Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Reuse Repurpose or Recreate- My Approach to Art Supplies

Stamps, papers, inks, sprays, texture materials, rub-on's and of course, PAINTS! They've all been occupying my mind and my table, chairs, and now floor for a week now. It's all because of the class I'm taking, The She Art Workshop. I love how Christy Tomlinson talks us through what she's using as she creates her pieces and because of her background in the papercrafting industry she has a ton of insider's knowledge of how to use all those intriguing art supplies we see.

I know lately I've heard a lot of talk about how artists should be making all their own supplies and tools, or risk infringing on other artists' work. There are collage artists who refuse to use those gorgeous patterned papers because someone else designed those papers. Many of the mixed media sites are touting the coolness of carving your own stamps, making your own transfers vs. using the oh so cool rub-on's, creating your own patterned papers and cloth. And  I LOVE those articles. I have a secret love for creating my own stamps, I adore using scraps from old prints, and think the transfer thing is about the coolest thing ever. BUT I also feel like eschewing the supplies and materials that are created for our use is just kind of dumb. Personally I love the  gorgeous papers, the fabulous printed fabrics, the super cool rub-on's, the amazingly detailed stamps. Truly the only thing stopping me from acquiring as many as possible is the cost and space limitations I have.

So when tempted with some fabulous new supply or tool I ask myself a few questions...
1) Do I have it already or do I have something that's similar that can be substituted? Use what you got should be everyone's first mantra.
2) Would it take up a disproportionate amount of space? Is it easily stored?  I dream of the Vagabond by Tim Holtz, the Yudu screen printing machine, as well as a new sewing machine but I have no room.
3) Could I make something that does the same sort of thing? I really do love making my own texture stamps.
4) Is it really necessary? I love the cool acrylic wheel that you can stick your clear acrylic borders to so you can just roll them on. BUT to get the same end result I just have to stamp a couple more times with the block.

I will buy canvases, I will buy paints and tools and funky cool new ink pens. I LOVE the doilies mixed media kit I ordered from Christy's fabulous online shop. But I will also reuse, repurpose, and reconstruct as much as possible. How about you? Do you have a sweet tip for recreating your fave but off limit art supplies? What do you think about using artist designed tools and supplies in your work? I'd love to know what you think!


Kerri said...

yes, asking myself those questions would be smart. sometimes i think i have too much and making decisions seems harder!

Lorrie Everitt Studio said...

I am always trying to add vintage and recycled pieces into my art. It feels good to repurpose "things" and they have become a part of my style.

As far as creating new backgrounds, etc .... I create a lot of my own materials on my computer and print them out to be used in my art!

Jen @ By Jen ❤️ said...

I love all your carved stamps. Very cool!