Friday, 27 September 2013

Materials and Techniques - 'Dee Dub Designs'

Each fortnight, I chat with another crafter about the materials and techniques that they use in the creation of their work. Today's special guest is Meredith, who is the creator behind Dee Dub Designs. This Sydney-based artist creates digital printable files and physical prints, which become fabulous invitations, cards or wall art. Do read on to find out more.

Please tell us a little about yourself. 

My name is Meredith and I am the owner of Dee Dub Designs. Dee Dub was set up in February this year after many months of "Should I, Shouldn't I?" discussions with myself. I am married to a very talented Graphic designer and a Mum of a little cheeky 19 month old little girl. I live in Sydney but spent the first 18 years of my life in the country growing up on a farm, so I like to say that I am a city girl with country values.

What materials and techniques do you like to use?

As all of Dee Dub's work is design the "materials" are in a digital format. So there is lots of mouse clicking, keyboard tapping and many many many hours in front of a computer. My design process starts way before all of that computer time, with me waking in the middle of the night with a "brilliant" idea and scribbling it down before it is lost and forgotten. Many mornings I can not read my own writing or work out my sketches and in the morning light it really wasn't a "brilliant" idea, but none the less it goes into my idea book and waits for me to possibly one day bring it to life. I first started out using a scalpel (how science prac of me), and a metal ruler to cut out my prints. After some negotiations with my quilting mad Mum I now have a self healing cutting mat, a rotary blade cutter and a ruler than now allows me to trim my prints without the fear of cutting off the tips off any fingers. My favourite "material" is typography. I really think the font makes or breaks any design and with my husband’s experience he makes sure we get it right for each design.

What challenges have you faced in the creative process?

Our printable range (digital files that are sent directly to the client) has to be checked for any imperfections before we send the final. I have always had to remember that computers can also "have bad days" and issues can arise in the saving and exporting process. These days so much of celebrations and party planning can be done online, allowing families to print invites, thank you cards, cupcake toppers, you name it on the home printed and at places like Kwik Kopy and Officeworks. One issue we came across early in the whole process was the gradients in our design; even though they looked snazzy on our screen, when printed at different printing places it did not produce a consistent result. As we pride ourselves on the quality of work we could not risk our clients having an issue so we have now made our designs prefect for every printer, no matter if you print at home, at a photo lab or even at Officeworks.

What drives you to create? 

My inspiration comes from my little girl (I know - cliché right! but it's true – my work space is littered with photos of her and her artworks). I dream up of lavish celebration ideas for her and design the stationery for each event (much cheaper than putting them all on). Any item that I design needs to fit the criteria "would I want that for my child" - if it doesn't then it needs to be tweaked or put on the back burner until I make it work. There have been plenty of ideas that were okay,  but I don't want okay in my shop, it want them to be amazing. 

What is coming up next?

Dee Dub started with invitations and thank you cards that clients can print at home. We then introduced postcards and other printed products. We now have a range of wall art that continues to grow. We have had a great response to our Fathers' Day range so we are working on now Christmas and Mothers' Day. What about the future? Isn't that the million dollar question when it comes to small businesses but that's all part of the journey. I started Dee Dub to put all my ideas to paper and to the world and the feedback from my clients has been magic. Onwards and upwards I say. I can’t wait.

All images have been provided by Meredith of Dee Dub Designs. 

Follow the materials and techniques series. Want to share your creative process? Please do get in contact to tell us all about your skills.

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