Art By Karishma

my adventures in art

8 reasons I’m working in a traveling journal December 12, 2007

Filed under: Art,Journals,Projects — jhukarishma @ 1:30 pm

Someone on one of the groups recently asked why anyone would choose to participate in a traveling journal project since they didn’t get anything to keep at the end of it. Here’s some of the reasons I wanted to do this:

  1. I get to see and touch other artists’ work
  2. My art gets exposed to a wider audience than if I just posted it on this site
  3. It’s posted anonymously so I can get completely honest feedback and critiques
  4. It forces me to be disciplined and complete work by a deadline
  5. It helps build my resume (so to speak) of successful collaborative projects
  6. An established artist gets to know me and my work, which could lead to other projects in the future.
  7. It’s a slightly different form of expression than what I usually do (art journaling vs. altered books) so it’s a creative stretch for me
  8. I get to let go of my art, rather than hoarding it till I no longer know what to do with it.

Yet another countdown –

Filed under: Art — jhukarishma @ 12:54 pm

I found another website that is giving away images counting down to Christmas:

They ask that you link to their site before downloading the images.


Collaborative Journal Project December 11, 2007

Filed under: Art — jhukarishma @ 12:19 pm

Serendipity has an ongoing collaborative journal project.  She mails out a journal to an artist who keeps it for 15 days, and works in it for at least 10 of those days.  He or she then mails it back to Seren, who photographs it, putting the images up on her website, and sends the book on to the next artist on her list.

I signed up for this project a couple of weeks ago, and my book arrived last night.  It looks like I’m the 3rd artist to work in this journal.  The artwork that’s already in there is incredibly lovely-2 very different styles, both wonderful work .

I’ve been part of the altered art world for a while now, but this is my first chance to see someone else’s book art in person. If you think pictures posted online are beautiful, seeing and touching the actual art will take your breath away.

I was so motivated holding this book in my hands and seeing what was already in it, I got tons of ideas for what I could do in it.  I had to force myself to take the disciplined approach and only do one spread today.  I might go ahead and do a couple of backgrounds in advance just because I’m itching to do more.

I’m going to be photographing the art I make in this book, but I’m going to hold off on publishing those images here.  I like the idea of having them up on Seren’s blog anonymously for a while to see what kind of response they get.

I’ll probably be blogging about this a lot over the next 2 weeks.


More Goodies – Photoshop Brushes from Average American Girl December 7, 2007

Filed under: Art — jhukarishma @ 2:15 pm

Looks like today is the day for Christmas presents from our fellow artists.  Christy at Average American Girl is giving away brushes she’s created to use in Photoshop.  (I don’t use Photoshop much, but for those who do, this is a great resource.)

These are covered by the Creative Commons License – use them in your own art,  but you can’t repackage or resell the brushes themselves.

Here’s the link:

Again, I’d love to see the art you create using these tools.


Christmas Countdown @ Ten Two Studios

Filed under: Art — jhukarishma @ 2:06 pm

Lisa Vollrath at Ten Two Studios is giving away printable goodies on her site in exchange for a link.  I’ve participated in some of her countdowns before, and the images are always beautiful.  There’s also always a variety, so there’s something to appeal regardless of your aesthetic.

Here’s the link:

Enjoy! (And do share pictures of what you create with what you download)


Why Alter Books?

Filed under: Art — jhukarishma @ 2:16 am

Someone on one of our groups asked this question recently. To paraphrase them: Why not just create art in a blank new book; why use an existing pre-printed book?

It’s a question that comes up fairly often. None of my close friends are into art at all, so I’ve had all too often the experience of telling someone about my work to be greeted with the look of horror and the gasped, “You did what to a book?”

I certainly understand the sentiment behind the question. There is definitely something taboo and a little shocking about the idea of altering (some might even say desecrating) a book.

It’s not the medium for everyone. Many people absolutely cannot get past the idea that they are destroying something valuable, even if it is to create something else that is valuable in its own right.

There are many other ways to showcase creativity that don’t involve starting with an existing book. And there are many book artists out there that make their own blank books to showcase their art in.

Still, asking an altered book artist, “Why not just use a blank book?” seems to me like asking a rubberstamper, “Why not just draw all your images?” It comes down to whether we’re focusing on the medium or the message in our work.

Some artists can communicate their message in any medium; their creativity allows them to explore the boundaries of many different types of work. If Picasso were alive today, would he still be working in oils, or would he perhaps be making collages in Photoshop?

On the other hand, some artists depend on the medium, using the limitations and the possibilities of it to create something unique and beautiful. Think of Shakespeare’s sonnets – would he have been as renowned had he been writing free verse?

Starting with a printed book allows an artist opportunities that a blank book, even a beautifully handmade blank book, simply does not afford – opportunities to interact with the original text, to engage (in a way) with the original author in something of a collaborative effort, even to incorporate the input of previous owners of the book who may have left their own marks in it.

No one is forced to be an altered book artist, but that is a choice for the individual artist to make. This is a legitimate medium, and it is a different one from art created in blank books. Both are equally valid and valuable expressions of creativity and many artists engage in both.

Why such a passionate defense of altered books? Because I can honestly say that this form of art helped transform my life.



My First ATC December 3, 2007

Filed under: Art,ATCs,Challenges — jhukarishma @ 5:10 pm

There’s lots of things I love about ATCs:

  • they’re small and quick
  • you can make a one-off or a series
  • it’s a great way to try out new techniques
  • there’s no restrictions on what you’re allowed to do
  • there are no expectations on what the finished product is supposed to look like
  • you can use the finished product as part of a larger project

So it’s not surprising that one of the first things I did with my new paper trimmer was to cut up a sheet of cardstock into ATC blanks. (I used Lisa Vollrath’s tutorial on how to get 10 ATCs from one sheet of cardstock – you have to register on her site to read the article, but it’s free and well worth it.)

It’s also no surprise that when I saw the guidelines for this week’s Created By Hand Tuesday challenge, I knew I was going to make an ATC. The challenge is to make Christmas themed art using the colors burgundy and vintage browns.

I love the idea of using non-traditional Christmas colors. I think the muted look of the vintage colors is a wonderful way to evoke the spirit of the season.

Christmas ATC

My ATC was fairly simple to make. I reached for my stock of coffee-stained paper and found some text that contained words like “love,” “divine,” and “miracle” that seemed appropriate for the project. I cut out 1/2″X1/2″ squares around those words .

I then cut out squares from burgundy cardstock just slightly larger and 3/4″X3/4″ squares from coffee-stained text . I used a craft punch to make small stars from the cardstock. I made 3 layered squares – text, burgundy cardstock, text, star. I then laid them down at an angle along one side of the ATC.

I cut out a 3/4″X2 1/2″ rectangle from another text page to place along the right side of the card. I then layered a slightly smaller burgundy cardstock rectangle and a smaller blank coffee-stained paper rectangle on top of that. I used a brown marker to write the words “Christmas joy” on the inner rectangle.

I used a felt-tip marker to draw a frame around the outside 1/4″ edge of the card, and then used a fine-tip marker to draw fine lines along the outside of the right and bottom lines of the border. I really like the look this gave the card – I think it makes it look somewhat like gift wrap.

I’m really happy with what my finished card ended up looking like. I think it really comes across conveying Christmas even though I don’t use any of the traditional celebration elements in it.

I think my first ATC was a smashing success and I’m looking forward to making many more.