Live Encore: Design and Prepare Digital Art for Print on Demand | Cat Coquillette | Skillshare

Live Encore: Design and Prepare Digital Art for Print on Demand

Cat Coquillette, Artist + Entrepreneur + Educator

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9 Lessons (56m)
    • 1. Introduction

      1:52
    • 2. Setting Up in Procreate

      9:26
    • 3. Drawing Symmetrical Bugs

      4:00
    • 4. Adding Details to Your Bugs

      7:29
    • 5. Finessing Your Illustration

      4:52
    • 6. Testing Different Color Palettes

      11:15
    • 7. Exporting for Print on Demand

      6:05
    • 8. Q&A

      9:39
    • 9. Final Thoughts

      1:43
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About This Class

Learn about the power of print on demand—and how to make digital art that will sell!

Illustrator Cat Coquillette attributes a big part of her success as a self-employed artist to selling through print-on-demand sites (like Society6 and Redbubble), and wants to help other creatives realize their potential. In this 55-minute class—recorded using Zoom and featuring participation from the Skillshare community—she shares some of her best tips for creating digital artwork that's optimized to sell online.

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First, you’ll do a fun drawing activity to grow your digital illustration skills and gain more knowledge of the tools available to you in Procreate. Whether or not you plan to ever sell your artwork, you’re sure to enjoy drawing these cute, symmetrical critters. Then you’ll get down to business. Cat will share some of her tips and tricks for experimenting with different color palettes, creating designs that are likely to have mass appeal, and exporting your work so it looks great on the final printed product. 

Whether you’re just starting to think about selling your work or looking for ways to improve your digital sales, you’re sure to learn something. Plus, students who participated in the live session were able to ask Cat questions, so you’ll get to dig even deeper into what it's like to be a working artist.

You’ll need:

Additional Resources:

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While we couldn't respond to every question during the session, we'd love to hear from you—please use the class Discussion board to share your questions and feedback.

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Want to learn more of Cat's tips to create gorgeous illustrations on your iPad? Check out her other Procreate classes:

