STEP 1: THE IDEA
Step one is probably the hardest step. How do you come up with an idea that is funny, original, and holiday-oriented when you have 2000 years (give or take) of Christmas Cards that came before? For some reason, this idea came to me in the summertime--so there was no last minute rush to get it finished this year! Typically, I doodle around on whatever scrap paper is available, and I try to figure out how to present the idea. Doodles tend to be rather small and loose
STEP 2: THE MOCKUP
Next comes the mockup, which is full-scale drawing where I work out all the particular details.
STEP 3: THE DRAWING
Next comes the actual drawing. I take an 9" x 12" sheet of Bristol (a heavy paper) and draw out the image in pencil.
STEP 4: INKING
Next I go over all of the pencils with ink. Some people think this means "tracing," but it's not. Inking adds a whole different character to the image. Since I had time, I actually created multiple versions with different styles to see which one I liked best. I also tried different pens and brushes.
STEP 5: SCANNING
Next, I scan the finished art into the computer. That seems pretty straightforward, but there's always some little snag that makes it take longer than it should.
STEP 6: CLEAN UP AND FORMATTING
I open the scanned image in a software program called Photoshop. This program allows me to manipulate the image and make it ready for printing. With Photoshop I added the colors and text. The border and card back I created in Illustrator a few years ago, and I re-used most of it this time around. Then I saved it in a format that could easily be printed.
STEP 7: PRINTING
Then it's off to the copy store to print the card. I had them print 2 images on a page of card stock and then cut the page in half. I was pretty happy with the card stock I got this year. Usually it's too flimsy for my taste, but this time it was nice and solid (of course that added 10 cents to every card, but oh well...).
STEP 8: MAILING
Then I just address, stamp, add something pithy like "Merry Christmas," and drop the cards in the mail. See how easy it is! Anyone can do it!