The Art Process

Here is a post about the design process.  I fascinated by the way people make their art.  So I thought you might be interested in how I make mine.  My process has changed over time. (In the beginning, I was much more rigid.  Sticking closely to my original concept.)  Now I might begin with a very rough sketch of my idea.  I lay out placement, write down thoughts or ideas, maybe color choices.  Then I move onto the creating art part.  And to be honest, my work rarely ends up looking at all like the initial plan.

Much of my work is inspired by nature.  Could be a walk through the garden, photos, art made by others, poems, songs or books which paint a word picture, something.  Because I am, at my core, a person who cares deeply about the world we live in and I treasure the beauty of God’s creation.  Then I try to create something that shows the deep love and respect I have for nature and all living creatures.  (Except mice.  I hate mice and I’m gonna punch Noah in the face when I get to heaven because he didn’t kill the two varmints when he had the chance. Just sayin’.)

In my art journaling, I usually have a theme I’m working with.  This is my jump off point.  For example, in the Grandma-Great’s journal I think about my grandma.  What made her so special to me?  What are my favorite memories?  What were her character traits, her motivations, her core values?  In short, who was she and what was she all about?  Then I create pages that tell her story.

For me, art doesn’t need to be realistic renderings.  I have a camera to take pictures of the real.  It’s more about sharing the essence of something.  What do flowers say to me, rather than just what they look like.  And while I greatly admire Realism it’s not, nor has it ever been, a goal in my own art.  Knowing who you are, the reason you make your art, and the message you’re trying to convey is important to creating authentic art.

So I begin with my subject.  What do I want to make.  Then how do I want to make it.  What is my substrate and media choices, the nitty-gritty of how I will create the art itself.  Then I pull out the colors I might want to use.  This often changes as the art evolves, but it gives me a starting point.  Many are unconventional or unexpected color combinations.  I have always had this instinct for combining colors in ways that many wouldn’t and, since it comes easily to me, I embrace that.

Often, what’s happening with the art changes my direction.  If I’m working and some area emerges that speaks to me, the focus of the work will change to that.  In fact, I would say this is typical of my arting. Trying to force the piece to be what I initially intended doesn’t give me a result I’m pleased with.  I have learned to roll with it, embracing what the work wants to be.

This happens with nearly every art piece.  I begin with sketches, but rarely follow them.  I’ve come to consider them a tool to use at a later date when my creative well has run dry.  This is my way of arting and it works for me.  Here is a link to Dyan Reaveley’s process.  Here is Cinnamon Cooney’s process for a fanciful face.  As you can see, everybody has their own way of making their art.  And none is better or worse than anyone else’s.  It’s about what works best for each of us in our own art practice.

 

 

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Dyan Reaveley

In the past week, I’ve been watching Dyan Reaveley’s you tube videos.  Until my focus on Creativations, 2019 product releases, I was only peripherally aware of Dyan Reaveley and her work for Ranger.  Part of that is her work is about as far from my own as is humanly possible.  But she popped up on my auto play quite a bit during Creativations, and I became interested in both her work and who she is as a designer.

Artistically, Dyan and I share a love of vibrant color, combining older supplies with the new, not wasting product and art journaling.  And that’s about it.  Her art style is nothing like my own, her supply choices are not my go-to’s, her sense of whimsie is vastly different from my own.  Yet I find her work very interesting. Intriguing even.  And I am determined to give it a go.

Stylistically, my art journaling runs the gamut.  I create vintage inspired work often, as it goes well with the use of recycled materials.  I use a great deal of textural elements on my pages, actual texture not just texture made by paint techniques.  My backgrounds are layers upon layers, each building depth into the page.  Her’s are layers too, just with spray inks used in a variety of ways.  I often use DIY texture paste, I don’t believe I’ve ever seen Dyan use a similar product.  And my pages are usually in a theme journal of some sort.  Dyan’s are not.

