Text generated via the Cross Stitch Writing Tool at http://www.stitchpoint.com/
I am brainstorming text ideas for a craftivist project for the Textile Design class I am taking at the University of British Columbia. I gave a presentation on craftivism a couple of weeks ago for one of my other assignments. The thing is, I’ve been wanting to get into street art but haven’t quite done it yet. Perhaps this will change…and perhaps my first street art project will be through the craft medium.
So I’m wondering, how do you feel about the minimum wage? What comes to mind, what feelings emerge? This is something that I am dealing with as I look for work, have been looking for work for over a year now. What does it mean to accept a job at minimum wage (which right now here in BC is $10.25 per hour)? Saskatchewan has the lowest at $9.50 and Nunavut the highest at $11 (rest of Canada).
What are we saying about ourselves if we accept these jobs and how are employers thinking of us when they offer us minimum wage? What about when we feel we have no choice? How does that impact your well-being?
I am thinking of cross-stitching a large message on the topic and attaching it to a prominent fence in my neighbourhood. I’d like for people to think about this issue a bit as they walk by the stitched work. I am sure the visual will make people look and then I hope they will reflect. People who see the message might be minimum wage earners, high wage earners, business owners, policy makers, etc.
So, how would you finish the sentence “Minimum wage …”?
Some days are very fluid, creativity just pours out, the brain churns, churns, and churns out images, ideas, colours, words…and other days there’s absolutely nothing. I mean what happened, it’s just suddenly all gone! Ahhhh!!! (a scream of horror).
Truth be told I don’t really like surfing the net much for ideas. But sometimes well, sometimes, it’s OK. There’s stuff out there that might just get you going again. Sometimes, you need just one tiny little thing, a technique that just gets going and you forget about the stare of the blank page.
Anyway, I found a couple of good videos on the Michaels website.
This one by Pam Carriker called Visual Journalism 101. She shares quite a few techniques to achieve a visually complex and interesting journal page. You might just see one technique there that you want to incorporate in your journals or mail art.
Also, take a look at this one by Kathy Kromer (whom I had the pleasure to meet at Michaels 2012 Blogger Event), it’s called Mixed Media Background Technique. It is amazing how quickly she creates a background. The key is to give some thought to the materials you’ll need and have them really handy for that spontaneous grab.
Journal Page January 29 2013, watercolour pencils, Golden Fluid Acrylics, collage
On the page above I decided to play with watercolour pencils on wet Golden fluid acrylics. The pencil lines will look more saturated than if you were using regular colour pencils. I don’t use these two mediums often.
Playing with new materials and techniques is just one way to respond to a blank page!
Hmm, don’t know why but I prefer to say ‘habit’ instead of ‘ritual.’ Perhaps ‘ritual’ sounds too spiritual, in fact did you notice that ‘ritual’ is part of ‘spiritual’? Habit sounds like a cigarette habit, a coke habit…it could have more negative connotations but is sounds stronger. Like a caffeine habit. It’s a habit, I can’t quit! Could be a good thing. Especially if we’re talking about pairing habits.
Word preference aside, I like Lori Koop’s idea of setting a word for the year instead of resolutions. I haven’t done resolutions in a long time.
For the past few years, I’ve been writing down my highlights of the year. I did this because I easily forget what I have accomplished and I feel I should relax on the whole ‘accomplishing’ thing. So now I am adding a word for the year. My word for 2013 is CLARITY.
Need lots of it.
This is what my word looks like.
I am happy to say I have kept up my timed 5-minute practice experiment that I started a couple of weeks ago. It feels pretty good doing this quick practice so I am committing to more of it… maybe for a year, maybe less. I’m not good with super long plans/commitments, I mean who knows what other interesting things might catch my attention.
By doing this timed practice, I am realizing that if I were to continue for a year, I’d end up with 365 ‘sketches.’ These could be inspiration for other work—a personal visual resource.
As I do them, I get more ideas on how to do them. For example, the past week I focused on pattern. The week before on text.
Tomorrow, Tuesday, January 1st 2013 I am starting a new week for this timed practice for which now I have a dedicated sketchbook.
Last week I also tried to continue with the slow art experiment but with no success, so I’ll have to try again. The problem was simply that I did not like what I was creating.
The past week I focused on pattern with a bit of collage. I incorporated the inspiration for the pattern within the drawing wherever I could. Most of the patterns were inspired by the inside design of security envelopes.
Thursday – inspired by British designer Orla Kiely. You can just see her book at the back of the photo.
Saturday – inspired by pattern of a business card by mikind, a ceramic studio from Medicine Hat.
Do you practice your craft? How do you practice?
This slow art experiment was again inspired by The Collage Workbook by Randel Plowman. He suggests in his book to work on a creative piece for one week by adding only one element each day.
I decided to try this on a wood block that I had worked on but didn’t like. Here’s how it went:
Day 1/Monday – Thought about what to work on, how to get started. Decided to rework a previously worked on wood block. (no pic)
Day 2/Tuesday – covered up most of the block with gesso, leaving the only part I knew I wanted to keep and work with—a vintage U.S.A. stamp
Day 3/Wednesday – what’s the topic? happened to see a newspaper clip with the word ‘war’ while I was doing my 5-minute collage earlier in the day. Decided to use it.
