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Thursday, July 16, 2009

Postcards and knowing how to manage your creative flow.

I really like making postcards. I find them wonderful little samples and ways to stay in contact with friends and family members.

Pulling together art work for a show can wear one down and the spirit of the creation can also be watered down in the process. Postcards and 8x11 size pieces help me keep my creativity flowing and the excitement high while I work.

I perfer when possible to create a number of works based on what is going on in my life then submitting the work if it fits the call. That is not always possible so I figured out how to work the opposite way. And I figured out that some of my UFOs would make wonderful small works of art.
There was a call for postcards and I worked on quite a few with different fronts but the theme was the same. I wanted to share pics of my ancestors, actually I have grand children so these women are their Great Great Great grandmother and GGG aunt. Three of this Great Grandmother's children went to Tuskegee Institute it was called in those days and they graduated and were very successful in their professional lives.
The most interesting part of that project was that no matter how hard I tried each one was different. I just could not make 20 identical cards. I kept thinking oh this one should have both the Tuskegee Institute picture and the family elders. Or an African Figure or some kente cloth.

The pictures of my Great Grand mother and Great Aunt along with different small figurines was repeated but the layout and colors chosen for the cards were slightly different each time. Oddly enough I knew in advance who the cards would go to but that did not influence my decision when it came time to mail the out.
In fact I made all the cards and put them face down and just addressed and wrote the information with out a clue who would get which card. I found that the be the fairest way to distrubute the cards, after all I do have my favorites, both cards and quilters.

I know we should not have favorites but for me the pieces are like small children. I give each card a lot of attention, and lots of thought, and lots of hand holding, smoothing the fabrics, searching for just the right small slivers of fabric and threads and word for the back.
When all is said and done I get to send out small wonderful works and my quilting friends return the favor. I get a boost in terms of creativity as I usually try a new or different way of using a technique. It could be something as simple as the stablizer or the bonding method. Or I try working with a fabric that is not cotton and may give me trouble if I don't experiment with sewing or applying it first.
Try a few postcards and take pictures of them for your journals. You can start in your (UFO's)The Unfinished Objects/projects...you know the one's you will never finish. I have found lots of ways to turn those unfinished projects into starting places for small works of art. Or you can sketch the ideas out, just toss a number of fabrics, threads, and stiffners...which could be postcards you receive that are ads... and go to work! It is stimulating, relaxing, and for me it is a way to keep the creativing flowing and 'completing' something meaningful on a regular basis.
Life goes on and small wonders find their way into my mail box, out to others, or on to a place of honor on a larger quilt, LOL. Have a wonderful day and remember to smile someone just might need to see it.

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