Tag Archives: how to

Creative Apps, Tools and Tips

I thought it may be helpful to share some creative apps, favourite tools and tips for use in visual arts and design.

CamScanner App

A great convenient, ‘on the go’ tool for scanning using your phone and the CamScanner app. You can either take a scan/picture using the app or can import an image to convert that into a scan. The app locates the boundaries of your image and adjusts the light so you can even scan in low light. It’s a huge time saver and has a good memory capacity before it requires any payment. You don’t get bugged by ads. CamScanner is 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 in my opinion.

CamScanner App screen grab
Screen grab of my CamScanner latest work

iPhone XS

My phone is a key tool in my work, for photographing, drawing, editing. The camera on this phone model takes beautiful images and the ‘portrait’ mode is a useful feature for product shots and photographing work. I like the ‘pano’ feature for creative shots. Couldn’t function without this. Great size, weight and stable when used with a tripod. iPhone XS 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Screen grab of my photo album.
I take a LOT of photos and create new designs on my iPhone

Pixelmator App

How I love Pixelmator. I can’t say how much I use it as it’s seamless in my work. I’m probably across in the app 5 times a day. Layering images, drawing, adding text, creating social media ads, resizing, mocking up ideas, creating repeat patterns. The app is intuitive, making it easy to learn and to use. This is a corker of a creative tool 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Pixelmator App Screen Grab Showing Layers of a Design.
Pixelmator App Screen Grab Showing Layers of a Design.

Bernina Sewing Machine

I would never have thought that I could love a sewing machine as much as I do my Bernina. It’s reliable, compact, and with the digital display I know what the machine settings are at a glance. I want to make the marks myself so I’m not interested in sewing machines that take over and do the sewing themselves. Swiss engineering is renowned and my Bernina is a fabulous example of this that runs like clockwork. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Bernina B215 Sewing Machine sewing an ice cream themed fabric that I designed

Bernina B215 Sewing Machine sewing an ice cream themed fabric that I designed.

YouTube

A learning gateway for everything you might ever want to learn about, where someone always seems to have the answer for using a new product, or technique. I’m going to give YouTube 🌟🌟🌟🌟 as the ads can be annoying, but then again it’s ‘free’. YouTube is about the people who take the time to share their experiences and knowledge. Of course it’s best to watch a few videos for any given subject to be able to gather a few perspectives/ methods.

I’ve always enjoyed making films so I love that I can share my movies and reach people through YouTube. Here’s a link to go to my channel.

Inspire by Kim YouTube Channel screen grab
Inspire by Kim YouTube Channel screen grab

50 Ways to Draw Your Beautiful Ordinary Life

This book is like a hug of a drawing course. The creators of Flow magazine have done something magical by bringing together exercises from their illustrators to make this big beautiful collection of inspiring, drawing skills inducing delight. Love it with some good TV and a pencil or fine liner. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ Flow Magazine.

Collage of the cover and pages of my drawings in the book.
Collage of the cover and pages of my drawings in the book.

Instagram

The place to see image based posts, as opposed to more wordy content. A window on creative studios, processes and what everyone is working on, it’s such a creative time that we live in. Instagram makes the world shrink to the size of the app and I love how we can connect with kindred creatives and find people with shared interests. And there’s always someone somewhere on Instagram, even in the middle of my night – when the darkness becomes a blank creative canvas for new idea seeds to germinate in my mind. Hoping the ads, which have increased in frequency, don’t takeover, like they appear to have on sister site Facebook 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Inspire by Kim Instagram Screen GrabInspire by Kim Instagram Screen Grab

Also I have to mention PicCollage, which now allows a mix of still images and videos in collages, and WordPress for my blog.

I hope this proves helpful. Wanted to share these findings and also this is a way of expressing gratitude for this tremendous tech and fabulous phone based functions which are my fundamental tools.

Please stay and see some more posts here.

If you’d like a street these are my favourite ones.

Fabric Design Doll

Fabric Birds

Workshop – Testimonials

Reflecting on 4 Colour Full Years

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Workshop – Final Places Available

Make a fabric bird, or two, or something else that makes your heart sing at the fabric design. workshop on 2nd June. Book now with Sue of Stitched Up and Fleeced, Sheffield’s leafing textile studio.