So I think I’ll create a new journal of just “stuff”.  Just for arting adventure.  I really like her cut page edges, which adds interest when flipping through a journal.  I’m going to give doodling a try.  I bought spray inks for using in a variety of Dyan’s techniques, but my own watercolor sprays will work too.  Trying new ways of making our art can open the door to all kinds of creative growth.  And while I doubt I will ever change my style completely, it may lead me to things that are my style but made in new ways.

Always keep learning.  Stretch yourself.  We all have a “comfort zone”.  This can become a personal style or a rut and only we can determine which it is.  You don’t have to try everything, but shaking things up every now and then keeps our work fresh.

So this week, check out another artist’s work.  If you’re a painter, investigate new techniques and rediscover old ones.  If you’re an art journaler, search around for work vastly different from your own.  Then revisit your work.  What do you like?  What don’t you like?  Try new things, do something different.  Play around with your supplies.  Dig out old ones and breathe new life into them.  Have fun and don’t forget to stretch.

Simple Mixed Media

techniques you can use countless ways:

Straight Lines

  1. Use ruler to make lined paper, either vertically or horizontally.  Fill in sections with color. Or add words and phrases, doodles, washi tape, stamped images, ribbon, patterned paper, etc.
  2. Make a grid.  Decorate each section individually.  Add numbers for a calendar.  Cut up and make into inchies or twinchies.  Cut larger for ATC’s or art cards.
  3. Make lines diagonally.  Either in top and bottom corner, or entire page.  Decorate as above.  Vary the widths for even more variety.
  4. Make a square on each corner of the page.  The size is up to you, but I’d say at least an inch.  Now add a straight line to each box.  You’ve made a frame.  Add words, doodles, stamped images, stenciled patterns, whatever you want, outside the center framed area.  Art at will in the center part.
  5. Make a diamond pattern, rectangles, triangles, stars, holiday trees, etc. as an all over background.  Color or doodle as desired.

Circles

  1. Make a border using circles of various sizes.
  2. Polkadots, in areas or all over. Dip covers, paper tubes, bottles and plastic tops, plastic cups- whatever you have- into paint or ink and add all over your page.  Different sizes, colors, etc.
  3. Flower centers, mandalas, journal spots, use as a frame around a stamped image, cut collage images or photos and add to circles.  Cut or punch out cirlces and lay over your page.  Spritz page with spray inks.  Lift circle edge from page with palette knife so you can grab the circle mask without smearing the spritzed ink.
  4. Wheels on a doodled car or train, stacked as snowmen, faces, use in a swirl as all over pattern on backgrounds-going from largest to smallest…
  5. Outline page with circles, dashes and lines, fill in spaces with circles to make patterned clothing for paper dolls, wonky houses, chimneys, apples or oranges in a tree, soap bubbles, fish bubbles, add doodles to make snowflakes, ornaments hanging from a tree, use as titles by adding a letter to each-as balloons, baseballs, basketballs, soccer balls…

Paint Smears

  1. Add rectangles of three or five colors, in different sizes.  Doodle around them, add stamps or stenciled images over them.  Great, easy background.
  2. Use baby wipe to smear paint all over tag or page.  Use three coordinating colors.  Save dried babywipe for other projects.  Use a texture tool to add paint, use a sponge, a gift card, your fingers to add the paint.  Each will give you very different looks.
  3. Paint swirls. Use brush, babywipes or sponge. Or dip gift card edge into paint and add wet line to paper, twist card-without lifting- to smear paint.  Drop fluid paint onto page and blow around with a straw.
  4. Add color in lines, both horizontally and vertically.  Use coordinating colors to make a lovely plaid. Add paint to edge of gift card and pull across the page, leaving smears of every color you added to the edge of the card. Add spatters of paint to page and swipe over with gift card for random smears of color.
  5. Smear paint in varigated colors, on the diagonal, from lightest to darkest.  Cover the whole age this way, add mask of an image over dried paint.  Now paint page black or a dark solid color.  Remove mask to reveal all the colors you put down first, now within the image of whatever the mask was.

