your own custom background to better promote your work. I haven’t experimented with it but there are a lot of digital and traditional layouts that you can utilize here.

    • My favorite resource was https://covervault.com/. With Photoshop it makes editing book covers easy. I liked having the ability to customize my end result and further edit the layers provided with the files.

    • For another online option with a little more moodiness to it, I enjoyed using https://bookinmotion.com/book-mockups/. They have a lot of dramatically lit and composed layouts that will add a little spice to your books. Perfect to enhance those witchy vibes.

    • I haven’t used this resource yet but it is another easy online option with beautiful, professional backgrounds. They offer great previews both on digital (phones, tablets, computers) and traditional (books, magazines, etc) options.  https://placeit.net/c/mockups/?f_devices=Book

I hope this helps some of you! This definitely was an exciting find for me and will be something I utilize in the future. I look forward to testing out some open book previews in the future with an art book I’m currently working on!

Weekend Card Designing

This weekend I ended up creating 5 cards of various forms. 4 of them were hand made cards (you can see the cover of one here and its inside here) that centered around simple inked designs with watercolor accents. One was digitally designed and later printed.  I hadn’t expected to work on any cards at all so doing 5 was completely surprising but it turned out to be a needed break from my normal illustration work.

Below I’ve posted steps of the process of digitally creating one of my cards and the thought processes I went through as I put it together. All in all this card took about 2 hours to complete from collecting the patterns to the final card edits. It was a lot of fun and relaxing project to work on. Honestly, after this weekend, I think I’ll start creating all my cards either digitally or by hand in the future.

 

I initially started with a color scheme. I knew I wanted it to be extremely limited and center around warm blue-green tones. I collected a few patterned backgrounds and tested out the over all design and look of the card. card-Lauren-Crest-Illustration I decided that I didn’t like the starry sky background as much as I initially thought I would so I toned down the background with another pattern and lightened the color of the whale. I also created waves in the ocean and changed the colors of the water a bit by adding another pattern on top of the original one.
Card3-Lauren-Crest-IllustrationWith the overall design decided upon I started working on the details. I cleaned up the line art, added details to the water coming out of the whale’s blowhole, and added a gradient shade to the water to give the piece more depth.
card4-Lauren-Crest-Illustration

The whale seemed a bit stiff so I then added some blushing cheeks and changed the outline from black to a warm orange to give the whale some life and personality. I also started experimenting with creating more depth to the ocean by adding more waves, though those turned out rather difficult to see.Card5-Lauren-Crest-Illustration I added gradients behind each wave layer to help the waves stand out and I also choose to add more green to the waves to help them match the sky layer a bit more. After that I increased the saturation for parts of the original patterns and called the card done. 🙂

card8-Lauren-Crest-Illustration

 

Artists to Follow?

If you’ve read most of my blog posts you’ll notice a common trend. Quite often I like to reference either Will Terry Illustration and The Oatley Academy of Visual Storytelling as two sources that I follow that have been extremely helpful to my art. I’ve posted about and linked to their YouTube videos/podcasts and have specified how my work has gotten better because of them. As a freelance illustrator these sources have been invaluable. They have given me a better sense of direction, have helped me to improve my style of art, and have greatly changed how I approach art as a business.

In the recent past I’ve also referenced Wylie Beckert Illustration‘s tutorials as being super helpful to me. Her tutorials have allowed me to refresh on some painting basics and have assisted in pointing out where flaws in my own paintings are.

So today I’m asking you, who do you follow? What artists/youtube channels/podcasts/companies/blogs/etc do you follow that have helped you grow as an artist? I look forward to your responses in the comments. 😀

Goals for this Week

This week I’m going to focus on finding my art style again. Over the last few months I’ve begun to realize that I’ve gotten a bit scattershot with my work and because of that I’ve not had as much growth as I’d like to as an artist.

This week I plan on placing all my focus on my illustrative style. I plan on testing it, pushing it, and improving it. I will be working on pieces with a more limited color palate, improving motion in my illustrations, working to make my compositions more dynamic, and creating a professional quality final image.

I’ve found that working on too many projects in too short of a time has caused all of them to suffer so this week is the week that that turns around. Keep an eye out on my social media sites as I’ll be posting a few updates on how my work is progressing. I’ll also have a blog post next week that shows the final pieces that I come up with this week.

Wish me luck!

Continuously Learning

When I graduated in 2013 I thought that my days of learning were going to slow significantly. I figured that I’d learned most of what I needed to know for my craft while in school and it was just time to implement it. I was completely and utterly wrong.  Read more

Doubt and Drive

Earlier in April an artist that I follow posted a message about the creative process, dealing with feelings of doubt, and the overwhelming drive to create art on his Facebook profile. I was surprised to read through it and realize that every word of his post mirrored my own thoughts and experiences.

 In hindsight, I realize that I shouldn’t have been so shocked. Read more

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