April 13th, 2014
The giveaway for Joanne Sharpe’s The Art of Whimsical Lettering
was quite fun because I asked for CREATIVE entries.
The most creative entry came from Phoebe from Sweet Skies:
Well… Last week I got a call from my boss (I’m a journalist) who wanted to send me to Africa last minute to do a report on how the global economy and climate change are affecting safaris in southern Africa. So I get to South Africa and immediately started on my safari. The first thing they told me that was due to drought, there are game shortages in the park, so the lions have been pretty aggressive as of late.
After a few days driving around the park, I’ve seen a plethora of animals, but no lions – maybe they were just trying to scare me? So last night we’re are settling down for the night and we hear something large walking around outside our campsite. For over an hour, something just outside our line of sight….
Then all of a sudden a lion comes charging into the camp – straight for me! I freeze up and grab my work bag to protect me (yeah, cuz how is that going to help?). The lion comes running past, and instead of going for me grabs my bag, and disappears into the night. Safe! It is only several hours later, after the adrenalin wears off, that the realization sets in that all of my work is in that bag… And I’ve been here for almost a week.
So why do I need the Art of Whimsical Lettering? Because all I have is loose-leaf paper and an old fashioned fountain pen with which to write my article for the newspaper. And I think the only way my boss will take the story is if it looks REALLY awesome with my new skill of creative lettering.
You said creative – but it didn’t have to be true – enjoy!
So very, very creative, Phoebe. The book is yours!
April 9th, 2014
A gift from a friend in California arrived here in Maryland on this beautiful California dreamin’ kind of day. I’m taking a moment from my busy day to share it with you just because the giver took a moment from her day to send it to me.
After my initial swoon of gratitude for her gift (a petite journal embellished with her divine fiber art) and her gesture, my next impulse was to do the same for someone else. Just because. Because while it’s wonderful to be the recipient of such a gesture, I know deep down, it’s so much more fun to be the instigator and create the experience for someone else.
Thanks, Jane LaFazio.
PS. Even her cards are a work of art. Makes me want to create some cards of my own too. What a creative instigator Jane is!
April 8th, 2014
My friend Joanne Sharp has given us all a gift. There’s no longer a need to study the exacting art of calligraphy to get wonderful, artful lettering into your artwork. The secret is to use and embellish your own handwriting.
The Art of Whimsical Lettering is an artful instruction book about creating stylized fonts and expressive artwork using the reader’s own personal handwriting skills to decorate journals, canvas art or other projects that use text.
I’ve always been a hand-lettering wimp. I want to do it, but it takes me too much time and practice to get the results I want. Joanne has taken the mystery out of the how and tells you how to start with where you are and then add to it. Sometimes the look you want is all in the pen – she’s got you covered on what pen to use for different effects and techniques, along with a plethora of other tips and tricks.
The thing is, Joanne makes it all look so SIMPLE. I like simple. I can do simple. So I’m hanging on to the copy I bought. BUT, Interweave/North Light has given me a copy to GIVE AWAY!
Just leave a comment here telling me why you need this book. I’ll randomly choose the most creative or neediest response that I receive by 10 AM Sunday morning, April 13th. The lucky winner will be noticed via email and here on the blog. Will it be you?
April 4th, 2014
Intentional Printing by Lynn Krawczyk is a must addition to your surface design library. I’ve always admired Lynn for both her can-do attitude and her energizer bunny approach to her art. Lynn produces like a full-time artist yet works full times an engineer. Talk about switching gears!
While I have been doing a variety of surface design on fabric for years, I do not consider myself to be a “serious” surface designer. And guess what, neither does Lynn! Her approach, as described in her book and below, allows for a relaxed and serendipitous approach to surface design. But don’t be fooled. Lynn creates some serious art and she’s someone who should be seriously held in high esteem for her talent. The bottom line is – “Hey, you can do this too!”
I had the chance to interview Lynn in between her bouts of paint flicking and pattern printing. I wanted to know more about the woman behind the
Lynn, When I first heard about your book, I was struck by the idea of intentional printing. For those who have not yet read your book, what do you mean by intentional and how does that differ from, um, unintentional printing or art-making?
Great question! Intentional Printing is about working in cooperation with serendipity. It’s about leaving enough room in your work process for happy accidents or to change directions but having an end goal in mind and working to guide your piece toward it.
It’s about striking a good balance between control and creative flow. Relying on just one or the other can often make it difficult to create work that you really love. So working with intent can help you get to that happy place in your art.
Those who know you know that you are crazy about fabric and surface design (and coffee). You have mentioned many times on your blog and in conversation that you also love to write. Percentage wise, what’s the passion ratio for each and what’s the actual percentage of creative time you spend on each?
