I enjoy color correcting about as much as I enjoy hitting myself in the face with claw side of a hammer, but unfortunately it has to be done from time to time. (The color correcting, not the facial mutilation, I mean.)

This image looked pretty nice on screen, but when I decided I better have a copy for my portfolio, I realized it looked terrible in print. I’m so embarrassed to think of how many people this image has been e-mailed to (with the brochure and otherwise), and how many of those people may have hit “print”!

(hyperventilating a bit. give me a moment to put my head between my knees… phew. ok.)

In art school, my computer illustration training hit a pretty frustrating bump in the form of an instructor who was an amazing artist, but felt like the best way to teach us how to prepare a digital illustration file for print was to show a slide show of his daughter on the teacups at Disney World. (I SO wish I was kidding about this one.)

So my method of color correcting looks something like this:

-Create about 60 different hue and saturation layers. Cry a little. Try levels. Try levels again. Cry some more. Implement that mosaic filter to see if it makes things look any better. Hit head against the keyboard. Rinse and repeat. Then I just give up and essentially recreate the illustration from scratch, printing a copy between every step to make sure it’s looking ok.

Long story short, here’s the new illustration. I like it better both on screen and in print (green sky, baby!), but do me a favor and don’t hit “print”. I would hate to hear that your HP disagrees with my Epson and thinks this image looked better before I color corrected it.