Live Recap: Celebration

The live stream from yesterday (3/26/2017) produced a barely complete spread—but today I was able to totally finish the large spread in my altered book…it took a bit longer than expected. (Forgive the late post, dear artsy friends, but the paint was louder than the computer, and the blog was neglected.) However, I am so glad to say that this spread came out far better than expected, and it was one for which I can be proud! This spread of bright pinks and chocolate browns is chock full of layers and happy thoughts. It’s titled: Celebration. Below is the way that this spread appeared at the end of my Instagram live stream.

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“Celebration” Art Journal Page, Work in Progress

It began with one page painted pink, and one page painted brown. After the acrylics were dry, I went to town with more matte acrylics, irredescent paint, and collage material! There were two things that I had in mind when I began the is spread, one being a hanging banner with triangular flags, the other being Neapolitan ice cream; these were items that I saw yesterday which cause me to think, that would be good for journal fodder! I don’t frequently have this thought, so both items stayed on my mind until paint was put to paper. It’s spread like this one which perfectly embody’s Picasso’s quote “Painting is just another way of keeping a diary.”

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“Celebration” Completed Art Journal Page

For my hanging flag, I chose a large page from my designated book of collage material, Extreme Adventure (2014), painted it with the Golden brand acrylic paint in Interference Violet that I’ve come to love, and chopped them into neat triangles. The collage material already contained hues of pinks, so I knew a thin layer of the transparent violet interference paint would be a good combination. Layering gold, white, and fluorescent pink paint on and around the flags gave them some definition, and keeping the imagery on a neutral background of light gray allowed for the shapes to stay obvious.

 

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“Celebration” Completed, Golden Interference Violet Acrylic Paint

I choose some other collage material, but ended up tossing it aside this morning the more that I worked on this art journal spread. It was a good jumping off point, which helped move my hand painted imagery along, but seemed to not work with my spread the longer that I worked on it. It’s a good lesson, however, to appreciated the things that inspire you without the need to take them so literally. This is often also how I approach journal prompts as well, taking them with a grain of salt, appreciating the inspiration that they provide, and then letting them escape me once their job is done. Even though I did not choose to use my collage material, I was not without imagery! As seen below, the item which inspired my color scheme also ended up inspiring my main imagery: ice cream! Very fitting for a journal spread, as it’s my biggest weakness.

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“Celebration” Completed, Closeup of Left Page

Because I was working in an altered book format, I was able to use some of the imagery already printed on the page—as seen in the photo below. It portrayed the silhouettes of three individuals waiting at a pier, but was altered in order to show only the shapes of the individuals and a poster seen in the background. I love silhouettes, because viewers can understand a representation of human existence, while still providing an element of personal interpretation. I enjoy blending specifics, like shapes, with ambiguity and anonymity. Another great example of this is the illegible cursive writing found on the majority of my spreads; this can also be seen below.

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“Celebration” Completed, Closeup of Right Page 

Hopefully, you were able to join me for this week’s live stream on my Instagram, but if you weren’t, fear not! I will be streaming every Sunday at 8 pm EST, working in my art journal for all to see! I hope that you can join me sometime, and I especially hope that you’ll be making art with me, chatting about how awesome art journaling is, and letting me know if you have any questions about the many art supplies that I seem to be hoarding. Also, feel free to drop me a line by commenting here on the blog with any questions—or just to say hi!

 


 

Disclaimer: I have recently become an Amazon and Get Messy affiliate. Amazon links and Get Messy links are affiliate links. I will receive a small portion of the sale if you use these links to purchase the art supplies or subscribe to the Get Messy community for an annual membership. You support this blog and my ability to continue making art through the use of these links! (And also gain my unending gratitude!!!) The Art Snacks website and all other links included in this post are not affiliate links; they are included for educational purposes and for your convenience.

