A guest contribution by Achim Schmacks

The corona crisis is bringing artists to their knees

The Corona crisis has brought quite a few artists to their knees. The omission of exhibitions, sponsoring, fees and customers let some artists in the independent scene run out of steam.

Emergency aid programs do not work or are distributed with the watering can, here too the dry spell is long.

In my producer gallery BLACKOFFICE in Düsseldorf I have had to cancel three exhibitions and postpone them until next year. Postponed is not canceled, but the artists planned for the first half of 2021 will continue to be postponed. We can push, but not make up for everything. Likewise, we cannot make up for the loss of sales, discussions and contacts; many things that are missing cannot be made up for. We don’t catch up, we have to tie on, pick up and continue knitting.

Who invests in art?

The 2009 economic crisis had already had a negative impact on the art scene. Even there, the money was no longer easy, it was saved and invested in other things. Who invests in art?

People invest in art who want to use it to increase money. You buy art that promises an increase in value because we live in times of constant increase, and there seems to be no turning back.

Now there is a turning back! The corona crisis not only has Germany firmly under control, the whole planet has been covered by a pandemic, but the consequences for free artists are only known to a limited extent.

How can I help? A call to museums in cities and districts

Freelance artists are the caregivers of the cultural scene, they turn the wheel day after day – both before, during and after the crisis. Free artists are indispensable in a free, modern society.

I call on the museums of the cities and districts to exhibit their artists. Show your artists, open up your rooms and create space.

Offers artists a platform, opens museums and municipal galleries for their own artists, opens a virtual umbrella, a rescue umbrella for artists, unconditionally, but also as an alternative to the marginal and one-off cash support currently being discussed, which is distributed completely aimlessly and for purposes other than intended.

Don’t leave your cultural workers out in the rain!

How is that supposed to be possible? Quite simply, lists are requested from the cultural offices and professional associations from artists who work freelance, are members or have artist IDs. These artists are invited to present their work publicly in rooms that are usually not accessible to the majority of the artists. Museums and municipal galleries show artists from the city, district or region throughout Germany for a set period of time. This first event is financed by cities, the federal government, the state and sponsors. All exhibitions are freely accessible and with free admission.

Artists are an important part of society

Artists do not live and work for one-off payments, artists are not petitioners in offices, artists are an important part of society, an open society that, without culture and art, loses most of its education, understanding, ethics and zest for life.

Artists working to show their work need a platform to generate new ideas. Artists work in and for society.

Artists deserve more credit

If the artists are to be helped, then my suggestion would be a first step. The first step can be so simple and effective. This step would be recognition of a profession and a calling. Artists, free artists, live in a constant prejudice of bohemian and work-shy. Today’s artists are far from it. Marketing tools, social media and a society that demands more and more and is less and less enthusiastic call for a complete reorientation of the artists. Today the artist deals more and more with self-marketing, time for his own art and ideas often fall by the wayside. Exhibition venues are hotly contested, own projects and work spaces are becoming too expensive.

Artists live in a hamster wheel

Very few protagonists in the independent art scene receive invitations to exhibitions and participation in presentations, usually they have to torment themselves through long application phases and often pay for them. Exhibition rooms are rented out, art agents and brokers offer themselves at top prices. Times in which artists bring their works to museums, purchases are made and the artist lives happily from patrons are long gone and rarely to be found. The artist fights for recognition, attention and exhibition opportunities, he fights for studio space, a place in society and also a place in the museum. The latter is only granted to a few, because the museums block themselves, exhibit highly endowed artists and works and want to offer spectacular,

A rescue parachute for art!

Art should stay on the carpet in our time, a time full of existential fear, uncertainty and a lack of visions for the future. Take the fear away from artists, roll out the red carpet for them, for a society that is valued and envied for its culture and artists worldwide. Open the umbrella, the reserve for art, make room in your houses, offer space for art, space for artists and space for a society that is interested in its artists again.

Art therapy: “I can no longer hear it …!”

The other day I was at a working meeting in preparation for a joint exhibition. I was greeted warmly and asked if I was well again. “Yes,” I was happy to report and then told a little more about my last year of the disaster, in which for six months I was not only unable to paint because of incredible pain, but also hardly could do anything else. And I also told about how much art gives my life a secure hold; how much I played a decisive role on the path to recovery during this long period of illness, in which I struggled with myself and my body. Everyone present was happy with me. But then something irritated me …

One in the group talked about a visit to a group exhibition where he had a conversation with one of the participating artists and then said: “I can no longer hear it! I am constantly getting to know new artists who tell me how they found art through art therapy.”

What is behind this statement?

Is it the tiredness of personal fate stories? Is it an aversion to strangers getting directly personal? Is it the claim that art has to be art and not “just” a therapy result? Is therapy art art at all?

I would like to bring some clarity to the discussion here and also dispel prejudices.

– Is it the tiredness of personal fate stories?

