Adult coloring books and the creativity myth

“I love coloring! The other day, when my niece was over, I started coloring along with her in her coloring book, and I really enjoyed it. I think I’m going to order some adult coloring books soon,” declared a friend recently.

“Adult coloring book? Really?” I asked, somewhat aghast. “Why don’t you try painting instead? Keep it abstract if you like. I can teach you the basics and you’re good to go!”

“No darling, I’m not good at all that.”

There is so much more to creativity than adult coloring books. Explore art journaling with me.

And this, right here, is why I believe adult coloring books have become such a huge fad.

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{A} My adventures with altered books

Those of you who have been here before know that I’m a regular old bookworm. I love reading, I’m passionate about books, and my biggest pet peeve is a badly-edited book. But, what does that have to do with altered books? And, some of you might be wondering, what are altered books anyway?

Well, an altered book is a piece of art created from an existing book that has been transformed by painting, collage, tearing, cutting, or any creative means. Some artists use a theme for their books others don’t bother with themes and some use old books to create art journals. The possibilities are endless.

Watercolors and found poetry

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10 things in 10 mins

In our daily busy lives, as we go about meeting deadlines, keeping the house, looking after husbands, pets and children, it can be easy to forget the one person who needs the most care – you. If you’re bemoaning the lack of time, worry not.

Meditation Begins at Birth

premasagar via Flickr

Here are 10 things you can do for yourself in all of 10 minutes.

1. Meditate – The next time you’re online, download a few meditation podcasts, or check out my Spiritual Sunday posts and choose a piece of meditation music or guided meditation you like. Sync it to your music player (iPod) or phone. Next time you need a break, plug in your headphones and tune in to radio: you.

2. Collect images for an idea file/vision board – Dreaming of a relaxing spa treatment, a beach holiday, or something else? Set aside 10 minutes to scan through old magazines looking for pictures that speak to you. Clip them out and stick them into an envelope. Next time you need a mini break, get the envelope out, bring out a sheet of paper and a glue stick, and stick those images to make a collage of your very own vision board. Put it up where you can see it as you race through your busy day.

3. Breath yoga – Known as Pranayam in Yoga practice, are a set of simple breath exercises you can do in 10 minutes (or less, or more).

4. Listen to music – Music can change your mood – relax you, pep you up, make you dance or cry or fall in love all over again. Better still, if you’re at home faced with an unpleasant task (like cleaning up the house), put on some peppy music, turn up the volume, and dance as your clean!

A Sip of Turkish Coffee

Image by Kuzeytac via Flickr

5. Have a cuppa – A hot cup of tea or coffee, a slice of cake (if you want to be indulgent), quiet time for 10 minutes, and you’ll feel shiny and new. Promise!

6. Mini home facial – Put on some soft music – Chopin, Mozart, anything instrumental. Exfoliate your skin, apply a face mask, put a slice of cucumber over your eyes, and lay down for 5 minutes. Rinse. Apply a face cream. Fresh, smooth skin can make you feel absolutely wonderful!

7. A few quick photos – Take your mind off your to-do list. Grab your camera, yes, even your phone camera will do. Frame and fire off a few shots. Admire your mini creations.

Cover of

Cover of Messages from Your Angels

8. Quick 1-card reading – Get yourself an oracle deck – one of my favorites is Doreen Virtue’s Messages from your Angels. Next time you have 10 minutes, do a quick 1-card reading for yourself. The messages on the card deck are very uplifting, and might just help you shift your focus so you can approach your day from  a calmer place.

9. Read a poem/passage you love – I’ve found that reading a poem can help me shift my mood, no matter what kind of a mood I am in.

1o. Make a 5-min cup cake – click here for the recipe. Then snatch another few minutes to indulge in your guilty treat. If you’re feeling super generous, share it with your significant other! 😉

There you have it! A list of 10 things you can do in 10 minutes to recharge your batteries.

Do you have any favorites of your own? Do share in the comments!

Creative technology

I’ve been checking out the Google Art Project, and it’s been fun! As I was browsing around the website though, I got to thinking about how much technology has evolved.

Remember My Space? It started as a place to hang out and make friends, for artists to get noticed, to upload their music. Then came Facebook, and now My Space is history.

In this constantly evolving technology scene, there’s a lot that’s being done to foster and promote creativity. There are places like Flick and Piccasa where you can share your photography and art work and connect with millions of artists from around the world. Your Flickr stream can work like a catalog for your photography, or you could start up a photo blog to showcase your pictures.

If you’re a musician, there are sites like soundcloud.com where you can upload your music for everyone to hear. If you’d like, you can even allow listeners to download your tracks.

Not to be left behind, even smartphones have some cool apps that allow you to create and share. There’s LaDiDa, a reverse karaoke app for people like me with limited musical abilities. Instead of forcing you to sing a song in a specific key, the app will automatically choose the key and change the chords for you so that all you have to do is sing. Here’s a demo:

Then there are apps like the Pudding Camera, that gives you a combination of different kinds of camera and film and allows you to click some really creative pictures. This picture was clicking using the Fantasy camera and a Noir film. Pretty cool, eh? That’s straight from the camera, absolutely no post processing involved!

flowers_fantasy_noir_pudding_camera

If you’re an artist, there are a ton of applications for you, like Anatomy for Artists: Proportions, which that offers a high-quality reference guide for artist.

