I’ve drawn with a pencil, pen and paper for many years, and cut out many an interesting piece of clip art with my embroidery scissors. I was learning about “cut and paste” as soon as I was old enough not to eat the paste–though I still had to prove myself worthy of the pointy scissors!But now, I’ve got the computer as a fabulous tool for creating all sorts of things ranging from professional websites for others and myself, magazine articles and books, cards, signs and business graphics and calendars.
Once in a while I reward myself with some time to play with my tools and let them be my toys while I allow some creative fun for no better purpose than to amuse myself and enjoy what I do. That’s more important for maintaining a creative mindset and staying fresh than is often credited. For me, my work and my play are very often overlapped, because I work in creative fields.
My work provides me with rewards for playtime too. As a member of the Amazon Affiliates program, I can promote books, tools, and all sorts of things that are available through Amazon.com in several ways. I can link to products that I recommend and that may be hard to find elsewhere. I don’t sell these items myself, but when people purchase via my links, I get a small percentage of the sale from Amazon for pointing a customer their way. Every month I get this percentage total as a gift certificate, and I treat myself to Something Cool or buy presents for others. I make sure that once a year I get something that is a gift from me to me, and from the people who helped support my art by purchasing items I recommend!
Quite often it is books. I could never have too many books, and I particularly love getting them from the Dover Pictorial Archive.Â Â They have thousands of images freely available for use by artists. Up to ten can be used in any one project without further permission. NowÂ many of these incredible resource books are available on cd as well, and can be used without the bother of scanning or cutting and pasting with the sharp scissors and glue. Resizing is a snapÂ becauseÂ these images come in full resolution and in several formats. Shown here is Elegant Floral Designs with 139 permission-free designs ready to be used in a myriad of creativeÂ ways.Â (#036.gif is shown above)
This year I also treated my self to a Wacom Bamboo Tablet with a regular mouse and a pen mouse. It came bundled with AdobeÂ Photoshop Elements. This “pen” is actually a digital mouse that allows me to plug in and draw using the tablet mousepad. I can use it to edit photos and graphics with greater control than is easily available with a traditional mouse. When doing work that requires intricacy, its an incredible help! And its fun to play with too.
I’m going to go and play with mine right now, and put the results together onto a Digital Doll Art webpage. Here’s a start–I’ve taken Image 036 (seen in black and white at the top) from the Elegant Floral Designs book and colored it in, using Adobe Photoshop.Â Now I’m going to turn it into a holiday gown for a digital paper doll! But I could use it for many things–to print out gift cards, decorate a website, or all sorts of interesting and fun uses.