I’ve never really thought about this one before! I’d have to say that is probably about 50/50. When I’m working on printing fabric, I need to be in my studio. But writing? I can do that anywhere. All I need is somewhere to park the words so in a lot of ways, it’s more accessible during the busy work week.
Your book, Intentional Printing read more like a conversation than a how-to book. What I particularly liked was that you included things that I often question, but that aren’t covered in many how-to books. For example – drying painted fabric. You should see my in the studio when I’m in a surface design mode – plastic and fabric covered surfaces everywhere. So naturally, I always wonder, “How do the pros do it?” Thanks to you, now I know that the method I devised out of necessity is how you, the pro do it. It’s those little assurances that made this a joy to read. So my question is, Lynn, how do you know what we are thinking?
I installed a nanny cam in your studio. Just kidding! You should see my studio when I’m in a printing marathon. There is fabric hanging from those pants hanger things (the ones with clips on each end) and those are hung from the ceiling fan and closet door and shower curtain rod. And there is fabric trailing all the way down the hallway and on the ironing board. Every surface is a potential drying area.
I think if we all sat down and had a chat, we’d find that we all work similarly in the studio. And it doesn’t really matter if your studio is a lovely 1200 sq ft building or your sofa. There are things that we all do that are the same. It’s one of the unifying elements of artists.
I think it’s really important to take down the idea that professional artists have some magic way of doing things. It’s just not true. And it was important to me when I was writing the book to cover how to accomplish even the mundane things – it all needs doing!
Do you think your engineering background is a help, a hinder or a non-issue when it comes to creating art?
I think it’s helpful for me. I say that because I can often visualize the end product before I even begin working. And then I construct it backwards. It’s a little bizarre sometimes but it works for me.
It also helps me compartmentalize. So I really break down how to get from point A to point B in decisive steps. Oh. And post-it-notes. Life is not complete without post-it-notes.
Art Quilt by Lynn Krawczyk
Of the eight fabric printing techniques in your book, what’s your favorite and why?
I really love Drop Cloth Printing. It’s got an energy that is I think reflects the atmosphere of art making. At least how I feel when I’m working in the studio. It’s kind of boisterous and restrained at the same time. Like it’s excited but it also knows it has a job to do. I like the push and pull it produces.
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever used to print fabric with?
I read a lot about surface design and I continue to be fascinated with the idea of natural printing. One day I got the idea in my head that the berries the little tree outside my back door would be awesome to print with. I gathered up a bunch of them, hauled them up to my studio and laid them out on some white fabric.
They were lovely, all orange and red and brown and I knew they wouldn’t produce the same color when squashed but I figured they’d make something interesting.
So I folded over the fabric and whacked away with a hammer for a while (worked the dog into an absolute barking frenzy) and didn’t realize that while I was doing this, the little buggers were shooting out the open sides of the fabric like ping pong balls.
I spent weeks finding all of them in my studio. The resulting fabric was less than exciting (their juice was pretty much clear) but hey, you just never know until you give it a shot, right? From now on I just admire their little berry selves outside.
What would you tell someone who is drawn to doing something creative, like designing their own fabric, but, in her mind, has never been a creative person?
I’d say this: everyone struggles with self-doubt. I still do, too. It’s one of the cons that come with being an artist. Can’t have the good without the bad.
But every time I hit one of those periods in my art life, the first thing I do is sit back and consider this: what would I be doing if I wasn’t making art? The alternatives never satisfy, they are always lacking.
So that leaves me with having to face my fear or my angst or just simply my bad mood and push it out of the way. Being creative is not for sissies. It’s a lifestyle that requires a lot of self-examination and introspection and a willingness to constantly question yourself. But you always come out stronger in the end.
Banish the idea that you will excel at something the first time you do it. Give yourself the chance to make friends with it and trust me, you’ll find that comfortable place.
Lynn is also one of the founders of The Printed Fabric Bee, an invitational group of 10 surface design artists that I consider myself lucky to be a member of. We share the wealth with monthly fabric swatch giveaways so check it out.
Find Lynn on Facebook, Instagram and on her beautiful new website/blog Smudged Texiles Studio.
Want to continue along on this blog hop? Here’s the places to hop on over to~ (PS, there might even be an Intentional Printing book giveaway on some of them!)
· SueBleiweiss.com 4/1
· Virginia Spiegel.com 4/2
· Twisted Sister 4/2
· Muppin.com 4/3
· Lesley Riley 4/3 (You are here!)
· KristinLaFlamme.com 4/3
· Bloom Bake Create 4/4
· LyricKinard.com 4/4
· JaneLaFazio.com 4/8
· CraftyPod 4/8
· My Clothes Line 4/9
· MelanieTesta.com 4/9
· LeslieTuckerJenison.com 4/11
· Tracy Bunkers.com 4/11
· Smudged Textiles Studios 4/14
· Sew Mama Sew 4/20
· Lisa Call.com Date TK