Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Creative Process - Enough is Enough

When I asked you readers what you'd like to see focussed on here on my little creative home, I had a really interesting question asked, "How do you know when is a card done?"  I thought that would be a great focus for this week.  It's interesting because usually when I finish a card I set it up and spend some time (sometimes a lot of time) asking myself that very question!  Is it done?  Is there something else I should add or take away?    A lot of the answer to that question comes down to some design principles, which I'll cover in a later week, but sometimes you just go by feel too. 

I wouldn't consider myself an overly embellished or layered designer.  But I'm not usually Clean and Simple (CAS) either.  I'm somewhere in the middle.  I regularly count the layers after I'm done with a card and most often I'm about 7 layers of paper including sentiment.  To me that's not too crazy.  I also don't like overly embellished cards, they're just not my style, but I regularly use Nestability shapes, ribbon, pearls and piercing.  They are my staples. 

One challenge that we did each month during my time on the Dirty Dozen is thanks to's called More is More.  You take one design and do a "less version" and then also do a "more version".  I always found it fun to do, but I always had to start with my MORE version and then tone it down for the less version.  I decided to do that today, thinking about this idea of "when is a card design done?"

Here is the MORE card I started with. 

I used the beautiful Year of Flowers II from Flourishes and colored it with Copic Markers, then cut it out with a deckled circle Nestabilities and then layered in on another pumpkin circle.  I've added some pretty Cosmo Cricket designer paper (Early Bird) in a large part circle (traced with a bowl) and then large scallops.  Two rows of ribbon, one crochet and one sheer dots, and a pretty bow.  And then added the rounded pierced edge.  That's where I stopped.  And then I looked at the card over and over to decide if it was done.  One thing I don't often use is buttons, but I thought that this card could use some so I did a trio of buttons in different parts of the card to mimic a bit of the arrangement of the roses in the main image.  To me once I did that and distressed it a bit it was perfect.  Not overly embellished to take away from the main design, but enough interest and balance to draw your eye to different parts of the card.   It's lovely shabby chic/vintage with some pizzaz of color. 

Here's a close-up

So then, how would you simplify a design like this?  To me that's always the harder here's what I did. 

I used the same image, colored the same way, cut out the same way, layered the same way, but then I eliminated some of the layering and embellishments for a more clean look.  There is no rounded layer of designer paper - just the illusion of it with the piercing dotted with white gel pen.  I've eliminated the second piece of designer pattern, and took out the crochet ribbon, leaving only the sheer dotted one.  I couldn't leave it without SOME embellishments though, it just looked naked to me.  So I added 2 sets of double pearls.  It still draws your eye around the card and doesn't distract from the design.

Here are the two side-by-side.

The MORE version is by far my favourite, but I'll admit the Clean And Simple LESS version is growing on me.  :)  Aren't the orange roses so cheerful? 

What about you?  What is more your style, embellished MORE or Clean and Simple LESS?  And how you do you know when a card is done? 

Recipe:  Stamps: Flourishes -  A Year in Flowers II, Tag Lines;  Ink:  Memento Tuxedo Black;  Paper:  Always Apricot, Pumpkin Pie, Flourishes Classic White Cardstock, Cosmo Cricket - Early Bird DSP;  Accessories:  Big Shot, Deckled Circles Nestabilities, Large Scallop Punch, Copic Markers (YG0000, YG00, YG03, YG05;  Y11, Y17, Y19, Y38, YR0000, YR01, YR04), Buttons, Glue Dots, Crochet Ribbon, Sheer Dots Ribbon Apple Green, Modern Label Punch, Piercer, White Gel Pen. 


Denise (peanutbee) said...

Oh my WORD, I'm LOOOOOVIN' your layout! Too cool! Awesome colors and the sheer ribbon layered over the wide lace is gorgeous.

Crystal said...

WOW Christine these are totally GORGEOUS!! LOVE the layout and colors...WOW!!!!! BEAUTIFUL!

Jerri Jimenez said...

Gorgeous, gorgeous cards Christine, the colors are so beautiful, fabulous designs and papers!

Shari said...

I love all the layers you usually use! I like both cards, but personally I like the "more" card best! The lacey ribbon makes it perfect!

Marisa said...

Two great cards, Christine! Love the colours and the extra circle panel on the more card. Great work :D

KarinsArtScrap said...

Hi Christine

I find that somethimes lay on the picture you used
but it's diffecult too shoose
some people love more others just less
but I like the more card
but it's nice to see the different
but as always the look beautiful

greetings karin

leenda said...

Both are lovely Christine! This would be a great way to grow as an artist! Thanks for the inspiration!

Anonymous said...

If I had to pick a favourite, I would choose the "more" card. I think it's the lace that does it for me. There are both very pretty. How do I know when a card is done??? I ponder on it and see if I feel like it "needs" something else. I usually experiment with laying extra things on to see if I like it or if it gets too busy for my taste. I love hearing about how you do your process. I have 2 ways of creating. One is to start with DP and then find CS to match that. The other is to find a sketch and find DP that I think would work with that sketch and the stamp that I want to use.
Thanks for sharing!
Beth Greco

Lynne Phelps said...

This is WONDERFUL! I love both cards pretty much the same amount! I also appreciate your beginning at the MORE end of the spectrum and then simplifying. I live at the "more" end of the spectrum myself! Even so, the same design principles come through on both cards. Your blog posts on the creative process have been so helpful!

Ruthie said...

great idea ... I'm a fan of the LESS version ... I always say "less is more" - I'm not a fan of cards when they get too busy or too fussy.... however, both of these are beatufil and if I'd seen the more one without the other i'd have loved it. Go figure! :)
Thansk for all your info and sharing your heart!

Stacy aka Twinshappy on SCS said...

Oh I like both of them Christine. Wonderful MIM cards.

Michele Boyer said...

These are BOTH stunning, Christine! LOVE them!