medium /// creativeunblock




#creativeUNblock // march project recap

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Project No.3, given to us by American artist Kate Pugsley {p.175 in Creative Block}, is easily one of my favorite ways to get unstuck: Paint sheets of paper with a color palette that inspires you, chop that paper into abstract or representational shapes, and then move them around until you arrive at a composition that gets your creative fires burning! The day after I posted this project, I woke up and thought, “black!” … so I painted a bunch of watercolor paper black and started snipping. I loved every single second, and apparently so did lots of you! Here are just a few of my faves so far:

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Oh. So many fabulous bits ‘n pieces… I hope you’re feeling as inspired and recharged by this as I am! There’s still a week to go until I put up the April project {Sat Apr 4th}, so grab your paints & scissors and start chopping!





#creative UNblock no.3

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Oh, hello #creativeUNblock project no.3! {If you missed the first two projects, or have no idea what I’m talking about, you can catch up right here.} Ok, so the next unblocking project from Creative Block : I have to admit, I tried this one before the book even hit shelves… and I’m gonna to do it again because it’s just that good! This project is given to us by Chicago based artist/illustrator Kate Pugsley. Ready?

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#creativeunblock // March // by Kate Pugsley p.175

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“When I’m in a creative rut, this simple activity always helps me to get excited. Start with a stack of white or off-white papers. Sometimes I use scraps or sometimes I take large pieces of drawing paper and cut them into pieces around 8×10 inches. Then get out your watercolors, acrylics or other paint and mix up some of your favorite colors. Paint the surface of the papers. Sometimes just seeing all the lovely colors together on the papers inspires me. Once the painted papers have dried, get some scissors or an x-acto knife and cut out some shapes. They can be totally arbitrary, or they can be recognizable as objects, animals, faces, etc. Open your sketchbook or get a blank sheet of paper and start arranging shapes. Just play with the shapes and colors, layering until you see interesting combinations. You can start gluing them down in your paper or book, painting on top of them, or just save the pieces you like. I keep envelopes around full of colored pieces for loosening up when I am stuck. Working with these painted shapes helps me see things that I may not see just drawing or painting directly because my mind wanders and there are always a lot of surprises.”

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Love! Now, If you get hung up on what recognizable shapes to cut out (I did!) just start chopping! Triangles, squares, bits ‘n pieces, whatever. I can’t wait to see the colors you choose, the shapes you make, and the compositions you come up with… and if you’d like to, please post your work on twitter and instagram with #creativeUNblock. Let loose, have fun, and I’ll see you out there!

 





#creativeUNblock // february project recap

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Um, how is it the last day of February? Well, it’s here, and the one thing I can say about February… my bathroom drawer is a lot tidier than it was in January! Yep, I did Kate Bingaman-Burt’s challenge from “Creative Block” {ie. document everything in your bathroom cupboard in any medium you like}. I have to be honest. I struggled with this one in the beginning! I was trying to make everything look realistic, and let’s just say… it WAS NOT working. I decided to just let go and make it super simple… cut paper, a bit of masking tape, and some washy gouache. Yes, that was a lot more fun! I ended up being fairly happy with it – and speaking of being happy – here are a few fantastic pieces that some of you created! Who knew toilet paper, cough syrup, and foot cream could look this good:

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by Naomi Vona

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by Mary Gaspar

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by Amanda of e.tches.ca

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Ah, so many ways to approach this project… love it! Ok. So, who’s ready for the March assignment? Me too! It goes up tomorrow. See you then!





#creativeUNblock no.2

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Well hellooooo, February! You know what that means…  time for #creativeUNblock project no.2! {If you missed the January project – or have no idea what I’m talking about – no worries,  you can catch up right here.} Ok, so who’s ready for the next unblocking project from Creative Block? Me too! I’ve been wanting to do this one since the moment I got the interview back from the always inspiring, super duper creative, Portland based artist Kate Bingaman-Burt. Why didn’t I? Hm. Good question. No more procrastinating… let’s do this:

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#creativeunblock // February // by Kate Bingaman-Burt p.231

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Catalog the contents of your medicine cabinet/bathroom shelf : Draw, paint, photograph, or collage everything you have, and then make a poster or small book about the objects. {constraint = creation}

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I love this. So much. When in your life would you ever document everything on your bathroom shelf, or make a bathroom zine/lotion poster for that matter? Never! {I’m not even sure what’s in there to be totally honest!} Ok, ready? Let go, have fun, and post your work on twitter and instagram with #creativeUNblock… can’t wait to see what you’ve got in your cupboards ; )

ps. Just because Kate draws everything, doesn’t mean you have to. Paint, photograph, collage, write about… document all of those bottles, jars, and random bits in your drawer/shelf/cabinet any way that suits you!





#creativeUNblock // january project… almost done!

