Making Collages that will Remind of your Family History

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Dads-missionAccording to Anjuli Johnson who is a Mixed Media Artist form Raleigh, NC, you should not be afraid to showcase your family history through art.  She advises that you Collect your family’s primary documents, make copies and scans and do something with your family’s memories that will spark interest and ensure that those memories are remembered and cherished, never misplaced or forgotten.

She did want to immortalize that truth and make sure that the memories of her father through letters to his family while he was a young missionary in Mexico in 1974-1975 were not ruined. Seeing his handwriting, the little tidbits he had collected, the replies his parents sent him, pictures, etc. were just like a window to the past. It sounds so tedious, but going through those letters and certificates and seeing the names of actual people, their handwriting, and the tiny portions of their lives was fascinating.  She finally created a collage about his father which was more vintage looking. The nature of the elements she used for it, and the fact that they are 30 years older added to the amazing look.

She says She began her art career as a scrapbooker, and it’s been an evolutionary process ever since. However she is still constantly trying to push through her fears to discover and develop her talents, meet new people, and learn from those around her.

Becoming a Self-made Artist like Gaby

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Pic-1-gabyandco_CHA_2014_PicThe combination of the illustrations and industrial in Gaby’s work at the Designer Showcase at the Craft & Hobbies Associates Winter Show in 2014 is what drew Michelle into wanting to learn more about Gaby. Gaby who started Gaby&Co in September 2012 is an illustrator, artist and a pattern designer. Having graduated with a Bachelors Degree in graphic design and a minor in photography in 2004, Gaby always enjoyed taking art classes of all mediums while in college and continued to take night art classes after graduation.  Additional classes that Gaby has taken include photography classes, painting, ceramics, jewelry making/soldering, jewelry enameling, DIY design/collage, children’s books illustration among others.

As part of his commitment to post weekly illustrations which have now turned to daily sketches of street objects, Gaby has created her own website gabyandco.com. It has been fun turning her illustrations into zines, zip pouches and other products and with the help of the husband who helps her prepare she has zest for art and drawing.  The husband helped her silkscreen her illustrations on cotton fabric by using their homemade silk screen station while her mom, who is a wedding dress designer, taught me how to sew zip pouches and helped me sew a few for the show. According to Gaby art is just amazing.

Mixed Media Inspirations from ‘The Beauty of Zentangles’ Book

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14Apr02_AM_Pic1The Beauty of Zentangles’ is a book that has been authored by Suzanne Mc Neill and Cindy Shepard and published by Design Originals. While on a mission to provide comprehensive overview of possibilities, Suzanne has applied her extensive experience in art and design to taking the commonplace doodle to an art form in its own right. On the other hand Cindy loves experimenting with mixed media, showing that Zentangles can be applied to any surface – ceramics, wood, quilting, birdhouses, even boots. While using her zentangle designs, she has developed her own rubber stamps.

However according to them anyone can do a zentangle, especially after reading their book. It is a book that you can take on any level you want; for Inspiration, instruction, a jumping-off board and many others. Both authors are CZT (Certified Zentangle Teachers).

While the zentangle lends itself to the simplicity and the elegant impact of black and white, you can still color it and any medium: pens, paints, crayons, markers can be used. Zentangle is so inviting and takes the doodle to another level. The book is very comprehensive and is highly recommended as a resource, especially when faced with a daunting blank page. So never run out of ideas for your creative project and by making mistakes, new tangles emerge.

Applying Simple Creativity into making Business Cards

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DIY-laminated-Pic4Jean Mullins who is passionate about teaching and passing her knowledge on to everyone she can, also loves creating and playing with paint. As such as a result of using the following simple guide she can easily create the back of business cards while using local basic materials.