Most of the time, stories are particularly interesting if they are either unique and therefore special. When you experience something that you rarely come into contact with in your own life. When you have the feeling that they are taking place far away from you and then you develop a certain kind of childlike admiration for the protagonist. If there is also very special art involved, the WOW effect is even greater. Perhaps the best example here is Vincent van Gogh. We love his art, we love his story.

Or stories are particularly interesting when, on the contrary, they are very close to you. When you recognize yourself or something of yourself in it. If you can even learn something from them, if at best they give you courage.

Conversely, this means that a story is of no interest if it is not unique but arbitrary. Or if, instead of a role model, I see a chilling example in it.

– Is it an aversion to strangers becoming directly personal?

Yes. You can answer this question very quickly. Because you don’t always want to deal with personal fate when you actually “only” wanted to visit an exhibition. Or maybe it’s the artist himself who at first glance just doesn’t seem likeable enough to get personal right away. Perhaps the intention of visiting the exhibition was also to distract oneself from one’s own problems and not to come across similar life issues that one has to deal with oneself. Anyway, it might just be the wrong story in the wrong place at the wrong time.

– Is it the claim that art has to be art and not “just” a therapy result? Is therapy art art at all?

These questions are the hardest to answer because they are the least trivial. What is art Opinions differ on this. While some argue with “talent” and “proper training”, others speak of “art for everyone” and “art as a way of life”. I think these are two very different approaches. And I think that in most cases both more or less flow together and you don’t always – maybe never? – can separate from each other.

Art as medicine

Many artists describe the beneficial effects of art or the creation of art. Because, in contrast to handicraft, art is not primarily a purely mechanical action aimed at a specific and reproducible result. The creativity and the creative process have a lot to do with the unique nature of the artist. This inner being can be healthy or sick (in the pathological sense!). Art can therefore in principle also be created by a person suffering from (perhaps depression). And those who are sick may also benefit from art therapy. Whether this therapy then serves as the initial spark for a subsequent artistic career should not play a role in the subsequent assessment of the works of art, I believe.

Praise to contemporary psychotherapy

I think it is much more important to positively emphasize how extremely effective therapists are nowadays! Anyone who comes out of therapy as a strengthened person and has found something (in this case about art) that has a lasting positive effect on further life has gained a lot! How nice that there are so many and when so many talk about it that some people find it “annoying”!

Whether in the end “art” arises or just “occupational therapy”, this question is superfluous in my opinion, since it does not depend on art therapy. Art and art therapy are two different concepts that can, but do not have to, complement each other. It depends on the individual case. So I refer back to the original question that humanity has been asking itself for centuries and what it loves to argue about: Is this art or can it be eliminated?

Can art influence the future?

An exciting new arts initiative, The Banality of Evil in our Daily Lives Art Prize , has been launched by an independent art collective.

The project aims to raise awareness of thoughtlessness that has unwittingly crept into our everyday lives. A unique opportunity for artists around the world to submit works that explore the lines between good and bad, right and wrong.

The text and the invitation to tender were sent to us by the artist SaySay.love. Please send all questions about the competition to the contact address given in this text.

The philosopher Hannah Arendt as inspiration

The theme of the competition is based on the writings of Hannah Arendt, the famous philosopher and political scientist ( > Wikipedia ). Arendt reported on the trial of Adolph Eichmann, the former head of the “Central Office for Jewish Emigration”, who was involved in organizing the expulsion and deportation of Jews and who was jointly responsible for the murder of an estimated six million people. Essentially, Arendt posed the question: Can one do bad without being bad?

Her conclusion is: “As cruel, cold-hearted and in their extent monstrous as the deeds for which Eichmann was responsible, so common, so banal were the person who represented these deeds. She called this thoughtlessness the “banality of evil”.

Goal of the competition

The aim of the competition is to show how we have become victims of thoughtless behavior in our daily life and to call on all artists to participate and to express their hearts and thoughts in their works of art.

The artist call presents a challenge to communicate what has never been communicated before and to create a platform for groundbreaking ideas that are brought into our community.

The initiator of the project, SaySay Love , suggests that art can change the mind and heart and has the power to dissolve the inhumanity and destruction we create through thoughtless behavior.

Banality of Evil in our Daily Lives art competition

We can all be victims of thoughtlessness in our daily life.
The Banality of Evil in our Daily Lives art competition is an open competition that creates the opportunity for artists to express their view of the banality of evil in daily life. The artist call presents a challenge to communicate what has never been communicated before and to create a platform for groundbreaking ideas that are brought into our community.
We invite all artists worldwide to submit their work and use their art as a means and instrument of a global language to communicate hopes and thoughts and thus create a new vision for our world.
In addition to providing inspiration, the aim of the competition is to show solutions that deal with what is probably the most important and current crisis in our society: the loss of our humanity.

The public selects the best 40 works of art

The Banality of Evil in Our Daily Lives is a one-of-a-kind arts competition that puts the public at a high level.
As a public project, the audience is invited to moderate the selection of the first 40 artworks by choosing and sharing the presented messages in our Banality of Evil in our Daily Lives social media platforms.

