Thursday, November 30, 2006


I recently decided to start a blog about my stamping- very original huh? Yes, that was meant to be sarcastic. The problem is I never know how to start things like this... then I came across something on a website I'm addicted to that I feel everyone who is into stampin & scrapin should read.

I was really encouraged when I read this... and since then I have found it easier to "trash" thinks I don't like so much.

One last note- I'm sure not how many of you know what a "Dirty Girl" is or what "Dirty Worthy" means so I'll give a short explanation so there aren't any questions later:

Dirty Girl: A woman part of Split Coast's Dirty Dozen, these are some VERY talented ladies!
Dirty Worth: Probably self explanatory now, but one that is worth of being a Dirty Girl.

This was written by Jan Tink

"I think most women and quite a few men, are born with an innate appreciation for beauty. What separates "artistic" people from those who have this appreciation is the drive and desire to express this is some form. Quite a few people have the desire and not the drive. Other people have both. However, you can have all the desire and drive in the world and still not produce something that you yourself would consider "art".

"For those who are driven to express their love of beauty, when you start you often find yourself frustrated. You try to make something beautiful, but most of what you produce you hate. EVERYONE goes through this, I hasten to add, even people who seem to have what is called a good "eye". The problem is that while you know what you like, you don't know WHY something that you like is good, compared to what you don't like. Why one design works so beautifully, but one fails dismally.

"So, what does it take to become "dirty worthy"? What separates people who are good at this from people who aren't? My thought is that while some people may have been born with a better "eye", these people are few and far between. The is what I think makes a good or a great stamper, which I think shows that ANYONE can become "dirty worthy" if they are willing to try:

"a) Time, practice, and hard work. Ask anybody who has become a Dirty Girl how much time they spend stamping and I think you'll find they spend a lot of time stamping and/or scrapping. I've been stamping since 1996, but I wouldn't consider my work to be all that good until I started spending almost every evening and part of every day stamping. I've been scrapbooking since 1998, but I didn't really start feeling my work was good until I spent a solid two years, from 2000-2001 scrapbooking 5 nights a week, every week. I completed about 20 scrapbooks in that time period. I spent a lot of time on it. In the process, I produced a lot of garbage as well as what I'd consider good work.

"b) Knowledge. While I've been to college and got my degree in art, I'd think you'd find that most of the Dirty Girls have not. And while I did get my degree in art, I didn't start applying what I learned in college until much later in life. When I was younger, I had some pretty romantic ideas about art, i.e. that the artist just went into their studio and art just "flowed" out of them. You didn't have to think about design principles or what worked, you just "did it". So while I learned all the principles, I didn't bother to consciously put them in my art work until I realized something. Which is that art itself is a mixture of inspiration (which almost everyone has) and craftsmanship. I thought that if you were a good artist, good design was just an innate part of your talent. It's not. I would produce a good painting every now and then, but without know what made it good, I was working blind. Learning and applying design principles can catapult you from someone who is "pretty good" to someone who is fabulous. It doesn't make something any less "art" to have applied some design tricks...the inspiration is still what drives the artist. So a lot of people up here who are great stampers have studied good design principles and applied them to what they do. Doing this will reduce the amount of bad work you produce and increase the amount of good work. You will know why something works (or doesn't) and sometimes you will be able to fix it based on your knowledge. You can find a lot of books on design principles and color theory and many stamping mags and scrapbooking mags have articles on it.

"c) Courage. It takes courage to be willing to waste a lot of supplies to get a good design. Even knowing all the design principles in the world, people who are good or great stampers still produce lousy work. Sometimes an idea I have just doesn't look the way I thought it doesn't work out right. I have got trays of rejects, rejects that I have a hard time throwing away. If you aren't willing to reject some of your own work, if you don't have the courage to spoil a perfectly good piece of beautiful paper, you are going to have a hard time getting better at this.

"d) Study. You can develop an great eye for design just by looking at what you feel is good and then looking for the design principles contained inside. I would hazard a guess that any of the other ladies who are Dirty Girls are like me: they have stacks and stacks of stamping and scrapbooking magazines. They look at advertising art as well and figure out what makes it tick.

"e) The last thing is attention to detail. Making sure that your work is clean, that things are evenly stamped and matted can make an enormous difference. That's it.

To me, learning this stuff is like learning to read. You wouldn't expect someone who was learning to read to pick up a book like "Moby Dick" or any other large book with great big words and tear through it, but you know that if they keep reading, sooner or later they will be able to. This is the same. Don't feel discouraged...keep trying!"

This is where I got this from

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