Monday, July 30, 2012

Another Homemade Notebook

Yes, I made another one. And I have plans for more >.>  It's a sickness I tell ya...

This one is made out of a Hamburger Helper box.. and I actually thought to take a few pics as I was working on it this time :)

spine after the pages have been stitched in
in between the signatures

adding the cover

ribbon markers added in the space between the signatures

lies flat!
And if that's not enough for you... here is a quick flip thru ;)

Saturday, July 28, 2012

The Art of Playing Part II

     I am laughing at myself as I write this. Because once upon a time, several years ago, I wrote a blog post somewhere about how I had come to value art instruction, and the skills I had learned from my two years of art classes in high school. I wrote that I needed more art classes cuz I was getting frustrated with my work and wanted someone to SHOW me how to do it.

    I take it all back. Well most of it. I DID learn some useful stuff in my high school art classes. Basics like  to draw what you see, where to draw a shadow, proportions, perspective and all that good stuff that did bump me up a bit in the skills department. (Altho, honestly, I think the most useful think I learned was how to draw curls of ribbon! lol)
    But before I took those classes, I LOVED drawing. I loved the process and I loved the results. I would experiment & play with new media & try different things. 

    After I took classes, art wasn’t like that anymore.  Art was SERIOUS BUSINESS & stressful. I had to have a reference photo, and sketch out the proportions, erase the same lines over and over and usually end up hating the end result. I couldn’t just sit down and draw from my imagination anymore. I couldn’t just grab my crayolas & whatever else I could find. I had to have the RIGHT tools. I had to do things the RIGHT way. I was embarrassed by the drawings I had done before- which I had loved when I did them! 

    This started a cycle where I would get disgusted with myself and put away my sketchbook for months, and a few times, even years at a time.

    I stopped doing “real” drawings again a year and a half ago. I have stuck to writing & doodling in my notebooks. I was at my friend Sara’s house working in our Smash*books & I showed her something I had done. She told me she thought it was cool how I liked my own pages. Which got me thinking about all this. I DO usually like my pages.. and even if I don't like the end result- I still liked doing them. My notebooks are still FUN. My art teacher never saw my notebooks, they are not SERIOUS BUSINESS and I was never taught the “right” way to do them. They were my place where I could still play & experiment & enjoy the process.  I want to bring that same energy back to the rest of my art.

     This is the first drawing I’ve done in ages. I love her. I did it without a reference photo (except for the pocket watch) & used watercolours, coloured pencils (crayolas even!), gel pens & probably some other stuff I’m forgetting. And oh yeah- it was fun. :D

her fins, eyes & webbing in her hands sparkle :)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

You don't like it?

lol that's all I have to say to the people who think we are still in high school & calling me a nerd is supposed to be some horrible insult... to the people who think that the way they chose to spend their time is soo much cooler & more worthwhile than those of us who spend our time being creative ;)

Saturday, July 21, 2012

The Art of Playing

When my furry little alarm clock (aka my cat: Harmony) decided I had slept long enough and woke me up this morning, my first thought was of course:

"Ugh! I don't wanna get up yet!!!"

followed closely by:

"Wait, yes I do, I have new paints to play with & I want to check the Smash*aholics page."

Okay, now I am aware the idea that arts & crafts is good therapy and can improve your mood isn't exactly a new concept.. but it was still amazing to me :P

Anyway, I have spent the better part of my week playing with my art supplies. I have most of my art supplies spit up into two big boxes. One is for the supplies I like and use often.  The other is where art supplies get exiled when I decide I don't like them or need them very often.

I was working on some collages, wishing I had some Mod Podge & decided to look thru the "exiled" supply bin.  I found 5 tubes of Crayola glitter glue I had bought for some project during student teaching & decided to experiment with them.

glitter glue experimentation
I have concluded that their exile to the box of bad art supplies was unwarranted & they have now been pardoned and allowed back into the main box. The glitter glue worked GREAT for collaging. The glue dries clear & the layers come out pretty flat (which does NOT happen with glue stick collaging, trust me!) And you can mix different coloured glitter glue for pretty effects. I especially like the blue + silver + green mixture which looks like the ocean to me. :)

glitter glue + torn paper scraps
(on the right) glitter glue + tissue paper from my b-day presents :)
I also tried a water colour relief technique I had seen on pininterest. It called for a white crayon and water colour paint.. neither of which I had so instead I used the few Derwent watercolour pencils I had & a white Prismacolor. Which seemed to work fine :)

However, I decided I needed REAL watercolour paints. I had almost $5 dollars left over this week (after bus fare to visit a handsome friend hehe) and with it got the cheapest set of watcolours in the "back to school" sale section & two 57 cent bottles of acrylic paint.

fun with watercolours

I haven't painted almost at all since high school (10 years!) so I am having a blast.

Rainbow watercolour with clear glitter mixed in (cuz everything's better sparkly!! Except vampires...)

The two bottles of acrylic paint I got were pink & blue (my default colours I always get when trying new supplies). Sadly, they were out of yellow in the cheapy acrylics so I can only make a fraction of the colour wheel. But I CAN make lovely lavenders and I had fun making pastel splatter pattens. 

acrylic experiments
All of these experiments are on little bits from my scrap paper box which now includes all these pretty painted scraps :)  (cuz I never throw away paper)

I used one of my watercolour experiments for the hearts on this smash book page of me & my sister:

I cut the hearts out & just used a black stamp pad around the edges. What do you think? :)

(The smaller, shiny hearts in the middle are punched out of paint sample cards.)

Now if you'll excuse me, I think I'll go play with my paints some more!


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Some thoughts on “artistic talent”

1) It’s hard to see your own nose.
lol or in other words: it’s hard to judge your own talent. Some of the best artists in the world always felt like failures. Many six-year-olds think their scribbles are worthy of the Louvre (and PLEASE never tell them otherwise!)

2) It’s subjective anyways.
How are you going to define “talent”? To many people the impressionists or abstract artists are “untalented” because the kind of art they created is not the kind of art that person values. To others they may be geniuses.

3) It’s really top secret code for practice.
People who are considered “talented” have probably spent a LOT of time doing the thing they’re talented at!!

I really believe that most people could learn to be talented if they really, truly wanted to.

It’s like driving. Some people seem to be a natural the very first time they get behind a wheel. Some people just seem to be hopeless drivers no matter what. The vast majority of people fall some place in the middle and will run over a few trash cans at first but will eventually become competent at it. If you spent hours and hours for weeks on end practising parallel parking, you’ll probably eventually learn how to do it. Some people might just not care enough about it to spend that much time learning it.

4). It doesn’t matter!!
And what happens if you just happen to be one of those people who are hopeless no matter how much you practice??

Well for starters, you probably aren’t. It’s much more likely that you are too critical of your own work (most artists are guilty of this!) or you just aren’t where you’d like to be. Yet.

But let’s just say for the sake of argument, that you ARE. So what?

Maybe people who are really, really bad drivers should consider taking the bus. But nobody is going to be hurt by your unskilled doodling. Promise. If you get something from the process, if you enjoy it, and it is something you want to spend your time on then IT IS WORTH DOING!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Homemade Notebook

I made my own notebook!! Thanks to Mimi who challenged us over at Smash*aholics to make our own Amy Tangerine inspired daybooks, I now have a beautiful new book that I made myself  ^.^

I love it :)
However, I think the realization that I can make my own notebooks might be dangerous lol. Now being broke will not stop me from acquiring new notebooks!

If you want to see the rest of the book, check out my video.

If you're interested in making your own, you should really check out Mimi's blog! She's posted several different ideas for binding books ;)
the Scrapinator5000.