Artist Cards -

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Artist Cards in a scrapbook?

Postby Russ » Fri Jul 20, 2012 2:05 am

I'm resurrecting this thread on Artist Cards because my summer schedule will allow me a little more time to sketch, and when I opened my desk drawer today,there was a pile of blank cards smiling up at me. I started thinking about them and why I have neglected my cards recently, preferring my Moleskine as in the past.

I like the convenience of pulling out a tiny card and sketching on it without the built in limitations of a hardbound book (no place to rest the hand, bulky book in pocket or bag, and terribly unbalanced if it is the Moleskine).

But I also need to have my sketches in a nice hardbound book which will grow as I progress, and which will keep me motivated to press on because I can feel I am working on a larger project rather than just isolated sketches.

I've been keeping my finished cards in a clear vinyl sleeve book, but it doesn't quite do the trick for me since they can be freely inserted or removed, and it lacks class (at least for me). And sometimes people who view the loose sketches will outright ask me if they can HAVE (not buy) a sketch or two. Last year I gave my best two card sketches to a kind but aggressive old lady I had just met because I couldn't say no!

So today I had a thought which was revolutionary for me but I'm sure not a new one for many sketchers (there is nothing new under the sun, after all): Have any of you combined scrapbooking with Artist Cards by gluing the finished cards into a hardbound book so that they become one inseparable entity? I could then write extensively in the margins of the page rather than on the card itself, settle for lesser quality paper for the pages (ie not necessarily watercolor paper), even colored pages, and maybe explore those options that keep people so fascinated with scrapbooking. I've never been tempted to glue in ticket stubs or photos in the past, but maybe this would open up a new world.

But I imagine gluing sketch cards into a book will result in a bulky book twice or three times its original thickness which will no longer close! Any experience or suggestions?
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Re: Artist Cards -

Postby Miatagrrl » Fri Jul 20, 2012 2:24 am

Russ, I'm happy that you resurrected this thread, because it gives me an opportunity to see great sketches that I had missed previously! As for your question, I prefer to keep all my sketches in bound books -- otherwise they tend to float around my studio and eventually get lost or torn. But I occasionally do sketch on a loose sheet, usually because it's an unusual type of paper or some other idiosyncratic reason, and I will glue that into a larger sketchbook to keep. When I do this, I use a spiralbound sketchbook, so the additional thickness doesn't really affect the binding (although it does tend to look "fat" eventually if there are too many glue-ins). One solution to this, if you don't like the "fat" look, would be to tear out some pages in the spiralbound sketchbook to control the thickness.

The most elegant solution would be to handbind a book yourself with tipped in (I think that's the right term) papers near the binding, which gives the spine side added thickness, so that when things are glued in, the outer edge of the book doesn't get fatter. A bookbinding author I like is Gwen Diehn, and all of her books include instructions for this technique.

But if that's too hands-on for you, here's a quick-and-dirty solution that also saves paper: Make your sketches on paper with a margin on one side. That is, use paper that is slightly larger than what you consider the finished size (I assume the standard artist trading card size? Or postcard?). Then when you have a stack of them, take them to a FedEx Kinko's (or the Japan equivalent) and have them comb or spiralbound. Easy and cheap!

Frankly, I like the plastic sleeve idea you are already using better than the comb/spiral solution because the sketches are better protected and easier to see, especially if you are using a consistent size for all the sketches. But you've got to get tougher with those pushy people who take your sketches! Get their e-mail addresses and offer to send a scan. Or pencil a price on the back of every sketch, even if you don't plan to sell them. It would take a lot more nerve to ask for a sketch if the price is clearly labeled on it!
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Re: Artist Cards -

Postby Urbanspinner » Fri Jul 20, 2012 8:56 pm

I occasionally glue sketches that I did on separate paper into my sketchbook. Planning to do this with ATC cards could actually make a really nice end-product, because you could decorate the sketchbook pages ahead of time and add explanatory texts next to the images if you felt like it.

To avoid making the book bulge, you'd have to cut out individual pages from the sketchbook as you went along -- but not cut them out completely. Leave about 1 cm. flap of the page in the gutter, so that the binding still maintains the same thickness. There'll be a gap between book pages, though, and that will accomodate the thickness of the ATC. It's the same idea as the bookbinding that Tina recommended, but you can do it to commercially bound books rather than making your own.

Image

(Sorry for the cropped off illustration. Not sure what happened to cut off the right side, but hopefully you get the idea.) Also, you wouldn't need to cut out pages for every ATC card you pasted in -- most bindings can accomodate a few extra pages tipped in. But you'd do it as you felt the binding getting unwieldy.
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Re: Artist Cards -

Postby Rocket Jones » Sat Jul 21, 2012 7:21 pm

Santa has gifted me with a few packs of ATC's the last couple of holidays, and I've recently noticed that even WalMart is stocking them in their arts/crafts section, so maybe they're beginning to catch on in the US.

On another forum I've been involved in two ATC swaps. They were doing a couple a year for a while, but the person who originally organized the swaps has moved on and nobody wants to take over 'her' baby, so it looks like it's done with. Usually, these swaps had a theme, such as "Autumn" or "hometown". These were international, and I've got five ATC's hanging on my wall at work; one acryllic on an ATC-sized board, one guache and three watercolors.

