Friday, 5 February 2016

Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainty

Year Planner Cover remake

Every year, at the company I am working for, they provide us with the business year planner / daily agenda, to keep us organized. I do use it daily and every year, around December, I look forward in receiving the agenda for the new year to come.
This year, for the first time, it wasn't a strictly professional single-colour look. It's light colour, with a heart and the new moto we have.... It wasn't boring but after a couple of days I realized that I am not a big fan of this either, and then I started thinking..... if it doesn't have to be single colour, boring, professional looking, I can might as well redo it my way!!!
I am working in Research and Development after all, creativity is at least 50% of my job and being inspired is important. It is also not something you learn. No matter now well educated one might be, with strong technical knowledge and capable enough to understand the business strategy, these still are not enough to grand creativity and inspiration...

So, as with most of my projects, it all started with a quote:

Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainty.

(I do make searches on the internet with regards to quotes, i got this one from: )

I also decided that this time i am not going to fight my love for purple. Besides it is my favourite colour!

So I started from this:

and after layers of stamped tissue paper, mat medium, gesso, acrylics in neon pink and purple, removal of colour with baby wipes through stencil, black lava texturing, silver platters, collage, washi tapes, mesh tape, stamping and embellishing... I made this:

So, my quote is stamped and framed in wooden frame which i panted in teal, cause I love the combination of purple with teal. 

And, because "Creativity, requires the courage to let go of certainty" on the back cover, there is this manga girl ( i had to rip it off , of a manga comic that a friend brought me from Japan) who is moving forward leaving something (the "certainty") behind. She was glued on the cover, then covered in gesso and had to re-trace it on top of gesso in order to be able to colour her, using my Pitt markers.

She is looking behind her shoulder (at the "certainty" she is leaving behind) and there is a conversation that Alice had with the Cheshire cat:

- Would you tell me which way i ought to go from here? (cause she has left certainty and doesn't know where to go)
- That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.
- I don't much care where...
- Then it doesn't matter which way you go

 And there is the needle of the compass...

On the spine of the book, it says :"Do what you love, love what you do", because, in the end of the day, this is my agenda for work. I feel privileged that I DO love my work! I do what I was dreaming to do while I was studying at the Uni and I have rejected  careers that didn't interest me and focused on getting the job I love.

 At the frond, there is the framed quote, above the frame there is a butterfly flying away, the as she is flying further to the edge of the book, she is transformed into an idea (light-bulb with wings)

I really enjoyed making this and the astonishing part (for me) is that i made it within a day, it took me 2 weeks planning it in my head, but only about 5 hours to execute. For me this is a huge success because normally I tend to spend 5 days or even 2 weeks on a project like that! 

Needless to say, that many of my colleagues are now asking me to remake their cover... hehehe!!

Supplies used:


Saturday, 16 May 2015

My mum!

I love my mum! I really do! The older I get, the more I love her...
Maybe because I am now a mum myself and I realized what she went through raising me, I understand that she loves me infinitively, maybe because I already lost my dad, I miss him every day.....and I now know that one day I will lose her too. I hope this day won't come for many-many years, and before that day comes I am not going to miss any opportunity to let her know how much I love her, what an amazing person I think she is, and how thankful I am. If my dad was still here, I would do the same for him also.  
This year, for "mothers' day" I decided to make a card for her, with her as a fairy, through my eyes. The fairy she is to me. To show her what I see.
For the first time I had a quite clear idea of what I was making before I even started, so for the first time I have step-by-step footage. It's like my first official tutorial!!
I started with a piece of white cardstock 9''x9'', to fold it to a long rectangular card 4,5''x9''.
I chose the background colours and for the first time I applied this technique that I have seen numerous times : dots of acrylic on the surface
and then spread them vertically and horizontally using a plastic card.

Then I used a hearts stencil which I bough recently, and modeling paste with silver ink, and covered my background with silver hearts. My silver ink was far more vibrant and metallic than what I got after mixing it with the modeling paste. Therefore I decided to paint over some of the hearts with the silver ink for some interest.

 Then, I wanted to make it leafy and used a dylusions stencil for this and some acrylic paint applied using a sponge.
The result was very disappointing
So, I grabbed a baby-wipe to clean the green paint but because this smudged my background, I applied some gesso wash where I was planning to put all the leafs. I thought, maybe this wasn't too bad after all. Now my leaves will show better and since my fairy would go at the  
Then I used the leafy stencil again, but this time with my green markers, and after I traced each leaf, I painted over with green and metallic green paint.

To finish off the leafs, I used my pitt pen to make the details. 

Now, time to make my mum. I used the Suzi Blue technique (surprise surprise!) to sketch the face and the body on a smooth white paper. 

Then I cut the figure and spread a layer of mat medium all over it, to make it non-porous and use my pitt pens for the colouring, trying at the same time to create the shadows.

I gave her brown eyes and thick red lips, just like my mums' :-) 

To put the rouge on her chicks, I first put some ink on my finger and then rubbed it on her chicks.                     (I have destroyed numerous faces in the past when I apply pink first on the chicks and then rub it - wrong!). Also added thin black eyebrows. She is wearing a long green dress with long sleeves, the "Galadriel style", like a proper creature of the forest, and added some green cord around the neckline for interest and texture, gluing it with glossy accents. 

Then, I cut a heart and painted a metallic red. She will be holding this heart in her hands, to represent mothers' unconditional love.
My mother was born short-sighted and this was realized at the age of 4! For the first 4 years of her life she couldn't see like the rest of the people, and she still remembers the first time she put on glasses, to realize what the rest of people see. Her short sight is quite big (9 degrees) therefore she always wears glasses. So I had to give her glasses as well. That was a bit tricky, I used some metal string. It took some patience but I made it! I secured the glasses only at the back of the head, to keep the image clean and to let it have dimension.
Now, time for her wings. I drew 2 wings on a piece of white paper. Applied a layer of gesso and painted them gold. Also, I took a small piece of tulle and painted it purple with some distress paint, pulled it into small strings and glued them on the wings with mat medium.  

Then, I glued the wings at her back and glued the figure on the card, leaving the wings unglued, to let them curl and have dimension. Applied gesso to where her hair would be.
Another thing about my mum is that she has short, fluffy, black, afro-like hair.  So, I really wanted to give some dimention there, therefore I mixed some modeling paste with black metallic paint and applied it with a spatula, trying to create some picks and curves.
I had to hold myself from adding more sparkle!

I am very pleased with the result but I think I should have made it into a canvas.

Oh well, maybe next year!

I will participate with this over at the Getcreative Challenges blog. They have a special challenge with theme "For the Ladies or Mothers' Day", sponsored by OddBall Art (I can't even start talking about how much I love OddBall and the countless hours I have spent on their website just admiring their beautiful work... totally my cup of tea!).