Category: Published Articles

Read about my readers’ visual journal, art, lessons, and crafty creations!

Guest Post: How Can Labeley Bring Out the Artist in You?

People have been expressing themselves ever since the dawn of humanity. From the first guttural sounds, songs, dances and sign language, to paintings on caves, people always had the need to express their inner selves and connect with others through some sort of art.

It’s true that not everyone can be a great artist that will be remembered for centuries. But with some creativity, passion and wonderful tech tools that are getting more advanced and easier to use each day, many people can enjoy the process of creation and feel pride in their artwork.

One such tool that can bring the artist in you is Labeley. This free online app is officially a label maker, but you can create all sorts of designs using its free shape templates, graphics, background patterns and text options. It also has an “upload” feature, which means that you can upload any image you want from your computer to make your design unique.

Here’s a short tutorial that will prepare you for getting started with Labeley.

Go to the tool and click on the Start Designing button. You’ll see four category options: General, Kids, Wine, Beer. Though the design elements are currently grouped into these particular categories, you can use them to create any other type of label, note, and more.

Let’s go with wine labels, simply because the graphics for that category are quite pretty. On the left you’ll see a range of shapes, so choose one.wine-shape

Then go to Borders and Backgrounds to choose additional design elements. Note that you can choose any color you want for your background.

border-background

The next step is to include the  main graphic. You can do that either by clicking on the Upload option and uploading an image from your computer, or you can click on the Graphic tab and choose from Labeley’s illustrations. Let’s take a look at some of the offer:

illustrations

You can add as many illustrations as you want on your label.

Finally, write out the text. It can be funny, romantic, or simply practical. First click on the Text option, then on the Create Text that will appear as a green button, and then choose your desired font and write out your words in the “Enter text here” field.

4

You can play with text options – reposition and resize your words, change their color, change the font, make them bold or italic, etc.

When you’re happy with your artwork, just save the design in Labeley, or if you don’t want to create an account, simply make a screenshot of it and save it as PNG file on your computer.

final-label

You can print out your labels, share them on social media, send them to your special someone as an attachment via email or phone…

You can also enter Labeley’s summer giveaway for a chance to win 30 professionally printed labels that you created yourself using Labeley. Just go to their Facebook page here, and follow the easy instructions:

https://www.facebook.com/labeleyapp

Good luck!

Thanks for taking the time to check out my latest guest post from Labeley. Help spread the word by sharing on your social network site of choice. Don’t forget to enter their giveaway to win your own labels! Thanks for stopping by!

[subscribe2]

Mixed Media Vs. Multimedia : Making A Distinction by Alison Lansky

 

 

There are so many different styles of art that it is easy to get some of them confused with others, especially if they have similar names. One area where there seems to be a great deal of confusion is in distinguishing between mixed media art and multimedia art. They do sound similar and it is common for people to assume that these terms both refer to the same type of artwork. However, there are some very clear distinctions that set these apart. When you understand these distinctions it becomes clear that the two are actually very different!

What Is Mixed Media Art?

Mixed media art is a type of visual art which incorporates various different types of art media. For example, a canvas which combines paint, ink and collage techniques could be considered to be mixed media artwork. Similarly, a sculpture constructed from clay with other materials embedded would also be considered mixed media. In short, mixed media is artwork which uses more than one medium in its creation. The image below shows Kyle Boganwright’s ‘Whale’ which is a good example of mixed media art as it incorporates pen, ink and watercolor paint in its composition. If you are looking for more examples of mixed media art, then you can look out for books about the topic. There is a great selection available from www.jacksonsart.com including ‘Exhibition 36: A Gallery of Mixed Media Inspiration’ by Susan Tuttle which is a personal favorite of mine.

4317292826_f2c2688703_z

What Is Multimedia Art?

On the other hand, multimedia artwork covers a far broader spectrum. Often the term relates to art installations which combine both audio and visual components. This might include merging drama, dance, film, graphics, music and even interactive elements.

