drawing the duchess – Carolyn gets fashion Moo Cards.


Carolyn has agreed to blog the process of getting Fashion Moo Cards. Carolyn writes the Toronto Fashion Incubator blog, but by night she rocks hard with her band Satan’s Candy.

What is this all about? You can read my into to the idea of custom fashion illustrations on Moo Cards here.

For a little peek into the process, you can read the email communication I had with Carolyn after the jump…

Carolyn’s responses are in italic.

Hey Danielle:

I saw your post about the personalized Moo Cards, I knew they were something I had to have! I love your illustrations and the idea of having one just for me is pretty cool. I’m in.

Here are some questions I have:

I’m thinking about having two figures for my cards: one is a fictional character for a book I wrote (Gigi LaFaux), and the second is my rock ‘n roll alter ego (Das Duchess Karolka). Since my card will be simply contact information (no company or title), what do you suggest for an illustration? Can I have two?

You can have two characters. Just to make it clear, the $100 is per linear figure, so the cost would be another $100 USD for the second figure.

The cool thing about Moo cards is you can have different images mixed into the same pack of cards, up to 100 different images.

With whatever character I choose, I can just tell you what outfit I’d like to choose? So I can say, “I’d like her to wear a ripped-up, rock & roll prom dress” and you’d be able to go for it?

Yeah that’s awesome, exactly the kind of exciting outfit and characters I like to draw. I like it when people let their imaginations go wild! You can be as specific or as general as you want. So if you wanted, you could say you like rock-and-roll chicks and I’d let my creative license go wild. Or… you could show me tearsheets of details you like, fabric scraps, specifications, inspirations and lots of description and little scratch-sketches. That’s what designers do.

I doubt this will happen, but what happens if I don’t like your initial illustration? Can I ask for edits?

I will send you the sketch when it is in the pencil stage. You’ll get a good idea of what the final will be like, it’s just more preliminary and less polished, obviously. That’s the time for you to make alterations to the figure. Another option would to ask me to show you a few quick “thumbnail” ideas before the actual sketch if what you want is very specific.

Excellent! Thanks for getting back to me so quickly.

I think I’ll just go with one image for now and see how it goes. If I love it, I can always order more. Since you got excited about my rock ‘n roll alter-ego, then let’s go with a Das Duchess Karolka illustration. Here are the details:

When I play a show, I’ll usually wear a bad 80’s prom dress that’s all ripped up and has chains, pins, that sort of stuff. At my band’s first show, I’ll be wearing a white 50’s inspired prom dress. It’s basically strapless, but with ribbons and chains for decorative straps, straight bustline, close at waist, and A-line skirt just past the knees. I’ll probably have a crinoline underneath or have a slit on the right hand side with tulle exploding out of it. I’m working on modifications to the dress right now, so I can send you photos in a few days if you want to see it. But I think you’ll be fine without it. Let your imagination go wild! If you want, you can add gloves and a million necklaces or something.

Oh, and Das Duchess should wear a tiara. I play the bass, but if that’s too hard for you to deal with, you can just draw a rock ‘n roll pose.

For hair and look, I’d like the illustration to be me times 10. So short hair on one side, long and spiky/messy on the other. Cat’s eye makeup, of course!

Here’s the preliminary sketch… what do you think? Any changes? I’m going to make some tweaks too before her final iteration, just solidifying details and adjustments.


I had fun drawing Das Duchess, but for some reason she thought she should have a wide stance. She doesn’t quite fit on the Moo Mini Card format! So you also have two new choices –

1. I make the duchess stand like a lady so she’ll fit on the moo card
2. I leave the duchess rawking out as is and you get awesome Note Cards from Moo instead.

I just realized I also forgot the bass strap =)
If there’s any other technical details or if you have pictures of basses that you like, that might help me get it right.

Wow! That’s pretty awesome! And such a quick response! Fantastic.

It’s quick because I happen to be in the studio today… like many illustrators I also have a part time job a couple days a week. Days when I’m in the studio I can respond pretty quickly. What will happen when I get an inquiry is I will also let you know the day I am planning on doing the drawing. If you’re also easy to get a hold of that day, we should be able to finish the drawing and order the cards on that one day.

Yes, you’re right about Das Duchess requiring a wide stance. Could we try one order of note cards and one order of mini cards with a cropped image? I would be happy to pay for a set of both. Do you think the mini cards would work or would you hate to crop the illustration?

I think cropping the image could be a chance to do something fun – the cards could have several different crops, some detail shots and some of the full figure, tinier. I would do a medley of crops for you if you like.

Also, I will very likely always be wearing my Fluevog boots with those prom dresses. Want to see how the illustration will look with big, chunky boots?

Sure thing Your Excellence!

If the bass strap gets in the way of making Das Duchess look fabulous, don’t worry about it. She looks pretty badass without one. Oh, and I do use a pick rather than my fingers, but that’s not a huge deal. Also, I’m not too sure about that extra bit of hair or tiara sticking up at the top of her head. Can that be gone? I LOVE the crazy bass strings at the end of the guitar! So great. The dress is also perfect.

The strap’ll make her look more authentic though I think… I’ll also put a pick in her fingers, that’s easy. That thing at the top of the head was supposed to be a little bass guitar =P but you’re right it looks silly! Maybe I’ll put a star or a heart at the top of the tiara instead?


Here is Das Duchess… with requested changes. Any last tweaks before I ink’er?
Since she’s kind of a rawkin, rough illustration I’m going to leave some of the pencil lines and I’m going to ink it a bit roughly too. What do you think?

I TOTALLY love her with the star tiara, Fluevog boots and bass strap, so go ahead and ink’er. Keeping it raw and rough with pencil lines and all will really suit her, so go for it.

She totally rocks!

Introducing, Das Duchess Karolka…


I LOVE Das Duchess Karolka! Let’s make some Moo Cards!

Just to re-iterate, I’d like to order 100 mini-cards and the minimum order of note cards. Do you need my credit card number or will I give you cash/cheque when they come in?

I’m so thrilled that you love it.

So, this is how the payment process goes. All figures in USD.

$100 – 1 linear figure, customized to specifications, delivered in a jpg file 500 pix wide, plus rights to use image online for 10 years
$29.98 – 16 note cards featuring illustration with envelopes and customized information
$24.98 – 100 moo cards with 10 different crops of the illustration

Because you’re a blogger you get $50 off if you post about it.

So your total is $104.96 USD.

I’ll make the cards for you and select the crops and all that, and I’ll bill you via paypal email invoice.

Also, when you say that I can use the image online, does that include Myspace, Facebook, and any other sites I might want to use it or is it just one site that you give permission?

Yes. By online, I mean anywhere online. However, I keep the moral rights (I am the only artist who can make changes to the illustration), as well I ask you to agree not to sublicense the illustration (sell the online rights to someone else).

I just paid PayPal!

This process was so easy! I hope to order more cards from you in the future. Can’t wait to see them.

Ok, your cards are ordered, you should get them within 10 business days. Thanks so much for letting me post this Carolyn!

Does anyone have any questions or comments?

Update – Carolyn has received her fashion moo cards!

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