I’ve been stretching the boundaries of my comfort zone and striving to learn new things. My mantra this week has been “where there is fear there is no creativity”. I first heard this statement years ago on a how-to decorating show on television. I think it was called “Interior Motives” and it was hosted by a delightfully funny man named Christopher Lowell. He shared so many skills and in such a non-intimidating and empowering way that I was able to decorate my whole house using his ideas. For someone with their first home and a limited budget and being paralyzed at the thought of making a bad decorating decision this was huge. It is not a stretch to say that by following his Seven Layers of Design and creating all sorts of home projects I was opening the door to my art creativity. I realized what a joy it was to use my hands to create things. From making cornice boxes and curtains and painting baseboards and draping fabric and becoming intimately familiar with my staple gun (that does not sound quite right does it?) I started to think creatively.
Fast forward a few years and I discovered scrapbooking. I always made photo albums of our family vacations and tucked in all the ephemera and room keys and little comments about our adventures. I never knew there was a whole UNIVERSE out there of people decorating these scrapbooks and creating layouts around all this stuff. I went into an Archivers store that I passed by dozens of times and it was GAME ON. I could not get enough of it–the paper, the stickers, the stamping–all of it. I would spend days working on a single layout. Agonize over every decision.
Fast forward another couple years and I had stopped scrapbooking and had moved on to a small and sporadic papercrafting business. I was using my scrapbooking skills on cardmaking, giftbags, bookmarks, and journals. I had small-scale success at holiday gift fairs and word-of-mouth sales. I took a stab at an etsy site but my heart wasn’t in it. It felt like I was forgetting how to create things with my own voice and I was becoming paralyzed by worrying about what other people would like. I was second guessing every idea. My happy creative mojo was nowhere to be found. During this time I started taking classes and attending art retreats that featured lots of mixed media art. I had my cool little art shack and every art supply I wanted but wasn’t feeling it. I was creating a whole lot of nothing…nada…zip.
Fast forward to October, 2012, and I saw an ad in the paper for a paper crafting fair on the weekend. I decided to go and see what was new in the paper crafting world. Well the answer was ALOT. The scrapbooking world has finally started incorporating more mixed media techniques and embracing more imperfection and less cookie-cutter-ness (new word!). It seems there is room at the table for both scrapbooking and mixed-media to co-exist comfortably. I’ve noticed mixed-media artists using some of the tools of scrapbooking and they aren’t even holding their noses! I’ve noticed scrapbookers embracing the drippage and splatters and textures of mixed media without frantically diving for paper towels! It is thrilling! There are throngs of artists who like me enjoy having a paintbrush and an inkpad in both worlds. Yippy skippy!
All that said–here are my creations from the past week.
All of these were created using both scrapbooking and mixed-media tools and techniques and were loads of fun to make. TFL!
Art Out With Your HeART Out!