10 Ways To Tackle Your New Sketchbook

So you come home with a new sketchbook!

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It’s such a wonderful feeling. The crisp, new, unspoiled paper. You may even be a book sniffer and be able to smell how fresh it is.
Then the ‘new sketchbook’ block happens, you want the first drawing to be perfect and set the stage and standard for every other drawing to come

I am deeply sorry to inform you that it’s a sketchbook and that’s just not the way it usually happens. Sketchbooks are for practice and experiment, but here are 10 ideas to help you on your way

1 Start with what you are good at!

There may be things your are better at than others such as cartoons or observational drawing. Start with one or two things that you have confidence with and let it flow on from there. Just don’t forget to try new things once the ball is rolling!

2 Do a front title page

It might sound like I’m telling you to go back to primary school but title pages can be a really helpful way to just get into your sketchbook! Start with words from a quote, your name or even just “Sketchbook 2016” then doodle design  and colour like a champ!

3 Do some swatches and colour wheels

These can be so handy at the start or back of your book where you can flick to easily. Swatches allow you to plan ahead and know the colours and textured marks that are in your arsenal.

4 Try a new medium

Get excited and out of your normal art routines and pick up a new medium to work with. new paints, pens, chalk, coloured card, pastels, inks, coloured pencil, collage, resist techniques (water based over oil) the choices are endless! Pick something new to do, maybe something you have always wanted to try!

5 Do a senseless scribble with the pen in your mouth!

Scribble senselessly and try the ‘loose association‘ technique I showed you guys! Take breath and just dive into your sketchbook Rambo style!

6 Do a collage

I want to bring special attention to something already vaguely mentioned. Collage is a good way to just get images into that first page. It’s easy to cut stuff out and creatively arrange them with some glue and tape. maybe adding stickers and some marker here and there.

7 Start in the middle

You don’t have to start on the first page. If its just the first page holding you back, dive into the middle. You can always stick something over it later if it turns out that offensive. Though I do recommend keeping all your drawings, even the crappy ones because you can use them to get better and observe your improvement over time.

8 Scroll through Pinterest or Tumblr for inspiration

Find stuff that inspires you! mash your favorite features together or try an recreate a work of art you like. Studies on other peoples work will help you understand their techniques and clarify what it actually is that you like about their work and how it was made.

9 Doodling, mandala’s or zentangles

These styles of work are great when you don’t know what to draw because you don’t have to have a clear direction. Play around with texture shapes and patterns in a simple meditation like style.

10 Draw a self portrait

Don’t forget, you always have yourself to draw! Use a mirror and practice the age old art of the self portrait. It’s a great way your sketchbook can introduce the viewer to the piece of yourself that is your sketchbook!

 

 

 

 

 

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The Business Cards Of The Art World: Artist Trading Cards

Artist trading cards (ATC’s) are trading card sized art works that are gifted or swapped for other ATC’s. Fantastic right! Considering how long I have loved art; It’s ridiculously that I only found this tool more recently. And it most certainly is a great one! I like to look at them like the business cards of the art world.
ATC’s are 2.5 by 3.5 inch’s but apart from that, there aren’t really any rules. They are stitched, drawn, painted, collaged and some even have more sculptural and 3D effects.

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These four photo’s are from google images
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There are local and online card swaps where people get together for this; which is a great way to show your art to other artists and exchange a form of contact. On the back is a common place for an email or web address, work title, the medium you used, date, name and signature.
The other week I was ordering some business cards online, and it hit me!… I’m going to make my business cards dual functional! Since my cards have now arrived I began the task of covering there backs.
Here are five I have so far, waiting to go out into the world
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I also reserve the right to use this one in case anyone takes offence to the above ATC’s
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The Importance Of Mess: An Art Tip

