Giveaway Became a Challenge

How a Giveaway became a Challenge

I sell some of my items on an up and growing site called Artyah, but more about that later.  We have a friendly forum there where sellers have been holding a twice monthly giveaway to other shop owners. The first half of January was my turn and I offered either nail art, personalised nail art or gave myself the challenge of creating a new banner for the winner’s Artyah shop.

The winner was Sandi, another creative artist who also uses Photoshop which made it more challenging.  She owns Paper Nirvana shop, come and take a look if you would like to see, and be tempted by, her useful paper tags and other pretty items.

However, I am diverging, as so often happens, from my point.  I asked for photos and ideas to create her new shop header, but did she send me any pictures, No of course not.  Sandy likes pretty whimsical headers without her shop items in them, instead she wrote:


I want this to be an opportunity for you to explore any new ideas or designs that you may want to try. You apparently enjoy graphic design, and I do too. I’m self-taught.

Your design will be for my Paper Nirvana shop: Though I named it Paper Nirvana Alpha Shop you can use Paper Nirvana.

My only requirements are:

  • that I would like something whimsical rather than serious,
  • I would like the main colors to be a chartreuse/yellow-green and/or olive tones with fuchsia/mauve and/or purple hues. These are my signature colors,
  • that if possible you include a celestrial design (sun, moon, star), or dragonflys and flowers, or hearts and flowers,
  • some combination tag line including papercrafted handmades, graphics and artwork; decorative, functional, wearable

Unless I have a paintbrush in my hand I usually like to have a starting image that I can work around.  This was obviously not going to be the case here.

Getting Started

I enjoy making PS brushes so decided to start with a couple of my smoke brushes, of course they come out in shades of grey, so needed to be coloured.  For this I used my favourite method of selecting the layer and using a gradient brush over it.  I had already set the gradient up with the colours specified by my “client”. Next question, how to include the shop name but give it a softer appearance – create a rainbow of course and lay it over that with the other specified text arced over it. Here are a few of the elements included:

Some of the elements going into the Header for Paper Nirvana at Artyah.

My initial drafts all had a moon, one of my own photos that I turned into a brush for this exercise and then coloured and added rays of light coming from it,


I created a few permutations of the initial draft and this is the one that was chosen, with the following requests for changes:

Chosen Draft with a few request for changes

The requested changes included:
Correcting my spelling mistake (whoops!)
the tag line in a dark fuchsia or purple.
Paper Nirvana in purple with more white than purple.
some of the dragonflys at the bottom white.

Final Result

This was the final result, once I had made the requested changes I did not like the moon so offered options with and without it.  Sandi chose the without option and this is now her shop’s featured header.  I think this is one challenge that turned out okay?

New Header Image for Paper Nirvana at Artyah.

Thanks to Tracie of Spirit Sighs for the dragonfly brushes, which were downloaded years ago for a previous project but I don’t think I have used them since then. I have lots of butterflies of my own but thought dragonflies would be more unusual and better fit the whimsical feel this challenge requested.


I mentioned about that I would say more about Artyah, this is a growing e-commerce site especially featuring handmade and hand-crafted items (so now you know the other shop I sell in.  It also has lots of sellers with vintage, antique and crafting items.  It is a lovely place to browse and shop now and improving all the time. Artyah is going to get even better for both sellers and their customers in a few months when the whole new shop platform is due to be released.  The good is going to get better and the great even greater.