Monday, April 25, 2005

The Gremlin of Doubt

Today tastes like salt, chili powder, and aspartame. At least it's food this time.

I've been in a tailspin lately (no kidding, Spike? REALLY??) and it's impacting the creative process. As I mentioned before, I'm very very new to flat art, and I feel like when I go into the paper studio where I also park my car without turning on the light in the kitchen. I'm flailing wildly for the pull string that I know is here somewhere, and at this point in the highly personal movie that is my life, I hear the Carmina Burana (yes, the O Fortuna section with all the sopranos) strike up in classic horror-flick fashion and during periods like this I can almost feel the hand of the Nameless Shambling Horror reach out to put the string in my hand so I can hit the lights and gaze into its slavering maw. (You thought its Maw was bad, did you see its Paw? [rim shot])

So anyway.

Have been wrestling with shaker ATC's. I got two to work well, and then all the rest have been exploding in little beady glitterbombs as soon as I touch them. The acetate is really really slick so the glue doesn't want to adhere. The poor stuff can;t get a foothold. I wound up pulling the batch of 12 apart (and pulling them apart is perfectly apt--it was like shelling boiled shrimp.) and trying again, cutting down the acetate to the bare minimum to fill the window, using lots of Elmer's to hold the foam spacer bits, and using gluesticks on the acetate. That seems to help a bunch. Now I just need the Patience Fairy to stop by (NOW! NOW NOW NOW!!) so I can do one step on one card at a time without going visibly greyer.

Top it off with the topic of the week on the ATC lists being "I got cards I don't like." When you engage in trades with random folks, you get . . . random stuff. Sometimes it will be to your tastes, sometimes it will be well-crafted, and sometimes it will be a smiley face sticker on a torn bit of manila cardstock. If you are unwilling to take the chance that one of your eight hour masterpieces will be traded for a clipping from a magazine--then don't do it! Save your bestest for trades where you can see what you're going to get.

I see a lot of the vintage stuff, and I see the things with wings, and most all of it looks alike to me. People frequent the same stores (both B&M and online) and buy the same products, and while they use them in slightly different ways, the point of a rubber stamp is that each impression by the same stamp looks . . . the same. Perfect when it's an edition, fine for a series where the backgrounds and hand-coloring ring some small changes, not so good when three dozen artists' work starts to become interchangeable.

Those of you who've been here a while know that my ATC's are like my writing (is like my knitting--see a trend here?) and do not look like anyone else's. (This may not necessarily be a Good Thing.) So threads like this are apt to get under my skin, and whistle up the Gremlin of Doubt in a hurry. (It's like the sound of a can opener to a cat--means there might be some good eats here; so hurry over and see.)

Bleah. If I were happier with my sketching abilities, I'd know just what to do. It's bad when the cure for the blues makes you even bluer. So instead, I strted pushing shakers even further. I came up with one where there's an acetate window in the front and in the back so you can see through the card, and I filled part of the void with beads. Maybe I'll do a series of them--or maybe I'll just keep this one in the notebook, and take it out and gloat over it in the middle of the night.


Shelly said...

Shaker ATCs:

Have you thought about sewing the two halves together, instead of gluing them? If you use foam as a spacer, that should make the sewn seams tight enough to keep the itty bits contained.


I've received some real doozies in swaps. I try to be philosophical about it. I'm learning all about the world of stickers and stamps and kits (oh my) and the recipients of my work are exposed to something a little more original.

And, if all else fails, the sticker and stamp "art" makes great glue book fodder. I'll probably go to Art Hell for it, but I'm not above recycling other people's uglies. I look at it as a rescue mission.

(I have *no* idea how I stumbled across your blog, but I've enjoyed reading it. Thank you!)

Spike said...

Heh. I like that -- "Art Hell." I'll be down there with ya, sistah.

Personally I'd PREFER that soemone recycled a card of mine that didn't work, either by incorporating it into their own. like you're doing, or by doing sonething else to it, like a jam.

Oooh. I'm in a themed swap of the 7 deadlies--now you've got me thinking about the 9 circles of Art Hell. (chuckles evilly, rubbing hands together)