The award

From these 40 works of art, the finalists are nominated by the elected jury members. The finalists will receive prize money of US $ 2,000 and are invited to present their work at an exhibition in Berlin in May 2020.
  • Artists whose works have been selected for the competition will receive a certificate of participation
  • All selected artists are published on our social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter as part of an international campaign
  • The 10 best works in each of the 4 categories that receive the most likes by the public then go through the selection process by the jury. All 40 works chosen within this process will be part of the final exhibition in Berlin, Germany.
  • The works of the 40 best artists will be published in a book that documents the course of the project
  • Only the 4 winners of each category will be invited to Germany to be part of the final exhibition and to receive the art award.

Registration for the competition

Works of art are accepted in the following disciplines: painting & drawing, photography & digital media, sculpture and performance art.
The call for entry will take place from November 1st, 2019 to March 15th, 2020.
For more information and the registration process, visit our website:
www.boeart.org

background

The theme of the competition was initiated by the visionary artist and social activist SaySay.Love . SaySay.Love was inspired by the ideas of Hannah Arendt, the famous philosopher and political scientist, and immediately felt a deep connection to the problem she described:
The idea that the worst deeds in human history were not carried out by fanatics or sociopaths, but by ordinary people who only acted according to instructions and felt their thoughts and actions as “normal” and did not question them.
Can a person do evil without being angry? That was the essential question that Hannah Arendt asked herself when she was responsible for the New Yorker in the trial against Adolph Eichmann, the former head of the “Central Office for Jewish Emigration”, who was involved in the organization of the expulsion and deportation of Jews the killing of an estimated six million people was reported.
Hannah Arendt does not see Eichmann as a man who harbored the desire to murder or wreak destruction, but as someone who carried out his profession and the tasks associated with it thoroughly and according to instructions. His private environment described him as social and inconspicuous. He did not correspond in any way to the image of a criminal and was the opposite of any philosophical theory of evil.
In a totalitarian system, therefore, thoughtlessness is enough to nurture the greatest crimes in history – a thoughtlessness that she called the “banality of evil.”

Artists reduce their ecological footprint

As a freelance artist and therefore self-employed, you have the advantage of not having to follow the instructions from above. But you also have the disadvantage that you always have to reinvent the wheel on your own. So I always like to research with others when I’m interested in a new topic. As “Artist 4 Future” looking for ideas for the good of our planet, the search is arduous, as there is hardly any material to date. But artists also leave an ecological footprint.

So I’m all the more pleased to have met Tom Albrecht from Berlin . On November 22nd, 2019 the workshop “How can artists reduce their ecological footprint?” Took place in the project room of the Group Global 300 – Gallery for Sustainable Art in Berlin . The topic is their everyday practice, the choice of their materials, their travel and transport. Moderation: Tom Albrecht ” . I couldn’t travel myself, but Tom kindly made the results available to me.

Recommendations for working in the studio

When looking through the handwritten notes I realize: Wow! So many ideas already! And completely inspired, I can think of a lot more! The task now is to formulate a few solid recommendations from the initially disordered ideas, all with the intention of generating less waste and working more sustainably.

The following lists & recommendations of what you as an artist can do to reduce your ecological footprint are based on Tom’s notes from the workshop (see above):

Generate less rubbish

  • In general, nothing to be thrown away is an ecological quality that must be achieved and maintained.
  • If you work with paints from tubes: only press as much on the palette as you really need.
  • Think carefully about where in your art you can save material or do without it. Or maybe you can replace certain material with common everyday objects or found objects 
  • This also applies to tools such as old T-shirts as rags.

If your art doesn’t allow you to do without certain material so much, then you can discover other strategies for saving:

  • A good cleaning and care of the used material comes first. For example, you don’t have to buy a new pallet every six months.
  • Also take care of your screw collection and don’t buy a new pack of 10 every time you visit Boesner. Do you even need 10 right away? Or maybe 2 or 3 are enough, which you can get individually at the hardware store?
  • Do you have material or equipment that you no longer need? Offer it to your artist colleagues!
  • Do you need devices that you don’t have yourself? From which colleagues can you borrow them?
  • You could even build up a network and a real stock of materials / equipment for visual artists to swap and borrow.
  • Also keep older works: maybe you can still sell them? Or exhibit again? Or recycle it for a new work of art?
  • If you offer workshops: Give people a well thought-out list of materials in advance. Is everything really necessary? Can you perhaps differentiate between “important” and “unimportant”?