Curves or Waves

  1. Use at edge of page.  Cut to give a curved border. Add lettering following the curve.
  2. Use curve at all page edges to make a frame around the page.
  3. Use curve horizontally, flipping over for each line.  Now add doodling, stamps, etc.  Add lettering, to fill the space from top to bottom line.  Vary the width of the letters too.
  4. On one page, make a curved edge as close to the page straight edge as possible.  The next page, step in the curve by an inch or so, then the third, step in one more inch.  Now cut them.  You will have a “stacked”  group of pages.  Take the cut pieces and use them in your journal elsewhere.  Decorate as desired.
  5. Use curve to make a tag, journal spot, mat, pocket, tuck spot, belly band.  Add where you want within your journal, or make into a curved handmade journal.  Who says a journal needs to be retangular or square?  Make them in whatever shapes you want.

Black Pen

  1. Journaling
  2. Hand drawn letters
  3. Outline images
  4. Doodle
  5. Add details

White Pen

  1. Add highlights
  2. Doodle
  3. Outline
  4. Lettering on dark pages
  5. Details

These are simple ideas (some came from Dyan Reaveley) and only a few for each.  With only these few things you can make an unlimited amount of journal pages, each different from all the rest.  By using what we have available in many different ways, we stretch creatively and grow as artists.  Sometimes we’re lured into thinking we have to use complicated or fancy techniques, when simple is every bit as effective.

And often look better anyway.

Here’s another suggestion: practice what you love to see in other’s work.  I am currently focused on doodling.  This doesn’t come naturally to me, my pen is a paint brush.  Paint is my “ink”.  But I like the look of doodles on other people’s pages.  Enough that I’ve spent a couple days working out some more basic doodling images in my techniques book.  And I realized something:  Simple doodles added to each other make, what looks like, complicated ones.  They are not, of course, but they look like they are.  It’s just a matter of taking each area, using simple doodles and then adding more simple doodles to them.

Don’t overcomplicate your arting.  Keep it simple.  Adding more as desired, until you get the look you want.  There is really nothing you can’t do if you take it step by step.

 

 

Art Movement Challenge: March

Our art movement challenge this month is Action Painting.

The movement was focused on the act of creating as much as, or even more than, the finished work.  The artists’ work were seen as the inherent struggle to create, the challenge of bring forth the work from deep within.  The artists themselves seemed to experience a “communication” between the materials they were using and their artistic vision.  It became a relationship, with give and take, between the two.  This art movement, in particular, seems to have rejected the usual concerns for touching the viewers feelings and emotions through art to something deeper and more primal.  Jung and Freud’s theories and ideas of the subconscious mind are at the heart of this art movement.

The contemplation of what art is and why it’s created was common among these artists.  The questioning of societal norms, a world fresh from the horrors of WWll, the recovery in Europe as countries rebuilt following the devastation of war…all contributed to each artists’ journey to express their creative vision through action painting.  And while each artist had his or her own perspective, the movement became somewhat an expression of the deepest, most basic need, for creating art.

Again, the artists themselves often rejected the “pigeon-holing” of their work into defined societal norms.  Their art was about the process, rather than product.  The act of creation of more import than the end result.  The art work itself the left-over residue from the true art, which was the act of creating it.

Yesterday, I did a large action painting.  I confess, the deepness of thought and oneness with my paint was not really a consideration.  My own experience was focused on an expression of color and movement within the whole.  Bringing out areas with light and color, pushing back others with shadow and murkiness.  And while I’m very pleased with the end result, I was not lost in the process of creating it.

