kayla king

Zoo Parade by Kayla King
Happy Friday everyone!  Today I wanted to share a new illustration that I did for Minted last week, along with the process behind it.  I often get asked about my drawing process, so this post is a long time coming.  I’ll do my best to break it down, but if you have any questions, please feel free to email me.  I’m happy to share my secrets (p.s. they’re not at all secret).

So the first thing I always start with is a sketch.  It doesn’t matter if I’m hand inking the drawing (as in this particular piece) or drawing straight into Photoshop or Illustrator, I feel most comfortable with a pencil and paper and feel that it helps me get my ideas out in a way that is much less restrictive than if I draw straight from my crazy brain into the computer.  This piece was designed for Minted.com, for a children’s art challenge.  My goal was to create a piece that was fun and illustrative that kids would enjoy looking at in their room, but could be personalized as a gift for new parents, as well.

I like to start with a small thumbnail sketch (or sketches), trying to think out the initial composition.  You will see here that all I knew at this point was that I wanted some animals and instruments.  I wanted the animals to all come from the same region of the world so it didn’t seem haphazard, so I went with Africa.  I made a list off to the left of my sketch of a bunch of animals that seemed like they might work in this piece. I didn’t end up using all of them, but it’s a good reference to be able to come back to if you get stuck later.  I also made a list of instruments commonly found in a marching band.  I would have loved to have had the lion playing the banjo, but for consistency, I took it out, as banjo’s aren’t found in marching bands.

Next, I laid out rough sketches of the animals in approximate body positions with the instruments I wanted them to be playing.  I also started to think about putting them in band uniforms here.  You’ll see the instruments and uniforms change throughout the process.

My Image My Image

After rough sketching, I like to take a first pass at inking.  I use tracing paper and micron pens for this task.  I used a Micron .005 here.

I wanted to show the evolution of some of the animals here.  I first had an antelope where the zebra was, but I felt like I needed a visually heavier animal here, so I drew a zebra instead.  I felt like the stripes of the zebra lent a better visual weight in that space.
Zoo Parade Process by Kayla King

I thought about incorporating a honey badger, but he didn’t have quite the character of meerkat, so he was nixed. Hedgehog swapped out a harmonica for a simplified take on a bugle.  I also started thinking about how to add personalized elements.  Hedgehog got a hat and banner for this purpose.
Zoo Parade Process by Kayla KingZoo Parade Process by Kayla King

Once I got all the animals worked out with their approximate personalized elements and locations, I overlayed the entire piece with a fresh sheet of trace paper. I inked the entire piece all together at this point and scanned it into the computer.  A little cleanup in Photoshop using Levels and the eraser tool and it looked pretty good to me.  Time to bring it into Illustrator for color and text.

Zoo Parade Process by Kayla KingIn Illustrator, I began by coloring the band uniforms using the pen tool.  I chose a pink fill color for now.  I also added some vector music notes.

Zoo Parade Process by Kayla KingAs I colored, I made groups of all the same elements: band uniforms, sheet music, banners, cheeks, and birds.  This makes it easy to select everything in one color group later on.  Alternatively, you can click on the element you want to change color and then Select>Same to select everything with the same fill, stroke, or both.  It’s pretty handy.

Once I had everything pathed where I wanted color, I added in the personalized text.  I used the type on a path tool for some of the curved text elements.

Now, Minted always wants 2-3 colorways for their artwork, so I went ahead and created some different color groups.  I made sure to group all the color elements together and then simply copied that group twice, right on top of itself.  I turned off the two new groups to focus on the colors for this first colorway.  I knew I liked the fuscia, so that’s where I started.  Here’s a handy tool in Illustrator for quickly looking at different color combinations: in your panels, you’ll find a little tool called “Color Guide”. With your base color selected, click on the color guide.

Zoo Parade Process by Kayla King

This tool gives you a palette of colors based on your selected color. You have shades to the left and tints to the right.  Now, these colors were a little boring for me, so within this Color Guide tool, there is another one located at the bottom of the palette.  It looks like a color wheel and is a tool to edit or apply colors.  Click it.

Zoo Parade Process by Kayla King

Within this command, you can look at lots of different color combinations very quickly.  The drop down box at the top shows you different color combinations on the color wheel.

