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.

Stitched Billboard for Shiner

WickedRam_OOHFinal_CompInSky

(click image to enlarge)

I did it! I stitched my first billboard! It was REALLY HARD, too. People kept honking at me, the needle was 4 feet long (and of course I dropped it), then it started raining…Okay, not really, but the canvas area for this was 24″ long and much more intense work than I’d imagined. Still, such a thrill to stitch a billboard and especially for a brand I love that’s from Texas. Also, this is Shiner’s first IPA.

There are 11 of these billboards in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area and more in Houston, Austin and San Antonio. Send me a photo if you see one! They’ll be going up this week. If you’re in Dallas, the most prominent one is at Central and Knox/Henderson.

Just looking at this makes me wanna take a long nap…but also, yeay!! Here’s a blog post all about what went into this project if you’d like the play-by-play.

Here’s the map of DFW billboard locations:

Shinerbillboards