Search here...

Behind the Scenes Look–Fall Print

I’m a summer girl through and through, but once the air turns crisp, even if it is just in the morning, I suddenly get fall fever. Apple cider! Pumpkin cookies! Boots and Sweaters! Yes, please! (Although, we’ll still be hitting up the splash pad a few times before it closes, summer can’t end quite yet! 🙂 With the seasons changing soon, I’ve been slowly working on a few holiday/seasonal prints to add to my shop. I’ll be at the Fall Beehive Bazaar this weekend (Utah locals check it out, it runs through Saturday!) so thought I would give you a little behind the scenes peek of one of my newest designs debuting at the market! All my prints are hand lettered and illustrated using a digital pen and tablet + Adobe Illustrator. Before, I would draw everything on paper, scan it in, touch it up, then vectorize it all. Now that I am able to do it all digitally, it saves me a lot of time! Ready to see the behind the scenes process? Scroll down below!

1 behind the scenes

Depending on the print (and sometimes my mood) I either hand letter first and add design elements last or vice versa. This time around, I decided to do lettering first. Typically, I do a few warm up exercises to get the letters flowing, and then work on a few ideas and lettering styles. You can see below a few of my rough drafts in the lettering department.


Next up, perfecting the letters. My tablet recognizes pressure sensitivity, so I can give it that calligraphy look the first time around. Oftentimes I choose to go in and add a little more definition to that stroke to make it really bold after the fact. (Maybe a tutorial on that soon?)  Below you’ll see the difference in the “choose” and the rest of the wording.


And below, a look at all the letters ready to go:


Next, the doodling! These floral elements don’t really look all that great in all their rough sketch glory. I like to start doodling and testing different figures and shapes, then go back in and fix them up perfectly later. Adding detail to the leaves, and especially adding color, does wonders!


Next, I added some color to the floral elements. I had previously chosen a specific fall color palette, so I could just use the eye dropper tool to select the color I wanted for each element. Then I slowly started adding the pieces to the actual print. Sometimes I draw the elements right onto the print, and other times (like in this one!) I add them piece by piece. It’s like a game of Tetris and I love it!


I slowly added all the different pieces, readjusted, resized until it was to my liking. On occasion, I’ll find myself stumped or frustrated, so I’ll save and return to the project a few hours or days later. Sometimes, clearing my head gives me a fresh perspective! Finishing a print can take anywhere from an hour or two, to a few weeks! 🙂


And now, a finished piece! You can find the print in my shop HERE. Other seasonal items will be added this week! Happy weekend, my friends! Hope it’s a great one! XO

Choose to be grateful copy

Alexa Zurcher




  • April @ Hansen Love

    I love this! You are so creative. Last night while we were at the bazaar Jake was like you could make that, I told him that it was your hand writing and he's like, "WHAT!? that's amazing!" basically he was saying I couldn't do it! haha. but I will continue to scoop up all of your prints that I can!

  • Chelannigans

    I have ALWAYS wondered how people do these sorts of things! Thank you for this!! You are incredibly talented!

  • smileynann

    This is so nifty! I've always wanted to figure out Illustrator, for quilt pattern and fabric design, and I think this is just one more push to do it. Thank you so much!!

  • Anonymous

    I LOVE this print!

  • Stacy

    I would LOVE more tutorials like this! I'm just starting to learn how to use illustrator and would love any and all helpful hints I can get!

  • Tayler Morrell

    I'd love to something like this, but I can't ever afford the tools!

  • Ashley Ziegler

    I can't ever get mine to look pretty. I use a Wacom surface type tablet thing that I can connect to my computer and draw in Illustrator or Photoshop but I just feel so out of control! My hands shake and I can never get steady. Did you just practice a lot to learn control of your hand??

    This is beautiful by the way!

  • Amy

    You have been successfully doodling since you were one!! The artistic talent you have is quite the gift. Loved seeing the process – thanks for sharing!! xoxoxoxo

  • Kelsi Strong

    It's cool to see your process. You are so artistic!

  • Alacia Hood

    LOVE seeing behinds the scenes! Do you use an iPad or something else? I'd love to know what you find best for doodling! XO

  • Anonymous

    I just found your blog! I love seeing your behind the scenes! I graduated in Interior Design, but taught myself Illustrator in school and have been trying to teach myself more and more as far as things like these prints go! I was just telling my husband a week or so ago how much easier I felt like it would be if I had a computer with a touch screen so that I could really start doodling instead of using my mouse! I would LOVE to know what you use– do you use a touch screen or an Ipad or something? I'm def. in need of something new to get my creative juices flowing again!

  • Anonymous

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.