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!


100 things to do in 2015! (Okay, 21)

gift basket ribbon dusk crop

Hello chickedy chickpea chickens!

What do you think of my little gift basket that was auctioned for charity by the Barcelona Women’s Network?  I might start selling gift baskets in my shop, I think they look quite sweet.

So, all set with the resolutions?

Inspired by Leonie Dawson (that woman is a true goddess genius) I present to you my random list of things to do in 2015.  I’ve been making these lists for about 3 years now, and when I’m not feeling too overwhelmed, they seem to work!

This year I’m going to post my list up on the pinboard above my desk so I can see it every day and remind myself of stuff I would like to do this year (is that weird? Do I really need reminding of things I myself want to do?)

Well actually yes I think so!  It’s helpful to see something physically, especially if you are a visual person, and I believe the list will act as an aid to planning and organising my life and scheduling stuff on my calendar (a resolution in itself that I’m determined to carry out).

I’m the sort of person that panics about making sure I maximise the use of my free time, trying to ensure (manically) my time is used in the best possible way.  Ah, how very relaxing!  What a completely first world problem to have.  Anyway, we’ll see how this goes….

Things to do in 2015

(in Leonie’s workbooks she suggests writing 100 things, but I’ve found that to be a touch too overwhelming)

1.  Get a new computer.

2.  Make yoga a regular practice.  (Do you know doyogawithme?  Amazing free online classes!  Thanks Cath for the tipoff!)

3.  Continue to shun normal high street shops when buying clothes.  Second hand, charity shops, Etsy or small cool shops selling clothes handmade in Barcelona is the way to go for me.  (Read To Die For.  This book prompted my decision)  Still need to solve where to get underwear from though!  Any ideas?

4.  Write my journal regularly, at least 3 times a week.  Cheaper than therapy and probably just as effective.

5.  Continue with therapy.  Ha ha!

6.  Drink hot water and lemon first thing in the morning.  (That old chestnut has been on my list a few year’s running.  Starts off well then always seems to peter out…

7.  Create 12 collages.

8.  Give Poppy and Jamie regular massages (just did a wee course and ’twas so simple and lovely!)

9.  Take myself out of the equation and stop shouting when Jamie is playing up.

10.  Start a proper bookkeeping system for This Rosy Life.

11.  Start selling wholesale on Etsy.

12.  Read Show you work.

13.  Do Poppy’s baby book.

14.  Practise Whimsical Lettering exercises.

15.  Get on Instagram

16.  Delve about in Pinterest a bit more.

17.  Watch Mayi Carles videos on Youtube.  I love her!

18.  Use my lovely Parker pen and not balk at 5 euro ink refills every couple of weeks.  It’s in keeping with the idea of using beautiful quality things as everyday objects instead of saving them for ‘best’ or keeping them hidden unused and unloved in a drawer.

19.  See Sophie and have ninja productivity dates with her.

20.  Do ‘blog hop’ blog post.

21.  Buy myself some flowers.  (Already done this one, hooray!)

I love how I’m posting this in February.  I started writing it in January though, so it doesn’t count.

Big creative love,

Jenny xx

PS.  Check out my Etsy shop here.

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