Saturday, November 15, 2008

How To Choose An Image

OK Here is a little lesson on how well an image works on a certain background. I used 3 "rusted" backgrounds I created a few days ago with a selection of images that I wanted to work with. (I won't use all of the images but it is better to have more then you need.) Once I decide on the 3 images that work with the 3 backgrounds I will have another lesson showing how my creative process worked in creating these cards. I don't always choose the images first when I decide to make some ATC"s but in this case this is where I started.

Friday, November 14, 2008

How To Build An ATC

I was re-creating an ATC for a personal swap when I had the idea to photograph each step along the way. I thought it might help some of you with the layering that goes into a pleasing design. You may ask... how do I know this a pleasing design? Well I guess because a lot of people wanted to trade for it. (And also because I have had many years of practice.) A degree in graphic arts doesn't hurt either.

As you watch this you may also notice that even though there are a lot of layers on this card that some of them are almost completely covered up. That may be so, but if the underlying layer were absent the design would feel lacking in something. Design and placement is such a hard thing to teach but we all seem to know it when we see it. Hopefully by exposing yourself to more art you'll get to become familiar with why something is pleasing. I plan to do more of these step by step photographing on other ATC's in order to show the creative process.

The particulars of this card are the following in case you are interested in recreating it.

1. The background is page from a phone book and then it is painted with a special iron particle paint. It is then painted with the accompanying oxidizing solution to make it rust. They are called "Sophisticated Finishes" and are made by Triangle Crafts. (You can buy them on-line from Dick Blick.)
2. The stamps are by "Hot Off The Press" and "Martha Stewart". The white ink is a solvent based ink called "Staz-On" and it is made by Tsunkinenko.
3. The silver leafing is done by first applying a glue called "sizing" that becomes tacky after about 15 minutes. You then apply the silver leaf flakes over the sizing and rub off the excess with a stiff brush. (The silver leaf only sticks where the sizing is applied.)
4. The mica flakes are applied with a clear glue that is called "Diamond Glaze" and is made by Judi Kins. I use a good pair of tweezers and apply the flakes one at a time in layers. (It's not as hard as it seems if you use the larger flakes.)
5. The "pearls" are called micro beads and are applied with the same "Diamond Glaze". Simply squirt on a line of glue and dump a bunch of beads over it. (Tap off the excess and let it dry.)
6. The lettering is made with an everyday office supply labeler by Dymo. I simply cut the titles down smaller so they would fit.
7. The butterfly is made glossy using the "Diamond Glaze" straight from the bottle. (It has a fine point tip to make it easier.)

The Fab Four

Well I haven't posted anything in a few days but that doesn't mean I haven't been busy. I signed up for an altered CD swap because my husband had a bunch of free CD's that came with one of his Mac Computer magazines. The theme for the swap was "music" which I thought would be very easy to come up with something but I ended up with artists block. One day I was vacuuming the office area where my husband does the bills and there are several boxes of LP records that he is supposed to convert to digital one of these days. Then it hit me...I'll go through the albums and select some of my favorite groups and scan images from the records and add other embellishments. Here is one of my all time favorite groups, "The Beatles", captured on an altered CD. I also plan on doing Aerosmith, and Elvis Presley for sure but I haven't decided on the fourth one yet. I'm thinking maybe Jimi Hendrix, The Who or maybe The Rolling Stones.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Inspiration Can Come From Anywhere

You never know what might inspire you so always keep an open mind. The inserts the I made for this purse came from the invitation for the Detroit Institutes of Arts Annual Gala. The theme was Moulin Rouge and the papers they used were gorgeous. They are metallic and on thick card stock. The outside was embossed black on black and on the reverse was a black background with white flocking. (See the back of the purse.) I love this purse because it allows me as an artist to show my creative side whenever I want. It is clear acrylic with a black top and handle and you can put any insert on each side that you want. The site has many pre-made inserts to buy but who needs them when we crafters all have stashes of paper and other really cool stuff. I will warn you though the price of this cool purse is not for the faint of heart. They are currently $96.00 without an insert. (I bought mine 6 or 7 years ago at a craft convention as a prototype and it was then $50.00.) Back then I thought the price was bad enough, but it has been very durable and I never need to buy another evening purse ever again. Anyways I used all of the invitation for the inserts and added some black rhinestones, ribbon and some sequins in the shape of the Eiffel Tower.

So hang on to everything that you see. You just never know when it will become your next piece of art.