This has happened to me on a few occasions, however.  I am so deep into the work, I lose myself in it.  And when finished, I’m startled to see the results in front of me.  This is a different thing from “being in the zone”.  This is a deep, almost out-of-body experience.  That magical place when my paint and I are in sink, working together in an effort to get the creativity out.  The give and take between the brush, paint, canvas and me.  Each separate, yet joined in singular purpose.

But this doesn’t happen all the time, in fact it’s really rare.  And I don’t know if I consider it a blessing or a curse when it does.  Maybe that kind of experience happened for the artists in this movement everytime they painted.  Maybe they were that deeply attuned to the creative experience it was their norm.  I don’t know, but if that were the case they are superheroes in the art world (in my opinion).  Because that kind of arting experience is all consuming, emotionally draining, physically exhausting, and utterly exhilarating all at the same time.  It feels like what I imagine a manic episode would be.  The work I produce during these times is raw, emotional and usually pretty out there.

And not something I share with people.

Ever.

So, our challenge this month is to create an action art piece.  The deep, emotive thing is not required.  Study some of the artists from this movement.  Really look at their work.  What materials did they use?  What was their method of application? What tools did they use?

Then get physical when creating.

 

 

 

Assemblage Art, Part 2

In addition to deciding what elements you want to use in your assemblage art, you have the challenge of attaching them.  The adhesive you use is dependant on the items you’re adhering and what you’re attaching them to.  Because we want our art to last and not fall apart every time somebody walks past.

Liquid Adhesives

In addition to liquid adhesives, there are other ways to attach assemblage pieces.

  1. Wire and Chain.   Wrap the wire around your item and either around or through the base.
  2. Gorilla Glue.  This stuff works great, but expands significantly.  Be aware of this and plan accordingly.  Gorilla tape is also incredibly stout stuff.  Someone I know used it to stick heavy plastic to a school gym floor.  They had to refinish the floor.
  3. Two-Part Expoxy.  
  4. Airplane Glue.  
  5. Stitching.  Either by hand or with a sewing machine.
  6. Screws and Nails.
  7. Welding.
  8. Mastic or Tile Adhesive
  9. Tape.  Double sided tape, foam tape, duct tape, etc.

These are all useful options for assemblage art.  Again, depending on the size of your project, whether the project will be outdoors in the elements or protected inside, and the materials used, any of these may work for you.  Remember the heavier the object, the stronger your adhesion needs to be.  Using multiple types or methods may need to be considered as well.  I’m a more-is-better sort of person, so I prefer to use more adhesives than is strictly needed.  But my work does not come apart unless I take it apart.

If your making a small decorative art piece which will sit on a shelf or hang on a wall, the adhesives used are pretty standard. I often try things out first with scraps to make sure I get the results I want.  The lightweight paper products, and even the heavier items like metal embellishments are all pretty easy to work with.  (If you’re creating a life-sized sculpture of a dinosaur using car parts, steel beams and old appliances your needs are obviously going to be much different.  I’m not talking about that type of assemblage art here.) When making an assemblage art piece, make sure you adhesives dry completely before you hang it.  Some take a couple days to cure completely.  Better to let the piece sit for awhile, just to  sure.

There are some really amazing examples of this type of art, both from professional artists and crafters.  And it’s a lot of fun to create unique, one of a kind art work in this way.  If you’ve never made an art piece of this kind before, start small.  Use what you have on hand to see if you even enjoy assemblage art.  If you do enjoy the process, then you can begin searching for (and/or buying) specific items to include in your work.  But I really encourage you to give this a try.  Stretching our creativity by trying new techniques can lead to all sorts of wonderful ideas we might never have considered before.  And if you don’t care for the process or the results, that’s fine too.  It might just be a springboard for something else entirely.

Art Journal Rut

I don’t know about you, but I rarely change the shape of my art journal pages.  They remain rectangular and whatever shape the journal is.  I’ve decided this is a boring rut I’ve fallen into.  Flipping through my journals, while every layout is different, they feel all the same because they’re all the same shape.  So how can we add variety to our art journals?  Here are some ideas to try.