Often multimedia art galleries will display artwork with lighting and sound incorporated in the display to give viewers the complete multi-sensory effect.

2897028170_407f7b2824_b

Key Differences Between Mixed Media & Multimedia

In order to separate these two postmodern art forms, the key difference is that mixed media art covers all forms of visual art (sculpture, painting, drawing etc.) which incorporates two or more mediums. This is often done by layering materials to create more interesting textures. However, multimedia not only incorporates these visual arts, but also additional audio visual elements and also other arts such as literature, drama and dance. Multimedia is by its very definition the broader of the two while mixed media art has more limitation.

Examples of Mixed Media Art

Once you understand what mixed media art actually is you may start to notice many different examples of it in everyday life. Like all art, it is all about freedom to express yourself so examples of mixed media art are varied. Some of the common examples that you may have noticed include some greeting cards which are often created using scrapbooking techniques where the main painted or drawn image is embellished with other materials such as glitter, ribbons and other types of decoration.

Another popular form of mixed media artwork is the artist trading card (ATC). These small 2.5 inch by 3.5 inch cards art not exclusively mixed media, but it is a popular technique which many artists use to create tiny pieces of art which are swapped or traded with other artists.

In conclusion, the easiest way to tell the difference between mixed media and multimedia is to keep in mind that mixed media art will combine two or more forms of visual art whereas multimedia art will combine visual art with audio visual elements and even elements of other art forms includings literature, drama and dance.

 

–Alison Lansky is a mother of two great kids and loves to blog on a variety of topics which catch her interest including art, parenting and family.

A big thank you to Alison for sending me this interesting and informative article. I would also like to extend a big thank you to you, for checking out my blog. Help me spread the word by sharing it with others, thanks for stopping by!

[subscribe2]

“Whale” image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/kylebgalleries/4317292826/in/photolist-7zvfKd-bfZGXM-9A258y

Multimedia image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/jeremyschulz/2897028170

Guest Post: A Fresh Approach to Art Commissions By Simone Collins

artcorgi_text1000px

I’m very excited to have Simone Collins write about her and her fiance’s recent art project, a website built specifically for finding and selling commissioned artwork, called ArtCorgi. As an artist, and wannabe working artist, I truly appreciate their effort to bring fine art and non-massed produced work back to the forefront. As nice as it is to have “art” readily available at cheap prices in the Home Goods and Ikeas of the world, I think it is more interesting and fulfilling to have your own personalized work of art hanging on your wall.

As I explored ArtCorgi for the first time I was very drawn to the clean, fun, and easy to navigate style of the website. Simone and Malcolm obviously took the time to carefully layout their site before launching it, which is much appreciated when it seems the internet is overrun with non-functioning websites. As I clicked through I was quickly able to discover information about artwork that appealed to me, contact information, and even an artist submission form. I love their corgi theme, which gives it a playful vibe, after all art should be fun!

The only complaint I have is a somewhat unfair one. While I love the artwork they already have available for commission orders, it is overwhelmingly comic book and fantasy style. There are some wonderful realistic landscape and portrait options available, they are just currently in the minority. I am fully confident as their website grows their selection of artistic styles will grow along with it. I’m looking forward to following their art commission initiative and seeing how it takes off in the future!

popart1000pxIf you have walked through an art museum, studied history, or admired famous paintings and sculptures, you have come across commissioned art. For thousands of years, people have commissioned original works from talented and creative artists to affirm their influence, solidify their reputations, flaunt their good taste, and perpetuate their favorite styles and concepts.

I think it’s an incredibly fun concept- one that is under-utilized today. During the Italian Renaissance, the Medicis had themselves painted into religious scenes. Why should we not have fun by having ourselves depicted in our favorite television books’, shows’ and movies’ styles?

