Thursday, July 10, 2014

Ramadan Printable Coloring Page

I'm trying to draw every morning these days, a little bit after praying Fajr, and it's a really nice way to get things out of my system and just practice. I've been feeling like I'm in a bit of a rut - I wasn't really drawing much, and when I was, I was just stuck drawing the same things over and over and not doing anything with them. So I decided to actually create a personal project out of a few of my drawings as I try to break out of that shell.

I finished this one just this morning, and as I was bringing it into Illustrator to start coloring it, my daughter saw it on my screen and asked if 'we' were going to color it. So I enlarged it and added the word 'Ramadan' to it, and made her a print so she actually could 'color' it:


Anyhow, I figured I should share it here, for anyone else who is interested in printing it out as a coloring page for their kids to color and decorate. I think it would look great with some glitter glue and gems too! I know that a lot of people are trying to do Ramadan-related art and crafts with their families and I love the idea of being able to contribute to that.

Hope you enjoy it! Would love to see the end result when your little ones are done with it.

The PDF is here.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Eid and Ramadan Cards

Just a quick update about these new Ramadan and Eid cards that I listed in my store a couple of days ago:

Do check them out in the store, and share them with your friends if you like them!
Thank you.

DIY Ramadan Decor!

Ramadan Mubarak!

I wanted to share the DIY Ramadan decor I've got ready so far.

I have a lot of homework to do, so naturally I decided not to do it and make this stuff instead. Seriously, though, I didn't end up doing any kind of Ramadan or Eid decor last year, and I didn't really care much either because N was only 2 years old. She's 3 now, and a lot more aware of what's going on, and I do want her to be excited and pumped up about this so I was pretty determined to be on time with the decor this year. 

I knew I wanted to do a banner, and I wanted the elements of the banner to be able to hold a small note stating a simple task for N to do or help with everyday, so she could 'earn' a small reward. I know a lot of people do a daily gift or treat for the children everyday, and I wanted to do something along those lines as well. I also wanted the banner to indicate what day of Ramadan it is. I ended up picking one of my favorite 'mosque' shapes, and using that for the banner elements. It was supposed to be one long banner but I divided it into three levels because of wall space and logistics, and I think it looks great that way and works with the whole first, second and last ten days of Ramadan concept.

Honestly, I did not want to go out and buy any art supplies, so I worked with what I had, and that's what I'm going to show you here. With crappy iPhone photos taken at night, by the way. I did most of this at night, so I apologize for the quality of a lot of these pictures.

Mosque Banner:

I started by picking out 2 sheets of construction paper in 5 different colors [red, orange, yellow, green, blue], which is a total of 10 sheets of paper. I cut each sheet of paper width-wise into 4 3-inch strips, so I ended up with 8 strips of every color. I only needed 6 strips each at this point, so I put the others aside. Using my X-acto knife, I cut the 'mosque' dome shape out of the top of the strips, as well as a 'window' on the bottom section of the strips. I tried to make this process easier by making a template, stacking about 4 or 5 strips together, tracing my shapes to the top one and cutting through all of them in one go. Yes, my hand did hurt by the end of the night. No pain, no gain.

Once this was over, I folded each strip 3 inches from the bottom up, so that the window came up to the middle of the 'mosque'. Next, I took the leftover window cut-outs and started gluing them inside the mosques. I used different colors, so that the inside of the window would be a different color than the mosque itself. I then glued the front flap onto the main mosque body, by putting little dots of glue on the bottom two corners only, so that I was left with a 'sleeve' to put my notes into. I took my template/experimental mosque apart to explain this a little better to you:

I found a bottle of gold paint with a fine tip, and used that to decorate my mosques. I realized as I took this picture that it says it's glass paint. Oh well? I also put some adhesive gems on each mosque, just because I found them lying around. I also stacked a bunch of the mosques together at a time and punched holes in the top of the dome, so I could string them into a banner.

Perfection is key, by the way. Just kidding. Perfection is a farce, my friends, and it's not something you should care about at 12 AM. I didn't. 

So, remember those strips of paper I had left over earlier? I cut those into little rectangles, and with a small helping task written on one side of the rectangle, I slipped each one into the sleeve of a mosque with the BLANK side facing out. These are my 'help cards'. Each help card is the same color as the inside of the window of the mosque it goes into. I realize I am complicating things. You don't have to listen to me.

Once the help card was inside the mosque, with the task written on the back, I wrote the numbers from 1-30 into the window on the front of the card with a gold paint pen. The idea is that once you pull out a help card, the mosque window is left blank with no number, so you know what day of Ramadan you're currently on. It's probably a good idea to mention here that I first organized the mosques in the order that I wanted to hang them in, and then numbered them.

I cut some gold ribbon into three equal lengths, and strung up my mosques. I then proceeded to freak out about centering the whole thing on my wall, but you don't need to know about that...
[Lets not talk about that thermostat thnx]

Ramadan Banner:

I was going to do one that said 'Ramadan Mubarak' but it was late and I decided I didn't want to do that much work. Here is how I went about making this thing:

I typed RAMADAN on my computer, picked a typeface that I like [Bebas Neue], made it really big and printed it out. 

I got rid of two As because I really just needed one shape for all three. I cut the printed paper down so that each letter was on its own piece of paper, and glued the corners of each piece onto green card stock. Using my handy X-acto knife, I cut along the lines of each letter shape. I'm sure there's a more 'careful' way to do this so that your letters are neater, but I didn't want to make my process longer at this point. For the A, I taped down three layers of the card stock with the printed A on top, and cut through all three together. My right hand hates me.