Here are two of mine that I sent to others. I've posted Whoosh, which was another ATC, on another thread.

Overlook.
Image

Shimmer.
Image

The way we worked it was that anyone who wanted to participate could scan and upload up to 3 ATCs. At the deadline, all the addresses were sent to the organizer and the swaps were randomly drawn. Then you'd get an email with the addresses where you were to send each of your cards. The organizer didn't keep any addresses, you had to re-send your info each swap. On the back of the ATC you put your name, title of the card, date and medium (plus anything else you felt like), then mail it. Usually a simple cardboard foldover was enough to protect the card inside an envelope.

It was very exciting to get a new ATC in the mail, and always extra special if you recieved a card that you particularly liked when it was posted. You just never knew until it arrived.
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Re: Artist Cards -

Postby RajeshS » Sun Jul 22, 2012 8:42 am

wow :) pretty cool

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Re: Artist Cards -

Postby nelchee » Fri Jul 27, 2012 1:53 pm

Very nice :)

I only did one ATC trade in my life.
Recently I cut up one A4 sheet into art cards and I'm keeping them in the back pocket of a small Moleskine in case I feel inspired to do a small size.. but I haven't painted any so far.
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Re: Artist Cards -

Postby Russ » Mon Oct 02, 2017 2:48 am

I'm once again bringing this thread back to life. I've been playing with the 2.5 X 3.5 inch "artist trading card" format again after a few years of sketching in various other sizes, mostly 3X5 inch paper which fits in my small ring binder. The trading card format is a universal standard so I can get binders and storage boxes even in Japan. At this size, I can keep all my sketching stuff in my shirt pocket.

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My sketching stuff
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I also keep a small binder in my back pocket for showing off my more successful sketches.

At the school where I teach, students are always asking to see my latest sketches. To my surprise, a woman at the PTA bazaar told me just yesterday that she was standing near me on the subway a few weeks ago when I was sketching a high school girl, and I was able to show her the finished sketch then and there:

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high school girl on the subway
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Here are a few more recent subway sketches:

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The models above were standing at a comfortable distance, but often I don't have the luxury when the train is a little crowded, and have to sketch a model who is much closer, as you can tell from the position of the legs:

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A bit too close for comfort
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But the most common problem is that the model is either soon blocked by another person, or sits down when another commuter leaves, or simply gets off the subway soon after I start the sketch. The next pose was so good that I went ahead and colored it even thought I could get down a few pencil scribbles in less than a minute:

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baby on back
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I've also gone back to sketching outdoors on my days off (I've sketched these same iconic landmarks many times in the past) and am able to finish a sketch before my short attention span runs out:

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Asakusa Kaminarimon
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Turret on the palace grounds in Tokyo
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Nikolai-do, the Orthodox cathedral in Tokyo
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Re: Artist Cards -

Postby mdmattin » Mon Oct 02, 2017 3:05 am

Beautiful, precious gems, Russ! I especially like A bit too close for comfort for its colors and the way it fills the space. The notes are a great addition. Nice to see those outdoor motifs again - I recognize most of them from your earlier work. Asakusa Kaminarimon is good for its integration of people with the environment.

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Re: Artist Cards -

Postby Russ » Mon Oct 02, 2017 9:57 am

Thanks Matthew! I am amazed not only at your art, but also your ability to make great comments on other peoples' art. I can only manage to type out "amazing" or "fantastic" over and over...
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Re: Artist Cards -

Postby Andre Jute » Mon Oct 02, 2017 9:51 pm

mdmattin wrote:Beautiful, precious gems, Russ! I especially like A bit too close for comfort for its colors and the way it fills the space. The notes are a great addition. Nice to see those outdoor motifs again - I recognize most of them from your earlier work. Asakusa Kaminarimon is good for its integration of people with the environment.


+1. "Too close for comfort" says a good deal more about what I dislike about city living than a thousand words can explain. And not to overlook the child on the back for the instantly recognizable posture of the long-suffering but proud parent.
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Re: Artist Cards -

Postby Russ » Mon Oct 02, 2017 11:34 pm

Yeah, as much as I appreciate the never ending supply of models on the daily subway commute, life would be much more pleasant if I could avoid it during rush hour.
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Re: Artist Cards -

Postby RajeshS » Sun Oct 15, 2017 10:59 am

:) as always ! Super

Even after years of sketching - it is still so hard to get proportions of humans right. It hurts!

People are just such a never ending supply of interesting subjects - it just never gets boring.

Russ , is that old man wearing a blue shirt, reading a magazine? What is intersting is how he is holding it farther in front of him, unlike most people holding smart phones nowadays - oh-so-near the face! He looks so much more relaxed reading it. I just feel that people seem more relaxed reading "prints" rather than off a smart-phone

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Re: Artist Cards -

Postby Russ » Sun Oct 15, 2017 11:31 pm

Rajesh, you are very observant! I did not even notice the distance from his face to the magazine (or whatever it was). I'm glad you said these people subjects never get boring; after sketching on the subway nearly every day for all these years, I have mountains of people sketches.
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