RIGHT THERE I WAS TAKEN A BACK.
In my head I was thinking..."Wait a minute...I am not a Mixed Media Artist.. I teach Scrapbooking classes??"
I mean... I teach classes... painty, sparkly... techniquey classes... but all of them have been for scrapbook stores or events, so I guess I never thought of it in the sense of being an artist... or better yet (GASP) a Mixed Media ARTIST...
But then it dawned on me... paint...paper...techniques.. adding anything else I could get to stick down to my projects... maybe this person wasn't to far off... maybe I WAS a mixed media artist.
At that moment I decided to take a look at my projects from the last few years... and well they were right. Everything that I had created the past few years had slowly evolved into something beyond Scrapbooking.
The last couple of years have been a bit of a whirl wind for our family. We have had ups and downs together and have seemed to be on this perpetual ride on a loopy roller coaster. Now don't get my wrong, we have had so many more ups than we have had downs... yet when we are faced with adversity... it has been the type that smacks you upside the head rather than creeps up slowly. So with this in mind, it made sense to me how my projects began to be my release and slowly evolved off the 12X12 grid and onto canvas. I think inadvertently my mind would ask me for a break... and I would allow it to do so with paint and canvas (and of course.. glitter too!).
Now although I still consider myself a Scrapbooker... It was obvious to be that the approach that I was now taking was different than the average Scrapbooker. BUT I was not exactly sure that I WAS a mixed media artist... So it got me to think... where did I fall in this spectrum of art?
Now I may be off base here but this is where I think I am at, and in all honesty.. I see the scrapbook industry leaning this way as well. It has been for a while now and here is what I think the reasoning for that is (in my humble opinion)....
- The economy has kind of had everyone cut back on the "Extras" in life. With this in mind, I think Scrapbookers/Crafters are not ready to cut back on what they enjoy so inadvertently we all still want to enjoy our craft... we just have to be creative with our money and make our $$$'s stretch and last.
- having less $$$ to spend on crafting supplies has us looking for products that has multiple uses, can alter other items or that acts more like a tool with multiple functions.
- Add 1 and 2 together... and well that has crafters thinking of ways to use their favorite products to their fullest potential... creating new techniques and also finding new uses for some of their older products.
- And of course.. with the recession hitting the states here... this can effect each of us in different ways. Whether it is personal or having to see a friend go through tough times... this kind of stuff sticks with us. Especially us women, after all it kind of comes natural to mother and care for those we hold close and love (I often find, that I want to try and make things right... even for my friends). With all of these emotions... plus wars, natural disasters (that seem to be hitting this planet hard right now), and all the other stuff that happens locally... it is no wonder that at the end of the day... we find ourselves drained and looking for a way to express ourselves or even escape for just a few moments.
- Art is a great way to take your mind off of things... and just take some time and create something wonderful. It is a wonderful stress relief and a beautiful way to express what is in your heart or on your mind. There is nothing more freeing than seeing the start of something and knowing that YOU have the ability to make it something new, fresh that it wasn't before... it is so very gratifying.
So that is where I am at... I have a closet full of scrapbook supplies... I have a heart for my family and friends that breaks when they are hurting... I guess it just makes sense to pull myself into this fun little industry that is developing in the scrapbook industry... So although I may not fully be a mixed media artist... I am definitely still a Scrapbooker (even though my albums are WAY behind) I like to think of myself as a Scrapbook Mixed Media Artist (YES... I just called myself an artist and I LOVE it!). I am not sure where this will take me.. I have big Ol' plans in my heart and a loving family pushing me forward, friends cheering me on... who knows... all I know is that I am excited, and I hope that this excites that artist in you, knowing that it is OK to throw stuff together and call it art, it is OK to pull your feelings on to a canvas or album and not have any rhyme or reason to it besides just getting the emotions out. Nobody even needs to see what is created... what matters is that the proper attention is given to those tender emotions... and art might just be the best way to express them.
Thanks for reading the worlds longest blog post, lol... I really need to blog more so that it doesn't build up like this :)