There is one week left to go for January’s #creativeUNblock challenge {by New York based artist Trey Speegle, p.79 in Creative Block}, and I’ve been loving every second of it… and it looks like lots of you have too! There are so many pieces that you guys have made/posted. Here are just a few of my favorites so far … oh, so many techniques at work!

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Ahhh, so good! I hope you get as much out of this challenge as I have! If you want to do it this week before the month is out, find the details here. February’s project is going up next Sunday. Ok, I had originally said the first Saturday of each month, but I can’t wait til February 7th for the first Saturday, can you? I didn’t think so! See you on Sunday February 1 for the next #creativeUNblock assignment!

 





january #creativeUNblock : an in-progress update

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Oh my word… I LOVE THIS PROJECT! I had so much fun, and I even had a couple of ah-ha moments. {As a refresher, in case you missed the first post about this – on the first Saturday of each month, for all of 2015, I’ll be posting a new project right here. Each one is from my book, Creative Block. I’m doing all of them, and you’re welcome to join in!}

The #creativeUNblock project for January is by Trey Speegle – p.79, Creative Block. Find or draw an image, copy it 50 times on cardstock, and then alter it 50 different ways. Trey also adds, “Create your own tight parameters… then give yourself a LOT of room to play.” Ok, so to be totally honest, I felt a bit overwhelmed. Alter it 50 different ways? With any supplies I want? The possibilities felt endless… but not in a good way. I decided to take Trey’s advice and add one more “tight parameter” for myself. I chose a very limited palette, mainly neon pink/red. I grabbed my gel pens, gouache, bits of cut paper, washi tape, the spirograph set I got for Christmas, and a big cup of coffee!

In the back of my mind, as I was choosing supplies, I thought, “Maybe I should grab some paint.” Nah. I’ve decided that I’m not a painter, so no need for paint. But it kept nagging me… this is supposed to be about being free to experiment. Why wasn’t I truly doing that? I wasn’t even touching the neon gouache that I’d brought out. Then it dawned on me {and I have no idea why I’ve never put this together before}… you can’t spell painting without PAIN. Ha! Very true for me… and it actually made for a fantastic piece in this little series! I decided to stop being such a baby and face my “fears”. I grabbed the paint. Wouldn’t you know, my favorite piece from the whole day was covered in paint {the hands, above}. The thing I had to get over was worrying about “ruining” the piece I was working on. Who cares? That’s the whole point in having 50 in front of you… make make make make… that includes making mistakes – or happy accidents depending how you look at it. Oh, it was amazingly liberating, in so many ways! I’m sooooo doing this again. And again, and again! {No really, I’m going to choose a totally different image, and go again before January is over!}

If you want to share what you’re making for this project, just upload your work to instagram or twitter and hashtag it with #creativeUNblock. I’ve seen lots of you doing it already, and I hope you’re having as much fun as I am! {Just a few weeks til the February project goes up}

 





#creativeUNblock no.1

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I have been wanting to do this for so long, but the timing never seemed right. Well how about the start of a new year… perfect! Yep, it’s time to earn that “unblocking” badge.

There are 50 amazing “unblocking” projects, given by the 50 very clever artists that I interviewed for my book, Creative Block, and I want to try all of them… and I will… but I’m going to do this in baby steps. Instead of doing 1 per week {my original, Type-A plan}, I’m going to do 1 per month for the next 12 months. Are you in? Yes! {If you all do it too, that will keep me motivated!}

The first Saturday of each month I’ll post the new project. I’m going to jump around the book a bit, picking 12 totally random projects. Some of them are actually 30 day projects unto themselves, while others only take an afternoon {feel free to spend the month doing those quicker projects multiple times in different ways!}. A few of them can be done in the studio, but others will take us outside on mini-adventures… oh, it’s gonna be good! Don’t feel like you have to share what you’ve made, but if you want to {I’ll share my progress from time to time}, just pop it up on instagram and/or twitter, and include #creativeunblock. And if you don’t mind, I might share a few of my favorites on the site! Ok, ready? Here we go:

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#creativeunblock // January // by NYC based artist Trey Speegle p.79

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A SEASON FOR NO REASON : Make a drawing in black and white {or use a found image} and then photocopy the drawing onto card stock 50 times – or enough copies so that you won’t “worry” about how many you’ve used. {Take your time and draw or find an image that you really love, and will like working with over and over} Then, alter the image in as many different ways as you can think of with colored pencils, paint, cutting, whatever. You can modify this idea and change it in whatever way you like but the important thing is to turn off your brain and just play with a repeated form and let your mind see where no ideas or thought process takes you. 

Create your own tight parameters… then give yourself a LOT of room to play. Have fun. ~ Trey Speegle  

Let’s do this… see ya on instagram! { ps. you can tag Trey when you post your pieces if you’d like: @treynyc }