Illustrating a Birthday Card from Sketchbook to Print

My customers know me as someone who embroiders greeting cards. I make them in small batches and sell them in person at craft fairs. But I wanted to flex my art muscles and illustrate some printed cards. Below I outline how I go from the initial idea to the greeting card fresh from the printer.


One might think designing a birthday card is easy, but it's not. Sometimes the most straightforward ideas are the hardest to illustrate. For this birthday card, I start with brainstorming. I write down greetings that speak to me. Then I doodle possible layouts. And after I pick out my favorite design, I start doodling and writing down elements I would like to include.

Birthday Card Brainstorm Raquel Busa Maquina 37

I knew I wanted the cake to be hand drawn for this particular birthday card. So, I practiced doodling many different types of cakes in my sketchbook before committing to one design.

Birthday Cake Doodles Raquel Busa Maquina 37

I also made sure to experiment with colors. What color did I want for my lines? What color did I want for the background?

Color Experiment Birthday Card Raquel Busa Maquina 37

Rought Draft of Birthday Card Raquel Busa Maquina 37

Then, I brought my draft to Procreate, where I created the final illustration for the greeting card.

After Procreate, I uploaded the Birthday Card to Canva where I sent it off to print. The entire process takes time. Sometimes the ideas just come to me, and other times, I have to work on them for weeks. Either way, it makes me happy to help people spread joy.


You can purchase this card in my shop.