Monday, 9 September 2013

Time Versus Creativity

Hi again!'s been a funny old week. It's been one of those work-heavy weeks, mainly playing 'catch-up' with all the tasks I'd stupidly put off the week before...I never learn...!  Along with that I had a bit of a creative 'dip', mainly due to a bit of a downward mood swing.

So, what to do when you're up to your eyeballs in important stuff, working late, sleeping badly and feeling fed up? Well....I know from experience that if I ALLOW myself to stay fed up I'll just get more grumpy, and no matter what the workload, all work and no rest makes me a right moody girl. Too tired to do much in the way of active stuff, and too busy to indulge in time consuming distractions - that sounds like a PERFECT opportunity to start off my little recently made junky mini art journal! It's My logic!

As is often the case, uber-business means that creativity can be a little elusive so in these cases I start with basics...I think how I feel and find SOMETHING positive to record as a means of motivation. The awesome awesomeness of art journals (I think we can all agree here) is that you don't have to produce a masterpiece on every page. Art journaling is a useful process for me, not only a way to practise tecniques and new media whilst recording my journey through life, but also a way of working through mental blocks in a creative way.

So how do I work artistically when I am blocked and can't access those skills and processes I'd normally rely on, but which go into hiding at times like these? Hmmm.... One way is to doodle and sketch - often when I'm on the phone, or absent mindedly while having lunch or watching t.v.  If I like a doodle I cut it out and use it as a prompt for a little journal page. It's a good start! Raiding my collage elements folder and bits-box can help as well.  Another useful tool is 'Pinterest' - an addictive collection of wonderful diverse images INCLUDING a fantastic collection of quotes. I tend to write any that I particularly like in a 'quotes journal' for future reference and it comes in handy at times like this.  Combining these things - whilst considering how I'm feeling - tends to help jog a creative process into action.

Below are the pages I've managed to produce over the past few days, in chronological order, which may or may not be helpful? They're not my most awesome work, but I want this blog to reflect who I am as a artist, and hiding scrappy stuff is just plain dishonest!  The little book is roughly A6 size, made from junk mail bound in three signatures with simple pamphlet stitch. I stick washi tape down a lot of the page spines to stop leakage and help keep the book strong and then cover each page with colour and texture, which also helps as an idea/mood prompt.

This is about as basic as it gets! A phone-call doodle cut-out and a couple of bit-box elements and the absolute honesty that SOMETIMES a cup of tea is the best thing to soothe mind, body and soul!

Collage elements again - just a way of journaling how I felt. Life's not always how we'd like it to be, but the only way to get through the bad stuff is to deal with it and move forward.

Another little phone-doodle (birdie)! I layered on some tissue paper and the bird image,  then couldn't decide what to do. I kept coming up with blanks every time I returned to the page through the day and night but was determined to finish... once I had a small epiphany about what I was doing, the quote seemed to be perfect and the page pretty much finished itself!

I love this quote, and when I strengthened the page spine with wood-grain patterned washi tape it seemed like a good excuse for a tree pic. This is an awesome way to use up scraps of patterned paper and leaf shapes are a doddle to cut out! Add Faber Castell Pitt pens, some Glimmer Glaze and Glam and hey presto! Easy apple tree! This was actually FUN to do, which helped a lot. No thinking required!

I took a break from work and just chose images that made me happy to collage onto this fold out page at the centre of the journal. (Apologies for the split piccy - my scanner didn't like the full width of the image and point-blank refused to co-operate! ). This is why I like having images ready cut-out in my folder and ephemera boxes - it allows for full, free creaive flow even if time's a restrictive factor.

***In case you want to know - I use Claudine Hellmuth multi-media matte gel to adhere collage. It's fast-drying, effective and leaves a nice surface to add colour and detail to.  Give it a go - you'll like it!***

The next page is just one of my standard escapist comfort zones - a mermaid on a beach - surprise! (not!!!)

Layers for the sea and sand are torn from scrap paper kept handy while I work to use up paint excess and such like. It creates excellent texture and layers with absolutely minimum effort. I keep EVERY piece of paper like this and I'm always glad of it! The mermaid is a Stampendous stamp image, cut out and coloured with Neocolor II soluble wax pastels and Cosmic Shimmer watercolours.

A quick journal page at the end of a busy day. I was feeling completely washed-out, but wanted to leave the day with a postitive message lodged in my brain. The rocket's cut from scraps - a quick and easy collage - and the stars are punched from more leftover bits and pieces. I used some "Ocean Breeze" Cosmic Shimmer Dazzle Paint for a shimmery look around the rocket...lovely stuff that paint...highly recommend it!

This page was prompted by the back-colour - that bright orange and yellow. It reminded me of the countryside around here which is always lovely, but looks spectacular against the splendour of a glorious sunset. Trees are evocative of strength and growth, and I felt that the image of trees, standing firm independently but with branches reaching towards the light and to each other was perfect for this quote, which is one I particularly like.  The trees are done with Sharpie marker and then india ink. The 'ground' is a torn strip of homemade paper and the foggy effect is made with a Staz-on Brilliance white ink pad dabbed gently about the page  with a text-stamp added for some interest in the ink. I like hand-writing the quote text as it feels more unique and personal to me.

This is today's page. The horsey was a phone-doodle and I really didn't want to throw him away. I pasted him to the page with that matte medium (see above) and swirled and smooshed some Magic Color white acrylic ink around him to make him stand out from the background and add a hint of motion to the image. I added some 'Amarillo Taxi' and 'Heirloom Blue' Mister Huey's spray inks along with some 'Aquamarine' and 'Tiger Lily' Glimmer mist, dabbed with a baby wipe then dried with a heat-gun which seems to bring out the sparkle a bit more. Doesn't show up hugely well in the scan, but is jolly pretty in real life! I have no idea what quote I'll add....or whether I'll add one at all, but I quite like this page and it makes me happy to have done something creative in an otherwise paperwork-based day!

I hope you enjoyed my latest journal work - I'll be back with more asap. Please feel free to comment or contact me if there's anything you want to ask as it's lovey to hear from you.
Because I hope to make my posts practically useful as well as being an opportunity to share my art with you, I'd like to highlight the awesomeness of Cosmic Shimmer products, which I've used a LOT in these journal pages. I'm not sure how readily available they are in shops around the world, but thanks to the wonders of t'interweb you can find them pretty easily there I think. They don't receive as much publicity as Tattered Angels or Ranger/Tim Holtz on Youtube and the like, but they're truly exceptional and have a really HUGE variety of products in stunning colours - for example:

Glitter Glues
Shimmer Mister Sprays

Shimmer Pearlescent Watercolour Paints

Embossing Powders
Shimmer Inks & Ink Sprays

High Pigment Mica Powders

Sparkle Paints
There's a lot more to the range supplied by Creative Expressions which you can view on their wholesale site HERE. I chose them for their variety and competitive prices and stuck with them because of their quality. No - I'm not employed by them, but I've always found honest recommendations to be incredibly valuable so I'd suggest giving the brand a chance ...I think you'll be pleasantly surprised! Hope that helps!

Thanks for visiting! Hope you have an AWESOME week! Stay positive and be happy - big hugs from Shroo :) x
This post is shared on Artists in Blogland: Show & Tell Saturday. Click below and check out the beautiful work shared there by other artists!

1 comment:

  1. That horsey is very handsome! Keep up the amazing and super interesting blog! x x x