I’ve been wanting to write this for a while, but I’ve stopped myself from doing so because this debate can bring up a lot of negative feelings. Not only that, but I’m going to use myself as an example of what NOT to do, and that’s pretty embarrassing. I feel this message is worth putting out there…
I cannot reblog this post ENOUGH!! I’ve wanted to write something like this for a while but this wonderful person has said it all. Everyone please, if you’re an artist and charge money for your work, READ THIS POST!!
DISCLAIMER: I was not paid to write this review.
Additional apologies for the size dimension mistake in the graphic above and below: it’s 10x6.25”, not 10x6.5”.
As many of you have seen the hype for the Monoprice tablets going around on Tumblr not too long ago, I was also extremely intrigued and purchased the widescreen 10x6.5” tablet with hotkeys for myself at an amazing price of $49.60 plus shipping. The tablet itself arrived within two days and I was eager to try it out. For reference, I run Windows 7 on a PC with Photoshop CS4 and occasionally work in Paint Tool SAI.
SMALL-RUN CUSTOM BUTTONS
It seems like enough people would be able to use this service so I got a store page put up! Pricing starts at $12 for 24 buttons, with up to 24 different designs! 1.25” diameter buttons with a sturdy metallic backing and glossy mylar cover.
This service is intended for small, independent artist alley artists who would like to test the waters and have their artwork printed on a new medium. It is NOT meant for mass-production. Please note that I may inquire for proof that you drew the images you submitted if things look suspicious, and I will not make any buttons for people who are using copyrighted logos, emblems, or symbols.
EDIT: To clarify, this is a SERVICE for other artists who would like their own artwork made into buttons. This is not a custom button order to commission me to draw images for you. Thanks!
Additionally: YES, you can pick up buttons from me if you’d like to make a last minute order for Sakura-Con in Seattle, WA. I will be able to take orders from people who get their images submitted by Tuesday, April 3rd. The Sakura-Con pickup shipping option will disappear afterwards.
Spread the word if you think you know someone who would like to have custom buttons made!
So this image I did for Anime Conji took almost double the time it would have normally taken me for an image like that, due to making about 90% of it while experimenting on my new tablet PC: a Samsung Series 7 Slate.
For people who might be interested in a machine such as this one for artistic work, I’m giving a very lengthy thorough review with my pros/cons under the cut!
Follow up on TMI-Tuesday! Most of the questions were about artist alley so I am compiling everything into one post. Disclaimer: I’m not affiliated with any of the companies below.
It’s really common for people to not know about using minimal amounts of K for print. I once got my posters printed at a local print shop and the person who did all of my prints LIGHTENED ALL OF MY FILES (without asking or confirming with me) by like 5% and then printed a ton of copies of like 15+ files with this adjustment. I was furious. I made them reprint the better half of everything with the file exactly the way I delivered it, untouched, because I already have very little K in my images to begin with. When I confronted the owner of the shop about this situation, he said that this worker probably did this adjustment for most of their customers and thought that I would appreciate the same treatment as well.
Moral of the story: don’t mess with my files! LOL
up until now, people have kept telling me that pictures will print better if you change them to CMYK format.
So I finally tried it. And it made my picture look completely godawful.
From what I understand, CMYK reduces the amount of colors. So wait, why do people keep saying that this is…
To echo: work from the beginning in CMYK. Some colors (specifically really bright neon ones) do NOT print, so limiting your palette will make sure that all the colors you’ve used in your image are actually printable colors. This is the theory of pigment vs. light — when referring to light, all colors together create white light. This is how your computer screen works — when there’s no light, it’s black. Pigments are the opposite — white means there’s zero pigment, and when you put every pigment on paper, it becomes black. That beautiful shade of bright electric blue that I love to use? Or bright oranges or reds? Completely unprintable. Cry. Those colors appear bright and amazing on your monitor because your monitor is using light to display the colors.
The other thing is that you need to make sure to use as little K as possible in your colors except for the lineart. CMYK stands for the four colors a printer will use to mix and print your image: cyan(C), magenta(M), yellow(Y), and black (K). The black inks tend to be very harsh on your image and if you use a ton of K in your painting, you won’t be able to see the differentiation between colors because… well.. you’ve saturated your whole image with black. It’s kind of the same reason you want to avoid using black with watercolor paintings, and instead you can blend a shade of black using other pigments instead. So, when you’re using colors in Photoshop, if you’re painting an area “black”, you can set your colors to 100% C, 100% M, 100% Y, and 0% K, and you will get a deep grey that will print as a dark grey, darker than it appears on your monitor, and won’t have the same harshness as if you had used K. This is a hard concept to explain in words because on printed paper, you can see where you used 100% K due to the way the ink tends to gloss and have a raised surface on the paper. Building a swatch palette in Photoshop or whatever else you use to paint in will help keep the K out of your image.
Seasoned professionals are probably really good at not using any K in their pieces but I always end up throwing in about 40% K max in any part of my image that’s not linework. Oops.
You also might want to try a higher quality printer or a printer that does color matching. For really awesome accurate color printing, I recommend catprint.com (and no, I’m not affiliated). I know some other printers are now able to color match to RGB files, but I don’t have any personal experience.
That was pretty long, sorry!
Posted on my blog in case other people would like to know this information and because my response was too long to post as a reply. 8)
Disclaimer: This is just advice, please take it with a grain of salt.