Thursday, May 6, 2010

Graffiti Backgrounds

I love a fresh crisp piece of hot off the presses paper as much as the next gal - trust me, there is a shelf full of Crop Hoppers bearing witness to my obsession. But sometimes, when I've seen the sheet I so desperately covet as the base of the seventh card or the umpteenth scrapbook layout on the blogs I visit I lose heart a bit. Some days it all seems so done.

Luckily I have the perfect pick-me-up for times of paper panic. I make my own. No silly, not the paper itself (although to be honest, I have on occasion) - the pattern that makes it pop :-)

Supplies: Sorry, can't help you. What do you have on hand?

I recommend using something sturdy - like watercolor paper - as a bottom layer, but I've had equally luscious results on butcher paper, scrapbook paper, card stock, plastic, transparency... see, the sky's the limit. You also need colored stuff: paint, crayons, markers, ink, tea, colored pencils, Sharpies. And I love to add some layers with text, collage etc. Junk mail, comic books, manga, menus etc. Markers or paint pens for scribbling/journalling are a necessity and stencils are a terrific addition. My favorite "stencils" are punchinella - you can get it in a variety of hole shapes and sizes. Awesome!

Each piece of make-your-own designer paper will be different. I wanted something with an edgy, urban graffiti feel - kind of Alisa Burke meets inner city. Here's what I did:

Step One: Dribble paint on edges. Smear around with a baby wipe.

Step Two: Squirt complimentary color in white space. Blend with baby wipe.

Step Three: Spritz with dye mister (I used Glimmer Mist, available at Gauche Alchemy shop).

Step Four: Start adding interest. Here I sprayed close up with fabric spray paint and tilted the paper to make it drip. Then I stenciled some letters haphazardly around the page.

Step Five: Go in with complimentary color (yellow here) and add large sections of paint. Use punchinella as a stencil by pouncing chalk ink through the holes. I find the pattern unifies the elements.

Step Six: Take a white or metallic paint pen (black is good too but very, very bold) and journal all over the page. I tend to get "stuck" so I often write song lyrics or poems I've memorized. Keep it loose and messy. Don't worry if it looks like ka-ka; it'll be fine.

Step Seven: This pic is bigger so you can see the details. Rip some text, comics etc and glue them to your substrate. Don't cover up all your hard work, just add some pieces here and there. Then go over it again with paint, punchinella and stencils until it integrates into the piece. If the look seems unbalanced don't worry about it. If you can't not worry *raises hand* then add a few dribs and drabs of dry brushed paint to make it look right to your eye. In this example, I added the green paint to the edges. Made all the difference in the world. Now leave it alone to dry.

Step Eight: It's so horrible I couldn't take a picture. Kill your darling! What? Cut this beautiful piece of awesomeness into useable pieces. *GASP* I know!

Here's some ideas: Card Front and ATC Blanks. Keep your scraps, they're awesome to craft with.

Then wow your friends and yourself by making cool projects. This card was made with the ATC scraps:

Features: Punchinella, Career Girl Mixed Media Kit, Scarlet Fever Mixed Media Kit from Gauche Alchemy and Bombshell Stamps.

I made little vignettes with Foreign Text and Wholly Sheet:

and attached them to the (matted) ATC Blanks.

Urban Angels:

These ATCs feature Bombshell Stamps and wings from the beading section at Michaels.

Thanks so much for joining me as I made my own Daring Background: Graffiti Style. It's truly a ton of fun and the results are well worth the effort.

I had so much fun making this that I signed up for Alisa Burke's Graffiti Chic Online class; so don't be surprised if you see a lot more of this style of art from me :-)

*Previously published at Bombshell Stamps and Gauche Alchemy*


Nikki@KreativeKnack said...

Your art is super cool! I need you at my house really! I'm in the process of decorating my boys' room, in an "urban street" theme, and I was going to tackle grafitti...wish me luck, I am going to go through your blog now, and take in all the tips I can bookmark! Thanks for coming by Kreative Knack, and leaving such a sweet rock!

Carol said...

OMG. Nicole channeling Alisa Burke, one of my all-time fave artists! Love this custom paper you made, I need to let my self loosen up a bit and try this!

Laura B said...

Extremely cool! I've painted paper before, and even painted some words on it, but I think this should be the next step for me. It looks like a lot of fun.:) Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving such a nice comment! I may not always comment here, but I do read all your posts.


Heather - said...

I like to make my own paper, too! It definitely adds a lot to the ATCs you did!

Carmen said...

I am SO loving that class too.

When I saw these over at GA it was the final push I needed for some Bombshell stamps. I don't have them yet - they are my next weight-loss incentive! I can't wait! (My first is incentive is getting to go see Jace Everett tomorrow. Wheeeeeee! Can't wait!) These totally blow me away Nicole - especially the winged versions. Absolutely amazing I could look at them for ages!

Foundinthe-ALI said...

This is so cool. I wish i was as edgy as you :P ill have to make my own girly paper. haha

kitchen tables said...

This one is cool! I like the idea! I think painting on paper is an art that is coming back.

Mary C. said...

Awesome, Nicole. It's like Art Journaling. I took a class for that but mine doesn't look as good as yours.

Meg said...

These images are absolutely beautiful and the pages are super cool to boot. I really need to start papercrafting more!

Scrapamum said...

Oh, oh, oooooohhhhhh I love this! Great job!

Mima said...

I don't know how you come up with something new everyday but you do!! The paper is great, and could easily stand on its own, but with the girls - brilliant!

Becca Ross said...

Thanks for linking up for Home and Family Friday at Home is Where My Story Begins. I love your creativity!


Roben-Marie said...

What wonderful graffiti! Love it!

Cherie said...

So cool and I love how you did the step by step (for newbies like me :)

Cyndi L said...

I love the whole concept of "kill your darlings" which you mention! It is sooooo freeing :-)

Linette said...

Ohhh, now you have my mind turning! I love it, the possibilities are endless!

Unknown said...

Love these!!

Eileen The Artful Crafter said...

"Kill your darlings" - lol. I really like it in small pieces and as background.The whole process looks very freeing.

Julie Forest said...

These backgrounds are super, super cool! Love your bombshell girls! tfs!! :)

Kim said...

love, love, love this and I think I might slowly be starting to understand the process behind it too. I think my first hurdle to overcome is to be more messy and more brave. Beautiful artwork Nicole :)

Tiff said...

This is amazing! I'm a big fan of the real art of tagging! It's a huge thing with the youth in Hawaii and my brother tagged as well! Your paper crafting tagging ROCKS! Like, SERIOUSLY???! Seriously?! I can't believe all the things you made using the sheet of paper you made! Thanks for showing us your process!