An association with a model character in terms of sustainability

A really great example of the sustainable (re) use of artist material is the work of KUNST-STOFFE Central Office for Reusable Materials eV The Berlin association collects surplus art and culture that is no longer needed in a large warehouse and then sells them cheap to artists. A look at the website shows the great ideas of the initiative and a well thought-out concept. Hopefully there will be imitators in other cities soon!

protect the environment

  • Avoid using solvents when cleaning the brushes if possible. Alternatively, you can clean them first with sunflower oil and then with gall or curd soap. It is also best to pre-clean them before they come into contact with waste water, as the pigments can contain harmful substances such as heavy metals.
  • For your sewage drain, get a settling device at the hardware store that catches coarse dirt particles.
  • If possible, don’t use pigments that contain lead or cadmium at all.
  • Dispose of your garbage properly: Empty containers or packaging go in the yellow bin.
  • But be careful: Solvents and paint residues with harmful ingredients belong in the residual waste or, if necessary, in the special waste. Check with your local waste disposal company.
  • If you have a choice: buy the product without plastic. For example, choose a wood fiber board (MDF) instead of a lightweight foam board (KAPA).

Protect your own health

  • When painting with oils and acrylics, it is advisable to wear latex gloves. If your skin is sensitive to latex, you can still wear cotton gloves underneath.
  • Egg tempera and gouache paints are generally more compatible with the environment and nature.

What’s next?

Tom intends to hold more workshops on the topic. Perhaps you also have good ideas that you have already successfully implemented? Then we would be happy about it here in the comments! More extensive guest contributions are also welcome here in the Sommer arts Blog. Or maybe you just have a good tip on where we can do more research.

On your website you can find a quote from José Ortega Y Gasset: “The work of art is an imaginary island surrounded by reality.” What does that mean for your art?

The image of the island clearly describes the relationship between reality and art. Even if the work of art does not appear to contain any references to reality, there is usually a more or less direct reference to current aspects of the reality that surrounds me. The work of art itself creates its own reality, which, like an island, is surrounded by reality, but not part of it.

 

Imke Kreiser

“Equating aesthetics with beauty is an invention of the modern age”

In 2002 you did your doctorate on “Aesthetics” and examined the neurobiological foundations of aesthetic perception. What makes a work of art aesthetic for the human brain?

In order to answer the question, I must first explain the term aesthetic : In philosophy, aesthetic means nothing other than perceived through the senses. In this respect, every work of art conveyed through one of the senses is by definition aesthetic. Equating aesthetics with beauty, on the other hand, is a modern invention. If the question is aimed at this modern term, I would have to rephrase it as what makes a work of art beautiful for the brain

The brain follows the principle of similarity and deviation and provides a highly individual catalog of objects to be compared and the willingness and flexibility to follow its associations also varies greatly from person to person, depending on general cognitive abilities, education and personal biographical character. Beauty can lie in the similarity to the familiar as well as in the deviation from it. The quality and complexity of the respective associations determine the aesthetic experience of the viewer. In the history of science after the 19th century, the concept of aesthetics is expanded to include the entire range of properties that determine how people evaluate perceived objects.

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How do the insights from your research influence your art?

The central theme of semiotics is the relation between sign and meaning. In my work, I am interested in how meaning arises. What information content does an object have in different contexts and how can it be charged with meaning? In this context, the work of art is an extremely complex symbol and the engagement with art is an individual attempt to read this symbol and to relate it to the entire arsenal of experience that is available to a person. This applies to the artist who creates a work, but also to the viewer who deals with the work of art.

“For me, art is a medium to raise questions and to deal with them openly”

Imke Kreiser

You write on your website that you often start your work with a question of form or content. Does a work of art have to have a message for you, i.e. provide an answer to this question or at least contain an attempt at an answer?

Very often a new job actually begins with a more or less specific problem. For me, art is a medium to raise questions and to deal with them openly. Only in rare cases does it actually produce permanent answers, but that is not the primary goal either. The task of finding answers falls equally to the viewer. As an artist, I don’t see myself in the position of communicating generally applicable answers or even messages. I only let viewers participate in my work on certain questions.

Imke Kreiser

You studied linguistics. How important is it for an artist to be able to explain their work?

I think a work of art should make sense even without explanations from the artist or someone else. Nevertheless, you have an advantage, of course, if you as an artist are able to explain your work or, better, your way of working and thematic focuses. However, I would definitely not want my explanations to lead to the viewer’s area of ​​association narrowing in accordance with my specifications. Ultimately, a work of art means nothing at all without the viewer’s perception and thinking.

Imke Kreiser

As an artist you have already worked with the media of painting, photography, printmaking and artist books. Which medium fascinates you the most and why?

In fact, I work simultaneously with all media and use them for different problems:
When looking for patterns, I work with printing techniques to examine the interplay of individual elements and materials. Digital photography is superior to human perception when it comes to extracting details from familiar contexts. The artist’s book is the most complex and best suited medium for conceptual work, as it allows meaning to be coded simultaneously on different levels. The object-like nature of the artist’s book allows for a variety of forms of presentation and, by touching the work of art, gives the viewer a more direct and free access to materials and reading channels than traditional media such as painting or graphics.

Where and when can you see your pictures next?

Some of my screen prints as well as works on wood and canvas can currently be seen in the Hofgalerie in Friedeburg.

