Turn your Sketches into Festive Greeting Cards, in Illustrator | Daniela ⚘ Usurelu | Skillshare

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Turn your Sketches into Festive Greeting Cards, in Illustrator

teacher avatar Daniela ⚘ Usurelu, Quirky Sewing | Surface Pattern Design

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

13 Lessons (57m)
    • 1. Preview

      0:43
    • 2. Introduction

      1:25
    • 3. Class Project + Scanning Artwork

      3:07
    • 4. Using Illustrator to Digitize Sketches

      2:33
    • 5. Image Trace in Illustrator

      4:53
    • 6. Building Shapes

      2:38
    • 7. Illustrator Card Template without Bleed

      7:40
    • 8. Card Assembly - no Bleed

      4:25
    • 9. Illustrator Card Template with Bleed

      10:40
    • 10. Card Assembly - with Bleed

      4:20
    • 11. Using Mockups

      5:44
    • 12. Selling Cards as Instant Downloads on Etsy

      8:34
    • 13. Thank You

      0:15
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Turn your Sketches into Festive Greeting Cards, in Illustrator

This class answers technical questions to designing a greeting card (from sketching, scanning and digitizing artwork to building shapes in Illustrator and creating card templates). Whether you want to impress friends and family with professional looking cards this holiday season or you want to start selling instant download cards on Etsy, this class is for you! I hope you will join me and learn how to "Turn your Sketches into Festive Greeting Cards"!

Meet Your Teacher

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Daniela ⚘ Usurelu

Quirky Sewing | Surface Pattern Design

Teacher

 

1. NEW CLASS PUBLISHED: Join my class "Guide to Illustrator's Pathfinder Tool: Drawing Butterflies" to learn to build shapes in Illustrator with the Pathfinder Tool, as an alternative tool to the Pen Tool. We'll draw simple shapes and combine them with the Pathfinder tool to create complex shapes, we'll work with  the Alignment tool and the Reflect tool and we'll be adding embellishments in this easy to follow Illustrator class. In this beginner class we'll use basic shapes to design symmetrical butterflies to get you comfortable designing simple and complex characters. 

2. SURFACE PATTERN DESIGN CLASS: Join my latest class "Design an Art Deco Pattern in Illustrator" and learn how to create an Art Deco repeatable pattern, how to save the ... See full profile