When I was around 13, I by chance decided to turn up to class one day. It was one of few days I actually walked away with something useful from school. It was art class.
Our art teacher had banned rulers and erasers from the classroom and anyone caught using them, had the items taken of them and thrown out the classroom window. He told us story of his daughters, both who love to draw, One stayed inside the lines and meticulously tried for perfection while the other scribbled and played and never worried about the lines. Guess who went on to become a successful person in the creative field? The second girl.
Mess can in some places be very useful. You use it to experiment with texture and media, to loosen up your hand for greater skill, you notice things you may wish to transfer over to a final piece or even experiment more with: Mess builds your art vocabulary.
Art isn’t just about drawing in a way to make something look as close to something else as you possibly can. It’s about expression and telling truths and invoking thought, questions or emotions in the world and about the world.
I think it’s important to practice art at a slightly more raw level. To scribble for the feeling of movement in your hand with out any thought to the end result, just the action of drawing. To throw the media on with no planning and build up a page of absolute nonsense and color and lines and scribbles and maybe even tongue prints 😉
Sketchbooks should mean it’s time to play not just time to work 😉

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8 Cool Filofax or Day Planner Ideas

Things can get unorganized very rapidly. A once; fantastic, crisp, new day planner, schedule or system can soon become a disastrous mess imposing itself on your life. Okay well maybe it’s not that bad but you don’t have to wait for the new year with it’s new diary for that special, “I’m going to take this world: it’s mine!” attitude. Nor do you have to wait for spring to do some spring cleaning.
If you’re falling behind a little on your to-do lists and self management, maybe it’s time to give your day planner, or what ever system you feel has become cluttered, a wee make over. Throw out no longer needed notes and receipts that you’ve jammed in there, re-decorate, reorganize and make it fresh again!

Today I did this with my Filofax. Now it’s back to looking like the edible sandwich that I feel in love with.

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Here are are 7 things that I have done to my planner that are really handy

#1 A clear slip at the front for frequent change of image.
Just like my computer and cellphone images, I get bored of them and change them almost as often as my underwear. Being able to change that first page so easily means I can freshen up my planner as often as I want! I can now keep multiple images in the slip too, just waiting for their chance to get on my cover 🙂

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#2 A place to go when I need a pick-me-up.
Many filo fax owners have a page for some quotes and cheerful musings. I have done this but have also put in a page specifically for the darker days when “Shine like the stars!” really isn’t going to cut it. thus far I have only found one and placed a musing of my own. My filofax is always on me so it’s the perfect place to have a place.
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#3 A scheduled for my ideal morning and night routine
I wrote out my ideal morning and night routines in the most efficient order and manner. If we prep before bed our mornings are easier and the better our morning routine the more productive we usually are: adding to the whole point of keeping an organizer!

#4 A list to check my bag is organised.
There are certain things you don’t want to be caught without. Panadol or Aspirin if you get a sudden migraine, a notebook for when inspiration strikes, your water bottle, pocket knife, spare phone battery or scarf (you wouldn’t believe how fantastic these things can be in some situations eg. injuries and make-shift belts or dog leads)
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#5 A dashboard!
Using a piece of watercolor card I made a dashboard for key things that need urgent or prolonged attention but may not have particular time slots. Using small post-it type sticky tabs, which I stuck to a clear plastic insert, I can write on a keyword then stick it onto the dashboard and remove it when it is no longer needed.
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#6 A collection of symbols that are quick to draw.
I was looking for a good calender for my phone that had cool symbols like my tablet for daily scheduling. Unfortunately the only one I like so far is way too small to read but it did give me the idea to add the feature to my planner. I went on the hunt for lots of little easy to draw pictures and jotted them down on a page to use a reference. I can, of course, make them up as I go along but I have already found this quite useful.
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#7 Note organization
I write a lot of notes as I go through my day, and at random times I need to recall some of these notes. So I used the file separators that came with this filo fax for that. I have one for books I want to read so when I can’t recall the title at the library I have that list ready and one for movies when I am stuck picking a movie at the video store. I have one for music to check out and ones for project and research ideas.

#8 A clear slip for misc. items
some of the things I like to keep on me don’t have to be lose at the bottom of my bag. So I made a slot for things like, loose note paper, postage stamps, emergency phone top up and stickers for keeping my Filofax looking edible.