With all the letters cut out, I used the same gold [glass] paint and dotted the edges of each letter. Once that was dry, I laid them all upside down in a row, in the correct order, and glued a length of twine to the back. A smart thing to do would be to get an exact measurement of how long you need the twine to be BEFORE cutting it down and gluing it to the letters, but I'm silly and didn't do that. I ended up having to add on some twine to one end to make it fit and center properly. Oh, centering.

While I was at it, I also made a little Sadaqah jar for the table, using scrap paper from the mosque banner, some twine, and gold paint pen. I like how that turned out.

I'm just waiting to get my fairy lights so I can put those up too. Still thinking of doing some more stuff too, just not sure what. I hope you are all having fun decorating your homes and getting the little ones excited for the month of Ramadan! I would love to hear/see your ideas in the comments! I hope I was pretty clear with most of this, but if I missed anything or if you have any questions, let me know.

I need to go clean the rest of my house now. And then do that homework I was talking about.

*Update: I was asked if I have a template for the mosque, so I made one! You can download it here. Thank you so much for appreciating my work.

Monday, September 16, 2013

days of gratitude

Okay, so I've been thinking about doing a 30-day challenge and there are so many ideas in my head that I can pick from, but I want to keep it simple and sweet, and couldn't decide what to do.

And then today, it clicked: I've been meaning to do a 'gratitude journal' of sorts for a looong time now because someone told me I should do one like a year ago, and I just never got around to starting it. So I'm going to combine the two and do a 30-day gratitude journal, and while I'm aiming for 30 days right now, I do hope I can carry it on for longer because can't run out of things to thank God for, once you begin. The sad part is that we normally take so many of those things for granted. I hope this journal will help me become more sensitive to my surroundings and make me a better and happier person.

I posted about doing a 30-day challenge on Facebook yesterday, and a few people seemed interested in doing one too, which is why I'm writing this. If you're reading this, I hope you will join me in documenting the things you are grateful for. My plan is to write down one thing that I am thankful for everyday, and do a quick doodle to go with it. You can incorporate your favorite hobby into yours! A friend of mine is planning to do a photo everyday because she is an amazing photographer and that is what she enjoys doing. Improvise!

I know a lot of the stuff I'm going to write will be personal and I may not want to share everything publicly, but I will probably post pictures of at least my doodles on Instagram and Tumblr. If you are on either and want to follow along, you can find me --> @imaginairyart. I'm going to tag my journal drawings with #thankful30days and #thankfuldoodle, and if you want to join in, please tag your pictures too!

Can't wait to get me a cute journal for this and start tomorrow - September 17th 2013. Let's go! Oh and you don't have to start with me, feel free to join in later if that's convenient for you.

In case you think this is just another excuse for me to go buy a new journal....
You're right. Ha!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

how to design a logo, from one newbie to another

This is my third hardcore graphic design course: Layout Design. And hooray, because I get to do some rebranding. This week we're redesigning logos for existing companies/organizations with not-so-great logos.

I am, of course, an artist first, and am fairly new to the process of graphic design. If you do it right though, it helps you stay organized and focused on your final solution. Here are the steps you should take as a designer when designing a logo:

RESEARCH- Get to know your client. Ask questions. Find out what their goals are. You can't design a logo for someone without knowing who their target audience is, how they want consumers to perceive them, what they want to be known for. Think of graphic design as problem-solving. How are you going to help your client reach their business goals? Make a client questionnaire, and use that to write up a creative brief which you can refer to while designing the logo.

RESEARCH SOME MORE- Be inspired. The internet is an endless pit of ideas. But beware - there are good ideas and then there are bad ideas. Learn the difference. Looking at what good designers are doing is not just a way to take away inspiration but also a way to challenge yourself: how can you do it differently, how can you do it better. Don't just look at stuff that relates to what you're working on. You don't know where you might find inspiration.

BRAINSTORM- Grab a piece of paper and a pen/pencil/crayon/whatever. You know what your client wants, and you've looked at great ideas. Now start writing. I don't care what you're writing. Just write down all sorts of rubbish. Everything that comes to your mind at this point needs to be on that paper. Let it all out. Start looking for words that relate to your project, and start forming ideas.

DOODLE- don't have to know how to draw to do this. Turn over that piece of paper from step 3, and start doodling. Don't stop to refine your drawings, just keep going, one after the other. You can't be thinking at this point, because thinking while drawing is going to inhibit you. When you think, you start judging yourself and your drawing, and you hold back. Don't do that to yourself. Just keep drawing till you feel like you have some substantial material.

SIFT- Go over your doodles and pick out a few that you really really like and that you think can work towards a design solution. Re-draw them, refine them, and try to pick a favorite. This is the part I always have a problem with, and I end up taking at least a couple to the next step. I know I waste time doing that, but I just have to see how they're going to look on my computer screen.

GO DIGITAL- Scan/photograph your refined sketches, and place them as templates into a new Illustrator document. Pick your favorite drawing tool, and render your drawing digitally. Illustrator is a beautiful thing. That pen tool....I would marry it but I'm already married.

REFINE- Think you're done? Look again. Go out for a bit, look at some books, cook a meal, and come back. Look at that logo again. WHAT WERE YOU THINKING? Just kidding..but you know it could use a bit of tweaking here and there. This last step is why you should never don't want to not have time to fix the details.

Ta-da! That, my friends, is an amateur's guide to designing a logo. It's helping me and I hope it can help others too. And the only reason I wrote this is because I am actually procrastinating and not working on my logo which is really what I'm supposed to be doing. Bye.