Process-9Zoo Parade Process by Kayla KingIf you click on the edit tab within this tool, you can check out all the colors in that color group.  You can view the color wheel three different ways and recolor your art quickly based on the new base color you choose.  For example, I am looking at the color wheel in a segmented view here.  I’ve moved the primary color over to the yellow area and chosen “Tetrad 2″ under the Harmony Rules tab.  When I check the “recolor art” box at the bottom left, BOOM!  Color palette changed.  The possibilities are endless. You can also save interesting color palettes so you can apply them later.

I wanted to share this trick in case some of you hadn’t played with it before.  Not only is is a neat way to see lots of different color combos, it’s a huge time saver.  Bonus.

Zoo Parade Process by Kayla KingThe final three color schemes I came up with are below:

Zoo Parade Process by Kayla KingNow, all I have to do is turn my text back on and the piece is finished!

Zoo Parade Process by Kayla King

Did you guys like this post? Would you be interested in seeing more process posts? If so (or if not), let me know! Hollar back on Twitter @InklingPaper or in the comments below!

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by Kayla on 07/12/2013

tagged as , , , , , in ART,INKLING PAPER

Cycling Sausage by Kayla King for minted.com | tinyinklings.comGood morning!  I just wanted to pop in and share a little illustration that I did for the latest design challenge over on Minted. This cycling dachshund was inspired by my two sausage dogs, Indy and Fritz.  We caught Fritz dreaming the other day and running and woofing in his sleep.  I can only imagine the things he dreams about, but I like to think that racing to the finish line in doggles on his vintage bicycle is one of them.

If you felt so inclined to cast a vote for my work over on Minted, you can do so here.  Thanks!

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by Kayla on 07/10/2013

tagged as , , in ART,INKLING PAPER

Just wanted to share a pattern I worked on lately.  I’ve been practicing making my illustrations into repeatable patterns and it’s been a lot of fun!  To see more of my illustrations, click here.

Kitchen Essentials by Kayla King

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by Kayla on 06/12/2013

tagged as , in ART,INKLING PAPER

Little Spy greeting card by Kayla King for Minted.com | tinyinklings.com

Minted has a new selection of customizable greeting cards and birthday cards available on their site.  What’s so great about it?  Don’t you just love being able to buy one card? Not a set, just one.  And what if you could customize it with the recipient’s name?  Well, I’d feel pretty special if I received a card like that.

Up top, there, is my Little Spy.  She’s on the lookout for a good party, as any tween girl would be.

Minted greeting cards | tinyinklings.com
I thought I’d share some of my other favorites from the site (although there are so many great ones, it was really hard to narrow it down to four). Clockwise from top left:

01. Doodle Words by Althea and Ruth
02. Muted Bouquet by Moglea
03. Beaming by Nocciola Design
04. Constellation by Brie Zacher

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by Kayla on 05/03/2013

tagged as , , , in INKLING PAPER

Hello Spring: Desktop Wallpaper Freebie | tinyinklings.comI’m really having a love affair with Spring this year, enjoying being outside, sitting in the sun and reading or drawing.  Aside from my allergies going bonkers, it’s been a really lovely spring on the Central Coast.

I had fun with my watercolors and made up a little desktop wallpaper featuring hand painted typography and florals.  The inspiration for the word ‘Spring’ came from my sugar snap peas climbing up their trellis out back.  I hope you enjoy it!

Click to download “Hello Spring” wallpaper: DESKTOP / IPAD


by Kayla on 05/02/2013

tagged as , , , , in FREEBIES

Playful Dot Minibook by Kayla King for Minted.com
Hi friends! I have a new product that just launched on Minted so I wanted to share it with you here. I designed a sweet birth announcement for Minted called “Playful Dot” using the minibook format. I really love this product line because it’s so versitile and there are so many creative ways to personalize it with text. I hope you like it!

P.S. Like what you see? Check out more of my products on Minted by clicking HERE.

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by Kayla on 04/16/2013

tagged as , , , in INKLING PAPER

Desert Fox by Kayla King for Minted.com | tinyinklings.com
I’m excited to announce that my art print Desert Fox is now available for sale on Minted.com! I’ve been waiting a while for this one to launch, so I’m super excited to share that the day is here!  I created the print in three different colorways in the hopes that THIS fantastic Mr. Fox will find a home in a little boy OR little girl’s room.

I put together a little nursery inspiration below, how I would design a nursery around this piece. I imagine a little explorer, curious about the stars and planets in the sky and the animals and bugs on the earth.  Mint, yellow, and neutrals round out the room with a simple white crib anchoring the space.

