Bloghop! An insight into how I work

aries poster in progress
Aries zodiac sign collage in progress

Hello petals!

Rather too long ago Wilma from creartfuldodger asked me to be part of a blog hop. The purpose being to link artists of all sorts by sharing their work and a little about their process.   The blog hop consists of telling a bit about the artist who nominated you, answering four questions about yourself and nominating two other artists to carry on the hop.

It was really fun to take part in and made me think about what it is I actually do with my art!

Wilma is a super talented yet down to earth collage and mixed media artist from Vancouver Island.  She uses repurposed, vintage and found objects in her art and has an amazing creative eye.  What I love about her work is that it carries meaning as well as beauty – she doesn’t just use ephemera and old stuff for the sake of it or only because it looks pretty, but uses it to tell a story.  I feel like she is really respectful of the objects she uses, if that doesn’t sound too weird!  I also love the fact that she started on her art journey as a way to help her cope with her sick son who is now fully recovered, hooray!  Check Wilma out here.

Here are my answers:

How does my process work?

I don’t really plan what I’m going to work on (well, not until this year when I’ve started to get more strategic, and make a plan of what and when I intend to create during the year.  This is part of my plan to take myself more seriously as a creator with my own micro business.  Woo!)

I’ve got all my materials nicely organised in my studio so when the mood takes me I’ll sit down at my desk (and sometimes on the floor) and see what I feel like doing.  I’m planning to make this more disciplined as well.  Turn creating into an actual practice – showing up every day and honing my skills regardless of whether or not I actually feel like it!

I start by painting a background – on canvas or card or whatever – with a mix of acrylic paints and gesso.  I then collage a colourful border – which usually involves flowers – from my collection of images I have cut out from vintage and modern magazines, old books, old calendars, printed bits of my artworks, junk mail etc etc.

I then work on the face and body.  I do the faces noticably larger than the bodies for a whimsical feel.  Last is my favourite bit, drawing in wings, hair, ears, hearts and doodles to the creation, and hand lettering a suitable quote or message that I think fits the overall feel of the work.

This year I’m planning to incorporate a version of this ritual before I begin.

Hippyish note:  I’ve noticed I feel like being more creative around the full moon and when it is waning. When the moon is waxing I’m in a more organisational and business-like mode – taking product photos for my Etsy shop, renewing items, writing product descriptions etc.  Yes!  I like the idea of working in tune with nature…

How does my work differ from others in the genre?

The multitude of flowers!

I get inspired by looking at other artists’ work, and try not to compare myself too much as I know what a downward spiral that can lead to…

Everyone has their own style and I think it’s important to keep doing whatever it is you do, your way, experimenting and having fun in order to develop your own thing and make your mark.  I’ve recently come across Marie Forleo (thanks Gina!) and I’ve really taken on board her constant hammering home of how there is only one you with your unique blend of gifts, talents and perspective, and how it is up to us to do something with that.

My art is a mix of collage, mixed media, whimsy, doodle and art journalling.

I make creations that are bright and colourful and uplifting to me personally, and I almost always end up including flowers somehow or another because they are just so pretty!

What am I working on?

This year I want to create mixed media collages for each sign of the zodiac, which I will also turn into prints.  I also want to make a collage for next year’s Chinese animal.

(Quickly scurries on internet to look up which animal that is.  Oooh monkey.  Maybe not, in that case, I don’t really like monkeys.)

Aside from my annual moon calendar I’m also planning to make some sort of hand- drawn calendar as I love combining handwritten words and text information into my collages.

In between that lot I’ll also be working on some customised collages for weddings and birthdays which I really love doing.

Why do I do what I do?

I really enjoy getting lost in the process of making.  I’ve tried meditation countless times as a way of escaping my constant (and exhausting) mental chatter, with less than spectacular results.  I’ve found creating a collage or découpaging a box or heart to be much more effective, with the added bonus that I have something concrete to show at the end of it.

I love collaging in particular because the process gives new existence to things that previously only existed separately.  They come together to form something entirely new, which I find really simple and satisfying.

Unfortunately I couldn´t find anyone interested in continuing the hop, so I’ll link you to a couple of my favourite artists anyway!

Aj’s art journalling – stunning and colourful art. If you are a fan of Teesha Moore then this is for you!

Junquemail Contessa – art journalling and very cool crafts.

Happy Wednesday dear friends!  Hope all is well in your world.

Besos to you,

Jenny xx

PS.  Check out my Etsy shop here.

PPS  Not joined my mailing list yet?  Click here to jump on the rosy train!


Is it a rabbit or hare? Right answer wins the card!

Finished my fifth and final Christmas card yesterday, hooray!

Thanks to getting a babysitter for Jamie for a couple of hours, which I think I’m going to make a regular thing on Fridays.  A treat for me which also sends the message to myself that my work is worth dedicating time to, and can be taken seriously.  I still call it ‘work’ tongue-in-cheek, which shouldn’t be the case, just because it’s fun and I love doing it, doesn’t mean I can’t make a living from creating pretty stuff and selling it now does it!  No sirree!  (ahem)  I wonder why it’s ‘yes’ m’am and ‘no’ sir….by the way?!  Who decided which answer for which gender?  This artic hare card to the first person who gives me the right answer.

Anyway hope you like the artic hare/rabbit card.  You’ll be able to buy packs of 5 Christmas cards now at a bargainous discount, available shortly in the old Etsy shop.  Have a great Saturday!

My card-making process

Hello dear ones!

Well I’ve decided I’m going to set myself the goal of  posting about once a week (a lot of verbs in that sentence aren’t there?)   I think that’s a nice achievable target.   Don’t want to set myself up to fail now!  It’s finding a balance between doable but not losing the momentum and not challenging myself enough with a flimsy goal.   So…at the moment I’m slowly building my website/blog.  I want to make it as creative and beautiful as I can!   As you can see it’s a work in process, but one I’m enjoying doing – fitting it in around being a full time stay-at-home (although I don’t actually stay at home that much he he) mama and doing creative stuff as much as I possibly can.

I’ve been making up an order of greetings cards for a new ludoteka (Children’s play area) that’s just opened up here in Barcelona, La Marelle.  I get the images printed professionally but not the actual cards themselves, so it’s actually quite a lenghthy process.  Here goes!:

First I fold the pre-scored blank cards, then hand stamp the back of the card with a rubber stamp that says ‘ handmade’, usually in pink ink.  Then I rubber stamp another image, a heart, a butterfly or a fan, also on the back of the card, and on the flap of the envelope.  By this time most available flat surfaces of our apartment have been taken up, so I tend to do it at night, away from little curious and sticky fingers.)  I wait for the ink to dry, quite impatiently, during which time I stamp the labels which go on the back of the clear bag that the card is packaged in.  They’re stamped with a little pink heart, then I write my website address in really tiny letters around the heart.  Now the stamped ink should be dry on the cards so  I hand write in my best handwriting my website and Etsy shop address in small letters at the bottom of the back of the card.  Phew!  THEN I apply spray mount to the previously cut out card images (which have been printed at the local copy shop – 2 to 4 images on a normal sheet of A4 paper) and stick them to the front of the card.  Finally I put the cards in their cello bags and stick on the label with my address.  Then I feel pretty pleased with myself!

Probably would be a lot easier to get the whole thing professionally printed n’est-ce pas?  But haven’t found out where I can yet, and this way works for the moment.