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Transcripts

1. Preview: Hi there. My name is Daniela, [inaudible] , but I go by the name of Quirky Daniela in the arts world. I am a self-taught graphic designer from Bucharest Romania, and fashion at the bulk making patterns and prints. I want to share with you my process. So a big warm welcome to my online class. Turn your sketches into festive greeting cards in illustrator. Let's start our project and let's make the most gorgeous greeting cards that you can give your loved ones or your family, or you can even put up for sale. 2. Introduction: I'm Quirky Daniela, and I'm here to give you a glimpse of the amazing growth of greeting cards. Greeting cards as such, an incredible and fun way to interact with others, share a thought or feeling. Over the past couple of years, I've grown the habit of making my own personalized greeting cards, tags, and gift wrap that I give my loved ones over the winter holidays. Greeting cards are simply a fun, and such a deep way to connect to others, aren't they? During this class, we will explore the way you can use your sketchbook and turn your sketches and ideas into fun and professional-looking greeting cards. Which you can have printed and give your friends or family, or you can upload and sell them online on Etsy as handmade cards or instant download printables. I will share my process of creating card templates. We'll focus on digitizing doodles and sketches in Illustrator and draw vector shapes. I encourage you to join the class project, create your own greeting cards, and share them with your classmates. Let's get started. 3. Class Project + Scanning Artwork: For your class project, you will design three different cards, two without the bleed and one with the bleep. For your project, I want you to do some sketching for your festive motifs. Create a p-tile in the spot illustration. In Illustrator, create two template for your cards with bleed and one without a bleed. Print and assemble your cars and share your process, and finally work with your classmates I. To successfully complete the class project, you will need the following: your original [inaudible] sketches, a scanner or phone. To digitize our sketches, Illustrator, or any editing tool you master, a color printer and letter sized cardstock paper, a cutting mat, ruler, and utility knife, or paper cutter to cut your cards, a scoring tool to score your cards, envelopes fitting 4.25 By 5.5 inches cards. Let yourself be inspired by your favorite holiday and start sketching. Once you're done sketching some ideas, meet me in my next video, where we will scan and digitize our drawings. When you're done sketching, you can capture your artwork by either scanning it or if you don't have a scanner, you can even use your phone to take a picture of your drawing. I'm using an HB scanner. It's an FP177 FW multi-functional printer. It's not the best scanner when it comes to painted artwork, but since I don't do much water colors or crayon drawings, it works just fine for black and white sketches. I'm going to scan my drawings in black and white at 300 DPI. But first let's hit preview and see that we have the correct art work. Everything looks fine. Now I'm just going to scan my drawings. We can now open our tracking Illustrator and digitize our shapes. 4. Using Illustrator to Digitize Sketches: Before diving into digitizing your drawings. I will take a moment to discuss the advantages versus the disadvantages of using illustrator instead of Photoshop to digitize your artwork. First of all, illustrator works with vector shapes rather than raster images the way Photoshop does. I love the flexibility of vector shapes because you can resize endless times without being concerned about quality loss, the way you would be when working with raster images. I'm also a person that changes her mind a lot. That is important to me, to be able to freely resize my shapes and illustrations. Then there's image trace to enable straighter, that makes things so much easier. It will automatically trace your image and create vector shapes for you. You can adjust the threshold level to get more or less details depending on your sketch, project and preferences. With image trace, you can preserve your line art, but you can also create fill shapes on the fly. That's a big plus for me. On the downside, with illustrator, you will lose details in your sketches. If you're talented at drawing and sketching, you might want to use Photoshop to highlight your skills and preserve that hand drawn feel. If you don't have a scanner to scan your drawings and you use your phone to take a picture, you will first have to desaturate and adjust black and white levels in Photoshop before image tracing in Illustrator. You will be already using two tools. When I was first learning about digital graphic, I started using Photoshop and I loved it. I got the hang of it, made progress and produce beautiful graphic. Then a friend of mine introduced me to Illustrator and has since become my favorite tool. Now open Photoshop only when I absolutely must. The bottom line is that we all have our preferences and the method that yields the best results for us is the one we feel more comfortable using. That probably also plays a role when choosing one tool over the other. 