Sunday, February 28, 2010
Saturday, February 27, 2010
When starting a new project sometimes we may need to sketch out our ideas, create a list, and pull out the supplies, but today try creating without any planning or preparations.
Sit in front of your supplies and just start pulling stuff out. Don't worry if it goes together or not, just keep pulling until you have a nice pile of stuff you like to go through.
Start sorting. You could sort by color, style, shape, whatever works for you. Once you have things sorted, work with each pile putting together a new creation. No plan, just creating from within.
I know some of you work like this all the time, and if your one of them then do the opposite today and come up with and idea first, sketch it out, create a plan and then create a new piece.
When you are done, journal about your process. You may discover something new about yourself and the way you create.
When you create do you plan your project first or do you just sit and create? Share why your way is better.
Friday, February 26, 2010
I have tons and tons of magazines. I can read interesting articles, bookmark them for later, and then recycle them, but there seems like there's such a wasted step in the middle. I'm always inspired by colors and textures and patterns I see in magazines, but it's hard to translate that into a look. So I took to cutting out interesting bits and hoarding them, not sure what I was going to do with them. I try not to always cut out a whole pretty picture - I try to find an interesting piece of any ad or photograph and will sometimes just cut out a small corner. When I was leafing through the pictures, I noticed colors that sort of naturally tended towards each other, and I came up with the idea of putting them together into color collages.
Though I make a lot of these now, and know what I'm going for, the process is still the same. I go through magazines and cut out lots of bits until the little box I have is filled to the top. Then I start going through the cuttings, a few at a time, keeping in mind color patterns that are jumping out at me. I make little piles for each color scheme, putting most of the cuttings into an alternate pile and just culling 5 or 6 schemes at a time, which can take some restraint! Then I go though and paste the cuttings into these big 3 ring binders that I keep for this project. Needless to say, I use a lot of rubber cement. I repeat until I'm left with no cuttings left or so few that I can't pull them together to make something cohesive - then it's back to the magazines!
When I get the collages made and a book filled, I scan them into my computer and then plug them into my photoshop template where I pull a few colors out of the overall look and then try to name them. It's a ton of fun trying to come up with the actual names but it gets hard after a while coming up with original things
I really didn't have a purpose in mind when I started making these other than to just curate my love for color. However, as time goes on, I've found them invaluable for a number of applications. When helping people pick paint colors for their house, it's much easier to have them flip through and get an idea of the overall look rather than one color specifically. When I'm doing graphic design work, either for myself or a client, it's easier for them to pick a few color schemes that they like and so I know what they're going for, rather than force them to articulate something they're not comfortable with. I use them for myself when I'm stuck - sometimes it's hard to pick colors out of the blue. I also use them for my event planning business, for the same purpose. Mostly I just like to look at them and absorb all of the color and wonder there is in the world!
Bri has a beautiful blog The Craft Begins and it is a must see. Stop by her blog, she is having a giveaway, but today is the last day to participate, so don't miss out.
Thursday, February 25, 2010
When I worked with sterling silver creating art jewelry pieces, I made my own bezels for pendants, rings, and earrings. When I wanted to add color or a design, I worked with epoxy resin.
Well when I started out I would put the pieces filled with the epoxy in my toaster over so they would cure faster, and on a few occasions I left them in there to long and the epoxy started to bubble, creating creators in my design. I would be so pissed off that I wasted all that material and that the piece was not perfect anymore.
Well in the end I showed it to a few people who thought it was really cool and it turned out to be a technique that was uniquely mine and I used it often when I was creating with color.
It's hard to let go of the idea that everything has to be perfect. What dose not look good to us, may look good to someone else. We have to give our mistakes a chance, they could inspire a new idea, start a new technique, or even be the best mistake ever.
What mistake have you made that turned out to be a creative discovery?
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
What visual images or colors inspire you? Let me know and I will pull together a Flickr collection, and share that you are the source of inspiration for the week they are posted.
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Monday, February 22, 2010
How do you describe your work?
My work is an ongoing dialogue, constantly shifting and evolving, cycling around to greet old ideas again with a new approach. I like making art that can be perceived as simply what it is, a collection of composed forms in colors that are pleasing or intriguing, as well as a deeper engagement of thought and feeling. It can be about color and composition. It can be about passion and intuition. It is something as entirely unique for me the creator as it is for the viewer. I like to create things that I enjoy making and looking at. I like to make paintings that inspire curiosity and numerous interpretations.
When did you first realize you wanted to create? Who or what influenced or inspired you?
I know it sounds cliche, but I honestly always knew I wanted to live a life focused on creativity. It's in my blood, with visual artists on my mother's side of the family and musicians on my father's side. Between music, art, dance and theatre, the world of Art is a world I inhabit quite comfortably. My greatest inspirations have been within my family. My grandmother (mom's mother) was a painter that started late in life but was truly the most elegant painter I've ever met. She passed away when I was 10 but I feel her by my side supporting me and believing in me. She said some encouraging words when I was a child painting with her that I'll always carry with me as the best and most influential critique I've ever received. My other grandmother was a great lover of Jazz and she gave me the flames of passion that go to the depths of the soul. I was able to share my teenage years with her and she taught me a lot about being a strong woman - her passion and strength are certainly present in myself and my work. I'm lucky to have a long list of people and points of inspiration that have helped keep my dream alive through the years. I know I'm blessed to have this support.
What do you enjoy most about the creative process?
The feeling when everything CLICKS. There's a moment when you realize you're really focused and connected and things are happening intuitively just like you want them to. It's a wonderful feeling. It confirms the idea of believing in something happening before it happens, because it can't come about without believing it's coming... or at least that’s how it works for me.