Desert Fox Room Inspiration | tinyinklings.com
Products: 01 / 02 / 03 / 04 / 05 / 06 / 07 / 08 / 09


by Kayla on 04/03/2013

tagged as , , , , , in ART,INKLING PAPER,MINI

'Little Spy' by Kayla King for Minted.com | tinyinklings.com 'Yeti' by Kayla King for Minted.com | tinyinklings.com

Just a couple of funny little children’s birthday card illustrations I did for the latest greeting card challenge over on Minted. If you felt so inclined to vote for my designs, you can do so here and here.


by Kayla on 03/06/2013

tagged as , , , in ART,INKLING PAPER

Dresser | tinyinklings.com Today I thought I’d share a little peek into my favorite room in our house.  This is our bedroom and the room I feel the most comfortable in.  It gets the best morning light in the whole house, and since I’m NOT a morning person, I definitely need the sun to get me out of bed.  I read here every night and Indy and Fritz sleep in their bed in here, too.

My dresser is a vintage score from Craigslist.  The two necklace hangers are from Pottery barn and Marshalls. The photo is from our wedding day taken in Shell Beach by Chloe Murdoch.  I look like a giant puff in my dress and I love it.

Night Stand | tinyinklings.com

My Image My Image

The other dresser and night stand are from Goodwill and aren’t as nice, but I like the lines of them.  Yes, that’s a real leopard.  It was handed down to us from John’s side of the family who shot it (!) and had it made into a rug once upon a time back in England.  It totally has it’s head still attached and teeth in its mouth.  John tells me stories from when he was little and he used to play with the teeth.  Kind of gruesome, but it’s a fantastic conversation piece.  I like to think he guards me at night when John is working.  Indy and Fritz are ambivalent about sleeping so close to it.

Sweet Dreams | tinyinklings.comDresser | tinyinklings.com
The alphabet print above our bed is from Beauchamping and I love looking at it every day.  If we ever decide to have kids, this is one that would transition into a kid’s room.  The headboard was built by my husband.  Pretty much all of our bedding is from Ikea except for our sheets, which are the organic cotton ones from Target and get sooo soft the more you wash them.  One day, I’d love to pick up this duvet cover from West Elm if they ever decide to make their bedding in Cal King sizing. The little photo in the bottom left corner of the mirror is a photo of John’s great-grandfather’s house in Wales, taken sometime back in the 50′s. We actually visited it last year when we went to Europe. I love looking at it. The mirror decal is from Shanna Murray‘s shop.

Dresser | tinyinklings.com

Our closet is teeny tiny (oh so tiny) and when we bought our house, it had sliding doors. I removed them for better access and added a set of sheer curtains to match the other windows in the room. Tip: If you have low ceilings like I do, mount your window hardware on the high side and buy longer curtains. It will make your room feel taller than it actually is.

My Image My Image

The print is a monoprint by Brainstorm that I got from Fab.  Finally, the room just wouldn’t be complete without these two puppies in it. Meet Fritz and Indy.  They’re my little shadows, always up for a snuggle and can always put a smile on my face.  You can see more of their cute faces on my Instagram feed.

I hope you enjoyed seeing a little glance into my life.  I’m trying to put more of myself and more original images on this blog, so let me know what you think!

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by Kayla on 03/04/2013

tagged as , in INTERIORS,MY LIFE

freesias | tinyinklings.com

I just wanted to pop in and wish everyone a great weekend! It was 80 degrees and absolutely gorgeous in California today. John and I took the mustang for a drive along the coast and up into San Luis. The pups were in the back seat and the windows were rolled down. It was exactly like what I imagined when we bought the rusted out shell of a car back in July of last year. Only 8 months later and we are enjoying the heck out of it.

On another note, I finally broke down and bought a new camera! Not a super fancy one or anything, but something I can learn on.  I was messing around taking pictures of a bunch of freesias I picked from our front yard. They always just show up there every year. Maybe someone planted them long ago, but I love forgetting that they are under the soil all winter and how they pop up with their sweet perfume to signal the arrival of spring.

A few links for your Friday:

I LOVED this article about creating boundaries between your work and personal life. This is always something I struggle with, but am trying to get better at.

This video cracked me up!

I made these sweet potato chips this week and they were amazing!

Have you listened to this week’s Joy the Baker podcast?  Beauty tips ladies! Get into it.  :)


by Kayla on 03/01/2013

tagged as , in MY LIFE