5. Image Trace in Illustrator: Now that we have scanned our sketches, let's check that everything looks fine. I'm pretty happy with my scan. Let's now open Illustrator and place our scan. I'll go to "File", "Place", select my sketch, and hit "Embed" to embed the image. I'm going to use Image Trace to vectorize my sketches. If Image Trace is not already open in your panel, you can access it by going to "Window", "Image Trace". I work in black and white. If you need to adjust the threshold to get more or less details, do so. First I will enable preview to actually see what we're doing. Adjust the threshold as needed for your own sketch. I'm pretty happy with this result, so we'll leave it at this. I'll hit "Expand" to expand my shapes. Then I will ungroup everything. With my artboard selected, I will hit Control right and ungroup. When you use this method to digitize your artwork, you also end up with the white of the paper you drew on. Simply select somewhere outside a shape and hit "Delete". This will get rid of all the white of the paper and if you don't have a closed shape, the inside of that shape. But don't worry, you can easily recreate any shape you have distorted by using Shape Builder tool or the Pen tool. If you have any other unwanted markings, make sure to delete those as well. What I would like to do now is to group all my shapes, so I will pick the Lasso tool, then we'll select each individual element and then group everything, so I have everything nicely organized. Select each element. You can group it by either hitting Control G on your keyboard if you're working in Windows, or you can right-click on your mouse and choose Group. I will do this for the rest of my shapes. Now that I have grouped all the element. I do this because I like to be organized, I like to have everything nicely grouped so that I can access each individual object without messing everything up. Basically there are a lot of methods that you can use to digitize your artwork. You can also use, for example, Photoshop to first import your scan. In Photoshop, you can get rid of the white of the paper right away. Then you can export to Illustrator, just a line work. Also if you use Photoshop, you can use your original artworks, so your original line art. What I did in Illustrator by using the Image Trace option, I practically digitized my sketch so it's more rounded. It doesn't have that natural fluid aspect when you're drawing. But in this project, I don't intend to use my original sketch. This method works just fine for me and I've noticed in time that just using Illustrator this way, yields the best and fastest results for me. 6. Building Shapes: Once your first Canvas sketches and important them in Illustrator, whether you use image trace or not. Go over all your lines and trace them. Use which tool you feel comfortable, or a combination of tools like I do. I like to combine image trace with pen tool, shape builder tool, the Pathfinder, and the smooth tool. Your shapes don't need to be exactly perfect. Anyways, you can later adjust any shape you want using the direct selection tool or smooth tool. I like things that are easy to do, intuitive and that are efficient in terms of time, effort, and visual impact. So when I draw my shapes in Illustrator, starting from my sketches, I want that process to be as smooth as possible. I've built this method for myself where I use Illustrator's tools to do most of the work for me. After a sketch, some ideas and scan my drawings, I want Illustrator to do as much as possible for me. First, I use image trace that gets me vector shapes that I can re-size and re-shape freely without the fear of quality loss. It also allows me to preserve line art that I can later use on in my year pattern or illustration. To build the shapes and add color to them. I use a combination of pen tool, smooth tool, and shape builder tool. So now that you have all your drawings done, you're ready to use them. Create your car design as, either as part illustration or seamless pattern. Access by class, repeat patterns made easy in Illustrator for a step-by-step process, for creating a repeatable pattern. 7. Illustrator Card Template without Bleed: In this video, I will take you through my process of creating a card template in Illustrator. We will be preparing our documents for cards that are built a spot graphic or a central illustration. When the design of your card is a central spot graphic, there is no need for document bleeds as there's no risk of having the design cut-off when printing and assembling your card. If your card design features a background color or a pattern, then you should use the bleed template, which we will build in the next videos. Start by creating an Illustrator Document. Letter Size eight point five by 11 inches. Portrait Orientation. Under Advanced, choose Color Mode CMYK, since we will be printing this document, and 300 dpi for high print quality. Using this template, you'll be able to print two cards, four point two five inches by five point five inches, both landscape or portrait orientation. The long route or the hard way would be to first split your art board in half to delimit where your first card goes and where your second card goes. Then you would be creating a guideline to delimit the back and the front of each card. Additionally, you could create guidelines to identify the center of each side of the card. So it's easier for us to place our design in the middle of the card. This is such a tedious process, isn't it? You will end up with three horizontal and three vertical guidelines, but here's is where Illustrator makes your life so much easier. We can get the same outcome in just seconds by using the Rectangular Grid Tool. Select "Rectangular Grid Tool," click anywhere on your art board. The Rectangular Grid Tool Options will open. Set the default size to eight point five and 11 inches. Set the Horizontal and Vertical Dividers to three. Make sure Skew is set to zero. Align the grid to your art board. Select the grid, go to View, Guides, and hit "Make Guides" or you can simply use the keyboard shortcut Control five. Right-click anywhere on your art board and hit "Lock Guides," and there you go. We created our first card template for arts which don't require a bleed. Now that you have created your template, it's time to create the design of your cards. Bring in your artwork, and simply place it in the template. Arrange your design in the center of your card. So here is the front of your first card, and this will be the back of your first card. This is the front of your second card. It can be the same design, or you can choose to print two different cards on the same sheet of paper. So I'm going