There are so many cool innovations and applications that are making it easier and simpler for people to create and share online.

What are some of your favorite places to share your creations, and which are your favorite apps?

You might also like:

It’s magical when technology meets art

Wandering Wednesday #8: Altered books

altered book cover

Image by Bellah via Flickr

While browsing the internet at office one day about 7 years ago, I came across some fantastic altered book artists. A little research and digging around on what altered books are and how to create them threw up one interesting statement for me — when it comes to making altered books, there are no rules! At that time, I didn’t consider myself to be creative…I had repressed those instincts deep inside. But as I went through some altered artists’ websites and read about altered books and how to make them, I was in love!

       

 

– Altered art page from Life 101 by Modern Gypsy. See more pages on Shutterbug.

An altered book is a form of mixed media artwork that changes a book from its original form into a different form, altering its appearance and/or meaning. They may be as simple as adding a drawing or text to a page, or as complex as creating an intricate book sculpture. –  Wikipedia.com 

Sounds interesting? Then why don’t you try making your very own altered art in just 60 minutes!

As you learn more altered book techniques, or how-tos for any other form of collage or paper arts, you might find it helpful to create a techniques book to list out the process and experiment with the technique.

If you need some inspiration for more altered projects, Ink Stain Roni has a fabulous theme list that is sure to get your creative juices flowing.

And if you’re like me, you’ll love the eye candy on these two artists’ websites:

You can also take a peek at some of my altered art book spreads on my photoblog, Shutterbug.

Hope you enjoyed this little altered book tour!

Do you do any paper arts or other art and craft projects?

(Click to read older Wandering Wednesday posts)

My favorite things…

The Sound of Music LP cover.

Image via Wikipedia

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens…

I love that song from Sound of Music! Which is why I decided to name this latest series after that song. I got this idea from Misadventures with Andi, and thought it was an excellent way of keeping track of some of the things I love and sharing them with you!

I was contemplating if I should make this into another of my regular features, but then decided against it. I want this to be a totally fun post, without having to worry about missing out a day, so I’m going to post these whenever I have a few new things to share with all of you.

I was looking for the Now What? magazine this morning, which used to be published by Jessica Wesolek over at crea8it! While browsing through her site, I came across this lovely  luminara. It would look beautiful on my sidetable! The best part? You can make it yourself at home! Click to know how to make a luminara.

I don’t know about you, but I often find myself loathe to throw out wine bottles, hoping I can alter them in some way to use them as showpieces around the house. Don’t these painted, stamped and wired treasure bottles look absolutely divine?

Inspired by all this craftiness, I headed over to Karen’s Whimsy, my favorite altered book artist, to have a look at her beautiful relinquaries. For some reason, this particular relinquary has been one of my favorites since a while.

Well, that’s it for this time! Hope you enjoyed looking at these beauties as much as I did while putting them together!

My secret garden

Today’s Friday Frame is a spread from my Life 101 altered book.

An altered book is a form of mixed media artwork that changes a book from its original form into a different form, altering its appearance and/or meaning. An altered book artist takes a book (old, new, recycled) and cuts, tears, glues, burns, folds, paints, adds to and collages it. The artist may add pockets and niches to hold tags, rocks, ephemera, or other three-dimensional objects. – Wikepedia.com

The spread features a window through which a girl looks out into her garden. The curtains were created by sandwiching some sari fabric between the pages. One part of the left page was ripped to create a “pocket” for the collage elements — bird, flowers and a butterfly. The rest of the page has been layered with paint and rubber stamping, with a dragon fly stitched on with gold thread and sequins.

Click on the picture to see more spreads from this book.

Liked this spread? Let me know through the comments!

If you have any artwork or photography to share, please leave a comment, a link back to your blog and your e-mail address, and I’ll feature it on an upcoming Friday Frame!

Wandering Wednesday # 1: Journaling

One of my early visual journal entries

Most of us have kept a journal or diary at some time or the other (I know I have!) — and our blogs are, in a way, an online extension of our offline diaries. But just as blogs need to be jazzed up with images, so do physical journals. Instead of just pasting stuff in, though, why not get a little creative? Why not keep a visual journal?

Do I hear you asking “What’s that?” At its simplest, it’s a journal that combines words and images to draw out your deepest emotions on paper. Need more information? Check out these resources:

Don’t think a visual journal’s for you? Then why not try a Creative Journal? The Creative Journal Method was developed by Dr. Lucia Capacchione, a registered art therapist and lecturer/workshop leader.

Creative Journaling is a tool for personal growth, health and healing, creativity development, life planning, and career and talent development. Using drawing and doodling; color and images; creative writing and poetry; and written dialogues, you’ll get to know yourself better.

Hope you enjoy these sites. See you on 1st September 2010 with more tidbits from the world wide web!

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Let your senses come alive!

It’s been a while since I put eye to lens and shot an image purposefully. So when I got some lily blooms as part of my birthday bouquet, I thought it was the perfect time to indulge in some photographic therapy!

The colors of the blooms, the perfection of each flower, each petal, each vein, made me want to create a “vision of perfection.” I hope this effort has been successful.

The perfection of nature can be seen in the perfection of a lily...


...the pollen tubes floating above the flower...


...form an elegant foreground to the perfection of the petal...


...the variagated veins of which stand out against its brilliant orange

This post has been inspired by the propmt at Creative Every Day.