As an artist and designer I have a lot of projects going at once. I love the variety of painting, mixed media, printmaking, surface design etc. that I get to do. One of my passions is a small business that I run called Art Bento Box.
Art Bento Box is a limited edition quarterly mixed media subscription style box that includes art supplies, handmade paper, ephemera and for June a custom stencil that I designed and one of my personal favorite stencils from The Crafter’s Workshop TCW614 Citrus Montage!
Every Art Bento Box is different. I knew I wanted June to be all about stencils so I worked with The Crafter’s Workshop to create a special one just for this box! They have great instructions their website HERE for creating a custom stencil. (There is a minimum quantity of 100 stencils per design per order.)
When creating a stencil I find it very helpful to start with a sketch or a reference photo. This gives you a form to work from and get ideas on how you would like your final stencil to turn out.
As you can see in the above image I was inspired by a photo by photographer Marcio Madeira. This original image was from the Vouge 2007 Spring Couture line by Jean Paul Gaultier. I started with this original photo and used Photoshop and Illustrator to make the rough first digital concept of my stencil. Then I did a sample cut of the stencil and sample project to test it out.
This “test” part of the process is important so you can decide if you like the basic style of the stencil before you put the time in that is needed to clean everything up. Below is a quick video that shows how I used Photoshop and Illustrator to make my rough concept stencil.
Once I tested everything I went back into Illustrator and worked to refine, and redraw the rough stencil into a final version. I added stylized text, a star, smoothed out all of the extra edges and added details that were missing or that I felt were important to be included in the final work. Once I had my final artwork done I cut the stencil out again to see if there was anything I was missing.
As you can see in the image above the stylized text on the stencil has some pieces missing and the neck was still a little to thin. By cutting the stencil out again I also realized that I put the “text” to close to the edge and the stencil was going to break at the shoulder if I didn’t adjust it. This final step was key to making a stencil that could really work and I wouldn’t have noticed these flaws if I hadn’t cut it a second time. I tweaked it a bit more and then sent it to The Crafter’s Workshop for review! I heard back very quickly and was given a suggestion on size and a few pointers on how to tweak the design even further to be even more sturdy and a bit cleaner. I made the final tweaks and my very first custom stencil was DONE! 🙂 Below is my final Illustrator art and the final stencil that I received from The Crafter’s Workshop!
I am so excited about the final look of this stencil and I really enjoyed the process of working with The Crafter’s Workshop on it! I hope to work with them in the future on many more custom stencil projects!
The Crafter’s Workshop provided me with some product to create this project. This post also contains affiliate links. The opinions I share are solely my own.
Thanks so much for reading my post I would love to hear what you think leave a comment below! Until next time!
The Crafter’s Workshop Design Team Member