"Creativity is a celebration of life--my celebration of life. It is a bold statement: I am here! I love life! I love me! I can be anything! I can do anything!"
Being creative, practicing our craft of art, can be liberating and instill self-confidence. After all, art is what we are. How could we not be ourselves? And by being ourselves, we affirm life. Since our art is "us," there is no "wrong" way to be artistic. Be creative today!
The two books below are some of my favorite "reference" works for designs of all types. Very inspirational!
The Grammar of Ornament: A Unique Collection Of More Than 2350 Classic Patterns. Owen Jones, 2001. ISBN 0-7894-7646-0. This chubby, 5.5 by 6.5 inch book contains more than 2350 original color engravings representing a vast range of ornamental styles, from Ancient Egypt and Greece to Imperial China and Elizabethan England. Along with the designs, which are all in color and suitable for designing borders and full-picture designs, is explanatory text of the history, origin and meaning of the ornaments. Eye candy!
The Crafter's Pattern Sourcebook: 1001 Classic Motifs From Around The World And Through The Ages. Mary MacCarthy, 1999. ISBN 1-57076-141-8. In this book, the author presents 1001 black and white line drawings of motifs from around the world and through the ages, from Shaker patterns to Chinese symbols. These patterns are easily adaptable to any art media. I have used them for eraser carvings, painting, and embroidery. The back of the book contains blank graph paper for converting motifs into "counted" designs for needlework. The author also includes instructions for transferring designs, enlarging and reducing, and how-tos for various crafts (needlework, decoupage, applique, stenciling, etc.). This book provides hours of inspiration and delight!
Mini Project: Tag Collages
I enjoy creating small format art. Tag collages are fun and easy to make, don't take a lot of time, and can be finished in one sitting.
What you need: premade tags or tags you've cut out from cardstock, collage papers, found objects, glue for paper, hot glue, scissors, paper hole reinforcements, string (or fibers of your choice).
How to: Cover the front of your tag with various bits of collage papers. You can use as many or as few papers as you like. I like to use only two to three different, coordinating papers as these will not detract from the objects I will add later. Punch the hole and stick a hole reinforcement over the hole. Select objects that complement your papers or theme (or not!) and arrange them on the tag. Glue the objects down with hot glue. Tie string through the hole.
Using the tags: display singly or in multiples in a shadow box frame, use for gift tags, affix to the front of a greeting card, display from a clothesline with clothespins in front of a window, use as part of a bigger collaged piece, make and trade with friends.
Sources of collage papers: magazine pages, discarded books, newspapers, scrapbook papers, giftwrap
Found objects ("ephemera") to use: buttons, beads, ribbon and lace, old photos, postage stamps, tiny toys, keys, shells, twigs, silk leaves and flowers, charms, fabric, scrapbook trims, sealing wax, jewelry, any tiny object that lends itself to this medium
For more info about collage, visit: http://www.collageart.org/