A guest contribution by Maxim Simonenko

Drawing faces is very challenging in itself. It is therefore absolutely recommended to learn a construction model first. That is, a method of drawing faces with the same proportions. You first need an approach to orientate yourself in the hustle and bustle of all the facial features.

However, it becomes difficult if you want to deviate from this standard proportion model. Because you have to do that at some point in order to draw appropriate portraits and unique characters. The nose, the lips, the eyes, the ears – they are a unique selling point for everyone.

Drawing characteristic facial features and recognizing individual proportions in the face is a difficult but worthwhile undertaking. When you learn to recognize characteristic facial features in every person, I think that the greatest fun in drawing the human face begins.

 

 

Well, how do you learn to see faces more consciously and to customize your characters. Not by changing the hairstyle or adding different accessories to the figure, but by deliberately filling every part of the face with character.

Here are 3 tips that have helped me a lot in developing from drawing static faces to being a quick portrait draftsman of exciting quick portraits, which is in demand throughout Germany:

Tip 1: Construct your head drawing dynamically

What I mean by that is that you stop constructing too much and learn to realign yourself with each face. Is the head more square or round or more triangular or egg-shaped? Take your time at the beginning to look at the head and then choose shapes to match the head and build up your face drawing.

 

This will prevent you from starting with the same head shape at the beginning of your drawing. Most often, ovals or circles are recommended in drawing books or online instructions. If you start with the same frame on each face, it will be very difficult to break away from that frame. Therefore, each time start with a different frame, suitable for the person you are drawing or the character you are developing.

For this reason I build my drawing courses with three different characters. Mr cuboid, Mr circle and Ms triangle. These characters have completely different head shapes, eyes, lips, noses, and ears. As a result, my participants learn different approaches to drawing faces right from the start and it is easier for them to develop more individual characters.

Tip 2: First concentrate on individual face elements such as nose, ears, lips and eyes

Drawing distinctive facial features is really difficult and complex. So it’s good to break this complexity down into smaller chunks.

For example, first draw ears. One or more weeks. Even if it sounds boring! But it just takes focus and practice until you can consciously see how fine and different ears are. Each ear has its own character!

I wrote my own blog entries about drawing ears , eyes , lips and noses with strong character. There you can see how these individual facial components can be further divided.

It is interesting that everyone pays attention to something different, especially the face. So when you meet someone new. For me, for example, it’s my ears and forehead. The first thing I pay attention to is that, hehe. No idea why! A friend pays great attention to eyebrows. How about you? It is best to start your exercises with the part of the face that you find most interesting and draw your way through the entire face. After that, it will be much easier for you to draw a full face.

If you have a hard time focusing on exercises and sticking to them consistently, drawing classes are recommended. There are sure to be drawing meetups in your area or take an online drawing course. In a group with like-minded people and preferably with a motivating course instructor, it is simply easier to practice. I used to enjoy going to drawing courses. Today I love giving some myself. 🙂

Tip 3: Dare to draw real people live

© Maxim Simonenko

It cost me so much to overcome! And I have to say, I’m still nervous today when I draw people live. Although I have to say that I usually do it in front of a lot of people at an event and get paid very well. There is also other pressure. What I want to say is: it’s hard! Except you don’t mind and you can just draw someone without worrying about their opinion. I don’t have this serenity! And I don’t think a lot of amateur and professional artists either.

For me it is the fear of “failing”, of seeing the disappointment of the person portrayed if he does not recognize himself in the picture or that my client is dissatisfied. If you draw someone live, you get the feedback immediately. Whether you are ready for it or not.

BUT no practice has improved me more effectively in drawing faces than live portraying!

If you’re out with friends or family, ask if you could draw them briefly. And scribble off! No matter how bad (in your eyes) the drawing gets! Draw your way through this uncertainty and you will definitely be rewarded.

The feedback you get right away is super valuable. “I don’t have that big a nose!” Or: “My eyes look completely different!” Such statements make you take a closer look and perceive elements on your face that you hadn’t even noticed before. Others see differently and you can tap into a lot for your vision!

© Maxim Simonenko

It takes a series of live portraits to develop a certain routine. My old Russian drawing master told me that in her drawing school she had to hand in 75 quick portraits every week in addition to the normal drawing lessons. Over several years! I just want to make you aware that after 10, 20 or 100 portraits have been drawn, you don’t have to be sad if it doesn’t work out yet.

Drawing faces just takes time. In order for you to create this number of portraits, it is extremely important that you do not lose the fun of drawing. Therefore, draw what you like, practice in groups with like-minded people and keep finding out about the techniques and methods of drawers who are where you want to be with your drawing skills.

Who is Maxim Simonenko ?

Hehe, maybe you’re wondering who I am? And why am I writing all this? Well, I love to draw people and especially faces!

I have been a freelance artist for 12 years. Today I have specialized in versatile portrait drawing. As a quick draftsman, I draw live at trade fairs, conventions, but also at weddings and birthdays. I really enjoy talking to people and drawing them in the process.

