Saturday, June 28, 2008

The Artist's Survival Kit

Have you ever had the feeling of walking around with lots of big ideas in your head, but your not really sure how to execute any of them?  You have a fresh stash of vintage ephemera sitting on your desk, taunting you, whispering, "come play with me".  And all comes together. You sit down and spread everything out in front of you and spend two days in a creative frenzy, neglecting all else; children, laundry, dinner, husband.  I love it when this happens.

Let me start at the beginning.  My dear friend Karla was kind enough to gift me with a sack full of paper goods from her mother, Elizabeth. Elizabeth was a school teacher - the bag was full of old Highlights for Children magazines, report cards, little class pictures of unknown children, lessons on animals, volcanos, and constellations - you name it.  I am guessing that all of this was from the late 1950s.  Hence the stash of vintage ephemera that was calling out my name.

Step two.  I had ordered some new books from and just because it looked so interesting, I added Wreck this Journal by Keri Smith to my cart.  I was doing my usual show and tell routine with my friends Marly and Noel, when Noel decided to jump on the computer and google the author.  Keri Smith is an amazing artist.  Her work is whimsical and silly - really fun line drawings combined with collage backgrounds.  She has all these great pdf downloads to play with on her website.  Hence the artist's survival kit.  It is a collection of printable cards that offer hilarious tips, tricks and advice on how to get through those days when you are feeling uninspired, full of self-doubt and wonder if you should have gone to school for accounting rather than try anything artistic.

So it all came together.  The cards became a bound book that I made for my uber talented artist friend, Kelli.  I used all of Elizabeth's goodies to create a collage on the back of each card.  The Highlights magazines were especially good.  There was a column about personal hygiene - how you should be respectful of the children sitting next to you in class by making sure you go to school smelling clean - had to use this one for sure!

Bird reference - hmmm, wonder where that came from?