• Creative

Behind The Design – Dinosaur Cards

Welcome to Behind The Design.

With a brand new blog I thought it was the perfect time to start a new series. So here I am, taking you behind the scenes of creating my card collections. I thought the most sensible place to start was with my most recent additions to my store – my dinosaur quintuplets.

Inspiration Behind The Cards

The inspiration for this particular collection comes from almost as far back as the dinosaurs themselves – my childhood. So get ready to take a trip down memory lane…

At the age of about five I have this really distinct memory of having a black mounted dinosaur poster above my bed. This poster was just one small part of a much larger dinosaur obsession, which included watching The Land Before Time on a Loop and even a period where I carried a dinosaur encyclopedia around with me.

Like many of my phases, I didn’t grown out of dinosaurs. Throughout adolescence, all the way to adulthood, I kept up my interest with regular viewings of Jurassic Park and trips to various Natural History Museums.

Dinos with a difference

The thing is, having an interest in dinosaurs isn’t exactly niche is it?

A quick Google and you’ll find thousands of pieces of dinosaur art and cards out there. I never thought there was any way for me to make my dino doodles stand out, so they remained in my sketchbook.

But sometimes inspiration strikes in the most unexpected places.

Cabazon Dinosaurs

I blab on a lot about travel being where I find much of my inspiration and our most recent trip to California was no different. Out in the desert at the side of the road are the Cabazon Dinosaurs! A collection of over 50 fiberglass beasts who have diverted drivers off the highway since 1975.

After taking some tourists snaps and hopping back in the car I had the realisation that if someone could create a 65ft dinosaur just to get people to come to his restaurant, I could find a way to make a standout dino card collection in my style.

Start Sketching

So now you’ve had the backstory, here’s a little more about the process behind the design.

Firstly my trusty sketchbook was brought out.

I began by drawing up some super cute cartoon style dinosaurs done in tattoo style. Even though they were sweet little characters, they didn’t gel with me. Moving on I went back to the bare bones of Emma Inks Studio and started researching fossils.

I started out with my signature skull and quickly sketched up a T-Rex with pen and pencil. After scanning the page in my sketchbook and pulling the drawing up in ProCreate I did very little to digitise it.

This is a big step for me as it’s usually at this point I start to question everything and overwork the original. I think having the confidence to leave this one simple worked out for a better card.

After such a positive start the rest of collection just kind of fell into place.  I even ditched my trusted HB pencil and designed the rest straight on screen.

Despite the complexity of some of the skeletal structures the work flowed quickly and the set was complete in just over a week.

One thing I’m learning with each set of cards I release is to trust myself more.

I flipping love drawing skeletons but used to get really caught up on the exact detail. Now I take a little more of an artistic licence making sure the fundamentals are in place but getting a little creative to add personality.

What do you guys think? Is it better to stick to the facts when drawing something real or using a little imagination?

Finishing Touches

All the dinos were technically complete and ready to send to printer but something still wasn’t quite right. I couldn’t put my finger on it – then boom, the memory of that poster above my bed jumped into my brain. What made that image so prominent was it’s strong black background so that’s how this collection got it’s gothic flare.

What a wild ride from a childhood poster to dinosaurs, but here we are with four new card designs.

I hope that you enjoyed this little journey behind the design of my cards. If you did, let me know and I’ll keep them coming.

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