August 19, 2012

Creativity...the process vs. the product

Wow, I'm finally able to sit down to work on a blog post. This past week was filled with purging and getting ready for a big garage sale we had yesterday. SO, so glad that is over. I'm energized now to purge more and get my house more organized. I have some more thoughts on this but that will be for another blog post.

Today I have some projects that are the result of a stamping session that happened all for the sake of creativity. Now that I'm not currently designing for a company that sells stamps, papers, embellishments, etc I am afforded the opportunity to just create. To just see what happens down in the craft department. It's been nice to see what happens and to see what evolves when there's no pressure to use a certain product.

And that brings up my main thought for today.....the process versus the product. What happens when you don't focus on using any certain products? Have you sat down and created something that isn't for a challenge or to see what other people think? If you're a blogger, have you created with the mindset that this project is for me? Not for anyone else to see on my blog? I think that sometimes we are so caught up in what we should be creating or how a project should look or what products we should be using that we forget about our own true style. That we forget about how fun and nurturing the creative process is in itself.

So with all that said, I'm going to share my projects with you today. But keep in mind that these cards were created with the idea that I just wanted to create something. Nothing else. You might enjoy the thought process I share along the way.....and I hope you are inspired to create just for the sake of making something.

For my projects I used a collection of My Mind's Eye papers, stamps and embellishments that I recently ordered from 2Peas. Please leave a comment if you have any questions about a certain product.
I also had this sketch laying around that I created so I used it as a creative starting point.
First up I just wanted to be creative. I had lots of fun patterned papers to work with but I wanted something that looked handmade and a little artsy. I reached for a striped MME stamp, 3 colors of inks and a small misting bottle full of water.
Here's what I ended up with. Fun strips of striped patterns that have a water colored look to them. I just inked up my stamp with the lightest yellow, then the orange then the dark pink color......then misted with water....then stamped the image on strips of cardstock. Again, just for fun, just for the sake of being creative and to see what I could come up with.
So next I got started with my first set of cards. In keeping with the sketch, I used a large Papertrey label die that I cut from patterned paper + a neutral cardstock. I'll end up using one half from each for my cards. The main focal point of these cards will be the large label image with some stamping and lots going on in the foreground.
Once I had my labels kind of pieced together, they didn't stand apart from the base card very much. So I decided to stray from the sketch a bit and created a background using ledger paper from my stash + a few scraps and some Washi tape. Just layered quickly onto the background piece and then stitched. This got me very excited to just take a creative session to just make backgrounds. Again, the creative process came into play much more than any product I was using. So fun!
And here's 3 finished cards that I made, using the sketch + my handmade water colored strips + some fun accents and popped up stamp images. I really do like how these turned out.
Those scrappy little backgrounds got me so intrigued that next I wanted to create some cards that focused more on the background than a large focal image. These came together very quickly by just adding some of the leftover watercolor striped paper I made, some Washi tape, some scraps of paper and a few Small White Tags.
When working on the first cards, I felt a little confined to my detailed sketch. So this time I just rolled with whatever popped into my head. I reached for some Dainty Doilies, stamped up a few Grid Paper Labels and then stamped some MME flowers onto punched circles. I didn't quite know how my cards would come together but I just let the creative process take place. I knew these cards would just go into my stash so whatever came about was just fine.
And here's the end result. I love how quickly these came together versus the time it took me to put together the cards using the sketch. But I loved working on both sets of cards. Sometimes it's detailed that you want, other times it's quick and easy. Notice that I also made a coordinating envelope using some Washi tape and Studio Calico stamp (which I cut apart to fit my liking).
For a final set of cards I wanted to explore the handmade backgrounds a little more. I like the idea of starting with a piece of "something" that has a pattern on it. Above I used my ledger papers and this time I reached for some Library Cards. I didn't have a plan for the card design but I liked the idea of using the stamped Grid Paper Labels again along with some tiny stamped labels.
I started out by laying on strips of paper and Washi tape on the base card. They needed a little pattern to start off with. Next I just worked on layering stuff to the library cards. At this time they are not attached to the card fronts. The fun part of this process is that you can work on the background piece and get it all finished before attaching to the card.
This way you can layer and wrap tapes around the back of the piece and even machine stitch and staple on the piece without it all showing on the inside of the finished card. You can look at the above photo and then how I added more layers and stitching to the piece in the photo below. This might be a new favorite way to make cards.....all because I just let the creative process flow with no finished product in mind.
And heres's my two cards. I topped the layered background with more Washi tape, the stamped Grid Paper Label, hand cut/stamped flowers and some Studio Calico wood veneer hearts. Notice how I let the small "memo" label hang over the edge of the library cards. The labels look like they flow from one layer to the next. That's an easy way to tie the background layer and the main base card together.
And one more thing that was was fun to do....I cut tiny strips of Washi tape and used them over and under my flowers and veneer hearts. I love this look and will be using this technique again soon. Amazing how you discover little creative tidbits when you sit down to just make something.
And that's it for today. I really enjoyed this creative session because it was just fun and I had no deadlines, no criteria to was all about the process. I hope you give it a try. :)