Finished Spread: Radioactive

This spread was created an in an altered book, Odysseys and Photographs (2007), and was specifically produced onto these pages due to the unsettling imagery that was already printed on the spread. Somehow these images, unaltered and bizarre, seemed to speak to me in a time of frustration. The photos on these pages originally displayed a restrained lab mouse being injected with a steel syringe, and a man controlling a robotic arm in order to place makeup onto a subject’s face—strange, right?  I took the liberty of adding my own peculiar imagery, paired with a color palette inspired by the word visible on that syringe: radioactive. Though it may appear a bit eerie, I actually really like how the spread turned out!

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“Radioactive” Art Journal Spread

As I’ve mentioned before, I often find that my art journal spreads are more chaotic and detailed whenever I create while angered or distressed. These types of emotions affect me strongly, but I am also able to pour out frustrations onto a journal spread more easily. It’s therapeutic for me, almost as if I’m removing the negativity—piece by piece—with every stroke and line. This spread has been halfway finished since the end of last year, but I somehow found the inspiration to complete it. I began this spread when I was overwhelmed by some feelings of anger, and the subject matter definitely does not hide this!

 

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Radioactive” Closeup, Left

Although this spread may not depict the most cheerful of illustrations, I was honestly pleased with line work that I created when drawing these skulls. These illustrations are studies of northern american rodent skulls, sketched with a soft lead (Faber Castell 8B lead, jumbo) and inked with a black brush pen (Kuretake No. 7). The original drawings were found in a vintage nature book, a gift to me, and my attempt at replicating them was almost perfect! I’m slowly advancing my drawing skills, and am always delighted whenever I discover that I’m making progress.

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“Radioactive” Closeup, Right Top

This spread was started in order to deal with intense negative feelings, but I was able to achieve a sense of accomplishment for the illustrations! The positive feeling of success in my abilities as an artist outweighed my anger. Although I don’t like to leave art journal spreads unfinished, my change in disposition was probably why I was able to close the book on this spread for so long. Creating in my art journal is always such a positive experience for me, and it’s one of the reasons that I love to share this niche hobby with others! I promise you, I haven’t been keeping an art journal for 13 years without benefiting from doing so!

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“Radioactive” Closeup, Right Bottom

This journal spread might be finished, but there are about 10 more in this altered book that are only just started! I’ll be working on some of them this weekend, but I’ll definitely be starting a new art journal spread during my Instagram live stream on Sunday at 8 pm EST. If you’ve got the time, don’t forget to join me! Until then, feel free to drop me a line in the comments below!

 


 

Disclaimer: I have recently become an Amazon and Get Messy affiliate. Amazon links and Get Messy links are affiliate links. I will receive a small portion of the sale if you use these links to purchase the art supplies or subscribe to the Get Messy community for an annual membership. You support this blog and my ability to continue making art through the use of these links! (And also gain my unending gratitude!!!) All other links included in this post are not affiliate links; they are included for educational purposes and for your convenience.

 

Floral Tutorial & Freebies

It’s the very first FREEBIE WEDNESDAY, and I could not be more delighted to share what I have in store for you today! If you follow me on Instagram, you probably saw the hand drawn floral pattern that I shared last week. It was inspired by this Get Messy season, Art 101! Last week, my very first post and tutorial as a Creative Team member went live on the private site. (You can totally check out the site and see if you’d be interested in becoming a member by clicking HERE.) I was extremely excited to see what it would inspire throughout the Get Messy community!! The feedback and art that came out of it was 100% awesomeness! Because of all the pen play happening, I was inspired to create some florals as a simple and quick way to get my pen to paper. The result was unexpectedly beautiful! One flower became two, two became three, and suddenly I had filled an entire page with a gorgeous pattern!