Transcripts

1. Introduction: I got started with print on demand about six years ago. That was probably the primary catalyst for where I am today as a self-employed artist and designer. I want to make sure that other artists are aware of the awesome power of print on demand websites and know that as artists you can really profit from something like this. Both in terms of earning a little bit of extra money and in terms of exposure for you and your arts. Hey guys, my name is Cot Coquillette and I am an Illustrator and Designer. I create artwork through all the mediums: watercolor, acrylic, Adobe Illustrator. But today, I'm going to be talking to you about Procreate, which is my absolute favorite app right now to be creating new artwork. Procreate is an app that you can install onto your iPad and it allows you to create beautiful illustrations. We'll be creating these illustrations of bugs, butterflies, dragonflies, things that feel really nice and symmetrical using this tool. In addition to learning some really nifty drawing techniques in Procreate, I'll also be talking about how I create illustrations specifically for print on demand. Illustrations that are going to do really well in terms of sales and I'll also be talking about the more technical specs. Creating artwork that's going to be sized of a high resolution and how to get the most bang for your buck here. You can work right alongside me throughout this class, every step of the way you'll be able to see what I'm doing and follow along on your own iPad. By taking this class today, I really hope you guys feel empowered to create your own artwork on Procreate, maybe take it to the next level. Something to note, this class was recorded live and I got to interact with the audience as I was drawing. Without further ado, let's go ahead and get started. 2. Setting Up in Procreate: My name is Tiffany Chow. I work on Skillshare's community team and I have the pleasure of being the host for today's live session with Cat Coquillette. Cat, so excited to have you with us today. I'm so excited to be here. Why don't you start just by telling us a little bit about yourself and what you do? Yeah, my name is Cat Coquillette and I'm the founder of CatCoq, which is my illustration and design brand. I got it started back in about 2014. I just got started, I was watercoloring things, putting them on Instagram. It was just a side for me in addition to buy full-time job. But I found a lot of traction through print-on-demand websites since '86 and before long, I was earning more money through those print-on-demand sites than I was in my full-time job. So I decided to put it over entirely, start a company. Now you can find my artwork fast-forward six years. It's in stores like Target, Urban Outfitters, Bed Bath & Beyond, HomeGoods, all that jazz. It has been quite a journey. This is actually my 15th Skillshare class. I'm really excited about it. My last one was on Procreate. I was teaching Procreate basics. If you had never gotten started with the app or you dabbled in it, but you wanted to learn new techniques, that's what my previous class was about. It got a lot of traction, it went really well. This is pretty much a follow-up to that class. One of the best pieces of feedback I got from that class was people really like utilizing the symmetry tools to create these mandalas. For this, we're going to do a different spin off of that same tool and create these very symmetrical little bug critters. I hope you guys are excited. I know I am. Let's go ahead and get into it, Cat. All right, that sounds great. The things you'll need to complete this class are an iPad and the app Procreate. I'm also using an Apple Pencil, which I really recommend if you want to get serious with Procreate. But you can do all of this with just your finger on the screen as well. I've got to few class resources for you guys to download for this class. You can find them in the Class Resources section. One is the paper texture and it's simply a piece of watercolor paper that I pulled out of my notebook, scanned into my computer, resized to 16 by 20, which is a nice big size. It'll print really well on print-on-demand platforms. You can turn it to art prints, tapestries, throw pillows, from cases, just about everything. It's a pretty good size to work with. Go ahead and I might [inaudible] to my iPad, so that might be a good thing for you if you're Mac or Apple or whatever, or you can e-mail it to yourself and then the other class outside is going to be those swatches. What I did is I created a custom swatch for this class and it's called Cute Critters. If you're trying to open it on your computer, you might find that it won't open. It only opens in Procreate. If you send it to your iPad, you'll be able to open it right up in Procreate and then scroll through until you see that swatch titled Cute Critters. Those are the two cross-assets that we're going to begin with. I'm going to go back to my gallery and start from scratch. This is my very messy Procreate gallery. I'm going to start by clicking up here where it says "Photo", and in "Recents", I'll go ahead and grab that water color texture, that's already been imported into my iPad. This is where we're going to start. Like I mentioned before, this is 16 by 20, which is a pretty good size for print-on-demand. It's not going to be able to be replicated on some of the much larger products. But for most products, this size will actually work out pretty well. Then I've already imported my swatch. At this point, it's just a matter of scrolling down. There it is, Cute Critters. I'm going to go ahead and click where it says ''Set Default'', and that way it'll just pop up every time I open up my swatches and I won't have to dig around for it. We have our artboard set up, 16 by 20. Great size for print-on-demand. I have my swatch defaulted. For whatever reason, you're not going to be working off this paper texture, maybe you want to work with a different size artboard. Go for it. This would work just the same, same thing. This Cute Critters is a guide. You can use Cute Critters as the color palette following along, or if you want to use your own colors, go for it. I'd love to see what everybody creates in there, either following this palette or using different ones. That is how we get our artboard set up. The main tool that I'll be using for this class is the tool called Assisted Drawing, and you get there, first I'm going to go ahead and go to my layers and I click that Plus sign to start a new layer just to make sure I'm not adding Assisted Drawing on that paper texture layer. Real quick. This paper texture layer, I always want it to remain on its own layer. I never want to draw on top of it. I just always want to keep it completely perfect in and on its own. I've opened up a new blink layer and I want to make sure that's the layer that's selected. Then I'm going to go over here into my settings and then click "Canvas", turn on drawing guide. You'll see right now. I don't know if you can see it on my video. Let's see. But you'll probably see it on your own screens. You'll see this blue gridded guide. That's what indicates the drawing guide. If you export this as a JPEG or share it on social media, that blue guide won't show up. That's only for you to be able to see what's going on on your page. I'm going to go under drawing guide, there's an option here for edit drawing guide. Let me go ahead and tap that. Now I have all my drawing guide options. There's a lot to work with here. But the main one that we're going to be focusing on is called Assisted