Sketchbook to Screen

blog, graphic, Uncategorized

I wrote a piece for my school newspaper on a topic I get lost in often: nostalgia. It goes to press tomorrow. Until then, here’s the illustration for it.

I’ve never been a skilled artist. I like to doodle and make things, but at the beginning of the semester, none of the returning reporters wanted to fill the role as photo editor, so I volunteered to be co-photo editors with this cool gal I met in class.

There were no comics or willing artists on staff, so I volunteered to do some of the illustrations.

It’s been odd since people who volunteer to help with art are usually really good artists, so people expect that, or I just expect people to expect it, but it’s also been super fun!

I’m still new to it, but here’s the process behind the nostalgia illustration.


I knew I wanted the title in the drawing. Handwritten cursive seemed romantic and fitting for the topic. I began by writing the title in pen and going over with a Sharpie. I kept the doodles which I considered items of nostalgia (Autumnal leaves, Polaroids, a camping scene, a Christmas tree, Nickelodeon VHS tapes, etc.) in pen. Then, I scanned the three sheets and pulled them up in Photoshop.


I also made a new document, sized it, picked a background color, lassoed and pulled all the doodles over to it, and made those each have their own layer. I like to title layers by which drawing they are. I also made each layer “multiply,” so it would blend into the peachy pink background instead of having a rough white outline around it.

As you can see, I rearranged the text so each word was closer together. I used “threshold” to make it only black and white (see how bold and not sketchy it is compared to the doodles?) Then, I made a selection of each letter, refined the edge by going to “select” -> “refine edge” -> “smooth,” and made it all one solid color.

I almost like it better this way, but my editor-in-chief preferred it colored, and it is pretty fun that way.


I added a gradient and an outline around the text to make it stand out. My reluctant fingers only complied because it’s getting printed on newspaper. I thought it looked a lot cuter and simpler without the effects, but I’m learning what looks good on the web and what looks good on newsprint can be pretty different. Ink on newpaper can often bleed and not look as clean especially without a border.My favorite parts are the lil campfire, Doug and Cynthia, and the record with my byline on it.

Thanks for looking!


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