Creating Kreeley’s Dream: My Creative Process

It being Creativity Boost Thursday, I thought I’d share with you the creative process for my latest invitation design. (BTW, have I mentioned how much I love the highlight feature? I’ll be using a lot of it until the novelty wears off. But back to business.)

My client is my favorite soon-to-be 7 year old, Kreeley! She’s having her first slumber party and, even though her birthday is this summer, she has been talking about the party since February. It’s really too cute and why we really have to make this one special. Kreeley knew she wanted puppies, flowers, candy, games, movies and, most importantly, no boys at the party. That kept it pretty open for me. Her mom and I thought of “Midsummer Birthday’s Dream,” but Kreeley wanted us to make sure we didn’t forget the puppies. (Are you sensing what’s at the top of Kreeley’s birthday wish list?) So with that in mind, I moved away from the fairy aspect of a true Midsummer Night’s Dream party and decided to create a dreamland for Kreeley – with the focal point being her own cartoon caricature. With that decided, I started sketching!

Kreeley-sketch-1 Kreeley-sketch-2

1. It all begins with rough sketching—really rough sketching.
2. Then I start to refine the sketch to try different styles. Some (like the one pictured) are not winners, but are getting me closer to something great. I can almost start to feel it.

Kreeley-sketch-3 Kreeley-sketch-4

3. I keep refining until it finally just feels right. Oh, I just love this new cartoon girl. The beautiful, big (soon-to-be blue) eyes and the detail of the headband are so Kreeley!
4. I then turn the pencil sketch into an ink drawing that I can scan.(Sometimes I paint or use colored pencil depending on the feel, but this time I wanted to create something I could turn into a digital illustration.)

Kreeley-sketch-5 Kreeley-sketch-6

5. Now it’s time to turn the ink drawing into Illustrator Vector Art that I can digitally color in any combination I want. Should she be in orange, pink, polka dots? I never know where the drawing is going to take me.
6. Lastly, I can insert the character into different “dream world” settings. This drawing was screaming to be put in a black-and-white world where only some things are in color. And did you notice that Kreeley does indeed get her puppy, even if it is subtle!

That’s it for now, I can’t wait to see where else this little character takes me. I’ll be sure to follow up with the final invitation and all the fun stuff we design for the party!

5 thoughts on “Creating Kreeley’s Dream: My Creative Process

  1. Sarah says:

    This is completely, totally and utterly adorable! 🙂 I really really love how you’ve shown the design from start to finish. It is so interesting to know the different steps your mind goes through to get to the final design. You’ve outdone yourself on this one!


  2. Amy Detrick says:

    Thanks Sarah. I was hoping it would prove interesting. I can’t wait to share with you and the blog world the final result. I’m working on it today, so expect an update post this week!


  3. Linda McCune says:

    Amy, part of your magnetic appeal is your complete unselfishness to share your gift of creativity. You are awesome!


  4. Staci Burruel says:

    Nice job on the dress pattern! Your style is unique, you must be very popular with the kids! Who are your inspirations? The drawing looks similar to the art in the graphic novel “Persepolis.”


  5. Amy says:

    Thanks Staci! I love bold graphic patterns, but for this series I also wanted kids to be able to color the design, exercising their own creativity. And the style was born. I suppose I also really like Tim Burton animated movies, but I have a slightly happier outlook.


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