Bland to Beautiful


The word ‘sale’ can be very dangerous when shopping in an art supply store. I was in one of my favorites and they were having a sale on blank card sets. Eighty cards for five dollars. That’s sixteen cents per card; how can you resist that deal? So I bought a set and began improving them all. I spent time in my studio using gel printing and stamp techniques to make each card unique. Here you can see a few in progress as the layers dry. Soon I will begin sending them out across the land.

I am always fascinated at how people react to plain things. Worn things, bland colors, plain pieces of paper, or even boring items. Plain has it’s place and can be beautiful in it’s own right; plain to one person can be amazing in the eyes of another. When people face bland or plain it can make their creative juices flow. It can also stump them, leave them felling empty or dull, it can even leave them feeling nothing at all.

When working with a bland piece of paper, it can magically change with the right supplies and techniques, and the ability to let go of what is right and what is wrong. When creating we have to leave behind what we assume it should look like; we have to leave the world we know and venture into the unknown. We have to be willing to fail and cross over into something we have no idea of what it might become. We also have to let our original idea transform and morph into something completely different.

So what happened the last time you were faced with something dull or bland? Did you know what to do right away, or did you have to think and let your ideas grow? Did you gather the supplies you needed, go shopping, or maybe you employed the assistance of others to help get things going? Or maybe the item, project, or blank piece of paper is still sitting on the shelf waiting for your idea and execution to meet. Sometimes it helps to do anything not related to the item to simply get your brain moving. Go get inspired, go do something completely different, go see something you have never seen. Ideas need food to grow, and their food is inspiration. Without it the bland will simply remain bland. To move from bland to beautiful is not simply a task, it is a journey to enjoy. So next time you are challenged with something bland or dull let yourself enjoy the journey and gain insights and ideas along the way.

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