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As a new member of the Blogging Business Artisans I am excited to present my first monthly challenge to the world. Each member is required to complete at least six challenges per year. August’s theme is “Back to School,” which is perfect for me since I have already been thinking about a new clip art and paper set for the occasion.

When I create a clip art set it usually involves sketching my ideas out first and then scanning them into Illustrator or Photoshop where I can add color and depth. I love the idea of a more cartoony look to my sketches that could appeal to both a preschooler or a teacher. This is what my original drawings looked like.

And this is what the clip art set looks like now that I’m finished with it in Illustrator. There is definitely a difference, but it’s not drastic.

I also have a digital paper pack that coordinates with the clip art set. My process around creating paper is a little different from creating clip art. Paper, for me, involves organizing patterns, which I can do with the handy tools on my software programs. I visioned notebook paper, some apple patterns, stripes, and maybe a sheet with a pencil pattern since I really loved how my pencils turned out. The color splotches and crayons were a last minute inspiration and I think they turned out pretty great! For this post, I’ll show you how I created one of the apple patterns in Photoshop.

This is the actual pattern that I used for the two different styles of apples that I did for the clip art set:

It’s just a small thumbnail – 400×400 pixels – but it will be used to fill an entire 12″x12″ sheet with just the click of a button. It’s actually a very easy process. The final result:

The other apple patterned sheet in this set was done in Illustrator with a different pattern tool. I switch back and forth between programs a lot in order to utilize as much as possible.

All in all, I enjoyed working on this project and chronically the process, something I’ve not done before now. The final results of the paper pack is below. I look forward to presenting September’s challenge next month!

Click on image to see larger samples of a couple of the papers included in this pack.