Sunday, January 07, 2007

Exercise in Creativity

Sometimes we forget that the journey is just as important as the destination. Sometimes there should be no goal or end product to a piece an artistic creation.

I am working on something right now which will serve as an example in creativity and not end product. This is something that you can do on small or large scale. The materials you use is entirely up to you. I will tell you how I did it. I will be very interested in hearing how all of you did it and what materials you used.

Supplies I used:

paper towels that I did the painting on and the paper towels/wipes that I did the "tie dye" from the Tracie Bautista book
piece of large, sheer fabric with designs on it
iron-on adhesive Therm -0-web heatnbond is what I used
tac iron
large smooth tile
sewing machine
acrylic paints
foam stamps
release paper - you can also put it shiny side down the paper that is left over from labels.

Remember, you can substitute whatever you want for the paper towels. You don't have to use the iron-on adhesive stuff. I just want my paper towels to lay flat when I am sewing on the machine. I don't like how parts of it puff up without the adhesive. You can also just use liquid adhesive and let dry completely. Just remember that the glue might go through the fabric on the bottom- put something like a tarp or wax paper underneath. You can also substitute heavy paper for the fabric.

1. I used my tac iron and put the iron-on adhesive to the pieces of painted/inked paper towels. The adhesive did not have to be all over it. It is not an exact thing. Just enough so that it does not puff up when I do the sewing on the machine.
2. I used a sheer piece of fabric as the base. I started laying pieces of torn up paper towel and wipes on the piece of fabric. Pieces overlapped. I did not do it in any particular fashion. I did it pretty randomly. Do not overthink this part. Just do it instinctively.
3. Use the tac iron and heat the pieces of towel/wipes as you go along. I used a large tile so the heat would not pass through to the table. The hard surface makes it easier to heat the adhesive onto the fabric. I did this until all the pieces were down on my piece of fabric. Not everything needs to be down completely. You can sew that down later. If you are not sewing, just use some glue to keep it down. I had a piece of gold foil left over from the ATCs, I used the tac iron and randomly spread that all over the fabric piece.
4. I have not gotten this far yet. I will be sewing a border on the piece with a zigzag stitch. I will randomly sew all over the piece. I will probably add scraps of paper or words as I go along and sew that on. I might sew on some pieces of fiber or ribbon.
5. When I am done, I will use some paint and stamp on some images with foam stamps. I might freehand some letters/words.

I challenge people to try this with materials they have. You don't have to do it like I am doing it. Make it your own. I also challenge you to do this with no theme or focal images. Just create. Add on whatever feels right. Take away or paint over what does not look right to you. Believe it or not, this exercise will help you to work more instinctively. Remember, you are not looking for an end result. You are looking at the process - the journey. Keep this piece and return to it once in awhile. Add to it, change it, change directions in your journey.

Remember to imagine the possibilities.

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