How about a fun New Year's resolution to counter balance all the harder ones? Try something new! This is a great way to step out of that comfort zone I was talking about. It doesn't have to be something crazy like skydiving, just something you haven't tried before.
I decided to start small. Baby steps! I have been wanting to try new things with my art. I love exploring all kinds of mediums and I have been seeing vinyl stickers around on the internet. If you look up "vinyl decal uses" and look for images, you can see all kinds of cool applications for these (like labels for Ball jars, decals for bike helmets, laptops, and tons more). When researching, I kept coming across this product . It appeared to be well- liked and had some good reviews so I ordered some. Here goes, let's give it a try!
First things first. I needed to decide which art to use. I chose my hand artwork because thumbs-up is a widely accepted symbol of approval and encouragement and there are multiple uses for that! I also chose the peace symbol because in a house full of boys......need I say more? I threw in some random bacon since my brother-in-law's birthday is coming up and he is a bacon fanatic ("Bacon; it's meat candy", he has been known to say). First I sized the graphics in photoshop to try to maximize the use of the paper.
As you can see, I tried to fill the page so I would not waste the paper (It's not cheap, this stuff. I estimated it is about 2 dollars a sheet, more or less.).
Just want to show you a close up of the actual paper I used. I chose a clear gloss paper so that the edges around the image would be transparent. If you use white, the edges will show up unless you are putting the sticker on a white background. I followed the instructions on the package (Do make sure that the product is appropriate for your printer.) I set the printer for use on ultra premium glossy paper as indicated in the instructions. Here is what it looks like when it is all printed out:
I put the sheet on a black table so it would stand out a little. You may have noticed, the color always changes a little in the printing process. It's so variable depending on the paper you use, the kind of printer you have, and the quality of the scan. I like the result but you can see the yellowish-oranges are not as prominent.
Next you need to allow 25 minutes for the ink to dry. Now that I have done that, I have decided to apply the laminate sheet. This is an optional step to weatherproof the artwork but if you do not plan on using it somewhere where it would be exposed to the elements then you can skip this extra step. I am just curious to see how it works. There is also a spray protectant available, as well.
Basically, these laminate sheets are just a big, giant, transparent sticker. What you are trying to do is get it to cover the surface of your decals and to lay down smoothly without air bubbles. You can see that the laminate sheet is bigger than the decal sheet to allow for some overhang which gives you some wiggle room when laying it down. The instructions tell you to peel about an inch of the backing off, then apply the sticky part with some overhang and smooth down as you go (with a ruler). This was a little tricky and I had a few air bubbles in mine but slow and careful is the name of the game here.
Once I smoothed out all the air bubbles and pressed the whole thing down, I used a sharp pair of scissors to carefully cut out the image. You could also use an exacto knife, as well. I decided to cut the image without leaving a border but you could opt to leave a border around the edge since it will be transparent.
Voila! Here it is all cut out. Now I need to find a place to try it out.......
See how transparent it is when you peel it off? All you can see is a subtle hint of color and the delicate pointillism.
I like it on the laptop! I bet it would pop on a white surface. I think these would be great on a mirror, as well (Every time you look in the mirror, a thumb's up staring you in the face would not be a bad thing, right?). As a side note, these work best on a clean dry surface. I would imagine that the dirt and oils from your fingers could interfere with adhesion so be sure to clean and dry your surfaces first (ahem,,,,,,filthy laptop....ahem.)
Didn't do this on purpose but it fits perfectly on the back of my phone case.
Looks cool on glass too (I put the white towel behind it so you could see the image better. Giant beer stein, flower vase, ball jars, hmmmm. Lots of great ideas! One word of caution; once these adhere they are meant to be permanent (they are not the kind that are removable like the vinyl wall decals.) I noticed the same company makes the removable kind as well. The removable kind is described as having less of a "tack" to the adhesive and can even be removed from paper. Something to consider! Would love to try making removable wall decals. Also, curious to try printing on the white sheets as opposed to the transparent to see what effect that has.
Wow! Loving the vibrancy of the white! Of course I did not compare like for like but I wanted to test out the color difference and boy, I love how these came out!
Can you imagine if Steve Jobs was a not a fruitarian but a meat-eater? I present to you: the Cheeseburger Mac (Big Mac?).
To wrap things up, I have not tested the weather-proofing of these but there are plenty of online reviews people have left. I had a hard time applying the laminate so I'm wondering if the spray is easier and whether or not it protects the decal as well as the laminate. Seems like it would be easier to apply.
Well, I think I may have just found another new obsession! Hope you enjoyed this post and that you try something new and inspiring!!!