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Calobee Doodles Goes Printable

After some thought, I’ve converted all my Etsy listings from physical prints to digital downloads.

This means you get affordable illustrated art immediately, at a more affordable price ($5 per doodle) and without the risk of a print getting damaged in shipping. You can also print the art multiple times, or use it for personal projects and crafts. Yay!

I’m happy to answer questions about printing digital files, and I highly recommend my own print shop if you don’t have one already (they’re awesome!)

(I still offer physical prints for wholesale orders, too; only the retail side is going digital.)

As always, get $5 off when you spend $15 or more with coupon code TAKE5!

Hopefully this makes it easier to share my work with y’all. Cheers!

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My Little X-File

I know, I know, the geek is strong in this one, but I couldn’t help combining two of my favorite things — The X-Files and My Little Pony. I submitted it to Threadless for voting on the rare-but-hopeful chance it might get printed. Please vote if you like it!

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Scripty Lettering: An Illustrator How-To

Anyone who knows me knows that I can’t draw by hand. I trained in Illustrator, so almost everything I do starts and ends there. I’ve been practicing script lettering, and since I’m having so much fun with it, I thought I’d write about my entirely self-taught, probably unprofessional-as-heck process.

To start, I write the basic letter shapes with the brush tool in Illustrator. It’s messy and looks a bit like this:

Terrible, right? It needs a lot of massaging. I’ll clean up the letter shapes to even out curves and make adjustments for leading/kerning/spacing. Eventually it starts to come together:

I also move the letters and words around until they fit, kind of like puzzle pieces. I’ll add flourishes or swirls to balance the design, until I have the whole phrase done in strokes:

I make a copy of the whole thing and group it (Object -> Group), then move it to one side for future reference:

Then I convert the original strokes to shapes using Object -> Path -> Outline Stroke:

I’ll also use Object -> Path -> Simplify (~65-75% usually gets the job done without warping the strokes too much) to remove extraneous points; fewer points means cleaner curves:

From there, I thicken the letter shapes one by one, focusing on the downstrokes and flourishes. This usually involves deleting points within inner curves and accentuating outer curves by widening them:

…and I spend a lot of time tweaking all the letter shapes until they’re just right. This involves looking at the design through a squint to find any shapes that stick out or catch my eye in the wrong way.

Once I’m satisfied with the overall appearance, I’ll apply a fill color and add flowers or other accents around the design:

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Everything is better with sprinkles!

Things I’ve learned from my kids: Everything is better with sprinkles!

Available at Redbubble, Teepublic, and Etsy!