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I bought a regular, plain book (that I painted) in 2008 for Elsie’s first online class. Little did I know that 4 years later it would hold the start of every single one of my card designs. When I was at a blogger conference, I busted out my book to do some sketching and got quite a few comments on it. I thought that a peak into the JAA design process was in order!

Once I think of an occasion I want to create a card for, I start loosely jotting down any idea that comes to my mind. Above you can see the brainstorming session I did before coming up with these Father’s Day cards.

I usually brainstorm based on my own personal experience but as I try to expand my greeting card line I’ve been trying to think more outside myself. I think more about what other people might want or need in a card, rather than just what I would need. For example, I recently made this little sister birthday card for my girl, Tara. Being an only child myself, this sort of occasion is one that hadn’t crossed my mind until Tara requested one!

Once I know which design idea I want to work on, it’s time to sketch! This usually takes a few attempts before I choose my favorite one. Above, you may recognize the original sketch for my I Miss You card!

Using my own handwriting rather than a typed out font definitely makes the design process more time consuming for me, especially when it comes to customizations. But there is just something I love about creating the entire design with just a pen and paper. It is more fulfilling for me, which in turn gives me more pride in my work and more passionate about what I do.

My robot card was the first hand-drawn card I added to my Etsy shop in 2008. Before that my cards were painted!
The rest of my design process involves digitizing and perfecting! ;] I hope you liked seeing a bit of the “behind the scenes” look at how my cards get started! xo JA

P.S. The winner of last week’s giveaway is #21, Hillery Sawyer. Congratulations!                

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