Drawing. It's over here on the bottom right. Go ahead and toggle that on. Then go to symmetry over here on the far right, options. We have different types of guide options here under symmetry. There's vertical, horizontal, quadrant, radial. If you took my most recent Skillshare class, you'll probably remember that we worked with the quadrants and the radial guides to create these beautiful mandalas that were perfectly symmetrical. But for this, we're going to be doing these bugs and butterflies. We want to be using this vertical drawing guide. With vertical selected, you'll see that it's just one guide right down here in the middle of the screen. I want to make sure rotational symmetry is checked off and Assisted Drawing is checked on. Once that all looks good, go ahead and press "Done", and we have our guide. You know what? Let me go back real quick, because in the process of pressing done I changed the color up here to a really light color. I'm going to bring that back on the spectrum to something I can actually see, which is this cyan blue. I'll press ''Done'' again, and here we have it. It doesn't really look like a whole lot happens. But what we did is add this guide that goes down the middle of the screen like this. I'm going to go over to my layers. Under that blank layer 2, you'll see that right under it, it'll say assisted. That means that our drawing guide is working. It's on, it's ready to go. Even double-check it. You can just tap your layer once and you'll see a little check mark over here next to Drawing Assist. Every time I'm working on Procreate, I triple-check, double-check my layers all the time because the worst thing ever is when I'm drawing on a layer that turns out to be the wrong layer to be drawing on and then I have to go redo everything back up a bunch. So always check your layers as much as you possibly can. We have our layer 2 selected. I'm going to go over here into my palettes and start with my first color. I think I'm going to start with this really bright red to begin with. Again, you guys can use my palette for this one, or you can choose your own. Do whatever feels more comfortable to you. Then just make sure up here on the top right, after you change that color, you'll see it's indicated up here. If I were to change it to that line yellow, it changes at the top but I'm going to keep it at red. Perfect. The next step, let's go select our brush. My favorite brush of the moment is called Syrup. This is the one I've been using a lot. Then this is really great for when you want to do lines that don't have a lot of texture to them and they're really filled in. But for this, I know I've been talking about Syrup on Instagram all the time, but for this one, I'm actually going to be using Pandani. It's a fun name. It's right under here, under inking. It's a default brush for Procreate. You guys should all be able to have that. If you don't have it, just go ahead and choose something comparable. Just a thick inking brush that has a nice taper on either ends to it. This one, you can see both ends taper. There's some texture in the middle. It's a really great brush to work with, and it's a default brush, which means it is free. I'm going to go ahead and get all the brushes. Quadruple-check layers. Make sure I'm working on that layer to Assisted, again, just so we don't have to go back and redo everything. Let's go ahead and get started. 3. Drawing Symmetrical Bugs: Let's go ahead and get started with drawing our bug shapes. The first thing I'm going to draw will be this butterfly right here in the middle. This is going to be the really cool thing about Drawing Assist. Whatever you draw on one side of that axis is automatically going to be repeated on the other side. This is a really fun tool, I use it all the time. Mostly when I'm doing mandalas, I use this for patterns, butterflies, dragonflies, anything that I want to feel really nice and symmetrical, fluorophores works really well also. I'm going to also drag that brush up. Let's see what 24 looks like. Cool. I'm going to make it a little bigger. Let's try 38 and I'm going to fill in this butterfly wing at the top. One tool on procreate is sometimes when you draw, you can drag over and fill in automatically. But that's not something I'm going to be using for this lesson because as you can see, when it fills in automatically, you lose all that texture. I want to keep that texture in place, which means I'm going to be filling in manually. It's a small enough illustration and that should work out pretty well. Then we see that nice texture of the brush coming through. That's really what makes this feel like a hand done piece. It doesn't feel like a digital illustration at all. I've got the top of the butterfly drawn, I'm going to do the bottom part of this wing. Remember yours doesn't have to look exactly like this. If you want to be drawing your own butterfly wings, making them look entirely your own, that is awesome. I love having that texture in the middle right here, but I do want to refine these edges a little bit. I'm going to go ahead and make my brush a little smaller. Let's try eight percent. That's too tight. Then I can use that smaller brush to refine these edges. I still get this nice texture, but it's just not as overpowering as this over here. I always use a larger brush to do those fill in areas, then a slightly more smaller brush to finesse those edges and make it look a little bit more refined. That is our basic butterfly. We're going to start with the big shapes and then on the second step will be filling in details. Starting off, let's get the shapes down first. That's my composition. You have the butterfly right in the middle. I think above it, I'm going to add a ladybug. I'm going to zoom in and make an oval shape. Then I'm not holding my brush super hard on that page, I'm actually holding it pretty loose and that's how I'm getting this nice texture. If you hold loose like this, you get some nice texture and if you press down really hard, you lose that texture. I like to hold it a little bit looser to keep that texture. If you're not familiar with this strike, it's awesome. Two fingers tapped once will undo and then three fingers will redo. So you can redo, undo. I use this all the time. I loved key commands and this is basically procreates version of key commands. The undo and redo are also over here on the bottom left, most people do use these as well. We have our beautiful ladybug, we have our butterfly. Let me make sure my brush is selected. Last but not least, I want to put a dragonfly down here at the bottom. For this, I think I'm going to change the colors to try something new. Let's try this really light pink over here. It's going to something like samadhi color. I've selected that. I'm going to start with the dragonfly's head, has those two big eyes and then his torso. I'm not looking at a picture for this, so sorry, this is not totally what dragonfly look like, but I think that looks pretty good. We have our basic shapes established here. They're all looking pretty good. At the next point, it's time to start adding our details in. 4. Adding Details to Your Bugs: Now that we have the basic shapes established, let's go ahead and add in all the fun details that really bring these bugs to life. This will be a fun step where I'm going to bring that brush size down. Let's try about seven percent for the details. The first thing I want to do is let's start with the details on the butterfly. I'm going to go over here to my Palettes and choose black, and this will be my main detail color that I'll be using. I'm