I used to work as a draftsman in the games and film industry. But I had to realize that it wasn’t for me. I like to write, I like to record videos, take drawing classes, educate myself, and travel. As a permanent employee or a freelancer for companies, I can’t fully live out my life.

Stamps are a real favorite material in many creative areas! How about if you could make your own stamps? This is not only easy on the wallet, but also gives you the freedom to stamp your own ideas and motifs! We’ll show you how you can easily make your own stamps and what options you have with it.

What for self-made stamps anyway?

What can you even use self-made stamps for? You might ask yourself. The possibilities are so many! Especially when you are not restricted by the motifs of ready-made stamps, but keep creating your own ideas and pictures.

For example, you can use stamps for mixed media techniques and give your images exciting structures, effects and shapes. Stamps are also popular in art journaling and make it easy for you to create varied backgrounds. You can apply stamps with watercolors, gouache or watercolors , with acrylics, inks, stamp paint or all kinds of craft paints to create pictures on paper and canvas.

Stamps are also suitable for embellishing cards, decorating bookmarks, designing wrapping paper, envelopes, coasters, sachets or tags. Stamps, combined with textile inks, are also used again and again on textiles and create t-shirts, dresses, colorful shirts and blouses, tablecloths or placemats in no time at all.

You see – there are hardly any limits to your imagination to create real works of art and unique items with your self-made stamps!

House stamp

And how does it work now – make stamps yourself?

There are various options for enjoying self-made stamps. You probably know the simplest one: the classic  potato printing , which was very popular in the 1970s. But there are even more effective methods with which you can create your motifs more precisely – and which, above all, produce durable stamps (without smearing …).

If you want to make it particularly easy for yourself with the material, a simple  eraser is  sufficient – you will definitely find it at home in any drawer 🙂

Draw your motif on the eraser with a pencil and then cut the lines a few millimeters with a craft knife. You should also remove a little bit of the eraser around the outer lines.

You can then  glue the carved eraser to a wooden stamp handle so that it sits comfortably in your  hand. You can buy the wooden stamp handles and simply attach the eraser with a little glue.

Our favorite method, however, is a different one:  designing stamps out of foam rubber  ! Because foam rubber offers you some wonderful advantages:

  • The material is very soft and makes it easy for you to cut even complex shapes to size.

  • Foam rubber is available in large and small formats, so that you can also design really large stamps yourself, without restrictions (you will hardly find a giant eraser, however).

  • Foam rubber is durable and can be used for stamping with different colors as well as many times.

  • Last but not least, stamps made of foam rubber are inexpensive to manufacture.

Umbrella stamp

Foam rubber stamps: It’s easy

To make a stamp out of foam rubber, you also draw your motif here with a pencil and then cut it out accordingly. You can trace the lines within the motif with a pencil or ballpoint pen so that they leave deeper marks in the foam rubber and are then also visible as lines when stamping.

When your motif is ready, you paint it and stamp it on the paper or surface of your choice. You can stamp individual motifs or create a whole pattern by stamping the same motif several times. Combine stamping with your own paintings or other creative techniques and let your ideas run free!

… and the ink pad?

A very simple ink pad, if you work with liquid colors, you can conjure up quickly and easily from a household sponge. Simply coat the sponge with acrylic paint – and you can use the sponge as an ink pad!

Make cats stamp yourself

Would you like to learn more about self-made stamps?

In her video course ” Colorful Stamping “, Birgit Bruhns shows you what is important when making your own stamps, what you have to pay attention to and how it all works step by step .

Here you will learn everything about the production and use of self-made stamps made of foam rubber, learn helpful tips and tricks to work like a professional and create the most beautiful works of art

Birgit also shows you how to work with different types of paper and how you can continue to creatively design your stamp images.

Draw circles for the creative flow!

Do you feel like painting something, but you don’t have the ideas? Do you wish to make your picture simple, easy and full of joy? Then just use simple basic shapes – for example circles!

Whenever your creativity gets stuck or you lose the ease of painting a little, it helps to reduce yourself. Simple forms that are so easy for you to find that your inner critic is guaranteed not to have anything to complain about. 

I personally love circles! They are so wonderfully light and easy to put on paper – and at the same time they offer you such a large variety of design options that new circles, color combinations and patterns are created over and over again. Here I would like to give you a little inspiration on how you can create a happy picture from simple circles. 

Just follow me step by step: You will be surprised how easy it is and how much fun it is to build up a picture so simply and to play with the colors and lines!

Painting circles: simple shapes to get into the flow

I paint with watercolors on sturdy 300g watercolor paper. You can of course modify the tutorial as you wish and with your materials.

First I divide my sheet of paper into individual squares. Of course, you can also put your circles on the sheet of paper freely, but I really liked the even arrangement here. So afterwards there is a circle 🙂 in every box

In the next step I choose my color palette. To keep it simple I just want to paint with four different colors. Have you tried this before? The easier it is for you to get into the flow, the easier you keep painting 🙂

The first circles in watercolor – very easy!

