I shaved my head for charity last year. For a small number of donors I offered thanks in the form of a mystery gift, built around a theme of their choosing. This isn't the first one I've started, but it's the first one I've actually finished.
I was inspired by Hari and Deepti's light boxes and I'm just thrilled with how mine turned out.
This theme was "cats" and I know this particular person likes fables and fairy tales, so I started with the illustration of the Jabberwock from Through the Looking Glass.
Step by Step (including some trial and error)
Hello pen tool, my old friend.
Add some happy (stock vector) trees.
Figure out some basics for layers.
Add some detail.
Start to think about how the environment might look. Also realize those layers are completely impractical and consolidate all of the Jabberwock into a single layer.
Test cut several practice Jabberwocks (not by hand! I have a Cricut.) and struggle with the size and amount of detail until it looks right. In the process, enlarge the box from 8x8" to 10x10" to avoid sacrificing detail.
Find and trace an illustration of the Cheshire cat from Alice in Wonderland.
Put the Cheshire cat into the design.
Find illustrations of Puss in Boots, who will be our hero. Settle on this one, trace most of it, then modify the arms and put a sword in its outstretched paw.
|Image found on Pinterest|
from a Flickr account
originally from what looks like an out-of-print book called
Dean's Gold Medal Book of Fairy Tales by Janet & Anne Grahame Johnstone
Add Boots to the design where Alice was in the original illustration. Also realize Boots looks great and the Cheshire cat looks like a Jack-o-lantern. Add some fluff to the Cheshire and make some edits to the eyes so they don't look quite so different.
Fiddle with the trees. A lot.
Add some ground in between the trees. Continue to adjust trees.
Roughen the ground, add some (stock vector) grass detail.
Get all the pieces cut out...
....assemble them, alternating paper and a border of foam core...
...and take a moment to appreciate the fact that it actually turned out exactly as expected.
Fiddle with lights...
... and come to the decision that the Cheshire cat and the Jabberwock are a little too floppy. Move some trees around to address the issue.
Finalize the design. REJOICE.
Re-cut, re-assemble. REJOICE.
Measure the thickness of all the glued-together pieces, glue slabs of foam core over the edges.
Get fancy with LEDs and a 9-volt battery by adding a switch.
I thought I wanted the whole back section with the battery and wiring to come off to connect or change the battery, but I couldn't find an attachment method that didn't also leak light. So I cut a little door into the back and glued the whole thing shut.
I found some great shiny silver poster board, did some math and measuring, and made a little box frame for the whole thing, including a slice of acrylic as a window pane.
Package, mail. Celebrate!
|Final product in its new home.|