verifying up here that that black has also changed. Sometimes when I'm adding details or adding another layer with colors, I like starting a new layer. That way, I can adjust the colors, and I'm going to do that for this one as well. Even though this is a pretty big art board, we are limited with our layers. Let's go ahead and add a new layer, and that way if we draw anything here but we decided we messed up and we want to go back, instead of losing all of these basic background shapes, we're only going to be losing the details. It just gives you more flexibility and more control as you're editing and drawing as you go. I am a big fan of layers. You should see my Photoshop files, some of them are 50 layers by the time I'm finished. But I always consolidate and clean up when I'm totally finished. When you're working, more layers is better because it will give you more flexibility. I have that layer 3 selected. If I were to just start drawing on my page right now, it's only drawing on one side of that grid and the reason is I don't have Assisted turned on. I'm going to go back up here, make sure that that layer is selected. Let's go back up to our settings. We'll do edit to Drawing Guide, Options, make sure it's vertical, and we're just going to toggle on Assisted Drawing, and then press "Done". Another way that you can turn that on, that's a little bit more of a shortcut, is to tap your layer and check Assisted Drawing over here. Both of these will get you to the exact same place. I usually prefer going through the settings and just redoing it just to make sure it's the correct assisted drawing. I have a little bit more control, I can double check, and make sure that I'm on the right type of assisted drawing and that it's symmetrical on that vertical axis. All right, we have Assisted Drawing on. There's a layer right above our basic butterfly layer, and I'm going to tap the screen to close that, and I'm going to start drawing in my details. Let's start with a big circle right here for the butterfly. They always have antennas, so let's add an antenna. Then he probably needs a body, so I'm going to put a body in there and start filling it in. He needs a little head too. Let's add some more details down here. I'm going to do another circle. Let's see what the ladybug can look like. I'm going to start by drawing that line straight across. I'm filling in this top of the ladybug with black for his little head area, and I'll do some little dots around the ladybug, it's a very cartoony ladybug, and some cute little feet. Perfect. For the dragonfly, let's see, I think their wings look something like this, maybe. Perfect. Filling in the wings. Usually I look at reference photos, and I love looking at reference photos. But when you look at them too much when you're drawing, sometimes you get a little bit too realistic. I like keeping a lot of drawings, especially in this style pretty loose, gestural, and very cartoony in a way. It just feels a little bit more stylized. Let's fill in his wings with some details. This seems like what a dragonfly's wings would look like. The same thing down here. Perfect. Yeah, this is another thing I love about this brush is you see these really nice textures on the edges. It really does feel like something that was done by hand with some pastel or chalk, not something that was drawn digitally, and that's another thing I really love about Procreate. Let's give this guy some eyes, and then let's make him smiling. Cute. Now, I'm going to go over here to my palettes and let's switch it to white, this creamy white over here, and let's see. This guy needs some eyes. My eraser was selected. Sometimes, that gets selected when my hand can moves over. I'll just do that double tap, choose my brush, and fill it in. Cool. I'm going to add a few more details to this butterfly. Their wings always look like eyes, so maybe we'll add that in and maybe some fun line work around his wings as well. I'm varying the pressure on my brush as I push down so I keep lighter strokes, have a much lighter, thinner brush. If I were to use a heavy stroke and push down, it gets much thicker on the board, which really is similar to drawing with an actual medium as well. It feels pretty intuitive. I'll add some new lines. Here we go. Maybe I a design in the middle of that butterfly's thorax. Yeah, this is the really cool thing about using this assisted drawing symmetry tool. You can have a lot of fun with it. I use this thing all the time. It's really very fun to play around with. Let's go over here to our dragonfly. As I'm looking at this illustration, I don't think I like that this dragonfly is a different color. I think I want to keep it monochrome, so I'm going to show you how you can change colors pretty easily. If you go over here to your Layers, you can select that big blocky layer where we had everything on there. I'm going to go up to my color palettes, choose my red, and then drag it and drop it right in. If you used some color earlier and then you want to change it later, that's how easy it is to change. That's another reason why I like keeping these things on separate layers. It just keeps it a lot smoother and easier to change colors and move things around when one layer is all one color or really close, similar colors. Let's add a few more details into that dragonfly. I'm going to make sure that my detail layer is selected, go up to my Palettes, and let's add some whites in there. I think I'm going to do the same thing I did with that butterfly where I bring that pen down and create these v's all the way down his body. Perfect. We have our basic illustration file and as you can see, it was pretty quick to draw. You have a lot of opportunity here to move some things around, adjust color pallets, do some editing, change the background, and that's what I'm going to show you how to do as well for our next step. 5. Finessing Your Illustration: Now that we have our bugs fully drawn, let's go ahead and finesse our illustration with some texture and compositional tweaks. Let's go over here and open up our layers. Now that I'm finished with both of these layers together, I think I'm going to go ahead and consolidate them into one because there's no more color edits or anything like that, but I want to do with the two layer specific. To merge these layers together, I'm going to take both fingers like this and pinch them together and now they're on one layer. I'm going to click this layer and drag it underneath so it's hidden by our original paper texture layer. I'll show you why I did that. We have this beautiful paper texture and I really wanted to feel integrated with the illustration. To do that, I'm going to use a transparency effect. I'm going to go over here and click my N, which stands for normal. Here we have a bunch of blending modes. I use these all the time in Photoshop and I'm really excited that Procreate has one as well, so I'm just going to click and drag all the way up until I find the Multiply. That transparency effect, basically what it does, here I'll show you with visuals instead of explaining. What that does, is it puts this texture on top of our illustration. You can see the texture paper over here on the side of the illustration, and then you also see here over the artwork. I'll show you real quick what it looks like before and after. I'll move it under to show you. Without that applied, you lose that texture on top of the illustration itself and you only see it in the background. But when you have Multiply applied as a transparency effect, let me pick that back up, move it up. It