I have set myself the goal of offering 365 different projects to help people who claim they are creative make things for themselves, their homes, and for gifts. They vary in materials used and skills required, but all are comparatively simple to create, and hopefully provide a jumping off point for creating something else.
The project published today is a small framed piece of wall art, improbably using paint chip swatches and a paper punch. It requires none of the scarier skills of committing paper or pen to paper, or considering color palettes – beyond picking up a selection of paint chips you like – so seemed a perfect project for this challenge. I wanted to keep the project manageable and replicable by someone who was anxious about their abilities, so beyond having the darker butterflies at the bottom and the lighter ones at the top, and all of them “flying” upwards, there were no complicated design decisions to make.
As is my wont, I had already cut a number of extra butterflies, not sure quite which direction this piece of work would ultimately take. As you can see from the photo below, I had cut some orange and red butterflies, even as I was moving toward the purple paint chips I ultimately used.
The second shadow box I had purchased was larger, 11″ x 17″, so chose to cut a few larger and smaller butterflies, and also extendied the color palette from orange and red to yellow and coral. This was the end result:
I am pleased that with more space to work, more variety in color tones and sizes, I was able to create a more complex piece. I am now torn between adding it to my walls and putting it up for sale…
In talking with my daughter, she felt we needed to create something that built on the success of the coloring books and the popularity of the downloadable greeting cards. Since I am convinced that I can’t draw beyond the level of the average 5 year old, such requests tend to fill me with despair. For a while I have been dabbling with creating doodles and Zentangle designs, which reminded me a great deal of the Italic handwriting and letter based page borders I had used to create in junior school.
The square format of Zentangles is great for cultivating mindfulness, but I found it to be less interesting to me as a design option. Pinterest fortunately helped me find (many) other options. I also realized that there was a vast field of people creating doodle designs, for use as tattoos, freehand quilting, fabric design, and pretty much any other application you can consider!
Then came the problem of where to use my designs since I didn’t want to create only squares. I started a public domain search for line drawings, and since most forms haven’t changed a lot in 100 years, was able to find a quantity of line drawings I could download, adapt, and use. After many happy hours of cleaning up images to remove extraneous lines, dots, and scanned detritus I was left with a number of images I could print and start to doodle in. The subject matter of the forms was very random, but I hope to refine the final designs and have clear categories to use for a book or download.
For now I am scanning the designs I am happiest with, and realizing that if the designs are too intense there is very little white space left for the end user to color. As I am still in the experimental phase I am still refining the doodles I like to create, which designs make for good large area fillers and which work best for smaller, tighter spaces. It is easy to fall into a rut and suddenly two pages are full of just four doodles, hence the Pinterest board to remind me to vary what I do.
Here are some of the first designs I created, and which are ready to scan for use. As you can see the outline forms are very diverse, and some designs are rather more more intricate than others.
The heart design is currently available (as of February 2016) in our Etsy shop as we test the waters to see if this idea is popular with buyers. Check back to see how this project grows and expands!