For those of you that have children, you will appreciate the art they produce. It is amazing to see the world through their eyes and imagination. There are few better ways of getting a glimpse into their mind than through their drawings. As we get older, our creativity is often hampered by how we think it will be received, usually out of peer pressure or a desire to fit in. Our skills may get better or not, depending on the practice we put in, but after a certain age, our inhibitions usually get the best of us and our art suffers. That is the great part about the art of children, it shows us creativity before the junk of the world alters it too much.
The canvas that I have chosen to immortalize the artwork of my oldest child is a laser engraved tag. If you are interested in getting your own laser engraved tag, shoot me an email and we’ll discuss the design. I have decided to engrave the design as scanned rather than vector tracing it.
Basically, most laser designs are created in a vector program like CorelDRAW, Adobe Illustrator, or Inkscape, but they can be created in other programs. If you want to read more about the difference between vector and raster images, check out this page from my personal blog for an introduction to laser engraving. Hand drawn or bitmap images can be digitally traced and converted to vector images. By doing so, you gain the ability to scale the image with no loss in quality but you lose much of the shading and dithering since vector graphics consist of hard lines and edges.
I wanted the drawings to show in as much detail the pencil strokes, the delicate shading, and all the nuance that make hand drawings great. I wanted to reproduce the drawing as accurately as possible and the laser does a great job of that.
Why laser engraved robots?
Vector software can be both difficult to use for beginners and expensive. In the case of Inkscape, the software is free but unless you have a laser to test your designs, it may be difficult to get an idea of the final result. Besides that, people are more comfortable with pencil and paper and most likely will be for a long time to come.
It is important that everyone has the opportunity to produce art and create their own designs. Digital design tools are becoming more common but they are still not as widespread. Even if you are not comfortable with drawing, you have most likely been doing it for years and years. There is often no better way to create just the right design. If you want to design your own laser engraved tag, download this design sheet, create your design, and digitize it in some form. You can scan the sheet, take a picture, or just drop it in an envelope and mail it. Check out the sheet for more details.
Here is a video of the tag being laser engraved with the robot designs. It is approximately 2 minutes long and includes pictures of the design, the result, and my son.
Can You Etch It Roundup
For those of you who are keeping score, the list is as follows: a hand-drawn robot design, a CD jewel case, a pair of drum sticks, a luggage tag, a fishing reel, a couple of impact sockets, a drinking glass, a little industrial labeling, a baseball, a Frappuccino bottle, a tennis ball, 12 Scrabble tiles, a custom ink stamp, Thank You cards, M&M’s, a slice of bread, a clothes pin, a cinnamon stick, a sweet potato, a walnut, and a toothpick. Let me know if you have any suggestions for future installments.
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Have a great weekend.