Guest post: squiggles and swirls

Hello everyone! It's Boyfriend here. Bunnies and Stripes has invited me back to talk about some of my creative work.
I've put away my gloves, plastic goggles and sword (see this post)! This time I'm here to talk about my text ornaments. Because although you probably thought my daily tasks involved slaying dragons and wooing damsels in distress, I'm actually a freelance publisher and proofreader (this is my website: www.lecaractereimaginaire.com) and I like to create all the little squiggles and swirls that you see in books, specially old ones. I have to admit I'm kind of addicted to Photoshop and find this whole process oddly calming. Hopefully you won't find this post so calming that you fall asleep while reading it. Ready?

This is a screenshot of my website for those of you who didn't click on the link, just to give you an idea of some of the ornaments I've made. Do you recognise some of the locations from Carrot's previous posts? Yeah, I tend to tag along when she goes on wild adventures in case there's some Banana bread beer to be had.
Rightn let's start with the creation process. First, you walk around the streets of Rio (or any other ancient medieval city) and you see this:

Then your artistic streak wakes up and tells you that you could make something pretty using those shapes! So your lovely girlfriend waits patiently for hours and hours until you've taken pics of every last balcony in Santa Teresa while the sun beats down like there's no tomorrow.

This is when things get complicated. Using Photoshop, start by cleaning up the picture while salvaging the lines you want to keep. Then you can ink the image.

After that, you need to zoom all the way in and spot the devious little pixels that were too pale to be spotted before and delete them.

Ta-daaa! Your ornament is ready to be vectorized and used for a million different purposes! 

Just switch it around a bit and you end up with a pretty rose window (photo 12), and a medallion (photo 13).

So this is my little tutorial for creating lots of ornaments and textures using anything and everything that looks interesting (graffiti, church tiles, wrought iron balconies, etc.).
You can use these ornaments in texts, but they could also be used for cool tattoos or t shirts, stickers, greeting cards, or blog and website decor! 

If you want to see more of what I do you can visit my website and go to the "Ornements" page (I promise to translate my site into English one day soon!)

See ya bunnies!

(This is the t shirt I had made for Carrot so she can show off when she goes to her yoga classes)

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