For more details about the workshop click here . To see inspiration for what you might like to make visit this link. There really is no limit to what you can design and make.

Here are some examples of workshop attendees designs.

Hope to see you on 2nd June. If you’re too far away let me know where you are and how you like to learn and we can find a solution for you to try these techniques.

Book the workshop and enquire now by contacting Sue at Stitched Up and Fleeced using this contact form.

Fabric Design Highlights

It’s a year this week since my Heat Press machine arrived and made it possible for me to press my painted designs from paper onto fabric.

I’ve been reflecting on the work and continue to enjoy exploring the potentials of this colourful science of heat sensitive dyes.

Here are the highlights of the work using these fabric design techniques.

Heat Press Machine uses heat and pressure with special heat sensitive dyes.

Most recently this colourful doll. All the fabric was white when I began the work. I added colour and stitch inspired by my favourite things.

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One of the first things I made with my machine was this miniature bunting. img_4125

As I wanted flowers to always be at our Juliet balcony I created this tulip box draught excluder.img_6089

To help me relax and snooze whilst travelling I made this pretty eye mask, printing the fabric and the bias binding with my hand painted designs.

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In a campaign to raise awareness of bell pepper allergies and intolerances I created this piece by painting then free motion embroidery.

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I collaged pieces of painted paper to create this portrait.

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Blue Hair Tulip Lady

My latest make was tennis themed bunting, joined with heat pressed ribbon, as part of promotion work for a tennis club.

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In February I created samples to show different techniques and shared these at a half day workshop. Thanks so much to the workshop attendees, it was wonderful to see how you enjoyed putting your designs onto fabric. I can’t wait to see your creations with the fabrics you designed and made.

One of my favourite creations was the miniature cheese plant. Using hand painted leaves I pressed them onto satin, and using wire I stitched them and arranged them into this pretty home decor gem which doesn’t need watering or tending.

There’s the opportunity to play with these techniques and design your fabric for a craft, fashion or home decor project at my next workshop.

I’ll be demonstrating and teaching these techniques at a one day workshop in Sheffield on Sunday June 2nd. The workshop is at Stitched Up and Fleeced studio from 10 – 4pm, £60.

The one day workshop will bring stitch techniques into the process to explore how stitch can be used before and/or after pressing the designs onto fabric, to achieve some beautiful effects.

The workshop can be booked at the venue website. Just complete the contact form to ask any questions or to book. You can of course ask me any queries at inspirebykim@outlook.com

We’ll be exploring how we can reuse and upcycle existing fabrics that you already have, to breathe new life into them.

Here are testimonials from workshop attendees.

Can’t make that date? I also offer Fabric Design one to ones. Just message me for more details and dates.

So here’s to another year. I’ve some new ideas I’m developing, so watch this space. You can see my work in progress through my Instagram and Facebook.

These are related posts, enjoy. Thanks for being here.

Fabric Design Workshop – 2nd June, Sheffield

Fabric Design Project – Window Box Tulips

Workshop – Testimonials

Satin Cheese Plant…

Fabric Design Doll

Heat Press Workshop

Hi, I’m running a half day Heat Press workshop in Sheffield on 9th March. Posting the details incase this may be of interest.

‘Heat press Workshop’ 10-12.30 Saturday 9th March £30

This is an opportunity to create your own unique design and transfer it onto fabric. During the workshop you will be guided through steps to create a bespoke design and transfer it onto a fabric of your choice for use in whatever textile, sewing or craft project you wish. You will learn about products, techniques and equipment, how different fabrics respond to the process and how best to prepare them. You will be inspired by what your designs could become. This workshop is supported by ‘Colourcraft’.

The workshop can be booked through the venue website at 

http://www.stitchedupandfleeced.com/workshops

If you need any further details please don’t hesitate to get in touch. You can see my work at https://www.instagram.com/inspirebykim/

Best regards and many thanks

Kim

Bird and Flowers Cushion Design

I was asked to make a colourful cushion featuring a bird and flowers with this drawing from a lovely customer:

image 8

I thought about whether I might seek such a fabric design, but I didn’t have the desire to go hunting for a fabric, so I designed my own.

Having found painted designs that the dye colours can mush together I decided to try a collage technique, as developed in some of my favourite work, my paper cut pictures.