to place my artwork, in the center of the front of the card. If you choose so, you can add your watermark or a message on the back of the card. Again, I'm going to position it in the center of the back. This looks good to me, so I'm going to replicate and do the same steps for the second card. You can use your best judgment to place your artwork or you can be very precise and you can place the artwork on your second card exactly where it's placed on the first card. So to do so, select the artwork on your first card, copy it and paste it in place by hitting "Control F" on your keyboard. Then go to your Transform Coordinates, and in your y-coordinate add five point five inches and hit "Enter" and there you go. Your artwork has been copied in the exact same place on the second card as it is on the first card. So now you have two identical designs. Save your card as a PDF file. Give it a name you'll remember, and save. It's now time to print your design. So open the PDF file you saved earlier. This is how your card looks like. So this is your sheet of paper. Go ahead and print your designs. Make sure that you have selected the paper size set to Letter, and that you select the appropriate paper type. I will be printing my cards on a glossy card stock paper, so I'm going to choose that kind of paper. So print your artwork and meet me in my next video, where we will assembly our cards. 8. Card Assembly - no Bleed: I have printed out my designs, we will start with the card that doesn't have a bleed. Again, if you don't need a bleed, if your cart features a spot or central graphic, there's no risk of having your design cut off. I am measuring my piece paper, so I know where the center is. You can use utility knife and ruler to cut through the center, but I'm going to use my paper cutter. I'm based in Europe, so the basic paper format here is A4, but the same principles apply when they should use A4 or letter sized paper. You now have to cut. Let's take each card. You want to find the center of your card. We must now make an indent and score our card out the center. You can use a scoring tool, a knife, or whatever truly you have at home. I'm actually using my pet knife with great results. Don't worry if you don't have any professional tools at home. But if you're making cards very often, or you're selling [inaudible] cards, you might consider investing in a board folder or a scoring board. Find the center and use whatever tool you have at hand and scores. Apply enough pressure to make indent into the card. Fold your cards along the indent. How easy to use that? Follow the same steps and score and fold your second card. Congrats, you've made too beautiful greeting cards. 9. Illustrator Card Template with Bleed: In this video I will take you through my process of creating a card template in Illustrator, but this time with full bleed. This card template is suitable when your card design features a background color or a pattern. When you have such a card, there's a risk of having your design cut-off when printing and trimming your card, or you may end up with whitespace. Here's the template we'll be building. It looks a little different than the one without the bleed. Also, you will only be able to print one card per sheet of paper. Let's get started. Let's start by creating our new document. Choose the size as a letter, 8.5 inches by 11 inches, and the orientation, landscape. Make sure you work in CMYK and you set your dpi to 300 dpi, hit OK. There are many ways you can set up your guides, but I've chosen to do it this way because it's fast and there's not much math involved. Start by creating a rectangular. Choose only the fill color, and no stroke. Hit Rectangular tool and click anywhere on your art board. Define the sizes as follows: the width will be 8.5 inches and the height five-by-five. These are the dimensions of the card unfolded. Hit OK. Make sure you center it. It's your art board. Click Again and create a second rectangle. This time, I will add the bleed. I will be using a bleed of 0.125 inches. What I will do is add to this dimension 0.125 multiplied by two. That's 0.25. Now we'll do the same to my height. I will add 0.25. Hit OK. I will fill this rectangle with the different colors so it's noticeable and, again, I'm going to center it. With my selection tool on, I will select both rectangles and I will hit Make Guides. Next, I will create the guideline of where the card folds. I will choose the line segment tool. I will switch to stroke. I will draw a line the size of the height of my art boards, so 8.5 inches. A straight line. I'm going to center it. Horizontal align center. Now I am going to draw another guide, and this will be the bleed for my front side of the card. What I will do is as follows: I will select the line I previously drew. I will hit Control C and Control F on my keyboard to have it pasted in front. Go to your transform tool. In your X-coordinate subtract 0.125 inches and hit OK. You now have two guides. I will select the two lines and then I will hit Make Guides. Basically, this will be the back of our card with the full bleed and this will be the front of our card, again, with full bleed. I will now draw guides so we know where to cut our design. Once printed, go again to your line segment tool. Switch to stroke and draw a line at the intersection between your page and the big rectangular. Draw a straight horizontal line the size of your width. So 11 inches. You can select it. By holding Alt and Shift on your keyboard have another copy of it at the intersection with the small rectangle. You now have two guides. Do the same at the bottom, and the same for your horizontal guides. Let's add the fold and the cut lines. Grab your line segment tool, make sure you use a stroke minus black. Draw a vertical line along your central guideline. It would be this one. I'm going to zoom in so you can see it. It's right over there. It finishes at the intersection with the most outer guideline. I'm going to copy it by hitting