Billboard, The Making Of

I thought I’d share some photos of the process I used to create the Shiner billboard (see previous post). It’s always tricky to take a Photoshopped comp of artwork created by a non-stitcher graphic artist and find a way to explain what it would take to turn their comp into cross stitch, a medium that is limited by little squares. I actually enjoy this part of the process since I’ve had so much practice. This project was a very quick turnaround and, while I’m always up for a challenge, I LITERALLY stitched this in NINE straight days, working 8-10 hours a day. I thought I was calm and doing well – no cramps or neck aches at all – but when it was over I got really sick.

Here’s how it all unfolded:

Working from the comp they sent, we went back and forth on lettering – I had to create the fonts as I went along to fit to size. We tried a few options on the fabric – they wanted something that showed some texture and I think I found a good one after a few false starts. The thread color matching was fairly easy, thanks to DMC!

Happy to report they used the final art as is — no Photoshopping needed! My perfectionism came in really handy on this one. But I can’t tell you how many times I screwed up and how many stitches I had to tear out and start over…I hope this makes you feel better if you mess up.

The final product, now seen throughout major metropolises in Texas!

WickedRam_OOHFinal_CompInSky

Lessons learned (some learned before this project, some during): Slow down; make a timeline so everyone is clear on deliverables; use thread for grid lines from the start no matter how much you’ve never ever needed them before; always estimate higher than you can even imagine it will take (thought I learned this one already); keep your mind relaxed and you won’t get aches and pains – be very mindful of this; don’t worry about how the back looks!; count three times and count again before you start a new section — walk away, breathe, look at trees, then come back and count again (I have never made so many mistakes that required tearing out and restitching whole sections). I’ve done large projects before, but I guess the realization that your work will be blown up from 24 inches long to 48 feet long is just a little intimidating!

Here’s a gallery of some other custom work I’ve done.