14 October 2014

Sharing is Caring - Product Photos


Every week I create one or two Treasuries featuring Etsy sellers. I come across a lot of lovely shops, with great products but the photos are too dark or yellow. 

So today I will "take one for the team" and see if I can teach you how to make some simple adjustments using Photoshop and Photoshop Elements to make your product photos stand out and hopefully you will get included in more Treasuries and ultimately more sales.
  
Its best to photograph your products in natural light were possible. Lights have yellow or blue elements to them and your photos will capture these colours and you get photos looking like this.

Can you see the yellow in my first product photo? the second I reduced the yellow using Adobe Photoshop
When I opened my store in 2010 I would take a product photos and hope for the best. I entered my store link to be critiqued via Etsy Teams, the feedback was to keep my photos bright, with a plain background to highlight my products. I agreed and took action, I found with paper goods and illustrated good I needed my product photos that showed a real or true representation of the original.
  
Life as a designer and illustrator have taught me one or two Photoshop tricks for my product photos and I’d like to share. 

Thanks in advance to 
and Sarah Thompson from SarahLovellCreations for allowing me to use your photos as examples.

Photoshop Elements
File > Open
Image >  Auto Levels or/and play around with Lightening of midtones
Save



Example 2 with keepitinaframe products http://etsy.me/1oJVYVj

Auto Levels did not work for Janet's photos so I played around with exposure

Photoshop Elements

File > Open
Image >  Adjust Exposure until happy
Save

I used exposure in elements for TheHandmadeElephant http://etsy.me/1u1slSq

When I do my photos I use Photoshop cs6 and I like a little more control I also create ACTIONS so its quicker to batch process (actions tutorial will be for another tutorial)

Photoshop CS

File > Open
Image > Adjustments > Levels > fix by dragging the white point slider in towards the right edge of the histogram, and drag the black point slider in towards the left edge of the histogram. If your photo was too dark and some of the detail is still not showing adjust the grey point slider.
Click OK
Save




SarahLovellCreations prints http://etsy.me/1r49jZU

Still to hard? This links are the bomb

Have money to invest? Send you’re products to Laura and she’ll do all the hard work


I hope you find this useful and share with anyone you think it may help.
Thank you so much for visiting.
Ni


5 October 2014

Creative Process for Greeting Cards

I know some of my followers are missing my process blogs so this one is for you.

My process starts with a lot of daydreaming.
I was thinking of new card designs for my Olivia’s Good Deeds range. Olivia is in active character development, the basic story behind her is that she likes to do good things.

I'm at a stage where I want to see little Olivia interacting with other characters, her sidekick was a frog but for the card range the bunny was more appropriate and my boys range have kidnapped the frog for a few card designs.




Second stage is a scribbly thumbnail and a look at composition…hhhmmm how to get a big elephant on a small card.


Thirdly I go straight into large pencil sketch I try not to put too much detail in with pencil in order to keep a fun look and looseness of line when I ink it out. If I'm happy with sketch I usually ink it out adding the missing details.

I use a traditional quill dip pen and Indian ink, I have been using a dip pen since a teenager, one of the exercises in art school - you have to ditch the pencil and just draw with a dip pen for weeks. Nowadays there aren't many splodges if I'm lucky.


Lastly I rub out pencil marks, scan, clean and colour. 
I tend to use scanned in material, paper textures and scan in watercolour pages or colourful scribbles, which I can show in another blog if you like.
Finally I finish by placing the illustration into Adobe InDesign for the design layout.

http://etsy.me/1pZJWb7

I like the back of my cards to be pretty too so this card design has a funny random twist, if you brought two cards they would join up. LOL or you could purchase the print.


I am missing drawing, which is good because it means I will do some. I never forces myself to create and I needed a break after my trade show. I also sometimes binge draw and create a massive amount of work in a small amount of time. This isn’t a great way of working but works for me. I’m trying to understand and see patterns in my creativity and exercise being kind to myself to alleviate some of the guilt I feel if I don’t create. There are enough pressures in life, art and the process shouldn’t be one of them.

Lots of my new cards and prints can be found via my store.

I hope you found this post useful, please let me know what you think and thank you for stopping by.

Ni

11 September 2014

Doodle Kids Throwback Thursday



Throwback Thursday to 2010 when I published my first small range of cards. A cupcake range and doodle kids a cute, whimsical character based collection.

Here is little doodle bee

A5 greeting card blank inside and a notebook, with a quote / affirmation I try to live by

A literally doodle this character on the corner of a brown paper bag in 2005 I saved it and re drew him in Adobe Illustrator and he came to life... I loved him so much I created him a few friends.

My 2010 first print run
Some lovely magnets I designed

Stationery packs

In  2010 I was working full time and not getting illustration commissions. While I developed my skills and artistic style I self published. 