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Partially Drawn Floral Pattern from 3/9/2017

If you look through my art, you’re bound to see a lot of abstract shapes, silhouettes, eyes, and animals, but I tend to steer clear of florals. While I find flowers lovely (there’s a fresh bouquet on my desk right now), they just don’t seem to be a good fit with the imagery that I usually produce. However, these roses are special to me. My grandmother was absolutely obsessed with roses, and taught me how to draw them at a very young age. This rose shape is very close to the way that my grandmother taught me, starting in the center and building petals outward with overlapping sections. The image below is a quick tutorial on how I draw these roses, even though—if we’re being honest—they look quite a bit more like begonias or carnations.

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4 Step Rose Drawing Tutorial

As you can see in the image below, I remark my lines two or three times so that there is more detail and character to each petal. This makes the edges of each petal appear folded and more natural. You’re more than welcome to try out this design and add it to your archive of floral drawing knowledge! Its just as easy as the simple daisy illustration that so many of us are guilty of doodling! It only took me about thirty minutes to fill an entire 8.5″ by 11″ page. The pen used, as seen below, was one that I received in my Art Snacks subscription box in July ’16. The fine tip, a 0.3 mm, and smooth gel ink  a pleasure to work with! It is the Pentel brand Arts® Hybrid Technica used on 67 lb vellum Bristol paper.

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Finished Floral Pattern from 3/9/2017

With the wonderful power of technology, I was able to color in the flowers with soft pink and purple hues and invert the line to whites. (This created a pattern that I liked so well it is now the wallpaper for my phone.) I also recolored the flowers with a more traditional red, and  then adjusted the hue to green, which made the flowers appear to be succulents.

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Preview of Rose Pattern Freebies

All three of these recolored patterns and the drawing in black and white are available to you for download for your personal use! They are HD images available as full page PDFs. I advocate using them as collage material for your own arty goodness!! Just click the links below to print and/or download the PDFs! You can print them out, collage them in your art, or use them as a new desktop wallpaper! Just get creative and have fun. The only thing that I ask is that you not redistribute these freebies or claim an unaltered version as your own. You do not need to credit me if you use these freebies in your art, but I definitely wouldn’t turn down a shout out!

Click links to download…
Roses Coloring Page (Black & White): PDF Here
Roses Collage Paper – Pink & Purple: PDF Here
Roses Collage Paper – Green Succulents:  PDF Here
Roses Collage Paper – Red: PDF Here
Entire Collection: PDF Here

 


 

Disclaimer: I have recently become an Amazon and Get Messy affiliate. Amazon links and Get Messy links are affiliate links. I will receive a small portion of the sale if you use these links to purchase the art supplies or subscribe to the Get Messy community for an annual membership. You support this blog and my ability to continue making art through the use of these links! (And also gain my unending gratitude!!!) The Art Snacks website and all other links included in this post are not affiliate links; they are included for educational purposes and for your convenience.

Live Recap: March Art Snacks & “Embracing New Waters”

I’ve been doing a live stream on Instagram (@emmykait) once a week for a month now, and the experience of sharing my art journaling process has been amazing! Being live on the internet is a totally new experience for me. Although I found it nerve wracking to do my first live session, the art journaling community on Instagram is so friendly and supportive. I don’t believe that I could have picked a better site to do live streaming through! I have met some genuinely talented and kind individuals though Instagram since going public with my profile in April of 2016, and with risk has come reward!

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Setup for Instagram Live Streaming

Yesterday’s Instagram live stream (3/12/2017) consisted of unboxing my March Art Snacks subscription box, and of creating an art journal spread from beginning to almost completion. For this live stream, I was working in my smallest art journal: a pocket size Moleskine brand sketchbook with 111 lb cream colored paper. This month’s Art Snacks box held the following items, as shown in the image below:

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Art Snacks Subscription Box Contents for March 2017

I was very pleased with the contents of this month’s Art Snacks, which was valued by the subscription company at a total of $32.05. After opening and testing these supplies on camera, I used the watercolors and paint brush to coat the top half of my spread; I also drew randomly with the pencil on the pages. After using these these supplies, I decided to try to finish creating the art journal spread using only supplies that I had received in this and other Art Snacks boxes! With the exception of my collage material, my favorite matte medium (Golden brand), and some grey acrylic paint (also Golden brand), I succeed in this personal challenge. The following image is of what the art journal spread looked like by the end of my live stream!