just feels more integrated. You can see that paper texture coming through on the illustration itself. The reason that's important is, even more, it makes it feel like this was painted by hand on this paper, it feels really cohesive and feels together. That's really what I love. When I create these pieces of artwork, I want them to feel like they're really done by hand. I'm getting a question, are both layers on Multiply? You can do it either way. If we put, basically drawing layer or Multiply, it's not really going to make much of a difference, because the only thing underneath it is white, so you can pop them both on Multiply. If I have my illustration on top of the paper and it's on Multiply, then it will still show through. I can actually turn Multiply off as long as the illustration is above it. I don't know if we're getting to him the [inaudible] that's making sense. But yeah, Multiply, it's a great tool. What it's going to do, is it's going to make that top layer transparent over those bottom layers. If this background color, let's say, I'm just going to show you an example, you don't necessarily have to follow along. But what I'm going to do is add a new layer and I'm going to make it this bright yellow in the background. Because these bugs are multiplied, you see that bottom layer, that color is interacting with this top color. If you ever wanted to key colors together, which means make the colors feel more integrated, Multiply is a really great technique for that as well. I'm going to go ahead and delete this layer. I do that just by swiping left and tapping "Delete". We have our basic composition right here with our illustration. I've shown you some things to do with the Multiply tool and the transparency effect. One thing I want to do with the composition before I start playing with color exploration, is I want to show you how to adjust that composition. Right now there's a really nice spacing down here between the dragonfly and the butterfly, but it's feeling a little bit tight up here, so I want to move this ladybug up a tiny bit. I want to make sure that this layer is selected and then go over here to my selection tool. Freehand is my default, that's the one I use most frequently and then I can just drag around, make a selection, and then use my Transform tool, which is over here I click this arrow. Now, I can simply drag this guy. Whoops, not resize him. Let's drag him up a little bit to give some more breathing room. To set the transformation, I'm going to tap that arrow. Now it feels a little bit nicer, they're more perfectly spaced out right now. Now that we have our basic illustration, let's do some fun stuff and play with some various different types of color palettes. 6. Testing Different Color Palettes: Now let's get started with some color exploration. Not only am I going to show you how to try out some various colors with these exact same bugs, but I'm also going to talk about the strategy and why it's important to do so. To do that, I'm going to open up my layers again. We have our main layer, and what I want to do is make a copy of it. We have our layer selected, I'm just going to swipe left, and then click "Duplicate". What that's done is made an exact copy of this layer above it. Here's another good example of having multiply on. When you multiply the exact same color over itself, it gets a lot darker, as you can see back and forth. I'm going to go ahead and keep multiply on because I like what it's doing with that paper texture. I'm just going to make sure that I untangle, uncheck that box for the layer that I'm not using. Then also, because I like staying super organized, I'm going to click that layer, rename it, and call it red black. Perfect. This just helps me stay very organized. Now let's go ahead and play with some new color palette explorations for the second layer. Real quick, why do I play with a bunch of different color palettes? If you follow me on Instagram, you probably see, anytime I post a new piece of artwork, it'll be like, "Oh, here's my new sushi illustration. Then, here's 45 color palettes of various ways I can draw that sushi." The reason I do that, well, there's two reasons mainly. The first one is, it's really easy to do. It's really easy to change the color of your composition, or even to change the background color if it's not the primary color. It's usually just a few clicks, and that's what we're going to get into in our next lesson. But, because it's so easy, it also gives me a lot of options. Let's say that I want to, here's a good example. I drew this Panda in Procreate and it was originally red, but I knew I wanted to get it as a sticker on my water bottle, so I made a new color of it for orange to match that water bottle. You think about everyone that might be purchasing your work, and a lot of people have specific colors in mind for what they're looking for, especially if it's the home decor category. If someone wants to buy new bedding or throw pillows, they probably have a color in mind for what they want for their room, so they might be searching based on color. If you created this illustration, and it's only red, you're limiting yourself for a lot of potential sales. What I like to do is do a bunch of different color palettes and that way if someone likes the artwork, but they don't like the color, there'll be other colors that they can choose from, so they can still purchase that work. It's just a really great way for adding more variety to your portfolio, optimizing for sales, and also gives a really good opportunity on social media for engagement. A lot of times when I come up with maybe two or three primary palettes, I'll post them on Instagram, or Facebook, or Twitter and I'll ask my followers which one they like best. People are very opinionated, myself included, and we all love to share opinions. When you can prompt interaction like that, it can really help your engagement, and I hope your following, and then help your followers also know that you listened to them. Because a lot of times when I'm waffling between the two, I'll post it on social media, and then usually one or the other will just have a resounding success, and then that's the one that I know that I continue promoting for showing to clients, or using that as a headliner when I'm showing off that product. More color palettes for better, and you can also crowdsource it on social media to see what your followers like best. Long spiel over, let's start playing with some colors. I have this layer 2 selected, and what I want to do, make sure that this is toggled on. The layer we're now using is toggled off, so I can't see it, and I'm going to go over here into adjustments. There's a lot of stuff we can do over here, but for color, there's two that I use the most frequently. The first one is hue, saturation, and brightness, so let's start with this. Down here, we have a variation of scrubbers, and hue is exactly what it sounds like. You can scrub this all the way to the right, and you see different colors, or all the way to the left and see the same thing. Right now, it's only changing the color of that initial red because the wings, the details, all of those are black, which means anytime we drag this on the scrubber, that black is so dark it won't change. If you wanted to see the black change, you can bring up that brightness, bring up that saturation, and then do the same thing, and then you see a little bit more variation in those black tones. But for me, I'm going to bring this back to 50, bring that saturation back to new 50, and play around and see what's