Friday, September 03, 2010

Indelible ink

My friend Amy's birthday was September 1. One of my printed cards was inside the envelope pictured above. But, as for the envelope itself -- I drew all over it, in ink. No sketch to work from, just start drawing and see what happens. I do this all the time. I've actually done this for as long as I can remember. It's a bona-fide compulsion. I just can't help myself. I love to draw all over envelopes for any happy occasion in which someone is receiving a card from me or from a group that I am a part of. (I usually make the card inside, too, if time/energy permits... but that's another post!)

Inside the card, where it is customary to write a nice sentiment, I also will draw a smallish, celebratory little drawing, along with a little message. These elements are all designed together, kind of like a little sticker. Often, it's a drawing of a little cake with shining candles, and the recipients' name is lettered in there, sharing the spotlight. Then, some stars and other little ornamental details... And if I'm really going bananas, I will add even more decorative flourishes, often tailored to the individuals' personal interests.

In the past, I've taken up the entire insides of cards as the little scribble grows and grows, like a plant given too much fertilizer! At some point, this proved to be problematic for me when lots of people needed to sign the card. Nowadays I am wise to this issue and I try to be the last person to sign the card. This helps me to control the drawing by default, since my space is more limited, but if I cannot be last to sign the card, it's okay. I have learned over the years that its simply a good practice across the board to try and reign it in a little when I draw all over cards and envelopes. When your doing a stream-of-consciousness scribble, knowing when to say "when" can be an art form in itself. Plus, the fact that it is going to be a SMALL scribble makes every line count so much more.

Nowadays I keep in mind that a little white space is also a good thing. It takes a combination of intuition, experience and wisdom to listen to (and to OBEY) that little voice. It's doing you an invaluable service-- it is warning you against taking your "drawing-without-a-net" off a steep and narrow cliff... so, I listen, and listen good!

I guess this philosophy applies to a whole lot more than just cards and envelopes...

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