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“Embracing New Waters” Work In Progress

Even though Instagram only allows it’s users to stream live for an hour, it’s possible to go live again immediately. When my live stream automatically ended, I was tearing my collage material, about to affix it to the spread.  I came back online for a few minutes, though, as I was in the process of adding the collage elements and wanted the live broadcast to end with my journal spread being close to finished. Although I absolutely loved the results of my journal spread as created during the live stream, I didn’t deem it finished. I prefer to alter any collage material that I use, and also wanted to add some black lines to the page. The image below is of the spread after I altered the collage material and added more details to the pages. I would now consider it finished! It is titled “Embracing New Waters.” Aside from the Golden brand paint, all art supplies pictured have come from Art Snacks!

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“Embracing New Water” Completed, Surrounded by Art Supplies Used

As you can see in the images above and below, I added a lot of detail to the swimmer pictured in my collage material. I added outlines around the body in white and black. I then mixed the Terra Rosa watercolor with some of the gray acrylic paint to create wild wavy hair, using the red and black markers to detail. The boldest addition to this spread is the thick black lines radiating from the image of the girl, highlighted with white watercolor paint, which was not diluted, but rather straight from the tube. The inspiration for these expressive lines comes from a tutorial by the talented Julia Thomas via the Get Messy blog!

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“Embracing New Waters” Completed, Closeup of Center

This spread came together in about an hour and a half; I could not have completed it so quickly were it in a larger journal. I also like to use this Moleskine for live sessions as it can comfortably fit within the view of the camera without loosing much detail onscreen. I have used my larger altered book journals during past live streams, and will probably continue to do so on occasion, but find this Moleskine becoming my go-to for art journaling during these hour long stream sessions! Thankfully, I have amazingly supportive parents that watch a lot of my live streams, so I get frequent feedback on what works and what doesn’t. (What I mean to say is that my parents think I’m cool—but they’re also pretty cool, so I’ll take the complement.)

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“Embracing New Waters” Completed, Closeup of Left Side

Hopefully, you were able to join me for this week’s live stream, but if you weren’t, fear not! I will be streaming every Sunday at 8 pm EST, working in my art journal for all to see! I hope that you can join me sometime, and I especially hope that you’ll be making art with me, chatting about how awesome art journaling is, and letting me know if you have any questions about the many art supplies that I seem to be hoarding. Also, feel free to drop me a line by commenting here on the blog with any questions—or just to say hi!

If you’d like to read more about Art Snacks, check out my blog posts for the unboxing of the following months from 2016: May, June, August, and October. All you have to do is click the month mentioned, and you’ll be there!


 

Disclaimer: I have recently become an Amazon and Get Messy affiliate. Amazon links and Get Messy links are affiliate links. I will receive a small portion of the sale if you use these links to purchase the art supplies or subscribe to the Get Messy community for an annual membership. You support this blog and my ability to continue making art through the use of these links! (And also gain my unending gratitude!!!) The Art Snacks website and all other links included in this post are not affiliate links; they are included for educational purposes and for your convenience.

Huge News! Art Journaling News!

I’ve finally taken a break from jumping up and down in excitement to write this post, so let me start out by saying I’m ecstatic to be telling you all my good news!! Are you ready? For 2017, I will be pushing myself to be as creative as possible for my new position as a Creative Team member! I’ve been chosen to be a part of the Get Messy Creative Team for next year, and will be creating videos, tutorial posts, and sharing images of my art work for a group of 1500+ beautiful people who share my biggest passion: art journaling!

