How a design is born….

How a design is born….

Saturday’s blog is something new. So here’s a nice new stamp. It isn’t even finished yet. I just drew it this afternoon. And it occurred to me that you might like to see how I arrive at a finished design.

Well, first I have to have a reason or an idea. I set myself the task this afternoon of drawing some new Design Club Stamps for next year. January is already finished and made (and you will love it, that’s for sure). So today, I did February and March. I think you can guess which month this is! So, right there, I had my reason.

Then I need a direction. Well, we haven’t had any word stamps for a while, so I decided to go with words. February…. Love…. All you need is love….Bingo. Pretty basic thought process really!!!

The way I work is with paper, tracing paper, pencil, and then micron pen. I draw or sketch the basic shape on copy paper first. I forgot to bring a rubber with me to France, which for our American friends, is an eraser! So that is a challenge!
Next, I add a transparent overlay, a sheet of vellum, or very smooth tracing paper. We sell it. It is excellent quality, too. I trace the basic shape into position. Then I look at it, and decide what needs improving…

So to the next layer. This time I add the heart. I start moving the letters, improving them, shuffling them up or down, to the left or the right. I particularly like the Y from the You, so I must take care not to manipulate him! But I am not happy with the E’s. So I change from upper case E to lower case e. Much better, but still not perfect. More layers required!
Now the letters look better, although the I is too large and too close, but I can sort that out when I get home. Getting fed up with having to keep re-drawing the whole thing because of my perfectionism!

Now I have to make the heart symmetrical. So I do one half, then fold the vellum in half and add the second half by tracing the first half. Simple really. Slipped a bit. So it’s no good. I shall have to do the whole lot again. But I’ll leave the I until I get home.
Now I’ve had another idea. I wonder what it would look like if I added a shadow, to make it look 3 dimensional. Well, I don’t want to do it and then decide it’s no good and have to start again, so I need another sheet of vellum. I will experiment on an overlay.
Actually, I think it could look good.
So here goes…
Yep. Happy with that.
The I is still to big, but the basics are there. Add my signature for copyright.
There is still loads to do though. When I get home, I will scan it into my Apple, and then magnify it massively, and work on the detail in Illustrator.
I will tidy up every single line, make sure the letters are sized perfectly, that the shadows make sense, that there are no pen marks.

Then I will size the stamp. I always draw the design larger than the finished stamp will be, so that the lines get crisper, sharper.
And that’s about it. So now you know the rest of the story, and what to expect in the New Design Club in February!
We are all very happy at Clarity to hear that you like the new New Design Club Look.

I think it is super, too.
So now I must go pack. Time to travel back to England.

Just one more little picture….

The ever helpful Dave helping me take pics for the blog.
See you back on the other side….
love Barb xx

69 thoughts on “How a design is born….

  1. Well, I wondered how you did it and now you have explained it. Don't know where you find the time from to do all that fine tuning but it looks fascinating … And using apple products to assist , well where would we be without them theses days! Great to see a picture of Dave too. Safe journey home xx

  2. Good Morning, Thanks for showing us how it's done – I love it and already have an idea of how to use it. I will definitely be joining the NDC in the New Year (if Santa doesn't bring me it as a gift – I've dropped lots of hints). Hope you both have had a great break, safe journey home.

  3. Morning! This looks fantastic Barb, and it's one of my fave phrases-it's tattoo'd on my back with a scroll. Safe journey home today, I hope the weather and traffic are good to you. Xxx

  4. Very interesting how you arrive at the perfect stamp. Don't think I have the patience to draw the same thing over and over! It's lovely and I'm sure will be a great addition to the clarity family x

  5. Love the new look mine came yesterday ,love the heart roll on feb ,very intrested in going to france with crafters next year will love to know any imfo if it come off .

    1. Could you include a visit to Clarity as part of one of your retreats – you did say you were thinking of holding them nearer home. It could, perhaps, be on a Friday night before the retreat. Just a thought. xx Maggie

  6. So glad you enjoyed your break in France, thanks for sharing.Your new stamp is so good and already giving me loads of ideas.I must find out more about more about your club, think I need to treat myself! Hoping you have a good journey home Barbara x

    1. Hi Gloria, totally agree with amanda, it is such a treat every month, and the ideas we get with each stamp or stencil are stunning. You should join us….. Laurence x

    2. The NDC is just great. I so look forward to my new stamp/stencil each month that I try not to go on FB incase someone posts about it before I have got mine. The price of joining up is so so worth it. (it's been my birthday present for two years now and I am so happy with it) xx

    3. I am with you Emma I like it to be a surprise too, except on this occasion. Xx Some people say the NDC is expensive but just in stamps alone you get more for your money than you realise till you join, TWELVE Stamps, specially designed and really good quality too.

  7. Have a safe journey home and remember that it is still part of your holiday. Love that new stamp, I reckon it will go so well with the crooked houses. Thank you for sharing the birth of this new
    stamp. xx Maggie

  8. Fasinating Barbara, I'll look forward to receiving that stamp… And now it will have a memory of France imprinted on to it too! We'll all remember this blog and know just how and why it came about! Wonderful! X. Now, have a safe trip home xxx

  9. Have enjoyed your holiday along with you, it has brought a little sunshine each gloomy day that we have had this week. Thank you for giving your time so generously. Love the new New Design Club look and the robin is gorgeous. Looking forward to February's beautiful stamp. Well done you.

