Typography and Doodling

We just finished another amazing doodle swap over at The Doodle Swap Project. Round five was the largest group yet - forty in total! This round (the first ever themed round) was themed "hand-drawn typography". I have to admit, it wasn't my first choice, but it really opened up a whole new level of doodling for me. I really, really enjoyed this and I am STILL thinking about words I would love to make into doodle creations. For my set, I chose to doodle song lyrics from some of my favorite songs. To see my doodles in better detail, check out my set on flickr.

This project presented me with the same problem I have when it's time to download new music. What song do I want? I know there was something I wanted to get, but I can't remember what it is. With this project, I knew there were TONS of songs I loved and there had to be some doodle-able lyrics in them somewhere. But, I was drawing a blank! Most of my lyrics went back to my favorite artists of the 90's. I have to admit, 3 of my doodles don't fit that theme because I was running out of lyrics! ha :)

I have decided to dedicate a small water-color sketchbook that my brother got me for Christmas to typography doodling. I will be on the look-out for interesting lyrics, phrases, or words that I can "illustrate" in my little watercolor journal. I am excited about the idea and I think I can fill up the notebook pretty quickly! I've already got a few started.

To see what other doodlers have done for this round, check out the flickr pool. Catch up with new events by visiting The Doodle Swap Project blog or become a "fan" on facebook!

The Art of Butch Anthony

Butch Anthony of Seale, Alabama may be my new home decor hero. On his 80-acre homestead he creates art, architecture and curiosity. Not only is this place his home, but it's also the "Alabama Museum of Wonder" and home to the Doo-Nanny folk art festival each and every March since 1996.

His self-built, log cabin home is a thing of beauty. The raw wood paired with stark white walls and unique details like windows made from beaver dam twigs are sophisticated Folk. His art is often repurposed items that would have been thrown away.

See more of Butch Anthony's home architecture in the New York Time's slideshow:
Backwoods Design and the Art of a Doo Nanny

Other Links:

Butch Anthony on the History Channel's series American Pickers

Interviews with Butch Anthony by Tommy Morehead: Part1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5

Doo-Nanny Official Web site

"Me Time" for Creatives

Sometimes I really have my stuff together, but sometimes I feel so overwhelmed with daily life. Get up. Rush to work. Work for 8-9 hours. Run errands. Go home. Do chores. Relax for about 2 hours. Sleep. Being a creative being, that routine can only sustain me for so long and then I need to DO something. I have a instinct to create or talk about creativity and if I don't have an outlet, I get a little depressed and stir-crazy. It even leads to burn-out which effects my job.

I was the April issue of Better Homes & Garden and saw their monthly calendar article which is usually themed. This month was "A Month of 'Me Time'". The advice is based on a book by Lisa Quinn called Life's Too Short To Fold Fitted Sheets. Isn't that the truth? Sometimes I look at all the work I put into a clean house and wish I could convert it all to energy spent creatively. Granted, I am the kind of person that needs to be in a clean, organized home, but wow, it takes up a lot of my time. And when I am done, I am tired. Hiring a maid is out.

I am a bit of a "homebody", but when I am at home, I don't get as much creative work done. A messy bedroom and a pile of unlaundered clothes are there to taunt me until I finally step away from what I am doing and attend to them. Last week, I went to the coffee shop with my portable art supplies to finish up a Doodle Swap Project swap. I was incredibly productive while I was there.

So what do I do when I feel like I'm drowning in a world without "Me Time?

For starters, I am involved in some creative group projects such as The Doodle Swap Project and HOWiezine. They are things that keep me happy and fill a creative void that my 9-to-5 job creates. These things keep my wheels turning and it's a great opportunity to share with a community of other artists. The organization of these projects takes place online and through social media resources, so it makes it very convenient to keep up-to-date.

I have a "studio". I have one room that is full to the brim with art supplies, books, my computer, and lots of inspirational trinkets. The trick is to keep it functional. I have a LOT of stuff and it gets a bit out of control at times. But, the great thing is that I have a place that is all my own. I can put on my favorite music, clear off my work table, and get started making something.

Because the internet is much more cultured that the area I live in, I take time out to look at other creatives online. I browse blogs and other creative Web sites for inspiration and project ideas. Seeing the things that other people have done lights a fire under my dormant ideas!

I take my camera and go for a ride. This is something I would like to do more of. When I go, I just focus on driving around (preferably in the country) looking for things that strike me. Then I pull off the side of the road and take photos. It's a great thing to do on a beautiful day.

As often as I can, I like to get together with other creatives in person and share experiences. If you can attend conferences and workshops then great! But, if you can't, having a creative buddy to bounce ideas off of is another useful outlet.

Even though I feel like I have made much progress in making time for the creative side of my life, I think that things can always get better. As most people do, I have good intentions, then life gets in the way. Maybe "A Month of Me Time" is a good idea. Perhaps I can start scheduling in times to be creative on a monthly basis to make sure I have one creative outlet per week.

What are some things you do to make time for your creative self?

I miss you, Blog.

I miss my blog. Facebook has lured me to it's dark side with it's quick to publish options and almost instant gratification. When I get notifications that someone "likes" my status or I get emails that someone commented on a photo, I know folks are listening. There is no doubt that Facebook's constant stream of information is a great way to share what is going on in your life or your work.

It's been quite a while since I have added anything to my blog. I have to admit, since the popularity of FB has skyrocketed, I feel like blog posts are almost obsolete. Facebook provides almost the same type of interaction in a quick, easy to publish way. The biggest advantage of blogs is the ability to elaborate on a subject, but most readers like quick messages anyway, so Facebook fits the bill!

Many times when I blog and share that blog post on Facebook, I receive comments on my Facebook profile rather than my blog comments section. Any commentary is good commentary, but when everything funnels back to Facebook, why bother with a blog? I try my best to practice what I preach and make sure I comment on blogs rather than the FB posts that share the blog posts.

Blogs are still outrageously popular when it comes to the major blogs that are practically full-time jobs for their writers. But, can the little guy's blog survive Facebook? What is the advantage of a blog for folks like me? I still look at other people's blogs, do you?