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Art journaling is the one thing that has been with me for the majority of my life, before I knew that such a thing even had a name. I could not be happier to share my love of arting between the pages of a bound sketchbook, altering coffee table books, and getting my hands colorfully messy!  I feel like my artistic style has come such a long way in the past couple of years, and finally defining my method of creating—with certain techniques, supplies, and tons of emotion—has not only helped me find my artistic voice, but is now letting me share it with others. (It sounds goofy, I know, but I’m in happy-shock, so please bare with me.)

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A Sampling From My Art Journal Collection

When I was younger, before “art journaling” was defined to me, I called my art journals “my souls,” because that’s what it feels like: pouring my soul onto the pages of these once empty pages. While I may not be an emotional exhibitionist, I’ve always considered myself an open book, and oddly enough, it seems like sharing my “souls” is allowing me to prove it. So, let’s start with my most recently finished spread, one inspired by another Get Messy Creative Team member: Vanessa Oliver-Llyod, aka Dans Mon Crane!

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“Altered Dimension” Art Journal Spread

Vanessa hosted an hour long live event on the private Get Messy Facebook page last week, and while I wasn’t able to participate in the fun during the event, I happily re-watched the video at my desk, following along with her process. I can’t say that this spread turned out looking even remotely close to Vanessa’s beautiful journal pages, (which you should totally check out HERE) but I’m still very happy with my end product! It was so odd to not begin my spread with blocking in shapes of acrylic paint, but starting as Vanessa did instead. I stuck true to all of the suggestions made during the live event, but I just couldn’t stop myself from making all of the wild doodles and drippys that I so love to add to my journal spreads! Her ideas plus my ideas turned up making a pretty unique spread.

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“Altered Dimension” Close Up, Bottom Left

My spread ended up featuring a poker card, the queen of diamonds, which was altered to be far creepier than originally intended; her skin was painted green, her hood turned into a homage to The Bride of Frankenstein, and a third eye added to her chakra point. I’m not complaining by any means, as I fan-girl over weird and creepy pretty frequently, but the contrast of theme from that which was created during the live event is pretty extreme. The photo below is a close up of this altered card, presented next to a queen of hearts from the same deck for a better understanding of how much altering occurred.

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“Altered Dimension” Comparison to Unaltered Playing Card

I had so much fun with this exercise, switching up my process, and doing new things in my art journal that I would have never done without Vanessa’s input! I wasn’t alone either, as this exercise got a lot of the Get Messy community members in the mood to create. Seeing everyone’s pages was pretty awesome, as each member applied the suggestions to art journal spreads while guided by intuition and staying true to their style! As you can see in the close up’s below, I also didn’t stray too far from my usual aesthetic.

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“Altered Dimension” Close Up, Top Left

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“Altered Dimension” Close Up, Top Right

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“Altered Dimension” Close Up, Bottom Right

I’m so excited to not only work with Vanessa, but continue learning from her—and my new team members—over the course of this next year! If you haven’t joined this group, feel free to visit the Get Messy website and check out the FREE class, so that you can see if it’s right for you. I’d LOVE to see you there!! (Note: Even if you decide not to join, I’ll still be sharing a lot of stuff here, and I’m not going anywhere!)

Art Journal Speed Process: “Enlighten the Untransformed”

I (finally!) got around to finishing a spread that I’m currently recording the process of, and I’m sharing it with you today! I don’t know how excited about this you are, I’m pretty stoked, because it’s a rarity that I can focus myself long enough to make sure all aspects of a page get recorded. If you’re like me and leave your art laying out, you probably find yourself stepping past, only to double back in order to make a mark or two. I often can’t cram everything onto a page in one sitting, simply because a completely detailed art journal spread usually takes about six or more hours to finish. I know many other artists can bang pages out in just an hour or less, but my aesthetic is all about clutter and chaos, so I love lots of little designs and details…which can take a LOT of time.