Control C on my keyboard. I'm going to zoom out. I'm going to place it at the bottom of my template as well. This will be your fold line. Let's now mark the cut lines. Draw a vertical line along your inner guides. These ones. You can do that by drawing another line or you can grab these ones and just hitting Control C, Control V, and moving them until they intersect with your guideline. While these lines are selected, hit Alt and Shift on your keyboard and drag and drop until the lines intersect with the most inner guideline on your right part of the template. Do the same for here horizontal guidelines. Keep in mind the cut lines must intersect with the most inner guideline. Instead of copying, I just moved it. I'll select there Alt Shift and release. They're both there. This will ensure that when printing and assembling, your design wouldn't get cut off. You can use a dotted line to differentiate between the cut lines and the fault line. Here's how the document looks like with and without the guidelines. There you go. You have the template with the full bleed, which is appropriate to use when your design extends all the way to the edges of your card, when you use a background color or when you use a pattern design. 10. Card Assembly - with Bleed: It's now time to move on to our full glued designs from cutting and folding. You want to start by scoring your card. Grab your scoring tool. You want to do this first before starting cutting your card. Because once you cut the margins of the paper, you also cut your scoring marks. Line up your ruler with your scoring marks and score. Scoring your card first makes folding that much easier. Line up your ruler with one side of your crop marks. Use your utility knife. I'm actually using my fabric cutter and cut along this side. Make sure to apply enough pressure to cut the card stock. Also, make sure not to cut all the way to the edges of the paper because you end up cutting the other set of crop marks. This is the first cut. As you can see, I didn't cut all the way to the edges of the paper because I didn't want to lose the crops on the opposite of the paper, the [inaudible] paper. I'll know later on where to cut. Do the same for the other crop marks. Next, I'll be working on these crops. Make sure to apply enough pressure. To cut all the way through the card stock. There you go. This is your card. As you can see, we don't have any crop marks on our final design on our card and even if we haven't been very accurate, with our cutting because we used a blade, our design looks just perfect. There are no wide margins or places where you can't see the design. We already scored our card, so it's now time to fold the card along the indent that we previously made. There you go. You have all your designs complete and your card is printed and assembled. Now, all that's left is for you to find a nice envelope and give it to somebody you care about. 11. Using Mockups: So you sketch some great ideas, work in some digital magic and design your greeting cards. That's awesome. You've even created templates, to easily print and assemble your cards. So you figure that, not even close. Even if you design the greeting cards for your own personal use, take a minute to put your design out there, share it to the world. Show your work on social media, your blog or portfolio website, and let people know you've designed this amazing artwork. The best way to showcase your designs is by using mockups. When you're using mockups to showcase your design, you're basically doing two things. Obviously, you're sharing your designs, but you're also letting people know how your designs look like on real merchandise and in this case, on greeting cards. Let other people see your artwork, put your design in context, and get a view of how it would look like on an actual product. Using mockups is also a great way to create beautiful, engaging visual posts for social media, and you can add these photos, show portfolio too. A great place for mockups is Creative market. It's a great resource for mockups and style photography. Just perfect to highlight your own designs. Simply type in the type of mockup you're interested and click enter to search for it. There are plenty of beautiful resources for my keyword greeting cards, and you can choose from literally hundreds of beautiful designs. You can also find bundles of mockups where you can have a mockup for greeting cards or showcasing paper designs or even frames. By purchasing a mockup, you can showcase designs in different backgrounds, angles, and sizes. If you don't want to invest in mockups at this point, there are also plenty of free resources out there. Mockup world is a great place to find freebies and mockup samples. Type in your keyword and hit search. There are so many resources to choose from, even free ones. This is such a beautiful design, it's one of my favorite. You can find the mockups for special occasions and holidays, like Valentine's Day for example. You can find mockups with a rustic touch, with some styled photography background with flowers and greenery. There are plenty of resources to choose from. I got this mockup of a greeting card on scratched wood background from mockup world. So the sample I got from mockup world is actually part of a larger bundle. If you pitch the entire bundle from Creative market, you can see that it contains mocks for different types of products, like for frames. For portrait frame for a landscape frame, you can see there are two different types of cards included. So obviously once you purchase a bundle, you'll get more than just one simple mockup. Your design goes here. You usually get instructions with your download, or purchase, but all you need to do is replace the layer with the default content and add your own design. Simply grab your artwork from Illustrator, paste it in. You'll need sometimes like I need to do now you have to resize and position it accordingly. But you can also see what are the dimensions of the layer in Photoshop, and create an artboard in Illustrator of the same size. So your artwork will fit in perfectly. Save for web and you're ready to showcase your beautiful greeting card. So these are my designs using this scratch with the mockup. As you can see, I have changed the colors of the flowers because I think the blue color suits better my theme which is Christmas greeting cards. 