At the outset, creating personalised gifts for children was not what I had intended.
But sometimes your best efforts are achieved when you least expect it and come in very useful.
Reasons for getting creative
Are there times when you are stuck for ideas of what gifts to buy a child?
Especially those that you love and want to give them something extra special.
You may have a tight budget but with some creative effort it’s surprising what you can achieve.
And if you can share the creative process with the intended recipient of the gift that’s even better.
Custom Made – Painting Dinosaurs
My grandson was stopping over the weekend and like any typical 4 year old – he loves dinosaurs.
I always try and have a painting and drawing session with him when he visits, hoping that he will grow up loving the activity.
Asking him what he wanted to draw on a card for his great grandads’ birthday, dinosaurs was his immediate response.
Now at 4 years of age, his drawing skills do not yet stretch to producing something that looks like a dinosaur.
But he has a lot of fun getting messy with some of my old watercolour paints and brushes.
So I draw and paint dinosaurs. Under his instruction I hasten to add. And he has the pleasure of sticking them into his grandads’ birthday card.
I rarely throw anything away that I have drawn or painted. Even the simplest of sketches can inspire an idea at a future date.
So, I thought how lovely it would be to create a gift for my grandson which used some of the dinosaurs that I had drawn and painted.
The acrylic hand painted dinosaurs were for cards and not to a standard that I am happy with for reproduction.
So I needed to use the basic drawings and produce the artwork using a suitable medium and format.
I wanted the colours of the designs to be bright and colourful.
So, I re-created the line drawings on my Ipad. Then painted them digitally using Procreate. Making sure that the resolution was large enough to apply them to printed items.
Drawing digitally is a relatively new way of working for me, as I wrote about in a previous blog post.
I normally prefer to hand paint my illustrations and scan into Photoshop, then work with the images to form patterns or designs for prints that way.
But for designs for children, somehow digital media seems perfect for crisp lines and bright colours.
The great thing about Procreate is that once you have created your images, you can export your files in a Photoshop PSD format straight to your computer.
This enables you to avoid the extra work of scanning and removing backgrounds.
Personalised Height Charts
When I use my illustrations to make repeat patterns, I may not have a specific product in mind.
As long as I create the final piece large enough it can be applied to almost any item.
But if I have a specific product in mind, that does not involve a repeat pattern, I always design using the printing company templates.
This ensures that the design allows for bleed and safe print areas.
At the outset I wanted to create something that was unique for him using the dinosaurs that we had created.
The company I use for my art prints also print onto other products and one of the items are height charts for children.
Printed on canvas, using their magnetic wooden print hangers to display your artwork, they are basically a very large art print – perfect for what I was looking for.
But in addition to the dinosaurs, I needed to make personalised gifts and print his name along with the design.
So, it was back to the Ipad to draw and paint letters needed for the artwork.
Personalised Gifts for Children
Design complete, and uplifted to the printers, I awaited the arrival of my creation. I was not disappointed with the result:
The final height chart I created for my grandson – and him trying his best to model for this photo
I hope that this inspires you to have a go at making personalised gifts for someone you love. It may also inspire you to think about other personalised gifts you could make – comment your ideas below I would love you to share them.
If the thought of creating your own paintings fills you with dread why not consider having a dinosaur height chart created for a child in your family that you love? I now have custom height charts available in my online shop.