I firstly prepared papers by  carefully painting them with transfer dyes then cut and assembled pieces to build a design. I liked the composition on a cute practice design (above), but felt that the colours lacked texture and depth. So I tried wax relief frottage techniques learned at UAL Chelsea and also hand-painted my favourite flowers inspired by our own garden and a visit to the wonderful tulip gardens of Keukenhof and the Botanical Garden in Leiden earlier this year. I challenged myself to limit colours to the wine red, golden yellow and turquoise Colourcraft Transfer Dyes.

I cut shapes and enjoyed assembling these to form the design for the main panel of the cushion.

See the design process in this one minute video…

Earlier posts that relate to this:

Paper-cut Pictures

Inspired Bags

Blackpool Icons Cushion

Life in Paper

I’m creating new things all the time, which I post on my Facebook Page and Instagram. Hope to see you there.

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Hand Painted Scarf

I made a scarf by hand painting chiffon using batik and silk painting techniques. 

I love how the wax flows, enabling lovely curly freehand lines. The design includes the sea, the sun, moon, a flowering tree and stars. 

Here’s the process in pictures as in lateral sections, drawing the design with hot wax and a tjanting. 

Helping the wax set with a cool hairdryer, then painting the fabric. 

The hot wax smell reminds me of hours spent waxing skis. 

When the design was completed and had dried I began to iron out the wax between sheets of paper…

The heat also activated the dyes and could see their “true colours shining through” – to quote Cyndi Lauper.

The scarf could be lovely on the beach or sunbed.

I set up a studio photo shoot with model Lucy wearing the scarf. 

I exhibited the scarf in my product range exhibition at The Workstation in Sheffield in June 2017.

Top tips:

  • Create a tester section to trial the techniques and products.
  • Take care with hot wax.
  • Hold at least four thickness folded cartridge paper under the tjanting when moving between the hot wax pot and the fabric. 
  • Use batik stratcher bars.
  • Square and hem the fabric before painting.
  • Cool hairdryer to help the wax set and to dry the 
  • Try using salt, after the wax has dried, to add texture and additional interest to the design. 

Here are related articles:

Exhibition June 2017

Silk Painting Art Challenge

Instagram round up featuring batik wax printing

News – New Shop 

 

Group Art Exhibition Tips

The feedback was very positive for the tips and learnings I posted around my first solo art exhibition. So here are tips from learnings at my first group exhibition.

Tips from group exhibition learnings

Be clear on what you want your display to look like. Mock up a photo or draw it so you can show and explain this to organisers.
Frame pieces – display them however they will look best.
Think about lighting, if you’re not sure it will be light enough then work lighting and power into your display and state your requirements in advance.
Think big when you’re creating, big is bold and does attract attention.

Intricacy can be beautiful but think about what it looks like from a couple of metres away, consider impact, eye catching and the experience.
Labelling is important, succinct information about your works.
Identify your invite list in advance and if you can access flyers and leaflets then give those to people you would like to attend.
Think about what people might take away, an attractive postcard can serve as a way of someone taking your contact details and reminding them of your display post event, increasing the impact and the possibility of other opportunities.
When deciding on whether to commit to the exhibition ask the organisers how they will be promoting the event as that is key to its success and value to you.
Even if it’s not an exhibition where the pieces aren’t on sale have a think beforehand what prices you would wish or need to achieve so you’re ready if someone is keen to buy.
If you are selling have a clear record of the advertised prices.
Think sensory, what fragrance/ smells would aromatise your work, consider adding scents. Our venue had a glass ceiling on a hot day, making it like a greenhouse, I was glad I had taken an aroma spray for the fabrics in my work.
Have a run through of possible questions about your work so that you can give clear considered answers if asked.
Be enthusiastic, be yourself.
I mentioned copyrighting in my Solo Exhibition blog posts. You can see those points and more useful exhibiting tips at these links:

First Art Exhibition – My Learnings Shared

Learning From My Live Art Exhibition

Thanks for visiting, if it’s your first time here then you may like to look at some of the posts about the 52 Art Challenges I completed en route.

Learning From My Live Art Exhibition Experience

Following on from my previous post with the learnings up to the point of hanging the exhibition, this is the next instalment of tips and advice if planning an art show.