A time of experimenting with different products alongside greeting , such as:
Postcards, prints, magnets, keyring, bookmarks, rulers, badges, stationery packs  

I started the craft fair circuit and received feedback from customers. I print way to much in my first print run and was pushed into selling direct to gift shops to get rid of some of the stock. My first ever stockist was Tabernacle in Notting Hill and Southampton University gift shop. 

All stepping stones to help get me on my way to creating art for greeting cards and stationery.

Colouring Pages


Thanks for visiting,
Ni 

5 September 2014

Ann Kelle - Follow Friday


A few weeks ago I was featured in Zoe Chapman’s Treasure Tuesday
http://etsy.me/1u69xoy Zoe’s store Ollie & Roo is simply beautiful high quality handmade products with lovely fresh contemporary fabrics.

Images are property of Zoe Chapman from Ollie and Roo © all rights reserved
www.etsy.com/uk/listing/194574942/travel-baby-change-bag-and-change-mat

While browsing her store I stumbled upon a fabric print called Super Kids. I was simply going to add Zoe’s Travel Bag to my Colourful Etsy Pinterest board, which is a gift guide and showcases Black, Asian, and Mixed Race - Multicultural finds on Etsy.

I found the pattern design so intriguing because it is very diverse featuring children of all colours… very inclusive and right up my street.

Thankfully Zoe always accredits the fabric supplier so it was easy for me to trace the pattern designer Ann Kelle via Robert Kaufman

I’m currently learning pattern design and these character-based patterns are a joy and inspirational for me, and happy the characters are celebrating inclusiveness so effortlessly. Bravo to Ann and the Robert Kaufman fabrics.

Artwork featured and images are property of Ann Kelle © all rights reserved

Artwork featured and images are property of Ann Kelle © all rights reserved 
Artwork featured and images are property of Ann Kelle © all rights reserved 

Artwork featured and images are property of Ann Kelle © all rights reserved

Ann Kelle is an absolute pro and tones of people admire and use her prints in their work, please check out her website http://www.annkelle.com and you’ll see why.  Check her out and Follow Friday.

Artwork featured and images are property of Ann Kelle © all rights reserved please visit http://www.annkelle.com/

Thank you Ann and Zoe for allowing me to use your photos.

  

3 September 2014

Let's Get to Know Each Other

Since separating my greeting cards business from my services I have a few new followers. I thought you'd all like to know a bit more about the artist/illustrator behind Nyha Cards and Nyha Graphics.

Here is my "press version" artist bio, which is already out of date LOL


While working on my PR for my launch in May 2014 with Slave 2 The Vibe I was instructed to write my first press release and a artist bio.

Which I found worth it for many reasons such as:
  • Many people - editors, bloggers etc are going request the same info, you can add and edit your blurb to fit a number of articles and features and save yourself time.
  • Its good to reflect, time flies when you're having fun and it is good to stop and review your achievements so far, every so often.   
  • Apparently a few people think my companies Nyha Graphics and Nyha Cards have a massive team behind them. This would be true in my wildest dreams, possibly in the future...I hope, for now its a one women band,  just me and my nickname is Nyha.


For further info or to talk about a commission check out my folio and email info@nyhagraphics.co.uk

Thanks for stopping by,
Ni

PS Thanks to Julia for proofing and editing it for me.


1 September 2014

My Top 10 Greeting Cards, Etsy Deals and Offers

I'm getting ready for Christmas, a little late in the world of greeting card publishing. But not for Etsy selling. I sell all my Christmas items myself via Etsy and not wholesale to shops just yet.

I'm extremely happy to say my illustration and design commences this week so very excited. After months of sales, PR and marketing I can take that "hat off" and do what I LOVE most ART, ILLUSTRATION and DESIGN. Yippeee.

The last few weeks I've been cleaning up my store, trying to make it easier for my online customers. I have been adapting sale tactics my craft fair customers like... Which are money saving deals and bundles.

Although I love any sale small or big and often recieve sales for just one greeting card online, I have noticed people prefer to by in bulk, with a money saving incentive.

Here are a few online offers.
3 cards for £5, rather than the normal £6.60.
6 cards for £10, rather than the normal £13.20.
12 cards for £20, rather than the normal £26.40.


I think I'll design a more visually pleasing promo, with cards I'd recommend... but for now this is it.

I thought you might like to see my Top 10 greeting card designs which I compiled with sales from stockists. The pre 2014 sales were easier to rate as there wasn't much to choose from only 25 designs and I'd been selling them for a long time.  




The new Top 10 for this year so far will need longer to gauge. My stockist are trying new designs out and there is now 65 designs to choose from, so I'll do an update at the end of the year.



For me this is all mega exciting and a great motivator. 
Please let me know if you have a fav or if you are screaming "more of xyz please!"

To stock my cards in for shop or if you have a gift store to recommend to me please email Naomi via info@nyhagraphics.co.uk

To purchase online please check out my www.nyhagraphics.etsy.com 
Like my new page www.facebook.com/nyhacards or follow me via twitter https://twitter.com/NyhaCards

Thanks for stopping by,
Ni
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