Thursday, May 3, 2012

Creative Chemistry 101 Tags part 1

The following post is brought to you by Tim Holtz and Creative Chemistry 101.  No... not really.  This post is only MY opinions, but I love Tim, so my opinions about his work are pretty much all exuberantly positive.  That said, it should be no surprise that I enjoyed his first ever online class, Creative Chemistry 101.    


I take a lot of online art classes.    Why you ask?  1. They fit my schedule. I don't have to worry about child care and if I am not feeling so well for a few days…no harm done.  2. We don't  get many big-name artists/crafters in Michigan.  We no longer have a local scrapbook store anywhere near me (strike 1) and our stamping store is small and not equipped to handle large classes (strike 2).  Oh….and it's Michigan…the economy sucks (strike 3).  One of my favorite stores in Ann Arbor, Found, has hosted some amazing artists but unfortunately, they tend to be during the week and I can't make it on school nights.   3. I love the variety of classes from the variety of artists offered online.  I've taken mixed media from Christy Tomlinson, Claudine Hellmuth, and Margie Romney-Aslett; scrapbooking from Heidi Swapp, Nic Howard; hybrid crafting with Heidi Swapp and  Jessica Sprague; soldiering from Sally Jean Alexander; and stamping from Tim Holtz.

The biggest downfall of online art classes?  In a traditional art class the teacher walks around with her hands behind her back, glass sliding down her nose so she has to peek over the top of the frame as she walks toward you.  She glances at your work and says things like "hmmm", "oh", and "tsk".  In this arrangement, the work of critique is all up to the teacher; the teacher has to walk around and offer his or her opinion.  You do nothing more than sit on your booty and create.  For an online class the effort pendulum swings wayyyyy back toward you.  You have to get the project done ASAP….like as in RIGHT NOW.   Then you have to catch the correct sunlight,  get the  real camera (no iPhone shots here), take the photos, upload them to your computer, edit the photos, change the size to a web appropriate size AND finally upload to the correct gallery. That is only if you DON"T watermark your pics.  Whew…I am exhausted.  I avoid the whole thing by not completing my projects on time.  Problem solved.

The other thing I miss is the human interaction with the….humans.  Online art does get lonely; there is nobody to excitedly show your work when it really looks amazing.  You can't borrow a perfect image or tool from the artist sitting next to you.  If you are stumped, there is no teacher to encourage you to keep going.  Geez, I'm beginning to wonder why I bother to take online art classes.  What a waste!  What a sad, lonely, exhausting waste.

Oh wait, there can be human interaction after all.  I forgot that there is often a forum for students.  You can head there to read all the complaints from the neurotic students who are mad that the teacher used 5 different colors of ink and didn't list that on the technique sheet.  WHAT COLORS DID HE USE?  WHAT ORDER?  HE ATTACHED A TRINKET PIN TO HIS TAG.  HE DIDN'T TELL US WE NEEDED TRINKET PINS!!!!  WAS TRINKET PIN ON THE SUPPLY LIST?

This is also the place that other neurotic students (or maybe the same ones) get into a heated discussion on washing stamps.  True story.   I know this because Tim mentioned  this in one of his videos (he was taping them 1 day head of release).   It would seem that he doesn't wash his stamps (me neither) and apparently people got pretty worked up over this.   I read a thread once between women who actually bleach and/or used other crazy products to get every tiny bit of color OFF their stamps.  Out, Out damn spot!  Seriously folks?  You have nothing better to do?  I find it odd behavior but what I really find odd is that they would get all worked up about what Tim does to Tim's stamps.  I don't care if he steps on them, puts them in a wine bath or uses new ones each time.  They are his stamps….HIS….not yours….HIS.

The other issue Tim mentioned got a lot of stampers all heated was regarding what direction to store one's ink pads.  Tim mentioned that he was taught to store them upside-down but there is NO science to this at all.  I will say that I was taught to put all dye ink pads upside down.  I learned this from Stampin' Up 13 years ago.   In fact, about 10 years ago, Stampin'Up re-designed their pads to automatically store the pad upside-down.  They tooted their own horn regarding this "ground-breaking" and innovative design.  They were going to save us all from Rightside-Up Ink Syndrome.  Now I hear this all bunk?  What?  What evidence do we have that this is not true?

  •   According to Tim Holtz, Creative Director Ranger INK and originator of Distress Ink, Distress Stain, Distress Markers…yeah, that Tim Holtz, it doesn't matter one way or another which way you store ink pads. 
  • Stampin'Up and their innovative cutting edge packaging are the ONLY company who ever adopted any packaging that made storing ink upside easy. Nobody else followed…hmmmm….
  • I didn't do much stamping for the last 10 years - and when I did I used Distress Inks- which means didn't use my Stampin' Up colors much if at all (I mostly have the OLD regular packages) so my colors were stored right-side up and….you guess it, they still work fine. 
Even though it would seem that it doesn't matter what way to store ink pads apparently there was a heated discussion on the forum.  In the end it must be said that we are all adults and if you want to clean your stamps or store your pads upside down then go ahead.  You don't need anyone's permission but don't feel like you have to convince everyone else in the world to join you. Some of us are very happy with black stamps and right-side up ink.

If for some reason you are still interested in an online class, Creative Chemistry 101 is still available here.  The class is now self-paced which means you don't need to worry about the gallery- no teacher will look at your work anyway.  For $35 you get all the downloads and life-time video access.  Each of the 10 days comes with downloads and 2 or 3 videos.  Can't decide?  Read on my friend…. I will be showing you what I made….act excited….tell me it is the greatest piece of work you have ever seen…..tell me I am so clever.  Please…there isn't anybody here to see it and I didn't get my projects done early enough to post them in the gallery for Tim to see. 

I've mentioned Creative Chemistry 101 as I have posted some of the cards that were inspired by the class projects. I haven't however, posted the class projects.  I am not done with the class yet- Chase's illness slowed me down but I did get back to it today. 
I am super addicted  to this bending and water flick technique. I love how it looks and frankly I just keep making tags like this and stacking them to the side. Don't know what to do with them but I love making them. 
Blended Distress/Spritz & Flick Technique
I am LOVVVVIIINNNG this textured background.  This background is so simple to do yet has so much impact.  Why have I not tried this technique before?  
Stamping with Reflections Technique
This tag is a little bastardized.  It was supposed to be used with a texture plate that had a flat spot for the rubber stamping to be added but I didn't have one so I first turned a texture plate inside out and did the "reflections" stamping of the words then ran it though again with the texture.  Meh…it is ok.  ***UPDATE I just received a texture fade that is perfect for this technique so I will redo this tag.
Archival Resist Technique
Alcohol Ink Agates Technique
This tag needs something. I love it so much but it needs something….but I love it so much.
Wrinkle-Free Distress Technique
This tag was literally a throw-a-way before I pulled a desperate move with the vintage book paper that ended up being awesome.
I am in love with this technique as well.  I never used my Distress Inks directly on a stamp by just tapping it over and over, not really controlling where the ink ends up only to end up with mixing and blending….perfection.
Brushless Watercolor Technique
I neer used this technique and I love how it came out looking like I planned the blending of the colors.

Laters Baby...

1 comment:

  1. Well girl, you did it again, these are beautiful! I hope to try a few of them. Thanks for your good work. K

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