I’ve always enjoyed making greeting cards of my own, especially as opposed to buying cards at the store. It’s not that the store bought cards aren’t really nice, many of them are even better than my own cards. What I like about creating my own cards is that I can personalize them, either to something I want it to be, or make them specifically for their recipient. For this Christmas I had many ideas running through my head about how I would create these cards, in fact I spent weeks thinking on different ideas and even shooting a few pictures in anticipation for use in my cards.
It wasn’t until just a few days before card making began that I decided I would try something entirely new and unique this year. I decided to learn and use lightpainted images to draw elements I would use to create the Christmas cards. This turned out to be a much bigger challenge than I thought as it took me many tries to get each element just the way I wanted. The resulting lightpainted images still required quite a bit of adjustment in Photoshop before I could use them in the cards too – mostly masking and free transforming but some required a bit more work than others.
The cool fact about these two greetings I created is that every single element, except the typed text was created from photographs, though not all lightpainted. For example, the snow flake was from a snowflake ornament I took a picture of, and the Xmas lights were from real Xmas lights I photographed out of focus.
They turned out to be the most difficult cards I have created so far. I originally had wanted to create a personalized card for each person I was giving them to but I just did not have time. In fact I was so pressed for time, I didn’t even make cards for all the people I originally wanted to, only close family that I saw over Christmas. So I was really bummed about that, but it was the best I could do, and hey, like many of the things I am doing lately, I learned a lot of new tricks, in lightpainting, photography and Photoshop. I also ran into a lot of trouble getting them printed as I was testing out an external ink system (ie CIS system) for my Canon Pixma 9000 printer, and lets just say the color was so terrible I could not get anything remotely acceptable. I switched back to regular cartridges after wasting 30+ sheets of expensive paper.
So after much blood, sweat and tears, well actually there wasn’t much blood, don’t recall too many tears and only a little sweat, so I guess it was mostly just time…here is the greetings I created. The first is the card and the second is a greeting I created just for my savior: