I’m excited to kick off my Visual Guide series today! Over the next few weeks I have nine beautiful and uniquely talented artists sharing a visual guide to her favourite way to get creative. No words allowed as answers, just photos and images. If you’d like to go through the Visual Guide archives, they’re all grouped together under Guest Post Loveliness.
Today the ever lovely Reut is sharing her talent for the delicate art of papercutting.
Give us an introduction to papercutting
What are the must have tools to papercutting?
What advice do you have to noobs wanting to start papercutting?
What does your creation station look like?
Are you a messy creator or a clean one?
How do you express yourself through papercutting?
What is your favorite thing that you have made with papercutting?
How has papercutting impacted other creative aspects of your life?
Reut (‘Friendship’ in Hebrew) Dominits (‘Family’ in a German-Hebrew variation) is a 31-year-old paper artist and blogger from Israel. She loves papercutting, pastel colors, woodland creatures and sorbet ice cream and obsessed with paper and symmetry. She has a home-studio, where she creates special gifts, such as customized papercuts and hand-sewn journals. She started “Forest Child” (‘Bat Yaar’) after realizing she loves nature, stationery and papercutting, way too much to keep this love to herself.
Say hello at her website, studio, Etsy shop, English blog, Hebrew blog, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest (and tell her Caylee says hi!)
Hey, I’m Chance and I’m so excited to be here today sharing some of my tips for lettering!
Hand lettering supplies to get started
You only need a few basic supplies to get started. You may find that other supplies work better for you but here’s what I recommend:
- A round brush. Or actually a whole lot of different size and brand brushes. My favourites right now are Winsor and Newton Cotman 111 in size 2 and 4 and Kum memory point in size 1 & 2. You can also use and Aquash brush, these are great as you can fill them with water or ink but they come in just 3 sizes (fine, medium, broad)
- Ink. Be it acrylic, watercolour, India, sumi… As long as it’s liquid it’s good. My go to ink is black India ink. I don’t have a brand preference but I’m currently using Rotring which is great as it’s lightfast, pigmented and permanent. I also like to use Ecoline liquid watercolours, they come in a wide range of colours and work beautifully. Watercolour paints also work however it can be tricky to get them wet enough to write smoothly, my favourites are the Kuretake Gansai Tambi and a cheap Artist’s Loft palette.
- Paper. These things take A LOT of practice so you will need a lot of paper, watercolour paper is expensive and not every letter will work, at first most will probably be fails, so using standard printer paper is what I recommend. Some printer papers take the ink better than others so you may have to shop around before you find one that does what you want. Once you are confident you can move onto your more expensive papers. I like to use Crafter’s Companion Watercolour paper as it is easy for me to source and fairly inexpensive compared to other brands, best of all it is a lovely bright white unlike many of the other brands.
If lettering is something that interests you and you’ve always wanted to do it then the best piece of advice I can give is to just start. I first saw brush lettering when I joined scrapbooking kit club Studio Calico where I discovered letterer Kal Barteski, I was in awe, I had never seen anything like it before and it was one of those ‘I wish I could do that’ moments but I didn’t dare try. That was in 2014. When I think of all the time I wasted not practicing, not even trying, it makes me wish I could give myself this very same advice but I can’t so instead I will give it to you – Don’t waste a second longer dreaming when you could be doing. And no, you probably won’t pick up a brush and be instantly amazing but I promise it is so rewarding when you keep at it and see the improvement that you won’t want to stop. Finding a letterer whose work you admire and trying to emulate it is a great way to start and if you’re wondering what you should letter, there are lots of monthly challenges hosted on Instagram where you can find plenty of inspiration to get you going!
When it comes to practice you really can’t get too much, I strive to practice a little every day but realistically that isn’t always possible and there are some days where I just simply can’t write and I feel like my hands have forgotten everything I’ve taught them. There is no set amount of time you should spend practicing, everyone’s circumstances differ and we don’t always have time for it but it’s so important to be intentional about the time we set aside to work on our goals, we need to show up, work hard and be consistent in order to be successful. Setting aside just 10-20 minutes a day 2-3 times a week for intentional lettering practice is better than doing none at all. Don’t let being busy stop you from working on your goals, make time! Even just short periods of regular practice will help to improve muscle memory and improving muscle memory is so important for lettering. It’s what helps you gain better control over your upstrokes and downstrokes and allows you to become more familiar with the movements so that they become natural and easy.
Left: January 2016 Right: May 2016
I can’t tell people enough that practice is everything. I wouldn’t be where I am if I hadn’t spent as much of my time as I could working on improving my skills. The visible progress I was seeing month after month kept me motivated to keep going and continues to keep me motivated. Progress shots are the BEST confidence boosters! I encourage you to create your own every week or every month so if you ever doubt yourself you can look at those and know you are getting somewhere.
I don’t really have much of a process for creating pieces like this, I just grab a handful of paper, my basic tools and get messy until I figure it out. This often means it takes quite a while before I have something I’m happy with and I could probably speed up the process by using tracing paper but I like my messy, trial and error way of doing it. Figuring out what your process is, is part of the fun!
I have included a free printable of this piece for your personal enjoyment!
So, what are you waiting for? Go get started and I’ll be here cheering you on every step of the way!
Chance is a 22 year old Welsh girl with a passion for creating. She currently spends her creative time filling her Project Life album and handlettering pretty words; it’s a good day when these two things collide. Chance started lettering in January, after far too long she was finally doing not just dreaming and it felt good. Since then she has become really passionate about it and doesn’t plan on stopping.
Say hello on her blog, and Instagram (and tell her Caylee says hi!).
Hey friends, Katie here! I love Caylee’s work so I am definitely glad to be guest posting here on her blog! I wanted to share with you my favorite art supplies to take with me when I am traveling.
Now, I’ve never been good at creating while traveling. In the past, I’ve packed supplies to take with me on trips, but they never leave their bag. I even wrote a blog post about how much I suck at it.
I’ve been trying to change that though, because I love the idea of having a travel journal and creating on the go.
I recently took a 3 week trip to Colorado, brought along my art journal and successfully worked in it! I think that was because I stayed in the same place for 3 weeks, rather than traveling around, you know? I hate getting interrupted when I’m creating. I’m still going to call it a win though!
During my most recent trip I packed a small kit that I could use. It wasn’t a lot of supplies, I wanted to keep it simple (when you decide to hike up a mountain and then sketch, simple is good). That’s not for everyone, I know some people pack basically their whole studio. They rock. I can’t do that, so here are my favorite supplies to take with me:
- Moleskine Watercolor Sketchbook
- Art Journal (usually with pages prepped with gesso)
Tools to Write with:
- Drawing pencils + kneaded rubber eraser
- A black Sharpie
- Tombow Dual Brush Pens
- Fine Point Pens
Tools to Glue with:
Tools to Color with:
- Watercolor pan set by Cotman
- Colored Pencils
- Instax camera
- Extra paint brushes
- Pencil Sharpener
- Ephemera I pick up while traveling.
- Coloring Book (To color in, but I also cut out some of the designs to use in my journal.)
I told you I kept things simple! What I like about simple is that I can quickly put away my supplies and come back to it later, that I don’t mind the risk of getting interrupted.
I highly recommend having a small kit to take with you! I kept all of this in a small-ish sized container that fit in my carry-on.
My style has a very doodle-y look to it, so all I really need to take with me are things to draw with.
I really enjoyed taking my art journal with me on my last trip. There is just something magical about sitting out in nature and journaling out your feelings through art.
What about you? Do you create while you’re traveling or do you really consider it a vacation from everything- including art?
Katie is an artist and crafter. She shares her work on her blog, Punk Projects, which consists of everything from art journals and scrapbook layouts to DIY projects. Katie has been published in multiple magazines including Creating Keepsakes, Stitch Craft Create as well as craft books such as Star Trek Crafts and Craft it Now.
Say hello on her blog, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest (and tell her Caylee says hi!)
Hi there I’m Emily and I’m so excited to be here on Caylee’s gorgeous blog to share a little of my story, the part where I fell in love with art journaling and where that has lead me.
It’s kind of a funny thing to find yourself quite passionate about something that you didn’t even know existed a couple of years ago, but then again that’s how love and life goes isn’t it?
About a year and half ago on my quest to live a more creative and fulfilling life, I stumbled upon art journaling and thought, well that’s something that looks like a lot of fun to do. Starting was really not easy for me. I did a little course over on CreativeBug, I bought some supplies and started playing but it really wasn’t flowing for me. I certainly wasn’t pleased with what I created, but I was still drawn to it. By good fortune (an online creative buddy) I came across Get Messy art journaling and I was intrigued and inspired to join.
With trepidation and the fear of being way out of my league I jumped right in from the very first week. I seriously had no clue what to do or what I was doing but I just knew I wanted to be able to do this thing called art journaling so I kept showing up, reading the prompts and somehow turning them into pages. That wasn’t all I did, I watched what other artists did with the prompts, I learned a whole new set of “skills” and I started to get glimpses of a different way of expressing myself. Somewhere along the way I started being pleased with some of my pages, or pleased with my ideas and happy to have created something at all!
I’m not an artist, but in the last couple of years I’ve come to realize that I am a creative person. Creativity is part of me, a part that didn’t always get much of a say in things but is more than making up for that these days! I think the main reason I adore art journaling is that it is so creative and I can feel myself developing by doing it. It challenges me and through that process of challenge and feeling uncertain but pushing through, I get a sense of achievement and satisfaction.
“The main reason I adore art journaling is that it is so creative and I can feel myself developing by doing it”
WHY ART JOURNALING
With art journaling, anything goes. There are no rules and there are limitless possibilities. This in itself can be overwhelming. Sometimes the overwhelm is too great, I might have an inkling of what I want to express but get frozen in indecision as to where to even begin. I end up cutting out lots of things from magazines or painting backgrounds but not expressing much at all. And you know what, that’s totally ok too!
I love that for me art journaling is my own little space to play and explore, it isn’t about memory keeping for my family or improving my drawing ability, it doesn’t keep the house clean or pay the bills. It’s just time spent being playful and exploratory, time spent discovering what happens if I make this mark or add this colour and this image.
“I love that for me art journaling is my own little space to play and explore”
I actually think that art journaling has improved my confidence in my own creative abilities. It has helped me to connect with other people all over the world and increased my courage to tell my own story. That courage helps me to share my pages on Instagram or my blog,helped me apply for a position on the Get Messy creative team ( Yay – I am on the team), to say yes to the opportunity to write a guest post here and to keep facing the blank pages in my art journal.
“Art journaling has improved my confidence in my own creative abilities”
SO ( THE END )
So I guess the reason I really wanted to share my story here is for all the people who feel that art journaling might be for them, but don’t call themselves artists. If it’s calling to you to give it a try all I can say is … do. You may become more comfortable with facing the blank page, make friends with your art journal or you might even fall a little in love with art journaling.
Emily is relatively new to the land of being creative, but spending as much time there as possible. She loves learning, playing, chatting, walking on the beach ( corny but true) spending time with her family and friends oh and spending time by herself.
Say hello on her blog, and Instagram (and tell her Caylee says hi!)
Style is subjective, in the eye of the beholder, and best of all, if you are truly comfortable in your personal style, it permeates into all aspects of your own creative expression. Hey there, I’m M.E. Ster-Molnar. Say it like “Emmy” and yes, I’ve got style.
Your style shows, whether you like it not. From how you dress, decorate your home, cook, see the world, and especially as an artist. Once you nail it down and run with it, it’s your individual brand that people instantly recognize when they see what you have created. Think of Renoir and his ballet dancers, Lichtenstein’s cartoon-like pixelated pop art, and Matisse’s cutout paper images. Definitely copied, but nobody can replicate them like the originals.
So how do YOU determine your own style?
Here’s how I found mine.
My style goes way back to a series of paintings I did when I was 6 years old. This painting says it best, “I LOVE FLOWERS.”
As a young girl, I would see commercial 7-Up signs inspired by the pop artist, Peter Max. These signs were my version of street art at the time. It was the era of sunshine, flowers and lollipops – the early 70’s. Flower power was still in full swing. Because I loved flowers so much, I would repeat them… painting them over and over again, like the flower prints on the dresses that I was wearing.
Funny thing is that this painting STILL speaks to me, many years later and hangs in my young daughter’s bedroom. It was part of the décor at my clothing boutique and I got many compliments and inquiries about it when I would check people out as they paid. Little did I know that as this image was looking over my shoulder for years, it was lingering, tapping at my conscience to return back to my artistic roots. My style had been there, in that painting, all along.
Sure thing, style is developed by lots of practice, trial and error. It can be affected by current trends, and is ever evolving. But what REALLY makes something your own unique, personal style? It’s when it simply feels good. It feels right. It’s not forced, and it’s not attempting to be put into a specific genre or type. It’s like my flower painting. I still love oversized flowers. My color palette often consists of jewel tones and my art is often filled with positive street art influenced imagery and colorful patterns.
“What makes your own unique, personal style is when it simply feels good.”
So how do you know when your art is your own, that it’s your unique style?
I love to think it in terms of how I dress… You know when you put something on and you feel like the outfit is wearing you? You’re uncomfortable, tugging at the skirt, adjusting the hemline, and feeling out of your own skin all day? Yuck. What about when you take that off, put on something that makes you feel instantly like yourself? Much, much better.
Now apply that to your art.
What feels forced when you do it? Makes your heart hurt? For me, it’s trying to draw exact lines and messing them up. It’s simply not me. In college, I was awful at my graphic design classes. We weren’t using computers to create our projects, but ink pens, rulers, and other precision tools. Ink would splatter, lines were crooked, and I was lucky to pass the class. It wasn’t my style. I was uncomfortable with the tightness and the boundaries given to me.
What are the things that you stop and take photos of that catch your eye? For me, it’s street art, flowers, and textiles… always. I have images from my travels and times spent close to home that always seem to have these themes of color, imperfection, and layers of pattern. I’m happiest when my art incorporates elements of these things.
Street art from Paris, France:
Go back in time.
What did your little kid self create? Most likely, you had few inhibitions. What did you love to draw and paint back then?
A few minutes are all you need. I dedicated this year to doing my art journal practice daily and am always surprised by how my style has evolved and become more and more authentic as the year has progressed.
Use materials that you LOVE.
I’m a sucker for gesso, neon colored paint, magazine pages, and giant paint markers. I feel more comfortable using hardware store brushes to slop it all together than expensive brushes that I’m worried that I will “mess up”.
Experiment with different art materials.
The beauty of art journaling is the freedom in materials you can use. It can be anything…including ephemera you find in your daily life. For me it’s gel pens, watercolor, new paint brushes, and new stencils. It’s a new journal or a vintage book that you alter into your new journal… and so much more.
“The beauty of art journaling is the freedom in materials you can use.”
Experiment with different subject matters.
I have found the easiest way to do this is to come up with a theme… a subject, a feeling, a series of questions, a color, a favorite material. Try it out for a week and see what happens. Your own way of interpreting the subject on hand will evolve and you will hit the “sweet spot” of feeling good in that genre.
Here’s an example: I’ve been doing a series of “Celestial Symbols” for the month of May for my daily art journal habit. I know a little bit about astrology, but not a lot. As I started to work, I felt confined by the rigidity of the symbols and even questioned why I had chosen that subject as my theme for 31 days. But as I did the art journal practice daily, my tight lines used to draw the symbols didn’t feel good, and I reverted back to what I am most comfortable with – a looser style.
Embrace your imperfections.
I’m a messy gal. I’m running with it.
Allow yourself to be a little vulnerable.
In this digital age, it can be with an accountability partner, a fellow artist, a friend, or in my case, sharing daily on Instagram and Snapchat. I have found by posting my images and process daily that I can get a read from my followers on what resonates with them. Ironically, the pieces that I have done that are looser, less forced, and take less time are the most popular. They have color, texture, a sense of movement and whimsy to them. I felt like myself when I was creating the pages, and they have my own signature style. The upside to a daily habit is not getting “stuck” in the art
and moving through it quickly.
Be kind to yourself on your journey.
Beware of self-judgment, your style is uniquely your own. Show it off with pride.
“Beware of self-judgment, your style is uniquely your own. Show it off with pride.”
And most important…
Your evolution of style will constantly be evolving as you grow as an artist, in your own confidence, and in your daily life. Be willing to try new subject matter and new materials, even after you find your unique creative voice.
M.E. Ster-Molnar is a fashion designer and artist who has been on a personal year- long art journey. Her daily habit art journal habit has been essential in this year of transition from living in California and being a full time fashion designer and boutique owner, to artist. She lives in Asheville, North Carolina with her husband, Dave; little girl, Bonnie-Blue; rescue boxer Layla-Rose; and Summer, the sweetest cat ever. #artjournaldujour is the hashtag on Instagram for M.E. Ster-Molnar’s yearlong project.
Say hello on her blog, Snapchat (MEandBlue), Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest (and tell her Caylee says hi!)