  • Paint, stencil, and stamp the paper or thin cardboard
  • While your painted paper is drying, create your business card. Type the wording you want on your cards, name address, webpage, what you do etc. Save, and then print them out on the card stock, use a colour that will blend with the paper you have just painted. Cut each card out
  • When the painted paper is dry, use a cut out card as a template on the back of the paper draw around it, this will give you the right size to cut for each card. Cut them out.
  • Using a glue stick, dab a bit of glue on each card as you stick the front to the back
  • It’s now time to laminate. Lay a laminating pouch on a flat surface, open it, then dab the glue stick on each card as you position it on the laminating sheet.
  • When the laminator is ready carefully lift and feed through, cut and separate each of your beautiful, unique business cards while trimming any excess laminate.

Sit back and say wow to your creativity!

Finding Inspiration in Mixed Media Art Projects

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29Mar_VWM_SeasideShelf-Pic2According to Victoria Warren-Mears who is full time scientist and part time artist working in paper and mixed media, finding inspiration can sometimes be easy and other times can be difficult and especially if you are using mixed media projects . The photos she has for her dad’s family after they migrated hold a special place in her. They represent the seashore and the color turquoise and perhaps Indian Blue acrylic paint from Delta.

A year later she found a row boat shelf on – line and thought it us a perfect base for her project and while using a faux crackle, an outside paint technique and inside “flooring” of the boat, she had her project done. For large crackles that would make it look worn out and aged, she added a thick layer of liquid adhesive. The same was to be done for the inside of the boat. The photo was meant to be her focal image and the image was adhered to the shelf using dimensional mounting tape. She would then add rocks and large shells from beach vacations, items that were adhered with liquid adhesive and definitely are a good use of found memorabilia. Dimensional natural elements would be allowed to dry overnight.

Throughout, Victoria chose to stick with a theme of blues, ivories and light brown. Eventually she was to achieve a photograph which was actually a copy of the original and which was scanned and printed.

Trying the Texture you have at Hand

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26Mar_KK_TexturePaste-13If you want to have the freedom to go beyond the comfort zone of your creativity while using your imagination and exploration skills, then look out for Kim Kelley who loves being involved with Mixed Media Art.

Kelley has this simple project where she will be making a layout that can be used as a scrapbook page, framed art, or just wall décor using 3 name brand products. Using a kit she purchased from scrapbook Diaries, consisting of papers, frames, flowers, sprays and even micro beads. Being her first creation that has been made on paper instead of wood or canvas could pose surprising results. This is how she did it:

  • Getting papers layered and glued in place. The texture is rough though and the brown color is not so pleasing but the use of gesso over it before adding any paint, spray or color technique helped achieve a perfect feel.
  • Adding the regular gloss gel and micro beads to give it some texture. It dries clear and the beads are clear which give it a shine.
  • Colors that come with the kit – Amber and Dark Brown Chalk spray – while added give it a sparkle.
  • Embellishments are then added and the final step is putting it all together. Adding some gloss Mod Podge over the top gives it that glorious shine. And your project is done.

Kelly feels that whatever you feel looks right, is right. That is the best part about Mixed Media Art, there is no wrong or right way to end a project.

Putting your Endless Amounts of Vision, Talent, and Techniques into Shared Art

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pic1-mar17-LTMar2014-articleLaura Thykeson has been totally immersed in mixed media art for many years. Since her discovery of altered books and art journals she has been hooked ever since. She acknowledges the fact that to create something magical, artists will use their endless amounts of Vision, Talent and Techniques while more often than not the final item which is Desire is always taken for granted.  However she insists that you always have the desire to create. Such is the miracle of art. To any artist, the wonderful, unique designs and abilities would just drift through their imaginations forever and never see the light of day. However they can be shared with others in a physical and tangible form.

People of all ages and walks of life may be hungry for even the simplest form of self expression but don‘t realize it yet and something solid and permanent will remind the world for years. It could be that driving  “desire to create” that may be the main quality we should think about fostering in others when sharing our gifts with others.

Laura says that to kick start any creative activity, you ought to gather some inexpensive items to include as “artistic desire supplies“  and after all the other processes include an artist bio and mission statement, and include your email address, along with an idea of the “real” gift you are hoping to pass on. Then, it won’t be long before the “desire to create“hits them and off they go.