12. Selling Cards as Instant Downloads on Etsy: If you want to start selling your cards as a digital download, Etsy is a great place for that. Although Etsy is mostly known for being a handmade marketplace, it's also a place where you can sell vintage items, as well as digital downloads, or how Etsy calls it, instant downloads. In this video, I will show you how to create a listing for a certain instant download product. Then we'll throw in some tips and tricks about things to include in your listing, so you can make it easier for the client to purchase digital downloads from you. Head on to your Etsy account and create a new listing. The first thing that you have to do is add product photos. Once you've designed your greeting cards, you can do one of the following things. You can add the pre-photography. That means you can print out your card, you can assemble it, and you can take photographs of your card. This way, you control your background, your props, and the feeling that you want to convince your customer. You also create your own brand and brand mood. But on the other side, it takes time: It's much more consuming than using mockups. You also need good photography skills and editing skills, and of course, a good camera. The second way you can add photographs of your product is by using mockups. You can either purchase bundles or you can download free mockups, and you can add your design to these mockups. It's easy and fast to do. It's accessible. If you purchase a bundle, you can create variety in your photos and no photography skills are required. On the downside, it probably won't be unique; the way you purchased or you downloaded the free mockup, probably other people did it as well. It's hard to create a brand identity when you use these kind of mockups. There are limited things you can do or change when using a mockup. Depending on the quality of the mockup, it may be noticeable that it's only a mock and it's something that you might not feel comfortable with. After you filled in the title of your listing and you have chosen the category under which it falls, you must set the type of your listing. You can choose from physical, this is the handmade product that you make and it's a tangible item, or you can sell a digital download. In this case, we'll be selecting digital as we are selling a digital file that buyers will download. Type in the description of your product. Make it clear for the customer that it is a downloadable product, that is: No physical product will be shipped. Not all Etsy customers are proficient at buying instant download files. So take the extra time and add in that information in lots of places, so you make it crystal clear to your customers that they will not be getting a physical product. They are purchasing an instant download that they need to download, save on their PC, and afterward print and assemble. Other information to include in your description is your dimensions. Be clear about the dimensions of your file and what the client will be getting. It's also useful to add information about how to purchase, how to download, and print and assemble your card. I have a short description about how to assemble the digital product right there in the description of the product. I also include a file which I attach in the bottom section under files. Make sure you include the terms of use. You might want your files to be used only for personal use, or you may also allow it for commercial use. Either way, make sure to state the terms of use. Under digital files, upload the files to be downloaded. These are the files that the customer will get after they make the purchase. Here you must add your card; sub-design of your greeting card. I usually choose to add and upload both a PDF, as well as a JPEG file. I do this because on one hand, you need Acrobat Reader to open a PDF file, and perhaps some people don't have it installed or don't know how to use it properly. I've had some bad experiences printing JPEG files. It happened to me to end up with a design printed or which is smaller than my original design. It happened to me a couple of times. To avoid this kind of problem, I include two files, a PDF and a JPEG. I also take time to include instructions on how to print and assemble the greeting cards. After you have included all the required information such as the digital files to be downloaded by the customer, the quantity, price, the description, the type of product, the renewal options, and of course, the title and the category, you can go to preview so you can see how a customer sees your product listing. Another thing to pay attention to is your shop policies. If you start selling digital download items, you may want to update your shop policy concerning the refund policy. Once a customer purchases an instant download product, they can access it or download it at any time. Even if a client is unhappy with its purchase and wants a refund, there is no way for you to prevent the download and use of your files. Make sure you think about whether you want or you don't want to offer refunds. You may also want to address issues as personalized changes, white color, or fonts, or different design changes. You want to think if you would like to offer these kind of changes, if you'll charge for them and what is your processing time. That being said, if you're happy with your listing, just click on "Publish" and your product will go live. 13. Thank You: Thank you so much for watching my class. I really hope you liked it, and you found it informative and easy to follow. Don't forget to share your class project with me. I would really love to see it.