My fiancé Malcolm Collins actually did something along those lines when he proposed to me this past summer. Knowing that I love art (especially online pop art and fan art), he commissioned 21 pieces of art depicting us in some of our favorite shows’, movies’, and games’ artistic styles and posted the art on reddit for me to discover- much to my surprise and delight! Here, for example, is a commission he made of us in Adventure Time style.

Adventure Time Commission by Amy Liu

Illustration by Amy Liu

Malcolm’s proposal ended up going viral inspiring us to explore the idea of making it easier for other people to commission art from up-and-coming artists. Because artists and friends we spoke with about the idea really loved it, we decided to act on our idea and create a marketplace, which we named ArtCorgi (the thinking being that our cute corgi mascot could act as a friendly go-between introducing everyday patrons to cool online artists).

ArtCorgi Screenshot

ArtCorgi features styles of art you can commission alongside up-front prices, set turnaround times, and clear samples. These features spare you from intimidating negotiations and give you very good idea of what you’ll be getting from an artist (even though your work will be entirely original).

ArtCorgi launches today. We can’t wait to see how people begin to use it. Our dream is to see everyday people (rather than large corporations and incredibly wealthy patrons) shape the art worldfineart300px and build their legacies through commissioned art. But hey- we’d also be thrilled to see art commissions become the new “it” gift- something that is utterly unique, super personalized, and highly visible (especially if used as a Facebook cover photo or mobile phone or computer wallpaper).

Most importantly, we want people to feel like they can reach out to their favorite online artists personally, support them in a creative way, and assume an active- rather than passive- role in the online art world even if they don’t create art themselves. With up-front prices, clear terms, and clear processes, we hope ArtCorgi can make reaching out to and working with artists far less intimidating and far more convenient.

Though we’re really keen on making art commissions accessible to people who have budgets like we do, we’re also adamant about making sure artists are paid fairly for their work. Many professional designers, painters, and illustrators struggle when selling work online as many sites have devolved into bargain basement marketplaces where recreational artists sell work at unsustainable prices. By asking artists to set minimum price points, then setting prices at or above those levels, we’ve made a concerted effort with ArtCorgi to ensure that commission prices are sustainable.

If you’re an artist and interested in offering commissions through our site, we would love to hear from you! Check out our artist page and consider filling out an application. I have had a blast getting to know the artists who have joined our network thus far, and would love to get to know you, too.

corgibody_brush1000px

Thanks for taking the time to check out my blog and the new art commission website, ArtCorgi. Help spread the word about my blog and ArtCorgi by liking, tweeting, sharing,  e-mailing, and subscribing! We couldn’t do it without your help. Thanks for stopping by!

[subscribe2]

Guest Post by Alicia Lawrence: Five Creative DIY Christmas Cards

If you want your Christmas cards to stand out from the rest and reflect your own personal style, consider making your own. Believe it or not, it’s easy to do and is a great project for the family to work on together. Here are five easy ideas for fun and festive homemade Christmas cards. Gather your tribe and give one a try!

Send a Carol

Have any old Christmas music books? Put it to good use by creating this vintage styled card. Cut out a section of the music to fit onto white cardstock. If you want to be fancy, add a red cardstock in back of the sheet music. Use a cute stamp, like a Christmas tree, and attach a simple message on the front like “Christmas Greetings.”

vintage music

Handprint Santa

Here’s a great one for kids. Be sure to lay down plenty of newspaper to protect your work surface! Cut Santa hat shapes out of red craft paper and use glue sticks to attach to each card. Glue googly eyes about one finger’s width below each hat. Using white tempera paint, have your child stamp handprint beards on each Santa. Use fingertips and various colors to add a black mouth, pink cheeks and perhaps some white trim for the hat. Don’t forget the red nose!

e910dffd3756502c9fb665aad67793fc

Rosemary Wreath

Begin with blank greeting cards in the color of your choice. Icy blue or pure white looks good with this idea. Take sprigs of rosemary and form them into circles, then secure with red ribbon or yarn. Use a dot of hot glue to secure it to the inside of your card. Not only will you have a beautiful creation, it will also have a wonderful Christmas scent your recipients will love!