Thankfully my husband helped me to hang my art exhibition artworks on the walls of the cafe. The cafe had a picture rail so it was a matter of popping to the local angling shop to buy fishing wire strong enough to hold the artworks. Then hanging them, adding the prints, ensuring everything was labelled, and making sure that the Inventory was correct.

Exhibition Tips

Fishing Wire: Know that it stretches depending on weight of the item it is displaying. Know roughly how much your artworks weigh – so you can select your fishing wire , if that is your hanging method. I didn’t know that fishing wire unknots itself, so you need to triple knot the ends. Canvases can hang with the top away from the wall when hung with fishing wire, so you may need something to pull them into the wall like a sticky fixing.

Exhibition Guide: It occurred to me the morning we were due to hang that the story of each artwork and its inspiration were relevant and may be of interest to visitors. The artist cannot always be at the venue so a succinct Exhibition Guide can work to inform on your behalf. I printed two copies of the guide and packed it as I had done the prints, in crystal cell bags with a cardboard sheet to support. This meant they would be fit for purpose at the exhibition and enabled the visitor to move around the exhibition with the Guide.

At the launch evening the guides were useful for people to be able to browse at their own pace.

Enjoy whatever happens: When the launch evening came I didn’t know how many people would arrive, when or whether they would pop in, stay a while, ask questions, or just want to look. Best to be relaxed and go with the flow.

Put plenty of you into the event: Its nice to have a professional cake and catering, but be sure that you have carefully thought about what to choose, how to display and how to ensure that the choices are your creative way. The personal touch can make all the difference and make the show more original. This makes for a more interesting, fun and memorable event.

Questions and Answers: I have organised travel events for journalists but an art event was new to me. I didn’t know what to expect, what people might ask, and therefore how I might explain or answer. I suggest having a think beforehand, either alone of with a couple of friends, consider what people may ask and give thought to artwork explanations that you may not have vocalised before.

 

Other activity: Think beforehand about whether you might like to do other activity alongside the exhibition. Once my exhibition was in place I felt very strongly that I wished to host an art workshop in the exhibition space, it would be the first of such an evert. Once my artworks were on the walls it felt fitting to practice art with likeminded people there.

Secondly I thought that I would have liked to have unveiled a new artwork part way through the show, my exhibition is live for five weeks so that is something I would have done in hindsight.

Younger Visitors or Young at Heart: As I launched my exhibition in the school holidays I thought that it would have been nice to produce some colouring or activity sheets for children to make the exhibition more interactive for them, and left a pot of crayons or coloured pencils with them. Maybe a children’s art workshop would have been nice.

Dedicate Time: I know that as my artworks are at the cafe I feel very drawn to be in that space, I would suggest ensure that there is some flexibility in your schedule to be able to go there when you feel inclined.

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Related posts

First Art Exhibition ‘How To’ – My Learnings Shared

First Birthday and Art Exhibition Evening

Art Exhibition – Just days away…

Emerging From Injury To Produce Art Exhibition

Thanks for visiting my website. Enjoy today x

 

 

 

 

 

First Art Exhibition ‘How To’ – My Learnings Shared

Later today I am opening my first art exhibition so here is the post I would have liked to have read before I started out. Here’s what I have learned so far and what I wish I had known.

1. Create in standard proportions

Do this right from the start. This will make it easier when framing,  reproducing and packaging your artwork and prints. Otherwise you’ll have to lose some of your image, have white space or have to use more expensive customised fittings.

When creating something  that you may wish to reproduce on canvas have enough space around the main subject (s) to wrap around a canvas frame, this means that you needn’t lose any of the work and will avoid time spent stretching or mirroring the image to make it cover the frame.

2. Learn how to scan, stitch scans together and colour match/adjust.

Find someone to teach you, this will save time, money and give you more control.

3. Be open to opportunities

In July 2015 I hobbled painfully on my recovering leg on a journey I had planned since the previous December. Whilst skating in the Christmas Show at Ice Sheffield Anwen, owner of Cafe and Gift Shop Airy Fairy, had seen my art on a cosmetic bag and suggested I visit her shop to discuss options for displaying my work.

Major knee injury just days after first speaking to Anwen had delayed my visit to her shop; but on meeting Anwen we discussed my work and she offered a five week exhibition in the cafe.

