Thursday, July 31, 2008

Turning Japanese, I think I'm turning Japanese, I really think so

My son is having an influence on me. Scary, isn't it? I mean, that a teenage boy would be having an influence on his mother ...

So he's all into manga and anime, right? (For those of you who are blissfully unaware of what that is, it's basically Japanese comics and animated cartoons, but, trust me, these aren't your basic Peanuts and Scooby Doo.) And he's teaching himself Japanese. So I don't know if it's that or if I just got interested from seeing other people's artwork, but I've become very enamoured of the Japanese/Asian look lately for my cards.

You want proof? Well, you've probably already noticed it, but here are two cards I've done lately that will settle any doubts you may have had:

This first card is one I did yesterday (yay, I made it into the loft and actually DID something!). On the sidebar of the SCS Weekly Newsletter there was a link to a "Blintz Base card topper" tutorial, and I looked it up because a Blintz is a kind of pancake and I was curious how you could use a pancake on a card ;-). Well, turns out that the Blintz Base is the base fold for most origami (yeah, I know, not a very Japanese name, is it?), and of course I became immediately interested in it. It is super easy to do (I shouldn't admit that, I should make it look like it was really hard and I managed to master it, lol), especially if you ignore doing all the scoring and just do most of the folding by hand. Well, at least if you're not good at getting the scores in the right place. Click here for the link to the tutorial.

I used SU's "Ginger Blossoms" paper for the Blintz part, and regular SU cardstock that I stamped on for the other bits. The Sakura (cherry blossom) stamp is from Hanko Designs, as is the punch I used to punch them out with. (They weren't made to go together, but they worked pretty well.) The sentiment is from Art Neko. The girl is from Stone House Stamps. Oh, and I used the detail flower from the SU set "A Beautiful Thing" as well as the sakura stamp on the plain CS to spiff it up a bit. I confess I don't know if pearls are very Japanese, but the punched out sakura needed something, and the pearls were just the thing. Oh, well, can't be perfect all the time, ay? ;-)

The next card is one I made last Friday when Aidan's girl-friend was over. It was hard not to be Japanese-ally inspired when they were watching a Final Fantasy flick in Japanese, y'know? So I pulled out this Orchid Poem stamp from Art Neko, stamped it with Adirondack Archival Black on watercolor paper and let it dry. Then I smooshed three colors of Distress Inks on my non-stick craft sheet (two purples and a pink -- sorry I can't remember exactly which ones at the moment! bad girl!), misted the cardstock with water and sponged the Distress Inks onto the wet watercolor paper in swirling motions (i.e. "burnished"). Then I dried it with a heat tool, mounted it on copper and Elegant Eggplant CS and mounted THAT on PP from a pad of paper I got at (I think) Michael's called "Zen Garden". Or "Zen Something-or-Other." Not that I'm a "Zen" person, but it was oriental stuff, and I can't help what they call things. Anyway, I slapped that onto an Elegant Eggplant cardbase, punched some Edo (plum blossoms) out of Elegant Eggplant and copper (punch is from Hanko), slapped 'em on there, and voila! a Japanese-style card. At least mostly.

So I'm trying to make cards to sell at this Craft Fair coming up in October. And I find that I'm having trouble making cards "to sell," i.e., that I think will please the general populace and will fly off the table. I do so much better when I make what I feel inspired to make rather than what I think will sell. Anyone have an opinion on what they think I should do? 'Cause, I mean, I could make a million Asian-influence cards and if nobody in my neck of the woods is into that, I'll be sitting there with a million Asian-influence cards that they ooh and ahh over, but nobody buys. And yet, if I can't get inspired to make little cutesy Happy Birthday cards, very few of those are going to get made. Know what I mean? Am I being a Stubborn Artist? Should I just suck up and make the saleable cards? What is your opinion?

Until next time,
Happy Stampin'!


Gunhild said...

Your cards are gorgeous! Love the Blintz Base folding, thanks for sharing the link to the tutorial. I will try it out some time :)

I agree with you, it is so much easier to make cards you feel inspired to make. I think both of your cards are beautiful! You're not being a Stubborn Artist ;) If you ask me, the most important thing is having a great time making the cards :)


Stacy said...

Oh, my goodness, Gunhild, do I ever feel honored! Your work is so amazing, to have you compliment mine makes me "over the moon"! Thank you!

Can't wait to get those Grunge Collection stamps from you and start playing. BTW, I am going to post a link to your website in my "A Few Good Blogs" list (for those of you who may want to know -- and trust me, you do -- it's "Stempelglede," and it's in both Norwegian and English, and full of beautiful things!)

Tusen takk!!

Tish said...

Since I have never sold at a fair and I am one of those who "AW" and rarely buy (unless I think I can copy it) generic in that people do want birthdays, happy anything...So do those lovely colors, a few Asian, a few mountains, a few cats,
And..I will gladly buy some from you. I do that at our fairs. So I would rather support you.