Monday, April 23, 2007

don't wait!!!! start now!!!!!

When I hear people say "Oh, I *want* to do something creative. But I can't. I don't have time. Maybe some day.........." I get a mixture of feelings. Urgency is probably the strongest one.

Don't wait!!!!!!! Start now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You don't need a studio, you don't need hours and hours of time!!!!!!!!!!!! I know I feel better about everything when I spend a little time on something creative -- maybe you will, too.

Here is a bare-bones way to do *something* that won't cost you anything and doesn't require anything you don't already have. It doesn't take any space to work (one or two square feet), doesn't require any storage space for materials that you don't already have, doesn't make a mess, doesn't use anything toxic.....

Decide what size you want to start with. Artist trading cards (ATCs) are 2.5" x 3.5". My teeny scrapbook is 1.75" x 3". People have been doing a ton of swaps of 1" squares.........

Now for the one tool you need -- take a piece of plain paper. I use printer paper, so it's white. Draw a rectangle. It can be one of the sizes above, or any size you want. Cut out the middle of that shape, so you have a window.

Now you are ready to play. Open a magazine. I like to use magazines with plenty of color pictures.

Now. Lay your window on a picture. (This image isn't the most interesting starting point in the world, but its mine, so I know I'm not encroaching on anyone else's copyright when I publish it here. I don't worry about copyright when I'm playing for my own benefit, but I think about what I publish.....)

Shift it around, looking for interesting shapes, colors, textures.

Rotate it.

I try to let my right brain take over. No thinking, just "do I like it?" "Do I like it better if I shift it here? There? Rotate? Shift some more?"

Please try this. Make a window and have fun moving it around on a page, deciding what you like and don't like. I think of it as "hyper editing," and I know this practice helps me when I am looking through the viewfinder of a camera, or looking at my pics in photoshop, or making something out of fabric....................

I LOVE collecting these little images. When I am pleased with what I see in my window, I glue it to ... something. I have a lot of ATCs made just this way that are a piece of a magazine picture, glued to boxboard. (I don't trade the ones with someone else's image on them; I just enjoy them.)

Take an old cereal box (or any other boxboard -- I used cereal boxes because I eat Cheerios every morning). With a ruler and a pencil, mark it off in 2.5" rectangles, or 1" squares, or whatever size you want to use. Cut them out. I go around the edges with a black magic marker when I'm using boxboard, just so my finished objects look a bit more finished. (I also use cardstock, which comes in amazing colors. Then I leave the edges hot pink, or turquoise, or whatever, and let that edge of color be part of the design. You can buy one sheet of colored cardstock at Kinkos....)

When I find something I like in my cut-out window, I score the pic on two sides with my fingernail (running along the edge of my window). Then cut it out, being sorta careful, but remember this is for fun and we are not obsessing. At this point I'm not cutting the whole pic down to my finished size, but rather am trying to get one corner and two sides that are pretty close to rectangular and pretty close to the part I wanted to save, so I know where to glue. I also cut off enough of the rest of the pic so it's manageable (easier to glue a 1" backing square to a 4" magazine paper square than to a whole page out of a magazine).

Cover your boxboard shape with glue from your gluestick. I have been using a purple UHU stick.....

Line up your boxboard shape in your scored-and-cut-corner (double-checking that you have the right corner -- and the right way up, for the teeny scrapbook -- is an excellent idea). It's better to have the pic overlap a bit too much -- it's easier to cut off more paper than to shave the boxboard so it doesn't show behind your pic, but I do either when I need to.

Smooth your pic onto the cardboard. Trim.

Voila, you made something!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Remember this is about making stuff, not so much about judging. Make LOTS. Research shows that to make good stuff, you must make LOTS of stuff (it works much better than trying hard to make good stuff).

ATCs can be stored in plastic trading card pages from the hobby store. Cheryl Prater (see link below) stores her 1.5" squares in plastic coin pages from the hobby store. My teeny scrapbook stores its own pages.

Make a window. Open a magazine. Take 10 minutes to play.

Play is good. Letting your right brain out of its corner is good.

Try it.

Here is some eye candy for you -- all in very small bites..................

Cheryl Prater is making at least one 1.5" square every day for 2007. Scroll down....

1000 squares

1" squares swap (white)

orange squares

Judy Scott's January, which has lots of fabric 1" squares.

1 comment:

Wicked Gardener said...

Great idea! I'm so interested in the creative process. Thank you for sharing your idea.