This week:
The girls have more volleyball practices and then it's back to school later in the week. Both my reds are going to be in high school now....and driving.....and dating boys....OH MY! I have to say that I really love teenagers (if they're not bratty and annoying, that is). They make me feel young again and full of adventure. I'm looking forward this school year!


Cindy Lyles said...

This is so true Mish - I have found that blogging without obligation to anyone but me is the best thing in the whole wide world for me, creatively speaking. Glad your garage sale went well - need to have one here...oye. xoxoxo cindy

Elizabeth Bracco said...

Love, love, love the way all of these turned out. The layers, the details: WONDERFUL! Sometimes I feel like a mad scientist running off to my lab with a hair-brain idea that just might work. ;) Glad I'm not the only one who loves to experiment like that. :) TFS!

Unknown said...

I love these cards and loved reading about your process. I do not have a blog, but make cards for other people (of course), but I too wanted to do something that could just be for me, something I could keep. That is when I started last summer doing "junk journals" and travel journals. I can create, not worry if everything matches or goes together and I can keep it and enjoy it AND document my life in it. It's a win, win for me and something I hope to keep doing forever.

Jennifer said...

Your post has inspired me to create just for the sake of creating! There are so many times that I get stuck on a card or project because I wonder what people will think about it. I need to focus on just creating for my own personal happiness! Thanks as always for the inspiration Mish! -Jennifer

Dionne said...

I love everything you did and now I want to play. I decided at the end of my last DT team that I was done for a while for the same reasons. I felt like the product or even the due date dictated what I was making and I wasn't creating for the fun of it. So for my self I started PL in Jan. and I have done over 28- 12 by 12 layouts to date. Enjoy the creative process:)

Sarah Martina said...

Going through some of these very same thoughts/emotions when crafting recently. I'll admit, it had become difficult to create without having some sort of parameters to operate within.

Feels good to be able to spread your craft wings once in a while though, no? :) Cheers & hugs.

Linda said...

Thanks yet again for heaps more inspiration, you inspired me last night with three cards I made and when I get around to blogging them I will definitely link to you. I loved my kids when they were little (obviously) but if possible I love them more as teens, love the conversations and love just watching them grow into adults.The worry is more I think ie the driving and parties etc but so well worth it.

Tracey said...

Again you have inspired me so a big thank you for that. Its nice to be remembered that we should create for ourselves every now and then and not worry about what others might think. I have a teenager too and I agree, they are nice to have around.
love me :-)

Jennifer Scull said...

I truly love all of the bits and bobs you add to your projects. I find it so inspiring to see everything you make. :)

my sons are all almost out of the teenage years, actually just one left, but we really had fun during that time. they are still a joy to my heart! :)

have a great week!

Krista said...

love how timely this post is for me. i've recently decided to take a break from teaching crafty classes. while it makes me a little sad i'm also relieved and excited to just be able to play again.

WinterBerry Glen said...

Back in February I came to the same conclusion. I was getting burnt out, hated the deadlines, and just didn't feel the same creativity spark anymore. I now like to create things that I get inspiration for whether it be from new purchases, blogs, a color combo I saw at the store... instead of the other way around. It is so much fun. I think that's also why I like PL because it's small little pockets of creativity and can include anything I did or saw or felt instead of having a specific agenda to it.
love, love love all the things you create and I am happy that you are a happy Mishie!!!!

Julie Boeck said...

Michelle your post was so much fun to read! I really could tell you were having fun with your creative process! Your cards were so amazing!

Janet L. said...

This has been one of my favorite blog posts! I love to see your cards, as I'm not a scrapbooker, and letting yourself go free has indeed produced amazing creativity. Thank you!!

Addie said...

Wow, this work is just beautiful! Your style is still you, but there's originality here that I really, really like. I'm not a blogger or professional crafter, but I am trained to appreciate art and creativity. This post provides insight for those of us wondering how commercial work affects the creativity of professional crafters and artists. We wonder, discuss positives and negatives (unfortunately, mostly negatives), and hope that all this talent doesn't get crushed by commerce. You prove that it doesn't. More power to you!

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