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This journal page, which is all about trying to enlighten those who are unwilling, is both a statement about myself and others. I think that everyone should strive to have an open mind and an open heart, and even though many people believe themselves to be ‘open minded,’ I’m not quite sure they’re correct. The Socratic paradox says that a wise man knows that he knows nothing, and to accept that you have ignorance is to accept that there is always more to learn and understand. This page speaks both to my personal beliefs and to my political beliefs. As an American, I think that this message is especially relevant right now, during the 2016 presidential election.

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Although this page was not specifically created in response to anything, this is one of those spreads in which the meaning developed as it took form. I’m a strong believer that inspiration comes most often when we aren’t looking for it, and sometimes my muse doesn’t speak until I’ve already started working; this was one of those times.

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Anyways, lets get past the heavy stuff and enjoy how our minds can take the ugly and form into something beautiful, which, in this case, is providing me with reason to reflect and create! Being able to create another art journal spread (where I can meditate and breathe easy for a while) is great comfort for my anxious mind. I invite you to watch this process video, take a moment to unwind, and even play in your own journal! Enjoy! (If the video below doesn’t work for you, click HERE.)

 

Choosing a Pre-Altered Book

The bottom of this post includes tips for choosing your own pre-altered book.

One of my journals began as a coffee-table book, something I decided to purchase with the specific intention of covering in paint. I knew that most pages would eventually include only my original content, but I liked the idea of being able to use photos already on the pages if any of them happened to strike me as particularly interesting. When I first went hunting for this book, I had only a few prerequisites: that it have a sewn binding, which would be sturdy; the book include only/mostly black and white photos so that I would not feel restricted to the color palate of the photography; and finally, that the book be large in size but not incredibly thick.

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My Altered-Book, Opened to an Unaltered Page

I went to what is known as a bargain store, but I did not strike out going to a secondhand store if that didn’t work out. As it happened, the first place I went to was perfect for what I needed. Without much searching, I purchased one of the first books that I found, which met all of my requirements. It cost me less that five dollars. Because I was not picky about the content of the book, I bought a book that I would never have purchased to read, featuring U.S. Marines in WWII. The photography in the book was in fact black and white, but working in it has made me realize that pictures of war stricken lands are not the most inspirational when trying to create my art.  Since this purchase, time has passed, pages have been covered, and I am finally reaching the point where my book is about to be (drum roll, please) completely full of art and finished.

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My Altered Book, Showering Unaltered Cover Page

I drug the husband to that same bargain store on Sunday, and decided to be a bit choosier this time in my hunt for a new book to alter. Along with the previous requirements for my book, I decide to tack “not about war” to the list. I thought that I might have an easy time finding a book with black and white photography that would feature classic musicians or architecture. What I did not expect, however, was to fall in love with a board book about black holes that had full page photography from telescope images…in vibrant colors!

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My New Board Book, Icarus at the Edge of Time, for Altering

I purchased not just one, but two, for $3 each. The book only has 16 spreads, not including the cover, so I’m not too invested if I decide I hate working with it. The pages have a slight sheen to them, which may make it difficult to keep paint on them; I plan to sand them down in a few places before I begin to work in it. I don’t want to sand away too much of the top layer though, as I find the photography on the pages to be beautiful and vague enough as to not (completely) influence my art.

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Spread Within Pre-Altered Icarus

What really drew me to this book was it’s incredibly thick pages. Because this is a board book, each page is about an 1/8th of an inch thick, so it should never buckle beneath all of paints and glues that I like to slather on my pages.  I usually remove a few pages from a book that I plan to fill with art, so that the thickness of my art doesn’t break the binding, but that won’t be possible to do with this one. Luckily, there are so few pages that I won’t be able to thicken the book to breaking point…or so I hope!