What do you do when you need a creativity boost?
I get outside of myself. That’s first and foremost. Painting is such a deeply probing activity, you can’t stay down there (or up there?) too long or it’s likely to mess with your head. I do something that connects with the most basic principals of living - I cook a meal, I take a walk, I talk to someone I care about, I look at the moon. Not putting demands on creativity allows it to exist and flourish in a natural amount of time. It’s easy to forget about the rest of life when you’re sucked into a painting but LIFE is what fuels painting so balance is always something to strive for.
How did you get started with your online business, and how would you like your business to grow?
I started selling my art online on eBay until a fellow painter named Amanda Hone told me about Etsy in late 2006. I liked everything about the site as an eBay alternative because it focused on creative people. I enjoyed several years operating as http://www.etsy.com/shop/livefunky until late 2009 when I opened my gallery collection shop at http://www.etsy.com/shop/jessicatorrant which focuses on my finest original paintings. My focus right now is on doing my best work and painting as sincerely and earnestly as possible. I have experimented with many different ways of selling my creative vision through the years, but this year I’m challenging myself to focus entirely on my greatest passion, which is painting. I’ve been distracted in the past, I’m keeping myself focused and determined. Whenever I am fully committed, whenever I am enjoying the process, whenever I feel that thrill knowing a painting is finished or at least going somewhere really exciting - that’s when everything else clicks into place.
Jessica recently opened up a new etsy shop of hand carved one of a kind rubber stamps called Green Garden Stamps.
Check out all of Jessica's sites
blog - http://jessicatorrant.blogspot.com/
the gallery collection - http://jessicatorrant.etsy.com/
livefunky - http://livefunky.etsy.com/
flickr - http://flickr.com/livefunky
portfolio - http://artwanted.com/jtorrant
twitter - http://twitter.com/livefun
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Friday, February 19, 2010
I make earrings, pendants, and brooches using uncommon, upcycled materials such as pressed leaves, old film negatives, and colored pencil shavings. My specialty is custom photo jewelry of peoples' pets, family members, and friends. I enjoy custom requests too!
How I Got Started:
I've always been overflowing with ideas. I tend to create in phases as I love to learn about different forms of expression and move on if/when it feels right. My dad and grandma are jewelry makers, and my great grandfather was as well, so it runs in the family. Photography also runs in the family, and I've been doing that on and off since the age of 8. I do a bit of drawing, painting, and crocheting on the side. I'm one of those people that often says, "Nah, I'll just make it myself."
I started my shop, The Lost Earring (TLE), as a tribute to all of the gorgeous earrings I have lost over the years. Earrings belong in pairs (mostly) and it's oh so sad when a duo becomes a lonely single. Through The Lost Earring, I hope to offer a place where ladies can find that special pair--whether it's to start anew after a lost earring, or to simply add another precious pair to a collection.
What Inspires Me:
I have a BA in Creative Writing. Writing was one of my first loves in life, and poetry is a big inspiration of mine. (Sylvia Plath has some of the most moving lines I've ever read.) I think the act of noticing is crucial to creating in general. And so my roots as a writer, a "noticer" of things, have propelled me forward to create.
So many things, large and small, inspire me. Everything from a crack in the sidewalk to the infinite night sky above. I'm in awe on a daily basis by the patterns, shapes, and colors found in nature. My wonderful husband and I live blocks from the beach, so I'm fortunate enough to take walks there often. I enjoy inspecting rocks, shells, and whatever else washes ashore. There truly is inspiration all around us.
Once inspired, I'll do what I can to document it. I keep a journal chock-full of ideas, everything from images that pop into my mind to more expansive projects I'd like to explore. I take photos constantly. That initial recording of my inspiration is a very focused activity. From there, it's all about sitting down in my studio and making a bit of a mess. I move materials around to see what happens. I allow myself to not plan what will happen next. Sometimes nothing happens. Other times things seems to fall in the right place.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
I work with a variety of tool and supplies:
Supplies I use everyday
Another tool that I use everyday is my computer. I use it to run my business and be inspired.
What tools do you use daily?
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Flickr collection, and share that you are the source of inspiration for the week they are posted.
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
The goal of this blog is to help creative people succeed in building their business online. They offer entrepreneurial advice and social networking know-how to help you reach success. Read a variety of articles from setting up your shop, marketing ideas, DIY projects, planning and interviews.
The Pursuit of Etsyness
This is a collaborative blog with guest blogger sharing ideas, tips, and tutorials. You can get information on sales, marketing, social media, photo's, tax info, treasuries, and more, all for your Etsy shop.
This is the largest handmade co-op super blog for the handmade market. Their are daily posts offering business tips, trend info, inspiration, marketing ideas, as well as craft techniques and crafts for kids.
Last year I did a list of 10 business blog for your online business, here are a few that are still up to date and full of helpful information.
5000+ Resources to Do Just about Anything Online (worth checking out)
This is just the tip of the iceberg for online business resources. As I find new sites I will share them with you. Their is always something to learn.
If you know any sites or have a site that has business information for our online shops please share it in the comments.
Monday, February 15, 2010
Burri earned a medical degree in 1940 and was a military physician during World War II. After his unit was captured he was interned in a prisoner-of-war camp in Hereford, Texas in 1944, where he began to paint.
Burri soon turned to abstraction and unorthodox materials, making collages with pumice, tar, and burlap.
Sunday, February 14, 2010
Saturday, February 13, 2010
“You must love yourself before you love another. By accepting yourself and fully being what you are, your simple presence can make others happy.” - Unknown
Friday, February 12, 2010
Add any of these accessory trends for an instant update to your spring look.
What accessory trend will you be adding to your spring wardrobe this year?