really resonating. I really like this teal color. It's about 95 percent right now. I'm going to go ahead and search that. I'm just going to tap anywhere, palettes, brushes, anywhere else, and that will set that color transformation. If I go over here to my layers, I'll see that I have these two distinct colors. I have got teal, which I'm going to rename before I forget about it, and we have that original red and black. Let's go ahead and make one more color variation using a slightly different technique. I'm going to base it off of this original red and black. If you're wondering how I'm toggling between these, I'm just unchecking and checking the visibility. The reason that I'm turning them off is because I had that multiply on both of these layers. If I have them all turned on, you see that teal multiplying over the red, which makes it really dark and almost desaturated. It's a combination of both, so it's this dark green. Let's go ahead and swipe left on our original red layer, and I'm going to select duplicates. Now I'm going over here into adjustments. Now we used hue saturation and brightness first, but now I want to use color balance. What's going on? I forgot to uncheck my original layer. Let's go back in there. It was looking really dark. Adjustments, color balance. This is going to give me a much more subtle version of changing those colors. Instead of just dragging that scrubber all over the hue and saturation, where you see that massive variety of colors all across the spectrum, what this tool does is it's going to base it off of these original colors. Any adjustments I make here are going to be based off of these colors. It's going to be all about the red and this black tone. I can bring up the blue. Maybe see what the extreme yellow looks like. Same thing with green, magenta. That pink is nice. I always start just by dragging each of these individually and seeing how they change the color and seeing what I'm resonating with most. Oops, it went away. You also have this option over here. It looks like a little sun. If you tap that, you'll see where the color balance is being affected. For me, I had shadow selected, probably because that's what I was using earlier, but you can also change the color of the mid tones, or the highlights. Let's pop it back in the mid tones. That's the most common one that people use for color balance changes. Now if you drag that scrubber, you'll see that it's not really affecting the darkest areas as much. It's really only affecting those very medium hues. This is a pretty fun one to work with. Oh, that's cool. Seen it all desaturated. I like that. I think I want to go for really maybe a yellow. I'm going to go back here and choose highlights and see what happens if I drive that yellow all the way over. What that's done is it's chosen my brightest areas, which here are all the whites, it was all the whites detail marks. So basically changes only the white areas to this brighter yellow. What I'm going to do is keep that very yellow on the whites, go back to my shadows and make it very blue. Maybe add some magenta. That's cool. I like that a lot. Let's see what cyan does, because I have to know. Nope. What I've done here is with shadow selected, I've taken it to the bluest blue and the most magenta, magenta, and now I have this really nice fuchsia-indigo tone with these nice yellow accents. Let's go ahead and go back, and I'm going to change this name to indigo. It's not always necessary to change your layer names. I just like doing it because otherwise I'm looking at this huge thing of layers and I have no idea where to start. By changing the names and keeping it organized, it helps me know what's going on with my own artwork. These are three. I can continue going. I can continue making layers, changing color palettes, but I think you guys get the drift. If you want to continue exploring color palettes on your own, keep going. One good way that I find most of my color palettes are through Pantone. I look at the color of the year. That's a great indicator for what's on trend, what people are most likely going to be buying. That's a great resource. I also look at the New York Fashion Week their color indicators. Right now with their fall and summer, you're seeing a very really specific set of colors, like a lot of ocher yellow and teal. Those are actually colors that I've been incorporating a lot into the artwork that I'm publishing right now, because those are the colors people are most likely to be purchasing right now if there's one direct path that they're looking towards. We have our basic shapes created. First color palette that I mentioned in comments was the Pantone color of beer. Pantone, it's pretty much the industry leader on color and every year they decide what the 2020 color palette is going to be, or the 2019 color palette. They choose one color, and then you basically see that color rolling out across everything. Every industry wants to know what Pantone color of the year is going to be so they can make sure that their products are going to be on trend for that color. That's a great indicator for choosing colors. Actually, I do have a previous Skillshare class that covers everything I do at trend tracking. It's all of my best tips for how I know what's going to be on trend, how I know how to paint things that people are actually going to buy that I can make money from, it all depends on trend forecasting for me. If you're interested in that, go ahead and check out my Skillshare profile. It's called trend forecasting, is the name of the class, so it is a fun one. 7. Exporting for Print on Demand: Finally, I'm going to show you how to export these files and optimize them for print on demand sites. Real quick, if you're not familiar with print on demands, those are websites like Society6, or Redbubble, Teespring, Threadless. Basically, it's websites where you can go and buy cool products. I actually get all my phone cases from Society6 and Redbubble. I've got a bunch of t-shirts, leggings, all of that jazz. The way that those products are created are it's designers like me, or illustrators, artists all over the world. We create artwork just like what we just did, and I upload it to those websites. They're always free to join and I can adjust my artwork to be put on their products. It's all in the back end. It's pretty easy. For something like this, like our illustration, it would work out really well on a phone case because it has that nice vertical pull. What I can do is export this as a PNG or JPEG, and then upload it to these print on demand sites, finesse it onto those product templates, and then make that artwork live. Then anyone anywhere in the world can purchase these products. Society6 will turn my artwork into a product. For example, a phone case. The manufacture it, and they'll ship it out to the customer. They'll handle returns, customer inquiries, and the only thing I have to be responsible for is setting my product mark-up prices so I decide what royalties I'm going to receive. I can also make sure that I'm uploading artwork that people are going to buy. On any given day, I probably upload probably between one and five different pieces of artwork to these print on demand sites. Then I let my Instagram and social media followers know so people can go purchase my artwork just like what we made on Procreate, on these super cool products. Yeah, this is what I got started with back in 2014. Earlier at the beginning of this call, I was talking about how I got started with this, just tinkering with it on the side. But then I started making