Day 4/Thursday - what else goes with war? wanted a graphic to use as an image transfer. Went to Randel Plowman’s Imagery resource page to see if I could get some inspiration. The bull’s eye graphic caught my attention and fit in with the war concept.
Day 5/Friday — the space felt unfocused, so I layed down pattern paper to break it up and make it easier to work with; it also added a bit of colour
Day 6/Saturday - wanted to add an image but not an illustration; again went to The Collage Workbook imagery resource page which led me to a US government page with royalty free images and found this image of F-86 fighter planes from the 1950s. I decided to obscure the word ‘war’ as I felt it was too obvious. Wondering where this is going. What do I want to say?
Day 7/Sunday – I liked how all the elements were coming together. I felt I needed to fill in the space on the top right. I envisioned text but what? I had recently watched an episode from the American show Homeland and the words Allah Oakbar (God is great/God is greatest) stuck in my mind. I was walking around the house saying Allah Oakbar and using my throat to give the ‘k’ a harsh sound and then I was savoring the sound of As-salamu alaykum & wa alayk salam (the response). As-salamu alaykum literally means ‘Peace be upon you’ but is considered the equivalent of ‘hello’ in English. The response means the same but is conjugated appropriately to gender and plurality. I’ve always liked Arabic! I lived in Lybia for about a month when I was about 13. I like the look of the script and the contrast of the Arabic meaning within the rest of the piece.
Neither for nor against. Just a compilation of images of what we see and hear around us of what is now and has been for such a long time.
I liked working this way. The piece was always in the back of my mind contemplating possibilities. At this point, I’m going to look at it for a little while longer to decide if it’s finished. The piece is 6 by 6 inches.
November was all about finishing projects for the Textile Design course I am taking at the University of British Columbia. This course will pick up again in January. It’s lots of fun. One of the new techniques for me in the course was silk painting. You can see some silk stretched over a frame below. We used a wax resist (prevent the paint to spread to parts of the design) to draw out our design and then we started painting. I haven’t finished mine yet. I often take pictures in class–it’s great to be able to do this. Here’s a mosaic collage from my Instagram photos for the month.
I’ll be the artist in the window Saturday, October 13 from 1 to 4pm at Bird on a Wire.
I’ll be working on collage pocket mirrors. If you’ve been thinking of taking the workshop on November 25th, this is a good opportunity to come and learn about the process. Workshop info is here.
Also, a selection of my fabric and collage pocket mirrors are now available at Bird on a Wire.
Detail from one of my pages ©Laura Bucci
In the Summer issue of Art Journaling magazine that I posted about a few days ago, the artists in the magazine were asked this question:
Do you know what you will write when you start a page, or does the art dictate what you write?
It’s interesting to read the artists’ answers and then to answer the question myself. I found many similarities between them and me. Here’s my answer.
There’s always some text in my art journal pages. I keep a box of strips of text that I’ve used in the past or wrote up but didn’t use. Sometimes I’ll draw a strip from this box and use it to help me get into the next journal page. I say ‘get into’ because I don’t always end up including the text in the finished pages. I often though just start with a background and look through my stash of collage, stencils, etc, and plunge into the page that way. On occasion I do a bit of writing on the page, stuff I want to get off my chest but then I’ll often obscure it with gesso, paint, etc. What’s important is the process. I don’t necessarily want to go back in a year and re-read the text. I keep a lined journal just for writing–I use one of my screenprinted journals that I sell! I write in this lined journal whenever I have the need. So in a way for me writing a full page or more and art journaling are two separate activities that don’t intermingle. Each outlet satisfies a different need. The text that I often include in my art journal pages and that is visible is usually only sentences or phrases.
Art journal page in progress ©Laura Bucci
Yes, they did! The Michaels people at the recent Michaels Blogger Event all introduced me as the artist!
She’s an artist! She’s the only artist here!
Sweet music to my ears. I’ve never heard myself be referred to and be acknowledged as an artist so much! It was darn good to hear! You know it’s taken me a long, long, time before I would honestly believe and feel I was an artist?
In the past five years, up until the end of 2011, I was calling myself a designer-maker. I designed and made products. Pretty straight forward. In 2011 I was realizing that I no longer enjoyed the production aspect of what I was doing and also most importantly it was a business that clearly was not financially sustaining. So I threw in the towel in–as they say! And I’m glad I did. I still enjoy making things but of course it’s so different when you’re not thinking about selling and living off what you enjoy doing.
I’m excited about the new path I set myself onto at the beginning of this year. I am an artist, doing artist things and planning artist things! It’s really pretty exciting. Liberating actually. My professional email signature now says “Mixed-media Artist”! Before I’d only list my name, website and phone number! Not anymore.
What do you call yourself and how long did it take you to acknowledge it? Maybe it’s time for a change.