  1. Add a curved edge to the page.
  2. Cut out the curve.  Now your finished page has a unique edge, which makes your journal more interesting.
  3. Do the same thing with a stencil.  Draw the stencil. Cut while following the patterned edge.
  4. Add trims or lace to the page edge.
  5. Add a border to the page edge..
  6. Let the border stick out beyond the edge.  Add a word or image which refects the journals theme or what that particular page is about.
  7. Add another piece of paper to the page edge.
  8. This will open and close.
  9. Finish the whole page, being sure to include you added piece as it’s folded inward
  10. Add something unexpected and unique to the inside of the flap, which is revealed once opened.  Like a hidden surprise.
  11. Use punches along page edges.  This is a great way to add a unique element.  I have some border punches, but any will work.
  12. If you’re making a page with flowers, a mermaid, a tree, clouds, any easy to cut around image, use that as your pages edge.
  13. Cut around the image.  Part of the mermaids tail, following the curve of her body, with an arm and her hair cut from the edge. Most of the image is on your art journal page, with just the far edge being cut around. Could be a flower, leaves, waves-any image could work for this technique.
  14. Cut out shapes from within the page itself.  This makes a “frame” for an image on the page behind it.
  15. Decorate strips of paper, attach to page edge.  Add a word to each.
  16. Flip out the strip to reveal a quote using, or definition of, the word on that strip.  Your single word strips can create a quote or title as well.  This is a lovely idea for any type of journal.
  17. Draw a border around the exterior of the. page spread.  Make your page within the border.  Keep the border white, or make it a color.  Now you have a frame around your art.
  18. Add scrap fabric or paper to the edge.  This will thicken your journal, but we like thick, textural pages don’t we?  You can do this with washi tape too.

There are countless options for making different edges on a journal page.  These are just a few.  Make your page edges as complicated or as simple as you want.  Our journals should be as fun and interesting to look through as they are to make.

The Purpose of this Blog

Earlier, someone commented on a post I’d made some time ago. The comments were suggesting my post was incorrect and I should do some research. I responded politely, I hope, and explained the purpose of my blog. Which is something I thought my readers might also be interested in.

The reason I have this blog is, not only to share my love of creating with you, but to encourage those who may not have tried arting to join in.  My absolute belief in the benefits of creative expression is what motivates me.

For some people, creating doesn’t bring joy, peace and fulfillment.  Due to past experiences, their creativity brings up a host of negative emotions or memories.  My posts are meant to uplift and encourage those who are reluctant to try.  They are worded in ways to make art easily understood and not scary.  I encourage questions and comments.  If anyone has any questions, I will do my best to answer them.  If I don’t know the answer, I’ll find it for you.  I am, at my core, a teacher.  My desire is to share information with you to help you in your own creative journey.  There is no judgement, criticism or negativity here.  I want you to find your own joy in the creative process and I am dedicated to helping you in that.

Through the years I have shared countless DIY projects, tips and tricks, and inexpensive options for artistic creation.  I know very well, financial concerns can be a huge factor when it comes to creating art of any kind.  Which is why so many of my posts talk about using recycled materials, offer inexpensive, but good quality, product suggestions, and also instructions on how to make your own materials for a fraction of the cost.  My belief is a lack of funds should never prevent you from creating your amazing art.

This is why some of my posts have gently taken the crafting industry to task.  Not because the products they offer aren’t lovely,  because the marketing might make those without money feel what they create isn’t quite as good as what’s made with name brand products.  This is utter and complete nonsense.  I have seen amazing art made from a burnt stick pulled from a fire pit and paintings made with cold coffee.  da Vinci made drawings from ink and a pen made from a feather.  Who will dare say his brilliance is lessened by his use of humble materials?  Do not ever think your art is dependent upon expensive supplies.  It is simply not true.