As my art is bright and sunny so I felt that it suited the month of April, so we scheduled the exhibition. I had seized the opportunity that arose through the chance encounter. I knew I would learn a great deal through the preparation process and would be able to show my art to a wider audience.

4. Measure and photograph the exhibition space

Don’t be shy about getting a measure of the exhibition space. Measure the space, take photographs.

Decide roughly how you will exhibit in the space and then curate from your art. I had lots of doubts, “do I have too many pieces” or “too few”. A scale drawing of the space would have enabled me to visualise the exhibition better, sooner and saved me time on the long run. Ask for a floor plan, your venue may have one.

Visit the venue to see how other artists have worked in the space and consider what works and what you might like to do.

5. Edit your collection

Deciding what to include is difficult, I thought about what would be popular, what would people like, what would suit the customer base. What I should have thought from the start was – which artworks do I like best, which show my skill/ability and are my greatest accomplishments. Those are the pieces to include. I came to under stand that we cannot control other people’s interpretations or how they will respond, not everyone will like everything as art is very individual.

6. Ask for supplier recommendations

I wanted to do as much as the process myself, so that I cold maximise the learning and my understanding of what goes into producing canvases and prints. I learned a about paper stock, print colours, calibration, image resolution, file format, scanning, canvas quality, canvas frames, hanging fittings, fishing wire, labelling, packaging, copyrighting and my nemesis… pricing.

7. Research and Read

I referred to Lisa Congdon’s Art Inc, Kelly Rae-Roberts Flying Lessons and Lila Rogers Make Art That Sells throughout the process. If anything I wish that I could have had a knowing artist buddy by my side who had been through a similar process.

8. Log all component costs into a spreadsheet as you go

Log all the artwork components and packaging elements so that you have your cost prices per artwork calculated well enough in advance.  Pricing is challenging, so the baseline cost price is important.

9. Have someone to bounce off

A friend that can give a second opinion and to help you set up the show will calm your doubts and make it more fun.

10. Enjoy the process – stay creative

An exhibition is very personal and is you showing the fruits of your creativity and hard work. I found that when I wasn’t enjoying the preparation process it was because I wasn’t being creative enough. I learned to stop and think of a more creative approach which enabled me to be the artist, to be innovative unique and original. I also liked it when things were more personal and quirky. Our printer decided not to print anything in black ink just days before the event, but I have to say that I am pleased with the results and glad that it challenged me to find other ways and colours to express in.

11. Accept that there will be admin tasks

Spreadsheets, contracts, insurance documents, inventories, price lists, advertising, press releases, invitations, briefing notes. It’s all part of the process, it can be fun when you find a creative approach and know that this is to celebrate your work and give the art the chance to breathe and be seen beyond your home or studio.

12. Don’t over complicate, don’t stress

This is art, it’s not definitive. Focus on showing the best you can, what happens from there is out of your control.

13. Appreciate your followers  

Their belief and support is infinitely valuable, remember that when feeling doubtful or confused.

14. Keep going and believe in yourself. 

If it is, like me, your first exhibition this is totally new and so it will be challenging but keep going and believe in yourself, who knows where it will lead. There will be set backs, just now I’m waiting to pack the artworks into the car but I can get through the hall as there is a man working on our broken boiler. Hopefully the boiler breaking is the only setback today. Lastly, celebrate how far you have come and be open-minded about the future.

My art exhibition runs for the next five weeks until 2nd May at Airy Fairy, London Road, Sheffield. The exhibition comes after a journey into art, see the blog posts about the 52 Art Challenges that I completed on the way.

 

Spread your wings and fly!

 

My First Art Exhibition – April

I’m delighted to announce my art exhibition at Airy Fairy Cafe & Gift Shop, London Road, Sheffield, S2 4NF from 29th March until the 2nd May 2016.

The Inspire by Kim exhibition will feature artworks created in a range of media, all are bright and designed to inspire and uplift. Visitors can enjoy refreshments or lunch whilst browsing the exhibition.

Airy Fairy Cafe & Gift Shop produces and sells local arts, crafts and jewellery as well as stocking crystals, magikal supplies, candles, aromatherapy oils, spiritual books as well as fair trade gifts from around the world.

Pay and display street parking is available or it is just 10 minutes walk from the city centre.

Exciting times. I’ll be posting the story of how that came to be and my learnings from the preparation process. More on that in the coming weeks.