Someday I'd like to be an artist. Those aren't my words, they are ones from my niece, Desea. She wants to be an artist like me. Funny I didn't even know she knew I was an artist.
When I was young I don't recall ever thinking or saying that I wanted to be an artist. I was crafty and somewhat creative but it was never something that I thought I could be. I thought about being a psychologist and my grandfather wanted me to be a secretary but artist, no. That was definitely not on the radar. So I think it's super that at this young age Desea has already decided she wants to learn certain things. Judging from her picture above she's got a good start. She's a cutie for sure.
Have any of you wanted to be an artist when you were young?
Free-for-all-Friday is here early this week. With a little help. I've wanted to try out what another painter does. He's Dave DeVries and he runs Monster Engine. He takes children's drawings and turns them into paintings. He asks kids to make monsters and then takes it to another artistic level. I'm not into monsters but love'd the transformative idea. To see what I mean here's some of his work.
Well, you can see where I'm going with this. One mom sent in her kid's drawings this week after I asked. I didn't ask for monsters because I didn't want to do that. I didn't know what I'd get or how I'd do any transformation. I figured I'd just see what happened. That's what Free-for-all-Friday is all about - collaborative experimentation. This is nothing like I usually do but here you go... Eliza & my painting.
When I saw Eliza's drawing I just loved it. (Thanks Eliza for letting me experiment with your artwork.) It was perfect on it's own but I was excited to try this transformation out. I kept faithful to her drawing but added color and a story. I call the painting Me & the Moon - Our Midnight Celebration. Since I just ended my 50th birthday celebration last week this just seemed fitting. The photo's a little dark since it wasn't that light out this morning when I took it.
I kept the same dark color palette DeVries uses. The only thing I wish I did differently was to put a face on that moon. Which I leave the right to go back and do. This doesn't look like anything I normally do but it was such fun. I may have to try this again sometime. Do you think I should?
Independence day has been filled with parades for a very long time for me. The marching bands are what the Boyfriend likes best but my favs are the floats. I'm delighted and it's almost like being a kid again.
I had another chance to do a parade float this year. Part of me really enjoys it and another part doesn't. It's a great creative DIY outlet that's a lot of fun but the uncertainty of how to do it and if it will turn out is a challenge. Some people think it will come together automatically because you're a creative and that it's no big deal, whlie others think it isn't going to work out at all. In the process, you'll swing back and forth like a pendulum.
There's a lot of people web searching this time of year for DIY float building info. Last year's 5 Parade Float Quick Tips (found here) has been viewed and reused. So, I thought I'd share 7 ideas about parade float designing.
Parade Float Designing • 7 Quick Tips
Since the float this year had a fish theme I thought I'd play that up with the tips.
#1 Fish for the Big Picture
You're likely doing this for an organization of some type. Think of their purposes for wanting the float. What do they hope for an outcome? Are they interested in the process and having a lot of people involved? Or is it an outreach in the community? Or is it a tradition of fun? Or is it to show a strong brand? Whatever the reason, you should understand it. This float was about involving people in the process, name recognition in the community, and a Christian message.
People: We had about 40 people work on the float
Recognition: Passing out info cards & candy during the parade
Message: Free to be Fishers of Men - Bible verse used as the message
#2 Fish for an Original Idea
It all comes down to having an idea. Sometimes that can be hard to do. One tip is to look for inspiration to borrow and then make it your own. Here are 2 inspiration images that I found.
I liked the idea of dots and stripes. I thought that would be easy for our group of varying ages to do. I also borrowed the color scheme of the group of Nassos' fish. Here's how our fish turned out. We made them out of paper plates, poster board, & paper mache.
Another idea I borrowed was from Helen Friel's paper work of an underwater scene that displays jewelry. I took her small version and went up in scale by a lot.
You can see that ours doesn't look like Helens but that you can see the similarity of the borrow. I used foam core (instead of plywood) so that we could have many young people involved in the cutting and painting.
#3 Fish for the Love
You're going to be with this idea awhile. Make sure you love it so that you can hang in there with it. Nothing says failure like hating an idea.
#4 Fish for Solutions
Things just aren't going to go 100% your way. Have that in your head at the start so when it comes up you already knew it would. Listen to others ideas during the process.
#5 Fish till the End
Don't give up. Sometimes things don't look like they're going to work out, only to be proved wrong. Stick with it. Creativity is often messy in the middle.
#6 Fish for Harmony
With a big group, you're likely to have a wide range of interest and skill levels. To make it look good and like everyone worked together keep a 1) limited color palette, 2) repetitive shapes, and 3) easy to accomplish tasks.
#7 Fish for the Wow!
Wow them in some way. Surprise them with something a little different. Make it stand out - in a good way. For this float I had the whale shoot water out of its spout. The crowd loved it especially since it was hot. I left an opening in the top of the whale and had one of my kids sit inside with buckets of water and a pool water shooter. You can see him trying it out on a passing friend. During the parade he was hidden from view. The water shot up about 15 feet in the air. It worked perfectly.
Hope these tips help you in your parade float madness. I don't know if I'll be asked to do a float next year but if I do I'll read through my own notes as a reminder but until then we'll say good-bye to float building.
It's the middle of summer and I'm thinking snowflakes. I did my first how-to demo video (with Wade's help) and you can find it here. It's DIY watercolor snowflakes. So easy. It's adaptable to any age. Hopefully taking it up a notch makes it so adults might like to try too.
We were doing the video for a specific reason and we couldn't include these idea images in it. So, I thought I'd share it here.
Sometimes it's hard to come up with ideas once you do the artwork. I took the project pieces from the video and turned them into these. Maybe this will spark a few of your own uses.
Or you can just stick with putting it on a shelf just because you like it that way.
What would you do with your artwork?
UPDATE: It was suggested that I work up a graphic that you can purchase here for $1.00. I did.
Thanks Kathy for the idea.
Made this little eye chart over at EyeChartMaker, for the Boyfriend. I've been thinking about him a lot.
What would you put on one?
I did another art & craft project like the tattooed totes but on jeans. And I took some still shots while doing it to show the step by step process. I tried to figure a way to make it easy for someone to DIY and follow along, without having a million (ok, not a million but over 100) photos. So, for the inner artist, I put them in video form. The idea is that you can stop/start for each step of the tutorial. Since this is the first time I've done this tell me what you think, what you would do differently or a better way to do it.
Okay, I couldn't help myself. Creativity can't be boxed in and I had to tattoo another tote. I had so much creative fun doing this before, as did my kids, (Link to the related posts here and here.) that I thought you might like to try your hand at it. All you need is a Sharpie® and something that stands still. And courage. That's the biggest thing - people are afraid to make mistakes. This is one of those projects that mistakes seem to hide themselves.
So, give it a try. I've included some close ups. For the first while, just copy something from one of the images. Then, as you get going, let your inner artist loose. It might be difficult at first but keep building.
Email me an image of what your inner artist did. Or upload it to my Shannon Christensen Fine Art Facebook Page. Do it.