When I'm not creating mandalas, I'm working in my art journal. I decided to explore the things I loved as a child. As I look at what's next with my career, I'm considering what skills and interests I have always gravitated toward.
Pictured above is the little me reading. The background image was taken from one of my favorite books, a child's first dictionary.
(Note click on the horizontal photos to view larger.)
I recently shared this photo on Facebook for Throwback Thursday. One friend commented that I looked like a Hummel figurine. That made me smile all the way down to my toes! My mother and stepmother collected Hummels.
I cut out the "scissors" entry from my book for what I loved most was cutting paper. I would spend hours cutting up those fat JC Penney and Sears catalogs to make paper dolls. My older sister tells stories of how our mother would send her into my room when I was napping to collect the paper scraps. Apparently there would be enough to fill up large trash bags. With the nickname Collage Diva, you can probably guess that I still like to cut paper.
On the facing page is a collection of tags that I made.
I designed this page and the tags while staying in a hotel recently. I knew that I was going to have an evening to myself so I happily packed a bag of assorted supplies, a mini sewing machine that was my mother's, and my journal. I was in heaven!
It worked out well staying at a Marriott Springhill Suites as I had a little sitting area with a couch and coffee table. Little did the manager know they had an artist in residence!
I bet you would like a closer look! The first section was made by tearing a piece from an old envelope and stitching it down. Note this was my first time ever sewing into my journal and using that silly little machine that was my Mom's. I imagine she was smiling on me as I was crafting away in the hotel room.
This first tag is about how I loved to play school. I spent hours taking all of my books and organizing them by what I thought the reading level would be. If you look on the inside page of the book, I wrote down the reading level in the upper right corner. I still love to organize and categorize things. Nomenclature is one of my favorite words - I'm pretty consistent about my file naming schemes.
I took a piece from an old map and stitched it to a tag made from an old file folder.
"Let's pretend!" I loved to play spies and run around the back woods of our home imagining different espionage storylines.
The hand on this page was one of my first ever ink-jet transparency transfers using gel medium. It came out pretty good. I did have to go in with my black pen and add some missing details in the sleeve. Where it is black and white (no blue) that is where I added the lines.
I had a heavy, black, vintage typewriter. Oh how I loved it! I would create my own "graphics" by cutting out a paper template and then feeding it in with a second piece of paper. I would type words usually the same one over and over again and then lift off the paper template. This was long before computer graphics. Hee heee. I guess I was a budding graphic designer after all.
To this day I love playing with all sorts of tools and technology. I use Adobe Photoshop and InDesign daily. When one isn't looking, I'm throwing some odd ball thing onto a photocopier to work with in one of my journals.
Cake! This pocket was designed first with a piece of a vintage receipt from a place that sold fruits and veggies. The donut image is another inkjet transparency transfer using gel medium. I made a tag with a cake design on the front.
On the back I journaled about how I learned a lot from watching my creative mom at work. When I was little people would hire her to make and decorate cakes. She would level off the cake, frost it, and set me up next to the table to eat and watch her work.
I loved watching her twirl frosting onto a pin and then line up the frosting flowers on sheets of wax paper. My mom always encouraged my creativity.
This tag says it all: Believe in Miracles. Could I get paid to cut and glue paper? And teach others?
The background of this pocket was a piece of scrapbook paper torn and embellished with a favorite rubber stamp. I had painted on the paper bag before sewing the pieces onto it. The tag is a photocopy of a map with some paint stamped and dry brushed onto it.
My Nana (my Mom's Mom) was a crafty one. When I would spend time with her in the summer, we would make all sorts of kitscy things like Christmas trees made of stout, white pipe cleaners. I made macrame plant hangers for everyone in the family. I learned how to make things, usually out of ordinary stuff. My Nana really fed my creative appetite.
What did you love to do in your childhood? How can you do more of that now?
As for me I'm still reading, organizing information, crafting, getting inspired by others, cutting and gluing paper, and playing with technology including my new vintage typewriter. I don't eat cake all that often.
Kathryn Costa, Collage Diva + Creative Dabbler