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Monday, December 29, 2014

Creative Gift Wrapping Round 2

Round 2 of my gift wrapping escapades. I continued with the brown Kraft paper theme and wrapped my boxes with the same embellishing with feathers, brass, birds and more. Added some of my handmade gift tags and each person was super delighted to receive this special package. 

I run workshops for Creative Gift Wrapping and Handmade Tags so if this is something you might be interested in then register on my website for either or both of the classes. 

The brown paper bags proved so convenient and easy to decorate

Some of my handmade tags from last year

I added small berries here to dress up the paper bags

Some gifts I used faded flowers found at my local thrift store.

Sweet birdie from the Dollar store, added the berries and leaf

Used black crepe paper ribbon here, feathers, a brass flower with pearl sticker in the center and topped it with a vintage scrabble tile of the initial of the recipient.

This one was extra special for me. I used vintage wall paper found at my local thrift store, added a silk peony I bought at a garage sale and white ribbon bought at my local Restore ! Beautifully wrapped with a found items ! 

Monday, December 22, 2014

Gift wrapping round 1

Around this time of year most people have traditions of making sweets and cakes....but not at my home. Here we just gift wrap and gift wrap and gift wrap. I really do enjoy wrapping a gift up and making it super special for the recipient. 

So this is round 1 of my gift wrapping.............yup 2 more rounds to go. Here are just some gifts I wrapped for my kid's school teachers, crossing guards, piano teachers, choir teachers, bus drivers, their school friends, the neighbour's cat, etc.  
I used brown paper bag this year and dressed them up with my handmade tags and silver bells.

Some of my handmade tags done with layered stamps and glitter stickers.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Great Discontent

Happened upon this cool blog THE GREAT DISCONTENT that covers interviews with various artists. What struck me first is the titles of the Artists. All of them have multiple talents like Artist / Designer / Writer or Illustrater / Film Maker or Artist / Songwriter..................that was an Aha moment for me. There are others like me who have multiple talents. I have always struggled with this issue of having multiple talents - always felt like a Jack of All and Master of none -  but reading the blog and getting an insight into these wonderful people kind of made me feel like I found my tribe....my people...others like me - multi talented. So I proudly say I am an Artist / Designer / Stylist / Curator / Interior Decorator on my Instagram account and everywhere else. phew ! there ! done ! Amen !

So anyhoo about the blog..............its a wonderful read about these super talented people and I have started capturing key points that hit a note with me in a folder just so I can go back to them later. One of the interviews that I really liked was Justin Maller and what he says here about creativity:

Are you creatively satisfied?
In terms of having an outlet to express creativity, yeah. Totally. If you ever want to be satisfied creatively, then put an expectation on yourself to make a complete piece of art every day, like I’ve been doing with the Facets project. Through that, I have an avenue to explore whatever stupid idea pops into my head. Today I was in the dog park, letting Frank run around, and instead of talking with the other dog owners like I usually do, I decided to listen to some Neil Young. I listened to “Heart of Gold” and “Old Man” on loop. “Heart of Gold” struck a chord with me, and I decided to make an actual gold heart for today’s piece; it’s halfway done and I have to go home tipsy and finish it tonight. My only rule with Facets is that it has to be done before I go to sleep. Having an expectation to deliver is a good way to focus your energy, and that time parameter makes for a very defined creative outlet.
A lot of the jobs I do these days allow me quite a bit of creative freedom, and what’s great is that this Facets project has lead to so much more work in a style that’s still new and fresh to me. The geometric style I’ve developed is pretty far removed from my previous stuff and is way more illustrative. Kids, if you want a good way to grow your profile as well as your abilities, show people something new every day; they tend to respond well to that! Doing this project has won me a new audience and has been professionally rewarding as well, but as with everything I’ve done with my career, I did it for myself first and the commercial aspect followed. When people hit you up to do work, it’s usually months or years after when you first did it for yourself. For some reason this Facets stuff has caught on faster than anything else.
There’s some good advice in there. What else would you say to a young person starting out?
The most important thing to do, especially in the beginning, is just to make work for yourself—work that pleases you and has no bigger agenda than to make you happy. I think that too many people start out trying to make work that will appeal on a commercial level. There’s certainly a point where it’s important to show the application your skill can have in a commercial environment—there’s nothing wrong with that. But in the beginning, when you’re building your skill set and developing your personal voice as an artist, you have to do it for yourself, for your own pleasure.
The other thing is that I think people have an exaggerated expectation of the timeline that their creative career will unfold in. This doesn’t happen in six weeks or six months; like any other career, it takes years. You work a shitty job, do artwork on the side, and get better on your own time while you experiment. I feel like that approach is somewhat lost.
Also, doing tutorial after tutorial and devouring every blog under the sun is not a surefire way to accelerate your development—it’s a good way to make your work look like everyone else’s and end up with a generic blend of shit with nothing to delineate you from the next guy. Why take these cues from someone else? Don’t let someone else define your visual lexicon or your artistic approach. Find new places, create new approaches! Whoa, I didn’t mean to go there that quickly.
Read the full Interview HERE.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Discovering New Artists

I spoke earlier about my love for Instagram and how it has helped me find so many new artists. Well here are two of the artists that I have discovered on Instagram that have left me completely in awe. They are young ladies who have found their style and produce such beautiful works of art....... leaving me utterly spellbound. 

Last night we watched the movie 'The Art of Getting By' which was quite a weird movie (I am still making sense of it).....there was one part where the boy's art teacher told him he has to find his subject matter - something that spoke to him - something he wanted to express and then paint it. And it reminded me of my journey to here - to the point where I knew I wanted to do portraits. I first started off with flowers, then still life, shoes, clothes (yes I painted clothes - I was seriously running out of subject matter!) and then one day I decided to try a portrait and after that I was hooked. I like the discipline of portraits - you either get it right or wrong. There is no grey. So anyhoo what I am trying to say is these young ladies impress me so much because at such a young age they have found their subject matter, their style and their essence. It defines their art and who they are. 

I am super grateful I am at this point and that I even know I want to churn out stylized portraits, the next steps are just figuring out how to get there. So without more banter from me the two artists I want to feature are Redd Walitzki and Kristins Baugh Shiraef. Both of their works feature pixie like fairies and fantastical creatures. 

Redd's IG account is full of inspiring images of her art, creations, costumes, her whole lifestyle is an extension of her paintings. And Kristin is Casey Baughs sister so I do not need to say more about her talent. Love the amount of detail she adds into her works somehow painting magic into them.