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A Peek Into Suki McMaster's Creative Process - From Drawing To Product

A Peek Into Suki McMaster's Creative Process - From Drawing To Product

It's the best feeling when you see people carrying your design around town and it is certainly the most rewarding experience to see your drawing turned into a tangible product! But manufacturing products isn't easy, especially for a solo creative entrepreneur, because from ideas, to drawings, to manufacturing, it takes a long time and A LOT of money 😭

Today I am going to share the process of turning my drawing into products.. If you're creative and want to make your artwork into products, I hope you find this article helpful. And if you’re my followers and want to understand a bit more about the business behind the scenes, I hope this article will make you appreciate small business more 🙏🏼


Usually I start with ideas. It’s rare that I start with a product in mind because I always draw with a story. So today I need to draw something with Sydney so I get online and go to the library to do my research. I always find inspiration from books more than online. I think I feel more connected when I read books. Sometimes the ideas come very quickly but sometimes it may take weeks. It really depends on how busy I am because when I am busy I won’t be able to think. The more I want to get inspired the harder it is. 


The drawing process is very flexible. Sometimes I do it on paper, sometimes I finish the drawing from start to finish on my ipad, but no matter how, the final drawing is always edited with Photoshop, it’s just because I always need to adjust the image depending on the materials and products I am printing on. 


Creative Isn't About Making Art

This is the most fun part of the whole designing process! Very often I would spend weeks drawing and designing but in the end I couldn’t use the artwork. So you’ll need to decide whether you keep on changing the artwork to suit the products or you just draw a new one. It’s very hard to let go but sometimes I think it’s easier just to draw a new one! Like this drawing here, I’ve spent 2 weeks drawing this for my reusable shopping bag, but the artwork just doesn't fit into the bag, so I drew a new one, that took about a day or 2, the drawing is so pretty but I just don’t think it’s stand out enough so I drew another one again 🤣


And  that’s the boring part 🤣 Once the artwork is ready, I’ll have to put it on template and make it all ready to print. Whether we’re producing in Australia or overseas, the process is pretty much the same, the lead time varies from manufacturer to manufacturer but usually it takes about 2 months. And once it’s ready the products will come to Australia by boat or plane. 


So that's pretty much how things are done at Suki McMaster HQ. I am very sure things are a bit different with bigger company, but if you want to start your own product based business, that's what you need to do. From ideas to product, it probably takes about 4 months and that's considered as quick. There will be a lot of back and forth with the manufacturer, sometimes you need to get samples done a few times to get the right design. 

I hope this article sparks some inspiration and appreciation. Keep creating and enjoy the love from small businesses. 




Next article The Art of Wholesale: Tips and Tricks for New Designers

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