Archive for the ‘Creative Tips’ Category

Image copyrighted by Sandra Kay Strait.

Sandra Strait puts Stillman & Birn’s Zeta, multi media sketchbook paper through its paces. Checkout her thorough review and beautiful illustrations at Life Imitates Doodles.


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I recently submitted a sketchbook to The Sketchbook Project. The Sketchbook Project is a global, crowd-sourced art project where participants from all walks of life are sent a sketchbook to fill the pages and return it for inclusion in a traveling exhibition and permanent collection at The Brooklyn Art Library. Anyone – from anywhere in the world – can participate in the project. This year the tour will head to Brooklyn, Austin, Atlanta, Toronto, Chicago, Portland, SF and LA!

My submission included modified, digital photos I had taken around central Kentucky. I created twelve two-page spreads, each representing a month of out of the year. Each photo was printed on an Epson Ink Jet printer onto watercolor paper, and modified using pens, markers, oil pastels, gels and other artist mediums. Once complete, the pages were bound into a book a wrapped with a modified cover photo of beautiful Cave Run Lake in Daniel Boone National Forest, Morehead, Kentucky. These are the pages in the book, starting with the cover, January, February and so on.

To see the massive collection of sketchbooks at The Brooklyn Art Library, here is a link to the details: Brooklyn Art Library. If you want to get a closer look at my journal once you are there, the call number of my book is 194.12-9.












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Wondering what to do with all of those empty pens in your desk drawer? Checkout this great recycling project by Costa Schuler, The Pen Guy.


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For those of you looking for creative was to you use Sharpie Markers, check out this idea from If It’s Hip, It’s Here. The world’s best known permanent laundry maker, the Sharpie, isn’t just for labeling your underwear. Hand drawn cars, basement walls, decorated ceramic busts and more like those shown here may make you rethink the way you use that stinky pen.

The car was actually done in sharpie markers on the paint and then finished with a clear coat for protection. It took about 2 weeks total. Prestige (Lamborghini Miami)definitely shocked a lot of people when this car was first seen in California during the Concorso Italiano/Pebble Beach week. It attracted attention good, and apparently bad as well, everywhere it went.
(images courtesy of VOD Cars and JT Photos on flickr)

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Happy holidays and a big thank you to all of you who follow my blog! I wanted to share a creative holiday message from Chronicle books that showcases some very creative ideas. Be sure to look for the snowflake created from journals!
I wish you all a super happy holiday and a very creative new year!



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When creating art, we have many opportunities to combine mediums and processes to create images that speak to the observer. Georges Emmanuel Arnaud Geizm does a beautiful job of combining old and new technologies in his “Soul In Between Exposed series of photographs. Using a myPolaroid 220 camera and Photoshop, he has created images that seem to reveal the soul of the subject.

The beauty of using photography as an artistic form of expressions is the unique ability to capture the human spirit. In a fraction of a second, your photograph will capture things our eyes will miss. By changing the lighting, background, colors and mediums, it is possible to dramatically change the essence or meaning of the images you take into one that you wish to communicate.

To see more photographs by Georges Emmanuel Arnaud Geizm, be sure to visit his photography website.

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I’ve been dabbling in photography as an adjunct to art journals and sketching. I struggle with creating technically correct photographs, but a recent experiment yielded some interesting images that didn’t require me to be technically perfect. The subject was a dull, winter, Kentucky landscape, that would be boring, even if taken by a professional photographer. With a little help from Photoshop, I was able to transform these lifeless photos into something artistic.

These landscape blurs were created by moving my camera while exposing the shot. Using Adobe Photoshop to edit the images, I pumped up the color to enhance the otherwise dull images and the results are more art than photography. The real surprise was the rich textures and colors that appeared when I pushed the colors beyond safe levels.

I can see using this technique to create rich colorful backgrounds in future art journals or as a base for a collage or mixed-media art. If you have used this technique in one of your art journals or artwork, I’d love to know more about your project.

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