enough money to quit my job and be an artist full-time. I love print on demand sites. Let's talk real quick about how to optimize this for print on demands, and make sure that you're uploading the highest quality files you can possibly upload. I'm going to make sure that I've got my paper layer turned on, and then this red black layer. I'm going to start with this one. I'm going to go up here to actions and click share. Over here, we have a lot of different sharing options. The one that I always start with is PSD, this one right here. There's my phone, that's a Society6 case. PSD stands for Photoshop file. I'll just send that to my laptop or something later. Just AirDrop. Just know that PSD is the best way to start. What that's going to do is that's going to save a layered file. That means that's going to save a file with all of these layers and tags. If you're working with Photoshop, this is a great option to have. It just means that later on if you need to make a slight tweak or bring it onto a different size canvas, you have all of these layers intact in Photoshop and you can do that. If you don't use Photoshop, no problem. This will automatically save as layers when you go back to your gallery. I'm going to do that real quick. It'll automatically stay there. The other one that I always save as is a JPEG. What a JPEG is going to do, let's pretend I'm AirDropping it to my laptop. What did JPEG is going to do is it's going to save this exact thing as you see it now. It'll be a flattened file minus this grid that's in the middle. Remember, that's our assisted drawing grid. It's invisible. It's only here for our reference. That blue line won't save. There we go. JPEG is a great way to save it because it's the smallest file size basically that you can save that still really high res. That JPEG will save that paper texture in the background, so that stays intact. But the only problem with that is if you save this with that paper texture in the background, then you won't be able to have it be something like this, where it's this transparent. Let me hold it up so you guys can see it. Where it's this transparent background around this panda illustration. That paper texture is not there, and that is because I saved it as a PNG with the background removed. That's really important for these print on demand sites, that you can print things to be transparent stickers or apparel, t-shirts, things like that. I'll just show you how to do that. Let's go back into our layers. I'm going to turn off the background color, and then go ahead and turn off our paper texture. Now, you just see this black outline. It's not actually black. There's a grid here, and that grid is Procreate's way of showing you that that's a transparent background. Right now it's just this transparent thing. Let's go back into our actions. For this, we'd save it as a PNG. PNG means that it'll save that transparent background. Go ahead and air it to whatever you're looking for. Let's go back. Yeah, those are the three file types I use the most frequently. Let me turn that background back on. We have the layered file, which that's only really applicable if you're using Photoshop. Then we have the JPEG, which means that paper texture will save in the backgrounds. Then when you turn off all of the backgrounds, you can save it as a transparent PNG, which means you can print it on things where that transparency is really optimal. Well, that about covers it for creating artwork that's going to be: one, really fun to create using that symmetry tool in Procreate, and then also artwork in mind, that it's going to potentially sell well in print on demand sites. 8. Q&A: Now, let's open it up to the audience for questions. Real quick, going back to the removing the background for exporting in the PNG, there were a couple of questions around how to maintain that watercolor texture of the canvas when you turn off the background before you export. Do you have any suggestions for maintaining that texture? That's a great question, and that's something that I typically do in Photoshop. I'm sure there are ways you can do that in Procreate using masks. But I actually never done it in Procreate, so I don't want to maybe speak to it and give the wrong advice. But when I do that in Photoshop, what I do is I select that artwork, I make a mask around it, and then I apply that mask to that paper texture. That way I get to keep that paper texture when I'm doing the transparent PNGs. That is a fantastic question, and now it's something that I want to learn how to do in Procreate. It's a pretty simple stuff in Photoshop. Actually, there was a question about that. How do you decide whether you're going to be working in Procreate or Photoshop. Which do you prefer to use for different projects, that kind of thing? I create artwork in a bunch of different mediums. I use watercolor or acrylic ink. I do sketches and then I also use Adobe Illustrator to create vector illustrations, and I use Procreate to create these hand-on illustrations as well. I illustrate in all over the board. Really Photoshop, I don't illustrate in Photoshop. I use that like a fine tuning program. For example, for this illustration that we created today, I might take that into Photoshop and it's pretty fast for me to make patterns in Photoshop, because it's just a matter of duplicating and moving around. Maybe I'd create a base illustration like this in Procreate, and then bring it into Photoshop to maybe turn it into some different compositions. Maybe if I wanted to add a full gold metallic texture, I have a whole texture library saved on my computer with, oh, my God, thousands of textures and metallics, things like that. What I could do is then add those textures in Photoshop. For me, creating artwork like this, especially for a hand on the fill it's still digital, Procreate is my number one app that I go to. But when it comes to making little fine tuning details, maybe adding textures or creating something like a pattern with it, that's what I would use Photoshop for. But I don't ever create art from scratch in Photoshop. Got it. Super helpful to know. There's been a few questions about resolution for exporting. Sounds like some folks, even when they start with the large canvas, see some pixelation when they try to export for these print-on-demand sites. Do you have any recommendations around which DPI resolution to export at? Yeah, for sure. Whatever you're putting your artwork on, if it's going to be printed, never, ever, print it at a higher resolution than you created it in. Never blow it up to a point where it's going to get blurry. There's a lot of paintings that I do. For example, I'll paint with watercolor and the paintings are only about yay big. But the reason I can print them on these giant tapestries is because I scan them into my computer at a super high resolution like 1200 DPI. Because it gets such a detailed capture of that scan, it's able to get really large without getting pixelated. When you're exporting, just go into your settings, I'm checking my JPEGs right now, and you can make sure it's in the settings for Procreate to tinker with that. Make sure that all of your JPEGs, everything, PNGs, are exporting at the maximum resolution. Then another tip for this would be if you are selling through a print-on-demand websites like Society6, for example, they have product templates available that you can download and then drag your artwork into these templates to make sure it fits. It looks good, the size is good, it doesn't look too bloated out or anything like that. So you can always