Archive for the ‘Digital Design’ Category

Laser Collage Article

August 22, 2014 4 comments

Art Sharks by Shellie Lewis, paper collage and laser cutter, 6x8 inches, 2014

Art Sharks by Shellie Lewis, paper collage and laser cutter, 6×9 inches, 2014

I came up with a new method for collage or at least a variation on the process which I published here. The intended audience is people within the hacker/maker community and are more likely to have access to laser cutting technology.

If you are enrolled at a college or university and you are not learning how to use current tech in laser cutting and 3-D printing, see if there is an available hackerspace / makerspace in your area. Laser cutting and 3-D equipment was on the campus I graduated from in 2010, in one department and locked behind closed doors, the private playthings of the professors. Students did not even know this equipment existed on campus. Demand education and access to this technology if your campus is missing it or is restricting access to the equipment. Robotics, rap rep [rapid reproduction] and being able to prototype creations on your own are current technologies that a wide range of creative and technical fields are using now. For me, becoming proficient with a laser cutter has opened new doors creatively, has been interesting and a lot of fun.   

Artist Trading Card Animated Zine

August 22, 2014 3 comments




Share artist trading cards with the world! Here is a zine I made as an animation you can link to, email, tweet and send any way you want. Share the idea of artist trading cards with as many people as you can. Short link to this post:

Basic Hand Drawn Animation

April 12, 2014 8 comments



400 x 400 pixels

Here is the finished little “What’s in your mailbox?” animated GIF someone requested for a mail art group. It’s cute and it was fun to make. Too bad the GIF format pixelates color gradients. The animation looks better in the program because the glowing light and clouds are smooth. I have no idea why there is not an animated JPG format; only a programmer could explain why.

I put a lot of time into the second round of this little seven second animation. I forgot to save the original Photoshop file where I matched and laid out the layers of the rough pencil sketches. I just did a screen capture of the GIF I put online, dropped each screen capture as a layer for the new Photoshop file and up-sampled the roughs to 144 dpi.

I was going batty from slamming layers in Photoshop all day. Sal, my Hockey Blogger Boyfriend, insisted I find the Beavis and Butthead “Animation Sucks” episode, which further proves that Mike Judge is both brilliant and hilarious in describing reality. Animation is pretty exhausting. It helps to try and not do it all at once. You really need to take breaks when working on an animation project. It also helps to remind yourself that the professional grade work is done by huge teams of people using better software and hardware!


Small 250 x 250 pixels

Roughs for an animation in progress…

March 31, 2014 1 comment



I have been fascinated with animated GIFs lately. The ones I have made thus far have been photography based. Animated GIFs are a nice, compact way to show many images in one section of a webpage, like when I mushed over 100 of my artist trading cards into one GIF. Then I made pages of a zine I drew into a GIF. It was only a matter of time before I tried to make a hand drawn animated GIF. My mail art and swapping friend Lou wants some kind of nice graphic for a mail art trading group. I was thinking about a cute country mail box done as a digital cartoon.

This is the (very) rough animation so far. I have puffy clouds, grass and daisies to work in with the animation. My main idea is to have a country mailbox that opens up to reveal many envelopes and sparkles. It’s just a little 400 px square 144 dpi graphic. I am not going for a lot of detail, just something more interesting than a static image. I should able to make the door open more smoothly with the rotate tool in Photoshop and adding more layers for more frames. This is one of those unpaid type jobs that I am playing with for fun. I think if I do not use any black outlines -or just minimize black outlines- and use a lot of digital painting style it will look interesting.

Nature, Only More Indoors…

March 8, 2014 1 comment


I spent yesterday at the Garfield Park Conservatory and took a lot of reference photos which I uploaded to my MorgueFile account. is a great resource for free high resolution photography and digital image resources. It was good to be around the plants for a few hours and pretend there was not massive amounts of snow all around the greenhouse. I took photos, did some drawings and wrote letters. I can’t wait for actual spring to arrive. Here are a few unmodified photos that I added to MorgueFile stocks. Free photos get approval from admins and the rest will be live for downloading in 24 – 48 hours on the site. Here are four favorite shots.


Read more…

Call for Entry: Chicago Dictionary Collaborative Zine for March Zine Month 2014

January 23, 2014 Leave a comment

Self Publishers of Chicago has a call for entry for people to submit their own dictionary definitions for a collaborative zine. The deadline is soon and submissions need to be sent in via email by midnight on 2/26/2014. 

The call for entry is here:


I am getting the impression that some of the entries they will be getting are going to be super funny. One example made me remember Sniglets from the 1980s. I went in for humor and the satire at the same time. I hope they pick my submission. Meanwhile, I may try to think of another one if there is time.

bandwagon fan poster 8x10

Tile Images for a Series

October 29, 2013 5 comments

I did a few series of artist trading cards and wound up grouping them together in one .jpg for display. I like to put my work online but a series is a lot of images to scroll through one by one. Having them separate dos not demonstrate the series as a coherent group very well. I went back to the old art school trick where students put related works together on one slide, usually for PowerPoint. If the professor told you  you could show 12 slides, we figured out that did not necessarily mean 12 works of art, only 12 images with whatever art we wanted put in each one. I usually go with some shade of gray for the background. White and black backgrounds are really stark and done too often. I just drop a layer in Photoshop and bucket tool the whole thing. I went with a bluish-red with the Dia de los Muertos series to make it more interesting. I cheated with that one and just put a red piece of paper behind the cards on the scanner, which is why the art in the other images are a lot straighter.


ATC Snowy Egret Series

ATC Dia de los Muertos 300


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