Ultimately, my desire is to help and encourage.  Some of my posts are simplified explanations or lessons.  That is deliberate.  Yes, I could certainly give you detailed, in-depth lessons on these subjects. I have the knowledge to do that.  But, my thought is if you wanted that sort of instruction you’d go to art school.  My desire is to give you the information you need to create art that is meaningful and fulfilling to you. If you desire more, there are plenty of places to find that information.  And I encourage you to do so.  If a subject sparks your interest, by all means, delve deeper into it.  If you’re comfortable with me, and like my instruction method, I will be happy to communicate with you privately with further information.  That isn’t a problem at all.  I’m here to help you.

So if you should find a post or two that does not give you all the information on particular subject, you understand my reasons.  I’m not deliberately keeping information from you, I’m sharing what I think is enough to get you started.

May you have a blessed and joyful arting experience.

 

Art Movement Challenge: Regionalism

This movement was the realistic depiction of rural and small-town America, primarily from the Mid-West and Deep South.  This movement spanned the 1930’s to 1940.  It was developed in response to The Great Depression, ending with the beginning of World War ll.

The movement was short lived.  The artists within this movement used a variety of techniques and materials.   Grant Wood’s American Gothic is a well known example from this movement.

Although Regionalism was a brief art movement, it offered the American people a view of idealistic life. This was both encouraging and uplifting to the bruised and battered American psyche after the Depression.

We can explore this movement with any number of materials.  A mixed media journal page, a paper sculpture, a fabric art quilt, an ink drawing.  How you choose to create a Regionalism inspired art piece is up to you.  As is the subject of your work.

My grandparents had a farm.  My dad, and one of his brothers, helped my grandpa work the farm.  We were there all the time.  One of my strongest visual memories is the vast acres planted with corn.  Beautiful, straight rows stretching as far as the eye could see, disappearing into the horizon.  Watching as they grew from the tiniest, tender shoots into towering, vibrant green stalks.  Then, finally, brown and withered and ready to harvest.  A perfect picture of the circle of life in my mind.

It’s this, with the addition of our old barn in the background, that expresses  Regionalism to me.  Not the most original of subjects, but meaningful to me.  And I am thinking of a mixed media piece incorporating  pastels, paints, and collage, using both fabric and paper.

Give Regionalism some thought.  Then dive into arting!  Choose your subject, pick your media, and have some fun!

Regionalism

More Stencil Fun

 

Honestly, guys, I share a lot of information on this blog.  And I can’t always remember what I’ve mentioned and what I haven’t.  So here goes.  If I’ve shared this already, I’m sorry.

Earlier we were talking about stencils and how I make shadows and use masking with them.  Here are a couple more easy ways to use your stencils.

Doodling.

Doodling in mixed media art is a big thing right now.  Some people don’t feel confident in their doodling abilities and stencils are a fantastic solution.  Here’s how:

  1. Pick your stencil(s) and the images you want to use.  You can use more than one stencil on one page.  A bit from that one, some from this one, more from that one over there…You can build a whole picture over the page.  Say a cityscape or a cottage garden, for example.
  2. If you’re new to doodling, I would suggest larger images with distinct pieces to start.  For example, you might pick a flower with five petals, a center, stem and three leaves.
  3. Trace around the stencil image onto your paper/substrate.  (This also looks cool on dark paper and you doodle with a white pen)
  4. Now that you have the image, begin with your first section.  Say a petal.  Choose your pen/pencil and begin.
  5. you might want to make half circles, staggering them as you fill in the shape.
  6. Once that’s finished move to the next.  Perhaps wavy lines on an angle in the second petal.
  7. The next might be circles.
  8. Then triangles in the next.
  9. And on an on you go until each section is filled with doodles.
  10. At this point you can fill in each part with color, or leave it as it is.
  11. As you become more confident with doodling, mix your patterns within each section.  This gives you tremendous variety.

