You may have recently seen my collaboration with Studio Paper, where I designed a stationery box. I had so much fun making the panorama illustrations that came in the stationery box! It was a huge challenge to design, a huge learning curve, but a huge success as well! Many of you asked me if I could share a bit of my process. So if you're curious, read on, because this is for you! 

Step 1: Deciding the theme's and main message

The first thing I did was brainstorm possible themes. I wanted to create characters in settings and they would have to be positive and inclusive. I wanted each scene to be something that everyone could relate to and make up their own stories. I dedicated 2x 45minutes for this.  I picked a few and started to sketch them out roughly. 

Step 2: Make detailed sketches of each illustration

Once I decided on the rough theme's, I made detailed sketches. I first did a lot of research on each theme to learn more about the characters but also brainstorm elements for each scene. I made each sketch individually before making sure they would line up in the end. 


Step 3: Pick a color palette

Currently, where I'm at in my creative journey, picking a color palette is the most challenging step for me. How many color's do I pick and how do they form an aesthetic that suits the vibe I want to go for. After lot's of trial and error, I  picked the recommended 5 colors and made different hues of each to broaden the color palette. 


Step 4: Make thumbnail sketches with color palette

With the chosen color palette, I made small thumbnail sketches to see if I'm able to apply it to all illustrations. During this stage, I was also able to see more clearly how each of them would flow into the next illustration or where there was room for improvement.  



Step 5: Finish illustrations by adding details

And finally, the last step was to make the illustration and add all the details. You would think that I started from left to right (which I should've done - note for next time). But I picked random orders, which ever I was drawn to at the time. The challenge was to make them match up, while illustrating with a 3mm border margin. I had to go back many times to check if they matched up in a very inefficient way. Next time I'd probably check this in Photoshop or so. 



And that's it! No shortcuts unfortunately. Just patiently going through each step and being kind to yourself along the way! I would love to here if there was something surprising or if you'd like to see more of this! 

Until next time!


April 11, 2023 — Rani Temmink