Let’s start with the first thing I did to get the ball rolling – making a flyer.
TL;DR – I made the flyer image by drawing it on paper, taking a picture, and then putting it into Adobe Photoshop.
- Smartphone with camera
- Pentel GraphGear 1000 Pencil 0.7mm Mechanical Pencil
- This is technically more of an architect’s than an artist’s pencil. Any pencil will do.
- XiaoStar Portable A4 Lightbox (USB-C Powered)
- If you like to draw on paper, a lightbox will really expand what you can do. You can find them for around $20 on Amazon, but I paid $3 more for a USB-C one since micro-USB ports always break on me.
- Adobe Photoshop
You Should Learn To Use Illustrator
Before I continue, I should let you guys know I technically did it wrong by using Photoshop. The proper program to use is Adobe Illustrator, but I suck at using Illustrator.
Why should you be using Illustrator instead? Well, with digital graphics, you can work with pixels or vectors.
Pixels are normally fine since you’re typically just worried about having quality that matches the resolution (e.g., enjoying 4K videos on a fancy new screen).
If you plan to have something printed though, you’re typically going to want to use vector assets so you never have to worry about resolution.
Instead of storing the data as individual squares of color, vectors store the data as geometrical lines and shapes for unlimited resolution so you can get things printed as big as you want. That’s why vector files are the standard in graphic design and print.
However, Illustrator is painful to use and this is Cheap Comedy Fest, so we’re gonna go the easy route and just make files with large resolutions.
The Making Of A Flyer
This is what the guy on the flyer started as, a bad rough sketch that looks like a Krupa Krupa from Super Mario:
Instead of doing proper iterative drawing to improve upon it, I just did a lot of erasing and re-sketching on the same paper until I was happy with it.
When you erase and redraw the same thing on a paper though, you’re left with a drawing that’s not very clean – so I used a lightbox to trace it over with a pen.
With a clean pen drawing, you can throw it into photoshop and easily remove the background with the magic wand tool, leaving you with your line drawing as a layer. (If you look at the layers on the right, you can see I added a stroke effect to thicken the line a bit as well.)
Next step was coloring, which is made a lot easier by the fact that I can color underneath the line layer.
Finally, I threw my new asset onto the sample flyer I made for the original Facebook post to propose Cheap Comedy Fest.
When it was time to make the logo for the page, I simply copied the text layer from the flyer onto a logo-proportioned image.
That’s pretty much all I’ve done as far as creating image assets goes. Hopefully you feel empowered to do the same – all you need is your smartphone, a graphic design app, and a pencil.
Note: Links to products are affiliate links to let Amazon and Adobe know I sent you.