Another easy way way to create with stencils is to make a multi colored background.  Let dry.  Lay a stencil over top and use a solid color through the stencil.  You can then outline the stenciled images with a black or white pen. Or a metallic marker, gel pen, a fine tipped glitter or shimmer paint.  Use whatever you have.

Letter stencils are another great option for doodling.  Use directly on the page or put on another piece of paper and cut out.  Then add to your page.  There are so many ways you can use doodled images.  Give this a try and see what you can come up with.

One suggestion I have is to make a few pages in your techniques book with different doodle patterns.  This way you’ll have a reference you can go to if you’re stuck for doodling ideas.

 

Where to Find Creative Inspiration

Creatives need inspiration for arting.  Without inspiration, it’s very hard to get motivated to make anything.  Nature, the internet, and famous art work are all very common places to find inspiration.  But these aren’t your only possibilities.

As I mentioned, I’m doing laundry.  I just finished a load of baby clothes for Tadpole, so she’ll have clean clothes, no matter when she decides to arrive.  I set down the basket and went to let the dogs out.  Came back and noticed the colors within the basket.  There was, obviously, every shade of pink.  But there were others which looked really great with the pink.  Chocolate brown, cream, tan, gray, lime green and orange were in there too.  I saw the basket and thought, those colors would make a lovely art journal page or painting.  I think it was because I was away from it for a bit, which let me see the colors with fresh eyes.  A color combo I wouldn’t necessarily pull first.

Another place I’ve recently found inspiration is in my own unfinished projects.  I haven’t truly started the Konmari decluttering thing yet, but I did look through a couple storage totes. Inside were all kinds of unfinished paper projects.   Some inspired me to pitch them.  Others sparked ideas for another project to make from that project OR gave me an idea for something completely different, using other materials entirely.

Here’s another oddball inspiration.  My colored pencil sharpener shavings.  Seriously.  I was emptying it last night and found I liked the colors.  Purple, teal, gold, tan and charcoal gray.  Again, a combination I wouldn’t necessarily reach for.  I’ve found inspiration in sales flyers, fabric, dried paint and ink stained wipes, children’s books, a bowl of soup, broken dishes, well worn furniture and floors, rusty tools, old barn wood and license plates.  My husband had scrap vinyl in a pile in his work room which inspired me to make paint pours using those colors.  You just never know what will trigger an idea for a project.

So what to do with your inspirations if you can’t jump right in and make something?  Well, I often take a picture of whatever it is and keep it in a file on my computer.  I write down the idea(s) it sparked in a small notebook.  (Or on whatever paper is handy, let’s be honest here.  I’m not always that on top of things.)  I toss the random papers into a file folder and keep the notebook on my work desk.  I also have a small sketch book in my purse for inspiration that hits me when I’m out and about.

Honestly, I get so many ideas from the most random oddness.  And I have a lot of them.  They’re pretty diverse.  I have ideas for yard art, home decor, jewelry, stained glass, furniture, murals, gardening, painted fabric projects, storage, lighting, paintings, paper art, sculptures, dolls, puppets and purses.  Just to name a few.

Some people are inspired by finished projects.  Seeing something completed triggers ideas for other projects.  Others, like me, can find inspiration in just about anything.  I look at line, shadows and highlights, textures, color combinations (which are probably my most commonly used inspiration), patterns, materials like metal, glass and old wood, vintage stuff like old fabrics, photographs or ephemera, quotes, poems, music and books have also been sources of inspiration.

Look everywhere.  Observe closely.  View your corner of the world from an artistic perspective.  The stones in the driveway might inspire a dragon.  A rusty can might trigger an art journal page idea.  A scrap of fabric could lead you to a mixed media piece or furniture project.  The words of a song might give you an idea for a sculpture.  Be open to these things.  Write down any and all ideas.  You might want to combine several of your ideas into one project for even more creative options.

Just remember, enjoy the process of creating.  And our process begins with inspiration.