Every time I think about sharing my art and craft projects, the word ‘functional’ always come to mind. Given the keyword, I compel myself to make an artsy item that will be useful to somebody else, making sure that this aesthetic object will serve its utilitarian purpose. “Why not just give away a painting?” – one may ask. Well, it sure is lovely to think about giving a canvas art or a watercolor painting to a friend or a relative. But, to be honest, I often not good enough to be displayed at someone’s house/office, let alone be appreciated or savored as it is. Many of my art renderings, after all, are personal and not geared toward marketing. It can get lonely, however, when creative expression is merely done to satisfy one’s self or to draw everything back toward the persona. So I do functional art when I deem it necessary to reach out and share common threads with other people. More than the validation (or payment) I may receive is the thought of being able to inspire others through my artwork’s visual or textual message. That in itself gives me a better sense of purpose as an artist.
The functional art items that I like to make are usually for writing (altered notebooks, journals), for the pleasure of reading (like bookmarks, tags, labels), or for remembering someone on a special day (postcards, greeting cards, framed sentiments). I made these mixed media bookmarks for my little girls sometime in June, shortly before the new school year started. My eldest is a hopeless book nerd. She can finish a chapter book/novel in less than a day. I made the DREAM bookmark for her because she loves butterflies and all those daydreamy stuff that we associate with the fantasy genre. The I LOVE YOU bookmark went to Stella, who says “I love you” to Mom and Dad at least once a day. Sometimes she’ll just give you a hug and say “Looove.” Yes, she’s a sweet thing and she loves flowers, hence the design.
These bookmarks were made out of scraps of designer paper. I used a sheet from my Canson Mix Media XL series (9” by 12”) as base. Other materials used: rubber stamps/clear stamps, rub-on stickers, embellishments (cardstock, rhinestone), heavy matte gel medium (Golden), multicolored yarn, craft stencil (mini mariposas by The Crafter’s Workshop) and Tim Holtz Distress Ink minis (mustard seed, peacock feathers, picked raspberry).
Are you into functional art too? What sort of stuff do you like to make?
Stencil Craft : Techniques for Fashion, Art and Home