Now it starts with the circles! Start in a box of your choice and with the color of your choice. Then just work your way back and forth across your picture. You can keep the circles monochrome or mix colors together. Just have fun experimenting!

Painting circles: watercolor painting made easy

Keep painting until a brightly colored circle laughs at you in each box. If you like, let the first layer of paint dry and then go into the circles again with fresh paint to add more colors, patterns, details. Right from the heart!

Have fun with watercolor circles

I now erase the pencil lines when the watercolors are dry. Then the gimmick with the fineliner continues! I take a waterproof, thin fineliner and just circle around my colored circles. Very important: stay in the lightness! The circles can be “imperfect” egg-shaped and crooked like your color circles 🙂

Paint and decorate circles

With the black fineliner, I then just go over the picture and add small details here and there. Here too, simply let your hand guide you and your intuition. The patterns and details can appear as if by themselves, very easily!

Combine watercolor and fineliner

Then the white fineliner * is used. With this I also bring small details into play and add small patterns, dots, shapes to my circles – entirely on the whim! Just look how the picture has changed!

Draw circles with fineliners

But let’s keep playing a little longer 🙂 How about a few small splashes of paint, knocked loosely on the paper with a brush? It’s so much fun! 😀

Abstract watercolor painting circles

When the colors have dried, the circle picture is actually already finished. But I still wanted to give the circles a little more contour. So I picked up a slightly thicker black felt-tip pen again and traced a circle again.

Watercolor abstract circles

And this is what the finished picture looks like:

Painting circles in watercolor: So easy and simple

Graphic Design іѕ nоt just аbоut creating аn attractive image оr set оf images whісh look pretty, it’s аbоut creating a message whісh саn bе conveyed tо a majority оf potential clients аnd саn bе understood аnd interpreted easily bу mоѕt people. Fоr businesses it’s important thаt thе logo design аnd consequent branding іѕ easily transferred tо marketing campaigns, whеthеr digitally displayed оr re-produced іn magazines аnd newspapers аnd journals. It’s аll аbоut good communication оf thе message.

Mаnу small companies buy cheap software іn conjunction wіth аn inadequate PC ѕуѕtеm аnd attempt thе process thеmѕеlvеѕ, іn mоѕt cases, іf thеу hаvе hаd nо specific training іn thе аrt оr possess nо artistic talent, consequently, thеу fail dismally аnd waste muсh tіmе аnd money іn thе process. Worse, thеrе аrе ѕоmе whо wіll nоt accept thаt thе failure іѕ personal tо thеm аnd ѕtіll dо nоt arrive аt thе right conclusion оnlу tо make thе ѕаmе mistake оvеr аnd оvеr аgаіn. Thіѕ іѕ еvеn true whеn simple artwork іѕ required fоr print jobs fоr brochures, booklets аnd leaflets аnd ѕо оn. Thе presentation оf thе artwork іѕ оftеn nоt tо thе specification оf thе printer wіth things like crop marks аnd bleed missing.

A good professional design applied tо products аnd packaging wіll оftеn gо a lоng wау tо thе sale оf thе product, equally thе opposite іѕ true, a company соuld hаvе thе best product оn thе market but аѕ history hаѕ shown uѕ, thе better marketing оftеn wins thrоugh wіth a great deal оf help frоm thе well-designed logo аnd branding. Thе engagement оf services frоm a reputable graphic design agency wіth a good track record wіll іn itself pay dividends mаnу tіmеѕ оvеr. Tіmе spent bу well-meaning аnd money saving amateurs wоuld bе better spent оn thе things thеу аrе skilled аt, whеthеr thе manufacture аnd production оf thеіr products оr distribution оr еvеn sales leaving thе cosmetic design aspects tо оthеrѕ mоrе capable thаn thеmѕеlvеѕ.

Sо, аѕ wаѕ pointed оut earlier, good appropriate аnd eye-catching branding wіll help thе product sell itself bу visual communication. Thеѕе days good branding аnd marketing hаѕ bесоmе essential, оnе оnlу hаѕ tо ѕее TV advertising tо realise thе importance, mоѕt оf uѕ саn remember thе brand fоr a particular product bеfоrе wе еvеn remember thе company itself. A good Graphic Designer wіll bе able tо interpret thе design requirements аnd branding аnd gеt thеѕе оut thе best advantages fоr thе company аnd present іt іn thе mоѕt ideal wау tо promote thеіr products іn аnу given medium.

Bringing аrt іntо thе lives оf children іѕ аn extraordinary gift thаt wіll enrich thеm fоr a lifetime. Nо matter thеіr age, children love tо uѕе thеіr imaginations аnd creative minds. Art іѕ a fantastic wау fоr thеm tо expand thеіr horizons аnd open thе doors tо a new world. Thеrе аrе ѕо mаnу creative wауѕ tо educate уоur children, еvеn іf уоu аrе nоt аn аrt expert.

