#alittleart

A month or so ago I started an art project on Instagram. I wanted to find a way of artistically experimenting on a regular (daily) basis, without parameters or agenda - other than to end up with something to post on Instagram.

I had some Strathmore Artist Trading Cards that I'd bought in NY (little rectangles of different types of paper that can be bought in packs) and was wondering what to do with them when I realized they might provide the the ideal format for a manageable, daily art project - because they were so tiny.  The size (2.5" wide) means that I can't work on them for a long time, I can't get wrapped in fiddling details and huge compositions and I can experiment with an idea  and move onto the next one quickly.  

I started with just color and texture. Stripes and layers and circles.  I tried all sorts of paints and pens  The problem was that once I started I couldn't limit myself to just one a day  (I have the same problem with biscuits).

I hash-tagged my project #alittleart and invited fellow artists to join in.  I got a great response and posted the work to my Instagram feed.  Then I realized that wasn't ideal.  There were so many lovely contributions I had to start a new page for them.   I love the way some of them became entire collections and even inspired larger pieces - like these from Julie Hamilton, Sunny Spot Studio and Claire Wilson.

Over the last few weeks I haven't been as productive as usual and my project lost momentum.  I found that posting to a second Instagram account is tricky (to say the least), involving logging out and back in repeatedly.  I think I may have to abandon the page entirely.  However, I just finished a number of designs that came about as a direct result of all that playing around. Apparently these types of projects are known as #creativeplaygrounds - where the focus is on experimentation (playing) and consistently 'showing up'.  It's been so successful for me in terms of feeding my work - my techniques, concepts and color - that I wanted to share the process with you.  I will be continuing the project and do hope that you'll be encouraged to join me again.  I know I won't be able to maintain a daily momentum but hope to be consistent.

These are the result of playing with paint - thinking (very) loosely of floral motifs.

These are the result of playing with paint - thinking (very) loosely of floral motifs.

I elaborated on them a bit then thought I'd see what would happen if I chopped them all up.

I elaborated on them a bit then thought I'd see what would happen if I chopped them all up.

The chopped up pieces were so pretty.  I used them to make individual flowers on illustration board.

The chopped up pieces were so pretty.  I used them to make individual flowers on illustration board.

The art board gave them such a 'finished' quality, I lined them up on my shelf for a quick photo shoot.

The art board gave them such a 'finished' quality, I lined them up on my shelf for a quick photo shoot.

This was the final version - a range of greetings cards! 

If you'd like to join me in my project please do!  Just tag me @victoriajohnsondesign and #alittleart.  It encourages you to 'show up', inspires you to experiment, feeds your daily design work and allows you the time and freedom to really enjoy creating art in the way you want to.  You can follow me on Instagram here.

Below are some of the beautiful pieces from my fellow artists.  The first three are by J Broxon.  I haven't seen an entire collection of them posted but included three here because they're so gorgeous!