double check with their templates. Cool. Great tip. Thank you. There are many questions around the print-on-demand sites. Would you say that the primary source of revenue for those products comes from those print on demand sites or through your own website? Definitely the print-on-demand websites. A lot of people get turned off by print-on-demand websites because the royalties there are pretty low. I can set my markup for certain products like arch prints, for example, I determine how much those will be so sold for. But some products like phone cases, those have a set price. The royalty you receive as the artist from those products, the set prices, is generally about 10 percent. I know that people get a little bit triggered by that when they say, "Oh, this phone case is selling for $35, but I'm only making $3.50." There's a lot of other factors that go into that, and the key here is when you sell a lot. So if you can get into selling a lot of phone cases, reaching a much more massive audience, maybe getting featured by these print on demand sites, it really makes a difference. That 10 percent is pretty industry average. When I first got started I was like, "Oh, 10 percent, that's awful." But in the years since doing this, and I've now moved on to licensing. I still do print on demand stuff, but now I license my artwork through larger stores. Like I mentioned earlier, like Target, Urban Outfitters. That 10 percent is pretty industry average across the board when you're licensing out your artwork like this. Got it. Thank you so much. There's a couple of follow-up questions around that. When you were first getting started selling on Society6, for example, did you establish an LLC or were you just claiming the earnings as self-employment? I was claiming the earnings as self-employment. I didn't get my LLC started until later. For Americans, as long as you keep in mind how much you're earning on the side and factor that into your taxes. Just make sure to keep those separated, so that you aren't very short of tax money at the end of the year. For folks who are just getting started with those print-on-demand sites, whether it's an established one like Society6 or a new one, how do you recommend going about that? Would you say build up a portfolio first or just start putting up artwork as you create it? Start getting it out there. Like I mentioned, bulk is really important for selling. When I first got started with these, I didn't have a huge follower account, it was mostly friends and family. But then I started posting more and more of my artwork on social media, and pretty organically that grew into what it is now, which is about, I think it's just short of about 50,000 followers on Instagram. Again, when I was first getting started, I didn't have anywhere near that many, but having that slow grow, organic growth is really what helps me reach that success with print-on-demands. Also getting in, with this print-on-demand sites at the right time. With Society6, I got started in 2014, and that was a fantastic year because they didn't have as many content creators as they do now. Right now, that's a much harder website to get started with in terms of what it was six years ago versus now. But there's other print-on-demand sites opening up every day, and there's still new ones that I join almost once a week. Because they don't really have that audience yet, so it gives me a good opportunity to get in from the ground up like I did with this Society6. But one caveat here is always, read the terms and conditions for anything that you sign with your artwork. That is massively important. For example, with print-on-demand sites, if they're new ones, all the reputable ones already have this in place, but you always want to make sure that these are non-exclusive agreements. That means that you could upload your artwork to Society6 and then as many other print-on-demand sites, or do whatever you want with it. You have the rights to do so. When you sign any agreement that has the word exclusivity or exclusive, be very careful. You just want to make sure that you're not pigeonholing yourself with one company, and then you're not able to sell your artwork through different companies. Because with anything I create, I want to make sure that I can sell that to as many platforms as humanly possible. I do enter exclusive agreements from time to time, like with Target, but that's a great trade-off because it's Target, they call the shots there. But that's okay for me, because for me having that brand exposure through them is worth having to pull that artwork from every other source of which it's sold through. Then one more red flag to look for in any agreement you guys ever sign. Oh, man, I need to do a Skillshare class on contracts. That would be so boring, but it's important. Another one to really keep in mind is make sure that you always own the intellectual property and you're never selling your IP. Maybe once or twice in the last six years, I've looked at contracts where that's been written in and I was, "No." Sometimes it can happen that people try to sneak that in, but you always want to make sure that, that IP is always yours, and you're never selling it to someone else. Obviously, if you're creating a logo or brand identity, when you sell that logo, in most cases you're selling the IP because that logo becomes the company's. But for artwork like this, you want to make sure that, that will always remain your property. Even, for example, with Target, where I have an exclusive agreement, so the artwork I sell at Target, I can't sell anywhere else, I still own the rights to those pieces. I'm only licensing under Target temporarily based off the contract, but that IP always remains mine. Awesome. That's great tips. 9. Final Thoughts: Thank you, guys, so much for taking my class today. This was my first live class with Skillshare, and it was really fun to be drawing virtually right alongside you guys. I hope that you had an opportunity to learn something new, and that that really gave you the push to move forward with this program to create a lot of digital illustrations. I would love to see what you made in today's class. First and foremost, you can share in the Projects gallery on Skillshare so we can see what everybody created in today's class. You can also share on social media, and if you tag me @catcoq, C-A-T-C-O-Q, then I'll be able to take a look at your work and share it to my own stories as well on Instagram. If you've never posted your artwork anywhere before in social media, I know it can be really daunting to do so, but my best advice here is to just put yourself out there. It took me a long time to take a picture of my first painting and share it to Instagram, but I am so glad I did that because it really paved the way to where I am now as a self-employed artist creating new pieces of artwork all the time. If you enjoyed this class, I highly recommend checking out my previous Skillshare class, which is all about Procreate for beginners. That will teach you step-by-step just like we did in today's class how to get started setting up art boards, how to create a bunch of different types of illustrations. One thing I didn't have time to get into because I only have an hour today is creating patterns with all of this artwork. Lucky for you guys, patterns is actually the class that I'm filming starting tomorrow, so that'll launch pretty soon where I show you how to create seamless patterns in Procreate. All right guys, thank you so much for joining me today and I can't wait to see what you created. See you next time.