Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Decisions, Decisions...

My desk right now
So I finished up (and even packaged and sent) the Artfest fatbook swap pages at the end of the week last week. I have to say that I was glad to have that over with.

Now I'm faced with thinking about my Artfest trades. For those folks who don't already know about Artfest, it's an art retreat put together by Teesha and Tracy Moore. About 200 artists converge on Port Townsend, WA at the end of March. This year, I'm lucky enough to be going AND with my good friend Lea too! I'm very excited and anxious and lots of other words that all equal "just plain ole worked up"!

Anyway... many of the participating artists bring small items to trade with each other. I'm trying to work up a plan to create about 100 items. The only problem now is that I can't decide what to do. I thought I was creating pins maybe like the unfinished "wish" and "fly" hearts above. Now that I see the shapes painted with their stripes, I see all kinds of other ideas... dolls (not necessarily with the poker chip head shown above, but maybe), ornaments, attached to greeting cards, magnets... and so on. I have a terrible time picking just one idea and rolling with it. At the rate I'm going, maybe I would be better off making 10 of 10 different things. Probably more my style.

Oh, and I'm going to have to save at least one (or make more) for a possible journal cover idea.

Also on the decisions front, I'm trying to decide if I'm going to add the pressure of making something for an upcoming Somerset Studio theme challenge. As soon as I read the description, I had a very specific idea. I'll just have to see if I have time (and the desire) to work on it.

Oh decisions, decisions... how I dislike making decisions...

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Still moving forward

Finished up the last pages for the Steampunk swap last night!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

forward progress = happier me

I finally got a block of time over the weekend to tackle some of the art projects that were building up. This first one is for a monthly nature journal page swap.
This one is for the Steampunk journal swap. Only one more swap member's book to finish... and I already have a good start on that one too...YAY!
And finally, I made a massive leap forward on the 53 fatbook pages for the Artfest fatbook. I don't know why I decided it would be a good idea to participate... Oh yes, so I can have a 50 page fatbook full of wonderful creations from other artists! This photo is the front and back of my page (at the bottom of the photo) and the front and back of the tag that pulls out (at the top of the photo). I reworked this little project at least three times, and I finally had to settle on a plan and move forward.
This is all of my little finished pages and the last 18 that only need a tiny bit more work before the project is done!

As I was working, I realized that I think I work best when I think less. When I work fast and intuitively, I seem to make better decisions than if I torture myself over the placement of each thing. The resulting work may not be my best work, but it's certainly less frustrating.

The process to complete some of the work shown above went like this:

  1. Quickly (almost frantically) sort through stash of collage materials
  2. Select materials that look like they might work and throw them into a pile
  3. Establish a background
  4. Hunt through pile for things to create characters with (This part is my favorite - I especially like the part where I think "hey, I need something that looks like a wing shape" and then quickly sorting through my pile of stuff looking for anything that could work.)
  5. Create the characters and position on background (without gluing yet)
  6. Determine surrounding details and place loosely into position
  7. Glue down character and details
  8. Embellish with text or doodles

Steps 3, 4, and 5 also happen at almost a frantic pace. I don't dwell on twelve places where I could put a collage element. I position it in one or two spots, and if it's not working, it gets discarded back into the pile.

I'm going to keep trying to work using the quick and frantic method and see what happens!