My Notebook

I bought a regular, plain book (that I painted) in 2008 for Elsie’s first online class. Little did I know that 4 years later it would hold the start of every single one of my card designs. When I was at a blogger conference, I busted out my book to do some sketching and got quite a few comments on it. I thought that a peak into the JAA design process was in order!

Once I think of an occasion I want to create a card for, I start loosely jotting down any idea that comes to my mind. Above you can see the brainstorming session I did before coming up with these Father’s Day cards.

I usually brainstorm based on my own personal experience but as I try to expand my greeting card line I’ve been trying to think more outside myself. I think more about what other people might want or need in a card, rather than just what I would need. For example, I recently made this little sister birthday card for my girl, Tara. Being an only child myself, this sort of occasion is one that hadn’t crossed my mind until Tara requested one!

Once I know which design idea I want to work on, it’s time to sketch! This usually takes a few attempts before I choose my favorite one. Above, you may recognize the original sketch for my I Miss You card!

Using my own handwriting rather than a typed out font definitely makes the design process more time consuming for me, especially when it comes to customizations. But there is just something I love about creating the entire design with just a pen and paper. It is more fulfilling for me, which in turn gives me more pride in my work and more passionate about what I do.

My robot card was the first hand-drawn card I added to my Etsy shop in 2008. Before that my cards were painted!
The rest of my design process involves digitizing and perfecting! ;] I hope you liked seeing a bit of the “behind the scenes” look at how my cards get started! xo JA

P.S. The winner of last week’s giveaway is #21, Hillery Sawyer. Congratulations!                

  1. Leonora 5 years ago

    I MISS THIS NOTEBOOK! i loved getting to see your design process in the flesh, MISS YOU GIRL

  2. ilene @ muchloveilly 5 years ago

    i LOVE this notebook!!!!!! it was so cool to see your “behind the scenes” while we were in AZ. LOVE LOVE LOVE it!

  3. Sarah DawneΓ© 5 years ago

    This is such a great post!
    I almost always enjoy seeing how other people process their creativity. I truly enjoyed seeing your creative design process.

    Oh. my. goodness. That “I miss you card” is wonderful!
    If I’m one day blessed to be married I would positively purchase that from you!

  4. love this, of course πŸ™‚

  5. Jen Greyson | Author 5 years ago

    love seeing the creative process in … process!

  6. Gina 5 years ago

    i love this. and i love your sketches – they’re all so simple and perfect for the words that they accompany :).

  7. Ana F. 5 years ago

    This is so cool! It’s nice to see the process!

  8. Heidi 5 years ago

    I love seeing the creative process behind artists’ work! So neat to have everything stowed away like that in a notebook! My system of brainstorming is definitely not nearly as organized– I tend to have paper all over the house. I need to get with the program! πŸ˜‰

  9. Thank you for making me that card!!! I cannot wait to mail it to her this week! You are the best and I love your creative process!

    Xo. Tara

  10. Rachel J 5 years ago

    I love seeing inside of people’s sketchbooks.

  11. ElleSee 5 years ago

    This is exactly what my sketch book looks like! Nice to see I’m not the only one that needs to write something out a million times before I’m happy with it πŸ™‚

  12. samara dane 5 years ago

    looooove this. something about a great notebook, and peaking into others notebooks…just gets me:)

  13. mimizuku 5 years ago

    thx for showing us your sketches. πŸ™‚ love to have a little peak in sketchbooks πŸ˜‰
    xo julia

  14. Paulina 5 years ago

    Awesome pictures:)

  15. Dave Conrey 5 years ago

    I don’t sketch nearly enough. I really should do more of it.

  16. BCshutterbug 5 years ago

    I think it’s wonderful for you to share this! It’s not very often one sees the behind-the-scenes work. I am more like Heidi (commenter above) I end up with scraps of paper and five different little notebooks with things scribbled in writing I can barely read, but I think that’s partly because I don’t quite have my system worked out or know where exactly I’m going. Thanks for sharing πŸ™‚

  17. Jennifer M. 5 years ago

    I don’t think I realized that you hand-drew your cards! I have always really loved your style, so this is very cool to know! πŸ™‚ I have been feeling lately like my designs don’t have enough “ME” in them. Maybe I need to get dirty with the pen and ink or paints or something… Always using a computer can be a pretty sterile way to design.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Log in with your credentials

Forgot your details?