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Detail Photo of Pre-Altered Board Book Pages

So here are the lessons I’ve learned about picking out a new book for altering, which I’d like to share with you:
1. DON’T get something that clashes with your aesthetic! LOOK at the photography within a book before you buy it. LOOK at the text before you buy it.
2. DO make 100% sure the binding is sturdy. Cloth binding with multiple sewn signatures (where the pages are folded, sewn, and attached at the center) is my recommendation.
3. DO get a book that speaks to you. If you decide that you want specific this or that (such as black & white photography) it’s okay to change your mind if you see something else (such as full color pages) that grabs you. Art is not about confining yourself. If you’re okay working outside of a canvas or sketchbook, you shouldn’t be afraid to break barriers.
4. DON’T spend too much money on a book to alter! Go to yard sales, bargain stores, secondhand stores, and the like.
5. DON’T make decisions about pages before you’re working on them. If you decide you like a specific element already printed in your book, great, but deciding you won’t paint over it before you get to it may make that page feel intimidating later.
6. DO get a book that is about the same thickness, or less, as your usual art journal. A book that has a huge amount of pages can seem overwhelming. You want your book to feel comfortable, especially if it’s your first altered book.

I look forward to updating you on how my board book works out. Feel free to comment with questions and/or show off your own altered books; I’m always on the lookout for more inspiration.

How To: From “Clippings” To “Art”

I have a love-hate relationship with collage material. If I don’t alter it, I feel like I’m lying by calling my art original. Collage material gives me imagery that I probably would not have been able to produce myself, but it seems like stealing if I don’t modify the pieces in some way. In this post, I will be sharing some of the ways that I alter collage material and incorporate it in my art.

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Adhesives, collage material, and a WIP page in my art-art journal.

1. Washing multiple pieces of collage material with the same color to create a subtle but interesting background. This effect is best done with gray scale imagery or pieces of collage material that are of similar color to the wash. Watercolor’s transparency is great for this technique and absorbs into magazine clippings instead of just sitting on the paper’s surface. (Acrylic paint works well to camouflage the papers edge where it is adhered to the background.)

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Steps for washing collage material with watercolors and layering with acrylic paint.

2. Using pens, markers, and/or paint on top of images by tracing and coloring the original picture. This is an amazing technique for non-drawers who would like to incorporate imagery into their art. It works for both main focal points and smaller background imagery.

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T-B & L-R, Art journal page close-ups of: Goodbye Friend; Angered Flight (1); Angered Flight (2); Artistic Eruption; Bite.

3. Creating the look of texture by using a photo that contains no focal point, or photos of complex line work. For example, if you found a photo of a boat on the water, you would use only the water part of the photo The waves have a textured appearance out of context, and may not even be recognizable as “water.” This is especially effective in backgrounds. The collage material used below was from a photo of graffiti, but is now too fragmented to be determined as such.

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Close-up of art journal page “Not All That Bites is Bad,” showing collage material beneath text.

4. Covering it up completely by allowing the imagery to inspire rather than controlThis may not sound like helpful advice, but completely cover your collage material! I do so in almost every spread that contains magazine clippings. If you use numerous collage material pieces per spread, your eyes will roll over multiple images, perhaps finding inspiration. For example, you might include a picture of pink zig-zags, think of lightning, and then end up covering that bright imagery with a dark and stormy landscape. Sometimes it just happens; you become absorbed by the process of art making, become paint-happy, and cover the imagery without even realizing it until the page is finished! (It’s 100% okay to get paint-happy, by the way, so no worries.)

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Lines where collage material is meeting the paper, but the imagery is hidden beneath paint.

There are so many ways to alter collage material, but this is how I do it. If you’re still struggling, check out Teesha Moore‘s gallery. She is famous for art that combines usual art supplies with different pieces of collage material. This style, called Zetti, is used to construct unique faces, animals, backgrounds, and more. I’ve never tried my hand at Zetti, but I appreciate it’s beauty!

Let me know if this post gets you excited to rip up some old magazines and whip out your gel pens by commenting below! I’ll see you Wednesday with my latest WIP and (hopefully) a video!