Scissors. At least that was my first thought upon seeing this work by Louise Bourgeois.
Staring down the pristine, stark-white surface of a blank page can be soooo intimidating… This phenomenon occurs with writers too. So what can you do when you’ve got your supplies all set, but that blank white page just stares back at you, taunting you, teasing you, bullying you…
Well, if you’re like Steve Thompson, maybe you carve your Crayolas into Star Wars characters.
If pencils are your tools, Dalton Ghetti‘s carved graphite works may be more inspiring to you.
If words are (supposed to be) your weapons of choice in the creative fight against the blank page, how about carving those pencil tips into letters? (Also by Dalton Ghetti.)
Take that, blank paper! We’re still getting our art on!
I wish I had seen this wooden bench or desktop organizer before Christmas…
This post sponsored by cheap web hosting services.
Whether you want to write and sell an ebook on crafts or you just want to buy one, you simply must read Sister Diane’s Things to consider before you price your crafty ebook.
And do follow the links in her post; they are awesome!
Back in the day, I offered and held a few home parties for selling my artworks. Being about 15 years ago, ish, I felt like I was charting new territories.
I had a bunch of catalogs and brochures from other successful home party plan businesses — and my vast knowledge of attending such parties — to build my plan on, but even then, the concept was just that — more concept than anything else.
I made sales at the parties (and secured plenty of commissioned works as well), but found I really had to sell the idea of such a party by educating the potential host or hostess more than anything else.
Now that home party plans are so mainstream that a woman between the ages of 20 and 35 fears invitations in the mail, the indie crafting party isn’t an educational exercise — and the lure of less common products is far stronger than say the usual home party suspects, resulting in more attendees and an increase of wallets being opened.
I mention this trend for two reasons.
One, if you’re a crafter, craftsman, or artisan looking for a way to make sales and connect with your local community, you might want to consider using home craft shopping parties. Even crafters who just have an over-load of made things could probably find an occasional party a good way to rid themselves of surplus handcrafted items, and those with mad skills could combine selling creations with workshops at parties.
If this sounds at all like you, Miss Malaprop has a great article, 5 Tips for a Successful Handmade Craft Shopping Party, which also includes links to some great resources. She even peddles the stuff other folks make at the home parties she demonstrates/sells at. (Keen idea for those who want to increase their offerings past their own skills.)
I respectfully disagree with CraftyTammie, when she says that she wouldn’t throw a party and invite her friends because “they all know i have an etsy shop, and i figure if they want to buy something they will let me know.” Shopping for art, for gifty stuff and crafts, is very much a visual in-the-moment thing. And people need to see it.
The second reason I mention the home party plan idea, is that if you are not a maker of things but a lover of them, you might wish to host a craft selling party in your own home. You and your pals can get together, shop, maybe even become inspired to make a thing or two yourself, all while you support arts in your community.
The only real tricky thing with hosting one of these home parties selling handmade things is finding a willing artisan or crafter. To that end, The Ungulate has started an Art Directory, including a category for listings of creative folks who are willing to do home parties selling their arts and crafts.
Image Credits: Handmade goodies from MissMalaprop’s shop.
A lot of materials produced and marketed for crafting use also have applications for more “fine art” oriented artists. One example being stamp markers. These are felt tip markers marketed for used with rubber stamps. Their key quality is that these markers are slow drying. This allows them to be used to paint the surface of a stamp, and stay wet long enough for different colors to be applied before the stamp is pressed to a surface.
I was attracted to stamp markers as a tidy and compact alternative to paints. They offer a lot of the versatility of paint, but are much more portable and easier to organise if you have very limited space available in your home. For example, they can be brought out and backed away again in a simple pencil case. There are a lot of different stamping markers, the set I bought are from the Dee Gruenig Signature range produced by Marvy.
If you use stamp markers on normal paper the result is similar to any felt tip marker (see above right). However they become a lot more flexible when used on a high gloss or cardboard. Here the long drying period allows for a lot of painterly effects including blending, rubbing, scraping, smudging and erasing. In fact, unlike paint, stamp markers can be completely erased from a surface even once fully dried.
The limitations of the markers relate to the same qualities that make them interesting to work with. If applied too lightly the marker will bead up and withdraw from the surface as it dries, turning a pastel wash into a scattering of dark dots. I am currently finding it hard to avoid white fringing my marks, as shown in the picture to the left. And even when dried, the markers smudge easily and it is very difficult to avoid marring the surface with fingerprints. At this point I am not sure what finishing product would protect the surface and not interact with the highly soluble ink.
You can see some of my other stamp marker sketches on my blog–if you have used them yourself, please drop us a comment or a link!
I have a thing for art nouveau and arts and crafts tiles, so I was drawn to this arts & crafts tile poster by Mindy Sommers.
From there, I discovered not only this beautiful Bell Epoch poster by the artist, but that her art nouveau stained glass art can be found on more than Zazzle products because the artist and her husband run Color Bakery.
The stained glass art works (along with many other works) can be ordered custom on all their products.
Of the stained glass works, the artist says:
People ask me if, when printed on glass, if they will light up. The answer is yes. They won’t allow extensive light as they are not transparent…however, they are luminescent and direct lighting behind them will give the artwork a beautiful ambient glow.
While Color Bakery offers hundreds of their own designs, they allow customers to upload their own images to be put on everything from scratch resistant porcelain floor tiles (that you really can walk on!) to artsy mirror compacts. And if you’re an artist, Color Bakery provides custom art printing for artists and photographers too.