Digital Art

New Tool in the ol’ Tool Box – Procreate!

Recently, Joe and I switched our Internet/Phone provider from AT&T to Verizon. Not only do we have true 5G service on the phones, better phone service in general, and a smaller monthly bill, Verizon gave us rebate/gift cards for the iPhones we already owned (3), which added up to enough for a new iPad Air 4. Joe arranged the whole transfer, and the phone bill is one of his bills, so I thought he was going to keep the iPad for himself, which I was all for, by the way. I was perfectly satisfied with my old iPad Air 2. But, when the new iPad Air arrived, Joe decided to gift it to me, and he took my old iPad, because he uses his Surface Pro for everything I use an iPad for. I was surprised, and so happy – because now I could invest in an Apple Pencil, and go down that digital dark hole called Procreate.

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A Digi Something

So, as you know, I’ve been doing my Project Life digitally.  I decided to go this way after attempting to make a mini-scrapbook of our trip to NYC.  While I liked the actual process of constructing the mini-book, I hated hated hated with a passion gluing the photos in, and embelishing the pages.  The stack of paper, stickers, ribbons, ephemera, stuff was just completely overwhelming.  And, I’m a messy person – so for me to say a mess was overwhelming, trust me – it was just untenable.  So much so that I haven’t even been able to bring myself to finish it, or even touch an art supply since I started playing with Photoshop, and my very simple grid layouts.  That’s not to say I never will – of course I will!  But, I needed to step away from the craft table before it swallowed me up, and barfed me up in the form of gesso and glue.  

For Digital Project Life, you really don’t NEED too many digital supplies.  Some grid templates, and digital “paper,” and some Photoshop skills you’re good to go.  But, of course I’m not going to do anything with the bare minimum – I’m going to research, stare endlessly at Pinterest and other Digital Project Life projects, analyze what products they’re using, go to those digital stores, marvel at all of the digital supplies that are out there, and rethink my pronouncement that Digital Project Life would be cheaper than paper Project Life.  Last weekend was Digital Scrapbook Day, and every online scrap store had something going on – sales, freebies, contests, forum chatter.  The only thing I actually bought was a new set of grids, but I did collect alot of freebies, and I spent a lot of time in the galleries looking how people used these fabulously enticing digital supplies.  So, I have these full freebie kits, along with the seven kits a month I get with my Daily Digi subscription, and I really have very little use for most of the stuff in them.  I use the paper, the word art, the frames, and a random embelishment here and there.  And that was making me kind of sad – because the kits are really cool.  But, I was back to my starting conundrum – I just don’t get traditional scrapbooking, and traditional scrapbook layouts.  I don’t understand embelishing my photos – digital or paperwise.  I do understand storytelling – but that’s why I like Project Life – it’s more of an annotated journal.  So, what’s a girl to do – I love playing with Photoshop – all of it – creating layers, blending layers, learning new tricks – but I have no desire to have albums of digital scrapbook pages beyond Project Life, or whatever grid system it evolves into.  

So, this is my solution – I’m just going to play.  Play with the things I have – maybe it’s something like scrapbooking, maybe its more like digital art journaling, maybe it’s a combination.  And this is what I made tonight –

 

I decided to start with my vintage suitcase series photos.  Why?  Because when I photographed this little series of still lifes, I had a story in mind – of packing for a trip, of excitment – I saw maybe a train, or perhaps a luxury liner.  Words like “embarking,” and “adventure” came to mind when I carefully set the shoes in the bag, and then when I took the last shot – standing by the bag, perhaps waiting to get on that train.  So, since the series was supposed to be a story, I thought of this is a safe place to start – safe meaning in my comfort zone to a certain extent.  I then picked one of the five non-grid templates I have – 

As you can see, this is from Simply Tiffany Studios at Design House Digital.  For Digital Scrapbook Day, Design House Digital had a blog hop.  On each blog, you collected a letter to spell out a coupon code, and on some blogs, there were additional free downloads.  I don’t remember if template was in the actual kit that you got for free at the end of the hop, or something that was on Simply Tiffany’s blog – but in any event, it was a freebie on DSD.  As you can see, the template was just a starting point.  Along with my photos, I used papers from Jodie Lee’s Home Sewn Paper Set, which was a $1 Wednesday special at Jessica Sprague, along with the emblishments that go with it, some crochet and button elements from Studio Blagovesta’s Coffee with a Friend kit, which was free when she opened her shop at Scrapbookgraphics, some taped frames from Katie Pertiet at Designer Digitals, that came in a kit I got from a $10 class at Big Picture classes, a blue frame from Mye de Leon’s La Boehme, which was part of the Digi Files this month, a Carina Gardner Photocut frame, also a $1 Wednesday deal on Jessica Sprague, Tangie Baxter gesso splatters and a word brush, a doily and a mist doily from Design House Digital’s DSD kit, This is Why, an alphabet from mommyish, at Oscraps DSD kit, Comfort (this kit, by the way, was the biggest pain in the butt to get – Oscraps had a scavenger hunt through it’s store, and when you found a clue, you were able to download a piece of the kit.  On one hand, this was good, because I never would have gone page by page through every designer’s store, on the other hand, it was bad – because I had to go page by page through the designer’s store – oh, look at that – I want that – that would be cool – but I restrained myself),  and some scribbles from Dawn By Designs Digi File kit this month.  And, I think that’s it – all 43 layers of it.