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If you have any cool ideas to share about your day planners or organizational systems, please let me know in the comments because sharing is caring 😀

Neon Buddha Series

So I started working on a series of illustrations to sell, and although I probably have too many projects on the go at the moment, I was too keen to get these underway because they glow under black light! I actually really love how these are turning out, the one in progress being my favorite so far.

The first one is symbolically traditional. It has the wheel of life, the wheel of darma, lotus flowers an elephant etc…; but the second is a Buddha caught in the world of pop culture, consumerism and bad habits.

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I’m selling the originals all pretty cheep locally but I’m thinking I might take the best ones and make them available as prints, especially if I can have the black light effects carry through on the prints… I have a feeling i’m going to want a print of the second one myself 😉

I will be trying to post more often on Twitter/Facebook and may start posting on Tumblr or Instagram to let you guys know how progress is going. It seems I have a hundred million things to do for the next wee while and although the articles on here may slow down a little, I’ll still be up to some exciting things which I really want to share.

Feel free to let me know what you think, critique away or if you have any ideas you’d like me to consider go ahead and let me know in the comments 🙂

Scrabble Day Painting: A is for Asshole!

Invented in 1938, Scrabble has been a pass time for so many that it has found it’s own triple word score winning it’s own day on our calender (April 13th: the inventors birthday). That’s right… SCRABBLE DAY!

Originally created by an unemployed architect living in New York; Alfred Mosher Butts called this game ‘Criss-Crosswords’. About a decade later the rights were sold to James Brunot who re-named it, you guessed it!, Scrabble.

So I decided to take our beloved scrabble and use it to play my own game on canvas. I am using one of each letter stuck to the canvas to create an alphabet of swear words 😀 This is going to be a load of fun.

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The Blogger Award: Nominees

You’re awesome Thumbup!
It took me a little while to compile some cool blogs to nominate but I had so much fun hunting that I will probably now have an overloaded “reader” feed 😉

The rules of “Very Inspiring Blogger” award are listed below.

1. Thank the blogger who nominated you.

2. List the rules and display the award.

3. Share 7 facts about yourself.

4. Nominate 15 other amazing blogs and comment on their blogs to let them know you nominated them.

I’ll jump straight to the nominations before I give away the selfie facts

1 Sarhaareds ramblings
I was loving the darker side of this blog (A mummified teddy bear) mixed with the eloquent (handmade ornaments)

2 The Daily Think
Fantastic little gestural sketches and blurbs about daily life.

3 Motivating giraffe
Great motivational quotes with really funky illustrations of animals!

4 The Ninth Life
Inspirational food for thought.

5 The Re-modern Review
Quirky controversial art talk.

6 Inspirational Geek
This blog had me distracted on my blog nominee hunt for a few hours so I better put it here 🙂

7 The Creative Panic
Another great blog for procrastination

8 Post secret
A cool place where people send in secrets on post cards. BRILLIANT!

9 Mashed Radish
More fantastic food for thought centered around words, complete with really cute illustrations

10 Twilight Beasts
Pleistocene beasts from 2.6 million years ago to around 13,000 years ago. Too cool to be missed!

11 Lights in the Dark
An astronomy blog!

12 I Wanted Wings
A geeky Feminist’s musings on Visual & pop culture”

13 Truth and Cake
A personal and inspiring blog about a girl

14 His girl Friday
A very cool personal blog about a yoga lover, mother and wife

15 Michel Watson
A cool, soulful, creative and inspiring blog

Congrats guys 😉 


And now 7 facts about myself

1. …I don’t like talking about myself in the sense of fact giving. I feel like something true now may not be true tomorrow.

2. I can’t say no when I think a friend might need me.

3. I smoke too much and drink too much coffee

4. I have a dog called King Arthur, he is a giant wussy teddy bear who likes wearing my jerseys when its cold… He hates the cold

5. I have a bird called Angel, he sings “if your happy and you know it” and the kill bill whistle. He also says “what-cha doing” and copy’s my sneezes.

6. I loved “Buffy the vampire slayer” and read “What would Buffy do?”

7. I don’t like leaving the house because people frighten me.