Saturday, December 31, 2005

How do you stay creative while traveling?

Any time I’m away from the studio for more than a few days, I loose my momentum on projects. It becomes very frustrating. The solution when I’m at home is to try to make art for at least an hour most days of the week. This Christmas, when we went to visit my family, I brought a large envelope of collage materials, some blank postcards, scissors and archival glue sticks. I was hoping to at least keep that inspired feeling over the holiday. There was an added bonus, my niece likes to do art projects. She is talented and I like to encourage her interest in art.

I was able to get in a little time making collages and talking to my niece about her art projects. My goal was to have about 10 postcards that I could mail to friends instead of Christmas cards. I came home with seven and made a few more today in the studio.

I had an hour to pack some art supplies before we left, so I grabbed some interesting papers, scraps from the drawers of collage materials and some blue wrapping paper with silver stars. I tossed the other supplies into a little box. My postcards are 4.25 x 6 inches, the standard postcard size. I should have planned better and bought postcard stamps before leaving.

I usually start collages with a painted background. Since I didn’t want to take paints I had to either use the creamy white background of the postcard, or layer on papers. You can see I mostly layered the papers. I tried to work quickly and make intuitive decisions.

Musical postcard
I love the relationship between the music and the scientific image. This card was boring until I added the thin strip of red wrapping paper at the left.

Plane flies into target postcard
I found lots of interesting stuff in the local newspaper. These comic characters remind me of family gatherings.

Father Christmas and stamps postcard
This is one of my favorites, it's very pretty and I finally found a use for that old Father Christmas.

Wish you a happy new year
This one is a failure. I'll keep it around. It seems to need something, maybe it's just unbalanced. If something doesn't look right I play around until I like it better. Maybe eventually something will come to me. If you have an idea for how to fix this one, I'm all ears.

The final result: I did keep some kind of "flow" going over the holiday. I feel eager to get back to work on my current book project. Next time I travel I'll bring colored pencils plus the other stuff. I didn't need half the paper I brought. I could have used the newspaper and discarded magazines from my sister's recycling bin.


Anonymous said...

Hi Judith,

I love your cards! Your images are so quirky and imaginative. Mostly my imagination makes pictures of what will happen when my plane goes down!
Actually, I find it's easier to be creative while traveling than when staying home. There are so many repetitive, yet time-consuming chores to do at home! And work, of course, gets in the way. ;-) I carry a small sketchbook, watercolors, pencils, and a couple of those brushes with water in the handle in my purse at all times. It's not great art, but sure passes the time in airports!

Anonymous said...

We were the lucky recipients of the comic card and the Father Christmas card. They are so lovely!!! Aaron loved the Norwegian stamps placed near Father Christmas. Jim and I enjoyed the cast of family characters congregating during the holidays. They look quite a lot like my family!
Thank you, Judy, for sharing your wonderful art with us and, of course, your precious friendship!!