And what am I going to do with it?  Nothing.  It’s done.  In a digital folder it goes.  Maybe if I end up with a large collection of random pages, I’ll consolidate them into an ebook, something I can look at on the ipad, but I can never image printing it.  What for?  Maybe if i had written an entire little short story for the journaling, but I didn’t.  But, I did enjoy playing with Photoshop, putting the pieces together like it was a puzzle.  It’s like why I like to draw/paint faces – it’s all a big puzzle.  I think my desire to create digital stuff is somewhere between scrapbooking and digital art journaling.  On one hand, I really like using my own photographs, which really isn’t a part of art journaling exactly.  On the other hand, again – I just don’t get slapping down a photo of my puppy, and embelishing it with ribbons and doilies, and journaling cards with stories about her first steps down the staircase.  That’s one little entry in Project Life – not a whole crazy 12 x 12 page.   And with straight up art journaling – well, what do you do with the pages when they’re done?  Is it about process or product?  

I don’t know – I’m going to keep playing, and see what comes of it.  Maybe it’ll become something like a digital illustrated journal.  I don’t know.

And, as you know, I’m a online class junkie – but I’m also confused about where I should go with this.  There are a lot of digital scrapbooking classes out there – but is that what I really want to do?  I want to learn Photoshop tips and tricks, but do I want to learn the principles of scrapbook layout and design?  Tangie Baxter has some mixed medial Photoshop classes she just put in her store – maybe that’s the way I want to go.  And, I really need to learn how to organize my supplies better – but do I really want to take a class in that – because of course there are organizing digital supply classes.  When I was just going to do Digital Project Life it made sense to break the kits up, and put them in folders – Embelishment, Papers, Word Art, etc., but now that I’m accumulating tons of stuff, it’s hard to remember what was in what kit, and who to give credit to, because if I’m going to post my stuff on the blog, I’m going to at least try to credit the right people.  And my folders are getting larger and larger to scroll through – I can’t imagine what will happen if I actually start buying kits as well.  It will be chaos.

So, that’s my blah blah blah tonight.

Who knows what path I’ll be on tomorrow.

 

 

Freebie ATC Beach Backgrounds

In this period of frugalness, I’ve been scouring the internet for freebies and bargains (like you don’t know . . .).  So, to give a little back, I’m giving away two collage sheets of ATC Beach Backgrounds.  If you scroll down a few posts, you’ll see how I used them.  Feel free to use them in your art, or whatever – well, not whatever whatever – you shouldn’t use them to make your own collage sheets for sale or anything like that – but, as my dad would say, use them in good health.  If you do make something with them, let me know – I’d love to see it!

 

Make sure you download them from Box.net as opposed to just right clicking on the images – these jpegs were optimized for the web, the ones on Box.net are 300 dpi and suitable for printing.

And, another bit of swappage – a postcard I made for my Facebook group – I decided to go neat and nice, not messy, and go digital:

This was made from Tumble Fish Studio’s new collection, Nitty Gritty II on Deviant Scrap.  Did I mention Deviant Scrap is having a sale – all new kits are 20%, everything else in the store is 40%.  I think the sale ends on the 6th.  And, aside from the sale, every month Deviant Scrap publishes a free e-zine, The Deviant Muse, usually with some digital goodies included.  This month the newsletter is awesome – lots of free stuff in celebration of their birthday.  They’re also having games and such over on their forums, one of which is to turn yourself into a Zetti.  Now, since I didn’t play by the rules (you weren’t supposed to make a background), I’m not playing along, but it was too much fun to pass up giving it a go – so here is Zetti Wendy –

How sweet is little Lemon’s face in the background?

 

Digi Art Envelope

So, I think I’ve mentioned that I’ve been intrigued with Digital Art, and Tangie Baxter‘s Art Journal Caravan – which, when we sell the house, I plan to hop on.  But, until then, everything in the store is just a tad expensive compared to Deviant Scrap (although, when you join the Caravan, you get discounts on each weekly add on pack).  So, in an effort to satisfy my curiousity, and see if I have a knack for digital art at all, after getting paid yesterday, I splurged $12 and bought this (from Crowabout StudioB) and this (from Crowabout and Tumble Fish) plus an add-on kit from Deviant Scrap.  Once I had all of the digital papers, and the pieces, and the bit and bops, I thought, huh – and I mulled it over.  On one hand its kind of fun, fitting all of the pieces together into a nifty digital collage.  On the other hand, there’s something about this format that feels less like my art than say a paper collage.  But, that aside, it was fun.  And, here’s what I made, for an Swap-Bot envelope swap –

  

So, this is about 15 or 16 Photoshop layers, and at one point, I had so much stuff going on – birds, and cut-out newspaper stars, and balloons, and all kinds of other crap, that I was up to 30 or so layers.  I don’t know why, but I deleted them all and just went with something clean.  The problem is that because of the issue that a stamp actually has to go on the envelope, I don’t feel like the piece is very balanced.  But, it’s fun.  The back of the envelope is the same funky paper, with a funky From and another mailing label for my return address.  By the time I did the back, I had already fought with my printer for a half hour (the printer won), and I really didn’t have the energy to cut and paste any more.

What’s the problem with the printer, you sympathetically ask?  Well, for one, it will only print envelopes with a white border – and I wanted my half stars to be the border.  And, two, it won’t center the image.  Bummer.  So, when I gave up trying to change what could not be changed, I ended up stamping around the white border with Stazon ink, and adding some distress ink – no more white, and it makes it less computery, and more personal.  So, I ended up liking it- however, I didn’t take a photo, oh well.

So, looking at it now, I’m seeing other things I could have done with the pieces in my digital stash.  

I’ll save my ideas for next time, this one is already in the post!

Hope everyone had a great weekend!