  10. Good morning Barbara, WOW! I can't wait until February (not that I should be wishing my life away). Thank you for talking us through your design process, it's lovely to see how your stamps evolve and I love the look of the shadow. Have a good trip home. x

  11. Hello Barb, Wow, I think the NDC will be absolutely stunning next year if this is anything to go by (not that it isn't every year). Love seeing how you design a stamp, so really looking forward to this one. Have a safe trip home, and thank you for sharing the trip with us. Bx

  12. Thanks for taking us through your creative process – the heart stamp looks great. Love the shadow that you added. It must be so satisfying to see your designs come to life through the fab stamps that you create!

  13. Now im singing in my head :-))) thanks for sharing this Barbara. Love to know all the techy details behind how it all works. Cant wait to get this in feb. Hope u and dave had a great holiday.. well deserved xx Claire

  14. What a fascinating post today. Very interesting to read how you do it. Seems to me that all tha perfectionism pays benefits in the end results. And drawing bigger before re sizing means we end up with a beautifully detailed stamp. Its no wonder your stamps are the best clear stamps in the world. Shame we are not getting in in January in time to use for valentines day. Xx

  15. Hi Barb,
    Really interesting to see how you arrive at the finished stamp. I really don't know how you have the patience, but boy oh boy I'm so glad that you do! Really do love this stamp and can't wait to see it in front of me. I only joined the club last month and really wish that I had done it months ago, but unfortunately couldn't afford it ,but then sacrificed something else & have to say it was worth it! Have a safe journey home. Alison xx

  16. Fantastic Barbara, can't wait for the New Year. The NDC's new look is great much easier to see than read. Love all your hard work (and Dave's).
    Thank you both

  17. So look forward to the NDC envelope dropping through my door, my husband bought me membership last Xmas and have just renewed for the next year. This stamp is wonderful, you are so artistic . Will be great to receive in February as it is our Anniversary on the 24th (43 years) so card sorted. Thanks for sharing the design insight with us, love to see how things are made. Have a safe journey home xx

  18. Now, I can't wait…… Am "excited" every month when the Club Stamp or stencil arrive, but this one really is out of this world!!!!
    Love the new Design Club "magazine" and really laugh with dave's experience. Thanks for sharing.
    Laurence xx

  19. Thanks for sharing your design process, very interesting. Can we see the next stage too please? And the manufacturing? Right to the end? I would love that. Another beautiful stamp, looking forward to receiving it, thanks. X

  20. Thank you for showing/ explaining how you create your stamps- Im just sat here hoping that hubby will buy me my Gelli plate masks etc so that I can have a play- your art work is so inspiring- new year I will subscribe to your club- Happy Christmas to the stamping Queen xx

  21. Love the stamp, looking forward to playing with it. Really enjoying your blog, I must say that I feel as though I have shared your break in France with you and Dave. Safe journey home xx

  22. Hi Barbara, Well firstly glad you had a good time, secondly, looking forward to that stamp coming through the post. Liking the new look for the NDC, and still loving your blog…don't know how you fit it all in. Hats off to you and your team xxxx

  23. I have loved today's blog, I have always had a yearning to be able to draw, I can copy draw a bit, but not from my head from scratch. I love the logic of your process. I love this stamp too, how the letters overlap and the zen shadow. So is there a Retro Stencil to match I wonder???

  24. What an amazing lady you are. Is there no end to your talent!!!
    Loved reading about how clarity stamps are created. I'm sure we take a great deal for granted but what a skill to have. From someone who cannot draw it is a fascinating process. What happens next?

  25. Fascinating insight Barbara, really looking forward to my design club letter with this in ! The new format is great and it is no wonder you are pleased with it. Dave is ever helpful as he loves you so why wouldn't he be and it is obvious how much you care about each other and it really shows even in the little things too xx

  26. February stamp is amazing and will be really good to work with, thank you for sharing the very interesting way in which your stamps come to life. I re-joined the club yesterday so I am looking forward to seeing the new format. Have a safe journey back. Joan x

  27. Really enjoyed reading about the way you design your Clarity stamps. I have just ordered the Design Club Hamper as part of my Christmas Present from my Partner and look forward to receiving this stamp and all the others you design for 2014. Hope you have a safe journey home!

  28. very interesting insight into how stamps are born. and i got my ndc stamp yesterday. love that robin and the new look layout. brilliant step by step and pics, i am a visual person so it is brilliant for me xx

  29. Fascinating following your design method. The stamp is just right for February. I loved the December stamp, the robin which arrives for the winter in our garden flew into the house wall and died in the middle of autumn and now a new robin has arrived. They are such beautiful birds.

  30. Wow another beautiful stamp just received my robin fabulous stamp love the stencils too the ndc is fantastic to be part off look forward to mine every mth like the new format barbara

  31. That's fascinating, I would love to see how you actually make the stamps too. Or is that top secret!beautiful image, oh to have a milligram of your creativity!Wx

  32. love these insights into your world but this one is very special … allowing us to see a stamp coming to life…. love it and the new stamp … well just say I can't wait till February … mind you there's January's to look forward to first … see that's why we love being members of the NDC.. every month is a surprise xxx Annie

  33. What a great idea to let us into seeing how you start your drawings, it's fantastic to see just how interesting it is and how you keep perphacting the image.
    I would love to be able to watch your stamp being made after you had drawn it. Xx

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