Pins! Why, yes, I do feel late to the game when it comes to making enamel pins. But, you know what, it turns out that I enjoy the process! What’s more, I enjoyed not working in Adobe Illustrator.
In fact, that’s what held me up for such a long time. For years I could hardly stand the thought of dealing with solid lines and vectors. So, as much as I admired the pins that I saw my friends and other artists making, I admired them from afar.
I liked the thought of creating a little artifact, marveling at the jewel-like nature of the enamel pin itself. But I suppose I had written it off as something I would ever get around to doing. The barrier to entry was low and yet I never could seem to bring myself to really look into it.
It’s all clean lines and vector art, I thought to myself. The province of Sharpies and Pantones.
I’ll tell you what got me, though. It was an Instagram ad. Yes, they got me. The copy of the ad was something like, “Hey! You don’t need to do hardly anything! Just send us a .jpg and we can make it into a pin!” Now you’ve got my attention. That sounds precisely like the amount of effort I want to put into figuring out how this works!
With the dread thought of doing business with Adobe Illustrator evaporated, a new thought struck me like a bolt: Hey, I’m going to make a pin.
Ah, but the clean line art, you say. Crisp, tidy drawing? That’s not your game, Godbey. You’re a scribbling, scratchy pencil guy. Let’s see you render soft graphite in hard enamel!
You are correct. But here’s the thing. I have acquired a new power up item into my magic bag of tricks. For some projects, I’ve adopted into my process an iPad Pro with Apple Pencil and Procreate. Over the last few years, I’ve become at home with its particular strengths.
And so! I made a pin. Last year. A little leafy goof. And it turned out that I really enjoyed the process. There’s a lesson in there somewhere about getting beyond yourself and learning new things but I’m not sure where it is.
Well! Since that first pin, I’ve been looking for an excuse to create more and to explore more intricate and involved designs.
I finally got to it with the Menagerie Pin Set. A new collection of four hard enamel pins!
So! I thought it might be fun to take a look at one of the new pins and follow the process from start to finish.
I have to say, these turned out so beautifully; I could not be more pleased.
Of course, I’m not the only one out there taking a walk through the land of pins! I’ve rounded up a handful of others that I think are worth your attention.
One of my favorites artists, Gawki, has an incredible collection of 60 mushroom inspired pins with The Mushroom Trove.
If there’s a better monthly pin club than Annie Stegg’s monthly pin club, well, I have yet to see it!
Shawn Russell’s beautiful set of Chinese New Year pins.
The translation of Aria Fawn’s magical work into the language of enamel is sublime.
So! What next for pins? I’m not sure but you can be sure there are a lot more that I’d like to make. Until my next collection, whenever that might be, feel free to take a closer look at the Menagerie Pin Set (including one pin that’s glow-in-the-dark)!