Character designer & Illustrator Sikan AKA StudioAiko created helpful videos demonstrating how to create stickers and line-stickers in about seven steps.
Sikan´s tools of choice: Macbook computer, Wacom Intuos and Adobe Illustrator.
Enjoy the how-to videos below or read the steps and tips further down.
Step 1: Sketch your own cartoon characters with pencil on paper
- Try to draw a variety of cartoon characters and add different postures and emotions
- Draw cartoon characters by using simple shapes to make them look cute
- Draw large eyes in order to show more emotions
- Add different postures and faces to create a sense of humour
Step 2: Add darker lines on top of the sketches
Use a black pen of choice and line the drawings for emphasis.
Step 3: Transition from analogue to digital
- can or take a picture of the sketches and import the file into Adobe Illustrator or your software program of choice
- import the file a place it in the first layer
- reduce the opacity to 20-30%, then lock the first layer
- remove out of scale strokes and effects
- (in case you don’t want to change the stroke size from reducing the size of an image)
- To draw cartoons faster, I recommend using ‘pencil tool’
- Set ‘pencil tool’ to ‘smooth’ by double-clicking at the pencil icon in order to make a smooth line
- I use ‘pen tool’ to close the path or adjust the closing anchor point
- When you complete your first cartoon, the following will get much easier
- You can use some parts from the 1st cartoon by copy and pasting it, then adjust lines or shape to fit with a new pose
Step 4: Add details and finalize the designs before colouring
Step 5: Colouring the characters with halftone technique
- Come up with a theme colour and apply that to each cartoon character
- Use effect > colour halftone to create shadows
Step 6: Create the die-cut sticker (in Adobe Illustrator)
- Copy the character and paste it to the front
- Then go to menu > object > path … outline stroke
- Use Pathfinder to do a compound shape click > unite
- Then create the stroke weight you want (8pt)
- Send fill & stroke object by selecting arrange > send to back
- Go to menu > object > path … outline stroke again
- Then close all fill colour/ show only stroke then set weight 0.25pt
- Choose a light colour for the stoke line, to see where you have to cut the sticker
- Repeat these steps for the remaining characters
- Go to object > path > simplify … curve precision 96-99% in case you want to reduce the dots in the path
Final step 7: Printing and cutting
Use your sticker paper of choice for the printer and print! You are now holding your own sticker creations!
Bonus step: Setting an artboard for line stickers
- Create a new file and set up the artboard size to 370 x 320px / 16 Artboards (RGB) / 72ppi
- Copy, paste and arrange each cartoon character onto the artboard
- Add phrases and words
- Finally, export the final artwork to submit to Line Creator
The end of this video demonstrates these bonus steps.
About Sikan aka StudioAiko
Sikan Techakaruha (AKA S.Aiko) is a character designer, based in Bangkok. Her creations are a blend of Japanese-kawaii-art and cartoons. With her work, she wishes to make people smile and deliver inspiration. Sikan is a part-time lecturer of the Fine and Applied Art at the Bangkok University and an online tutor for Graphic Design courses from the beginner to advanced.
Sikan told Wacom:
“I am a person who has high passion in cartoon character and illustration design. I loved to draw since I was a child and this hobby has led me to be a graphic designer. I found myself especially interested in character design because I liked to watched cartoon animation movies and still do. Now, I spend most of my free time to sketching and collecting cartoon pictures. I’m good at drawing cute cartoon monsters, “funny & spooky” explaining my style.
My main tools for working: MacBook Pro, Wacom Intuos Pro paper, and an iPad Pro + Apple pencil for sketching ideas. I always choose Wacom tablets to be my best tool for working! Befor I got my pro tablet, I started with a Wacom Bamboo Pen tablet and next was a Wacom Garphire 4.
Recently I received the new Wacom Intuos pen tablet in Pistachio color and it is very nice. I love the cute color plus a built-in Bluetooth. So, I like to bring Pistachio tablet when I go outside. ^^”