Wednesday, April 29, 2015

How I Make Postcards

My creative process is pretty haphazard.  I start by making a base for the postcards. I use cereal boxes or whatever kind of cardboard is handy. Then I get out my boxes of clippings. I've been saving scraps of paper for about 10 or 12 years. The collection just keeps expanding. For the last month or so I've been paring things away, and I hope to keep my papers contained in four old 10x10 Kodak boxes.

Sometimes I work on the dining table, but often I just spread my stuff out on the floor so I can see a lot of things at once.

I'll dump a box on the floor and pick out anything that catches my eye for a background.  As I continue to paw through my stash, I'll pick out faces or pieces of color that I think will look good on the backgrounds I've chosen. Often I'll see a story forming, so I'll be on the lookout for clippings that add to it. I have a smaller box of "snide remarks", a collection of words or phrases that I might go to for a caption, or maybe I'll look at the daily newspaper for odd headlines. I recently sorted my clippings, putting people in one box, backgrounds in a second box, etc. I think I will go back and mix them all up again, as I get more interesting combinations that way.

Sometimes I paint my cardboard bases with acrylic paint. Lately I've been using a lot of Pyrrole Red. Most times my background papers will cover most of the card, but having a colored background is nice for when the clippings don't quite cover the whole card. Besides, I love playing with paint.

I was trying to replicate some of the colors in this desert scene. Fun fun fun!

And here are four potential postcards gleaned from my sorting process. There seemed to be a sort of "space age" thing going on, so I picked out a few rockets & space helmets, and then a cactus & a cowboy for the desert landscape. All I need now is to fine tune the layouts, maybe find a caption, and stick everything down with a glue stick. Sometimes I use acrylic matte gel to attach my papers. It's messy, but it sticks things down really well. Sometimes I'll use the glue stick for everything, and at the end just go over the finished card with the matte gel to make sure pieces don't get torn off by the postal machinery.

          * Postcards that came from this particular mess
          * 2015 DIY Postcards - Birds set
          * 2015 DIY Postcards - Pop Art & Quotes
          * 2015 DIY Postcards - More Birds

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Check out the art and processes of other Postcard Swap participants HERE!


aimee said...

I liked reading about your creative process while designing the postcards, and liked seeing the jumble of images too! Before sending mine out, I thought it best to coat the fronts with decoupage medium to keep everything glued down. Sounds like you've done something similar before as well.

aimee said...

I liked reading about your creative process and liked seeing the jumbles of images as well. Before I mailed my postcards out, I used decoupage medium to keep everything in place, and it sounds like you've done something similar at times as well.

aimee said...

loved reading about your creative process and loved seeing your jumble of images as well! Your postcards look great!

Quinn said...

Messy is good! It creates playtime and we all need that. Thanks for sharing!

Marcia said...

Thank you both. Once I start seeing everyone's work online I start hoping to see particular pieces in my mailbox.

Aimee, I was short on matte gel & had no postcard stamps so I ended up mailing the postcards in envelopes this year.

Quinn, yes, paint all over me makes me feel like a real artist.

iHanna said...

Yay, love reading about your process! Thanks for sharing! I'm so with you on having mixed boxes of scraps. I've tried all kinds of sorting, but come back to just shuffeling everything together in boxes and folders. I loooove looking through them, it IS part of my creative process!

Andria said...

I love seeing your work space...looks like a great place for creativity to find you! I also LOVE that you have a collection of "snide remarks"...that's priceless! As is the fact that you want to mess up your organized collections because you make more interesting finds when everything is mixed together...I totally get that! Thanks for sharing.