rosemary wreath

O Christmas Tree

Use wavy or zig-zag craft scissors to cut strips of different green patterned scrapbook paper. Use different shades to give your tree more visual interest. Use regular scissors to cut a tree trunk out of brown scrapbook paper. Glue onto red card stock, forming a tree shape. Start at the bottom of your tree and work your way up. The green strips should be wider at the bottom, narrowing at the top into a triangular tree. Top with a gold star sticker.

DIY-Christmas-card-green-ribbon-trees

Perfect Presents

Here’s a great way to use up scraps of wrapping paper. Cut them into present shapes or ornaments and use a glue stick to attach to card stock. Try mixing and matching various colors, patterns and sizes for unique and festive combinations. Use a gel pen or marker to draw the strings or red bows on top the presents. Write your greeting on the face of the card. Voila! Your Christmas cards are wrapped up.

Easy-DIY-Holiday-Crafts-Parcels-with-Tiny-Red-Bows-Click-pic-for-25-Handmade-Christmas-Cards-Ideas-for-Kids

Creating handmade Christmas greetings is a fun and creative project that does not take a lot of time or effort to do. Try the ideas offered here, or be inspired by ideas at Better Homes & Gardens or at Martha Stewart. You’ll be proud of your creations and your recipients will love them. Who knows? They could be kept for years to come and inspire others to use their imagination as well.

Guest Post: How to Make Custom Wine Bottle Labels by Ruth Hinds

Having your own wine bottle labels at your wedding is a great way to add a personal touch without breaking the bank. Coupled with this, they can be fairly easy to make once you know what you’re doing! A little bit of creativity and some simple equipment is all you need.

Let’s take a look at the steps you need to follow to create your very own wine bottle labels for your wedding drinks.

Untitled 2

Image source: http://farm5.staticflickr.com/4147/4970571214_674bccfd97.jpg

1. Remove the existing labels from your wine bottles

First of all, take the existing labels off your purchased wine. One of the benefits of doing this is that no one will know if you haven’t spent a fortune on your drinks! Only the hardcore wine drinkers will realise, so it’s easy to get away with saving yourself some cash.

To remove the labels, fill a bath with warm water and leave the bottles to soak for at least half an hour. After this time, it will be fairly easy to scrape off the labels with a spatula. If there’s any remaining residue from the glue, use a gentle soap to remove it.

2. Design and create your new labels

The design of your new labels is only limited by your imagination, and you may already have some ideas in mind for your bottles. You may want to include a drawing, a picture, or maybe just keep things understated with a pretty font displaying the couple’s names. If you’re struggling, look in magazines or online for some inspiration.

Use scrapbook paper, and print your design directly onto it from your computer. You can use special design software if you want to create something fancy, though Microsoft Word or Publisher will often suffice. Once printed, carefully cut out the individual labels. You may want to use special scissors to create pretty edges.

Untitled

Image source: http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6100/6307381575_53a50930ae.jpg

3. Attach your new labels to the bottles

Next, simply attach your labels with a strong glue. It can take a little time to get them straight, so it’s worth having a few spares to practice on! The end result will look just as professional as anything you could buy in the shops.

4. Place your bottles on the tables for your big day

The next step is the fun part – serving your wine and showing off your creations! Even if you’re serving budget drinks, when you place your bottles alongside some decent wine glasses, it will create a feeling of style and luxury.

As you can see, it really is easy to make your own wine bottle labels for your wedding. Within just a few hours, you could have created your very own special twist to add personality to your big event.

Are you looking for ways to add a touch of individuality to your wedding day? Will you be trying your own wine bottle labels?

This article was brought to you by Ruth Hinds on behalf of Gurasu. Gurasu sells fine glassware products, including crystal, for the more discerning customer.