Tuesday, May 31, 2011

How do I start????

Starting is always hard for me. I love to dream of starting new projects, but the actual beginning is really difficult for me. Yesterday as I began to think about making June's Artist Trading Cards (ATC), I realized one of the reasons it is difficult is because I have soooooo many options. Aside from deciding what subject matter or theme I want to create for the month's cards, I also need to discern what materials to use. Do I use magazine images, rubber stamps or draw freehand? Do I use ribbons, stickers, or brads for accents? Do I use watercolors, acrylic glaze, or chalks to high light areas? Gawdz! Too much stinkin' thinking!

To begin is to get into the process, I reminded myself yesterday. Just begin. I cannot make any or all those decisions until I begin; until I am in the process of creating.

I have been collecting small images of birds and miscellany for probably one year with the thought of making ATCs. It was a LOT of stuff - magazine images, stickers, rub-ons, postcards, postage stamps, greeting cards, chipboard, origami paper, and more - all with birds on them. The feeling of OVERWHELM came over me as I put out all the candidates for the ATC backgrounds on about 5 feet of my studio's counter... or reframed, as I urge others to do, I was feeling blessed with many options!

Similar to last month, I remember that feeling when I cut out x 3 ½  inch backgrounds from one of those cute little books with 17th century illustrated calligraphy. They were all beautiful as they were - how do I create a more interesting ATC? Then I began; I immersed myself into the creative process. I let go of thinking I knew how they were going to be made and how they were going to be when finished. Once I trusted the process and began to have fun, the decisions were much easier. In fact, it felt like I knew what the cards needed versus trying to figure out what they needed.

Ahhh - just begin. As I did yesterday and after several hours (where did the time go?), there are about 20 new ATCs with birds in the making. Once started, my priorities and attitude seems to shift - I cannot wait to get back to them.

Here are  few of the ATCs which I made last month. Go figure!?!?! I had no idea how they were going to be like when finished - and I sure enjoyed creating them.

If you could touch them, you would feel 5-8 different layers, images and things on each card. The 2½ inch mini scissors worked really well, as did Tim Holtz's masking tape, Studio112button stickers and borders, and the myriad of other little odds and ends. For the finishing touch, I sewed matching embroidery thread in the buttons holes before I glued them down. Gosh - they were fun to make once I stopped thinking about how to make them!

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