Lead bу example regarding аrt аnd уоur child. If уоu ѕhоw a genuine іntеrеѕt іn ѕоmе forms оf аrt, children usually follow. A great idea іѕ tо tаkе уоur child tо thе local аrt museum. Thіѕ simple trip саn lead tо a vast array оf knowledge. Art museums аrе аn inexpensive wау tо ѕhоw уоur child wonderful pieces оf artwork. Dо ѕоmе quick research online аbоut pieces оf аrt аt уоur local аrt museum. Yоu саn fіnd ѕоmе information аbоut a fеw pieces thаt аrе relevant tо уоur child. Did уоu know thаt Pablo Picasso’s fіrѕt word аѕ a child wаѕ pencil? Hіѕ father wаѕ аn artist аnd taught hіm thе word “piz,” whісh іѕ short fоr thе Spanish word “lapiz,” meaning pencil. Quick facts like thіѕ саn excite a small child.

Obtain different аrt tools fоr уоur child. Thеrе аrе tons оf inexpensive products thаt уоu саn purchase fоr уоur child tо fіnd whаt thеу enjoy thе best. Paints, colored paper, colored pencils, crayons аnd markers аrе аll fantastic tools fоr уоur children. If уоu аrе looking fоr interesting drawing tool fоr уоur child, thе Draw Like A Pro bу Alex Toys, іѕ perfect fоr уоur youngster. Thіѕ tracing toy wіll surely gіvе уоur child hours оf excitement. Wіth 124 fascinating slides уоur child wіll bе able tо trace a wide variety оf different objects. Tracing іѕ a wonderful wау fоr children tо begin thе joy оf drawing. In thе warmer weather, sidewalk chalk іѕ a fun wау fоr children tо express thеіr inner artist.

Evеrуоnе favors different aspects оf аrt аnd children аrе nо different. Thе mоrе уоur child іѕ exposed tо аrt, thе mоrе likely hе оr ѕhе wіll fіnd whаt thеу аrе interested іn. An important раrt оf thе аrt process іѕ keeping уоur children interested іn whаt thеу аrе doing. Hаѕ уоur child lost іntеrеѕt іn painting thе ѕаmе old dog оr cat? Hаvе thеm paint thеіr favorite video game character, оr еvеn уоu. Yоu саn bring mаnу different elements оf life іntо thе world оf аrt. Bу creating themes уоu allow уоur child tо соmе uр wіth new ideas аnd adventures оn paper. It іѕ nоt hоw wеll уоur child саn paint оr draw, but іt іѕ аbоut thе opportunity fоr thеm tо stretch hіѕ оr hеr mind wіth thе conceptual аnd imaginative aspects оf аrt.

Pеrhарѕ уоu hаvе a child thаt a bit оf a comedian? Hаvе уоur child start a cartoon comic strip. Yоu саn make thіѕ a once-a-week project fоr уоur child. Thіѕ wіll allow еnоugh tіmе fоr thеm tо соmе uр wіth funny ideas fоr thеіr comic strip. Whаt a great wау tо introduce аrt іntо уоur child’s comedy. It doesn’t matter hоw wеll уоur child саn draw оr color. Aѕ уоur child gets mоrе involved іn thе process hіѕ оr hеr drawing skills wіll improve wіth еасh аnd еvеrу tіmе thеу create thеіr cartoon strip. Thеrе аrе vast arrays оf different topics thеу саn cover wіth thеіr cartoon strip. Thіѕ process wіll allow thеm tо educate thеmѕеlvеѕ wіth creative writing аѕ thеу experience thеіr аrt.

Drawing іѕ nоt thе оnlу wау fоr children tо express thеіr artistic ѕіdе. Pottery іѕ a great interactive activity thаt allows уоur child tо build beautiful creations. Alex Toys Deluxe Pottery Wheel іѕ аn awesome аrt tool thаt wіll surely hаvе уоur child spinning thеіr wау tо wonderful creations. Yоur child wіll bе able tо bесоmе a real pottery pro wіth thіѕ unique set оf tools. Evеrуthіng thеу need tо bе successful іѕ included іn thіѕ special pottery kit. Yоu саn display thеіr unique creations аll оvеr уоur home. It іѕ аlѕо a great wау fоr thеm tо gіvе homemade gifts tо family аnd friends.

Aѕ уоu саn ѕее, thеrе аrе mаnу different wауѕ tо bring thе world оf аrt іntо уоur children’s lives. It іѕ important fоr уоu tо fіnd thе aspect thаt уоur child enjoys. Onсе уоu hаvе fоund іt, уоu саn certainly create mаnу different projects wіth уоur child. Allow thеm tо hаvе a slumber party wіth family оr friends tо let thеm іn оn thе fun. Education іѕ important tо уоu. A beginning аrt education wіll certainly bе аn added bonus tо уоur child’s life.

Hеrе аt MadisonArtShop.com wе strive tо provide уоu wіth thе best products оn thе market tо begin, оr continue, уоur child’s аrt education. Stop bу thе Web site tо experience thеѕе wonderful аrt treats today.

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