Saturday, April 21, 2007


The task: To create a "thank you" card for my friends and family in Israel who were so kind and generous to me and my family on a recent visit over there earlier this month. The challenge: I was faced with the option of getting the card done quickly, or of sending them store bought cards provided by my mother. I was determined to avoid that at all cost, and to give the Israelis a card that would be unique, something specific to me. The result: A card created, drawn up, and printed, all in the course of about ten hours. (I was doing other things during the ten hours too, like unpacking, and recovering from jetlag).
As you can see, this all took place on April 16, 2007. After much brainstorming, for about 30 minutes, I came up with the brilliant idea of showing the words for "thank you" in Hebrew, but make it appear to be made out of ancient stone, weathered, and with clumps of grass growing from the cracks, like something in the old city of Jerusalem. Think of the "Ben Hur" poster. On top would be a non-descript figure, holding the Israeli flag. What could be more "me"? Here is the initial rough sketch, scanned directly from my sketchbook. Yes, Hebrew reading bloggers, it is spelled incorrectly. You can see me working out the correct spelling in the upper right hand corner. BTW, "Imcrazywonderful" is the handle of a Hebrew speaking girl whom I stumbled onto on MySpace. I made a note to check her out later.
Non-Hebrew speaking bloggers, did you know that Hebrew is written and read from right to left? Well, you know what? Hebrew is written/read from right to left! In the background on the right, is an "ancient" skyline, inspired again, by old Jerusalem, and by the port city of Jaffa (Yaffo). I think Mary Blair would like it. (Do a search on her). Getting there, but something isn't quite working...
This is more like it! Of course! Put the skyline on the left, so the letters lead to it rather than away from it!

Finally, I added some colors that would suggest old stone, using, fittingly enough, some old markers. Note to self: learn photoshop already. I used some lighter values for the background elements.
I then scanned the image, with the "Gold's Greetings" logo upside down, with the copyright and blog info, to create the back of the card. A trip to the printers, and I was done. Kind of crude, but effective. And most importantly, like nothing you could buy in a store. If it suits your purpose, feel free to print it yourself. It will need a little trimming, but should fit a 5"x7" envelope.