This is an archived posting from my previous website “Chips Antidotal Wanderings” – a personal blog about family, creative moments, and pain management activities in my life. That blog was active from 2004-2011.

It’s about time I do up some Artistamps again. The swap deadline for the book project I’m participating in is the 10th. I’m getting this one in just barely under the wire.

Here’s the Creative Process.

This go around I worked backwards. Instead of creating my ATC around an Artistamp design, I created my stamp around my ATC project idea. Yeah, I’m a little backwards sometimes. When I started this project I wanted to really stretch myself through something I’ve struggled with for a while. No big issue, just a creative challenge that I keep banging my head up against the wall with.

I’ve been wanting to do a project that includes a Zettiology type feel to it. I’m not one to get carried away with this style. I love the look of it when other artists create in this style. However I rarely am happy with my own outcomes when attempting it. I was determined to work with the fun and comical striped paper-doll leg and arm attachments and a cone shaped hat. I don’t have any Teesha Moore stamps or collage papers. But that didn’t stop me.

I knew that several of my fantasy magazines had striped leggins in them. So I flipped through the pages until I found several different sets that I liked. After scanning photos and tweaking them some here and there I came up with a set of purple striped legs I thought would do. I scanned in a couple of arms and added my own matching stripes to them too.

I wasn’t concerned about the cone hat, as that’s what I intended to put on my stamp. However, in the end I decided against that because each time I shrunk my legs small enough to fit on the ATC along with a body I had drawn… the legs were going to end up too small for my fat fingers to cut out. My patience was running low. So I tossed the full body idea out the window! Instead I decided to go with a headless/armless creature. However, I was shooting for a light hearted feeling not a headless monster type thing. Either would probably fit into the Zettiology style. But personally, I tend to lean towards the funny rather than the creepy.

Searching through my rubber stamps I came across a bodice that I thought would be about the right size for a body. It would also fit the size needed for an Artistamp. Aha! My problem solved…. well not completely. When I design my Artistamps I like them to be PC originals. Something that I’ve drawn or tweaked enough so it becomes an original for me. I could have just stamped it on paper, and used it as a tracing pattern for myself. But by this time my frustration was high and I was getting more nervous about meeting the swap deadline.

So instead I decided to create a PC original background to stamp it on instead. Yeah – it was the easy way out. However, I know myself well enough to admit that if I had done more than that in crunch time I’d give up on my Zettiology goal and just go with a completely different idea. Which is what I was challenging myself NOT to do. Yes — I’m a stubborn ol’ gal even when I’m only dealing with me in my own head.

I created a sheet of stock using the Sharpie marker/alcohol ink technique. I went with bright colors to hopefully give this now headless figure a perkier look. The paper actually has a bit of bumpiness to it, because of the loose fibers left behind from my felt applicator. I really like the texture it left behind.

After making the paper and stamping my image multiple times, all that was left for the Artistamp was to add it to one of my traditional stamp borders. I threw one of those together on the computer real quick and printed out a sheet of them. Cut out my stamped images, pasted them onto the border and whalah! My August Artistamp was born. My husband gave me the funniest look when he saw it… “Underwear?”

After dubbing the Artistamp “Beneath it all” I went to finish my ATC project giggling over his response. I added a strip of green paper with inked edges to a CS background for my ATC base. I had intended to use the legs in their original stance.

But after cutting them out and putting them on the ATC, they just looked too… um… blah (I think that’s the word that best describes the feeling). So instead I cut them apart and placed them in a “funnier” position. Trying once again to add a little whimsy to this project. At last I was FINALLY starting to feel okay with this thing!

With my creative child more relaxed I found it much easier to finish up the ATC’s. I just needed a phrase to add to it and maybe a corner element to balance out the project. The words “be you” kept floating through my head as I waddled my way through this personal challenge. I guess because I was trying to use someone elses art style… but in my own way. The phrase seemed to fit the moment. So I pulled out some letter stamps and had at it. The heart shaped flower in the corner? Well it just happened to be a stamp of the right size still sitting on table waiting for me to put it away. So it became my balancing element without even a pinch of creative thought going into it. Lucky me, it worked.

Here’s the final ATC that will be in the publication:

Larger view available in the at Flickr

Yes, I know it’s weird and little out-there compared to my usual art. But that’s why I was challenging myself. I wanted to force myself out of that mold I seem to be stuck in these days. NOW — I can breath easy. My challenge conquered by creating a Zettiology project that I’m comfortable with AND getting my Artistamp ATC’s accomplished before the deadline. Whew! This was a tough one! In the end I think “she” came out cute instead of creepy. What do you think?

After creating the rest of the ATC’s for the swap, I did up a couple of quick cards using my Artistamp and following the same type LO as my ATC’s. I tend to do matching cards for ATC’s fairly often. It gives me a nice package to wrap them in for delivery.

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~Cindy

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