Most licensing artists have multiple income streams and our Finches are not an exception to this. We teach in colleges, universities and online, we work as graphic designers and have fine art practices. We make things ourselves and manufacture our own product ranges to sell online and in shops, galleries and at fairs. The rich mix of things we do feeds into our creative practices.
I'm Tanya Paget and I design as albaquirky. I wanted to use this blog to talk about one of my income streams; digital mockups. For those of you who are not familiar with these things, they are setups like the one below where your artwork is mocked up onto real objects. The designs aren't really there, it is all just a bit of Photoshop trickery!
Mockups are used as a marketing tool for designers to help buyers visualise the many ways their art can be used. They get used in look books, portfolios and are posted online. Sometimes designers use them on social media both to show their followers their work, whilst also protecting it from theft. It is much harder to steal a design shown on an object than to download a flat image!
Mockups can be for simply styled single designs like the tooth mug example above. Or they can be complex setups with spaces for multiple designs so you can showcase collections working together. A bit like the image below, but maybe not using quite so many bold patterns at once!
I love using mockups to bring my designs to life. They really help me imagine how the designs will work on things. I had quickly dropped the designs above into this template and now I'm thinking I'd really like a tablecloth like that! But perhaps without so much else going on...
There, that's a lot calmer! What it shows is how you can work with and adapt mockups to suit your needs.
Late last year I shared some mockups with some of my friends who are designers. They gave me some lovely feedback and started using them with their work. I was really chuffed!
My little mockups started appearing all over the place like on the print & pattern blog showcasing the fabulous work of Tröskö Design and on different designer's social feeds. This got me thinking, and the idea to make mockups for sale to other creatives was born. I'd bought a lot of mockups over the years myself. Buying from all the usual places like Creative Market (where I now proudly have my own store!). I had lots of experience using mockups and ideas about how I'd like to buy them as a designer.
I wanted my mockups to feel fresh, modern and clean in their styling and to be as easy to use as possible. I search for white objects - ideally those that are not already available as mockups.
I'm lucky to live in a quirky old cottage with interesting brick walls, so I shoot everything at home, usually in my kitchen. I use studio lights with a Canon DSLR, shooting RAW to get everything in high resolution and looking as bright and fresh as possible. I work with vector masks for most of my masking, as they give a cleaner line than other forms of masking. My fine art training comes in when thinking about perspective, light and shadow to make things look realistic. I have separate layers for highlights and shadows, that I paint into. I use smart objects to make dropping in new patterns nice and easy for other designers, and I transform these using warping tools to help make them sit correctly in the composition.
I once spent a good hour adding in extra background to a mockup I had purchased. I needed to do this so I could do a clean square crop for instagram. I make sure with all my mockups that they are supplied with lots of extra space around the objects, so the user can crop them as they need.
I make all the potential elements editable and add little details like setting them up so a logo can easily be placed on any product tags.
As a special thank you to all our Finch & Foxglove followers I have set up a discount code for you over at my store giving you 30% off any purchases. Just type in FINCHFRIEND30 at checkout, it runs until July 26th 2018.
Enjoy! x Albaquirky